[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we consider the structure of dynamically evolving networks modelling information and activity moving across a large set of vertices. We adopt the communicability concept that generalizes that of centrality which is defined for static networks. We define the primary network structure within the whole as comprising of the most influential vertices (both as senders and receivers of dynamically sequenced activity). We present a methodology based on successive vertex knockouts, up to a very small fraction of the whole primary network, that can characterize the nature of the primary network as being either relatively robust and lattice-like (with redundancies built in) or relatively fragile and tree-like (with sensitivities and few redundancies). We apply these ideas to the analysis of evolving networks derived from functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans of resting human brains. We show that the estimation of performance parameters via the structure tests of the corresponding primary networks is subject to less variability than that observed across a very large population of such scans. Hence, the differences within the population are significant.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:Myofibroblasts have an important role in regulating the normal colorectal stem cell niche. While the activation of myofibroblasts in primary colorectal cancers has been previously described, myofibroblast activation in lymph node metastases has not been described before.Methods:Paraffin-embedded lymph node sections from patients with macrometastases, micrometastases and isolated tumour cells were stained to identify myofibroblasts and to characterise the distribution of different cell types in tumour-containing lymph nodes. The extent of myofibroblast presence was quantified and compared with the size of the metastasis and degree of proliferation and differentiation of the cancer cells.Results:We show substantial activation of myofibroblasts in the presence of colorectal metastases in lymph nodes, which is intimately associated with glandular structures, both in micro- and macrometastases. The degree of activation is positively associated with the size of the metastases and the proportion of Ki67+ve cancer cells, and negatively associated with the degree of enterocyte differentiation as measured by CK20 expression.Conclusion:The substantial activation of myofibroblasts in tumour-containing lymph nodes strongly suggests that these metastatic cancer cells are still significantly dependent on their microenvironment. Further understanding of these epithelial-mesenchymal interactions could lead to the development of new therapies in metastatic disease.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 7 May 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.209 www.bjcancer.com.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The intact hippocampal formation (IHF) of neonatal or young rats can be kept alive for an extended period in a fully submerged chamber with excellent morphological preservation. Field or patch-clamp recordings, intracellular Ca2+ measurements, and 3-D reconstruction of biocytin-filled neurons can be performed routinely. The generation and propagation of network-driven activities can be studied within the IHF or between connected intact structures such as the septum and the hippocampus or two hippocampi, and the use of a dual chamber enables the application of drugs separately to each structure. This preparation will be useful to study intact neuronal networks in the developing hippocampus in vitro.