ABSTRACT: Cognitive flexibility or the ability to change behavior in response to external cues is conceptualized as two processes: one for shifting between perceptual features of objects and another for shifting between the abstract rules governing the selection of these objects. Object and rule shifts are believed to engage distinct anatomical structures and functional processes. Dopamine activity has been associated with cognitive flexibility, but patients with dopaminergic deficits are not impaired on all tasks assessing cognitive flexibility, suggesting that dopamine may have different roles in the shifting of objects and rules. The goals of this study were to identify brain regions supporting object and rule shifts and to examine the role of dopamine in modulating these two forms of cognitive flexibility. Sixteen young, healthy volunteers underwent fMRI while performing a set-shift task designed to differentiate shifting between object features from shifting between abstract task rules. Participants also underwent PET with 6-[¹⁸F]-fluoro-l-m-tyrosine (FMT), a radiotracer measuring dopamine synthesis capacity. Shifts of abstract rules were not associated with activation in any brain region, and FMT uptake did not correlate with rule shift performance. Shifting between object features deactivated the medial PFC and the posterior cingulate and activated the lateral PFC, posterior parietal areas, and the striatum. FMT signal in the striatum correlated negatively with object shift performance and deactivation in the medial PFC, a component of the default mode network, suggesting that dopamine influences object shifts via modulation of activity in the default mode network.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 05/2012; 24(9):1960-70. · 5.18 Impact Factor
Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society 05/2012; 9(2):81-82.
ABSTRACT: Intermittent moderate-intensity exercise is used in human inhalational exposure studies to increase the effective dose of air pollutants.
To investigate the inflammatory, coagulatory, and autonomic effects of intermittent moderate-intensity exercise.
We measured hemodynamic, electrocardiographic, inflammatory, and coagulatory parameters in peripheral blood of 25 healthy subjects across an exercise protocol that included running on a treadmill or pedaling a cycle ergometer for 30 minutes every hour over 4 hours in a climate-controlled chamber with a target ventilation of 20 L/min/m2 body surface area.
Intermittent moderate-intensity exercise induced a systemic proinflammatory response characterized by increases in leukocyte counts, C-reactive protein, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and interleukin-6, but did not change coagulation tendency or heart rate variability.
Interpretation of pollutant-induced inflammatory responses in inhalational exposure studies should account for signals and noises caused by exercise, especially when the effect size is small.
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 03/2012; 54(4):466-70. · 1.88 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Osteopontin (OPN) is a member of the small integrin-binding ligand N-linked glycoprotein (SIBLING) family and a cytokine with diverse biologic roles. OPN undergoes extensive post-translational modifications, including polymerization and proteolytic fragmentation, which alters its biologic activity. Recent studies suggest that OPN may contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma.
To determine whether secreted OPN (sOPN) is polymerized in human airways and whether it is qualitatively different in asthma, we used immunoblotting to examine sOPN in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples from 12 healthy and 21 asthmatic subjects (and in sputum samples from 27 healthy and 21 asthmatic subjects). All asthmatic subjects had mild to moderate asthma and abstained from corticosteroids during the study. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between airway sOPN and cellular inflammation.
We found that sOPN in BAL fluid and sputum exists in polymeric, monomeric, and cleaved forms, with most of it in polymeric form. Compared to healthy subjects, asthmatic subjects had proportionately less polymeric sOPN and more monomeric and cleaved sOPN. Polymeric sOPN in BAL fluid was associated with increased alveolar macrophage counts in airways in all subjects.
These results suggest that sOPN in human airways (1) undergoes extensive post-translational modification by polymerization and proteolytic fragmentation, (2) is more fragmented and less polymerized in subjects with mild to moderate asthma, and (3) may contribute to recruitment or survival of alveolar macrophages.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e25678. · 4.09 Impact Factor