Year of publication
- Wound healing in mice with high-fat diet- or ob gene-induced diabetes-obesity syndromes: a comparative study (2010)
- In the past, the genetically diabetic-obese diabetes/diabetes (db/db) and obese/obese (ob/ob) mouse strains were used to investigate mechanisms of diabetes-impaired wound healing. Here we determined patterns of skin repair in genetically normal C57Bl/6J mice that were fed using a high fat diet (HFD) to induce a diabetes-obesity syndrome. Wound closure was markedly delayed in HFD-fed mice compared to mice which had received a standard chow diet (CD). Impaired wound tissue of HFD mice showed a marked prolongation of wound inflammation. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was delayed and associated with the disturbed formation of wound margin epithelia and an impaired angiogenesis in the reduced granulation tissue. Normal wound contraction was retarded and disordered. Wound disorders in obese C57Bl/6J mice were paralleled by a prominent degradation of the inhibitor of NFκB (IκB-α) in the absence of an Akt activation. By contrast to impaired wound conditions in ob/ob mice, late wounds of HFD mice did not develop a chronic inflammatory state and were epithelialized after 11 days of repair. Thus, only genetically obese and diabetic ob/ob mice finally developed chronic wounds and therefore represent a better suited experimental model to investigate diabetes-induced wound healing disorders.
- The L76V mutation in HIV-1 protease is potentially associated with hypersusceptibility to protease inhibitors Atazanavir and Saquinavir: is there a clinical advantage? (2011)
- Background: Although being considered as a rarely observed HIV-1 protease mutation in clinical isolates, the L76V-prevalence increased 1998-2008 in some European countries most likely due to the approval of Lopinavir, Amprenavir and Darunavir which can select L76V. Beside an enhancement of resistance, L76V is also discussed to confer hypersusceptibility to the drugs Atazanavir and Saquinavir which might enable new treatment strategies by trying to take advantage of particular mutations. Results: Based on a cohort of 47 L76V-positive patients, we examined if there might exist a clinical advantage for L76V-positive patients concerning long-term success of PI-containing regimens in patients with limited therapy options. Genotypic- and phenotypic HIV-resistance tests from 47 mostly multi-resistant, L76V-positive patients throughout Germany were accomplished retrospectively 1999-2009. Five genotype-based drug-susceptibility predictions received from online interpretation-tools for Atazanavir, Saquinavir, Amprenavir and Lopinavir, were compared to phenotype-based predictions that were determined by using a recombinant virus assay along with a Virtual Phenotype™(Virco). The clinical outcome of the L76V-adapted follow-up therapy was determined by monitoring viral load for 96 weeks. Conclusions: In this analysis, the mostly used interpretation systems overestimated the L76V-mutation concerning Atazanavir- and SQV resistance. In fact, a clear benefit in drug susceptibility for these drugs was observed in phenotype analysis after establishment of L76V. More importantly, long-term therapy success was significantly higher in patients receiving Atazanavir and/or Saquinavir plus one L76V-selecting drug compared to patients without L76V-selecting agents (p = 0.002). In case of L76V-occurrence ATV and/or SQV may represent encouraging options for patients in deep salvage situations.
- The INCA trial (Impact of NOD2 genotype-guided antibiotic prevention on survival in patients with liver Cirrhosis and Ascites): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial (2015)
- BACKGROUND: Patients with liver cirrhosis have a highly elevated risk of developing bacterial infections that significantly decrease survival rates. One of the most relevant infections is spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). Recently, NOD2 germline variants were found to be potential predictors of the development of infectious complications and mortality in patients with cirrhosis. The aim of the INCA (Impact of NOD2 genotype-guided antibiotic prevention on survival in patients with liver Cirrhosis and Ascites) trial is to investigate whether survival of this genetically defined high-risk group of patients with cirrhosis defined by the presence of NOD2 variants is improved by primary antibiotic prophylaxis of SBP. METHODS/DESIGN: The INCA trial is a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial with two parallel treatment arms (arm 1: norfloxacin 400 mg once daily; arm 2: placebo once daily; 12-month treatment and observational period). Balanced randomization of 186 eligible patients with stratification for the protein content of the ascites (<15 versus ≥15 g/L) and the study site is planned. In this multicenter national study, patients are recruited in at least 13 centers throughout Germany. The key inclusion criterion is the presence of a NOD2 risk variant in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis. The most important exclusion criteria are current SBP or previous history of SBP and any long-term antibiotic prophylaxis. The primary endpoint is overall survival after 12 months of treatment. Secondary objectives are to evaluate whether the frequencies of SBP and other clinically relevant infections necessitating antibiotic treatment, as well as the total duration of unplanned hospitalization due to cirrhosis, differ in both study arms. Recruitment started in February 2014. DISCUSSION: Preventive strategies are required to avoid life-threatening infections in patients with liver cirrhosis, but unselected use of antibiotics can trigger resistant bacteria and worsen outcome. Thus, individualized approaches that direct intervention only to patients with the highest risk are urgently needed. This trial meets this need by suggesting stratified prevention based on genetic risk assessment. To our knowledge, the INCA trial is first in the field of hepatology aimed at rapidly transferring and validating information on individual genetic risk into clinical decision algorithms. TRIAL REGISTRATIONS: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00005616 . Registered 22 January 2014. EU Clinical Trials Register EudraCT 2013-001626-26 . Registered 26 January 2015.
- Sustainable management of river oases along the Tarim River in North-Western China under conditions of climate change (2014)
- The Tarim River Basin, located in Xinjiang, NW China, is the largest endorheic river basin of China and one of the largest in whole Central Asia. Due to the extremely arid climate with an annual precipitation of less than 100 mm, the water supply along the Aksu and Tarim River solely depends on river water. This applies for anthropogenic activities (e.g. agriculture) as well as for the natural ecosystems so that both compete for water. The on-going increase of water consumption by agriculture and other human activities in this region has been enhancing the competition for water between human needs and nature. Against this background, 11 German and 6 Chinese universities and research institutes formed the consortium SuMaRiO (www.sumario.de), which aims at gaining a holistic picture of the availability of water resources in the Tarim River Basin and the impacts on anthropogenic activities and natural ecosystems caused by the water distribution within the Tarim River Basin. The discharge of the Aksu River, which is the major tributary to the Tarim, has been increasing over the past 6 decades due to enhanced glacier melt. Alone from 1989 to 2011, the area under agriculture more than doubled. Thereby, cotton became the major crop and there was a shift from small-scale farming to large-scale intensive farming. The major natural ecosystems along the Aksu and Tarim River are riparian ecosystems: Riparian (Tugai) forests, shrub vegetation, reed beds, and other grassland. Within the SuMaRiO Cluster the focus was laid on the Tugai forests, with Populus euphratica as dominant tree, because the most productive and species-rich natural ecosystems can be found among those forests. On sites with groundwater distance of less than 7.5 m the annual increments correlated with river runoffs of the previous year. But, the further downstream along the Tarim River, the more the natural river dynamics ceased, which impacts on the recruitment of Populus euphratica. Household surveys revealed that there is a considerable willingness to pay for conservation of those riparian forests with the mitigation of dust and sandstorms considered as the most important ecosystem service. This interdisciplinary project will result in a decision support tool (DST), build on the participation of regional stakeholders and models based on results and field experiments. This DST finally shall assist stakeholders in balancing the water competition acknowledging the major external effects of any water allocation.
- Sustainable management of river oases along the Tarim River (SuMaRiO) in Northwest China under conditions of climate change (2015)
- The Tarim River basin, located in Xinjiang, NW China, is the largest endorheic river basin in China and one of the largest in all of Central Asia. Due to the extremely arid climate, with an annual precipitation of less than 100 mm, the water supply along the Aksu and Tarim rivers solely depends on river water. This is linked to anthropogenic activities (e.g., agriculture) and natural and semi-natural ecosystems as both compete for water. The ongoing increase in water consumption by agriculture and other human activities in this region has been enhancing the competition for water between human needs and nature. Against this background, 11 German and 6 Chinese universities and research institutes have formed the consortium SuMaRiO (Sustainable Management of River Oases along the Tarim River; http://www.sumario.de), which aims to create a holistic picture of the availability of water resources in the Tarim River basin and the impacts on anthropogenic activities and natural ecosystems caused by the water distribution within the Tarim River basin. On the basis of the results from field studies and modeling approaches as well as from suggestions by the relevant regional stakeholders, a decision support tool (DST) will be implemented that will then assist stakeholders in balancing the competition for water, acknowledging the major external effects of water allocation to agriculture and to natural ecosystems. This consortium was formed in 2011 and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. As the data collection phase was finished this year, the paper presented here brings together the results from the fields from the disciplines of climate modeling, cryology, hydrology, agricultural sciences, ecology, geoinformatics, and social sciences in order to present a comprehensive picture of the effects of different water availability schemes on anthropogenic activities and natural ecosystems along the Tarim River. The second objective is to present the project structure of the whole consortium, the current status of work (i.e., major new results and findings), explain the foundation of the decision support tool as a key product of this project, and conclude with application recommendations for the region. The discharge of the Aksu River, which is the major tributary of the Tarim, has been increasing over the past 6 decades. From 1989 to 2011, agricultural area more than doubled: cotton became the major crop and there was a shift from small-scale to large-scale intensive farming. The ongoing increase in irrigated agricultural land leads to the increased threat of salinization and soil degradation caused by increased evapotranspiration. Aside from agricultural land, the major natural and semi-natural ecosystems are riparian (Tugai) forests, shrub vegetation, reed beds, and other grassland, as well as urban and peri-urban vegetation. Within the SuMaRiO cluster, focus has been set on the Tugai forests, with Populus euphratica as the dominant tree species, because these forests belong to the most productive and species-rich natural ecosystems of the Tarim River basin. At sites close to the groundwater, the annual stem diameter increments of Populus euphratica correlated with the river runoffs of the previous year. However, the natural river dynamics cease along the downstream course and thus hamper the recruitment of Populus euphratica. A study on the willingness to pay for the conservation of the natural ecosystems was conducted to estimate the concern of the people in the region and in China's capital. These household surveys revealed that there is a considerable willingness to pay for conservation of the natural ecosystems, with mitigation of dust and sandstorms considered the most important ecosystem service. Stakeholder dialogues contributed to creating a scientific basis for a sustainable management in the future.
- SNEV is an evolutionarily conserved splicing factor whose oligomerization is necessary for spliceosome assembly (2005)
- We have isolated the human protein SNEV as downregulated in replicatively senescent cells. Sequence homology to the yeast splicing factor Prp19 suggested that SNEV might be the orthologue of Prp19 and therefore might also be involved in pre-mRNA splicing. We have used various approaches including gene complementation studies in yeast using a temperature sensitive mutant with a pleiotropic phenotype and SNEV immunodepletion from human HeLa nuclear extracts to determine its function. A human–yeast chimera was indeed capable of restoring the wild-type phenotype of the yeast mutant strain. In addition, immunodepletion of SNEV from human nuclear extracts resulted in a decrease of in vitro pre-mRNA splicing efficiency. Furthermore, as part of our analysis of protein–protein interactions within the CDC5L complex, we found that SNEV interacts with itself. The self-interaction domain was mapped to amino acids 56–74 in the protein's sequence and synthetic peptides derived from this region inhibit in vitro splicing by surprisingly interfering with spliceosome formation and stability. These results indicate that SNEV is the human orthologue of yeast PRP19, functions in splicing and that homo-oligomerization of SNEV in HeLa nuclear extract is essential for spliceosome assembly and that it might also be important for spliceosome stability.
- Size-resolved and integral measurements of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) at the high-alpine site Jungfraujoch (2013)
- As part of the CLACE-6 campaign we performed size-resolved CCN measurements for a~supersaturation range of S = 0.079 % to 0.66% at the high-alpine research station Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, in March~2007. The derived effective hygroscopicity parameter κ describing the influence of particle composition on CCN activity was on average 0.23–0.30 for Aitken (50–100 nm) and 0.32–0.43 for accumulation mode particles (100–200 nm). The campaign average value of κ = 0.3 is similar to the average value of κ for other continental locations. When air masses came from southeasterly directions crossing the Po Valley in Italy, particles were much more hygroscopic (κ ≈ 0.42) due to large sulfate mass fractions. The κ values obtained at S = 0.079 % exhibited a good negative correlation with the organic mass fractions derived from PM1 aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) measurements. Applying a simple mixing rule the organic and inorganic mass fractions observed by the AMS could be used to reproduce the temporal fluctuations of the hygroscopicity of accumulation mode particles quite well. We show how during a cloud event the aerosol particles were activated as cloud droplets and then removed from the air by precipitation leaving behind only a small amount of accumulation mode particles consisting mainly of weakly CCN-active particles, most likely externally mixed unprocessed soot particles. During the campaign we had the opportunity to directly compare two DMT CCN counters for a certain time. The total CCN concentration (NCCN,tot) obtained by the two instruments at equal supersaturations agreed well for both possible operating modes: detecting NCCN,tot directly by sampling the polydisperse aerosol with the CCNC, or indirectly by combining size-resolved measurements of the activated fraction with parallel measurements of the particle size distribution (e.g., by SMPS). However, some supersaturation setpoints differed between the two CCNCs by as much as 20% after applying the instrument calibrations, which resulted in differences of the corresponding NCCN,tot of up to 50%. This emphasizes that it is extremely important to carefully calibrate the supersaturation of the instrument, especially at low S.
- Single-particle characterization of ice-nucleating particles and ice particles residuals sampled by three different techniques (2015)
- During January/February 2013, at the High Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch a measurement campaign was carried out, which was centered on atmospheric ice-nucleating particles (INP) and ice particle residuals (IPR). Three different techniques for separation of INP and IPR from the non-ice-active particles are compared. The Ice Selective Inlet (ISI) and the Ice Counterflow Virtual Impactor (Ice-CVI) sample ice particles from mixed phase clouds and allow for the analysis of the residuals. The combination of the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH) and the Ice Nuclei Pumped Counterflow Virtual Impactor (IN-PCVI) provides ice-activating conditions to aerosol particles and extracts the activated INP for analysis.Collected particles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis to determine size, chemical composition and mixing state. All INP/IPR-separating techniques had considerable abundances (median 20 – 70 %) of instrumental contamination artifacts (ISI: Si-O spheres, probably calibration aerosol; Ice-CVI: Al-O particles; FINCH+IN-PCVI: steel particles). Also, potential sampling artifacts (e.g., pure soluble material) occurred with a median abundance of < 20 %. While these could be explained as IPR by ice break-up, for INP their IN-ability pathway is less clear. After removal of the contamination artifacts, silicates and Ca-rich particles, carbonaceous material and metal oxides were the major INP/IPR particle types separated by all three techniques. Soot was a minor contributor. Lead was detected in less than 10 % of the particles, of which the majority were internal mixtures with other particle types. Sea-salt and sulfates were identified by all three methods as INP/IPR. Most samples showed a maximum of the INP/IPR size distribution at 400 nm geometric diameter. In a few cases, a second super-micron maximum was identified. Soot/carbonaceous material and metal oxides were present mainly in the submicron range. ISI and FINCH yielded silicates and Ca-rich particles mainly with diameters above 1 μm, while the Ice-CVI also separated many submicron IPR. As strictly parallel sampling could not be performed, a part of the discrepancies between the different techniques may result from variations in meteorological conditions and subsequent INP/IPR composition. The observed differences in the particle group abundances as well as in the mixing state of INP/IPR express the need for further studies to better understand the influence of the separating techniques on the INP/IPR chemical composition.
- Single-particle characterization of ice-nucleating particles and ice particle residuals sampled by three different techniques (2014)
- In the present work, three different techniques are used to separate ice-nucleating particles (INP) and ice particle residuals (IPR) from non-ice-active particles: the Ice Selective Inlet (ISI) and the Ice Counterflow Virtual Impactor (Ice-CVI), which sample ice particles from mixed phase clouds and allow for the analysis of the residuals, as well as the combination of the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH) and the Ice Nuclei Pumped Virtual Impactor (IN-PCVI), which provides ice-activating conditions to aerosol particles and extracts the activated ones for analysis. The collected particles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis to determine their size, chemical composition and mixing state. Samples were taken during January/February 2013 at the High Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch. All INP/IPR-separating techniques had considerable abundances (median 20–70%) of contamination artifacts (ISI: Si-O spheres, probably calibration aerosol; Ice-CVI: Al-O particles; FINCH + IN-PCVI: steel particles). Also, potential measurement artifacts (soluble material) occurred (median abundance < 20%). After removal of the contamination particles, silicates and Ca-rich particles, carbonaceous material and metal oxides were the major INP/IPR particle types separated by all three techniques. Minor types include soot and Pb-bearing particles. Sea-salt and sulfates were identified by all three methods as INP/IPR. Lead was identified in less than 10% of the INP/IPR. It was mainly present as an internal mixture with other particle types, but also external lead-rich particles were found. Most samples showed a maximum of the INP/IPR size distribution at 400 nm geometric diameter. In a few cases, a second super-micron maximum was identified. Soot/carbonaceous material and metal oxides were present mainly in the submicron range. ISI and FINCH yielded silicates and Ca-rich particles mainly with diameters above 1 μm, while the Ice-CVI also sampled many submicron particles. Probably owing to the different meteorological conditions, the INP/IPR composition was highly variable on a sample to sample basis. Thus, some part of the discrepancies between the different techniques may result from the (unavoidable) non-parallel sampling. The observed differences of the particles group abundances as well as the mixing state of INP/IPR point to the need of further studies to better understand the influence of the separating techniques on the INP/IPR chemical composition.
- Schutz und Pflege von Zwergstrauchheiden in Sachsen-Anhalt - am Beispiel der "Woltersdorfer Heide" (2001)
- Im Gegensatz zu den "Feuchten Zwergstrauchheiden des nordatlantischen Raumes", welche durch eine Dominanz der Glockenheide (Erica tetralix) geprägt sind und innerhalb Deutschlands ihre Schwerpunktvorkommen im nordwestdeutschen Tiefland besitzen, sind die hier näher betrachteten "Europäischen Trockenen Heiden" (NATURA-2000-Code 4030) vor allem in Nordostdeutschland verbreitet. Die Hauptvorkommen befinden sich im Süden Mecklenburg-Vorpommerns, in Brandenburg sowie im nördlichen und mittleren Sachsen-Anhalt. Sie sind durch das Vorherrschen der Besenheide (Calluna vulgaris) gekennzeichnet, deren Wuchsorte meist durch silikatischen und oberflächlich entkalkten Untergrund sowie schlechte Nährstoff- und Wasserhaushaltsverhältnisse geprägt sind (SSYMANK et al. 1998). In Sachsen-Anhalt sind die großflächigen Heide-Vorkommen in der Regel an glazial-fluviatile Sande gebunden.