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Author: Andrew Holmes (351)



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Feb
2018

The study of the environmental fate of nanoscale TiO(n-TiO) is a major recent research focus which requires a rapid and accurate on-site concentration determination method. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) has been the most widely used method for determining the concentration of n-TiOin environmental samples; however, poses many challenges, such as hazardous hydrofluoric acid pre-treatment and clear limitations in mobile on-site measurement and monitoring. This study demonstrates that industrial wastewater containing natural organic matter (NOM) can present a major challenge to the analysis of n-TiOby ICP-MS, and introduces a spectrophotometry technique that can be used as an alternative.

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Jan
2018

Recent years have seen advances in our understanding of the neural circuits associated with trauma-related disorders, and the development of relevant assays for these behaviors in rodents. Although inherited factors are known to influence individual differences in risk for these disorders, it has been difficult to identify specific genes that moderate circuit functions to affect trauma-related behaviors. Here, we exploited robust inbred mouse strain differences in Pavlovian fear extinction to uncover quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with this trait.

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Dec
2017

This corrects the article DOI: 10.1038/nrdp.2017.

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Dec
1969

Science in 17 syllables.

Science 2017 11;358(6365):966
Andrew M Holmes

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Feb
2018

High representation by ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in marine systems is consistent with their high affinity for ammonia, efficient carbon fixation, and copper (Cu)-centric respiratory system. However, little is known about their response to nutrient stress. We therefore used global transcriptional and proteomic analyses to characterize the response of a model AOA, Nitrosopumilus maritimus SCM1, to ammonia starvation, Cu limitation and Cu excess.

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Oct
2017

Pneumonia risk with inhaled corticosteroid use in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not been thoroughly assessed in patients with moderate airflow limitation.
To determine the incidence of pneumonia and risk factors in COPD patients with moderate airflow limitation who had, or were at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
In the Study to Understand Mortality and MorbidITy in COPD (SUMMIT), 16,590 subjects with moderate airflow limitation (50% ≤ FEV ≤ 70% predicted) and heightened cardiovascular risk were randomized double-blind 1:1:1:1 to inhaled once-daily vilanterol 25 μg (VI), fluticasone furoate 100 μg (FF), vilanterol 25 μg combined with 100 μg fluticasone furoate (FF/VI), or matched placebo.

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Sep
2017

HIV-1 entry inhibition remains an urgent need for AIDS drug discovery and development. We previously reported the discovery of cyclic peptide triazoles (cPTs) that retain the HIV-1 irreversible inactivation functions of the parent linear peptides (PTs) and have massively increased proteolytic resistance. Here, in an initial structure-activity relationship investigation, we evaluated the effects of variations in key structural and functional components of the cPT scaffold in order to produce a platform for developing next-generation cPTs.

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Sep
2017

Contemporary ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction management involves primary percutaneous coronary intervention, with ongoing studies focusing on infarct size reduction using ancillary therapies. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an antioxidant with reactive oxygen species scavenging properties that also potentiates the effects of nitroglycerin and thus represents a potentially beneficial ancillary therapy in primary percutaneous coronary intervention. The NACIAM trial (N-acetylcysteine in Acute Myocardial Infarction) examined the effects of NAC on infarct size in patients with ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention.

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Jul
2017

Risk for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in adulthood is linked to alcohol drinking during adolescence, but understanding of the neural and behavioral consequences of alcohol exposure during adolescence remains incomplete. Here, we examined the neurobehavioral impact of adolescent chronic intermittent EtOH (CIE) vapor exposure in mice.
C57BL/6J-background Thy1-EGFP mice were CIE-exposed during adolescence or adulthood and examined, as adults, for alterations in the density and morphology of dendritic spines in infralimbic (IL) cortex, prelimbic (PL) cortex, and basolateral amygdala (BLA).

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May
2017

Carotid body dysfunction is recognized as a cause of hypertension in a number of cardiorespiratory diseases states and has therefore been identified as a potential therapeutic target. Purinergic transmission is an important element of the carotid body chemotransduction pathway. We show that inhibition of ecto-5'-nucleotidase (CD73) in vitro reduces carotid body basal discharge and responses to hypoxia and mitochondrial inhibition.

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Dec
1969

Over the last 20 years, a sizeable body of research has linked the microbiome and host diet to a remarkable diversity of diseases. Yet, unifying principles of microbiome assembly or function, at levels required to rationally manipulate a specific individual's microbiome to their benefit, have not emerged. A key driver of both community composition and activity is the host diet, but diet-microbiome interactions cannot be characterized without consideration of host-diet interactions such as appetite and digestion.

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May
2017

Anxiety disorders constitute the largest group of mental disorders in most western societies and are a leading cause of disability. The essential features of anxiety disorders are excessive and enduring fear, anxiety or avoidance of perceived threats, and can also include panic attacks. Although the neurobiology of individual anxiety disorders is largely unknown, some generalizations have been identified for most disorders, such as alterations in the limbic system, dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and genetic factors.

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May
2017

The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has attracted attention for its role in various behavioral and brain functions, and as a therapeutic target in neuropsychiatric disease states, including anxiety disorders and other conditions resulting from dysfunctional responses to stress. In this mini-review, we highlight components of the eCB system that offer potential 'druggable' targets for new anxiolytic medications, emphasizing some of the less well-discussed options. We discuss how selectively amplifying eCBs recruitment by interfering with eCB-degradation, via fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), has been linked to reductions in anxiety-like behaviors in rodents and variation in human anxiety symptoms.

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Aug
2017

Imaging genetics and genomics research has begun to provide insight into the molecular and genetic architecture of neural phenotypes and the neural mechanisms through which genetic risk for psychopathology may emerge. As it approaches its third decade, imaging genetics is confronted by many challenges, including the proliferation of studies using small sample sizes and diverse designs, limited replication, problems with harmonization of neural phenotypes for meta-analysis, unclear mechanisms, and evidence that effect sizes may be more modest than originally posited, with increasing evidence of polygenicity. These concerns have encouraged the field to grow in many new directions, including the development of consortia and large-scale data collection projects and the use of novel methods (e.

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Dec
1969

The gut microbiota includes a community of bacteria that play an integral part in host health and biological processes. Pronounced and repeated findings have linked gut microbiome to stress, anxiety, and depression. Currently, however, there remains only a limited set of studies focusing on microbiota change in substance abuse, including alcohol use disorder.

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Feb
2017

N-Methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) are involved in the regulation of alcohol drinking, but the contribution of NMDAR subunits located on specific neuronal populations remains incompletely understood. The current study examined the role of GluN2B-containing NMDARs expressed on cortical principal neurons and cortical interneurons in mouse ethanol drinking. Consumption of escalating concentrations of ethanol was measured in mice with GluN2B gene deletion in either cortical principal neurons (GluN2B) or interneurons (GluN2B), using a two-bottle choice paradigm.

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Jan
2017

Diet influences health and patterns of disease in populations. How different diets do this and why outcomes of diets vary between individuals are complex and involve interaction with the gut microbiome. A major challenge for predicting health outcomes of the host-microbiome dynamic is reconciling the effects of different aspects of diet (food composition or intake rate) on the system.

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Feb
2017

Determining the neural factors contributing to compulsive behaviors such as alcohol-use disorders (AUDs) has become a significant focus of current preclinical research. Comparison of phenotypic differences across genetically distinct mouse strains provides one approach to identify molecular and genetic factors contributing to compulsive-like behaviors. Here we examine a rodent assay for punished ethanol self-administration in four widely used inbred strains known to differ on ethanol-related behaviors: C57BL/6J (B6), DBA/2J (D2), 129S1/SvImJ (S1), and BALB/cJ (BALB).

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Dec
2016

Method evaluation of new assays for the detection of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) such as anti-cardiolipin (aCL) or anti-β2-glycoprotein I (aβ2-GPI) is challenging, as no internationally accepted reference material is available yet. Besides a lack of standardization, unacceptable inter-laboratory comparability of established tests is regularly observed. Owing to the absence of a commonly accepted reference standard, the evaluation of two research surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor assays was performed using statistical methods from latent class analysis (LCA).

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Oct
2016

Antiarrhythmic drugs are widely used to treat patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), but the mechanisms conveying their variable effectiveness are not known. Recent data suggested that paired like homeodomain-2 transcription factor (PITX2) might play an important role in regulating gene expression and electrical function of the adult left atrium (LA).
After determining LA PITX2 expression in AF patients requiring rhythm control therapy, the authors assessed the effects of Pitx2c on LA electrophysiology and the effect of antiarrhythmic drugs.

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Feb
2017

Rates of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) differ between men and women, and there is also marked variation between sexes in the effects of acute and chronic alcohol. In parallel to observations in humans, prior studies in rodents have described male/female differences across a range of ethanol-related behaviors, including ethanol drinking. Nonetheless, there remain gaps in our knowledge of the role of sex in moderating the effects of ethanol, particularly in models of chronic ethanol exposure.

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Dec
1969

Serotonin (also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)) is a neurotransmitter that has an essential role in the regulation of emotion. However, the precise circuits have not yet been defined through which aversive states are orchestrated by 5-HT. Here we show that 5-HT from the dorsal raphe nucleus (5-HT) enhances fear and anxiety and activates a subpopulation of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) neurons in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (CRF) in mice.

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Sep
2016

Cardiovascular disease represents a global pandemic. The advent of and recent advances in mouse genomics, epigenomics, and transgenics offer ever-greater potential for powerful avenues of research. However, progress is often constrained by unique complexities associated with the isolation of viable myocytes from the adult mouse heart.

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Dec
1969

Trauma- and stress-related disorders are clinically heterogeneous and associated with substantial genetic risk. Understanding the biological origins of heterogeneity of key intermediate phenotypes such as cognition and emotion can provide novel mechanistic insights into disorder pathogenesis. Performing quantitative genetics in animal models is a tractable strategy for examining both the genetic basis of intermediate phenotypes and functional testing of candidate quantitative traits genes (QTGs).

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Dec
1969

Mood and anxiety disorders are the most prevalent psychiatric conditions and are exacerbated by stress. Recent studies have suggested cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibition could represent a novel treatment approach or augmentation strategy for affective disorders including anxiety disorders and major depression. We show that traditional COX-2 inhibitors and a newly developed substrate-selective COX-2 inhibitor (SSCI) reduce a variety of stress-induced behavioral pathologies in mice.

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Dec
1969

The left atrial posterior wall (LAPW) is potentially an important area for the development and maintenance of atrial fibrillation. We assessed whether there are regional electrical differences throughout the murine left atrial myocardium that could underlie regional differences in arrhythmia susceptibility.
We used high-resolution optical mapping and sharp microelectrode recordings to quantify regional differences in electrical activation and repolarisation within the intact, superfused murine left atrium and quantified regional ion channel mRNA expression by Taqman Low Density Array.

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Apr
2016

Neuronal and glial differentiation in the murine hypothalamus is not complete at birth, but continues over the first two weeks postnatally. Nutritional status and Leptin deficiency can influence the maturation of neuronal projections and glial patterns, and hypothalamic gliosis occurs in mouse models of obesity. Gnasxl constitutes an alternative transcript of the genomically imprinted Gnas locus and encodes a variant of the signalling protein Gαs, termed XLαs, which is expressed in defined areas of the hypothalamus.

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Dec
1969

Hypoglycaemia is counteracted by release of hormones and an increase in ventilation and CO2 sensitivity to restore blood glucose levels and prevent a fall in blood pH. The full counter-regulatory response and an appropriate increase in ventilation is dependent on carotid body stimulation. We show that the hypoglycaemia-induced increase in ventilation and CO2 sensitivity is abolished by preventing adrenaline release or blocking its receptors.

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May
2016

Fenestrations are pores within the liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) that line the sinusoids of the highly vascularized liver. Fenestrations facilitate the transfer of substrates between blood and hepatocytes. With pseudocapillarization of the hepatic sinusoid in old age, there is a loss of fenestrations.

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Dec
1969

A selective sweep is the result of strong positive selection driving newly occurring or standing genetic variants to fixation, and can dramatically alter the pattern and distribution of allelic diversity in a population. Population-level sequencing data have enabled discoveries of selective sweeps associated with genes involved in recent adaptations in many species. In contrast, much debate but little evidence addresses whether "selfish" genes are capable of fixation-thereby leaving signatures identical to classical selective sweeps-despite being neutral or deleterious to organismal fitness.

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Mar
2016

Inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6 or IP6) is an important signalling molecule in vesicular trafficking, neurotransmission, immune responses, regulation of protein kinases and phosphatases, activation of ion channels, antioxidant functions and anticancer activities. An IP6 probe was synthesised from myo-inositol via a derivatised analogue, which was immobilised through a terminal amino group onto Dynabeads. Systematic analysis of the IP6 interactome has been performed using the IP6 affinity probe using cytosolic extracts from the LIM1215 colonic carcinoma cell line.

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Mar
2017

Addictions, including alcohol use disorders, are characterized by the loss of control over drug seeking and consumption, but the neural circuits and signaling mechanisms responsible for the transition from controlled use to uncontrolled abuse remain incompletely understood. Prior studies have shown that 'compulsive-like' behaviors in rodents, for example, persistent responding for ethanol (EtOH) despite punishment, are increased after chronic exposure to EtOH. The main goal of the current study was to assess the effects of chronic intermittent EtOH (CIE) exposure on multiple, putative measures of compulsive-like EtOH seeking in C57BL/6 J mice.

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May
2016

Modulation of breathing by hypoxia accommodates variations in oxygen demand and supply during, for example, sleep and ascent to altitude, but the precise molecular mechanisms of this phenomenon remain controversial. Among the genes influenced by natural selection in high-altitude populations is one for the adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) α1-catalytic subunit, which governs cell-autonomous adaptations during metabolic stress.
We investigated whether AMPK-α1 and/or AMPK-α2 are required for the hypoxic ventilatory response and the mechanism of ventilatory dysfunctions arising from AMPK deficiency.

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Dec
1969

The role of microbes as a part of animal systems has historically been an under-appreciated aspect of animal life histories. Recently, evidence has emerged that microbes have wide-ranging influences on animal behavior. Elucidating the complex relationships between host-microbe interactions and behavior requires an expanded ecological perspective, involving the host, the microbiome and the environment; which, in combination, is termed the holobiont.

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Apr
2016

Lapatinib (L) plus trastuzumab (T) improves outcomes for metastatic human epidermal growth factor 2-positive breast cancer and increases the pathologic complete response in the neoadjuvant setting, but their role as adjuvant therapy remains uncertain.
In the Adjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimization trial, patients with centrally confirmed human epidermal growth factor 2-positive early breast cancer were randomly assigned to 1 year of adjuvant therapy with T, L, their sequence (T→L), or their combination (L+T). The primary end point was disease-free survival (DFS), with 850 events required for 80% power to detect a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.

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Dec
2015

The intramolecular Diels-Alder reaction has been used as a powerful method to access the tricyclic core of the eunicellin natural products from a number of 9-membered-ring precursors. The endo/exo selectivity of this reaction can be controlled through a remarkable organocatalytic approach, employing MacMillan's imidazolidinone catalysts, although the mechanistic origin of this selectivity remains unclear. We present a combined experimental and density functional theory investigation, providing insight into the effects of medium-ring constraints on the organocatalyzed intramolecular Diels-Alder reaction to form the isobenzofuran core of the eunicellins.

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May
2016

Pharmacologically elevating brain endocannabinoids (eCBs) share anxiolytic and fear extinction-facilitating properties with classical therapeutics, including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine. There are also known functional interactions between the eCB and serotonin systems and preliminary evidence that antidepressants cause alterations in brain eCBs. However, the potential role of eCBs in mediating the facilitatory effects of fluoxetine on fear extinction has not been established.

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Jul
2015

Persistent anxiety after a psychological trauma is a hallmark of many anxiety disorders. However, the neural circuits mediating the extinction of traumatic fear memories remain incompletely understood. We show that selective, in vivo stimulation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)-amygdala pathway facilitated extinction memory formation, but not retrieval.

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Jan
2016

A functional role for the mitochondria in acute O2 sensing in the carotid body (CB) remains undetermined. Whilst total inhibition of mitochondrial activity causes intense CB stimulation, it is unclear whether this response can be moderated such that graded impairment of oxidative phosphorylation might be a mechanism that sets and modifies the O2 sensitivity of the whole organ. We assessed NADH autofluorescence and [Ca2+]i in freshly dissociated CB type I cells and sensory chemoafferent discharge frequency in an intact CB preparation, in the presence of varying concentrations of nitrite (NO2 −), a mitochondrial nitric oxide (NO) donor and a competitive inhibitor of mitochondrial complex IV.

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Dec
2015

We investigated the mode of action underlying lytic inactivation of HIV-1 virions by peptide triazole thiol (PTT), in particular the relationship between gp120 disulfides and the C-terminal cysteine-SH required for virolysis. Obligate PTT dimer obtained by PTT SH cross-linking and PTTs with serially truncated linkers between pharmacophore isoleucine-ferrocenyltriazole-proline-tryptophan and cysteine-SH were synthesized. PTT variants showed loss of lytic activity but not binding and infection inhibition upon SH blockade.

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Sep
2015

This study investigates novel deposition techniques for the preparation of TiO2 electrodes for use in flexible dye-sensitized solar cells. These proposed new methods, namely pre-dye-coating and codeposition ultrasonic spraying, eliminate the conventional need for time-consuming processes such as dye soaking and high-temperature sintering. Power conversion efficiencies of over 4.

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Oct
2015

Cooperation between relatives yields important fitness benefits, but genetic loci that allow recognition of unfamiliar kin have proven elusive. Sharing of kinship markers must correlate strongly with genome-wide similarity, creating a special challenge to identify specific loci used independently of other shared loci. Two highly polymorphic gene complexes, detected through scent, have been implicated in vertebrates: the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which could be vertebrate wide, and the major urinary protein (MUP) cluster, which is species specific.

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Oct
2015

Finding translation in stress research.

Nat Neurosci 2015 Oct 25;18(10):1347-52. Epub 2015 Sep 25.
Ahmad R Hariri, Andrew Holmes
In our ongoing efforts to advance understanding of human diseases, translational research across rodents and humans on stress-related mental disorders stands out as a field that is producing discoveries that illuminate mechanisms of risk and pathophysiology at a brisk rate. Here we offer a Perspective on how a productive translational research dialog between preclinical models and clinical studies of these disorders is being powered by an ever-developing appreciation of the shared neural circuits and genetic architecture that moderate the response to stress across species. Working from these deep foundations, we discuss the approaches, both traditional and innovative, that have the potential to deliver a new generation of risk biomarkers and therapeutic strategies for stress-related disorders.

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Sep
2015

GABA receptors in a state of fear.

Nat Neurosci 2015 Sep;18(9):1194-6
Andrew Holmes, Alon Chen

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