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Author: Sarah L King (29)


Feb
2017

The hemostatic system comprises platelet aggregation, coagulation, and fibrinolysis, and is critical to the maintenance of vascular integrity. Multiple studies indicate that glycans play important roles in the hemostatic system; however, most investigations have focused on-glycans because of the complexity of-glycan analysis. Here we performed the first systematic analysis of native--glycosylation using lectin affinity chromatography coupled to liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS)/MS to determine the precise location of-glycans in human plasma, platelets, and endothelial cells, which coordinately regulate hemostasis.

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Dec
1969

Variations in genes encoding several GABAreceptors have been associated with human drug and alcohol abuse. Among these, a number of human studies have suggested an association between, the gene encoding GABAreceptor β1 subunits, with Alcohol dependence (AD), both on its own and comorbid with other substance dependence and psychiatric illnesses. In the present study, we hypothesized that thegenetically-associated increased risk for developing alcoholism may be associated with impaired behavioral control and altered sensitivity to reward, as a consequence of altered brain function.

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Dec
1969

The APOE e4 allele has been linked to poorer cognitive aging and enhanced dementia risk. Previous imaging studies have used subsequent memory paradigms to probe hippocampal function in e4 carriers across the age range, and evidence suggests a pattern of hippocampal overactivation in young adult e4 carriers.
In this study, we employed a word-based subsequent memory task under fMRI; pupillometry data were also acquired as an index of cognitive effort.

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Jun
2016

Herpesviruses are among the most complex and widespread viruses, infection and propagation of which depend on envelope proteins. These proteins serve as mediators of cell entry as well as modulators of the immune response and are attractive vaccine targets. Although envelope proteins are known to carry glycans, little is known about the distribution, nature, and functions of these modifications.

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May
2016

The presence of the e4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is the best-known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. In this study, we investigated the link between functional and behavioural differences and regional brain volume and cortical thickness differences in those who carry the e4 allele (e4+) and those who only carry the e3 allele (e3/e3). We studied these genotype populations in two age groups: a young group (average age, 21 years) and a mid-age group (average age, 50 years).

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Dec
1969

Variations in the GABRA2 gene, encoding α2 subunits of GABAA receptors, have been associated with risk for addiction to several drugs, but the mechanisms by which variations in non-coding regions of GABRA2 increase risk for addictions are not understood. Mice with deletion of GABRA2 show deficits in the ability of psychostimulants to facilitate responding for conditioned reinforcers, offering a potential explanation.
We report human and mouse studies investigating a potential endophenotype underlying this association.

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Apr
2015

Major depression is a prevalent and debilitating disorder and a substantial proportion of patients fail to reach remission following standard antidepressant pharmacological treatment. Limited efficacy with currently available antidepressant drugs highlights the need to develop more effective medications for treatment- resistant patients and emphasizes the importance of developing better preclinical models that focus on treatment- resistant populations. This review discusses methods to adapt and refine rodent behavioral models that are predictive of antidepressant efficacy to identify populations that show reduced responsiveness or are resistant to traditional antidepressants.

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Jul
2014

The apolipoprotein E (APOE) e4 allele is strongly associated with increased risk of cognitive impairments in older adulthood. There is also a possible link to enhanced cognitive performance in younger adults, and the APOE e4 allele may constitute an example of antagonistic pleiotropy. The aim of this work was to investigate the cognitive and neural (functional) effects of the APOE e4 allele during mid-age (45-55 years), where a transition toward cognitive deficit might be expected.

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Jan
2014

Within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), synaptic GABAA receptors (GABAARs) mediate phasic inhibition of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and influence behavioral responses to cocaine. We demonstrate that both dopamine D1- and D2-receptor-expressing MSNs (D-MSNs) additionally harbor extrasynaptic GABAARs incorporating α4, β, and δ subunits that mediate tonic inhibition, thereby influencing neuronal excitability. Both the selective δ-GABAAR agonist THIP and DS2, a selective positive allosteric modulator, greatly increased the tonic current of all MSNs from wild-type (WT), but not from δ(-/-) or α4(-/-) mice.

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Feb
2014

Prenatal tobacco exposure, through maternal smoking during pregnancy, has been associated with adverse mental health outcomes in childhood. However, the mechanisms by which prenatal tobacco exposure compromises mental health later in life are unclear. We hypothesized that sensitized reactivity to stressful life events in early childhood mediates the effect of prenatal tobacco exposure on mental health outcomes in middle childhood, after accounting for earlier mental health outcomes.

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Nov
2013

Nicotine has been shown to speed attentional reorienting in cued target detection tasks, and work in young adults suggest that individuals carrying the apolipoprotein E (APOE) e4 allele might show greater sensitivity to the cognitive effects of nicotine. The APOE e4 allele is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and increased sensitivity to nicotine might reflect early cholinergic differences that relate to an enhanced risk of AD. The aim of this study was to investigate effects of nicotine and APOE on attentional reorienting in mid-age participants.

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Jun
2013

Apolipoprotein E is a protein involved in cholesterol and lipid transport. The gene coding for this protein has three different alleles: e2, e3 and e4. The e4 allele is recognised as a significant risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease in later life.

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Mar
2013

There is evidence to suggest that the APOE ɛ4 allele (which confers an increased risk of developing dementia) might be associated with cognitive advantages earlier in life. Further, nicotine might selectively benefit ɛ4 carriers. We used fMRI to explore performance on a prospective memory (PM) task in young adults (age 18-30) with and without nicotine using a within-subjects design.

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Dec
1969

Human genetic studies have suggested that polymorphisms of the GABRA2 gene encoding the GABA(A) α2-subunit are associated with ethanol dependence. Variations in this gene also convey sensitivity to the subjective effects of ethanol, indicating a role in mediating ethanol-related behaviours. We therefore investigated the consequences of deleting the α2-subunit on the ataxic and rewarding properties of ethanol in mice.

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Jun
2011

Complex neural circuits in the mammalian brain develop through a combination of genetic instruction and activity-dependent refinement. The relative role of these factors and the form of neuronal activity responsible for circuit development is a matter of significant debate. In the mammalian visual system, retinal ganglion cell projections to the brain are mapped with respect to retinotopic location and eye of origin.

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Nov
2010

Tobacco smoke exposure during development can result in lasting alterations in sensory processing and attention. This suggests that some constituent of smoke, such as the primary addictive component, nicotine, alters neurodevelopment. Although many effects of developmental nicotine exposure have been identified in humans and animal models, very few mechanistic studies have identified the molecular and anatomical basis for a defined behavioral consequence of developmental exposure.

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Jul
2010

Down syndrome (DS) individuals suffer mental retardation with further cognitive decline and early onset Alzheimer's disease.
To understand how trisomy 21 causes these neurological abnormalities we investigated changes in gene expression networks combined with a systematic cell lineage analysis of adult neurogenesis using the Ts1Cje mouse model of DS. We demonstrated down regulation of a number of key genes involved in proliferation and cell cycle progression including Mcm7, Brca2, Prim1, Cenpo and Aurka in trisomic neurospheres.

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Feb
2010

Because GABA(A) receptors containing alpha2 subunits are highly represented in areas of the brain, such as nucleus accumbens (NAcc), frontal cortex, and amygdala, regions intimately involved in signaling motivation and reward, we hypothesized that manipulations of this receptor subtype would influence processing of rewards. Voltage-clamp recordings from NAcc medium spiny neurons of mice with alpha2 gene deletion showed reduced synaptic GABA(A) receptor-mediated responses. Behaviorally, the deletion abolished cocaine's ability to potentiate behaviors conditioned to rewards (conditioned reinforcement), and to support behavioral sensitization.

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Apr
2010

The potential of putative cognitive-enhancing compounds to improve mental processing both in healthy and vulnerable populations is an area of growing interest to scientific and clinical communities. The possible influence of individual genetic differences on efficacy of these compounds has yet to be considered. We sought to investigate the profile of young-adult apolipoprotein E (APOE) varepsilon4 carriers across cognitive domains given that possession of this gene variant increases risk of developing dementia in later life.

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Dec
1969

Regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) comprise a diverse group of about 40 proteins which determine signaling amplitude and duration via modulation of receptor/G protein or receptor/effector coupling. Several members of the RGS family are expressed in the brain, where they have precise roles in regulation of important physiological processes. The unique functions of each RGS can be attributed to its structure, distinct pattern of expression, and regulation, and its preferential interactions with receptors, Galpha subunits and other signaling proteins.

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Sep
2008

In addition to its role in formation of the epidermal barrier, the mammalian transcription factor Grainy head-like 3 (Grhl3) is also essential for neural tube closure and wound repair, processes that are dependent in part on epidermal migration. Here, we demonstrate that the LIM-only domain protein, LMO4 serves as a functional partner of GRHL3 in its established roles, and define a new cooperative role for these factors in another developmental epidermal migration event, eyelid fusion. GRHL3 and LMO4 interact biochemically and genetically, with mutant mice exhibiting fully penetrant exencephaly, thoraco-lumbo-sacral spina bifida, defective skin barrier formation, and a co-incident eyes-open-at-birth (EOB) phenotype, which is not observed in the original individual null lines.

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Jul
2008

Smoking appears to increase overall levels of stress, despite self-reports that men and women smoke to control symptoms of anxiety. The overall incidence of anxiety disorders is also significantly higher in women. This study examined whether behavioral sensitivity to chronic nicotine varies across sexes in mice.

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Apr
2007

Renal facilitative urea transporters play a vital role in the urinary concentrating mechanism. UT-A3 is a phloretin-sensitive urea transporter that in the mouse is expressed on the basolateral membrane of renal inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) cells. In this study, we engineered a Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) I cell line that stably expresses mouse UT-A3 (MDCK-mUT-A3).

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Sep
2006

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) affect a wide array of biological processes, including learning and memory, attention, and addiction. lynx1, the founding member of a family of mammalian prototoxins, modulates nAChR function in vitro by altering agonist sensitivity and desensitization kinetics. Here we demonstrate, through the generation of lynx1 null mutant mice, that lynx1 modulates nAChR signaling in vivo.

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Nov
2004

A wide variety of antidepressants act as noncompetitive antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), but the relationship between this antagonism and the therapeutic effects of antidepressants is unknown.
Antidepressant properties of the noncompetitive nAChR antagonist mecamylamine in the forced swim test were tested alone and in combination with the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline. Mice lacking high-affinity nAChRs were tested in three behavioral models to determine whether these receptors are required for behavioral effects of amitriptyline in common models of antidepressant action.

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Dec
2004

Adult hippocampal neurogenesis declines with age in parallel with decreased performance on a variety of hippocampal-dependent tasks. We measured the rate of cellular proliferation in the hippocampus of mice lacking the beta 2-subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (beta 2-/- mice) at three ages: young adult (3 months old), fully adult (7-10 months old), and aged (22-24 months old). Consistent with previous studies, we observed an age-related decline in hippocampal proliferation in both groups.

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Dec
1969

Activation of the mesolimbic dopamine system is a critical component underlying addictive behaviors, including smoking. It has been hypothesized that the initial effect of nicotine on the dopamine system is to activate high affinity nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) containing the beta2 subunit, but that these receptors rapidly desensitize and are not critical for ongoing dopaminergic activation. To clarify the role of beta2-subunit-containing (beta2*) nAChRs in activation of the dopamine system and subsequent locomotor activation by repeated nicotine administration, C57BL/6J (B6) mice were administered 200 microg/ml of nicotine in the drinking water and the onset of locomotor activation was measured.

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May
2003

Prenatal nicotine exposure has been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and cognitive impairment, but the sites of action for these effects of nicotine are still under investigation. High-affinity nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) contain the beta2 subunit and modulate passive avoidance (PA) learning in mice. Using an inducible, tetracycline-regulated transgenic system, we generated lines of mice with expression of high-affinity nicotinic receptors restored in specific neuronal populations.

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