Publications by authors named "Amanda Adams"

58 Publications

Delays in reporting and publishing trial results during pandemics: cross sectional analysis of 2009 H1N1, 2014 Ebola, and 2016 Zika clinical trials.

BMC Med Res Methodol 2021 Jun 8;21(1):120. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Quantworks, Inc, 202 S. Greensboro St, Carrboro, NC, 27510, USA.

Background: Pandemic events often trigger a surge of clinical trial activity aimed at rapidly evaluating therapeutic or preventative interventions. Ensuring rapid public access to the complete and unbiased trial record is particularly critical for pandemic research given the urgent associated public health needs. The World Health Organization (WHO) established standards requiring posting of results to a registry within 12 months of trial completion and publication in a peer reviewed journal within 24 months of completion, though compliance with these requirements among pandemic trials is unknown.

Methods: This cross-sectional analysis characterizes availability of results in trial registries and publications among registered trials performed during the 2009 H1N1 influenza, 2014 Ebola, and 2016 Zika pandemics. We searched trial registries to identify clinical trials testing interventions related to these pandemics, and determined the time elapsed between trial completion and availability of results in the registry. We also performed a comprehensive search of MEDLINE via PubMed, Google Scholar, and EMBASE to identify corresponding peer reviewed publications. The primary outcome was the compliance with either of the WHO's established standards for sharing clinical trial results. Secondary outcomes included compliance with both standards, and assessing the time elapsed between trial completion and public availability of results.

Results: Three hundred thirty-three trials met eligibility criteria, including 261 H1N1 influenza trials, 60 Ebola trials, and 12 Zika trials. Of these, 139 (42%) either had results available in the trial registry within 12 months of study completion or had results available in a peer-reviewed publication within 24 months. Five trials (2%) met both standards. No results were available in either a registry or publication for 59 trials (18%). Among trials with registered results, a median of 42 months (IQR 16-76 months) elapsed between trial completion and results posting. For published trials, the median elapsed time between completion and publication was 21 months (IQR 9-34 months). Results were available within 24 months of study completion in either the trial registry or a peer reviewed publication for 166 trials (50%).

Conclusions: Very few trials performed during prior pandemic events met established standards for the timely public dissemination of trial results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12874-021-01324-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8185489PMC
June 2021

Postprandial insulin responses to various feedstuffs differ in insulin dysregulated horses compared to non-insulin dysregulated controls.

Equine Vet J 2021 May 30. Epub 2021 May 30.

MARS Equestrian Research Fellow, Department of Veterinary Science, M. H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 40546, USA.

Background: Controlling postprandial hyperinsulinaemia is important in insulin dysregulated (ID) horses to reduce the risk of laminitis.

Objectives: To evaluate postprandial insulin responses of ID vs. non-insulin dysregulated (NID) horses to feedstuffs varying in non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) and crude protein (CP).

Study Design: Randomised crossover.

Methods: 18 adult mixed-breed horses (13.3 ± 2.2 years; 621 ± 78.8 kg) were individually fed (~1g/kg BW) specific feedstuffs within two crossover studies. 8ID & 8NID were used in Study A and 11ID & 5 NID in Study B. Study A, all horses were randomly fed once: cracked corn (CC: ~74% NSC & ~9% CP), ration balancer with low protein (RB-LP: ~15%NSC & ~17% CP), ration balancer with high protein (RB-HP: ~14% NSC and ~37%CP), and 50:50 mixture of RB-LP:RB-HP (MIX-P). Study B, horses were randomly fed once: CC, RB-HP, steam-flaked corn (SF: ~73% NSC & ~10%CP), oat groats (OG :~64%NSC & ~14% CP), and a low NSC pellet (L-NSC: ~6%NSC & ~12%CP). Blood was collected for insulin determination (RIA) before and 30, 60, 75, 90, 105, 120, 150, 180, 210, and 240 minutes post-feeding in study A and at 60-minutes in study B. Data were analysed via ANOVA for repeat measures post any required transformations.

Results: ID horses had significantly greater insulin responses (AUCi) than NID for all diets in both studies (p<0.001; ID 22,362 ± 10,298 µIU/mL·min & NID 6,145 ± 1,922 µIU/mL·min). No effect of diet on AUCi for NID (p=0.2) but in ID the CC (32,000 ± 13,960 µIU/mL·min) AUCi was higher than RB-LP (p=0.01; 18,977 ± 6,731 µIU/mL·min). ID insulin (T60) was lower for the L-NSC (57.8 ± 18.5 µIU/mL) vs. all other diets (p<0.02; 160.1 ± 91.5 µIU/mL).

Main Limitations: Small numbers of horses; no ponies.

Conclusions: NSC appears to be the main driver of the postprandial insulin response. ID horses respond disproportionately to feeding even small amounts of low/moderate NSC feedstuffs. Data on possible dietary thresholds for postprandial insulin responses cannot be extrapolated from NID horses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evj.13474DOI Listing
May 2021

Turning to the dark side: LED light at night alters the activity and species composition of a foraging bat assemblage in the northeastern United States.

Ecol Evol 2021 May 27;11(10):5635-5645. Epub 2021 Mar 27.

Bat Conservation International Austin TX USA.

Artificial light at night (ALAN) is a rapidly intensifying form of environmental degradation that can impact wildlife by altering light-mediated physiological processes that control a broad range of behaviors. Although nocturnal animals are most vulnerable, ALAN's effects on North American bats have been surprisingly understudied. Most of what is known is based on decades-old observations of bats around street lights with traditional lighting technologies that have been increasingly replaced by energy-efficient broad-spectrum lighting, rendering our understanding of the contemporary effects of ALAN on North American bats even less complete. We experimentally tested the effects of broad-spectrum ALAN on presence/absence, foraging activity, and species composition in a Connecticut, USA bat community by illuminating foraging habitat with light-emitting diode (LED) floodlights and comparing acoustic recordings between light and dark conditions. Lighting dramatically decreased presence and activity of little brown bats (), which we detected on only 14% of light nights compared with 65% of dark (lights off) and 69% of control (lights removed) nights. Big brown bat () activity on light nights averaged only half that of dark and control nights. Lighting did not affect presence/absence of silver-haired bats (), but decreased their activity. There were no effects on eastern red bats () or hoary bats (), which have been described previously as light-tolerant. Aversion to lighting by some species but not others caused a significant shift in community composition, thereby potentially altering competitive balances from natural conditions. Our results demonstrate that only a small degree of ALAN can represent a significant form of habitat degradation for some North American bats, including the endangered little brown bat. Research on the extent to which different lighting technologies, colors, and intensities affect these species is urgently needed and should be a priority in conservation planning for North America's bats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7466DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8131776PMC
May 2021

Development and Feasibility Study of an Addiction-Focused Phenotyping Assessment Battery.

Am J Addict 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.

Background And Objectives: Current methods of classifying individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) result in vast heterogeneity among persons within a given diagnosis. These approaches, while clinically allowing for distinctions between patient groups, are less than ideal when attempting to recruit a neurobehaviorally defined subset of subjects into clinical trials. To address this gap, alternative strategies have been proposed, including behavioral phenotyping. The NIDA Phenotyping Assessment Battery (PhAB) is a modular package of assessments and neurocognitive tasks that was developed for use in clinical trials. The goal of the present study is to assess the feasibility of the NIDA PhAB with regard to ease of administration and time burden.

Methods: Healthy controls, persons with cocaine use disorder (CocUD), opioid use disorder (OUD), cannabis use disorder (CanUD), and combined opioid and cocaine use disorder (OCUD) were recruited from various sources (N = 595). Participants completed screening and one to three assessment visits. Time to complete the measures was recorded and a satisfaction interview was administered.

Results: Of the participants enrolled, 381 were deemed eligible. The majority of eligible participants (83%) completed all assessments. The average completion time was 3 hours. High participant satisfaction ratings were noted, with over 90% of participants endorsing a willingness to participate in a similar study and recommend the study to others. CONCLUSION AND SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: These findings corroborate the ease with which the PhAB may be easily incorporated into a study assessment visit without undue participant burden. The PhAB is an efficient method for behavioral phenotyping in addiction clinical trials. (Am J Addict 2021;00:00-00).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajad.13170DOI Listing
April 2021

Investigation of innate immune function in adult and geriatric horses.

Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2021 May 12;235:110207. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, United States.

In order to better understand the influence of age on innate immune function in horses, blood was collected from twelve adult horses (aged 10-16 years; mean: 13 years) and ten geriatric horses (aged 18-26 years; mean: 21.7 years) for analysis of plasma myeloperoxidase, complete blood counts, and cytokine and receptor expression in response to in vitro stimulation with heat-inactivated Rhodococcus equi, heat-inactivated Escherichia coli, and PMA/ionomycin. Gene expression was measured using RT-PCR for IFNγ, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12α, IL-13, IL-17α, TLR2, TLR4, and TNFα. Endocrine function and body weight were measured to assess any potential impacts of ACTH, insulin, or body weight on immune function; none of the horses had pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction. The geriatric horse group had lower concentrations of plasma myeloperoxidase (P = 0.0459) and lower absolute monocyte counts (P = 0.0477); however, the difference in monocyte counts was no longer significant after outliers were removed. Additionally, only two significant differences in cytokine/receptor expression in whole blood were observed. Compared with adult horses, the geriatric horses had increased TNFα expression after in vitro stimulation with heat-inactivated R. equi (P = 0.0224) and had decreased IL-17α expression after PMA/ionomycin stimulation when one outlier was excluded (P = 0.0334). These changes may represent a compensatory mechanism by which geriatric horses could ensure adequate immune responses despite potentially dysfunctional neutrophil activity and/or decreased monocyte counts. Aging may influence equine innate immune function, and additional research is warranted to confirm and further explore these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2021.110207DOI Listing
May 2021

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Recommendations on Changes to Classification of Levels of Evidence for Clinical Protocols.

Breastfeed Med 2021 Mar 11;16(3):185-188. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, New Jersey, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2020.0272DOI Listing
March 2021

Omental patch versus gastric resection for perforated gastric ulcer: Systematic review and meta-analysis for an unresolved debate.

Am J Surg 2021 May 7;221(5):935-941. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Department of General Surgery, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ, United States. Electronic address:

Background: Perforated gastric ulcers are surgical emergencies with paucity of data on the preferred treatment modality of resection versus omental patch. We aim to compare outcomes with ulcer repair and gastric resection surgeries in perforated gastric ulcers after systematic review of literature.

Methods: A systematic literature search was performed for publications in PubMed Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. We included all studies which compared ulcer repair vesus gastric resection surgeries for perforated gastric ulcers. We excluded studies which did not separate outcomes gastric and duodenal ulcer perforations.

Results: The search included nine single-institution retrospective reviews comparing ulcer repair (449 patients) versus gastric resection surgeries (212 patients). Meta-analysis was restricted to perforated gastric ulcers and excluded perforated duodenal ulcers. The majority of these studies did not control for baseline characteristics, and surgical strategies were often chosen in a non-randomized manner. All of the studies included were at high risk of bias. The overall odds ratio of mortality in ulcer repair surgery compared to gastric resection surgery was 1.79, with 95% CI 0.72 to 4.43 and p-value 0.209.

Conclusion: In this meta-analysis, there was no difference in mortality between the two surgical groups. The overall equivalence of clinical outcomes suggests that gastric resection is a potentially viable alternative to ulcer repair surgery and should not be considered a secondary strategy. We would recommend a multicenter randomized control trial to evaluate the surgical approach that yields superior outcomes.

Level Of Evidence: Systematic review and meta-analysis, level III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.07.039DOI Listing
May 2021

Form of Vitamin E Supplementation Affects Oxidative and Inflammatory Response in Exercising Horses.

J Equine Vet Sci 2020 08 29;91:103103. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that may benefit athletes by reducing oxidative stress and influencing cytokine expression. Supplements can be derived from natural or manufactured synthetic sources. This study aimed to determine (1) if supplemental vitamin E is beneficial to exercising horses and (2) if there is a benefit of natural versus synthetic vitamin E. After 2 weeks on the control diet (vitamin E-deficient grain and hay), 18 horses were divided into three groups and fed the control diet plus (1) 1000 IU/d synthetic α-tocopherol (SYN-L), (2) 4000 IU/d synthetic α-tocopherol (SYN-H), or (3) 4000 IU/d RRR-α-tocopherol (natural source [NAT]). On day 7, horses began a 6-week training protocol, with standard exercise tests (SETs) performed before and after the 6-week protocol. Venous blood samples were collected on days 0, 7, 29, and 49. Horses fed NAT had higher α-tocopherol (P < .05) at post-SET1 through post-SET2. Plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance levels were lower in NAT versus SYN-L horses after SET2 (P = .02). Serum aspartate aminotransferase was lower after exercise in NAT horses versus SYN-L and SYN-H (P = .02), and less reduction in stride duration was seen after exercise in NAT as compared with SYN-L and SYN-H (P = .02). Gene expression of tumor necrosis factor α was lower in NAT compared with SYN-H (P = .01) but not SYN-L. In conclusion, feeding higher levels of natural vitamin E source resulted in higher serum α-tocopherol levels as well as some improvement in oxidative and inflammatory response and improved functional outcomes in response to an exercise test.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2020.103103DOI Listing
August 2020

Effects of Advanced Age, Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction and Insulin Dysregulation on Serum Antioxidant Markers in Horses.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 May 21;9(5). Epub 2020 May 21.

Department of Physiology, School of Medicine with the Division of Dentistry in Zabrze, Medical University of Silesia, 41-808 Katowice, Poland.

The study aims to assess the impact of age, pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) and insulin dysregulation (ID) in horses on selected oxidative stress markers. The study includes 32 horses, divided into three groups: "young" adult group (aged 8-16 years old) "geriatric" group (aged 18-24 years old) and the "PPID" group (aged 15-31 years old). The PPID group was further divided into two subgroups: PPID ID+ and PPID ID- based on presence or absence of ID. We measured serum antioxidant stress markers in all horses: total oxidant status (TOS), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), ceruloplasmin (CER), lipofuscin (LPS), malondialdehyde (MDA) and thiols concentrations (containing sulfhydryl group -SH) as well as enzymatic systems: total superoxide dismutase (SOD), cytoplasmic SOD (CuZnSOD), mitochondrial SOD activity (MnSOD). Total serum thiols were significantly lower in the geriatric group and in the PPID group compared to the young group. The MnSOD concentration was higher in the PPID ID+ group compared to the PPID ID-. LPS and MDA concentrations were lower in the PPID ID+ group compared to the PPID ID- group. In the selected study groups of horses, older age, the presence of PPID and ID in the case of PPID had no effect on the studied oxidative stress markers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9050444DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278619PMC
May 2020

Cytokine and goblet cell gene expression in equine cyathostomin infection and larvicidal anthelmintic therapy.

Parasite Immunol 2020 06 20;42(6):e12709. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.

Aims: The role of the immune response to cyathostomin infections in horses remains unknown. Intestinal goblet cell hyperplasia has previously been noted as a component in cyathostomin infection; however, the function is unclear. The goal of this study was to evaluate the local and systemic gene expression to cyathostomin infections following larvicidal treatment and explore their relation to goblet cells.

Methods And Results: Thirty-six ponies with naturally acquired cyathostomin infections were randomly allocated into three groups: fenbendazole-treated (10 mg/kg PO 5 days), moxidectin-treated (0.4 mg/kg PO once) and untreated control. Whole blood from all horses was collected weekly, and tissue samples from the large intestine collected during necropsy at 2 and 5 weeks post-treatment (WPT). Gene expression of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17A, IL-22, IFN-γ, resistin-like molecule beta (RELM-β), Mucin 2 (MUC2) and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α was measured using qRT-PCR. There were statistically significant linear correlations between luminal worm burdens and MUC2 (r = -.2358) and RELM-β (r = -.2261).

Conclusion: This suggests an active role of immune system post-treatment in parasite expulsion, specifically in goblet cells, and that the organs respond differently to treatment and the larvae themselves. This may have implications in the disease process and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pim.12709DOI Listing
June 2020

Relationships of inflamm-aging with circulating nutrient levels, body composition, age, and pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction in a senior horse population.

Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2020 Mar 26;221:110013. Epub 2020 Jan 26.

Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 40546, USA.

Similarly to aged humans, senior horses (≥20 years) exhibit chronic low-grade inflammation systemically, known as inflamm-aging. Inflamm-aging in the senior horse has been characterized by increased circulating inflammatory cytokines as well as increased inflammatory cytokine production by lymphocytes and monocytes in response to a mitogen. Little is currently known regarding underlying causes of inflamm-aging. However, senior horses are also known to present with muscle wasting and often the endocrinopathy pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID). Despite the concurrence of these phenomena, the relationships inflamm-aging may have with measures of body composition and pituitary function in the horse remain unknown. Furthermore, nutrition has been a focus of research in an attempt to promote health span as well as life span in senior horses, with some nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, having known anti-inflammatory effects. Thus, an exploratory study of a population of n = 42 similarly-managed senior horses was conducted to determine relationships between inflamm-aging and measures of circulating nutrients, body composition, age, and PPID. Serum was collected to determine vitamin, mineral, and fatty acid content. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were also isolated to determine inflammatory cytokine production of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) following stimulation with a mitogen, as well as to determine gene expression of interleukin(IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-γ, and TNF-α. Serum IL-6 and C-reactive protein were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Whole blood was collected for hematological and biochemical analysis. Body composition was evaluated via ultrasound and muscle scoring for all 42 horses as well as by deuterium oxide dilution for a subset of n = 10 horses. Pituitary function was evaluated by measuring basal adrenocorticotropin hormone concentrations as well as by thyrotropin releasing hormone stimulation testing (to determine PPID status). Results showed various relationships between inflammatory markers and the other variables measured. Most notably, docosadienoic acid (C22:2n6c), docosapentaenoic acid (C22:5n3c), and folate were positively associated with numerous inflammatory parameters (P ≤ 0.05). Although no relationships were found between inflamm-aging and PPID, being positive for PPID was negatively associated with vitamin B12 (P ≤ 0.01). No relationships between inflammation and body composition were found. Even within this senior horse population, age was associated with multiple parameters, particularly with numerous inflammatory cytokines and fatty acids. In summary, inflamm-aging exhibited relationships with various other parameters examined, particularly with certain fatty acids. This exploratory study provides insights into physiological changes associated with inflamm-aging in the senior horse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2020.110013DOI Listing
March 2020

Effects of Docosahexaenoic Acid-Rich Microalgae Supplementation on Metabolic and Inflammatory Parameters in Horses With Equine Metabolic Syndrome.

J Equine Vet Sci 2019 12 21;83:102811. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Department of Veterinary Science, M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Much of the equine population is obese and therefore predisposed to the development of additional health concerns such as equine metabolic syndrome (EMS). However, pharmacologic treatments for EMS are limited. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is a therapeutic strategy in humans with metabolic dysfunction that improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation, but the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in horses with EMS are unclear. Therefore, in this pilot study, 10 mixed-sex and mixed-breed horses with EMS were fed a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich microalgae containing 16 g DHA/horse/d or served as controls for 46 days. Inflammatory status was measured using serologic enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) using flow cytometry and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Circulating fatty acids, triglyceride, leptin, and adiponectin concentrations were also determined. Insulin and glucose dynamics were assessed with oral sugar test (OST) and frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance testing. Postsupplementation, treated horses had an increase in many circulating fatty acids, including DHA (P < .001). Treated horses also had lower serum triglycerides postsupplementation (P = .02) and a trend (P = .07) for reduced PBMC tumor necrosis factor α. Interestingly, after 46 days, control horses had an increase in insulin responses to the OST (P = .01), whereas treated horses did not (P = .69). These pilot data indicate that DHA-rich microalgae supplementation alters circulating fatty acids, modulates metabolic parameters, and may reduce inflammation in horses with EMS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2019.102811DOI Listing
December 2019

Evaporative water loss in Kuhl's pipistrelles declines along an environmental gradient, from mesic to hyperarid.

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 2020 02 23;240:110587. Epub 2019 Oct 23.

Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 8499000 Midreshet Ben-Gurion, Israel. Electronic address:

Intraspecific variation in animal energy and water balances may play an important role in local adaptation of populations to specific habitats such as deserts. We examined Kuhl's pipistrelle (Pipistrellus kuhlii), a common bat in Israel that ranges in distribution from mesic Mediterranean to hyperarid desert habitats, for intraspecific differences in metabolic rate (MR) and evaporative water loss (EWL) among populations along a climatic gradient. We tested the prediction that EWL, especially at high ambient temperatures is lower in Kuhl's pipistrelles from desert habitats than from mesic habitats. We measured MR and total evaporative water loss (TEWL) at four ambient temperatures (10 °C, 20 °C, 30 °C and 35 °C) in three groups of bats using open-flow respirometry. We fitted the bats with a mask to separate cutaneous water loss (CWL) from respiratory water loss (RWL) at 35 °C. At 35 °C, mean TEWL in the southernmost group, from the hyperarid location, was significantly lower than in the other two groups, with no apparent difference in mean MR. The source of difference TEWL was that the southern group had significantly lower CWL than the other two groups; RWL did not differ among them. This suggests that there are mechanisms that reduce EWL from the skin of the bats; a likely candidate is modification of the lipids in the outer layer of the dermis that make the skin possibly less permeable to water as has been described in birds and a few other species of bat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2019.110587DOI Listing
February 2020

Guess who? Facial identity discrimination training improves face memory in typically developing children.

J Exp Psychol Gen 2020 May 3;149(5):901-913. Epub 2019 Oct 3.

College of Health and Life Sciences.

While vast individual differences in face recognition have been observed in adults, very little work has explored when these differences come online during development, their domain specificity, and their consistency across different aspects of face processing. These issues do not only have important theoretical implications for the cognitive and developmental psychological literatures, but may reveal critical windows of neuroplasticity for optimal remediation of face recognition impairments. Here, we describe the first formal remedial face training program that is suitable for children, modifying the popular game . Eighty-one typical children Aged 4-11 years were randomly allocated to an experimental or active control training condition. Over 10 training sessions, experimental participants were required to discriminate between faces that differed in feature size or spacing across 10 levels of difficulty, whereas control participants continuously played the standard version of within the same timeframe. Improvements in face memory but not face matching were observed in the experimental compared to the control group, but there were no gains on tests of object matching or memory. Face memory gains were maintained in a 1-month follow up, consistent across age, and larger for poorer perceivers. Thus, this study not only presents a promising means of improving face recognition skills in children, but also indicates a consistent period of plasticity that spans early childhood to preadolescence, implying early segregation of face versus object processing. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000689DOI Listing
May 2020

The feto-maternal immune response to equine placentitis.

Am J Reprod Immunol 2019 11 28;82(5):e13179. Epub 2019 Aug 28.

Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.

Problem: Ascending placentitis is one of the leading causes of abortion in the horse. Minimal work has focused on its effect on fetal fluids or the antenatal immune response of the fetus.

Methodology: Placentitis was induced via transcervical inoculation of Streptococcus equi ssp Zooepidemicus, and fluids/serum/tissues were collected 4-6 days later following euthanasia. Cytokine concentrations were detected using a multiplex immunoassay within fetal fluids (amniotic and allantoic) and serum (maternal and fetal) in inoculated and control mares. In addition, tissues from fetal (spleen, liver, lung, umbilicus, amnioallantois) and maternal (spleen, liver, lung, chorioallantois, endometrium) origin were analyzed in inoculated and control mares utilizing qPCR for expression of cytokines.

Results: No difference in cytokine concentrations in maternal or fetal serum was noted between inoculated and control mares. Concentrations of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and GRO were upregulated in the amniotic fluid following inoculation, with a trend toward higher IL-6 concentration in allantoic fluid. The amnioallantoic tissue separating the two fluids had higher expression of IL-1β and IL-6 following inoculation, while chorioallantois and endometrium upregulated IL-1β and IL-8 expression. IL-1β was upregulated in the maternal spleen following inoculation. Fetal spleens were upregulated in expression of IL-1β, GRO, and IL-6, while IL-6 was higher in fetal liver after inoculation than in controls.

Conclusion: The maternal response to placentitis is primarily pro-inflammatory while the fetus appears to play a regulatory role in this inflammation. Additionally, amniotic fluid sampling may be more diagnostic of ascending placentitis than circulating cytokines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aji.13179DOI Listing
November 2019

The domain-specificity of face matching impairments in 40 cases of developmental prosopagnosia.

Cognition 2019 11 24;192:104031. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Department of Psychology, Bournemouth University, UK.

A prevailing debate in the psychological literature concerns the domain-specificity of the face recognition system, where evidence from typical and neurological participants has been interpreted as evidence that faces are "special". Although several studies have investigated the same question in cases of developmental prosopagnosia, the vast majority of this evidence has recently been discounted due to methodological concerns. This leaves an uncomfortable void in the literature, restricting our understanding of the typical and atypical development of the face recognition system. The current study addressed this issue in 40 individuals with developmental prosopagnosia, completing a sequential same/different face and biological (hands) and non-biological (houses) object matching task, with upright and inverted conditions. Findings support domain-specific accounts of face-processing for both hands and houses: while significant correlations emerged between all the object categories, no condition correlated with performance in the upright faces condition. Further, a categorical analysis demonstrated that, when face matching was impaired, object matching skills were classically dissociated in six out of 15 individuals (four for both categories). These findings provide evidence about domain-specificity in developmental disorders of face recognition, and present a theoretically-driven means of partitioning developmental prosopagnosia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.104031DOI Listing
November 2019

Objective Patterns of Face Recognition Deficits in 165 Adults with Self-Reported Developmental Prosopagnosia.

Brain Sci 2019 Jun 6;9(6). Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China.

In the last 15 years, increasing numbers of individuals have self-referred to research laboratories in the belief that they experience severe everyday difficulties with face recognition. The condition "developmental prosopagnosia" (DP) is typically diagnosed when impairment is identified on at least two objective face-processing tests, usually involving assessments of face perception, unfamiliar face memory, and famous face recognition. While existing evidence suggests that some individuals may have a mnemonic form of prosopagnosia, it is also possible that other subtypes exist. The current study assessed 165 adults who believe they experience DP, and 38% of the sample were impaired on at least two of the tests outlined above. While statistical dissociations between face perception and face memory were only observed in four cases, a further 25% of the sample displayed dissociations between impaired famous face recognition and intact short-term unfamiliar face memory and face perception. We discuss whether this pattern of findings reflects (a) limitations within dominant diagnostic tests and protocols, (b) a less severe form of DP, or (c) a currently unrecognized but prevalent form of the condition that affects long-term face memory, familiar face recognition or semantic processing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9060133DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6627939PMC
June 2019

Coping strategies for developmental prosopagnosia.

Neuropsychol Rehabil 2020 Dec 4;30(10):1996-2015. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Department of Psychology, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK.

Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is a cognitive condition characterised by a relatively selective deficit in face recognition. Some adults and children with DP experience severe psychosocial consequences related to the condition, yet are reluctant to disclose it to others. The remediation of DP is therefore an urgent issue, but has been met with little success. Given that developmental conditions may only benefit from compensatory rather than remedial training, this study aimed to examine (a) the positive and negative effects of DP disclosure, and (b) compensatory techniques that may circumvent recognition failure. Qualitative questionnaires and interviews were carried out with 79 participants: 50 adults with DP, 26 of their non-affected significant others, and three parents of DP children. Findings indicated positive effects of disclosure, yet most adults choose not to do so in the workplace. Effective compensatory strategies include the use of extra-facial information, identity prompts from others, and preparation for planned encounters. However, changes in appearance, infrequent contact, or encounters in unexpected contexts often cause strategy failure. As strategies are effortful and disrupted by heavily controlled appearance (e.g., the wearing of uniform), disclosure of DP may be necessary for the safety, wellbeing and optimal education of children with the condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09602011.2019.1623824DOI Listing
December 2020

Peer reviewed evaluation of registered end-points of randomised trials (the PRE-REPORT study): protocol for a stepped-wedge, cluster-randomised trial.

BMJ Open 2019 06 1;9(5):e028694. Epub 2019 Jun 1.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Introduction: Clinical trials are critical to the advancement of medical knowledge. However, the reliability of trial conclusions depends in part on consistency between pre-planned and reported study outcomes. Unfortunately, selective outcome reporting, in which outcomes reported in published manuscripts differ from pre-specified study outcomes, is common. Trial registries such as ClinicalTrials.gov have the potential to help identify and stop selective outcome reporting during peer review by allowing peer reviewers to compare outcomes between registry entries and submitted manuscripts. However, the persistently high rate of selective outcome reporting among published clinical trials indicates that the current peer review process at most journals does not effectively address the problem of selective outcome reporting.

Methods And Analysis: PRE-REPORT is a stepped-wedge cluster-randomised trial that will test whether providing peer reviewers with a summary of registered, pre-specified primary trial outcomes decreases inconsistencies between prospectively registered and published primary outcomes. Peer reviewed manuscripts describing clinical trial results will be included. Eligible manuscripts submitted to each participating journal during the study period will comprise each cluster. After an initial control phase, journals will transition to the intervention phase in random order, after which peer reviewers will be emailed registry information consisting of the date of registration and any prospectively defined primary outcomes. Blinded outcome assessors will compare registered and published primary outcomes for all included trials. The primary PRE-REPORT outcome is the presence of a published primary outcome that is consistent with a prospectively defined primary outcome in the study's trial registry. The primary outcome will be analysed using a mixed effect logistical regression model to compare results between the intervention and control phases.

Ethics And Dissemination: The Cooper Health System Institutional Review Board determined that this study does not meet criteria for human subject research. Findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals.

Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN41225307; Pre-results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028694DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6549750PMC
June 2019

Alteration of the mare's immune system by the synthetic progestin, altrenogest.

Am J Reprod Immunol 2019 08 4;82(2):e13145. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.

Problem: Progestins are immunomodulatory in a variety of species. In the horse, the most commonly administered synthetic progestin is altrenogest (ALT), but its effect on the immune system of the non-pregnant mare is unknown.

Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from diestrous mares were incubated with varying concentrations of progesterone (P4) or ALT to assess intracellular production of IFNγ and the expression of select cytokines. Additionally, ten mares received either ALT or VEH daily utilizing a switchback design beginning on the day of ovulation and continuing for 7 days. Circulating PBMCs and endometrial biopsies were obtained to assess the production and expression of the same cytokines.

Results: In vitro, both P4 and ALT caused a dose-dependent decrease in intracellular IFNγ in PBMCs. P4 caused a dose-dependent decrease in the expression of IFNγ, IL-10 and IL-4, while ALT caused an increase in the expression of IL-6 and IL-1β in PBMCs. In vivo, ALT suppressed the intracellular levels of IFNγ in PBMCs on d6. While control mares experienced a decrease in IL-1β expression from d0 to d6, ALT-treated mares did not. In the endometrium, ALT increased the expression of IL-1RN and IFNγ in comparison with VEH-treated mares.

Conclusion: P4 and ALT appear to alter the immune system of the non-pregnant mare both systemically in addition to locally within the endometrium. Further research is necessary to determine the pathways through which this synthetic progestin functions on the immune system of the horse, and the consequences it may have.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aji.13145DOI Listing
August 2019

Approaches to integrating genetic data into ecological networks.

Mol Ecol 2019 01 10;28(2):503-519. Epub 2018 Dec 10.

Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

As molecular tools for assessing trophic interactions become common, research is increasingly focused on the construction of interaction networks. Here, we demonstrate three key methods for incorporating DNA data into network ecology and discuss analytical considerations using a model consisting of plants, insects, bats and their parasites from the Costa Rica dry forest. The simplest method involves the use of Sanger sequencing to acquire long sequences to validate or refine field identifications, for example of bats and their parasites, where one specimen yields one sequence and one identification. This method can be fully quantified and resolved and these data resemble traditional ecological networks. For more complex taxonomic identifications, we target multiple DNA loci, for example from a seed or fruit pulp sample in faeces. These networks are also well resolved but gene targets vary in resolution and quantification is difficult. Finally, for mixed templates such as faecal contents of insectivorous bats, we use DNA metabarcoding targeting two sequence lengths (157 and 407 bp) of one gene region and a MOTU, BLAST and BIN association approach to resolve nodes. This network type is complex to generate and analyse, and we discuss the implications of this type of resolution on network analysis. Using these data, we construct the first molecular-based network of networks containing 3,304 interactions between 762 nodes of eight trophic functions and involving parasitic, mutualistic and predatory interactions. We provide a comparison of the relative strengths and weaknesses of these data types in network ecology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.14941DOI Listing
January 2019

Humoral and cell-mediated immune responses to influenza vaccination in equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) horses.

Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2018 May 23;199:32-38. Epub 2018 Mar 23.

M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, United States.

Obesity is an increasing problem in the equine population with recent reports indicating that the percentage of overweight horses may range anywhere from 20.6-51%. Obesity in horses has been linked to more serious health concerns such as equine metabolic syndrome (EMS). EMS is a serious problem in the equine industry given its defining characteristics of insulin dysregualtion and obesity, as well as the involvement of laminitis. Little research however has been conducted to determine the effects of EMS on routine healthcare of these horses, in particular how they respond to vaccination. It has been shown that obese humans and mice have decreased immune responses to vaccination. EMS may have similar effects on vaccine responses in horses. If this is the case, these animals may be more susceptible to disease, acting as unknown disease reservoirs. Therefore, we investigated the effects of EMS on immune responses to routine influenza vaccination. Twenty-five adult horses of mixed-sex and mixed-breed (8-21 years old) horses; 13 EMS and 12 non-EMS were selected. Within each group, 4 horses served as non-vaccinate saline controls and the remaining horses were vaccinated with a commercially available equine influenza vaccine. Vaccination (influenza or saline) was administered on weeks 0 and 3, and peripheral blood samples taken on week 0 prior to vaccination and on weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 post vaccination. Blood samples were used to measure hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers and equine influenza specific IgGa, IgGb, and IgGT levels. Blood samples were also used to isolate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) for analysis of cell mediated immune (CMI) responses via real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). All horses receiving influenza vaccination responded with significant increases (P < 0.05) in HI titers, and IgGa and IgGb equine influenza specific antibodies following vaccination compared to saline controls. EMS did not significantly affect (P > 0.05) humoral immune responses as measured by HI titers or IgG antibody isotypes to influenza vaccination. There was an effect of metabolic status on CMI responses, with influenza vaccinated EMS horses having lower gene expression of IFN-γ (P = 0.02) and IL-2 (P = 0.01) compared to vaccinated non-EMS control horses. Given these results, it appears that while metabolic status does not influence humoral responses to an inactivated influenza vaccine in horses, horses with EMS appear to have a reduced CMI response to vaccination compared to metabolically normal, non-EMS control horses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2018.03.009DOI Listing
May 2018

Simultaneous quantification of free curcuminoids and their metabolites in equine plasma by LC-ESI-MS/MS.

J Pharm Biomed Anal 2018 May 7;154:31-39. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Bioactive Botanical Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island, 7 Greenhouse Road, Kingston, RI, 02881, USA. Electronic address:

The human health benefits attributed to turmeric/curcumin spice has resulted in its wide utilization as a dietary supplement for companion pets and other animals including horses. While the quantification of free curcuminoids (curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin) and their phase-2 metabolites (curcumin-O-sulfate, curcumin-O-glucuronide) have been extensively investigated in human and rodent biological samples (primarily plasma and serum), there is lack of similar data for horses. Herein, we report a validated LC-ESI-MS/MS method for the simultaneous quantification of the aforementioned free curcuminoids and their metabolites in equine plasma. The linearity of the aforementioned curcuminoids and curcumin-O-sulfate was in the range of 0.5-1000 ng/mL and 1-1000 ng/mL for curcumin-O-glucuronide with 85-115% accuracy and <15% precision in equine plasma. The method was validated based on US FDA criteria and applied to characterize the pharmacokinetics of curcumin-O-sulfate in equine plasma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2018.03.014DOI Listing
May 2018

Developmental prosopagnosia with concurrent topographical difficulties: A case report and virtual reality training programme.

Neuropsychol Rehabil 2019 Sep 5;29(8):1290-1312. Epub 2017 Dec 5.

a Department of Psychology , Bournemouth University , Poole , UK.

Several neuropsychological case studies report brain-damaged individuals with concurrent impairments in face recognition (i.e., prosopagnosia) and topographical orientation. Recently, individuals with a developmental form of topographical disorientation have also been described, and several case reports of individuals with developmental prosopagnosia provide anecdotal evidence of concurrent navigational difficulties. Clearly, the co-occurrence of these difficulties can exacerbate the negative psychosocial consequences associated with each condition. This paper presents the first detailed case report of an individual (FN) with developmental prosopagnosia alongside difficulties in topographical orientation. FN's performance on an extensive navigational battery indicated that she primarily has difficulties in the formation and retrieval of cognitive maps. We then evaluated the effectiveness of a short-term virtual reality training programme and found that she is able to form a cognitive map of a particular environment following intense overlearning. Surprisingly, FN's performance on a face recognition task also improved following training. While the latter finding was unexpected and requires further exploration, the training programme reported here may help to alleviate some of the compounded negative psychosocial consequences that are associated with difficulties in finding both locations and people.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09602011.2017.1409640DOI Listing
September 2019

Promoting professional identity, motivation, and persistence: Benefits of an informal mentoring program for female undergraduate students.

PLoS One 2017 1;12(11):e0187531. Epub 2017 Nov 1.

Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, United States of America.

Women are underrepresented in a number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Limited diversity in the development of the STEM workforce has negative implications for scientific innovation, creativity, and social relevance. The current study reports the first-year results of the PROmoting Geoscience Research, Education, and SuccesS (PROGRESS) program, a novel theory-driven informal mentoring program aimed at supporting first- and second-year female STEM majors. Using a prospective, longitudinal, multi-site (i.e., 7 universities in Colorado/Wyoming Front Range & Carolinas), propensity score matched design, we compare mentoring and persistence outcomes for women in and out of PROGRESS (N = 116). Women in PROGRESS attended an off-site weekend workshop and gained access to a network of volunteer female scientific mentors from on- and off-campus (i.e., university faculty, graduate students, and outside scientific professionals). The results indicate that women in PROGRESS had larger networks of developmental mentoring relationships and were more likely to be mentored by faculty members and peers than matched controls. Mentoring support from a faculty member benefited early-undergraduate women by strengthening their scientific identity and their interest in earth and environmental science career pathways. Further, support from a faculty mentor had a positive indirect impact on women's scientific persistence intentions, through strengthened scientific identity development. These results imply that first- and second- year undergraduate women's mentoring support networks can be enhanced through provision of protégé training and access to more senior women in the sciences willing to provide mentoring support.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0187531PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5665547PMC
December 2017

Discrepancies between ClinicalTrials.gov recruitment status and actual trial status: a cross-sectional analysis.

BMJ Open 2017 Oct 11;7(10):e017719. Epub 2017 Oct 11.

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Objectives: To determine the accuracy of the recruitment status listed on ClinicalTrials.gov as compared with the actual trial status.

Design: Cross-sectional analysis.

Setting: Random sample of interventional phase 2-4 clinical trials registered between 2010 and 2012 on ClinicalTrials.gov.

Primary Outcome Measure: For each trial which was listed within ClinicalTrials.gov as ongoing, two investigators performed a comprehensive literature search for evidence that the trial had actually been completed. For each trial listed as completed or terminated early by ClinicalTrials.gov, we compared the date that the trial was actually concluded with the date the registry was updated to reflect the study's conclusion status.

Results: Among the 405 included trials, 92 had a registry status indicating that study activity was either ongoing or the recruitment status was unknown. Of these, published results were available for 34 (37%). Among the 313 concluded trials, the median delay between study completion and a registry update reflecting that the study had ended was 141 days (IQR 48-419), with delays of over 1 year present for 29%. In total, 125 trials (31%) either had a listed recruitment status which was incorrect or had a delay of more than 1 year between the time the study was concluded and the time the registry recruitment status was updated.

Conclusions: At present, registry recruitment status information in ClinicalTrials.gov is often outdated or wrong. This inaccuracy has implications for the ability of researchers to identify completed trials and accurately characterise all available medical knowledge on a given subject.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017719DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5652524PMC
October 2017

Suppression of emission rates improves sonar performance by flying bats.

Sci Rep 2017 01 31;7:41641. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, 3258 TAMUS, College Station, TX 77843, USA.

Echolocating bats face the challenge of actively sensing their environment through their own emissions, while also hearing calls and echoes of nearby conspecifics. How bats mitigate interference is a long-standing question that has both ecological and technological implications, as biosonar systems continue to outperform man-made sonar systems in noisy, cluttered environments. We recently showed that perched bats decreased calling rates in groups, displaying a behavioral strategy resembling the back-off algorithms used in artificial communication networks to optimize information throughput at the group level. We tested whether free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) would employ such a coordinated strategy while performing challenging flight maneuvers, and report here that bats navigating obstacles lowered emission rates when hearing artificial playback of another bat's calls. We measured the impact of acoustic interference on navigation performance and show that the calculated reductions in interference rates are sufficient to reduce interference and improve obstacle avoidance. When bats flew in pairs, each bat responded to the presence of the other as an obstacle by increasing emissions, but hearing the sonar emissions of the nearby bat partially suppressed this response. This behavior supports social cohesion by providing a key mechanism for minimizing mutual interference.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep41641DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5282581PMC
January 2017

Similar burrow architecture of three arid-zone scorpion species implies similar ecological function.

Naturwissenschaften 2016 Aug 16;103(7-8):56. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 84990, Midreshet Ben-Gurion, Israel.

Many animals reside in burrows that may serve as refuges from predators and adverse environmental conditions. Burrow design varies widely among and within taxa, and these structures are adaptive, fulfilling physiological (and other) functions. We examined the burrow architecture of three scorpion species of the family Scorpionidae: Scorpio palmatus from the Negev desert, Israel; Opistophthalmus setifrons, from the Central Highlands, Namibia; and Opistophthalmus wahlbergii from the Kalahari desert, Namibia. We hypothesized that burrow structure maintains temperature and soil moisture conditions optimal for the behavior and physiology of the scorpion. Casts of burrows, poured in situ with molten aluminum, were scanned in 3D to quantify burrow structure. Three architectural features were common to the burrows of all species: (1) a horizontal platform near the ground surface, long enough to accommodate the scorpion, located just below the entrance, 2-5 cm under the surface, which may provide a safe place where the scorpion can monitor the presence of potential prey, predators, and mates and where the scorpion warms up before foraging; (2) at least two bends that might deter incursion by predators and may reduce convective ventilation, thereby maintaining relatively high humidity and low temperature; and (3) an enlarged terminal chamber to a depth at which temperatures are almost constant (±2-4 °C). These common features among the burrows of three different species suggest that they are important for regulating the physical environment of their inhabitants and that burrows are part of scorpions' "extended physiology" (sensu Turner, Physiol Biochem Zool 74:798-822, 2000).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00114-016-1374-zDOI Listing
August 2016

Effects of polyphenols including curcuminoids, resveratrol, quercetin, pterostilbene, and hydroxypterostilbene on lymphocyte pro-inflammatory cytokine production of senior horses in vitro.

Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2016 May 4;173:50-9. Epub 2016 Apr 4.

M. H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA. Electronic address:

Senior horses (aged ≥ 20 years) exhibit increased chronic, low-grade inflammation systemically, termed inflamm-aging. Inflammation is associated with many afflictions common to the horse, including laminitis and osteoarthritis, which are commonly treated with the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) flunixin meglumine and phenylbutazone. Although these NSAIDs are effective in treating acute inflammatory problems, long-term treatment with NSAIDs can result in negative side effects. Thus, bioactive polyphenols including curcuminoids, resveratrol, quercetin, pterostilbene, and hydroxypterostilbene were investigated to determine their effectiveness as anti-inflammatory agents in vitro. Heparinized blood was collected via jugular venipuncture from senior horses (n = 6; mean age = 26 ± 2 years), and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were isolated using a Ficoll density gradient. PBMC were then incubated 22 h at 37°C, 5% CO2 with multiple concentrations (320, 160, 80, 40, 20, 10 μM) of all five polyphenols (curcuminoids, resveratrol, quercetin, pterostilbene, and hydroxypterostilbene), dissolved in DMSO to achieve the aforementioned concentrations. PBMC were stimulated the last 4h of the incubation period with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)/ionomycin and Brefeldin A (BFA). A Vicell-XR counter evaluated cell viability following incubation. PBMC were stained intracellularly for interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and analyzed via flow cytometry. Data was analyzed by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Viability of PBMC incubated with various compound concentrations were compared with PBMC incubated with DMSO alone (positive control) to determine at what concentration each compound caused cytotoxicity. The highest concentration at which cell viability did not significantly differ from the positive control was: 20 μM for curcuminoids, 40 μM for hydroxypterostilbene, 80 μM for pterostilbene, and 160 μM for quercetin and resveratrol. Flunixin meglumine and phenylbutazone were then evaluated within this range of optimal concentrations for the polyphenol compounds (160, 80, 40, 20 μM) to compare the polyphenols to NSAIDs at equivalent concentrations. The highest concentration at which viability did not significantly differ from the positive control was: 40 μM for flunixin meglumine and 160 μM for phenylbutazone. All five polyphenols and flunixin meglumine significantly decreased lymphocyte production of IFN-γ, while only hydroxypterostilbene, pterostilbene, quercetin, and resveratrol significantly reduced lymphocyte production of TNF-α compared to the positive control (p < 0.05). Polyphenols performed similarly to or more effectively than common NSAIDs in reducing lymphocyte production of inflammatory cytokines of the senior horse in vitro. This study therefore supports the further investigation of polyphenols to determine whether they may be effective anti-inflammatory treatments for chronic inflammation in the horse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2016.04.001DOI Listing
May 2016

Reference levels for corticosterone and immune function in farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) hatchlings using current Code of Practice guidelines.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2015 Feb 31;212:63-72. Epub 2015 Jan 31.

Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; Centre for Crocodile Research, PO Box 329, Noonamah, NT 0837 Australia. Electronic address:

To determine reference levels for on-farm stressors on immune responsiveness and growth rate, 253 hatchling crocodiles from 11 known breeding pairs were repeatedly measured and blood sampled during their first year. Plasma corticosterone (CORT) was used to quantify baseline stress levels in captive animals and were found to be lower (mean 1.83±SE 0.16 ng/mL) than previously reported in saltwater crocodile hatchlings. Two tests of immune function were also conducted. Innate constitutive immunity was assessed using bacterial killing assays (BKA) against two bacterial species: Escherichia coli and Providencia rettgeri, whereby the latter causes considerable economic loss to industry from septicaemic mortalities. Although the bactericidal capabilities were different at approximately 4 months old (32±3% for E. coli and 16±4% for P. rettgeri), the differences had disappeared by approximately 9 months old (58±2% and 68±6%, respectively). To assess immune responsiveness to a novel antigen, the inflammatory swelling response caused by phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) injection was assessed but was only significantly different between Samplings 1 and 3 (5% LSD). There were no significant clutch effects for CORT or PHA but there were for both BKA traits. CORT was not significantly associated with growth (head length) or the immune parameters except for P. rettgeri BKA where higher CORT levels were associated with better bactericidal capability. As such, these results suggest that the crocodiles in this study are not stressed, therefore endorsing the management strategies adopted within the Australian industry Code of Practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.01.023DOI Listing
February 2015