Publications by authors named "James M Love"

13 Publications

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Systematic Assessment of Research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Mercury Reveals Conflicts of Interest and the Need for Transparency in Autism Research.

Sci Eng Ethics 2017 12;23(6):1691-1718

Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc, 14 Redgate Court, Silver Spring, MD, 20905, USA.

Historically, entities with a vested interest in a product that critics have suggested is harmful have consistently used research to back their claims that the product is safe. Prominent examples are: tobacco, lead, bisphenol A, and atrazine. Research literature indicates that about 80-90% of studies with industry affiliation found no harm from the product, while only about 10-20% of studies without industry affiliation found no harm. In parallel to other historical debates, recent studies examining a possible relationship between mercury (Hg) exposure and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show a similar dichotomy. Studies sponsored and supported by industry or entities with an apparent conflict of interest have most often shown no evidence of harm or no "consistent" evidence of harm, while studies without such affiliations report positive evidence of a Hg/autism association. The potentially causal relationship between Hg exposure and ASD differs from other toxic products since there is a broad coalition of entities for whom a conflict of interest arises. These include influential governmental public health entities, the pharmaceutical industry, and even the coal burning industry. This review includes a systematic literature search of original studies on the potential relationship between Hg and ASD from 1999 to August 2015, finding that of the studies with public health and/or industry affiliation, 86% reported no relationship between Hg and ASD. However, among studies without public health and/or industry affiliation, only 21% find no relationship between Hg and ASD. The discrepancy in these results suggests a bias indicative of a conflict of interest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11948-017-9983-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5705731PMC
December 2017

mTOR regulates peripheral nerve response to tensile strain.

J Neurophysiol 2017 05 1;117(5):2075-2084. Epub 2017 Mar 1.

Department of Bioengineering, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, California;

While excessive tensile strain can be detrimental to nerve function, strain can be a positive regulator of neuronal outgrowth. We used an in vivo rat model of sciatic nerve strain to investigate signaling mechanisms underlying peripheral nerve response to deformation. Nerves were deformed by 11% and did not demonstrate deficits in compound action potential latency or amplitude during or after 6 h of strain. As revealed by Western blotting, application of strain resulted in significant upregulation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and S6 signaling in nerves, increased myelin basic protein (MBP) and β-actin levels, and increased phosphorylation of neurofilament subunit H (NF-H) compared with unstrained (sham) contralateral nerves ( < 0.05 for all comparisons, paired two-tailed -test). Strain did not alter neuron-specific β3-tubulin or overall nerve tubulin levels compared with unstrained controls. Systemic rapamycin treatment, thought to selectively target mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1), suppressed mTOR/S6 signaling, reduced levels of MBP and overall tubulin, and decreased NF-H phosphorylation in nerves strained for 6 h, revealing a role for mTOR in increasing MBP expression and NF-H phosphorylation, and maintaining tubulin levels. Consistent with stretch-induced increases in MBP, immunolabeling revealed increased S6 signaling in Schwann cells of stretched nerves compared with unstretched nerves. In addition, application of strain to cultured adult dorsal root ganglion neurons showed an increase in axonal protein synthesis based on a puromycin incorporation assay, suggesting that neuronal translational pathways also respond to strain. This work has important implications for understanding mechanisms underlying nerve response to strain during development and regeneration. Peripheral nerves experience tensile strain (stretch) during development and movement. Excessive strain impairs neuronal function, but moderate strains are accommodated by nerves and can promote neuronal growth; mechanisms underlying these phenomena are not well understood. We demonstrated that levels of several structural proteins increase following physiological levels of nerve strain and that expression of a subset of these proteins is regulated by mTOR. Our work has important implications for understanding nerve development and strain-based regenerative strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/jn.00257.2016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434482PMC
May 2017

Ribosomal trafficking is reduced in Schwann cells following induction of myelination.

Front Cell Neurosci 2015 19;9:306. Epub 2015 Aug 19.

Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland College Park, MD, USA ; Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA, USA.

Local synthesis of proteins within the Schwann cell periphery is extremely important for efficient process extension and myelination, when cells undergo dramatic changes in polarity and geometry. Still, it is unclear how ribosomal distributions are developed and maintained within Schwann cell projections to sustain local translation. In this multi-disciplinary study, we expressed a plasmid encoding a fluorescently labeled ribosomal subunit (L4-GFP) in cultured primary rat Schwann cells. This enabled the generation of high-resolution, quantitative data on ribosomal distributions and trafficking dynamics within Schwann cells during early stages of myelination, induced by ascorbic acid treatment. Ribosomes were distributed throughout Schwann cell projections, with ~2-3 bright clusters along each projection. Clusters emerged within 1 day of culture and were maintained throughout early stages of myelination. Three days after induction of myelination, net ribosomal movement remained anterograde (directed away from the Schwann cell body), but ribosomal velocity decreased to about half the levels of the untreated group. Statistical and modeling analysis provided additional insight into key factors underlying ribosomal trafficking. Multiple regression analysis indicated that net transport at early time points was dependent on anterograde velocity, but shifted to dependence on anterograde duration at later time points. A simple, data-driven rate kinetics model suggested that the observed decrease in net ribosomal movement was primarily dictated by an increased conversion of anterograde particles to stationary particles, rather than changes in other directional parameters. These results reveal the strength of a combined experimental and theoretical approach in examining protein localization and transport, and provide evidence of an early establishment of ribosomal populations within Schwann cell projections with a reduction in trafficking following initiation of myelination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2015.00306DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4541260PMC
September 2015

Bidirectional actin transport is influenced by microtubule and actin stability.

Cell Mol Life Sci 2015 Nov 5;72(21):4205-20. Epub 2015 Jun 5.

Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.

Local and long-distance transport of cytoskeletal proteins is vital to neuronal maintenance and growth. Though recent progress has provided insight into the movement of microtubules and neurofilaments, mechanisms underlying the movement of actin remain elusive, in large part due to rapid transitions between its filament states and its diverse cellular localization and function. In this work, we integrated live imaging of rat sensory neurons, image processing, multiple regression analysis, and mathematical modeling to perform the first quantitative, high-resolution investigation of GFP-actin identity and movement in individual axons. Our data revealed that filamentous actin densities arise along the length of the axon and move short but significant distances bidirectionally, with a net anterograde bias. We directly tested the role of actin and microtubules in this movement. We also confirmed a role for actin densities in extension of axonal filopodia, and demonstrated intermittent correlation of actin and mitochondrial movement. Our results support a novel mechanism underlying slow component axonal transport, in which the stability of both microtubule and actin cytoskeletal components influence the mobility of filamentous actin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00018-015-1933-zDOI Listing
November 2015

Actin-myosin network influences morphological response of neuronal cells to altered osmolarity.

Cytoskeleton (Hoboken) 2015 Apr 25;72(4):193-206. Epub 2015 May 25.

Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.

Acute osmotic fluctuations in the brain occur during a number of clinical conditions and can result in a variety of adverse neurological symptoms. Osmotic perturbation can cause changes in the volumes of intra- and extracellular fluid and, due to the rigidity of the skull, can alter intracranial pressure thus making it difficult to analyze purely osmotic effects in vivo. The present study aims to determine the effects of changes in osmolarity on SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells in vitro, and the role of the actin-myosin network in regulating this response. Cells were exposed to hyper- or hypoosmotic media and morphological and cytoskeletal responses were recorded. Hyperosmotic shock resulted in a drop in cell body volume and planar area, a persisting shape deformation, and increases in cellular translocation. Hypoosmotic shock did not significantly alter planar area, but caused a transient increase in cell body volume and an increase in cellular translocation via the development of small protrusions rich in actin. Disruption of the actin-myosin network with latrunculin and blebbistatin resulted in changes to volume and shape regulation, and a decrease in cellular translocation. In both osmotic perturbations, no apparent disruptions to cytoskeletal integrity were observed by light microscopy. Overall, because osmotically induced changes persisted even after volume regulation occurred, it is possible that osmotic stress may play a larger role in neurological dysfunction than currently believed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cm.21219DOI Listing
April 2015

Thimerosal as discrimination: vaccine disparity in the UN Minamata Convention on mercury.

Indian J Med Ethics 2014 Oct-Dec;11(4):206-18. Epub 2014 Apr 11.

CoMeD, Inc, Silver Spring, MD; Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc, Silver Spring, MD United States.

When addressing toxins, one unmistakable parallel exists between biology and politics: developing children and developing nations are those most vulnerable to toxic exposures. This disturbing parallel is the subject of this critical review, which examines the use and distribution of the mercury (Hg)-based compound, thimerosal, in vaccines. Developed in 1927, thimerosal is 49.55% Hg by weight and breaks down in the body into ethyl-Hg chloride, ethyl-Hg hydroxide and sodium thiosalicylate. Since the early 1930s, there has been evidence indicating that thimerosal poses a hazard to the health of human beings and is ineffective as an antimicrobial agent. While children in the developed and predominantly western nations receive doses of mostly no-thimerosal and reduced-thimerosal vaccines, children in the developing nations receive many doses of several unreduced thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs). Thus, thimerosal has continued to be a part of the global vaccine supply and its acceptability as a component of vaccine formulations remained unchallenged until 2010, when the United Nations (UN), through the UN Environment Programme, began negotiations to write the global, legally binding Minamata Convention on Hg. During the negotiations, TCVs were dropped from the list of Hg-containing products to be regulated. Consequently, a double standard in vaccine safety, which previously existed due to ignorance and economic reasons, has now been institutionalised as global policy. Ultimately, the Minamata Convention on Hg has sanctioned the inequitable distribution of thimerosal by specifically exempting TCVs from regulation, condoning a two-tier standard of vaccine safety: a predominantly no-thimerosal and reduced-thimerosal standard for developed nations and a predominantly thimerosal-containing one for developing nations. This disparity must now be evaluated urgently as a potential form of institutionalised discrimination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20529/IJME.2014.054DOI Listing
June 2016

A comparative quantitative assessment of axonal and dendritic mRNA transport in maturing hippocampal neurons.

PLoS One 2013 22;8(7):e65917. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA.

Translation of mRNA in axons and dendrites enables a rapid supply of proteins to specific sites of localization within the neuron. Distinct mRNA-containing cargoes, including granules and mitochondrial mRNA, are transported within neuronal projections. The distributions of these cargoes appear to change during neuronal development, but details on the dynamics of mRNA transport during these transitions remain to be elucidated. For this study, we have developed imaging and image processing methods to quantify several transport parameters that can define the dynamics of RNA transport and localization. Using these methods, we characterized the transport of mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial mRNA in differentiated axons and dendrites of cultured hippocampal neurons varying in developmental maturity. Our results suggest differences in the transport profiles of mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial mRNA, and differences in transport parameters at different time points, and between axons and dendrites. Furthermore, within the non-mitochondrial mRNA pool, we observed two distinct populations that differed in their fluorescence intensity and velocity. The net axonal velocity of the brighter pool was highest at day 7 (0.002±0.001 µm/s, mean ± SEM), raising the possibility of a presynaptic requirement for mRNA during early stages of synapse formation. In contrast, the net dendritic velocity of the brighter pool increased steadily as neurons matured, with a significant difference between day 12 (0.0013±0.0006 µm/s ) and day 4 (-0.003±0.001 µm/s) suggesting a postsynaptic role for mRNAs in more mature neurons. The dim population showed similar trends, though velocities were two orders of magnitude higher than of the bright particles. This study provides a baseline for further studies on mRNA transport, and has important implications for the regulation of neuronal plasticity during neuronal development and in response to neuronal injury.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0065917PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3718819PMC
February 2014

Nerve strain correlates with structural changes quantified by Fourier analysis.

Muscle Nerve 2013 Sep 27;48(3):433-5. Epub 2013 Jul 27.

Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA.

Introduction: Nerve deformation affects physiological function. Bands of Fontana are an optical manifestation of axonal undulations and may provide a structural indicator of nerve strain.

Methods: We developed an automated Fourier-based image processing method to quantify the periodicity of bands of Fontana both in bright field images and in axonal undulations in immunolabeled longitudinal sections.

Results: We found a strong linear relationship between applied strain and the frequency of bands of Fontana in rat sciatic nerves (-0.0056 μm(-) ⋅%(-) , r2  = 0.829; P < 0.05). This relationship agreed with the observed trend between strain and axonal waviness, calculated from longitudinal sections of sciatic nerves immunolabeled against myelin basic protein.

Conclusions: This accurate and objective approach has potential to increase our understanding of structure-function relationships in the nervous system and to guide preservation and enhancement of neural function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mus.23809DOI Listing
September 2013

A novel internal fixator device for peripheral nerve regeneration.

Tissue Eng Part C Methods 2013 Jun 21;19(6):427-37. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA.

Recovery from peripheral nerve damage, especially for a transected nerve, is rarely complete, resulting in impaired motor function, sensory loss, and chronic pain with inappropriate autonomic responses that seriously impair quality of life. In consequence, strategies for enhancing peripheral nerve repair are of high clinical importance. Tension is a key determinant of neuronal growth and function. In vitro and in vivo experiments have shown that moderate levels of imposed tension (strain) can encourage axonal outgrowth; however, few strategies of peripheral nerve repair emphasize the mechanical environment of the injured nerve. Toward the development of more effective nerve regeneration strategies, we demonstrate the design, fabrication, and implementation of a novel, modular nerve-lengthening device, which allows the imposition of moderate tensile loads in parallel with existing scaffold-based tissue engineering strategies for nerve repair. This concept would enable nerve regeneration in two superposed regimes of nerve extension--traditional extension through axonal outgrowth into a scaffold and extension in intact regions of the proximal nerve, such as that occurring during growth or limb-lengthening. Self-sizing silicone nerve cuffs were fabricated to grip nerve stumps without slippage, and nerves were deformed by actuating a telescoping internal fixator. Poly(lactic co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) constructs mounted on the telescoping rods were apposed to the nerve stumps to guide axonal outgrowth. Neuronal cells were exposed to PLGA using direct contact and extract methods, and they exhibited no signs of cytotoxic effects in terms of cell morphology and viability. We confirmed the feasibility of implanting and actuating our device within a sciatic nerve gap and observed axonal outgrowth following device implantation. The successful fabrication and implementation of our device provides a novel method for examining mechanical influences on nerve regeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ten.TEC.2012.0021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3629849PMC
June 2013

Arthroscopic suture anchor capsulorrhaphy versus labral-based suture capsulorrhaphy in a cadaveric model.

Arthroscopy 2012 Nov 1;28(11):1615-21. Epub 2012 Sep 1.

Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to establish whether suture anchor capsulorrhaphy (SAC) is biomechanically superior to suture capsulorrhaphy (SC) in the management of recurrent anterior shoulder instability without a labral avulsion.

Methods: Twelve matched pairs of shoulders were randomized to either SC or SAC. Specimens were mounted in 60° of abduction and 90° of external rotation. Testing was conducted on an MTS servohydraulic load testing device (MTS, Eden Prairie, MN). A compressive load of 22 N was applied, followed by a 2-N anterior and posterior force to establish a 0 point. Translation with 10-N anterior and posterior loads was recorded for baseline laxity measurement. Arthroscopic capsulorrhaphy was performed with either 3 solitary sutures or 3 suture anchors. Specimens were remounted and returned to the 0 point. Translation was measured with 10-N anterior and posterior loads to determine reduction in translation. Specimens were then loaded to failure to the 0 point at a rate of 0.1 mm/s.

Results: Load to failure was significantly greater (P = .02) in the SC group (13.6 ± 1.0 N) versus the SAC group (20.5 ± 2.8 N). No differences were found between SC (2.7 ± 0.7 mm) and SAC (2.3 ± 0.6 mm) when we compared reduction of anterior translation with a 10-N load. The percent reduction of anterior displacement with a 10-N load was similar for the SC (49.9%) and SAC (49.6%) groups. The dominant mode of failure in the study was suture pull-through of the capsular tissue.

Conclusions: Our study indicates that labral-based SC and SAC similarly reduce anterior glenohumeral translation at low loading conditions. Load-to-failure studies indicate that SAC exhibits significantly greater resistance to translation at higher loading conditions. Our study suggests that the use of a suture anchor when one is performing a capsulorrhaphy may provide biomechanical advantage at high loading conditions.

Clinical Relevance: Our study suggests that when one is performing capsulorrhaphy, the use of a suture anchor may provide biomechanical advantages at high loading conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2012.04.149DOI Listing
November 2012

Influences of desmin and keratin 19 on passive biomechanical properties of mouse skeletal muscle.

J Biomed Biotechnol 2012 4;2012:704061. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.

In skeletal muscle fibers, forces must be transmitted between the plasma membrane and the intracellular contractile lattice, and within this lattice between adjacent myofibrils. Based on their prevalence, biomechanical properties and localization, desmin and keratin intermediate filaments (IFs) are likely to participate in structural connectivity and force transmission. We examined the passive load-bearing response of single fibers from the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles of young (3 months) and aged (10 months) wild-type, desmin-null, K19-null, and desmin/K19 double-null mice. Though fibers are more compliant in all mutant genotypes compared to wild-type, the structural response of each genotype is distinct, suggesting multiple mechanisms by which desmin and keratin influence the biomechanical properties of myofibers. This work provides additional insight into the influences of IFs on structure-function relationships in skeletal muscle. It may also have implications for understanding the progression of desminopathies and other IF-related myopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/704061DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263816PMC
June 2012

Comparison of olecranon plate fixation in osteoporotic bone: do current technologies and designs make a difference?

J Orthop Trauma 2011 May;25(5):306-11

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC 20007, USA.

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to determine if recent innovations in olecranon plates have any advantages in stabilizing osteoporotic olecranon fractures.

Methods: Five olecranon plates (Acumed, Synthes-SS, Synthes-Ti, US Implants/ITS, and Zimmer) were implanted to stabilize a simulated comminuted fracture pattern in 30 osteoporotic cadaveric elbows. Specimens were randomized by bone mineral density per dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan. Three-dimensional displacement analysis was conducted to assess fragment motion through physiological cyclic arcs of motion and failure loading, which was statistically compared using one-way analysis of variance and Tukey honestly significant difference post hoc comparisons with a critical significance level of α = 0.05.

Results: Bone mineral density ranged from 0.546 g/cm to 0.878 g/cm with an average of 0.666 g/cm. All implants limited displacement of the fragments to less than 3 mm until sudden, catastrophic failure as the bone of the proximal fragment pulled away from the implant. The maximum load sustained by all osteoporotic specimens ranged from 1.6 kg to 6.6 kg with an average of 4.4 kg. There was no statistical difference between the groups in terms of cycles survived and maximum loads sustained.

Conclusions: Cyclic physiological loading of osteoporotic olecranon fracture fixation resulted in sudden, catastrophic failure of the bone-implant interface rather than in gradual implant loosening. Recent plate innovations such as locking plates and different screw designs and positions appear to offer no advantages in stabilizing osteoporotic olecranon fractures. Surgeons may be reassured that the current olecranon plates will probably adequately stabilize osteoporotic fractures for early motion in the early postoperative period, but not for heavy activities such as those that involve over 4 kg of resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BOT.0b013e3181f22465DOI Listing
May 2011