Health, Medicine

Antagonizing the different stages of kappa opioid receptor activation selectively and independently attenuates acquisition and consolidation of associative memories

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Publication date: 14 April 2017
Source:Behavioural Brain Research, Volume 323
Author(s): Ryan Loh, Lily Chau, Ali Aijaz, Kevin Wu, Roberto Galvez
Previous work from our laboratory has shown that nonspecific kappa opioid receptor (KOR) antagonism in primary somatosensory cortex (S1) can inhibit acquisition for the forebrain-dependent associative task, Whisker-Trace Eyeblink conditioning (WTEB). Although studies have demonstrated that KOR activation can alter stimuli salience, our studies controlled for these factors, demonstrating that KOR also plays a role in facilitating learning. KOR has two distinct phases of activation followed by internalization/downregulation, that each independently activate kinases and transcription factors known to mediate task acquisition and memory consolidation respectively. The current study demonstrated that antagonism of the initial phase of KOR activation in S1 via local injections of the g-protein inhibitor, pertussis toxin (PTX), blocked initial WTEB acquisition without affecting retention of the association. In contrast, KOR late phase antagonism in S1 via local injections of the GRK3-specific antagonist, guanidinonaltrindole (GNTI), blocked retention of the WTEB association without affecting task acquisition. Consistent with the known mechanism for KOR activation, KOR protein expression in S1 was found to be decreased following WTEB training, further supporting the involvement of neocortical KOR activation with learning. Prior studies have shown that task acquisition and memory consolidation are mediated by distinct molecular processes; however, little is known regarding a potential mechanism driving these processes. The current study suggests that neocortical KOR activation mediates activation of these processes with learning. This study provides the first evidence for a time- and learning-dependent property of neocortical KOR in facilitating acquisition and consolidation of associative memories, while elucidating an unexplored neocortical learning mechanism.

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Health, Medicine

Clinical use of magnetic resonance imaging across the prostate brachytherapy workflow

MRI produces better soft tissue contrast than does ultrasonography or computed tomography for visualizing male pelvic anatomy and prostate cancer. Better visualization of the tumor and organs at risk could allow better conformation of the dose to the target volumes while at the same time minimizing the dose to critical structures and the associated toxicity. Although the use of MRI for prostate brachytherapy would theoretically result in an improved therapeutic ratio, its implementation been slow, mostly because of technical challenges. (Source: Brachytherapy)

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Health, Medicine

Replaced right and left hepatic arteries: a variation in origin and course

In ~60% of cases, hepatic artery anatomy is of the normal variant. However, in 40% of cases, anomalies can exist. Preserving the hepatic blood supply is paramount in hepatobiliary procedures. We report an aberrant right hepatic artery coursing retroportally, with an aberrant left hepatic artery originating directly from the coeliac artery in a patient who underwent an elective pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple procedure).

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Health, Medicine

Hepatitis E virus infection in a patient with suspected drug-induced liver injury

A 58 years old woman, known case of multiple sclerosis, was referred to the acute medical assessment unit for worsening liver function. She was recently started on a new drug (fingolimod) for multiple sclerosis. After excluding common causes of acute hepatitis in the community, a working diagnosis of drug-induced liver injury was made. When liver enzymes kept rising, further investigations were carried out, which revealed acute hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection. This finding was unexpected, as this patient had no risk factor to acquire HEV infection and there was not a single case of HEV diagnosed in our hospital since long time. This case report highlights certain issues like, considering rarest possible diagnosis when meeting such clinical case, concern over the infections which were once thought confined to the developing countries and inclusion of HEV workup in the cases of acute hepatitis when baseline workup is inconclusive.

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Fly model research from @floridastate finds a genetic deletion that drives rare, aggressive paediatric brain cancers https://t.co/SkWnWZiZ3F

Fly model research from @floridastate finds a genetic deletion that drives rare, aggressive paediatric brain cancers https://t.co/SkWnWZiZ3F

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Health, Medicine

Aplasia cutis congenita and amniotic band syndrome: an uncommon association

Description

Amniotic band syndrome is an unusual clinical entity with a wide variety of presentations that include constriction rings, syndactyly and limb or digital amputations.12 Aplasia cutis congenita is a rare congenital anomaly involving variant layers of the skin, most commonly affecting the scalp.3 Amniotic bands following rupture of the amniotic membrane in early pregnancy have been proposed as a cause of aplasia cutis congenita.3 Still, the presence of a fibrous amniotic band at the site of the constriction ring at birth is extremely unusual. This case further adds to the evidence of amniotic bands as aetiology for constriction rings and aplasia cutis.

A full-term female neonate was delivered by caesarean section as a result of non-progressive labour. The pregnancy had been uneventful and there was no remarkable family history. Physical examination at birth showed several constriction rings around…

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Health, Medicine

Taxan-associated nail toxicity

Description

A woman aged 69 years treated with adjuvant docetaxel every 3 weeks for luminal-B breast cancer, presented with nail dystrophies.

On clinical examination, nested nail plates (figure 1A, C) divided by deep transverse sulci (figure 1B, D) on all 10 fingers were prominent. We counted three parallel grooves (figure 1B, D) with different distance to each other corresponding to three applied cycles of docetaxel. The second cycle of chemotherapy had to be postponed for 1 week due to febrile neutropenia reflected by a wider distance from the first to second than the second to third groove (figure 1A, C).

Figure 1

Nail plates divided by deep transverse impressions following the interval of docetaxel application (A–D). Orange discolouration at the distal nail plate, mainly due to subungual haemorrhages (A, C). Additionally, paronychial erythema surrounds some of the nails beds (A, B).

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