Determining the Most Effective PTSD-like Model in Rats: Comparison of Single Prolonged Stress and Social Defeat
Fear-based experiences, such as those related to PTSD, have been shown to induce changes within regions of the brain involved in emotion and memory processing (hippocampus, amygdala, prefrontal cortex). However, because the mechanisms governing PTSD are not fully known, an effective protocol for inducing PTSD-like symptoms becomes necessary for accurately studying its mechanisms. We compared the effectiveness of two models of stress induction in rats - two days of single prolonged stress (SPS) with two weeks of chronic light, versus social defeat with two weeks of chronic light. SPS consisted of two hours of restraint, followed by 20 minutes of forced swim and loss of consciousness via isoflurane gas, twice over two weeks. Social defeat consisted of seven consecutive days of “beating” by an older, more aggressive rat for five minutes, followed by 25 minutes of “isolation” from the larger rat by a mesh divider. We used elevated plus maze and light-dark transition assays to test for anxiety-like and depression-like behaviors, and recorded fEPSPs (field excitatory post-synaptic potentials) from CA1 of the ventral hippocampus to detect differences in synaptic plasticity, specifically long term potentiation (LTP), to determine which model of stress was more effective in inducing PTSD-like changes. In the elevated plus maze and light-dark transition assays, both models significantly increased anxiety and depression-like behaviors compared to controls. However, because the social defeat model caused greater anxiety-like behavior than the SPS model in the behavioral assays, and significantly increased LTP at the ventral hippocampus, we concluded that the social defeat with chronic light model was more effective in inducing both PTSD-like behavioral and physiological changes.
About 1 in 6 adults in the US use antipsychotics, the vast majority of these being long-term users . Much is known about how these drugs affect extrapyramidal and pathophysiological symptoms , however little to nothing is known about how they affect long-term synaptic transmission in task-dependent working memory areas. Antipsychotics alter long-range synaptic functions in a distributed brain system, and most efforts in the literature thus far have been focused primarily on attempting to understand pathophysiological synaptic dysfunction (with and without drugs) at a local level, typically involving one sub region of the brain . We propose a biophysically plausible computational model that captures (a) the anti-correlation between default-mode and task-dependent states in a spiking neural network at a global scale and (b) allows for direct implementation of pharmaceuticals. Our validating computational model is a spiking neural network consisting of, but not limited to, the working memory (WM) and default-mode network (DMN) regions in the brain. The model was designed in part using the brian simulator , and our specified AMPA, NMDA, GABA, D1 and D2 cell types within the model. Each cell is defined by a differential equation which captures these channel’s unique features , and constant parameter values which do not change on input or output. Capacitance values were determined from voltage clamp data in the literature. For our work with schizophrenia, we use ketamine-like effects  to induce the pathophysiological brain. Our lab is currently using this model to understand the blood oxygen level dependent activation of WM areas for patients with schizophrenia who are taking antipsychotics. 1. Moore TJ (2016) Adult Utilization of Psychiatric Drugs and Differences by Sex, Age, and Race. Jama Internal Medicine 177(2):274-275 2. Singh KP, et al. (2016) Effect of in utero exposure to the atypical antipsychotic risperidone on histopathological features of the rat placenta. Int J Exp Path. 97(7):125-32 3. Bremner JD, et al. (1998) Measurement of dissociative states with the Clinician- Administered Dissociative States Scale (CADSS). J Trauma Stress 11:125–136. 4. Stimberg M, Goodman DFM, Benichoux V, Brette R (2014). Equation-oriented specification of neural models for simulations. Frontiers Neuroinf, doi: 10.3389/fninf.2014.00006. 5. Compte A. et al. (2000) Synaptic Mechanisms and Network Dynamics Underlying Spatial Working Memory in a Cortical Network Model. Cerebral Cortex 10:910-923 6. Kotermanski SE, Johnson JW (2009) Mg2+ imparts NMDA receptor subtype selectivity to the Alzheimer’s drug memantine. J Neurosci 29:2774–2779.
The production of renewable energy from biomass has been demonstrated using processes such as Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, direct fermentation of biomass sugars, biomass conversion to syngas followed by fermentation, and utilization of biomass carbohydrates in biofuel cells. Processes have been used to produce either electrical power, heat, liquid biofuels, or hydrogen. However, limitations and challenges for commercial viability still exist with all of these processes. Challenges inhibiting biofuel cell processes include low power output, low biological catalyst durability, and low carbohydrate conversion. Recently, a potentially transformative breakthrough has occurred with the discovery of a homogeneous non-biological viologen catalyst that facilitates carbohydrate conversion to electricity. The viologen catalyst serves as a mediator or “electron shuttle” to extract electrons from the carbohydrate to form a reduced viologen. The reduced viologen is then oxidized at the anode of a biofuel cell to generate power. The combination of homogeneous viologen reduction by the fuel coupled with oxidation of the viologen at the electrode provides a continuous electron shuttle, enabling energy to be extracted from carbohydrates. For a biofuel cell process, the viologen catalyst provides greater durability relative to that achievable with biological catalysts. Our initial studies have shown that viologens are effective in shuttling electrons from a wide variety of carbohydrates (C1 to C6 compounds). The homogeneous reaction rates and the efficiency of electron extraction were found to vary with reaction conditions such as pH, temperature, and reactant concentrations. Optimization of the reaction rates and efficiency are critical towards developing a viable biofuel cell using biomass carbohydrates as the feedstock. Studies were conducted to determine the homogeneous rate law that describes the reaction between the carbohydrate and viologen. Specifically, studies were performed using NMR and spectroscopic techniques to develop a mechanistic description of the reaction rate applicable for a wide range of conditions. Studies of viologen stability were also performed to quantify potential viologen decomposition conditions that could compromise carbohydrate conversion efficiency. This work will present the mechanistic model of the carbohydrate-viologen reaction and provide insights towards optimizing reactor conditions that enhance reaction rates and carbohydrate conversion efficiency.
Prior studies have reported that elite athletes have numerous associated stressors. Current reports also indicate that athletes greatly underutilize school counseling services. We conducted a preliminary analysis using 2013-2015 CCMH dataset, analyzing CCAPS-62 measures. The analysis showed student athletes actually displaying lower levels of mental risks compared to non-athletes. These newfound results will allow us to identify what differs between the mental change in athletes versus non-athletes visiting counseling centers. We anticipate the outcome of our study will showcase specific factors that counseling centers offer to student athletes that specifically help mitigate their likelihood of mental health risks.
A recent studied published in Nature showed that there is a direct link between certain gut bacteria in pregnant mice and developmental disorders in their progeny. The anatomic similarities between mice and humans may allow for early application of this finding to women. Although researchers are focused on discovering the science behind the root of developmental disorders it will be many years before they can develop a treatment to effectively address this specific cause of autism. The aim of this study is to find a more immediate application of these recent scientific discoveries. To complete this study, a survey was carefully prepared and given to predominantly LDS women who are in their childbearing years. The question that was answered through the survey was if these women knew of a diet that would allow them to control their gut bacteria, to protect their unborn child from autism and other developmental disorders, would they do it. This study is meant to help shape future research about the development of autism by give insight on the best way to enact the changes need to apply the research.
Environmental enrichment (EE) has been shown to activate wound-healing processes, including glucocorticoid (GC) signaling, and increase the lifespan of colon-tumor-bearing mice. In other studies, glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) treatment enhanced GC signaling, by inhibiting 11-beta-dehydrogenase isozyme 2 (HSD11β2), and consequently reduced lung tumorigenesis. This study will evaluate whether GA treatment in colon-tumor-bearing mice can replace EE conditions and result in similar improvements of overall health and wound repair processes as seen in EE.
In the treatment of diabetes, one of the most frequent complications is hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). People with long-standing Type 1 diabetes often develop a condition known as hypoglycemia unawareness, which involves the loss of warning symptoms of hypoglycemia that would normally prompt a corrective behavioral response, such as eating food. People with hypoglycemia unawareness are at 6-fold increased risk for severe, life-threatening hypoglycemia. With a goal of re-purposing FDA approved drugs for the treatment of hypoglycemia unawareness, we tested the hypothesis that tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) would act in the brain to restore the awareness of hypoglycemia. Based on the fact that TCAs inhibit serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake in the brain and have anticholinergic effects, it was hypothesized that TCA mediated increases in serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain could potentially increase neuronal outflow and augment awareness of falling blood glucose levels. Thus, five groups of 8-10 week old, male, Sprague Dawley rats were studied. Hypoglycemia awareness was noted in these rats by measuring food intake in response to insulin-induced (NPH insulin, 15 units/kg; s.c.) hypoglycemia (35-40 mg/dl). We observed that when compared to saline injected control rats (CONT; n=15), insulin induced hypoglycemic rats (HYPO; n=12) increased their food intake three-fold (p
According to the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs, an average of 11-20% of deployed US soldiers return home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to this, 8% of the American population will develop this disorder at some point in their lives (ptsd.ne.gov). Because of these statistics, a cure for PTSD appears at the global forefront of modern research. PTSD induces memories that are aberrantly strong. This enhanced memory is measured physiologically as increased long-term potentiation (LTP), the primary cellular mechanism mediating learning and memory. These enhancements are noted in the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain, along with the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. It is thought that these increases are mediated by increased corticosterone and/or increased norepinephrine that occur by over-activation of sympathetic responses. Therefore, to help treat PTSD, physicians have employed an adrenergic antagonist or glucocorticoid receptor antagonist that can be administered to soldiers before deployment to help decrease the adverse effects of PTSD. Our goal is to examine whether these drugs can be used in a true prophylactic manner to prevent the onset of PTSD. To study this, we set up our research with control rats and stressed rats. We induced PTSD in the stressed rats by using seven consecutive days of social defeat and two weeks of chronic light. Through electrophysiology, we recorded LTP in the ventral prelimbic cortex (PrL) of the pre-frontal cortex, ventral hippocampus and lateral amygdala in both the stressed and control rats. Injections consisting of propranolol and mifepristone were administered to the rats before social defeat and subsequent experimentation. Our data shows that the levels of LTP in the ventral hippocampus were significantly higher for the PTSD rats compared to non-stressed controls and stressed rats with prophylactic injections. We also see a trend of increased LTP in the ventral PrL of the pre-frontal cortex of the PTSD rats. In the lateral amygdala, ventral hippocampus, and the ventral PrL of the pre-frontal cortex, the prophylactic injections were shown to decrease levels of LTP compared to stressed rats that did not receive injections. We have found that the adverse effects of PTSD can be altered with the use of propranolol and mifepristone. These results could prove important as a potential mechanism to prevent PTSD prophylactically for individuals, such as soldiers, who are entering stressful situations.
Obesity has become a serious threat to nearly two thirds of the adults in the United States. The correlation of the gut microbiota to obesity has been extensively studied. Researches showed that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) endotoxin from Gram-negative opportunistic pathogens can trigger systemic inflammation and intensify inflammatory symptoms such as accumulation of excess adipose tissue and insulin resistance. In previous studies, LPS from bacteria was shown to be able to cause obesity in mice when injected subcutaneously. In 2013, by using Koch’s postulates, scientists were able to demonstrate that the gram-negative opportunistic pathogen Enterobacter. cloacae B29 has the ability to cause obesity and chronic inflammation in its host. Originally isolated from a morbidly obese patient’s gut, this bacteria induced obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation when inoculated into germ-free mice that were on a high-fat diet; but when the mice were inoculated with Bifidobacterium animalis or simply placed on a high-fat diet without B29, they did not become obese. This shows that diet alone cannot induce obesity in the host, and not every strain of bacteria will interact with the diet to cause obesity. In this research, I propose a new strategy for treating obesity by using gut microbiota targeted bacteriophage therapy. Bacteriophages (phage) are viruses that infect bacteria by binding at specific and unique binding sites on the cell surface. Compared to broad-spectrum antibiotics, each phage only kills specific bacterium. Making it possible to only eradicate the pathogenic bacteria in the gut while leaving the probiotics to flourish, thus treating obesity. Phages were isolated from local sewage treatment-plants and characterized with EM pictures and DNA sequencing. The phages were also tested with their lytic activity, survivability in the host gut, and host range. So far we have isolated 9 different phages that lyse B29, have narrow host range, and are robust enough to transit through the mammalian gut. We are currently testing the phages in obese mice models, which are established by using antibiotic-treated mice that are colonized with B29. The efficacy of the treatment will be measured by mice weight, fat pads, glucose tolerance and inflammation in the adipose tissue. With these current findings and future expected results, we suggest that phage therapy may be used to be an effective treatment against obesity.
Purpose/hypothesis We investigated the difference in metabolic syndrome parameters among college students based on their individual caloric distributions. We hypothesize that meal calorie distribution consumption will be influential on the MetS parameters in both males and females. Methodology We assessed MetS parameters in 108 Weber State University student participants, ages 18-54 years. Two-day diet records for each participant were collected and analyzed using Diet and Wellness Plus. Participants were separated by gender (Male:33; Female:75) and by meal calorie distribution. Groups included high, medium and low % of calories in breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Correlations between MetS parameters and calorie consumption, as well as mean comparisons between meal calorie distribution groups and MetS parameters, were assessed using SPSS software. Results Significant correlations in MetS parameters and total calories were found among participants in the categories of weight (r=0.27, p=0.005), waist circumference (r=0.23, p=0.01) and systolic blood pressure (r= 0.39, p=0.0001). Women in the high calorie breakfast distribution group presented lower systolic blood pressure than women in the low or medium breakfast group (μ= 106.3 mm/Hg, μ= 113.2. mm/Hg, μ= 112.01 mm/Hg p - 0.05). Men in the high snack consumer group presented higher HDL than the low snack group (μ= 41.9 mg/dL, μ= 29.9 mg/dL p - 0.01). Men in the high snack consumer group also presented higher blood glucose than the low and moderate snack groups(μ= 98.9 mg/dL, μ= 92.9 mg/dL, μ= 91.5 mg/dL p - 0.05). Conclusion In this study, males with a higher snack calorie distribution presented higher HDL-C than the lower snack calorie distribution counterparts. It is possible that this observation is due to HDL-C promoting foods consumed as snacks. High snack consumption is linked to increased exercise which is known to increase HDL-C. In females, higher caloric intake distribution for breakfast resulted in lower systolic blood pressure compared to the medium and lower breakfast intake groups. Previous studies have shown that skipping breakfast increases cortisol levels, which may result in higher blood pressure. Furthermore, many breakfast associated foods such as milk and eggs have shown to exert blood pressure lowering effects. Consumption of such foods may play a role in the results observed in this study. Meal calorie distribution seems to have an effect on MetS parameters. Further, research elucidating possible mechanisms behind this observation such as common foods consumed for each meal and meal effects on appetite hormones are warranted.
Subtalar Kinematics in Patients Treated for Tibiotalar Osteoarthritis with Arthrodesis: A High-speed Dual Fluoroscopy Study
Osteoarthritis (OA) of the tibiotalar joint is a major cause of ankle pain, and is currently treated using one of two methods: fusion of the tibiotalar joint (i.e. arthrodesis) and total ankle replacement (TAR). Although the ankle joint seems simple, it is actually comprised of two complex, articulating interfaces: the tibiotalar and the subtalar joint, which represent the interface between the tibia and talus and talus and calcaneus, respectively. While arthrodesis and TAR are able to relieve pain in the short-term, many patients develop complications from surgery that can be difficult to address. Furthermore, patients who have received a tibiotalar arthrodesis commonly develop OA in the subtalar joint, which is thought to be caused by the subtalar joint having to compensate for motion lost at the tibiotalar joint as a result of fusion. Due to the difficulties associated with measuring the motion of small bones in the foot and ankle, the precise joint kinematics of the ankle are not yet realized. This work will study the kinematic differences in the subtalar joint between subjects with non-pathological, native joints in one ankle and tibiotalar fusion in the other ankle. This will be done using dual fluoroscopy to image the ankle joints in vivo, while subjects perform a double-heel-rise activity. Computed tomography (CT) scans are acquired of each subject’s ankles and used to create three-dimensional computerized models of the tibia, talus, and calcaneus. These three-dimensional models of the ankle bones are then synced with the dual fluoroscopy images to determine the three-dimensional (3D) position and orientation of each bone throughout the heelrise activity. These bone positions are then used to calculate joint angles and translations (kinematics) throughout the activity. The kinematics of the fused ankle will be compared to the contralateral ankle to determine the effects of ankle fusion on subtalar mobility. It is expected that mechanistic differences between the subtalar joint of the contralateral and fused ankles will lend insight into the properties and motions of the joints. Specifically, it is hypothesized that tibiotalar arthrodesis will lead to compensatory hypermobility in the subtalar joint, since it is adjacent to the fused tibiotalar joint. Hypermobility of these adjacent joints may contribute to the development of OA in these joints, as observed clinically. Such findings will promote the development of improved surgical planning tools and novel techniques to treat tibiotalar OA.
An examination of the perceptions of U.S. dentist’s regarding the quality of Hispanic oral health in the United States. This thesis investigates both the dentist’s potential for making positive change and the challenges that stand in their way in improving the state of Hispanic oral health. Twelve dentists were spoken with by phone to discuss three main questions. Those chosen for the calls practice in the top ten states with the highest percentage of Hispanics. An analysis was conducted of the recorded calls that consisted of comparing each response with patient demographics, practice location and years of experience. Responses were categorized and analyzed numerically in graphs to study trends and patterns. Patient education and pro bono dental work were the top two most frequently mentioned responses regarding how dentists can improve Hispanic oral health. They were also the top two most mentioned responses regarding the difficulties dentist’s face in making a positive difference. 66% of dentists thought that Hispanic oral health was not “worse than the general U.S. population” while 33% thought that Hispanic oral health was worse. Given the divided responses, the perception amongst dentists about Hispanic oral health quality in the U.S. varies greatly. This suggests that many oral healthcare professionals are likely unaware or incorrectly informed of the demographics that are most struggling. This identifies the need to make sure dentists across the U.S. stay better educated on issues of race, ethnicity and culture within the world of oral health.
Degenerative Disc Disease is a common and even debilitating source of back pain. A common treatment for low back pain is spinal fusion, which involves two separate surgeries—one anterior, the other posterior—in which the patient’s degenerated disk is removed and replaced by bone graft. Current surgeries typically employ the use of thick screws, which are destructive to the vertebrae and must be installed posteriorly because they are unable to maintain stability in the mostly porous material of the vertebral body. Success and patient satisfaction rates with spinal fusion are comparatively low, and recent research suggests that after spinal fusion, neighboring spinal disks begin to degenerate more quickly. Our research involves the mechanical testing of a novel, compliant-mechanism vertebral clamp that would be used to attach anteriorly to the vertebral body, enabling a single surgery approach to spinal treatment that does not permanently damage the vertebrae. We hypothesize that the clamp can maintain secure fixation under the severe loading of the lumbar spine by attaching to the anterior side of the vertebral body’s sturdy cortical shell without penetrating the delicate, porous interior. Our research involves the mechanical testing of this clamp in the primary modes of spinal loading (compression, lateral bending, extension and flexion, and axial rotation). Loads are applied using a custom spine tester that maintains the segmental instantaneous screw axis and allows for the application of a compressive follower load to simulate the dynamic muscle forces and torso weight imposed upon lumbar spine during activities of daily living. The clamp will be tested in isolation to validate the analytical and numerical models used in its design. Subsequently, it will be tested when attached to a vertebrae to measure fixation strength during spinal motion. This work paves the way for future pre-clinical and clinical testing.
Oral health is an important aspect of systemic health as well as emotional and mental health. Uninsured and low income populations are at particular risk for poor oral health. The purpose of this research is to examine the effectiveness of an oral health class amongst low income and uninsured populations utilizing a free clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah. Oral health classes are offered once a week (several separate sessions each time) at a free clinic from September to November 2017. Each participant fills a pre-class survey that includes oral health history and access to dental care, attends a 20 minute oral health class, and answers a post-class survey about the satisfaction of the class. Field notes were also taken during the class. The classes are offered in English and Spanish. All materials are also available in English and Spanish. Overall, the participants were highly satisfied with the class. They learned new things about home dental care such as how to brush properly and what kinds of tooth paste they should use. Since, at this point, the free clinic does not provide dental treatment, access to dental treatment is very challenging for the patients of the clinic. Low income and uninsured populations need to be better informed of resources for low cost dental treatment. Home dental care classes seem to be effective for such populations to better take care of their teeth and gums, and should be widely available for underserved populations.
The purpose of this study is to examine patient adherence to provider recommendations and prescription drugs among uninsured free clinic patients. Patient adherence to provider recommendations and prescription drugs are very important to manage chronic illnesses, but uninsured free clinic patients tend to have low levels of health literacy and may have a problem of not adhering to direction. Data is collected using a self-administered paper survey at the Maliheh Free Clinic, Salt Lake City in the fall of 2017. Patients of the clinic who are aged 18 or older and speak English or Spanish are eligible to participate in the survey. As October 11, 2017, 369 patients participated in the survey. Approximately half of the participants reported that they were able to adhere to doctor instruction most, or all of the time. For specific recommendations, the adherence rates were 17% for exercising regularly, 41% for taking prescribed medication, and 17% for a low fat or weight loss diet. Less than half of the participants (43.8%) reported they had never forgotten to take medicine. While half of the patients were able to adhere to provide, recommendations the other half were unfortunately unable to follow recommended instruction. The low adherence rates suggest potential preventable negative effects on patient health in the uninsured and health illiterate community. Free clinics benefit the health of the uninsured greatly, but if patient adherence rates were able to rise, chronic health conditions of this population would be much improved.
The goal of this meta-analysis is to establish the overall comparative efficacy of culturally adapted mental health treatments. Mental health care given to ethnic minorities has been a central focus of those seeking to improve psychological and therapeutic care. Cultural values, ideas, and beliefs may affect the way an intervention is received and therefore its ultimate effectiveness. The influence of culture is present across all aspects of psychotherapy, impacting the theoretical conceptualization, delivery, and assessment of an intervention. Tailoring and modifying mental health treatments to better fit clients’ cultural needs is commonly known in the literature as cultural adaptations. Through the process of cultural adaptation, (1) the cultural and historical biases and assumptions that are inherently intertwined in psychotherapy are addressed and (2) empathic attunement to the client’s culture facilitate the successful reception of the mental health treatment. Although various cultural adaptations of mental health treatments have added to the existing literature, there is an impending need to examine these studies together in order to provide empirically supported recommendations to guide practice. To address this need, we conducted a meta-analysis to establish the relative effect of those mental health interventions that have been explicitly adapted to clients’ racial, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds. We conducted a number of searches through various electronic databases in an attempt to grasp the totality of the literature on this subject. We included studies that used experimental or quasi-experimental research designs comparing mental health treatments that were culturally adapted to those that did not contain cultural adaptations. We examined only interventions that explicitly intended to improve emotional or psychological well-being. Data was extracted from 99 studies, containing 13,183 individuals, and the aggregate random effects weighted effect size was d = 0.499 (se = .039, 95% CI = 0.42 to 0.58, p < .0001). The types of cultural adaptations reported in individual studies varied substantially, both in terms of the number of adaptations and in terms of the specific types of adaptations. In addition, Egger’s regression test (an estimate of effect size asymmetry) was statistically significant (p < .001), providing evidence of publication bias which was statistically accounted for in our overall results. We review the importance of this research in terms of its implications in training, therapeutic practices, and research construction. Ultimately, cultural adaptations to mental health treatments prove somewhat more effective than treatment as usual with clients of color in North America.
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is one of the most prevalent causes of osteoarthritis of the hip. Cam FAI is an orthopaedic pathology characterized by abnormal bony growth on the femoral head-neck junction. Cam FAI is thought to limit range of motion, which may result in chondral lesions and extensive labral tears. The purpose of this project was to quantify the variance in kinematics and the location of the hip joint center (HJC) between hip joints with cam FAI and asymptomatic controls using dual fluoroscopy (DF). For this DF study, 6 cam FAI patients and 11 control subjects were recruited. For each subject, hip joint kinematics were determined using DF. First, computed tomographic (CT) images were obtained for each subject. The images were segmented to delineate the bony surfaces and converted to 3D digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRRs). For the capture of bone movement, subjects performed activities in the combined field of view of two fluoroscopes, which collect x-ray video data. Specifically for identification of the HJC, subjects performed the StarArc pattern with their leg. This activity provided a large range of motion that allowed accurate determination of hip joint kinematics and the HJC location. After data capture, the DRR was matched to the DF data during the markerless tracking process. The data was processed in Matlab to provide visualization of the kinematics using subject-specific bone reconstructions in Postview. Abnormal, aspherical morphology of the femoral head in patients with cam FAI may cause the femoral head to translate more within the joint while also limiting the range of movement. Therefore, patients with cam FAI are expected to display a greater degree of translational motion of the HJC and a lower degree of rotational motion than control subjects. DF techniques provide arthrokinematics of the hip, which is how the joint moves in vivo relative to subject-specific bone anatomy. Using this data as a gold standard, errors in the calculation of the hip joint center using standard motion capture techniques can be measured. This method can be applied to help us better understand the kinematics of cam FAI and how the asphericity of the femoral head can cause pain and cartilage erosion which is associated with osteoarthritis.
Ebola is a disease transmitted by contact with the bodily fluids of those infected and can lead to internal bleeding, organ failure, and death. One method used to suppress the spread of Ebola is contact tracing, which consists of documenting and quarantining those who have come into contact with an infected individual. To understand the spread and containment of Ebola, we need to better understand the relationship between the suppression of the disease and the use of contact tracing, which is the focus of this project. We developed a mathematical model utilizing a system of differential equations with the goal of investigating how contact tracing affects transmission dynamics and outbreak behavior, specifically as it relates to the 2014-2016 Ebola Zaire outbreak. We then validated our model with data from the World Health Organization and used sensitivity analysis to quantify the usefulness of the different aspects of contact tracing. Furthermore, we applied matrix theory to explore the dynamics of our model and ran numerical simulations to verify the model’s predictions and explore the use of multiple control strategies in effectively containing the Ebola virus. As a result we found that contact tracing has a large effect on the epidemic when used between 150 and 800 days into the epidemic, and has little effect outside of this time range. The results from this model can be used to help optimize the allocation of resources in future Ebola outbreaks.
Chalcone compounds have been found effective at inhibiting the growth of cancer cell lines. In an attempt to discover structure-activity relationships, mechanism of action and create more potent anti-tumor substrates, portions of the original chalcone structure have been modified and tested for anti-cancer activity. So far it has been discovered that substituting the 1-phenyl group with hydrogen, to produce cinnamaldehyde, or with an ester or nitro group, yielded a substrate with greater anti-tumor activity than chalcone itself. The lack of activity of substrates without the alkene group, suggests the mechanism of action involves a Michael reaction. Substrates were generally formed using an aldol condensation or esterification of cinnamic acid, using DCC and a suitable alcohol.
During the summer of 2017, we successfully created the first synthesis of a recently-discovered natural molecule that has moderate ability to inhibit an enzyme called aldose reductase (AR), which contributes to various diabetic complications, including “cataracts, retinopathy, neuropathy, and nephropathy.” Given AR’s natural contribution to these diabetes-related retinal complications, it follows that such an inhibitor could be therapeutically useful in their prevention. In our presentation, we will share the results of our full synthesis, along with preliminary data of our natural molecule’s physiological properties.
Previous research studies consistently show a relationship between sleep quality, sleep duration, and weight. Discussions about these findings typically point to the impact sleep habits have on appetite-regulating hormones. As such, the encouragement of healthy sleep habits is generally accepted in modern literature as beneficial for weight management programs (WMPs). This study provides an additional perspective on the impact sleep has on efforts to manage weight. Utilizing a self-reported survey sample consisting largely of college students at Utah Valley University, a bivariate correlation analysis was conducted between the following variables: adequate sleep frequency, calorie-tracking, and successful achievement of a calorie goal. The correlation between adequate sleep and calorie-tracking was r=.062 (p=.051). Although the finding was not statistically significant, it was on the threshold and is a point of interest for discussion. Additionally, the relationship between adequate sleep and successful achievement of a calorie goal was r=.077 (p=.016). This finding warranted a post-hoc test which found a positive relationship between adequate sleep and motivation. The results of this study may help explain the findings in previous research projects regarding the benefits of including adequate sleep as a component of WMPs. In particular, motivation levels may be boosted by getting enough sleep. Limitations of this study involve the subjective nature of self-report surveys, and the impact sample size had on the statistical significance of the first relationship. Future studies on the relationship of motivation and sleep duration within WMPs would provide greater insights and contribute to the existing pool of relevant studies.
Title: The Fox Anger Inventory: A New Way to Measure State Anger Author: Logan Ashworth, Mentor: Michelle Grimes Affiliation: Southern Utah University Poster Presentation Introduction Tests that purport to measure anger most often measure trait anger as opposed to state anger. There are few measures of state anger available in the public domain. The purpose of the current study was to construct a new measure of state anger, the Fox Anger Inventory (FAI), which records state anger by presenting respondents with a series of items that include emotionally-valenced words as response options. The words chosen for the FAI were taken from the Affective Norms for English Words (ANEW) database (Bradley & Lang, 2017). We hypothesize the FAI will demonstrate adequate internal consistency and construct validity. This project is currently in the IRB approval process, data collection is projected to be complete by December, 2017. Methods Approximately 60 participants will be recruited from Southern Utah University PSY 1010 classes. Participants complete the FAI and the the State Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI-2; Spielberger, 1988). The order of completion will be chosen at random. Participants will receive course credit in their PSY 1010 class for completing the survey. Results We predict the FAI will demonstrate internal consistency with cronbach’s alpha estimates of .80 or higher. Further, we predict the FAI will demonstrate construct validity through a positively correlated to the STAXI-2. Conclusion If our hypothesis is supported, this will provide evidence that the FAI is a reliable and valid measure of state anger. Specifically, adequate internal consistency estimates will provide evidence of reliability. A strong positive correlation between the FAI and the STAXI-2 will indicate construct validity. If our hypothesis is not supported our measure will not be a viable tool to measure state anger. Implications for the project, as well as future directions will be discussed.
Title: Hangry: A James-Lange Explication of Physiological Responses Author:Logan Ashworth Mentor: Grant Corser Affiliation: Southern Utah University Poster Presentation The millennial-born term, “hangry,” is the state of anger due to hunger. Similarly, James (1884) wrote that an emotion arises from physiological reactions. My study aims to 1) find evidence to support the phenomenon hangry and 2) add weight to the James-Lange re-investigation. To complete this, 64 PSY 1010 students from Southern Utah University were randomly assigned to either a fasting or satiated condition. After informed consent, participants were given the Brief Mood Introspection Scale and had their blood glucose recorded. Following, a stress interview was conducted to induce anger. Following induction, the participants were given the State Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI-2; Spielberger, 1988) and the second glucose reading was performed. Results show support against the hangry phenomenon. Participants who were satiated expressed significantly more anger than those in the hungry condition. Interestingly, the satiated condition also exhibited a significant increase in blood glucose from the first recording to the second. The implications are discussed.
A simple and fast quantum dots (QDs) based method for detecting cancer biomarkers was developed. The bioassay has potential applications in earlier cancer diagnostics. To determine the protein concentrations fluorescence signals were compared between QDs and assemblies of QDs and proteins. The QDs/proteins assemblies were prepared in simple steps. Low detection limit (ng/mL) for prototype protein BSA has been achieved. The bioassay is cost and time effective, which generates knowledge for developing biosensors to detect cancer biomarker in earlier cancer diagnostics.
Myocardial Infarctions (MIs, commonly known as heart attacks) affect 16 million people every year. After an MI, proper cardiac tissue remodeling is necessary to deter heart failure. Matrix Metalloproteases (MMPs) play a crucial role in proper extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, and as a result, their concentration greatly impacts clinical outcomes of MI recovery. One method to control MMP concentration is through the use of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is a novel field that utilizes genetic constructs (promoters, operators, coding sequences, and repressors) to alter levels of protein expression depending on the chemical inputs a cell is exposed to. To dynamically control MMP concentration to influence ECM remodeling, we are interfacing biomaterials and synthetic biology to create an MMP-responsive biomaterial which, upon exposure to MMP, is predicted to activate a mammalian genetic module that alters MMP and MMP inhibitor concentrations. In this experiment, several MMP-responsive materials were produced in bacteria. Growth and induction conditions that influence biomaterial production were characterized, and an optimal growth protocol was determined. Given the propensity for the biomaterial to be expressed in inclusion bodies, an additional extraction method was determined. Following production of this biomaterial, material response to MMP activity was assayed using Western Blot analysis. Further work will focus on the ability of the materials to activate a mammalian genetic module, and the subsequent use of this module to influence MMP concentration.
Multivariate Analysis of Hospital Readmissions for Posterior Cervical Spine Surgery Using Structural Equation Modeling
The incidence of cervical spine surgeries has been steadily increasing over the last 20 years. Most of the recipients are older than 65 years old, a population projected to reach 83.4 million in the United States by the year 2050. Previous studies show that hospital readmissions from posterior cervical spine surgeries in particular occur at the highest frequency in this age group and have multidimensional contributing factors. The most common factors in 30-day and 90-day hospital readmissions are post-operative infections and wound dehiscence, which are largely preventable. Peripheral but significant contributing factors include payer status, facility type, comorbidity status, etc. Analysis of these factors on a systems level is critical to constructing a singular statistical model to reduce readmissions for the purposes of optimizing patient outcomes and hospital resource management. We propose structural equation modeling (SEM) as a novel approach to comprehensively evaluate hospital readmissions. Data was collected from the National Readmissions Database (NRD) in the year 2013, which is an all-payer database of inpatient care and represents almost half of the total US hospitalizations. Adults 18 years and older were included and outliers, missed data, redundancies, and inconsistencies were addressed. Predictive factors included in the model were patient demographics, diagnostic and procedural information, as well as hospital characteristics. Outcome variables include hospital mortality, 30-day readmissions, and 90-day readmissions. A more complex analysis of direct and peripheral contributing factors for readmissions from posterior cervical spine surgeries is imperative to create a comprehensive predictive model. This new model can be used to implement administrative changes and changes in procedural protocol, including post- and pre-operative prophylaxis. SEM has been applied previously for assessment of atrial fibrillation readmissions and it stands to reason that our model could be extrapolated to readmissions in other surgical specialties or specific types of inpatient complications. If our model is successful in optimizing resource management for hospitals, it would be possible to clearly understand the allocation of funding within the hospital which could lead to targeted decreases in costs of healthcare for the hospital, insurance company, and patient. In anticipation of the possible changes in health policy climate which may restrict funding for state healthcare programs in states which have the largest populations, efficient utilization of hospital resources and patient outcomes is of utmost priority.
An intraoperative detection of malignant cells in the margins of excised tissue during the breast conservation surgery (BCS) is critical for patient survival. Traditionally, the surgeon removes malignant breast tissue and pathology analysis is performed subsequently in the lab searching for residual malignant cells on the margins of excised tissue. If such cells are present, a second, and sometimes a third, surgical procedure is needed to remove them. The multiple procedures are time consuming, painful, and costly. Further, malignant tissue that remains in the breast has the potential to continue growing and metastasizing to other body parts. Ideally, the boundaries on an incision should be free of malignant tissue after the initial surgery. A software for breast cancer data acquiring and analysis is presented. The main objective of the presented work is improving the BCS surgical outcomes by having pathology analysis inside the operating room. Such a technology would enable real time malignancy detection and removal during the initial surgical procedures. Our software is an interface for high frequency ultrasonic technology. It communicates with an oscilloscope and ultrasound generator device to acquire, analyze, and store breast tissue data generated using high frequency ultrasound waveforms. The developed system implements pioneering data analysis techniques to determine breast tissue malignancy. The system has been tested using phantoms and breast tissue specimens collected at the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). Our software has delivered high-accuracy data collection and analysis procedures when compared with the pathology results. Additionally, it is significantly faster than the old procedure of manual data collection and storing methods used by our team at the HCI. The software interface is user friendly, does not require any knowledge in programming and can be used by the medical team in the operating room. The system is a prototype for a commercial product that could be used for in vivo tissue examination to assist surgeons with cancer detection in soft tissue organs such as the breast.
This pilot study seeks to evaluate the change in quality of child care provided by refugees after working with a trained coach. Five currently licensed child care providers, all refugee women, participated in this study in the Salt Lake City area. This project enabled the refugee providers to improve their quality of childcare through several one-on-one trainings with a coach on topics on which they or the coach would like to focus. Areas of focus for each provider are the quality and content of the play area, providing nutritious food for the children, and current Care About Childcare curriculum topics that providers needed or wanted to improve on. Employment, in this case as a child care provider, is important for refuges because of the financial and social health benefits that come along with being a productive part of society. Change in quality of childcare will be measured quantitatively through pre- and post-tests and a qualitative post-training interview with the provider.
We are investigating better ways to kill cancer cells by applying structure activity relationships to a class of molecules called chalcones. Chalcones are a key component in many biological processes and variants of the chalcone structure have interesting medicinal properties, including antitumor activity. In collaboration with Dr. Davies group, who designs and synthesizes chalcone derivatives, I have been working on testing the efficacy of the compounds to understand their toxicity against different cancer cell lines. Using dose-response viability assays, we can determine the effective concentration of the chalcone that kills 50% of cells (called an LD50). This data is used to understand what parts of the molecule are important in killing cancer cells and what parts of the molecule can be modified to increase cytotoxic activity of the compound. We have tested 11 different compounds and found a wide range in efficacy from low micromolar LD50 to no effect at all. Applying this information, we can design molecules that work more effectively to kill cancer cells at lower doses.
The purpose of this project is to demonstrate that, using isothermal titration calorimetry, I can measure the typical metabolic activity of Jurkat cells under normal conditions and also use inhibitors to determine the proportion of energy these cells obtain from anaerobic and aerobic metabolic pathways. We can then treat with chemotherapeutics and compare to see how these compounds affect aerobic and anaerobic metabolism. ITC is a method usually used to measure ligand-receptor binding interactions, enzyme kinetics, and reaction enthalpy, but we propose to use it as a novel tool for use in metabolic analysis. This can be done by placing cells or chemicals into the reaction vessel, choosing a temperature for the experiment, and setting up injections of your compound/enzyme of interest. In this case, as the cells metabolize they produce heat, and the amount of energy that the calorimeter puts out to maintain a constant solution temperature is decreased. This produces a graph that represents the activity of the cell over time. We postulate that using this method we will be able to determine the typical average heat rate of each individual cell as well as find the proportion of energy the cells derive from aerobic and anaerobic processes by isolating these processes using inhibitors.
Have a Heart: Creating Beating Cardiac Tissue from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes in Cardiac Extracellular Matrix
Although heart failure continues to be the leading cause of death in the U.S., research into safer and more reliable methods for replacing dead cardiac cells has become more promising. Instead of a human donor transplant, we can engineer a patient-specific heart to be used in the transplant that will lower risk of rejection by the receiver. Our research at BYU has focused on strengthening the beating function of engineered cardiac tissue and layering the engineered tissue to create transplantable patches to be inserted on damaged hearts. Beating human heart tissue was created in vitro using non-immunogenic scaffolds generated from decellularized porcine hearts combined with cardiomyocytes (CMs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Whole porcine hearts were decellularized to create 3D scaffolds capable of supporting the human cells mechanically and biochemically. From the left ventricle of the decellularized hearts, 300 µm thick, 10 mm round slices were prepared and mounted on glass coverslips. Human iPSCs were differentiated into cardiac progenitors and 4 days after differentiation, these cells were seeded onto the decellularized tissue samples. Ten days after recellularization, clusters of differentiated CMs started to beat spontaneously. Immunofluorescence images showed confluent coverage of CMs on the decellularized slices and the effect of the scaffold was evident in the alignment of the CMs in the direction of the collagen fibers. A resazurin-based viability assay showed attachment and survival of 75% of the seeded cells up to 14 days after recellularization. The clusters continued to beat for 60 days. To improve the beating function of the CMs implanted in the tissue scaffold, we will use mechanical, electrical and pharmacological stimulation. By combining mechanical stimulation through a mechanical stretching device, electrical stimulation through transmitting electrical frequencies ranging from 1 to 1.6 Hz, and pharmacological stimulation through drugs, such as epinephrine, we hypothesize that we will increase the beating function of the cardiac tissue from 10 beats per minute (current rate) to 60 beats per minute. We will also layer sheets of CMs into a patch, and insert them onto hearts of induced-infarction rats on top of the dead cardiac tissue. By using these strengthened CMs and layering them through chemical binding factors and centrifugation, we hypothesize that the CM patch will attach securely to the patch of dead cardiac tissue in the rats and replace it in function without being rejected by the host.
Objective: Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the destruction of pancreatic β-cells. No protocol has yet been established for a retrievable device that contains pancreatic β-cells differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to treat T1D. We are investigating methods to increase the yield of pancreatic β-cells differentiated from iPSCs and researching the use of hydrophilized, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) for use in an implantable, retrievable, and replaceable containment device that mitigates the effects of T1D. Methodology: Human iPSCs were generated from peripheral blood monocytes. Differentiation to the pancreatic progenitor stage was accomplished by using the STEMdiff Pancreatic Progenitor kit. Correctly differentiated cells were then tested by performing fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), using a Becton, Dickinson FACSAria- Fusion system. FACS analysis was performed with FlowJo- software. The ePTFE membranes were treated with cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol to create a hydrophilic surface modification. Results and Significance: We successfully completed the STEMdiff Pancreatic Progenitor kit protocol and our analysis suggests that approximately 23% of differentiated cells expressed CXCR-4, a key definitive endoderm marker, compared to only 2% of the undifferentiated iPSCs. This demonstrated that iPSCs can be differentiated to an early pancreatic lineage with moderate yield. Improved yields are the focus of future work. After testing three different densities of ePTFE, we found that the highest porosity membranes of lowest density allowed for the best diffusion of D-glucose, greater than 96%. This demonstrated that glucose can diffuse through ePTFE. These results increase the feasibility of encapsulating differentiated pancreatic β-cells in an ePTFE containment device.
Synergistic efficiency of cinnamon oil and Amphotericin B on biofilm of the fungal species Rhizopus oryzae
R. oryzae is a species of fungi that forms biofilms in patients afflicted with immune or metabolic disorders. These fungal biofilms cause an infection known as Mucormycosis. Amphotericin B is the most common treatment used to treat the disease. Amphotericin B has been used as the first line of treatment for Mucormycosis since the 1950’s. However, it can have many adverse side effects including, chills, fever, headaches, loss of appetite, muscle pain, nausea, stomach pain and weight loss as well as fatal syndromes of hepato and nephrotoxicity. This study seeks to investigate the synergistic efficacy of the combination treatment of cinnamon oil and Amp B on fungal biofilms. This process helps to identify the extent to which cinnamon oil can be used to reduce the concentration of Amp B needed to combat Mucormycosis. The results of this synergism will be presented. This research could potentially provide valuable alternatives to Amp B and/or reducing its dosage in patients affected with Mucormycosis.
Solving the mystery: Will fortified soymilk or albendazole improve anemia rates in school-aged children in Ecuador?
Sierra Murri, SN, Mara Thomas, SN, Sondra Heaston, MS, NP-C, CEN, CNE, Sheri Palmer, RN, DNP, CNE Background: In May 2017 a group of students and instructors from Brigham Young University’s College of Nursing visited Guayaquil to assess malnutrition and anemia rates in school-aged children. The study found that more than 76% of all 581 children measured (ages 4-17) suffered from anemia (below 11g/dl 12 yrs as per WHO guidelines). The adverse effects of anemia for these children may include: weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and poor concentration. Anemia results from deficiencies of iron, B12, folic acid, and may also be the result of intestinal parasites. A nutritional survey conducted among these same school children showed that daily intake of iron, B12, and folic acid were below recommended levels. Intervention: Shortly after obtaining measurements in May, Hogar de Cristo (HDC), a non-profit organization located in Guayaquil and a long-time partner of BYU, began a nutritional intervention distributing eight ounce bottles of fortified soy milk to pre-selected local schools to be served as a complimentary snack to the students. For our study, two schools were selected receiving the soymilk intervention, one school receiving albendazole (400 mg), and one not receiving the intervention to compare. Fortified soymilk is affordable, available in the region, and made on site by Hogar de Cristo, making the intervention sustainable. Schools A and B will receive the soymilk 3-5 times per week. School C received the Albendazole in August 2017. School D will be the control group. The purpose of this research will be to determine the effectiveness among the different interventions, thus identifying whether the fortified soymilk or the Albendazole is most effective in reducing anemia levels. By so doing, we aim to help HDC more effectively distribute the fortified soymilk and/or Albendazole to provide evidence that fortified soymilk and/or Albendazole can be effective in raising hemoglobin to healthy levels. Results: Results of this sustainable intervention will be presented at UCUR. Our research group will be traveling back to Ecuador in November 2017 to do follow-up measurements of the children receiving the different interventions and the control group. The data will be entered into a statistical program and results will be available by mid-December 2017.
Current literature has made it well known that both men and women in this day and age struggle with their body image due to the ‘thin-ideal’ that our society holds. Some correlates of low body satisfaction include low self-esteem, depression, and the development of eating disorders. Elite athletes in this population are not immune to the effects of high standards for today’s bodies. In fact, recent studies have shown that athletes are actually at a heightened risk for lower body satisfaction scores than those of the non-athletic background (Beckner et al, 2015; Fransisco et al, 2013; Goltz et al, 2013). Although this research has discussed the heightened risk to athletes, it has not discussed the time in which an athlete’s body image starts to makes a change for the worse. The purpose of this study will be to find if an athlete’s body image worsens, betters, or stays the same while they are participating on their college’s athletic team. It is anticipated that if an athlete feels that their body image has gotten worse during their collegiate career, it will have started to change upon their first year entering college. To test this hypothesis, athletes from different sports and schools will be recruited via various social media platforms and given a survey through Qualtrics based off of the Body Uneasiness Test (BUT) (Cuzzolaro et al, 2006). The survey will also ask if they feel that their body image has gotten worse, better, or stayed the same throughout their career, and if it has changed, when that change happened. The anticipated results of this study could be of use to current and future college athletes, coaches and athletic trainers to understand the importance of discussing how to keep healthy body image with their athletes to help prevent the development of low self-esteem, depression, and the development of eating disorders.
Hippocampal stratum oriens interneurons express endocannabinoid biosynthetic enzymes and undergo anandamide-dependent potentiation
The hippocampus is thought to mediate learning and memory by altering the strength of synapses within its circuitry. In many cases, synaptic plasticity can be induced by signaling molecules. Lipid-based signaling molecules called endocannabinoids, can modulate synaptic plasticity among hippocampal pyramidal cells and stratum radiatum interneurons; however, the role of endocannabinoids in mediating synaptic plasticity among interneurons in the stratum oriens is still unclear. Using patch-clamp electrodes to extract single cells we analyzed the expression of endocannabinoid biosynthetic enzymes’ mRNA using RT-PCR. In this analysis, we examined cellular expression of several calcium-binding proteins and neuropeptides to determine interneuron subtype. We analyzed cellular expression of several endocannabinoid biosynthetic enzymes, including N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), diacylglycerol lipase alpha, and 12-lipoxygenase, as well as type 1 mGluRs. Preliminary data suggests that stratum oriens interneurons express mRNA necessary for endocannabinoid biosynthetic enzymes. To test the role of endocannabinoids in synaptic plasticity, stratum oriens interneurons were patched and glutamate currents were recorded in the presence of a fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor (URB597) to increase endogenous anandamide. URB597 potentiated stratum oriens interneurons in a CB1-dependent manner. We have seen a CB1 receptor antagonist (AM-251) abolish the potentiation effect, despite URB597 being present. This implicates CB1 to be mediating the long-term potentiation observed in the stratum oriens interneurons. We suspect that if the CB1 receptor were to be genetically knocked out in rats, whole cell patch-clamp electrophysiology tests would show an abolishment of the observed potentiation. These results demonstrate a novel endocannabinoid-mediated mechanism for synaptic plasticity in stratum oriens interneurons.
There has been extensive research into the field of epigenetics seeking new treatments for immune diseases. Autoimmune diseases, a branch of immune disease, are caused by a myriad of imbalances in the immune system. One of these imbalances is the overexpression of proinflammatory cytokines. The goal of this project was to examine epigenetic mechanisms of this overexpression. Because of the genetic similarity between humans and rhesus macaques, rhesus macaques may be a useful animal model for epigenetic regulation of inflammation. Our study focuses on the role of methylation in the promoter regions of candidate genes selected for their role in inflammatory immune pathways in 154 infant rhesus macaques. Plasma cytokines were quantified using ELISA and genome-wide methylation levels were quantified using restricted representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS). ANOVA results revealed that the methylation of the IFNG2 gene influences expression in IL-6 (interleukin 6) and MCP1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein) (F(31,90)=2.490, p
Impact of the total Western diet and supplementation on TNF, IBA1, and PAX5, biomarkers of inflammation
Tess Armbrust1, Canyon Neal1, Ashli Hunter1, Forest Eddy1, Sumira Phatak1, Korry Hintze2,3, Abby Benninghoff1,3 1Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, UT; 2Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences; 3USTAR Applied Nutrition Research, Utah State University, Logan, UT Americans with leaky gut, or increased intestinal permeability, often develop chronic inflammation of the colon, which is considered a key driver in the development of diseases such as colorectal cancer (CRC) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (IBA1), and paired box 5 protein (PAX5) are contributors to this inflammation. Consumption of a poor diet, high in processed foods and low in fruits and vegetables, is another notable risk factor for CRC. Diet modification with functional foods containing health-promoting bioactive components or key micronutrients represents a safe and cost-effective strategy to decrease the incidence of cancer and/or delay the onset of the disease. Previously, our group assessed the impact of several dietary interventions in a mouse model of inflammation-associated CRC which included supplementation with black raspberries. The objective of the present work is to examine the impact of these dietary interventions, specifically black raspberries, on expression of TNF, IBA1, and PAX5 as molecular biomarkers of gut inflammation. The hypothesis to be tested in this study is that supplementation of a Western type diet with black raspberries will suppress expression of these biomarkers. Colon tissues were obtained from the aforementioned studies and processed for histopathology assessment. These tissues will be subject to immunohistochemistry for detection of TNF, IBA1, and PAX5. Preliminary results of this ongoing work will be presented for the first time at this symposium.
Matt Austin, Brooke Smyth, Lauren Manwaring, Moroni Lopez, Brigham Young University Currently, an estimated 30.3 million Americans have diabetes, and experts predict 54.9 million Americans will have diabetes by 2030. The increasing prevalence of Type 2 diabetes (T2D) accounts for much of this expected growth. T2D is characterized by insulin resistance, which eventually leads to a reduction in functional β-cell mass. Thus, treatments that increase β-cell proliferation, survival, and function have the potential to reverse the effects of diabetes. One treatment that has shown promise is the use of dietary cocoa flavanols. These compounds have shown the ability to prevent the onset of diabetes in mice. Furthermore, a recent study conducted by our lab group demonstrated that monomeric cocoa flavanols improved insulin secretion by increasing mitochondrial respiration. In addition to stimulating insulin secretion, we hypothesize that cocoa flavanols may also confer anti-diabetic effects by promoting β-cell proliferation. To that end, we present data that shows the effect of monomeric, oligomeric, and polymeric cocoa flavanols on β-cell proliferation. Our results also suggest a mechanism by which these compounds stimulate proliferation in β-cells. These findings strengthen the growing body of evidence that dietary cocoa flavanols can ameliorate the effects of T2D.
Recent research suggests that individuals who use religious coping in a negative fashion are prone to high levels of stress and depression. Religious missions require strict adherence to religious standards. Other research on returned and actively serving LDS missionaries has indicated that many suffered from mission-related stress. Some mission-related stress is thought to be associated with inappropriate weight gain and negative body image. Though under stress, some research indicates that LDS missionaries can learn positive life skills and gain confidence which leads many to successful lives. We wanted to examine the relationship between religious missionary service and the self confidence of returned LDS missionaries. We also wanted to learn if these returned missionaries were prone to significant feelings of guilt and shame for their eating choices and physical appearance. We hypothesized that returned LDS missionaries would have higher levels of self confidence and body comfort when compared to the control population. We also hypothesized that returned LDS missionaries would be subject to significantly higher feelings of stress and guilt when compared to the control population. In order to study these factors, we collected data from a convenience sample of 1008 participants who responded to an online survey distributed by means of social media. Of these participants, we recorded responses from 164 returned missionaries of the LDS church. Participants responded to questions by rating levels of self confidence and body comfort. Questions related to guilt, stress, and eating were also measured. Measures taken from returned LDS missionaries and other participants were compared in regards to both body comfort and self confidence. Measures of guilt and stress in regards to eating were also compared. On average, returned LDS missionaries reported higher levels of confidence and body comfort than other participants. In contrast to our hypothesis, returned LDS missionaries reported fewer instances of feeling guilt or shame due to eating habits. Results showed no significant relation between missionary service and eating as a response to stress. Though there is little available literature on the health of returned missionaries, the results seem to contrast findings from existing research on missionaries. The findings could aid in understanding the relation between the missionary lifestyle and the resulting positive self image. Further research will be needed to understand how LDS mission service impacts confidence and health. Perhaps future findings could aid in the discovery of factors which may lead to higher levels of confidence and body comfort.
Daisha L. Cummins, Kodey Meyers, and Breanna E. Studenka, Utah State University Health Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) exhibit rigidity of motor plans and difficulties planning and executing movements (Eigsti et al., 2013). Those with ASD may also have difficulty formulating new or switching between different motor plans. In typically developing individuals, sequential actions exhibit hysteresis, a phenomenon where a specific motor plan is influenced by recent, similar motor actions. We sought to determine if hysteresis was stronger in children with ASD. A rotation motor task measured the rigidity of motor planning (hysteresis) of five ASD children, and 5 control participants. A stick was placed in one of 24 different orientations around a circle. The researcher moved the stick counterclockwise or clockwise in subsequent trials. A participant grasped the stick and returned it to the home position. Researchers measured the position at which the child switched from a thumb up to a thumb down grasp in each direction. The peak counterclockwise switch occurred later for children with ASD. The grasp also changed less frequently for the ASD than for the control group. Our results suggest that changing a grasp was more costly than being comfortable, and that hysteresis was more prevalent in children with ASD than in the control group.
Diana Carter, Brigham Young University Health Purpose:
Cross-talk Between Autophagy and Mitophagy Regulates Shear- induced Nitric Oxide Pr oduction in Endothelial Cells
Rebekah Goodrich, Leenalitha Panneerseelan Bharath, Ting Ruan, Tetyana Forostyan, Ashot Sargsyan,
Trey Esplin, Alathia Burnside, Sean Madill, Marquelle Funk, Sean Kiesel, Kaisey Margetts,
Jamie Slade, Utah Valley University Health Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are gaining in popularity. Unfortunately, this increase is occurring at a time when we lack a definitive understanding of the health hazards. It is important for professionals to understand e-cigarette users’ experiences and satisfaction with the devices in order to determine what may entice users to begin and continue using these devices.
Tianne Pierce, Utah Valley University Health Since Mario and Zelda (Nintendo video games), video interactive games have been a favorite babysitter for the past two generations of children, simulation is no stranger to this population. Portions of this population became nursing students. Simulation in health care is second to none in the ‘hands on’ teaching of skills; thus, it would be the natural order of things to include interactive figures and scenario during teaching and learning in nursing. Utah Valley University’s nursing department employs the use of human simulators in the delivery of content to the students. It is no surprise that these students relate well to simulation in the classrooms. The purpose of the research study will be to compare students’ responses to learning in a teaching environment void of simulation vs. a teaching environment which uses simulation. Although simulation has long been used in aviation and the military, it has become more integrated in the health care profession over the last 20 years. These study results were congruent with national and international landmark studies where the use of simulation in nursing has been supported by the world of healthcare.