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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1041
    Keywords: amiodarone ; pharmacokinetics ; therapeutic serum level ; thyroid function ; antiarrhythmic therapy ; adverse effects
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary In 17 patients on long term therapy with amiodarone, serum drug levels measured by HPLC were related to pharmacological effects. At steady state, serum levels were directly proportional to the dose, 5 mg/kg per day leading to an average serum level of approximately 2.5 µmol/l. The non-amiodarone level of iodine averaged 4-times higher than the level of amiodarone iodine. The elimination half-life of amiodarone ranged from 21 to 78 days, and of non-amiodarone iodine from 24 to 160 days. Control of arrhythmias was satisfactory in all 12 evaluable patients, when the serum amiodarone level exceeded 1.5 µmol/l. Deterioration of vision and polyserositis occurred only at amiodarone levels above 4 µmol/l. Tentatively, a therapeutic range of 1.5 to 4 µmol/l is proposed. In contrast, thyroid dysfunction was observed at any amiodarone level. In view of the narrow therapeutic window, therapy with amiodarone may be optimized by monitoring its serum level and in addition, thyroid function should be regularly checked.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-072X
    Keywords: Bradyrhizobium ; Electron microscopy ; Mutants ; Nitrogen fixation ; Nodulation ; Soybean ; Symbiosis ; Transposon Tn5
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The genome of the slow-growing Bradyrhizobium japonicum (strain 110) was mutagenized with transposon Tn5. A total of 1623 kanamycin/streptomycin resistant derivatives were screened in soybean infection tests for nodulation (Nod) and symbiotic nitrogen fixation (Fix). In this report we describe 14 strains possessing a stable, reproducible Nod+Fix- phenotype. These strains were also grown under microaerobic culture conditions to test them for free-living nitrogen fixation activity (Nif). In addition to strains having reduced Fix and Nif activities, there were also strains that had reduced symbiotic Fix activity but were Nif+ ex planta. Analysis of the genomic structure revealed that the majority of the strains had a single Tn5 insertion without any further apparent physical alteration. A few strains had additional insertions (by Tn5 or IS50), or a deletion, or had cointegrated part of the vector used for Tn5 mutagenesis. One of the insertions was found in a known nif gene (nifD) whereas all other mutations seem to affect different, hitherto unknown genes or operons. Several mutant strains had an altered nodulation phenotype, inducing numerous, small, widely distributed nodules. Light and electron microscopy revealed that most of these mutants were defective in different stages of bacteroid development and/or bacteroid persistence. The protein patterns of the mutants were inspected by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis after labelling microaerobic cultures with l-(35S)methionine. Of particular interest were mutants lacking a group of proteins the synthesis of which was known to be under oxygen control. Such strains can be regarded as potential regulatory mutants.
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  • 3
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Biological cybernetics 80 (1999), S. 339-355 
    ISSN: 1432-0770
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Computer Science , Physics
    Notes: Abstract. The present model of the motoneuronal (MN) pool – muscle complex (MNPMC) is deterministic and designed for steady isometric muscle activation. Time-dependent quantities are treated as time-averages. The character of the model is continuous in the sense that the motor unit (MU) population is described by a continuous density function. In contrast to most already published models, the wiring (synaptic weight) between the input fibers to the MNPMC and the MNs (about which no detailed data are known) is deduced, whereas the input–force relation is given. As suggested by experimental data, this relation is assumed to be linear during MU recruitment, but the model allows other, nonlinear relations. The input to the MN pool is defined as the number of action potentials per second in all input fibers, and the excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) conductance in MNs evoked by the input is assumed to be proportional to the input. A single compartment model with a homogeneous membrane is used for a MN. The MNs start firing after passing a constant voltage threshold. The synaptic current–frequency relation is described by a linear function and the frequency–force transformation of a MU by an exponential function. The sum of the MU contraction forces is the muscle force, and the activation of the MUs obeys the size principle. The model parameters were determined a priori, i.e., the model was not used for their estimation. The analysis of the model reveals special features of the activation curve which we define as the relation between the input normalized by the threshold input of the MN pool and the force normalized by the maximal muscle force. This curve for any muscle turned out to be completely determined by the activation factor, the slope of the linear part of the activation curve (during MU recruitment). This factor determines quantitatively the relation between MU recruitment and rate modulation. This property of the model (the only known model with this property) allows a quantification of the recruitment gain (Kernell and Hultborn 1990). The interest of the activation factor is illustrated using two human muscles, namely the first dorsal interosseus muscle, a small muscle with a relatively small force at the end of recruitment, and the medial gastrocnemius muscle, a strong muscle with a relatively large force at the end of recruitment. It is concluded that the present model allows us to reproduce the main features of muscle activation in the steady state. Its analytical character facilitates a deeper understanding of these features.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-119X
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract  The quality of cryosections prepared from high pressure frozen bovine articular cartilage has been recently evaluated by systematic electron diffraction analysis, and vitrification found to be zone-dependent. The lower radial layer was optimally frozen throughout the entire section thickness (150 μm), whereas in the upper radial, transitional and superficial layers this was achieved down to a depth of only approximately 5–50 μm. These differences were found to correlate proportionally with proteoglycan concentration and inversely with water content. In the current investigation, extracellular matrix ultrastructure was examined in high pressure frozen material (derived from the lower radial zone of young adult bovine articular cartilage), by both cryoelectron microscopy of cryosections and by conventional transmission electron microscopy of freeze-substituted and embedded samples. Several novel features were revealed, in particular, the existence of a fine filamentous network; this consisted of elements 10–15 nm in diameter and with a regular cross-banded structure similar to that characterising collagen fibrils. These filaments were encountered throughout the entire extracellular space, even within the pericellular region, which is generally believed to be free of filamentous or fibrillar components. The proteoglycan-rich interfibrillar/filamentous space manifested a fine granular appearance, there being no evidence of the reticular network previously seen in suboptimally frozen material.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1432-1041
    Keywords: amiodarone ; desethylamiodarone ; iodine ; pharmacokinetics ; thyroid function ; toxicity
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary In 23 patients treated with the iodine-containing antiarrhythmic drug amiodarone, the plasma concentrations of amiodarone, desethylamiodarone and iodine have been studied. Besides amiodarone and desethylamiodarone, a pool of iodine-containing substances, NANDAI (non-amiodarone-, non-desethylamiodarone-iodine), was present. At steady state the iodine content of NANDAI amounted to 64% and the iodine content of amiodarone plus desethylamiodarone to 36% of total serum iodine. At steady state 26% of the NANDAI fraction was made up of inorganic iodide, the average plasma concentration of which was at least 40 times above the upper limit of the normal range. The serum elimination half-life of NANDAI of 57–160 days exceeded that of amiodarone (35–68 days) and of desethylamiodarone (31–110 days). At steady state the serum concentration of desethylamiodarone appears to be related to the concentration of amiodarone by a Michaelis-Menten type function, yielding a Km of amiodarone of 2.45 µmol/l and a maximal desethylamiodarone concentration of 3.61 µmol/l.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1432-119X
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary The histochemically detectable monoamine oxidase activity in certain organs of young and old rats is compared. Regardless of age, the activity is strong in the liver, faint in the skeletal muscle, and absent in the kidney. In the myocardium, however, the quantity of monoamine oxidase increases strongly with age. Its activity is manifest in the form of granular and diffuse formazan precipitates; both disappear after a preliminary treatment of the animals with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. This finding indicates that the diffuse as well as the previously identified granular precipitates represent monoamine oxidase.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1432-1203
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary Using the polymerase chain reaction, a sequence comprising 400 bp of the human ZFY gene was amplified specifically in the male. The method allows detection of the presence of the ZFY gene in the order of 1:104 cells.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1432-119X
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract The quality of cryosections prepared from high pressure frozen bovine articular cartilage has been recently evaluated by systematic electron diffraction analysis, and vitrification found to be zone-dependent. The lower radial layer was optimally frozen throughout the entire section thickness (150 μm), whereas in the upper radial, transitional and superficial layers this was achieved down to a depth of only approximately 5–50 μm. These differences were found to correlate proportionally with proteoglycan concentration and inversely with water content. In the current investigation, extracellular matrix ultrastructure was examined in high pressure frozen material (derived from the lower radial zone of young adult bovine articular cartilage), by both cryoelectron microscopy of cryosections and by conventional transmission electron microscopy of freeze-substituted and embedded samples. Several novel features were revealed, in particular, the existence of a fine filamentous network; this consisted of elements 10–15 nm in diameter and with a regular cross-banded structure similar to that characterising collagen fibrils. These filaments were encountered throughout the entire extracellular space, even within the pericellular region, which is generally believed to be free of filamentous or fibrillar components. The proteoglycan-rich interfibrillar/filamentous space manifested a fine granular appearance, there being no evidence of the reticular network previously seen in suboptimally frozen material.
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1432-119X
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary The monoamine oxidase activity in ten species (man, dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, rat, hamster, mouse, chicken, goose) was histochemically studied in the myocardium, liver, kidney and psoas muscle in newborn and older individuals. An age-dependent increase of monoamine oxidase activity is established in the liver and kidney of man, dog, cat, guinea pig and hamster. In the psoas muscle of the rat the monoamine oxidase activity is consistently weak. In the myocardium only the rat shows an increase with age.
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  • 10
    ISSN: 1432-0517
    Keywords: Key words GMO detection ; PCR ; Food labelling ; Quality assurance
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
    Notes: Abstract  The detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a complex multiparameter problem. Therefore, a number of critical issues in respect to quality control need to be considered. For practical purposes, the PCR process itself can be divided into three subprocesses: template isolation and reaction setup (pre-PCR), PCR reaction and detection of amplification products, and data evaluation (post-PCR). Crucial factors for the pre-PCR process are the following: homogeneity of the sample to be analysed, performance of template isolation and purification in terms of yield and purity, standardized process for the estimation of concentrations of genomic DNA and all reagents used in the reaction. For the PCR itself, crucial factors to be controlled are: setup of reactions, batch to batch variations of reagents, temperature-time programs used for the PCR amplification, and the performance of different types of hardware (e.g. different brands of thermocyclers). The crucial factor for the post-PCR process is the detection of the amplification products of the PCR. The tremendous sensitivity of PCR methods requires a careful and consequent separation of the three processes in terms of hardware, laboratory space and sample handling. The avoidance of contamination is one of the most critical factors. The goal of quality assurance measures must be to ensure appropriate results at maximum sensitivity. The complexity of any PCR system used for the detection of GMOs leads to the requirement of a careful validation process for any laboratory using such methods. For qualitative analyses crucial validation parameters are: specificity, selectivity, repeatability, intermediate precision, reproducibility, limit of detection and robustness.
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