Biomedical science Group

Leuven, Belgium

Biomedical science Group

Leuven, Belgium
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Van Dijck A.,University of Antwerp | Hayakawa E.,Catholic University of Leuven | Landuyt B.,Catholic University of Leuven | Baggerman G.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience Methods | Year: 2011

The peptidome encompasses all the peptides present in a particular cell, tissue or organism at a particular point in time. Neuropeptidomics studies the peptidome of the nervous system and will become increasingly important in neuroscience research. Novel peptides can be discovered and, when applied to disease models, key players in pathophysiological mechanisms will be identified. That way, they can serve as drug targets or biomarkers. Presently, different extraction protocols are in use, but no consensus has been reached on what fixation and extraction protocol is best suited for brain tissue. Therefore, in this article we compare different methods for quenching of proteolytic activity (snap-freezing of whole mouse in liquid nitrogen immediately after cervical dislocation, freezing of the dissected brain in 2-methyl-butane and heat denaturation of the tissue by microwave treatment) in combination with different extraction methods. The protocol that combines submersion in liquid nitrogen with extraction in 0.25% acetic acid results in the highest number of unique identifications, a high conservation of posttranslational modifications, the best reproducibility between duplicate samples and the best comparison with former studies on mouse brain peptides. For these reasons, we recommend the use of this protocol in future neuropeptidomics studies. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

PubMed | Biomedical science Group, University Hospitals and Shanghai JiaoTong University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Contrast media & molecular imaging | Year: 2015

The purpose of this work was to visualize the pancreas in post-mortem rats with local contrast medium infusion by three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) using clinical imagers. A total of 16 Sprague Dawley rats of about 300g were used for the pancreas visualization. Following the baseline imaging, a mixed contrast medium dye called GadoIodo-EB containing optimized concentrations of Gd-DOTA, iomeprol and Evens blue was infused into the distally obstructed common bile duct (CBD) for post-contrast imaging with 3.0T MRI and 128-slice CT scanners. Images were post-processed with the MeVisLab software package. MRI findings were co-registered with CT scans and validated with histomorphology, with relative contrast ratios quantified. Without contrast enhancement, the pancreas was indiscernible. After infusion of GadoIodo-EB solution, only the pancreatic region became outstandingly visible, as shown by 3D rendering MRI and CT and proven by colored dissection and histological examinations. The measured volume of the pancreas averaged 1.120.04cm(3) after standardization. Relative contrast ratios were 93.2834.61% and 26.455.29% for MRI and CT respectively. We have developed a multifunctional contrast medium dye to help clearly visualize and delineate rat pancreas in situ using clinical MRI and CT scanners. The topographic landmarks thus created with 3D demonstration may help to provide guidelines for the next in vivo pancreatic MRI research in rodents.

Poesen K.,Laboratory Medicine | De Prins M.,Laboratory Medicine | Van Den Berghe G.,Intensive Care Medicine | Van Den Berghe G.,Biomedical science Group | And 3 more authors.
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: With the use of a traditional blood gas analyzer (BGA) (ABL800 Radiometer) for blood glucose monitoring, tight glucose control (TGC) reduced in-hospital mortality and morbidity of surgical intensive care unit (ICU) adult and pediatric patients. Such BGAs are now superseded by cassette-based BGAs. We assessed the analytical reliability of cassette-based BGAs to monitor patient's metabolic status in an ICU setting. Methods: We evaluated recovery/linearity, imprecision/repeatability and relative accuracy vs. comparison methods for glucose [coupled hexokinase glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (HK/G6PD) assay] and lactate (lactate dehydrogenase assay) in ICU patient samples with two cassette-based BGAs [RP500 (Siemens) and ABL90 (Radiometer)] and with the ABL800 BGA. Results: Recovery of spiked glucose up to 348 mg/dL (19.3 mmol/L) was complete for all BGAs. Repeatability of ABL800 and ABL90 was comparable with the comparison method (about 1%), but higher for RP500 (about 2.4%). All BGAs were in agreement with the comparison method, with all glucose measurements falling within preset 10% criteria suggested by Karon. Recovery of spiked lactate (up to 25 mmol/L) was incomplete at all levels. Repeatability of ABL800 and ABL90 was comparable with the comparison method (about 4%), and 5.5% for RP500. All BGAs were in agreement with the comparison method, with >98% of the lactate measurements falling within 30% biological-variation-based criteria. Conclusions: The cassette-based BGAs quantified blood glucose and lactate levels in ICU patients within the acceptable error ranges. Cassette-based BGAs can be used for monitoring patient's metabolic status in an ICU setting. © 2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston 2013.

Caeyenberghs K.,Movement Control and Neuroplasticity Research Group | Caeyenberghs K.,Ghent University | Leemans A.,University Utrecht | Leunissen I.,Movement Control and Neuroplasticity Research Group | And 4 more authors.
Brain Structure and Function | Year: 2014

Recent research on traumatic brain injury (TBI) has shown that impairments in cognitive and executive control functions are accompanied by a disrupted neural connectivity characterized by white matter damage. We constructed binary and weighted brain structural networks in 21 patients with chronic TBI and 17 healthy young adults utilizing diffusion tensor tractography and calculated topological properties of the networks using a graph theoretical method. Executive function was assessed with the local global task and the trail making task, requiring inhibition, updating, and switching. The results revealed that TBI patients were less successful than controls on the executive tasks, as shown by the higher reaction times, higher switch costs, and lower accuracy rates. Moreover, both TBI patients and controls exhibited a small world topology in their white matter networks. More importantly, the TBI patients demonstrated increased shortest path length and decreased global efficiency of the structural network. These findings suggest that TBI patients have a weaker globally integrated structural brain network, resulting in a limited capacity to integrate information across brain regions. Furthermore, we showed that the white matter networks of both groups contained highly connected hub regions that were predominately located in the parietal cortex, frontal cortex, and basal ganglia. Finally, we showed significant correlations between switching performance and network property metrics within the TBI group. Specifically, lower scores on the switching tasks corresponded to a lower global efficiency. We conclude that analyzing the structural brain network connectivity provides new insights into understanding cognitive control changes following brain injury. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Borgers H.,Biomedical science Group | Moens L.,Biomedical science Group | Picard C.,Institute National Of Sante Et Of Recherche Medicale | Picard C.,University of Paris Descartes | And 9 more authors.
Clinical Immunology | Year: 2010

We evaluated a multiplexed bead-based assay (xMAP® Pneumococcal Immunity assay from Luminex) for the simultaneous determination of antibodies against 14 capsular polysaccharides. Post-vaccination (Pneumovax®) antibody concentrations were measured in 35 healthy children, 40 healthy adults, 99 consecutive patients with increased susceptibility to respiratory infection, and 24 patients with a deficient anti-polysaccharide antibody response. The serotype-specific lower 5th percentile (cutoff) value for the post-immunization antibody concentration was determined in healthy individuals. Eleven of 99 patients (11%) failed to mount a response that was > 5th percentile of controls for at least 6 of the 14 serotypes tested, whereas only 3 of 75 controls (4%) failed to do so. All patients with known anti-polysaccharide antibody deficiency failed to mount a response that was > 5th percentile of controls for at least 6 of the 14 serotypes tested. The XMAP® pneumococcal immunity panel appears useful for identifying individuals with a low response to the unconjugated pneumococcal vaccine. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Li J.,Biomedical science Group | Li J.,Molecular Small Animal Imaging Center | Oyen R.,Biomedical science Group | Verbruggen A.,Laboratory of Radiopharmacy | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Cancer | Year: 2013

Hitting the evasive tumor cells proves challenging in targeted cancer therapies. A general and unconventional anticancer approach namely small molecule sequential dual-targeting theragnostic strategy (SMSDTTS) has recently been introduced with the aims to target and debulk the tumor mass, wipe out the residual tumor cells, and meanwhile enable cancer detectability. This dual targeting approach works in two steps for systemic delivery of two naturally derived drugs. First, an anti-tubulin vascular disrupting agent, e.g., combretastatin A4 phosphate (CA4P), is injected to selectively cut off tumor blood supply and to cause massive necrosis, which nevertheless always leaves peripheral tumor residues. Secondly, a necrosis-avid radiopharmaceutical, namely 131I-hypericin (131I-Hyp), is administered the next day, which accumulates in intratumoral necrosis and irradiates the residual cancer cells with beta particles. Theoretically, this complementary targeted approach may biologically and radioactively ablate solid tumors and reduce the risk of local recurrence, remote metastases, and thus cancer mortality. Meanwhile, the emitted gamma rays facilitate radio-scintigraphy to detect tumors and follow up the therapy, hence a simultaneous theragnostic approach. SMSDTTS has now shown promise from multicenter animal experiments and may demonstrate unique anticancer efficacy in upcoming preliminary clinical trials. In this short review article, information about the two involved agents, the rationale of SMSDTTS, its preclinical antitumor efficacy, multifocal targetability, simultaneous theragnostic property, and toxicities of the dose regimens are summarized. Meanwhile, possible drawbacks, practical challenges and future improvement with SMSDTTS are discussed, which hopefully may help to push forward this strategy from preclinical experiments towards possible clinical applications. ©Ivyspring International Publisher.

Caeyenberghs K.,Movement Control and Neuroplasticity Research Group | Leemans A.,University Utrecht | Heitger M.H.,Movement Control and Neuroplasticity Research Group | Leunissen I.,Movement Control and Neuroplasticity Research Group | And 4 more authors.
Brain | Year: 2012

Patients with traumatic brain injury show clear impairments in behavioural flexibility and inhibition that often persist beyond the time of injury, affecting independent living and psychosocial functioning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown that patients with traumatic brain injury typically show increased and more broadly dispersed frontal and parietal activity during performance of cognitive control tasks. We constructed binary and weighted functional networks and calculated their topological properties using a graph theoretical approach. Twenty-three adults with traumatic brain injury and 26 age-matched controls were instructed to switch between coordination modes while making spatially and temporally coupled circular motions with joysticks during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results demonstrated that switching performance was significantly lower in patients with traumatic brain injury compared with control subjects. Furthermore, although brain networks of both groups exhibited economical small-world topology, altered functional connectivity was demonstrated in patients with traumatic brain injury. In particular, compared with controls, patients with traumatic brain injury showed increased connectivity degree and strength, and higher values of local efficiency, suggesting adaptive mechanisms in this group. Finally, the degree of increased connectivity was significantly correlated with poorer switching task performance and more severe brain injury. We conclude that analysing the functional brain network connectivity provides new insights into understanding cognitive control changes following brain injury. © 2012 The Author.

Li J.,Biomedical science Group | Li J.,Biomedical Imaging Center | Cona M.M.,Biomedical science Group | Cona M.M.,Biomedical Imaging Center | And 15 more authors.
Theranostics | Year: 2013

Objectives: Based on the soil-to-seeds principle, we explored the small-molecular sequential dual- targeting theranostic strategy (SMSDTTS) for prolonged survival and imaging detectability in a xenograft tumor model. Materials and Methods: Thirty severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice bearing bilateral radiation-induced fibrosarcoma-1 (RIF-1) subcutaneously were divided into group A of SMSDTTS with sequential intravenous injections of combretastatin A4 phosphate (CA4P) and 131I-iodohypericin (131I-Hyp) at a 24 h interval; group B of single targeting control with CA4P and vehicle of 131I-Hyp; and group C of vehicle control (10 mice per group). Tumoricidal events were monitored by in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and planar gamma scintiscan, and validated by ex vivo autoradiography and histopathology. Besides, 9 mice received sequential intravenous injections of CA4P and 131I-Hyp were subjected to biodistribution analysis at 24, 72 and 120 h. Results: Gamma counting revealed fast clearance of 131I-Hyp from normal organs but intense accumulation in necrotic tumor over 120 h. After only one treatment, significantly prolonged survival (p<0.001) was found in group A compared to group B and C with median survival of 33, 22, and 21 days respectively. Tumor volume on day 15 was 2.0 ± 0.89, 5.66 ± 1.66, and 5.02 ± 1.0 cm3 with tumor doubling time 7.8 ± 2.8, 4.4 ± 0.67, and 4.5 ± 0.5 days respectively. SMSDTTS treated tumors were visualized as hot spots on gamma scintiscans, and necrosis over tumor ratio remained consistently high on MRI, autoradiography and histology. Conclusion: The synergistic antitumor effects, multifocal targetability, simultaneous theranostic property, and good tolerance of the SMSDTTS were evident in this experiment, which warrants further development for preclinical and clinical applications. © Ivyspring International Publisher.

PubMed | Biomedical science Group
Type: Journal Article | Journal: World journal of cardiology | Year: 2015

Inflammation plays an essential role in the development of atherosclerosis. The initiation and growth of atherosclerotic plaques is accompanied by recruitment of inflammatory and precursor cells from the bloodstream and their differentiation towards pro-inflammatory phenotypes. This process is orchestrated by the production of a number of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Human arterial intima consists of structurally distinct leaflets, with a proteoglycan-rich layer lying immediately below the endothelial lining. Recent studies reveal the important role of stellate pericyte-like cells (intimal pericytes) populating the proteoglycan-rich layer in the development of atherosclerosis. During the pathologic process, intimal pericytes may participate in the recruitment of inflammatory cells by producing signalling molecules and play a role in the antigen presentation. Intimal pericytes are also involved in lipid accumulation and the formation of foam cells. This review focuses on the role of pericyte-like cells in the development of atherosclerotic lesions.

PubMed | Biomedical science Group
Type: | Journal: Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991) | Year: 2016

Skill acquisition capabilities vary substantially from one individual to another. Volumetric brain studies have demonstrated that global volume of several subcortical structures predicts variations in learning outcome in youngadults (YA) and older adults (OA). In this study, for the first time, we utilized shape analysis, which offers a more sensitive detection of subregional brain anatomical deformations, to investigate whether subregional anatomy of subcortical structures is associated with training-induced performance improvement on a bimanual task in YA and OA, and whether this association is age-dependent. Compared with YA, OA showed poorer performance, greater performance improvement, and smaller global volume and compressed subregional shape in subcortical structures. In OA, global volume of the right nucleus accumbens and subregional shape of the right thalamus, caudate, putamen and nucleus accumbens were positively correlated with acquisition of difficult (non-preferred) but not easy (preferred) task conditions. In YA, global volume and subregional shape of the right hippocampus were negatively correlated with performance improvement in both the easy and difficult conditions. We argue that pre-existing neuroanatomical measures of subcortical structures involved in motor learning differentially predict skill acquisition potential in YA and OA.

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