Institute dInvestigacions Biomediques August Pii Sunyer IDIBAPS

Barcelona, Spain

Institute dInvestigacions Biomediques August Pii Sunyer IDIBAPS

Barcelona, Spain
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Slater M.,University of Barcelona | Slater M.,University College London | Spanlang B.,University of Barcelona | Spanlang B.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: Altering the normal association between touch and its visual correlate can result in the illusory perception of a fake limb as part of our own body. Thus, when touch is seen to be applied to a rubber hand while felt synchronously on the corresponding hidden real hand, an illusion of ownership of the rubber hand usually occurs. The illusion has also been demonstrated using visuomotor correlation between the movements of the hidden real hand and the seen fake hand. This type of paradigm has been used with respect to the whole body generating out-of-the-body and body substitution illusions. However, such studies have only ever manipulated a single factor and although they used a form of virtual reality have not exploited the power of immersive virtual reality (IVR) to produce radical transformations in body ownership. Principal Findings: Here we show that a first person perspective of a life-sized virtual human female body that appears to substitute the male subjects' own bodies was sufficient to generate a body transfer illusion. This was demonstrated subjectively by questionnaire and physiologically through heart-rate deceleration in response to a threat to the virtual body. This finding is in contrast to earlier experimental studies that assume visuotactile synchrony to be the critical contributory factor in ownership illusions. Our finding was possible because IVR allowed us to use a novel experimental design for this type of problem with three independent binary factors: (i) perspective position (first or third), (ii) synchronous or asynchronous mirror reflections and (iii) synchrony or asynchrony between felt and seen touch. Conclusions: The results support the notion that bottom-up perceptual mechanisms can temporarily override top down knowledge resulting in a radical illusion of transfer of body ownership. The research also illustrates immersive virtual reality as a powerful tool in the study of body representation and experience, since it supports experimental manipulations that would otherwise be infeasible, with the technology being mature enough to represent human bodies and their motion. © 2010 Slater et al.

Brito V.,University of Barcelona | Brito V.,Institute dInvestigacions Biomediques August Pii Sunyer IDIBAPS | Brito V.,CIBER ISCIII | Puigdellivol M.,University of Barcelona | And 12 more authors.
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2013

Neuroprotective therapies based on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) administration have been proposed for Huntington's disease (HD) treatment. However, our group has recently reported reduced levels of TrkB in HD mouse models and HD human brain suggesting that besides a decrease on BDNF levels a reduction of TrkB expression could also contribute to diminished neurotrophic support in HD. BDNF can also bind to p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75 NTR) modulating TrkB signaling. Therefore, in this study we have analyzed the levels of p75NTR in several HD models, as well as in HD human brain. Our data demonstrates a p75NTR/TrkB imbalance in the striatum of two different HD mouse models, Hdh Q111/111 homozygous knockin mice and R6/1 mice that was also manifested in the putamen of HD patients. The imbalance between TrkB and p75NTR levels in a HD cellular model did not affect BDNF-mediated TrkB activation of prosurvival pathways but induced activation of apoptotic cascades as demonstrated by increased JNK phosphorylation. Moreover, BDNF failed to protect mutant huntingtin striatal cells transfected with p75NTR against NMDA-mediated excitotoxicity, which was associated with decreased Akt phosphorylation. Interestingly, lack of Akt activation following BDNF and NMDA treatment correlated with increased PP1 levels. Accordingly, pharmacological inhibition of PP1 by okadaic acid (OA) prevented mutant huntingtin striatal cell death induced by NMDA and BDNF. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that the p75NTR/TrkB imbalance induced by mutant huntingtin in striatal cells associated with the aberrant activity of PP1 disturbs BDNF neuroprotection likely contributing to increasing striatal vulnerability in HD. On the basis of this data we hypothesize that normalization of p75NTR and/or TrkB expression or their signaling will improve BDNF neuroprotective therapies in HD. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

De Cosmo S.,Scientific Institute Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza | Viazzi F.,University of Genoa | Pacilli A.,Scientific Institute Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza | Giorda C.,Diabetes and Metabolism Unit ASL Turin 5 | And 7 more authors.
Medicine (United States) | Year: 2016

The identification of clinical predictors for the development of chronic kidney disease is a critical issue in the management of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. We evaluated 27,029 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m 2 and normoalbuminuria from the database of the Italian Association of Clinical Diabetologists network. Primary outcomes were eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m 2 and normoalbuminuria; albuminuria and eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m 2; and eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m 2 and albuminuria. Secondary outcomes were eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m 2 and albuminuria. Measurements: eGFR from serum creatinine by chronic kidney disease epidemiology collaboration equation (CKD-EPI), urinary albumin excretion, HbA1c, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), blood pressure, and body mass index. Over a 4-year period, 33.2% of patients (n = 8973) developed chronic kidney disease, 10.3% (n = 2788) showed a decline in eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m 2, 18.4% (n = 4978) developed albuminuria, and 4.5% (n = 1207) developed both features. Relative risk ratios (RRRs) for age (1.37, P < 0.001 by 5 years), sex (0.77, P < 0.001 for being male), body mass index (1.03, P < 0.001 by 1 kg/m 2), triglycerides (1.02, P < 0.001 by 10 mg/dL), and LDL-c (0.97, P = 0.004 by 10 mg/dL) were independently related to the onset of eGFR reduction. Age (1.08, P < 0.001 by 5 years), sex (1.36, P < 0.001 for being male), body mass index (1.02, P < 0.001 by 1 kg/m 2), triglycerides (1.01, P = 0.02 by 10 mg/dL), HDL-c, and LDL-c (0.97, P = 0.008 and 0.99, P = 0.003 by 5 and 10 mg/dL, respectively) were related to the onset of albuminuria. HbA1c and the intensity of antihypertensive treatment showed a weaker association with renal outcome. Reduction in eGFR and albuminuria showed distinct sets of risk factors, suggesting that different mechanisms are involved in the development of these 2 components of diabetic kidney disease. © 2016 the Author(s).

Altamirano J.,Institute DInvestigacions Biomediques August Pii Sunyer IDIBAPS | Bataller R.,Institute DInvestigacions Biomediques August Pii Sunyer IDIBAPS
Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2011

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The spectrum of disease ranges from fatty liver to hepatic inflammation, necrosis, progressive fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In developed countries, ALD is a major cause of end-stage liver disease that requires transplantation. The most effective therapy for ALD is alcohol abstinence. However, for patients with severe forms of ALD (that is, alcoholic hepatitis) and for those who do not achieve abstinence from alcohol, targeted therapies are urgently needed. The development of new drugs for ALD is hampered by the scarcity of studies and the drawbacks of existing animal models, which do not reflect all the features of the human disease. However, translational research using liver samples from patients with ALD has identified new potential therapeutic targets, such as CXC chemokines, osteopontin and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 12A. The pathogenetic roles of these targets, however, remain to be confirmed in animal models. This Review summarizes the epidemiology, natural history, risk factors and current knowledge of the pathogenetic mechanisms of ALD. In addition, this article provides a detailed description of the findings of these translational studies and of the animal models used to study ALD. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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