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Brunet G.,University of Ottawa | Safin D.A.,University of Ottawa | Jover J.,University Of Barcelonabarcelona | Ruiz E.,University Of Barcelonabarcelona | Murugesu M.,University of Ottawa
Journal of Materials Chemistry C | Year: 2017

The remarkable Metal-Organic Framework (MOF), {[(Co(NCS)2)3(κ3-TPT)4]·a(H2O)·b(MeOH)}n (1), which is used in the revolutionary crystalline sponge method, displays characteristic Single-Molecule Magnet (SMM) behaviour under applied static fields. We report the subtle effects of changes in the coordination environment of the CoII ions in 1, leading to drastically different magnetic behaviors of two additional related compounds, {[(Co(NCS)2)3(κ0-3-TPT)4]·c(H2O)}n (2) and {[(Co(NCS)2(H2O)0.65(MeOH)0.35)3(κ3-TPT)2]·2.4(H2O)}n (3). Magnetic measurements reveal unquenched first order orbital angular momentum, leading to significant magnetic anisotropy in all compounds, which was corroborated through CASSCF-type calculations. Notably, the crystalline sponge is the first example of a 3D network built from CoII Single-Ion Magnets (SIMs) as nodes. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Peris D.,Jaume I University | Peris D.,University Of Barcelonabarcelona | Perez-de la Fuente R.,Harvard University | Penalver E.,Museo Geominero | And 5 more authors.
Current Biology | Year: 2017

During the mid-Cretaceous, angiosperms diversified from several nondiverse lineages to their current global domination [1], replacing earlier gymnosperm lineages [2]. Several hypotheses explain this extensive radiation [3], one of which involves proliferation of insect pollinator associations in the transition from gymnosperm to angiosperm dominance. However, most evidence supports gymnosperm–insect pollinator associations, buttressed by direct evidence of pollen on insect bodies, currently established for four groups: Thysanoptera (thrips), Neuroptera (lacewings), Diptera (flies), and now Coleoptera (beetles). Each group represents a distinctive pollination mode linked to a unique mouthpart type and feeding guild [4–9]. Extensive indirect evidence, based on specialized head and mouthpart morphology, is present for one of these pollinator types, the long-proboscid pollination mode [10], representing minimally ten family-level lineages of Neuroptera, Mecoptera (scorpionflies), and Diptera [8, 10, 11]. A recurring feature uniting these pollinator modes is host associations with ginkgoalean, cycad, conifer, and bennettitalean gymnosperms. Pollinator lineages bearing these pollination modes were categorized into four evolutionary cohorts during the 35-million-year-long angiosperm radiation, each defined by its host-plant associations (gymnosperm or angiosperm) and evolutionary pattern (extinction, continuation, or origination) during this interval [12]. Here, we provide the first direct evidence for one cohort, exemplified by the beetle Darwinylus marcosi, family Oedemeridae (false blister beetles), that had an earlier gymnosperm (most likely cycad) host association, later transitioning onto angiosperms [13]. This association constitutes one of four patterns explaining the plateau of family-level plant lineages generally and pollinating insects specifically during the mid-Cretaceous angiosperm radiation [12]. © 2017

Laranjeira S.,University of Minho | Amorim-Silva V.,University of Malaga | Esteban A.,University of Malaga | Arro M.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics | And 7 more authors.
Molecular Plant | Year: 2015

The existence of multigenic families in the mevalonate pathway suggests divergent functional roles for pathway components involved in the biosynthesis of plant sterols. Squalene epoxidases (SQEs) are key components of this pathway, and Squalene Epoxidase 1 (SQE1) has been identified as a fundamental enzyme in this biosynthetic step. In the present work, we extended the characterization of the remaining SQE family members, phylogenetically resolving between true SQEs and a subfamily of SQE-like proteins that is exclusive to Brassicaceae. Functional characterization of true SQE family members, Squalene Epoxidase 2 (SQE2) and Squalene Epoxidase 3 (SQE3), indicates that SQE3, but not SQE2, contributes to the bulk SQE activity in Arabidopsis, with sqe3-1 mutants accumulating squalene and displaying sensitivity to terbinafine. We genetically demonstrated that SQE3 seems to play a particularly significant role in embryo development. Also, SQE1 and SQE3 both localize in the endoplasmic reticulum, and SQE3 can functionally complement SQE1. Thus, SQE1 and SQE3 seem to be two functionally unequal redundant genes in the promotion of plant SQE activity in Arabidopsis. © 2015 The Author.

PubMed | International Health Sciences University, University of Barcelona, Germans Trias i Pujol Health Science Research Institute Badalona and University Of Barcelonabarcelona
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in cell and developmental biology | Year: 2016

Reticulocyte-derived exosomes (

PubMed | Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, International Health Sciences University, Germans Trias i Pujol Health Science Research Institute IGTP Badalona, University of Barcelona and University Of Barcelonabarcelona
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in cell and developmental biology | Year: 2017

[This corrects the article on p. 131 in vol. 4, PMID: 27900319.].

PubMed | University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboro, University of BarcelonaBarcelona, Instituto Universitario Of Investigacion En Neuroquimica and Institute Quimica Medica
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in neuroscience | Year: 2016

Endocannabinoids activate two types of specific G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), namely cannabinoid CB1 and CB2. Contrary to the psychotropic actions of agonists of CB1 receptors, and serious side effects of the selective antagonists of this receptor, drugs acting on CB2 receptors appear as promising drugs to combat CNS diseases (Parkinsons disease, Huntingtons chorea, cerebellar ataxia, amyotrohic lateral sclerosis). Differential localization of CB2 receptors in neural cell types and upregulation in neuroinflammation are keys to understand the therapeutic potential in inter alia diseases that imply progressive neurodegeneration. Medicinal chemistry approaches are now engaged to develop imaging tools to map receptors in the living human brain, to develop more efficacious agonists, and to investigate the possibility to develop allosteric modulators.

PubMed | University of BarcelonaBarcelona and Hospital Universitari Of Bellvitge
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in human neuroscience | Year: 2016

Previous studies on body ownership illusions have shown that under certain multimodal conditions, healthy people can experience artificial body-parts as if they were part of their own body, with direct physiological consequences for the real limb that gets substituted. In this study we wanted to assess (a) whether healthy people can experience missing a body-part through illusory ownership of an amputated virtual body, and (b) whether this would cause corticospinal excitability changes in muscles associated with the missing body-part. Forty right-handed participants saw a virtual body from a first person perspective but for half of them the virtual body was missing a part of its right arm. Single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation was applied before and after the experiment to left and right motor cortices. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and the extensor digitorum communis (EDC) of each hand. We found that the stronger the illusion of amputation and arm ownership, the more the reduction of MEP amplitudes of the EDC muscle for the contralateral sensorimotor cortex. In contrast, no association was found for the EDC amplitudes in the ipsilateral cortex and for the FDI amplitudes in both contralateral and ipsilateral cortices. Our study provides evidence that a short-term illusory perception of missing a body-part can trigger inhibitory effects on corticospinal pathways and importantly in the absence of any limb deafferentation or disuse.

PubMed | Hospital Santa Maria of Lleida Lleida, University of Lleida, University of Barcelona and University of BarcelonaBarcelona
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in molecular neuroscience | Year: 2016

Brain neurons offer diverse responses to stresses and detrimental factors during development and aging, and as a result of both neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. This multiplicity of responses can be ascribed to the great diversity among neuronal populations. Here we have determined the metabolomic profile of three healthy adult human brain regions-entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, and frontal cortex-using mass spectrometry-based technologies. Our results show the existence of a lessened energy demand, mitochondrial stress, and lower one-carbon metabolism (particularly restricted to the methionine cycle) specifically in frontal cortex. These findings, along with the better antioxidant capacity and lower mTOR signaling also seen in frontal cortex, suggest that this brain region is especially resistant to stress compared to the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus, which are more vulnerable regions. Globally, our results show the presence of specific metabolomics adaptations in three mature, healthy human brain regions, confirming the existence of cross-regional differences in cell vulnerability in the human cerebral cortex.

Artigas-Pallares J.,Center Medic Psyncron | Paula-Perez I.,University Of Barcelonabarcelona
Revista de Neurologia | Year: 2016

Introduction. Research into autism, based mainly on the categorical model in the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, has focused above all on the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, cognitive mechanisms and the biologicalenvironmental determining factors. Yet, little attention has been paid to the developmental trajectories, which play a decisive role when it comes to establishing a medium- and long-term prognosis. Aims. The purpose of this study is to review the developmental course of children diagnosed with autism who, despite preserving behavioural traits consistent with the initial profile in the medium- and long-term, accomplish a satisfactory social and occupational adaptation, and additionally no longer meet the criteria that gave rise to the initial diagnosis. Development. A review was conducted of the bibliography on autism focused on the analysis of the development of the clinical manifestations and their repercussions from the earliest ages to adulthood. Likewise, we have also taken into consideration conceptual aspects about autism that facilitate the comprehension and the meaning of the developmental patterns. Conclusions. Around 20% of the children diagnosed with autism cease to meet the criteria on which their diagnosis was based and, furthermore, achieve a satisfactory social and occupational adjustment. The following were identified as favouring factors: normal intelligence, good level of language and low incidence of ‘comorbidities’ conversely, in the series that were reported, early and intensive therapeutic interventions were not shown to be determining factors. Lastly, mention is made of the concept of neurodiversity, where recovery is centred on the optimal development of each individual’s capacities within a facilitating environment. © 2016 Revista de Neurología.

PubMed | University of LisbonPortugal and University of BarcelonaBarcelona
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in neuroscience | Year: 2016

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) gives rise to muscle responses, known as motor evoked potentials (MEP), through activation of the motor pathways. Voluntary contraction causes facilitation of MEPs, which consists of shortening MEP latency, increasing MEP amplitude and widening MEP duration. While an increase in excitability of alpha motorneurons and the corticospinal tract can easily explain latency shortening and amplitude increase, other mechanisms have to be accounted for to explain the increase in duration. We measured the increase in duration of the MEP during contraction with respect to rest in a group of healthy volunteers and retrospectively assessed this parameter in patients who were examined in a standardized fashion during the past 5 years. We included 25 healthy subjects, 21 patients with multiple sclerosis, 33 patients with acute stroke, 5 patients with hereditary spastic paraparesis, and 5 patients with signs suggesting psychogenic paresis. We found already significant differences among groups in the MEP duration at rest, patients with MS had a significantly longer duration, and patients with stroke had significantly shorter duration, than the other two groups. The increase in MEP duration during voluntary contraction was different in patients and in healthy subjects. It was significantly shorter in MS and significantly longer in stroke patients. It was absent in the five patients with suspected psychogenic weakness. In patients with HSP, an abnormally increase in duration occurred only in leg muscles. Our results suggest that the increase in duration of the MEP during contraction may reveal the contribution of propriospinal interneurons to the activation of alpha motorneurons. This mechanism may be altered in some diseases and, therefore, the assessment proposed in this work may have clinical applicability for the differential diagnosis of weakness.

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