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Pinar H.,Brown University | Koch M.A.,Rti International | Hawkins H.,UTMB at Galveston | Heim-Hall J.,UTHSC | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Perinatology | Year: 2011

The Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network (SCRN) was organized to study the scope and causes of stillbirth (SB) in the United States. The objective of this report is to describe the approach used for the placental examination performed as part of the study. The SCRN consists of a multidisciplinary team of investigators from five clinical sites, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the Data Coordination and Analysis Center. The study is a population-based cohort and nested case-control study, with prospective enrollment of women with SB and live births (LB) at the time of delivery. Detailed and standardized postmortem examination was performed on SB and placental examination in both groups. A total of 663 women with SB and 1932 women with LB were enrolled into the case-control study. In the SB group, there were 707 fetuses. Of these cases, 654 (98.6%) had placental examination. Of these LB controls, 1804 (93.4%) had placental examination. This is the largest prospective study to include population-based SB and LB, using standardized postmortem and placental examination, medical record review, maternal interview, collection of samples, and a multidisciplinary team of investigators collaborating in the analyses. Thus it has the potential to provide high-level evidence regarding the contribution of placental abnormalities to stillbirth. © 2011 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc. Source

Parker M.S.,University of Memphis | Park E.A.,UTHSC | Sallee F.R.,University of Cincinnati | Parker S.L.,UTHSC
Amino Acids | Year: 2011

For many G-protein coupling receptors (GPCRs), the upkeep of receptor dimers could depend on association with functional Gi α subunits. This is known for Y1, Y2 and Y4 neuropeptide Y receptors [presented in the companion paper (Estes et al., Amino Acids, doi: 10.1007/s00726-010-0642-z, 2010)]. Interactions with transducers use mainly intracellular domains of the receptors. Intracellular loops 1 and 2 in GPCRs are short and lack extensive helicity that could support transducer anchoring. Interaction with G-proteins is known to use the juxtamembrane Helix 8 in the fourth intracellular domain, for which we document a helix-stabilizing n/(n + 4) pattern of large hydrophobic sidechains. Another intracellular helix located in the C-terminal portion of the third intracellular loop does not display a strong stabilizing pattern, and is found in many studies to serve dynamically in association and activation of transducers and effectors. We show that these tracts share features across metazoan phyla not only in opsins and opsin-like receptors (including the Y receptors), but also in Taste-2 and Frizzled receptors. Similarities of these helices across GPCR groups could have both phylogenetic and functional roots. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

Crill C.M.,University of Tennessee Health Science Center | Crill C.M.,Le Bonheur Childrens Medical Center | Hak E.B.,UTHSC | Robinson L.A.,Specialized Support Services
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy | Year: 2010

Purpose. Microbial contamination associated with different methods of neonatal intravenous fat emulsion (IVFE) preparation and delivery was evaluated. Methods. Sterility testing was performed on IVFE dispensed via three different methods: (1) in the original container (n = 60), (2) repackaged into a syringe (n = 90), and (3) drawdown of the original container (n = 60). At the end of each infusion (24 hours for methods 1 and 3, 12 hours for method 2), a sample of the IVFE was with-drawn from the container using a sterile syringe in an International Organization for Standardization class 5 hood and sent to the hospital microbiology laboratory, where the samples were introduced into blood culture bottles and incubated for five days. Each sample was then subcultured on a blood agar plate with olive oil and left for an additional two days in a carbon dioxide incubator to assess for Malassezia furfur. Results. None of the samples from the original containers showed bacterial or fungal growth. Three of the samples from syringes had bacterial growth (two samples contained coagulase-negative staphylococcus and one contained both Klebsiella oxytoca and Citrobacter freundii), yielding a contamination rate of 3.3%. The number of contaminated samples did not significantly differ among the three preparation methods (p = 0.13). Conclusion. Repackaging IVFE into sterile syringes resulted in bacterial contamination and should be avoided in clinical practice. IVFE samples obtained using the drawdown procedure under sterile conditions for infusion over 24 hours revealed no microbial contamination. Copyright © 2010, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Sabri F.,University of Memphis | Boughter Jr. J.D.,UTHSC | Gerth D.,UTHSC | Skalli O.,University of Memphis | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Aerogels are a versatile group of nanostructured/nanoporous materials with physical and chemical properties that can be adjusted to suit the application of interest. In terms of biomedical applications, aerogels are particularly suitable for implants such as membranes, tissue growth scaffolds, and nerve regeneration and guidance inserts. The mesoporous nature of aerogels can also be used for diffusion based release of drugs that are loaded during the drying stage of the material. From the variety of aerogels polyurea crosslinked silica aerogels have the most potential for future biomedical applications and are explored here. Methodology: This study assessed the short and long term biocompatibility of polyurea crosslinked silica aerogel implants in a Sprague-Dawley rat model. Implants were inserted at two different locations a) subcutaneously (SC), at the dorsum and b) intramuscularly (IM), between the gluteus maximus and biceps femoris of the left hind extremity. Nearby muscle and other internal organs were evaluated histologically for inflammation, tissue damage, fibrosis and movement (travel) of implant. Conclusion/Significance: In general polyurea crosslinked silica aerogel (PCSA) was well tolerated as a subcutaneous and an intramuscular implant in the Sprague-Dawley rat with a maximum incubation time of twenty months. In some cases a thin fibrous capsule surrounded the aerogel implant and was interpreted as a normal response to foreign material. No noticeable toxicity was found in the tissues surrounding the implants nor in distant organs. Comparison was made with control rats without any implants inserted, and animals with suture material present. No obvious or noticeable changes were sustained by the implants at either location. Careful necropsy and tissue histology showed age-related changes only. An effective sterilization technique for PCSA implants as well as staining and sectioning protocol has been established. These studies further support the notion that silica-based aerogels could be useful as biomaterials. © 2012 Sabri et al. Source

Graves D.T.,University of Pennsylvania | Oates T.,UTHSC
Journal of Oral Microbiology | Year: 2011

Both lesions of endodontic origin and periodontal diseases involve the host response to bacteria and the formation of osteolytic lesions. Important for both is the upregulation of inflammatory cytokines that initiate and sustain the inflammatory response. Also important are chemokines that induce recruitment of leukocyte subsets and bone-resorptive factors that are largely produced by recruited inflammatory cells. However, there are differences also. Lesions of endodontic origin pose a particular challenge since that bacteria persist in a protected reservoir that is not readily accessible to the immune defenses. Thus, experiments in which the host response is inhibited in endodontic lesions tend to aggravate the formation of osteolytic lesions. In contrast, bacteria that invade the periodontium appear to be less problematic so that blocking arms of the host response tend to reduce the disease process. Interestingly, both lesions of endodontic origin and periodontitis exhibit inflammation that appears to inhibit bone formation. In periodontitis, the spatial location of the inflammation is likely to be important so that a host response that is restricted to a subepithelial space is associated with gingivitis, while a host response closer to bone is linked to bone resorption and periodontitis. However, the persistence of inflammation is also thought to be important in periodontitis since inflammation present during coupled bone formation may limit the capacity to repair the resorbed bone. © 2011 Dana T. Graves et al. Source

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