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Full-Text Articles in Organisms

Cannabinoids And Retinal Fibrotic Disorders., Lucy June Sloan May 2022

Cannabinoids And Retinal Fibrotic Disorders., Lucy June Sloan

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Retinal fibrosis is detrimental to vision. Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells contribute to several retinal fibrotic diseases. Upon exposure to TGF-β, a key fibrotic cytokine, RPE cells trans-differentiate to myofibroblasts marked by the integration of α-SMA fibers into F-actin stress fibers, which confer strong contractility. Myofibroblasts produce and contract the collagen-rich fibrotic scar and disrupt retinal architecture. In this study, we investigated the in vitro effects of the putative endocannabinoid compound N-oleoyl dopamine (OLDA) on TGF-β2 induced porcine RPE cell contraction and α-SMA expression. Using an in vitro collagen matrix contraction assay, we found that OLDA inhibited TGF-β2 induced contraction …


Genital Chlamydia Infection Is Influenced By The Female Sex Hormones Estrogen And Progesterone In Vivo, Amy Gail Gravitte Dec 2021

Genital Chlamydia Infection Is Influenced By The Female Sex Hormones Estrogen And Progesterone In Vivo, Amy Gail Gravitte

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the United States and worldwide. It often goes unnoticed due to lack of symptoms and left untreated it can ascend the female genital tract to cause sequelae like pelvic inflammatory disease and irreversible tubal infertility. In reproductive-aged women, female sex hormones estrogen (E2) and progesterone (P4) concentrations fluctuate during the menstrual cycle and are influenced by hormonal contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. E2 and P4 influence genital Chlamydia infection in women and mice, but these multifactorial interactions are not entirely mapped out. The complex interplay of E2 and P4 with …


Hemin Utilization In Rhizobium Leguminosarum Atcc 14479, John Lusby May 2021

Hemin Utilization In Rhizobium Leguminosarum Atcc 14479, John Lusby

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Rhizobium leguminosarum is a Gram negative, motile, nitrogen-fixing soil bacterium. Due to the scarcity of iron in the soil bacteria have developed a wide range of iron scavenging systems. The two types of iron scavenging systems used are indirect and direct. In-silico analysis of the genome identified a unique direct iron scavenging system the Hmu operon. This system has been identified in other closely related rhizobium species and is believed to be involved in utilizing heme compounds as a sole source of iron. We have attempted to characterize the role of the Hmu operon in iron utilization by monitoring the …


Plasmodium Impairs Antibacterial Innate Immunity To Systemic Infections In Part Through Hemozoin-Bound Bioactive Molecules., Christopher Lynn Harding Aug 2020

Plasmodium Impairs Antibacterial Innate Immunity To Systemic Infections In Part Through Hemozoin-Bound Bioactive Molecules., Christopher Lynn Harding

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Despite efforts to decrease the global health burden of malaria, infections with Plasmodium species continue to cause over 200 million episodes of malaria each year which resulted in 405,000 deaths in 2018 [1]. One complication of malaria is increased susceptibility to invasive bacterial infections. Plasmodium infections impair host immunity to non-Typhoid Salmonella (NTS) through activities of heme oxygenase I (HO-I) )-induced release of immature granulocytes and myeloid cell-derived IL-10. Yet, it is not known if these mechanisms are specific to NTS. We show here, that Plasmodium yoelii 17XNL (Py) infected mice had impaired clearance of systemic Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) during …


Discovery Of Distinct Mechanisms Underlying The Relationship Between Drug Taking And Predisposing Behaviors, Tyler A. Roy May 2020

Discovery Of Distinct Mechanisms Underlying The Relationship Between Drug Taking And Predisposing Behaviors, Tyler A. Roy

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Drug addiction is a heritable disease characterized by compulsive drug use. The biological mechanisms driving addiction remain largely unknown.1 Previous studies show shared genetic mechanisms underlying addiction risk phenotypes such as anxiety, depression, and novelty/sensation seeking.2,3 Therefore, high-throughput behavioral screening of these traits in single gene knockout mice can allow for the rapid detection of addiction risk candidate genes and mechanisms. Many of these traits are represented in the Knock-Out Mouse Program (KOMP) phenotyping pipeline. Of the initial two hundred twenty-one strains screened in this program, we tested nineteen phenodeviant knock-out mouse strains with C57BL/6NJ controls (N = …


Evaluating The Occurrence Of Age-Related Peripheral Neuropathy In Het3 Mice And Development Of A Whole Tissue Imaging Technique For Analyzing Total Innervation In The Subcutaneous Adipose Depot, Jake Willows Dec 2019

Evaluating The Occurrence Of Age-Related Peripheral Neuropathy In Het3 Mice And Development Of A Whole Tissue Imaging Technique For Analyzing Total Innervation In The Subcutaneous Adipose Depot, Jake Willows

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Adipose tissue can be characterized as either being a white (energy storing) depot or a brown (energy expending) depot and both have been found to contain dense networks of neural innervation. This adipose nerve supply regulates numerous metabolic functions and likely plays an important role in the function of adipose blood vessels. Recently our lab has shown in the C57BL/6 mouse model that peripheral neuropathy, or the dying back and dysfunction of the nerves in the superficial tissues such as the skin, can extend into the subcutaneous adipose tissue in conditions commonly associated with the neuropathic phenotype (i.e. diabetes, obesity, …


The Potential For Dickeya Dianthicola To Be Vectored By Two Common Insect Pests Of Potatoes, Jonas K. Insinga Dec 2019

The Potential For Dickeya Dianthicola To Be Vectored By Two Common Insect Pests Of Potatoes, Jonas K. Insinga

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Dickeya dianthicola (Samson) causing blackleg and soft rot was first detected in potatoes grown in Maine in 2014. Previous work has suggested that insects, particularly aphids, may be able to vector bacteria in this genus between plants, but no conclusive work has been done to confirm this theory. In order to determine whether insect-mediated transmission is likely to occur in potato fields, two model potato pests common in Maine were used: the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decimlineata Say) and the green peach aphids (Myzus persicae Sulzer). Olfactometry and recruitment experiments evaluated if either insect discriminates between infected and …


The Role Of Non-Neuronal Acetylcholine In Urogenital Chlamydial Infection, Jessica R. Lockhart Dec 2018

The Role Of Non-Neuronal Acetylcholine In Urogenital Chlamydial Infection, Jessica R. Lockhart

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Chlamydia trachomatiscauses a bacterial sexually transmitted infection, Chlamydia, that is often chronic and casues reproductive complications in women. We hypothesized that Chlamydia infection increases local acetylcholine (ACh) production, which regulates the host’s inflammatory response to the infection. Female mice infected with C. muridarumwere sacrificed at days 3, 9, 15, and 21 post-infection, genital tract tissues harvested, and immunohistochemistry performed to enumerate ACh-producing cells. Infection increased the number of ACh-producing cells in cervical tissue at days 3,15, and 21 post-infection (pi), uterine tissue at day 3 and 9 pi, and ovarian tissue day 3, 15, and 21 pi. These …


Characterizing The Role Of Fungal Shape In A Zebrafish Model Of Invasive Candidiasis, Brittany Seman Jun 2018

Characterizing The Role Of Fungal Shape In A Zebrafish Model Of Invasive Candidiasis, Brittany Seman

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Candida albicans is a common hospital-acquired fungal infection, and disseminated disease claims up to one-half of those afflicted. C. albicans has a unique ability to differentiate its shape during infection, and this differentiation is thought to be a major virulence factor during invasive infections. Each shape is proposed to have a specialized role: filaments drive tissue invasion and yeast mediate dissemination to the bloodstream. However, it has been difficult to test these hypotheses for two reasons. First, rigorous testing of shape-specific roles requires diverse strategies of shape modulation that restrict the possibility of manipulation-specific artifacts. Second, although connecting shape to …


Nutritional Virulence Of Legionella Pneumophila., Ashley M. Best May 2018

Nutritional Virulence Of Legionella Pneumophila., Ashley M. Best

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Legionella pneumophila is an environment organism that parasitizes a wide range of protozoa. Growth within the environmental host primes L. pneumophila for infection of human alveolar macrophages when contaminated aerosols are inhaled. Intracellular replication within either host requires the establishment a replicative niche, known as the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV). Biogenesis of the LCV depends on the type IVb translocation system, the Dot/Icm, to translocation >320 effectors into the host cytosol. Effectors are responsible for preventing lysosome fusion to the LCV, recruitment of ER-derived vesicles to the LCV, and modulation of a plethora of host processes to promote the intracellular …


Type Ix Secretion System : Characterization Of An Effector Protein And An Insight Into The Role Of C-Terminal Domain Dimeration In Outer Membrane Translocation., Lahari Koneru Dec 2017

Type Ix Secretion System : Characterization Of An Effector Protein And An Insight Into The Role Of C-Terminal Domain Dimeration In Outer Membrane Translocation., Lahari Koneru

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Porphyromonas gingivalis and Tannerella forsythia are two of the primary pathogens that are associated in the etiology and progression of chronic periodontitis. In T. forsythia, KLIKK proteases are the recently identified group of proteolytic enzymes that are secreted through Type IX secretion system (T9SS). Among, these KLIKK proteases a synergistic relationship was observed between karilysin and mirolysin in invading the host complement system for the survival of the bacteria. Since, karilysin has been already characterized, in this study we propose to study about mirolysin through structural, biochemical and biological characterization. The obtained results from the experiments has shown the …


Effects Of Acute Sepsis On Renal Structure And Sympathetic Innervation In Mice, Tuqa Alkhateeb Aug 2017

Effects Of Acute Sepsis On Renal Structure And Sympathetic Innervation In Mice, Tuqa Alkhateeb

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Sympathetic nerves are important for renal physiology and sepsis pathophysiology. A recent study showed sprouting of sympathetic nerves in spleen of septic mice. This study was done to test if renal sprouting of sympathetic nerves also happens and to investigate renal morphology in septic mice. Cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) was used to induce sepsis and kidneys were removed for evaluation. Bowman’s space was diminished with cortical bubble cells present suggestive of acute renal pathology, however, renal function was unchanged. Acute sepsis did not affect either renal sympathetic innervation or non-neuronal cholinergic cells. Mouse kidneys had more epinephrine (EPI) than …


An Analysis Of Neurogenesis In A Mouse Model Of Chemotherapy Related Cognitive Impairment, Maxwell A. Hennings May 2017

An Analysis Of Neurogenesis In A Mouse Model Of Chemotherapy Related Cognitive Impairment, Maxwell A. Hennings

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Cancer patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy often experience cognitive decline following treatment. This phenomenon, often dubbed “chemo brain” or “chemo fog” is usually temporary, but for a subset of survivors, these cognitive impairments can be long-lasting (>10 years) and negatively affect patients’ quality of life, career performance, and social fulfillment. While it is unclear what neurobiological mechanisms underlie chemotherapy related cognitive impairment, the majority of the animal literature has focused on adult neurogenesis. One process important for neurogenesis is the proliferation of new neurons within the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. It is evident that many chemotherapy agents can …


Range-Wide Prevalence And Impacts Of Pseudocercosporella Inconspicua On Lilium Grayi And An Assessment Of L. Superbum And L. Michauxii As Reservoirs, Cindy L. Barrett May 2017

Range-Wide Prevalence And Impacts Of Pseudocercosporella Inconspicua On Lilium Grayi And An Assessment Of L. Superbum And L. Michauxii As Reservoirs, Cindy L. Barrett

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Lilium grayi (Gray’s Lily), a southern Appalachian endemic species, is threatened by a Lilium-specific fungal pathogen, Pseudocercosporella inconspicua. The disease is characterized by tan lesions that can cause early senescence, while also lowering seed production and viability. This project tested for P. inconspicua conidia and accessed health at nine locations. The disease was present and ubiquitous across the range of L. grayi. Through identification of P. inconspicua conidia in the field, L. superbum (Turk’s Cap Lily) was identified as an additional host, while L. michauxii (Michaux’s Lily) was disease-free. However, infection was inducible in both species. With …


Dynamic Host-Pathogen Interactions Result In Fungal Epitope Unmasking, Alex Hopke Aug 2016

Dynamic Host-Pathogen Interactions Result In Fungal Epitope Unmasking, Alex Hopke

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Molecular camouflage is used by a diverse set of pathogens to disguise their identity and avoid recognition by protective host receptors. The opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans is a good example, as it masks the inflammatory component β-glucan in its cell wall to evade detection by the immune receptor Dectin-1. Interestingly, it has been seen that β-glucan becomes unmasked during infection in vivo, though the underlying mechanisms remained unclear. Exposure levels of this epitope may be important, as Dectin-1 mediates protection from some strains of C. albicans and alterations in the organization and composition of the Candida cell wall …


Regulating Rsma Expression In Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Sean D. Stacey Aug 2013

Regulating Rsma Expression In Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Sean D. Stacey

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative bacillus, commonly infects immunocompromised individuals and uses a variety of virulence factors to persist in these hosts. The posttranscriptional regulator, RsmA, plays a role in the expression of many virulence factors in P. aeruginosa. RsmA up regulates virulence factors used in colonizing hosts. However, regulation of rsmA is not well elucidated. Transposon mutagenesis was performed on P. aeruginosa containing a transcriptional rsmA-lacZ fusion to answer this question. Mutants were screened via β-galactosidase assay and transposon insertions identified via arbitrary PCR. A probable MFS transporter, we named mtpX, was one significant transposon mutant identified. …


Influence Of Soil Microorganisms On Plant Growth And Fitness, Benjamin Jayne Jan 2012

Influence Of Soil Microorganisms On Plant Growth And Fitness, Benjamin Jayne

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Most terrestrial plants benefit from symbiosis with soil microorganisms. Symbiotic bacteria and fungi have wide-ranging effects on host plants, including improved nutrition, disease resistance, and drought tolerance. Association with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) can enhance growth and protect plants from environmental stressors while they share products of photosynthesis with the resident fungi. Scores of studies indicate that mycorrhizal plants are more resistant to drought stress than their non-mycorrhizal counterparts. Use of microbes as a plant and soil supplement in home gardens represents a sustainable alternative to resource-intensive inputs and may allow for reduced water use. I investigated the effects of …


Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Degradation By Novel Bacteria Isolated From Burrow Sediments Of Marine Benthic Macrofauna, Wai Ki Chung Dec 2001

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Degradation By Novel Bacteria Isolated From Burrow Sediments Of Marine Benthic Macrofauna, Wai Ki Chung

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are significant environmental pollutants and represent a severe health threat. Many cosmopolitan areas including coastal environments are heavily impacted by PAH. This research investigates the isolation of PAH-degrading bacteria from burrow sediment of marine benthic macrofauna and their potential in bioremediation. Macrofaunal burrow sediment is biogeochemically distinct from bulk sediment and has high microbial activities. Samples were collected from a local uncontaminated cove and PAH degradation potential was measured by incubating sediment slurries with exogenous PAH. Burrow sediments from two polychaetes and a mollusc showed significantly higher PAH degradation potential than the bulk sediment. The degradation …