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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Biology
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Pyrimidine Enzyme Specific Activity at Four Different Phases of Growth in Minimal and Rich Media, and Concomitant Virulence Factors Evaluation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Pyrimidine Enzyme Specific Activity at Four Different Phases of Growth in Minimal and Rich Media, and Concomitant Virulence Factors Evaluation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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Date: December 2005
Creator: Azad, Kamran Nikkhah
Description: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative rod, aerobic, non-fermenting, oxidase positive, pigment producing, and nutritionally versatile bacterium. Infections by P. aeruginosa are the most important cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients, given virulence factor production that suppresses antibiotic therapy and promotes persistent infection. This research is the first comprehensive report of the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway for all phases of growth in minimal and rich media coupled with the evaluation of virulence factor production of P. aeruginosa in comparison to four other bacterial species (Pseudomonas putida, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Burkholderia cepacia, and Escherichia coli wild-type strains). Cellular growth and passing genetic information to the next generation depend on the synthesis of purines and pyrimidines, the precursors of DNA and RNA. The pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway is essential and found in most organisms, with the exception of a few parasites that depend upon the pyrimidine salvage pathway for growth. Both the pyrimidine biosynthetic and salvage enzymes are targets for chemotherapeutic agents. In our laboratory, research on pyrimidine auxotrophic mutants showed the role of the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway and its intermediates on P. aeruginosa metabolism and impaired virulence factors production. The present research shows that pyrimidine enzymes are active in all phases of growth, ...
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Autoradiographic localization of carbachol-induced second messenger response in the rat spinal cord following inflammation.

Autoradiographic localization of carbachol-induced second messenger response in the rat spinal cord following inflammation.

Date: May 2002
Creator: Moore, Jack
Description: This study examined central mechanisms of persistent pain using an autoradiographic technique to localize phosphoinositide hydrolysis (PI) in the rat spinal cord dorsal horn. The lateral half of laminae I-II showed the highest levels of baseline PI turnover and carbachol-stimulated PI turnover in normal animals as well as after inflammation. Inflammation resulted in increased baseline PI turnover in this region of the ipsilateral (76%) and contralateral (65%) dorsal horns. Carbachol increased PI turnover in this region in normal rats (55%) and following inflammation (ipsilateral: 46%, contralateral: 45%). The absolute magnitudes of these increases were 1.85, 2.71, and 2.51 nCi/mg, respectively. The results of this study demonstrate the involvement of PI turnover in neural mechanisms of persistent pain, and provide evidence for the involvement of cholinergic systems in this process. Because spinal cholinergic systems have been reported to be anti-nociceptive, the present results appear to reflect an upregulation of anti-nociceptive activity in response to inflammation. Thus, the spinal cholinergic system may be a regulatory site within the anti-nociceptive pathway, and may provide an attractive target for the development of new therapeutic agents.
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A Study of the Pyrimidine Biosynthesis Pathway and its Regulation in Two Distinct Organisms:  Methanococcus jannaschii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

A Study of the Pyrimidine Biosynthesis Pathway and its Regulation in Two Distinct Organisms: Methanococcus jannaschii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Date: December 2001
Creator: Patel, Seema R.
Description: Methanococcus jannaschii is a thermophilic methane producing archaebacterium. In this organism genes encoding the aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) catalytic (PyrB) and regulatory (PyrI) polypeptides were found. Unlike Escherichia coli where the above genes are expressed from a biscistronic operon the two genes in M. jannaschii are separated by 200-kb stretch of genome. Previous researchers have not been able to show regulation of the M. jannaschii enzyme by the nucleotide effectors ATP, CTP and UTP. In this research project we have genetically manipulated the M. jannaschii pyrI gene and have been able to assemble a 310 kDa E. coli like enzyme. By using the second methionine in the sequence we have shown that the enzyme from this organism can assemble into a 310 kDa enzyme and that this enzyme is activated by ATP, CTP and inhibited by UTP. Thus strongly suggesting that the second methionine is the real start of the gene. The regulation of the biosynthetic pathway in Pseudomoans aeruginosa has previously been impossible to study due to the lack of CTP synthase (pyrG) mutants. By incorporating a functional uridine (cytidine) kinase gene from E. coli it has been possible to isolate a pyrG mutant. In this novel mutant we have ...
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Application of cultured neuronal networks for use as biological sensors in water toxicology and lipid signaling.

Application of cultured neuronal networks for use as biological sensors in water toxicology and lipid signaling.

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Date: August 2004
Creator: Dian, Emese Emöke
Description: This dissertation research explored the capabilities of neuronal networks grown on substrate integrated microelectrode arrays in vitro to be applied to toxicological research and lipid signaling. Chapter 1 details the effects of chlorine on neuronal network spontaneous electrical activity and pharmacological sensitivity. This study demonstrates that neuronal networks can maintain baseline spontaneous activity, and respond normally to pharmacological manipulations in the present of three times the chlorine present in drinking water. The findings suggest that neuronal networks may be used as biological sensors to monitor the quality of water and the presence of novel toxicants that cannot be detected by conventional sensors. Chapter 2 details the neuromodulatory effects of N-acylethanolamides (NAEs) on the spontaneous electrical activity of neuronal networks. NAEs are a group of lipids that can mimic the effects of marijuana and can be derived from a variety of plant sources including soy lecithin. The most prominent NAEs in soy lecithin, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and linoleoylethanolamide (LEA), were tested individually and were found to significantly inhibit neuronal spiking and bursting activity. These effects were potentiated by a mixture of NAEs as found in a HPLC enriched fraction from soy lecithin. Cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1-R) antagonists and other cannabinoid pathway modulators indicated ...
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Effects of methanol, atrazine, and copper on the ultrastructure of Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata (Selenastrum capricornutum).

Effects of methanol, atrazine, and copper on the ultrastructure of Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata (Selenastrum capricornutum).

Date: May 2004
Creator: Garrett, David C.
Description: The toxicity of methanol, atrazine, and copper to Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata (Korshikov) Hindák historically referred to as Selenastrum capricornutum Printz were determined following 96 hrs growth in a modified Goram's growth media. Methanol and atrazine inhibited fluorescence readings in the cultures by 50% (IC50) at concentrations of 2% and 82 µg/l respectively. These toxicity values compared favorably to other published reports. The IC50 for copper was 160 µg/l which is substantially higher than reported values. This is understandable because of the high chelating capacity of Goram's media. The use of stereologically derived relative volume in the chloroplasts, mitochondria, lipid bodies, phosphate bodies, and nucleus was investigated to determine if it could be used as a sensitive endpoint in toxicity tests. The volume fractions for the chloroplasts and mitochondria were normally distributed in control cells while the nuclei, phosphate bodies, and lipid bodies were not. The chloroplasts were the most dominate organelle occupying a mean relative volume of 46% and mitochondria occupied a mean relative volume of 3%. The nucleus and phosphate bodies occupied a median relative volume of 7% and 2% respectively. The lipid bodies were rare in section profile and no meaningful median relative volume could be calculated. Up to ...
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The stonefly genus Isogenoides Klapálek (Plecoptera: Perlodidae) of North America: Systematics, behavior and ecology.

The stonefly genus Isogenoides Klapálek (Plecoptera: Perlodidae) of North America: Systematics, behavior and ecology.

Date: May 2005
Creator: Sandberg, John Burton
Description: The stonefly genus Isogenoides is revised following a holomorphological approach utilizing traditional morphology and behavioral lines of evidence. Species keys are provided for all life stages. One species, I. krumholzi (Ricker) is considered a synonym of I. doratus (Frison). Detailed species descriptions are provided for males, females, nymphs and ova. Distributions are updated utilizing all known published accounts and materials examined. The vibrational communication (drumming) behavior is reported for males and all but one species for females. The signals were species-specific and ranged in complexity from ancestral sequenced duets to derived grouped exchanges. I. olivaceus is least specialized, having mostly sequenced duets, and I. zionensis most specialized, displaying ancestral sequenced, derived grouped and complex derived exchanges containing both sequenced and grouped elements. Laboratory egg incubation experiments over a 2-4 year period show that Isogenoides has a great capacity for extended, sometimes-asynchronous diapause and hatching. The eggs of six species were incubated at a single, ca. simulated San Miguel River, Colorado, seasonal temperature regime. Direct hatch within two weeks occurred only for I. zionensis (Leopard Creek, Colorado) with small numbers hatching again after one, two, and four years. Eggs of I. doratus and I. varians hatched after an over summer, 3-5 ...
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The developmental physiology of the zebrafish: Influence of environment and cardiovascular attributes

The developmental physiology of the zebrafish: Influence of environment and cardiovascular attributes

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Date: August 2001
Creator: Bagatto, Brian
Description: Temperature effects on the development of the zebrafish embryos and larvae and adults were examined. It was found that the earlier in development a temperature change was performed on an embryo, the more significant the change in survival and/or subsequent development. Thus, viable temperature ranges for zebrafish widened significantly as development proceeded. Adults reared and bred at 25oC produced embryos that were significantly more successful at the lower range of rearing temperatures compared to embryos produced from adults reared at 28oC. The majority of this study focused on the physiological effects of swim training during development in the zebrafish. The earlier in development the zebrafish larvae were trained, the greater the mortality. Trained free swimming larvae had a significantly higher routine oxygen consumption after 11 days of training, and a higher mass specific routine metabolic rate after 8 and 11 days of training. Trained free swimming larvae consumed significantly less oxygen during swimming and were more efficient at locomotion, compared to control larvae. Training enhanced survival during exposure to extreme hypoxia in all age groups. Performance aspects of training were investigated in attempt to quantify training effects and in most cases, trained fish performed significantly better than controls. As blood ...
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Tests of a New Model of Paclitaxel-Induced Neuropathy and the Effects of Paclitaxel on the Dorsal Root Ganglia

Tests of a New Model of Paclitaxel-Induced Neuropathy and the Effects of Paclitaxel on the Dorsal Root Ganglia

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Date: August 2011
Creator: McWilliams, Steven P.
Description: This study examined a new model of paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain and the effects of systemic paclitaxel on the gap junction protein subunit Cx43 and potassium inwardly-rectifying channel Kir4.1 within the dorsal root ganglia. In the new neuropathic pain model, subplantar injections of paclitaxel resulted in decreased conduction velocities of A-beta fiber compound action potentials in the sciatic (5.9%) and tibial nerves (6.8%) as well as in M (10.6%) and H (10.2%) waves. By using repeated recordings it was found that following paclitaxel injection, conduction velocities in the contralateral plantar nerve increased (9.2%). Systemic injections of paclitaxel resulted in reduced Kir4.1 immunolabeling in the dorsal root ganglia compared to vehicle injections. This reduction was observed in total labeling (32.4%) as well as in areas of intense labeling (28.7%). Reductions in overall Cx43 immunolabeling (25%) and area (25%) following systemic paclitaxel injections were not statistically significant. The results of these studies suggest that subplantar injections of paclitaxel can result in reduced peripheral nerve conduction velocities. The results also show that a unilateral neuropathy can result in contralateral changes in conduction velocities. The effects of paclitaxel on reducing Kir4.1 levels suggest that neuropathic pain caused by paclitaxel may share mechanisms in common with ...
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Investigations of neuronal network responses to electrical stimulation in murine spinal cultures.

Investigations of neuronal network responses to electrical stimulation in murine spinal cultures.

Date: December 2001
Creator: Sparks, Christopher A.
Description: Spontaneous activity in neuronal networks in vitro is common and has been well documented. However, alteration of spontaneous activity in such networks via conditioning electrical stimulation has received much less experimental attention. Two different patterns of electrical stimulation were used to enhance or depress the level of spontaneous activity in spinal cord cultures. High-frequency stimulation (HFS), a method routinely shown to increase the efficacy of synaptic transmission, was employed to augment spontaneous activity. Low-frequency stimulation (LFS), the technique often applied to depress synaptic efficacy, was employed to decrease spontaneous activity. In addition, LFS was used to reverse the effect of HFS on spontaneous activity. Likewise, HFS was applied to counter the effect of LFS. Because these networks were grown on multi-microelectrode plates (MMEPs), this allowed the simultaneous stimulation of any combination of the 64 electrodes in the array. Thus, the possible differences in response to single versus multi-electrode stimulation were also addressed. Finally, test-pulses were delivered before and after the conditioning stimulation on the same stimulation electrode(s) in order to assess the change in mean evoked action potentials (MEAPs). Dissociated spinal tissue from embryonic mice was allowed to mature into self-organized networks that exhibited spontaneous bursting activity after two weeks ...
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Comparative morphology of sensilla styloconica on the proboscis of North American Nymphalidae and other selected taxa (Lepidoptera): systematic and ecological considerations.

Comparative morphology of sensilla styloconica on the proboscis of North American Nymphalidae and other selected taxa (Lepidoptera): systematic and ecological considerations.

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Date: December 2001
Creator: Petr, Daniel
Description: Sensilla styloconica on the proboscis of 107 species of North American and tropical butterflies were comparatively studied using the scanning electron microscope. Focus was on 76 species of North American Nymphalidae representing 45 genera and 11 subfamilies. Nomenclature for generalized and specific types of nymphalid sensilla is proposed. Written descriptions and micrographs are presented for each species studied. Morphological features were generally consistent for all or most species within genera and sometimes within subfamilies, with specified exceptions. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences for six of eight variables tested between two distinct feeding guilds of North American Nymphalidae. Average number, density, extent of proboscis coverage with sensilla, their total length, and shoulder spine length were all significantly greater in the non-nectar feeding guild than in nectar feeders, and may indicate adaptation for greater efficiency in feeding on flat surfaces. The greater frequency of apical shoulder spines in non-nectar feeders may represent adaptation for protection of sensory pegs from mechanical abrasion during feeding, or for anchoring the flexible proboscis tip to the surface. Correlation analysis revealed 9 out of 28 positive correlations in nectar feeders and 5 out of 28 in non-nectar feeders. Results of preliminary cladistic analysis were not considered to ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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