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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2000-2009
 Degree Discipline: Biology
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Unique applications of cultured neuronal networks in pharmacology, toxicology, and basic neuroscience

Unique applications of cultured neuronal networks in pharmacology, toxicology, and basic neuroscience

Date: May 2001
Creator: Keefer, Edward W.
Description: This dissertation research explored the capabilities of neuronal networks grown on substrate integrated microelectrode arrays in vitro with emphasis on utilizing such preparations in three specific application domains: pharmacology and drug development, biosensors and neurotoxicology, and the study of burst and synaptic mechanisms. Chapter 1 details the testing of seven novel AChE inhibitors, demonstrating that neuronal networks rapidly detect small molecular differences in closely related compounds, and reveal information about their probable physiological effects that are not attainable through biochemical characterization alone. Chapter 2 shows how neuronal networks may be used to classify and characterize an unknown compound. The compound, trimethylol propane phosphate (TMPP) elicited changes in network activity that resembled those induced by bicuculline, a known epileptogenic. Further work determined that TMPP produces its effects on network activity through a competitive inhibition of the GABAA receptor. This demonstrates that neuronal networks can provide rapid, reliable warning of the presence of toxic substances, and from the manner in which the spontaneous activity changes provide information on the class of compound present and its potential physiological effects. Additional simple pharmacological tests can provide valuable information on primary mechanisms involved in the altered neuronal network responses. Chapter 3 explores the effects produced ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Age-Dependent Effects Of Chronic GABAA  Receptor Blockade In Barrel Cortex

Age-Dependent Effects Of Chronic GABAA Receptor Blockade In Barrel Cortex

Date: May 2001
Creator: Gargan, Lynn
Description: GABAA receptor binding is transiently increased in rat whisker barrels during the second postnatal week, at a time when neurons in the developing rat cortex are vulnerable to excitotoxic effects. To test whether these GABAA receptors might serve to protect neurons from excessive excitatory input, polymer implants containing the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline were placed over barrel cortex for a 4-day period in young (postnatal days 8 - 12) and adult rats. In the cortex of young, but not adult rats, the chronic blockade of GABAA receptors resulted in substantial tissue loss and neuron loss. The greater loss of neurons in young rats supports the hypothesis that a high density of GABAA receptors protects neurons from excessive excitatory input during a sensitive period in development.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Automated Low-cost Instrument for Measuring Total Column Ozone

Automated Low-cost Instrument for Measuring Total Column Ozone

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Nebgen, Gilbert Bernard
Description: Networks of ground-based and satellite borne instruments to measure ultraviolet (UV) sunlight and total column ozone have greatly contributed to an understanding of increased amounts of UV reaching the surface of the Earth caused by stratospheric ozone depletion. Increased UV radiation has important potential effects on human health, and agricultural and ecological systems. Observations from these networks make it possible to monitor total ozone decreases and to predict ozone recovery trends due to global efforts to curb the use of products releasing chemicals harmful to the ozone layer. Thus, continued and expanded global monitoring of ozone and UV is needed. However, existing automatic stratospheric ozone monitors are complex and expensive instruments. The main objective of this research was the development of a low-cost fully automated total column ozone monitoring instrument which, because of its affordability, will increase the number of instruments available for ground-based observations. The new instrument is based on a high-resolution fiber optic spectrometer, coupled with fiber optics that are precisely aimed by a pan and tilt positioning mechanism and with controlling programs written in commonly available software platforms which run on a personal computer. This project makes use of novel low-cost fiber optic spectrometer technology. A cost ...
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The Use of Genetic Polymorphisms and Discriminant Analysis in Evaluating Genetic Polymorphisms as a Predictor of Population

The Use of Genetic Polymorphisms and Discriminant Analysis in Evaluating Genetic Polymorphisms as a Predictor of Population

Date: May 2002
Creator: Howell, Bruce F.
Description: Discriminant analysis is a procedure for identifying the relationships between qualitative criterion variables and quantitative predictor variables. Data bases of genetic polymorphisms are currently available that group such polymorphisms by ethnic origin or nationality. Such information could be useful to entities that base financial determinations upon predictions of disease or to medical researchers who wish to target prevention and treatment to population groups. While the use of genetic information to make such determinations is unlawful in states and confidentiality and privacy concerns abound, methods for human “redlining” may occur. Thus, it is necessary to investigate the efficacy of the relationship of certain genetic information to ethnicity to determine if a statistical analysis can provide information concerning such relationship. The use of the statistical technique of discriminant analysis provides a tool for examining such relationship.
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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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Neuronal Network Analyses in vitro of Acute Individual and Combined Responses to Fluoxetine and Ethanol

Neuronal Network Analyses in vitro of Acute Individual and Combined Responses to Fluoxetine and Ethanol

Date: August 2002
Creator: Xia,Yun
Description: Embryonic murine neuronal networks cultured on microelectrode arrays were used to quantify acute electrophysiological effects of fluoxetine and ethanol. Spontaneously active frontal cortex cultures showed highly repeatable, dose-dependent sensitivities to both compounds. Cultures began to respond to fluoxetine at 3 µM and were shut off at 10-16 µM. EC50s mean ± S.D. for spike and burst rates were 4.1 ± 1.5 µM and 4.5 ± 1.1 µM (n=14). The fluoxetine inhibition was reversible and without effect on action potential wave shapes. Ethanol showed initial inhibition at 20 mM, with spike and burst rate EC50s at 52.0 ± 17.4 mM and 56.0 ± 17.0 mM (n=15). Ethanol concentrations above 100 -140 mM led to cessation of activity. Although ethanol did not change the shape and amplitude of action potentials, unit specific effects were found. The combined application of ethanol and fluoxetine was additive. Ethanol did not potentiate the effect of fluoxetine.
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Use of Satellite Imagery and GIS to Model Brood-Rearing Habitat for Rio Grande Wild Turkey Populations Occurring in the Western Cross Timbers Region of Texas

Use of Satellite Imagery and GIS to Model Brood-Rearing Habitat for Rio Grande Wild Turkey Populations Occurring in the Western Cross Timbers Region of Texas

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Miller, Christopher J.
Description: Remote sensing and GIS have become standard tools for evaluating spatial components of wildlife habitats. These techniques were implemented to evaluate Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) poult-rearing habitat in the Western Cross Timbers region of Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) random roving turkey counts for 1987-1989 and 1998-2000 were selected, indicating locations where hens with poults were observed. Satellite imagery from 1988 and 1999 was classified and then processed with Patch Analyst. To add robustness, stream, road and census population densities were also evaluated for each turkey location. Analysis of the 1988 canopy cover image, comparing observed locations with randomly-selected habitat cells (N = 20) indicated significant differences (p <.05) for patch edge variables. Mean patch edge was significantly greater for habitat locations where hens with poults were observed than for those selected at random. Spatial data for 1999 did not indicate a significant difference (p < .05) between sampling groups (observed vs. random, N = 30). Significant differences (p <.05) did occur for turkey locations observed in both 1988 and 1999 (N = 7). This demonstrates the adaptability of wild turkey hens, as habitats change over time, hens continued to visit the same locations even though the ...
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Effector response of the aspartate transcarbamoylase from wild type  Pseudomonas putida  and a mutant with 11 amino acids deleted at the N-terminus of PyrB.

Effector response of the aspartate transcarbamoylase from wild type Pseudomonas putida and a mutant with 11 amino acids deleted at the N-terminus of PyrB.

Date: May 2002
Creator: AsFour, Hani
Description: Like its enteric counterpart, aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) from Pseudomonas putida is a dodecamer of two different polypeptides. Unlike the enterics, the Pseudomonas ATCase lacks regulatory polypeptides but employs instead inactive dihydroorotases for an active dodecamer. Previous work showed that PyrB contains not only the active site but also the effector binding sites for ATP, UTP and CTP at its N-terminus. In this work, 11 amino acids were deleted from the N-terminus of PyrB and the ATCase with the truncated protein was expressed in E. coli pyrB- and purified. The wild type enzyme was similarly treated. Velocity-substrate plots without effectors gave Michaelis-Menten kinetics in all cases. Deleting 11 amino acids did not affect dodecameric assembly but altered effector responses. When carbamoylphosphate was varied, the mutant enzyme was inhibited by UTP while the wild type enzyme was activated 2-fold. When the aspartate was varied, CTP had no effect on the mutant enzyme but strongly inhibited the wild type enzyme.
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Enallagma civile (Odonata: Coengrionidae) life history and production in a west Texas playa

Enallagma civile (Odonata: Coengrionidae) life history and production in a west Texas playa

Date: May 2002
Creator: Booker, Jennifer Suzanne
Description: A life history and productivity study of Enallagma civile was conducted in a playa that was located in the southern High Plains of Texas. Other odonates were also studies to identify their contributions to the habitat.
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A Physiological Age-Grading System for Female Hydrellia pakistanae  Deonier (Diptera: Ephydridae)

A Physiological Age-Grading System for Female Hydrellia pakistanae Deonier (Diptera: Ephydridae)

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Lenz, Jennifer Marie
Description: Conflicting opinions about the effectiveness of H. pakistanae as a biological control agent for hydrilla prompt researchers to find a method for assessing the fly's success. Developing a physiological age-grading system for the fly using ovarian morphology to detect changes in reproductive activity is useful for evaluating reproductive status of the fly in field populations. Changes in the appearance of follicular relics in ovaries with oviposition provide a reliable method to estimate fecundity. Characteristics of follicular relics were used to develop a system with eight physiological age classes, three nulliparous and five parous. Changes that occur in the fat body were used to assist in classification of nulliparous females or those with low egg counts.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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