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

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 by a radical simplification of synaptic driving forces. With all synaptic interactions pharmacologically limited to those mediated through the NMDA synapse, spinal cord networks exhibited an extremely regular burst oscillation characterized by a period of 2.9 ± 0.3 s, with mean coefficients of variation of 3.7, 4.7, and 4.9 % for burst rate, burst duration, and inter-burst interval, respectively (16 separate cultures). The reliability of expression of this oscillation suggests that it may represent a fundamental mechanism of importance during periods of NMDA receptor dominated activity, such as embryonic and early postnatal development. NMDA synapse mediated activity produces a precise ...
Date: May 2001
Creator: Keefer, Edward W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Light Spectra Distributions in Temperate Conifer-Forest Canopy Gaps, Oregon and in Tropical Cloud-Forest Canopy, Venezuela

Description: Light spectra distributions were measured in two different montane forests: temperate and tropical. Spectral light measurements were made in different sized canopy gaps in the conifer forest at H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon, USA. Researchers at Oregon State University created these gaps of 20 m, 30 m, and 50 m in diameter. In the tropical cloud forest, spectral light measurements were made in two plots that were permanently established at La Mucuy Parque Nacional in Venezuela, in collaboration with researchers at Universidad de Los Andes. In both studies, spectra and distributions of physiologically active light were analyzed: red, far-red, R/FR ratio, and blue light.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Monteleone, Susan Elaine
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Gargan, Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Automated Low-cost Instrument for Measuring Total Column Ozone

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 advantage is gained over available units by placing one end of the fiber outdoors to collect sunlight and convey it indoors, thereby allowing the spectrometer and computer to be placed in a controlled environment. This reduces the cost of weatherproofing and thermal compensation. Cost savings also result from a simplified sun targeting system, because only a small pan and tilt device is required to aim the lightweight fiber optic ends. Precision sun-targeting algorithms, optical filter selection, and software to derive ozone from spectral measurements by the spectrometer are a major contribution of this project. This system is a flexible platform ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Nebgen, Gilbert Bernard
Partner: UNT Libraries

Studies on the Morphology and Biology of Cotton Rats (Sigmodon hispidus) from Northern Mexico to Southern Nebraska

Description: This investigation was designed to evaluate the need for retaining both Sigmodon hispidus texianus and Sigmodon hispidus berlandieri as subspecific designations. An attempt was made to demonstrate bioclimatic variation and reproductive seasonality in cotton rats. The validity of applying the results of isolated studies of cotton rat populations to the species as a whole was examined.
Date: December 1971
Creator: Cleveland, Arthur Gordon
Partner: UNT Libraries

Primary Productivity and Nutrient Relationships in Garza-Little Elm Reservoir

Description: A large, multi-basin, reservoir (Garza-Little Elm Reservoir) in north central Texas was studied to determine the relative effects of various parameters on primary productivity. The basins were impounded several years apart,thus allowing the influence of age on water chemistry and biota to be considered. Another principal influence on water quality was secondary sewage effluent that entered one basin from a nearby source.
Date: May 1973
Creator: Smith, Jerry Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Ecology and Paleobiogeography of Freshwater Mussels (Family: Unionidae) from Selected River Basins in Texas

Description: This dissertation has two overall objectives: first, to demonstrate the utility of paleozoological data for ongoing and future mussel-conservation efforts in Texas and second, to evaluate whether simple measures of habitat (e.g., water depth, velocity and particle size) are important for demonstrating the within-habitat spatial separation of mussels. Although these topics may seem disparate, both are important for increasing our understanding of unionid ecology and biogeography. Chapters 1 through 3 examine the use of paleozoological data for mussel conservation. Although these types of data are not new they have rarely been used in mussel conservation efforts within Texas. This is unfortunate because paleozoological data can provide an excellent record of the mussel fauna prior to wide-scale modern impacts and in areas where historical survey data are lacking. Chapter 4 examines whether assessments of microhabitat for mussels using simple measures of habitat (e.g., water velocity, depth and particle size) are useful. Recent studies have suggested that these measures do not explain the mussel distribution in flowing streams. If this is correct, instream flow studies using this approach need to be revised. Results of Chapter 4 indicate that mussels in the lower Brazos River basin are constrained in distribution by the availability of heterogenous substrate. Appendix A, details the first account of a living population of Truncilla macrodon, which is a candidate species for the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The population was found while conducting mussel instream flow studies in the lower Brazos River basin.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Randklev, Charles R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigation of Pyrimidine Salvage Pathways to Categorize Indigenous Soil Bacteria of Agricultural and Medical Importance and Analysis of the Pyrimidine Biosynthetic Pathway's Enzyme Properties for Correlating Cell Morphology to Function in All Phases of Growth

Description: This dissertation comprises three parts and is presented in two chapters. Chapter 1 concerns Arthrobacter, a bacterium with an intriguing growth cycle. Whereas most bacteria exist as either a rod or coccus, this bacterium shares the rod/coccus lifestyle. It therefore seemed important to examine the growth regulatory pathways from the rod and coccus. The committed step, that catalyzed by aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase), in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway was chosen. The ATCase in Arthrobacter is like the well known Pseudomonas enzyme except that it has an active dihydroorotase (DHOase) associated. Included in Chapter 1 is the description of a microorganism, Burkholderia cepacia, whose ATCase has characteristics that are at once reminiscent of bacteria, mammals, and fungi. It differs in size or aggregation based on environmental conditions. In addition, it has an active DHOase associated with the ATCase, like Arthrobacter. B. cepacia is important both medically and for bioremediation. Since B. cepacia is resistant to most antibiotics, its unique ATCase is a prime target for inhibition. Whereas the first chapter deals with the de novo pathway to making pyrimidines, which is found mainly in the lag and log phase, Chapter 2 addresses the salvage pathway, which comes more into play during the stationary phase. This section focuses on the isolation, identification, and grouping of a number of natural soil bacteria from various soil locations. These organisms are important agriculturally, medically, and industrially. Addition of these soil isolates to poor soils has been found to improve the soil. In a previous study by D.A. Beck, the salvage schemes for a number of laboratory strains of microorganisms were determined. Nine separate classes of salvage were designated by determining the salvage enzymes present. In this study emphasis has been placed on soil bacteria, which had not previously been analyzed. A number of species of soil ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Meixner, Jeffery Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Morphological and physiological developmental consequences of parental effects in the chicken embryo (Gallus gallus domesticus) and the zebrafish larva (Danio rerio).

Description: Cardiac, metabolic and growth response of early-stage chicken embryos to perturbations in yolk environment was investigated. Also, effects of parental hypoxia exposure on hypoxia resistance, thermal tolerance and body length of zebrafish larvae were investigated. In the first study, thyroxine, triiodothyronine and testosterone produced differential effects on heart rate and development rate of chicken embryos during the first 4 days of development. Triiodothyronine caused a dose-dependent increase in heart rate when applied at 40 or 70 hours of age, while thyroxine caused a dose-dependent increase in heart rate when applied at 40 hours only. Testosterone and propyl-thiouracil (deiodinase antagonist) did not have an effect on heart rate. Development rate was not changed by thyroxine, triiodothyronine, testosterone or propyl-thiouracil, which suggested that heart rate changes did not result from changes in embryo maturity. In the second study, chicken embryos exposed to yolks of different bird species during early-stage embryonic development showed changes in heart rate, mass-specific oxygen consumption and body mass that scaled with the egg mass, incubation period length, and yolk triiodothyronine and testosterone levels of the species from which yolk was derived. In the third study, this phenomenon was investigated between layer and broiler chickens. Heart rate, oxygen consumption and body mass of broiler and layer embryos were significantly changed by a breed-specific change in yolk environment. Yolk triiodothyronine and testosterone concentrations of broiler and layer eggs did not suggest that these hormones were responsible for physiological and morphological changes observed. The final study demonstrated that hypoxia resistance and body lengths, but not thermal tolerance of zebrafish larvae was increased by parental hypoxia exposure.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Ho, Dao H.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Light and Electron Microscope Studies on the Chemotherapeutic Effect of a Combination of Dimethyl Sulfoxide and Hematoxylin on a Transplantable Lymphosarcoma

Description: Investigations concerning the cellular response of tumor tissue to treatment with dimethyl sulfoxide and hematoxylin have not been reported. To establish the response of neoplastic tissue and cells to this combination of agents, this study was undertaken to determine the effects of dimethyl sulfoxide and hematoxylin on a transplantable lymphosarcoma in mice.
Date: January 1970
Creator: Rogers, Thomas D., 1939-
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Immune Response of Guinea Pigs as Influenced by Hypobaric Pressure and Normoxic Environment (Part I); Membrane Filter-Fluorescent-Antibody Method for Detection and Enumeration of Bacteria in Water (Part II)

Description: In this work experimental design and tests were established to determine whether antibody production in guinea pigs injected with a bacterial antigen is Influenced by the environment of simulated high altitude with normoxic conditions. Hematological and electrophoretic studies were simultaneously run with the antibody determinations as a check on related responses of the animals.
Date: August 1969
Creator: Reeder, Dennis James
Partner: UNT Libraries

Serological Characterization of Members of the Genus Streptomyces

Description: This investigation involved isolation and characterization of specific antigenic materials from known species of Streptomyces. The resulting antigens were then used to establish serological relationships between a number of different species. These groupings were, in turn, compared with similar studies recently established by the ISP, in which other taxonomic criteria were used. By these means, the serological characteristics of the Streptomyces were evaluated for their potential utility as added taxonomic tools in the establishment of species designations within this group.
Date: August 1968
Creator: Taylor, Gerald Roger
Partner: UNT Libraries

Odorous Metabolite and Other Selected Studies of Cyanophyta

Description: The purpose of this study was as follows: 1. Elucidate the laboratory conditions under which Anabaena circinalis produces the noxious odor component or components in maximum concentration, 2. Isolate the major noxious odorous metabolite(s), 3. Structurally define the odorous metabolite(s), 4. Quantitate the amount of metabolite(s) that a given amount of the organism produced.
Date: August 1970
Creator: Henley, Don E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Food, Feeding Selectivity, and Ecological Efficiencies of Fundulus notatus (Rafinesque) (Osteichthyes; Cyprinodontidae)

Description: This study was made to further define the trophic dynamics of Fundulus notatus by determining its ration composition under natural conditions, measuring feeding selectivity under various laboratory conditions of prey-species composition and availability, and determining the efficiencies with which F. notatus utilizes ingested chironomid larvae.
Date: August 1970
Creator: Atmar, Gerald Legare
Partner: UNT Libraries

Carbon Flux in Reservoir Sediments

Description: The central objective of the study was to fractionate sedimenting organic materials according to their source (allochthonous or autochthonous) and ultimately to determine the degree of biodegradability of contributions from either source with particular reference to activities at the mud-water interface.
Date: May 1973
Creator: Newton, Charles Eugene
Partner: UNT Libraries

Polycyclic-Aromatic-Hydrocarbon-Induced Alterations in the Physio-Chemical Characteristics of Escherechia Coli Dexyribonucleic Acid

Description: Prior to 1965 the interactions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) had been but moderately studied. It was concluded that, although a controversy existed, an apparent interaction occurred between DNA and certain aromatic hydrocarbon molecules and that the interaction was not an artifact of the reaction system.
Date: August 1969
Creator: Chapel, J. Frederick (James Frederick)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Selected Physiological and Biochemical Studies on Blue-Green Algae

Description: Twenty-two different unialgal clonal isolates have been obtained at random for experimental purposes over a period of about one year. Also, during this period, at least 12 other species or strains have been isolated into unialgal cultures which had not yet been identified and/or significantly cleared of heterotrophic contaminants.
Date: August 1969
Creator: Wyatt, Jimmy T. (Jimmy Trueman), 1922-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparative biochemistry and genetic analysis of nucleoside hydrolase in Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Pseudomonas fluorescens.

Description: The pyrimidine salvage enzyme, nucleoside hydrolase, is catalyzes the irreversible hydrolysis of nucleosides into the free nucleic acid base and D-ribose. Nucleoside hydrolases have varying degrees of specificity towards purine and pyrimidine nucleosides. In E. coli, three genes were found that encode homologues of several known nucleoside hydrolases in protozoa. All three genes (designated yaaF, yeiK, and ybeK) were amplified by PCR and cloned. Two of the gene products (yeiK and ybeK) encode pyrimidine-specific nucleoside hydrolases, while the third (yaaF) encodes a nonspecific nucleoside hydrolase. All three were expressed at low levels and had different modes of regulation. As a comparative analysis, the homologous genes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and P. fluorescens (designated nuh) were cloned. Both were determined to encode nonspecific nucleoside hydrolases. The nucleoside hydrolases of the pseudomonads exhibited markedly different modes of regulation. Both have unique promoter structures and genetic organization. Furthermore, both pseudomonad nucleoside hydrolase were found to contain an N-terminal extension of 30-35 amino acids that is shown to act as a periplasmic-signaling sequence. These are the first two nucleoside hydrolases, to date,that have been conclusively demonstrated to be exported to the periplasmic space. The physiological relevance of this is explained.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Fields, Christopher J.
Partner: UNT Libraries