Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Toshihiro Yoshimura

8 Linkage between Trace Element Distribution and Growth Ring Formation in Japanese Red Coral (Paracorallium japonicum)

Authors: Luan Trong Nguyen, M. Azizur Rahman, Yusuke Tamenori, Toshihiro Yoshimura, Nozomu Iwasaki, Hiroshi Hasegawa


This study investigated the distribution of magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P), sulfur (S) and strontium (Sr) using micro X-ray fluorescence (µ-XRF) along the annual growth rings in the skeleton of Japanese red coral Paracorallium japonicum. The Mg, P and S distribution in µ-XRF mapping images correspond to the dark and light bands along the annual growth rings observed in microscopic images of the coral skeleton. The µ-XRF mapping data showed a positive correlation (r = 0.6) between P and S distribution in the coral skeleton. A contrasting distribution pattern of S and Mg along the axial skeleton of P. japonicum indicates a weak negative correlation (r = -0.2) between these two trace elements. The distribution pattern of S, P and Mg reveals linkage between their distributions and the formation of dark/light bands along the annual growth rings in the axial skeleton of P. japonicum. Sulfur and P were distributed in the organic matrix rich dark bands, while Mg was distributed in the light bands of the annual growth rings.

Keywords: µ-XRF, trace element, precious coral, Paracorallium japonicum

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7 Bifunctional Activity and Stability of Fused Plasmodium falciparum Orotate Phosphoribosyltransferase and Orotidine 5′-Monophosphate Decarboxylase

Authors: Patsarawadee Paojinda, Waranya Imprasittichai, Sudaratana R. Krungkrai, Nirianne Marie Q. Palacpac, Toshihiro Horii, Jerapan Krungkrai


Fusion of the last two enzymes in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway in the inversed order by having COOH-terminal orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRT) and NH2-terminal orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase (OMPDC), as OMPDC-OPRT, are described in many organisms. Here, we produced gene fusions of Plasmodium falciparum OMPDC-OPRT and expressed the bifunctional protein in Escherichia coli. The enzyme was purified to homogeneity using affinity and anion-exchange chromatography, exhibited enzymatic activities and functioned as a dimer. The activities, although unstable, can be stabilized by its substrate and product during purification and long-term storage. Furthermore, the enzyme expressed a perfect catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km). The kcat was selectively enhanced up to 3 orders of magnitude, while the Km was not much affected and remained at low µM levels when compared to the monofunctional enzymes. The fusion of the two enzymes, creating a “super-enzyme” with perfect catalytic power and more flexibility, reflects cryptic relationship of enzymatic reactivaties and metabolic functions on molecular evolution.

Keywords: bifunctional enzyme, orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase, plasmodium falciparum

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6 Non-Contact Measurement of Soil Deformation in a Cyclic Triaxial Test

Authors: Erica Elice Uy, Toshihiro Noda, Kentaro Nakai, Jonathan Dungca


Deformation in a conventional cyclic triaxial test is normally measured by using point-wise measuring device. In this study, non-contact measurement technique was applied to be able to monitor and measure the occurrence of non-homogeneous behavior of the soil under cyclic loading. Non-contact measurement is executed through image processing. Two-dimensional measurements were performed using Lucas and Kanade optical flow algorithm and it was implemented Labview. In this technique, the non-homogeneous deformation was monitored using a mirrorless camera. A mirrorless camera was used because it is economical and it has the capacity to take pictures at a fast rate. The camera was first calibrated to remove the distortion brought about the lens and the testing environment as well. Calibration was divided into 2 phases. The first phase was the calibration of the camera parameters and distortion caused by the lens. The second phase was to for eliminating the distortion brought about the triaxial plexiglass. A correction factor was established from this phase. A series of consolidated undrained cyclic triaxial test was performed using a coarse soil. The results from the non-contact measurement technique were compared to the measured deformation from the linear variable displacement transducer. It was observed that deformation was higher at the area where failure occurs.

Keywords: cyclic loading, non-contact measurement, non-homogeneous, optical flow

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5 Effects of a Bacteria-Based Probiotic on Subpopulations of Peripheral Leukocytes and Their Interleukin mRNA Expression in Calves

Authors: Abdul Qadir Qadis, Satoru Goya, Minoru Yatsu, Yu-uki Yoshida, Toshihiro Ichijo, Shigeru Sato


Bacterial probiotics are known to modulate the gut-associated lymphoid and epithelial tissue response to enhance the activities of intestinal and systemic immune system in human and animals. In cattle, the immune-stimulatory effects of probiotics have been evaluated during intestinal disorders. To investigate the effects of probiotic on the function of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, eight healthy Holstein calves (10 ± 3 weeks) were assigned to a 4 × 2 experimental design. The probiotic, consisting of Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium and Clostridium butyricum, was administered orally at 3.0 g/100 kg body weight to calves once daily for 5 consecutive days. Calves given no probiotic served as the control. In the treatment group, increases in numbers of CD282+ monocytes, CD3+ T-cells and CD4+, CD8+ and WC1+ γδ T- cell subsets were noted on day 7 post-placement compared to pre-dose day and the control group. Expression of interleukin-6, interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha was elevated in peripheral leukocytes on days 7 and 14. These results suggest that peripheral blood leukocytes in healthy calves may be stimulated via the gastrointestinal microbiota, which was increased by the oral probiotic treatment. The 5-day repeated administration of a bacterial probiotic may enhance cellular immune function in weaned calves.

Keywords: bacterial-probiotic, calf, interleukin, leukocyte

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4 Expression of Fused Plasmodium falciparum Orotate Phosphoribosyltransferase and Orotidine 5'-Monophosphate Decarboxylase in Escherichia coli

Authors: Waranya Imprasittichai, Patsarawadee Paojinda, Sudaratana R. Krungkrai, Nirianne Marie Q. Palacpac, Toshihiro Horii, Jerapan Krungkrai


Fusion of the last two enzymes in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway in the inversed order by having COOH-terminal orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRT) and NH2-terminal orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase (OMPDC), as OMPDC-OPRT, are described in many organisms. In this study, we constructed gene fusions of Plasmodium falciparum OMPDC-OPRT (1,836 bp) in pTrcHisA vector and expressed as an 6xHis-tag bifunctional protein in three Escherichia coli strains (BL21, Rosetta, TOP10) at 18 °C, 25 °C and 37 °C. The recombinant bifunctional protein was partially purified by Ni-Nitrilotriacetic acid-affinity chromatography. Specific activities of OPRT and OMPDC domains in the bifunctional enzyme expressed in E. coli TOP10 cells were approximately 3-4-fold higher than those in BL21 cells. There were no enzymatic activities when the construct vector expressed in Rosetta cells. Maximal expression of the fused gene was observed at 18 °C and the bifunctional enzyme had specific activities of OPRT and OMPDC domains in a ratio of 1:2. These results provide greater yields and better catalytic activities of the bifunctional OMPDC-OPRT enzyme for further purification and kinetic study.

Keywords: bifunctional enzyme, orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase, plasmodium falciparum

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3 Comparison between Experimental Modeling and HYDRUS-2D for Nitrate Transport through a Saturated Soil Column

Authors: Mohamed Eltarabily, Abdelazim Negm, Chihiro Yoshimura


Recently, the pollution of groundwater from the use of nitrogenous fertilizer is at the increase. Also, due to the increase in area under cultivation and regular use of fertilizer in irrigated agriculture, groundwater pollution from agricultural activities is becoming a major concern. Because of the high mobility of Nitrate (NO3-) in soil which is governed by electrostatic processes, particularly anion exclusion, nitrate can be intercepted by shallow subsurface drainage pipe systems and then discharged offsite into streams, rivers, and lakes causing many hazards. In order to solve these environmental problems associated with nitrate, a better understanding of how NO3- moves through the soil profile under flow conditions is required. In the present paper, the results of a comparative study between experimental and numerical modeling of Nitrate transport through a saturated soil column are presented and analyzed. In order to achieve that, three water fluxes densities; 0.008, 0.007, and 0.006 m sec-1 and N concentration rates 10 mol cm-3 were used. The same concentrations were used in the simulation using HYDRUS-2D. The physical and chemical properties of the collected soil samples were calculated. Besides, the soil texture was determined which was silty sand. Results showed that HYDRUS-2D can successfully predict the relative behavior of N transport in the present experiment. Nitrate concentrations will reach deeper depth with the increase in the water flux. Overall, it was overestimated in the final concentration of (NO3-) in the soil by numerical simulation than by experimental column test. The column experiment is a useful tool for assessing the nitrate concentrations in the soil profile.

Keywords: groundwater, nitrate leaching, HYDRUS-2D, soil column

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2 Angiogenic, Cytoprotective, and Immunosuppressive Properties of Human Amnion and Chorion-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Authors: Kenichi Yamahara, Makiko Ohshima, Shunsuke Ohnishi, Hidetoshi Tsuda, Akihiko Taguchi, Toshihiro Soma, Hiroyasu Ogawa, Jun Yoshimatsu, Tomoaki Ikeda


We have previously reported the therapeutic potential of rat fetal membrane(FM)-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) using various rat models including hindlimb ischemia, autoimmune myocarditis, glomerulonephritis, renal ischemia-reperfusion injury, and myocardial infarction. In this study, 1) we isolated and characterized MSCs from human amnion and chorion; 2) we examined their differences in the expression profile of growth factors and cytokines; and 3) we investigated the therapeutic potential and difference of these MSCs using murine hindlimb ischemia and acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) models. Isolated MSCs from both amnion and chorion layers of FM showed similar morphological appearance, multipotency, and cell-surface antigen expression. Conditioned media obtained from amnion- and chorion-derived MSCs inhibited cell death caused by serum starvation or hypoxia in endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes. Amnion and chorion MSCs secreted significant amounts of angiogenic factors including HGF, IGF-1, VEGF, and bFGF, although differences in the cellular expression profile of these soluble factors were observed. Transplantation of human amnion or chorion MSCs significantly increased blood flow and capillary density in a murine hindlimb ischemia model. In addition, compared to human chorion MSCs, human amnion MSCs markedly reduced T-lymphocyte proliferation with the enhanced secretion of PGE2, and improved the pathological situation of a mouse model of GVHD disease. Our results highlight that human amnionand chorion-derived MSCs, which showed differences in their soluble factor secretion and angiogenic/immuno-suppressive function, could be ideal cell sources for regenerative medicine.

Keywords: amnion, chorion, fetal membrane, mesenchymal stem cells

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1 Towards Real-Time Classification of Finger Movement Direction Using Encephalography Independent Components

Authors: Mohamed Mounir Tellache, Hiroyuki Kambara, Yasuharu Koike, Makoto Miyakoshi, Natsue Yoshimura


This study explores the practicality of using electroencephalographic (EEG) independent components to predict eight-direction finger movements in pseudo-real-time. Six healthy participants with individual-head MRI images performed finger movements in eight directions with two different arm configurations. The analysis was performed in two stages. The first stage consisted of using independent component analysis (ICA) to separate the signals representing brain activity from non-brain activity signals and to obtain the unmixing matrix. The resulting independent components (ICs) were checked, and those reflecting brain-activity were selected. Finally, the time series of the selected ICs were used to predict eight finger-movement directions using Sparse Logistic Regression (SLR). The second stage consisted of using the previously obtained unmixing matrix, the selected ICs, and the model obtained by applying SLR to classify a different EEG dataset. This method was applied to two different settings, namely the single-participant level and the group-level. For the single-participant level, the EEG dataset used in the first stage and the EEG dataset used in the second stage originated from the same participant. For the group-level, the EEG datasets used in the first stage were constructed by temporally concatenating each combination without repetition of the EEG datasets of five participants out of six, whereas the EEG dataset used in the second stage originated from the remaining participants. The average test classification results across datasets (mean ± S.D.) were 38.62 ± 8.36% for the single-participant, which was significantly higher than the chance level (12.50 ± 0.01%), and 27.26 ± 4.39% for the group-level which was also significantly higher than the chance level (12.49% ± 0.01%). The classification accuracy within [–45°, 45°] of the true direction is 70.03 ± 8.14% for single-participant and 62.63 ± 6.07% for group-level which may be promising for some real-life applications. Clustering and contribution analyses further revealed the brain regions involved in finger movement and the temporal aspect of their contribution to the classification. These results showed the possibility of using the ICA-based method in combination with other methods to build a real-time system to control prostheses.

Keywords: brain-computer interface, electroencephalography, finger motion decoding, independent component analysis, pseudo real-time motion decoding

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