Browsing by Subject "RESPONSES"

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  • Jalkanen, Pinja; Pasternack, Arja; Maljanen, Sari; Melen, Krister; Kolehmainen, Pekka; Huttunen, Moona; Lundberg, Rickard; Tripathi, Lav; Khan, Hira; Ritvos, Mikael A.; Naves, Rauno; Haveri, Anu; Österlund, Pamela; Kuivanen, Suvi; Jääskeläinen, Anne J.; Kurkela, Satu; Lappalainen, Maija; Rantasärkkä, Kaisa; Vuorinen, Tytti; Hytönen, Jukka; Waris, Matti; Tauriainen, Sisko; Ritvos, Olli; Kakkola, Laura; Julkunen, Ilkka (2021)
    Background. Primary diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is based on detection of virus RNA in nasopharyngeal swab samples. In addition, analysis of humoral immunity against SARS-CoV-2 has an important role in viral diagnostics and seroprevalence estimates. Methods. We developed and optimized an enzyme immunoassays (EIA) using SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein (N), Si and receptor binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein, and N proteins from SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and 4 low-pathogenic human CoVs. Neutralizing antibody activity was compared with SARS-CoV-2 IgG, IgA, and IgM EIA results. Results. The sensitivity of EIA for detecting immune response in COVID-19 patients (n = 101) was 77% in the acute phase and 100% in the convalescent phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection when N and RBD were used as antigens in IgG and IgA specific EIAs. SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly increased humoral immune responses against the 229E and NL63 N proteins. Si and RBD-based EIA results had a strong correlation with microneutralization test results. Conclusions. The data indicate a combination of SARS-CoV-2 Si or RBD and N proteins and analysis of IgG and IgA immunoglobulin classes in sera provide an excellent basis for specific and sensitive serological diagnostics of COVID-19.
  • Adam, Magdy; Salla, Kati; Aho, Riikka; Hänninen, Laura; Taponen, Suvi; Norring, Marianna; Raekallio, Marja; Hokkanen, Ann-Helena (2021)
    Objective To compare the sedative effects of intramuscular xylazine alone or combined with levomethadone or ketamine in calves before cautery disbudding. Study design Randomized, blinded, clinical trial. Animals A total of 28 dairy calves, aged 21 +/- 5 days and weighing 61.0 +/- 9.3 kg (mean +/- standard deviation). Methods Calves were randomly allocated to three groups: xylazine (0.1 mg kg(-1)) and levomethadone (0.05 mg kg(-1); group XL), xylazine (0.1 mg kg(-1)) and ketamine (1 mg kg(-1); group XK) and xylazine alone (0.2 mg kg(-1); group X). Local anaesthesia (procaine hydrochloride) and meloxicam were administered subcutaneously 15 minutes after sedation and 15 minutes before disbudding. The calves' responses to the administration of local anaesthesia and disbudding were recorded. Sedation was assessed at baseline and at intervals up to 240 minutes postsedation. Times of recumbency, first head lift and first standing were recorded. Drug plasma concentrations were measured. Results Data were obtained from 27 animals. All protocols resulted in sedation sufficient to administer local anaesthesia and to perform disbudding. Sedation scores significantly correlated with drug plasma concentrations (p Conclusions and clinical relevance Levomethadone or ketamine with a low dose of xylazine produced short but sufficient sedation for local anaesthesia and disbudding with minimum resistance.
  • Valori, Miko; Jansson, Lilja; Kiviharju, Anna; Ellonen, Pekka; Rajala, Hanna; Awad, Shady; Mustjoki, Satu; Tienari, Pentti J. l (2017)
    Somatic mutations have a central role in cancer but their role in other diseases such as autoimmune disorders is poorly understood. Earlier work has provided indirect evidence of rare somatic mutations in autoreactive T-lymphocytes in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients but such mutations have not been identified thus far. We analysed somatic mutations in blood in 16 patients with relapsing MS and 4 with other neurological autoimmune disease. To facilitate the detection of somatic mutations CD4 +, CD8 +, CD19 + and CD4-/CD8-/CD19- cell subpopulations were separated. We performed next-generation DNA sequencing targeting 986 immune related genes. Somatic mutations were called by comparing the sequence data of each cell subpopulation to other subpopulations of the same patient and validated by amplicon sequencing. We found non-synonymous somatic mutations in 12 (60%) patients (10 MS, 1 myasthenia gravis, 1 narcolepsy). There were 27 mutations, all different and mostly novel (67%). They were discovered at subpopulation-wise allelic fractions of 0.2%-4.6% (median 0.95%). Multiple mutations were found in 8 patients. The mutations were enriched in CD8 + cells (85% of mutations). In follow-up after a median time of 2.3 years, 96% of the mutations were still detectable. These results unravel a novel class of persistent somatic mutations, many of which were in genes that may play a role in autoimmunity (ATM, BTK, CD46, CD180, CLIP2, HMMR, IKEF3, ITGB3, KIR3DL2, MAPK10, CD56/NCAM1, RBM6, RORA, RPM and STAT3). Whether some of this class of mutations plays a role in disease is currently unclear, but these results define an interesting hitherto unknown research target for future studies. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.
  • Ala-Kurikka, Tommi; Pospelov, Alexey; Summanen, Milla; Alafuzoff, Aleksander; Kurki, Samu; Voipio, Juha; Kaila, Kai (2021)
    Objective Birth asphyxia (BA) is often associated with seizures that may exacerbate the ensuing hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. In rodent models of BA, exposure to hypoxia is used to evoke seizures, that commence already during the insult. This is in stark contrast to clinical BA, in which seizures are typically seen upon recovery. Here, we introduce a term-equivalent rat model of BA, in which seizures are triggered after exposure to asphyxia. Methods Postnatal day 11-12 male rat pups were exposed to steady asphyxia (15 min; air containing 5% O-2 + 20% CO2) or to intermittent asphyxia (30 min; three 5 + 5-min cycles of 9% and 5% O-2 at 20% CO2). Cortical activity and electrographic seizures were recorded in freely behaving animals. Simultaneous electrode measurements of intracortical pH, Po-2, and local field potentials (LFPs) were made under urethane anesthesia. Results Both protocols decreased blood pH to Significance The rate of brain pH recovery has a strong influence on post-asphyxia seizure propensity. The recurring hypoxic episodes during intermittent asphyxia promote neuronal excitability, which leads to seizures only after the suppressing effect of the hypercapnic acidosis is relieved. The present rodent model of BA is to our best knowledge the first one in which, consistent with clinical BA, behavioral and electrographic seizures are triggered after and not during the BA-mimicking insult.
  • Baggio, Francesca; Hetzel, Udo; Nufer, Lisbeth; Kipar, Anja; Hepojoki, Jussi (2021)
    Viruses need cells for their replication and, therefore, ways to hijack cellular functions. Mitochondria play fundamental roles within the cell in metabolism, immunity and regulation of homeostasis due to which some viruses aim to alter mitochondrial functions. Herein we show that the nucleoprotein (NP) of arenaviruses enters the mitochondria of infected cells, affecting the mitochondrial morphology. Reptarenaviruses cause boid inclusion body disease (BIBD) that is characterized, especially in boas, by the formation of cytoplasmic inclusion bodies (IBs) comprising reptarenavirus NP within the infected cells. We initiated this study after observing electron-dense material reminiscent of IBs within the mitochondria of reptarenavirus infected boid cell cultures in an ultrastructural study. We employed immuno-electron microscopy to confirm that the mitochondrial inclusions indeed contain reptarenavirus NP. Mutations to a putative N-terminal mitochondrial targeting signal (MTS), identified via software predictions in both mamm- and reptarenavirus NPs, did not affect the mitochondrial localization of NP, suggesting that it occurs independently of MTS. In support of MTS-independent translocation, we did not detect cleavage of the putative MTSs of arenavirus NPs in reptilian or mammalian cells. Furthermore, in vitro translated NPs could not enter isolated mitochondria, suggesting that the translocation requires cellular factors or conditions. Our findings suggest that MTS-independent mitochondrial translocation of NP is a shared feature among arenaviruses. We speculate that by targeting the mitochondria arenaviruses aim to alter mitochondrial metabolism and homeostasis or affect the cellular defense.
  • Sageman-Furnas, Katelyn; Nurmi, Markus; Contag, Meike; Ploetner, Bjoern; Alseekh, Saleh; Wiszniewski, Andrew; Fernie, Alisdair R.; Smith, Lisa M.; Laitinen, Roosa A. E. (2022)
    Hybrids between Arabidopsis thaliana accessions are important in revealing the consequences of epistatic interactions in plants. F-1 hybrids between the A. thaliana accessions displaying either defense or developmental phenotypes have been revealing the roles of the underlying epistatic genes. The interaction of two naturally occurring alleles of the OUTGROWTH-ASSOCIATED KINASE (OAK) gene in Sha and Lag2-2, previously shown to cause a similar phenotype in a different allelic combination in A. thaliana, was required for the hybrid phenotype. Outgrowth formation in the hybrids was associated with reduced levels of salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and abscisic acid in petioles and the application of these hormones mitigated the formation of the outgrowths. Moreover, different abiotic stresses were found to mitigate the outgrowth phenotype. The involvement of stress and hormone signaling in outgrowth formation was supported by a global transcriptome analysis, which additionally revealed that TCP1, a transcription factor known to regulate leaf growth and symmetry, was downregulated in the outgrowth tissue. These results demonstrate that a combination of natural alleles of OAK regulates growth and development through the integration of hormone and stress signals and highlight the importance of natural variation as a resource to discover the function of gene variants that are not present in the most studied accessions of A. thaliana.
  • Voutilainen, Liisa; Henttonen, Pentti; Kahri, Mikko; Kivioja, Maari; Ravaja, Niklas; Sams, Mikko; Perakyla, Anssi (2014)
  • Zhu, Yongjie; Wang, Xiaoyu; Mathiak, Klaus; Toiviainen, Petri; Ristaniemi, Tapani; Xu, Jing; Chang, Yi; Cong, Fengyu (2021)
    To examine the electrophysiological underpinnings of the functional networks involved in music listening, previous approaches based on spatial independent component analysis (ICA) have recently been used to ongoing electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). However, those studies focused on healthy subjects, and failed to examine the group-level comparisons during music listening. Here, we combined group-level spatial Fourier ICA with acoustic feature extraction, to enable group comparisons in frequency-specific brain networks of musical feature processing. It was then applied to healthy subjects and subjects with major depressive disorder (MDD). The music-induced oscillatory brain patterns were determined by permutation correlation analysis between individual time courses of Fourier-ICA components and musical features. We found that (1) three components, including a beta sensorimotor network, a beta auditory network and an alpha medial visual network, were involved in music processing among most healthy subjects; and that (2) one alpha lateral component located in the left angular gyrus was engaged in music perception in most individuals with MDD. The proposed method allowed the statistical group comparison, and we found that: (1) the alpha lateral component was activated more strongly in healthy subjects than in the MDD individuals, and that (2) the derived frequency-dependent networks of musical feature processing seemed to be altered in MDD participants compared to healthy subjects. The proposed pipeline appears to be valuable for studying disrupted brain oscillations in psychiatric disorders during naturalistic paradigms.
  • Malhotra, Rajneesh; Kurian, Nisha; Zhou, Xiao-Hong; Jiang, Fanyi; Monkley, Susan; DeMicco, Amy; Clausen, Ib G.; Dellgren, Göran; Edenro, Goran; Ahdesmaki, Miika J.; Clausen, Maryam; Oberg, Lisa; Israelsson, Elisabeth; Belfield, Graham; Vaarala, Outi (2017)
    Background BET proteins (BRD2, BRD3, BRDT and BRD4) belong to the family of bromodomain containing proteins, which form a class of transcriptional co-regulators. BET proteins bind to acetylated lysine residues in the histones of nucleosomal chromatin and function either as co-activators or co-repressors of gene expression. An imbalance between HAT and HDAC activities resulting in hyperacetylation of histones has been identified in COPD. We hypothesized that pan-BET inhibitor (JQ1) treatment of BET protein interactions with hyperacety-lated sites in the chromatin will regulate excessive activation of pro-inflammatory genes in key inflammatory drivers of alveolar macrophages (AM) in COPD. Methods and findings Transcriptome analysis of AM from COPD patients indicated up-regulation of macrophage M1 type genes upon LPS stimulation. Pan-BET inhibitor JQ1 treatment attenuated expression of multiple genes, including pro-inflammatory cytokines and regulators of innate and adaptive immune cells. We demonstrated for the first time that JQ1 differentially modulated LPS-induced cytokine release from AM or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of COPD patients compared to PBMC of healthy controls. Using the BET regulated gene signature, we identified a subset of COPD patients, which we propose to benefit from BET inhibition. Conclusions This work demonstrates that the effects of pan-BET inhibition through JQ1 treatment of inflammatory cells differs between COPD patients and healthy controls, and the expression of BET protein regulated genes is altered in COPD. These findings provide evidence of histone hyperacetylation as a mechanism driving chronic inflammatory changes in COPD.
  • Hamari, S.; Kirveskoski, T.; Glumoff, V.; Kulmala, P.; Simell, O.; Knip, M.; Veijola, R. (2016)
    Our aim was to study whether the aberrant amount or function of regulatory T cells is related to the development of type 1 diabetes (T1D) in children. We also set out to investigate the balance of different T cell subtype markers during the T1D autoimmune process. Treg cells were quantified with flow cytometric assay, and the suppression capacity was analysed with a carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE)-based T cell suppression assay in children in various phases of T1D disease process and in healthy autoantibody-negative control children. The mRNA expression of different T cell subpopulation markers was analysed with real-time qPCR method. The proportion and suppression capacity of regulatory T cells were similar in seroconverted children at an early stage of beta cell autoimmunity and also in children with T1D when compared to healthy and autoantibody-negative children. Significant differences were observed in the mRNA expression of different T cell subpopulation markers in prediabetic children with multiple (2) autoantibodies and in children with newly diagnosed T1D when compared to the control children. In conclusion, there were no quantitative or functional differences in regulatory T cells between the case and control groups in any phase of the autoimmune process. Decreased mRNA expression levels of T cell subtype markers were observed in children with multiple islet autoantibodies and in those with newly diagnosed T1D, probably reflecting an exhaustion of the immune system after the strong immune activation during the autoimmune process or a generally aberrant immune response related to the progression of the disease.
  • Zhu, Yanshan; Chew, Keng Yih; Wu, Melanie; Karawita, Anjana C.; McCallum, Georgina; Steele, Lauren E.; Yamamoto, Ayaho; Labzin, Larisa I.; Yarlagadda, Tejasri; Khromykh, Alexander A.; Wang, Xiaohui; Sng, Julian D. J.; Stocks, Claudia J.; Xia, Yao; Kollmann, Tobias R.; Martino, David; Joensuu, Merja; Meunier, Frederic A.; Balistreri, Giuseppe; Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle; Bowen, Asha C.; Kicic, Anthony; Sly, Peter D.; Spann, Kirsten M.; Short, Kirsty R. (2022)
    Children typically experience more mild symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) when compared to adults. There is a strong body of evidence that children are also less susceptible to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection with the ancestral viral isolate. However, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) has been associated with an increased number of pediatric infections. Whether this is the result of widespread adult vaccination or fundamental changes in the biology of SARS-CoV-2 remain to be determined. Here, we use primary nasal epithelial cells (NECs) from children and adults, differentiated at an air-liquid interface to show that the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 replicates to significantly lower titers in the NECs of children compared to those of adults. This was associated with a heightened antiviral response to SARS-CoV-2 in the NECs of children. Importantly, the Delta variant also replicated to significantly lower titers in the NECs of children. This trend was markedly less pronounced in the case of Omicron. It is also striking to note that, at least in terms of viral RNA, Omicron replicated better in pediatric NECs compared to both Delta and the ancestral virus. Taken together, these data show that the nasal epithelium of children supports lower infection and replication of ancestral SARS-CoV-2, although this may be changing as the virus evolves.
  • He, Suxu; Ran, Chao; Qin, Chubin; Li, Shuning; Zhang, Hongling; de Vos, Willem M.; Ringo, Einar; Zhou, Zhigang (2017)
    In this study, we tested the distribution of 49 Lactobacillus strains in the mucus and mucosa of the intestine tissue of zebrafish. We observed a progressive change in the spatial distribution of Lactobacillus strains, and suggested a division of the strains into three classes: mucus type (>70% in mucus), mucosa type (>70% in mucosa) and hybrid type (others). The hybrid type strains were more efficient in protection of zebrafish against Aeromonas hydrophila infection. Three strains representing different distribution types (JCM1149, CGMCC1.2028, and JCM 20300) were selected. The mucosa type strain JCM1149 induced higher intestinal expression of inflammatory cytokines and Hsp70 than the other strains. Furthermore, we used L. rhamnosus GG and its mutant (PB22) lacking SpaCBA pili to investigate the influence of pili on spatial distribution. LGG showed a mucosa type distribution, while PB22 revealed a hybrid distribution and the disease protection was accordingly improved. The different protection ability between LGG and PB22 did not involve the intestinal microbiota, however, LGG induced injury to the mucosa of zebrafish. Collectively, the disease protection activity of Lactobacillus in zebrafish is correlated with their spatial distribution in the intestinal tissue, with strains showing a balanced distribution (hybrid type) more efficient in protection.
  • Lindström, Stafva; Timonen, Sari; Sundström, Liselotte; Johansson, Helena (2019)
    Biotic and abiotic characteristics shape the microbial communities in the soil environment. Manipulation of soil, performed by ants when constructing their nests, radically changes the soil characteristics and creates a unique environment, which differs in its composition, frequency and abundance of microbial taxa, from those in the reference soils. We sampled nests of the mound-building ant Formica exsecta, and the surrounding reference soils over a three-month period, and generated NGS (Illumina MiSeq), and T-RFLP data of the bacterial and fungal communities. We used ordination techniques and network analysis to disclose the community structure, and we assessed the variation in diversity, evenness and enrichment of taxa between the two environments. We also used indicator analysis to identify the potential core microbiome of the nests. Our results show that the bacterial and fungal communities, in the rigorously curated nest environment, are significantly different from those in the reference soils, in terms of community structure and enrichment of characteristic indicator taxa. We demonstrate that the nests represent a niche, where microbial species can adapt and diverge from the communities in the surrounding soils. Our findings contribute to our understanding of the composition and function of microbiomes in fragmented habitats.
  • Mahil, Satveer K.; Twelves, Sophie; Farkas, Katalin; Setta-Kaffetzi, Niovi; Burden, A. David; Gach, Joanna E.; Irvine, Alan D.; Kepiro, Laszlo; Mockenhaupt, Maja; Oon, Hazel H.; Pinner, Jason; Ranki, Annamari; Seyger, Marieke M. B.; Soler-Palacin, Pere; Storan, Eoin R.; Tan, Eugene S.; Valeyrie-Allanore, Laurence; Young, Helen S.; Trembath, Richard C.; Choon, Siew-Eng; Szell, Marta; Bata-Csorgo, Zsuzsanna; Smith, Catherine H.; Di Meglio, Paola; Barker, Jonathan N.; Capon, Francesca (2016)
    Prominent skin involvement is a defining characteristic of autoinflammatory disorders caused by abnormal IL-1 signaling. However, the pathways and cell types that drive cutaneous autoinflammatory features remain poorly understood. We sought to address this issue by investigating the pathogenesis of pustular psoriasis, a model of autoinflammatory disorders with predominant cutaneous manifestations. We specifically characterized the impact of mutations affecting AP1S3, a disease gene previously identified by our group and validated here in a newly ascertained patient resource. We first showed that AP1S3 expression is distinctively elevated in keratinocytes. Because AP1S3 encodes a protein implicated in autophagosome formation, we next investigated the effects of gene silencing on this pathway. We found that AP1S3 knockout disrupts keratinocyte autophagy, causing abnormal accumulation of p62, an adaptor protein mediating NF-kappa B activation. We showed that as a consequence, AP1S3-deficient cells up-regulate IL-1 signaling and overexpress IL-36 alpha, a cytokine that is emerging as an important mediator of skin inflammation. These abnormal immune profiles were recapitulated by pharmacological inhibition of autophagy and verified in patient keratinocytes, where they were reversed by IL-36 blockade. These findings show that keratinocytes play a key role in skin autoinflammation and identify autophagy modulation of IL-36 signaling as a therapeutic target.
  • Wang, Qian; Lintunen, Anna; Zhao, Ping; Shen, Weijun; Salmon, Yann; Chen, Xia; Ouyang, Lei; Zhu, Liwei; Ni, Guangyan; Sun, Dan; Rao, Xinquan; Holtta, Teemu (2020)
    Prerequisite for selection of appropriate tree species in afforestation programs is to understand their water use strategy. Acacia mangium Willd., Schima wallichii Choisy, and Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook are the three main vegetation restoration pioneer species in southern China, but no comparative research on the water use strategy of these three tree species have been reported. Our objective was to gain a detailed understanding of how photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), vapor pressure deficit (VPD), and soil water content (SWC) at different soil depths control the sap flux density (J(s)) in the dry and wet seasons. We measured the J(s) of these three tree species by using the thermal dissipation method in low subtropical China. We found that both S. wallichii and C. lanceolata differed clearly in their stomatal behavior from one season to another, while A. mangium did not. The canopy conductance per sapwood area of S. wallichii and C. lanceolata was very sensitive to VPD in the dry season, but not in the wet season. The J(s) of A. mangium was negatively correlated to SWC in all soil layers and during both seasons, while the other two species were not sensitive to SWC in the deeper layers and only positively correlated to SWC in dry season. Our results demonstrate that the three species have distinct water use strategies and may therefore respond differently to changing climate.
  • Quarto, Tiziana; Blasi, Giuseppe; Maddalena, Chiara; Viscanti, Giovanna; Lanciano, Tiziana; Soleti, Emanuela; Mangiulli, Ivan; Taurisano, Paolo; Fazio, Leonardo; Bertolino, Alessandro; Curci, Antonietta (2016)
    The human ability of identifying, processing and regulating emotions from social stimuli is generally referred as Emotional Intelligence (EI). Within EI, Ability EI identifies a performance measure assessing individual skills at perceiving, using, understanding and managing emotions. Previous models suggest that a brain "somatic marker circuitry" (SMC) sustains emotional sub-processes included in EI. Three primary brain regions are included: the amygdala, the insula and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Here, our aim was to investigate the relationship between Ability EI scores and SMC activity during social judgment of emotional faces. Sixty-three healthy subjects completed a test measuring Ability EI and underwent fMRI during a social decision task (i.e. approach or avoid) about emotional faces with different facial expressions. Imaging data revealed that EI scores are associated with left insula activity during social judgment of emotional faces as a function of facial expression. Specifically, higher EI scores are associated with greater left insula activity during social judgment of fearful faces but also with lower activity of this region during social judgment of angry faces. These findings indicate that the association between Ability EI and the SMC activity during social behavior is region- and emotionspecific.
  • Rantalainen, V.; Lahti, J.; Henriksson, M.; Kajantie, E.; Mikkonen, M.; Eriksson, J. G.; Räikkönen, Katri (2018)
    Background. Being breastfed in infancy has been shown to benefit neurodevelopment. However, whether the benefits persist to old age remains unclear. Methods. We examined the associations between breastfeeding and its duration on cognitive ability in young adulthood and old age, and on aging-related cognitive change over five decades. In total, 931 men from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study born in 1934-1944 in Finland took the Finnish Defence Forces Basic Intellectual Ability Test (total and verbal, arithmetic and visuospatial subtest scores) twice, at ages 20.2 and 67.9 years, and had data on breastfeeding (yes v. no) and its duration ('never breastfed', 'up to 3', '3 to 6' and 6 or more months'). Linear and mixed model regressions tested the associations. Results. At 20.2 years, breastfed men had higher cognitive ability total and visuospatial subtest scores [mean differences (MDs) ranged between 3.0-3.9, p values <0.013], and its longer duration predicted higher cognitive ability total and arithmetic and visuospatial subtest scores (MDs ranged between 3.0 and 4.8, p values <0.039). At 67.9 years, breastfed men had higher total cognitive ability and all subtest scores (MDs ranged between 2.6 and 3.4, p values <0.044) and its longer duration predicted all cognitive ability scores (MDs ranged between 3.1 and 4.7, p values <0.050). Verbal subtest scores decreased over five decades in men who were never breastfed or were breastfed for 3 months or less, and increased in those breastfed for longer than 3 months. Conclusions. Neurodevelopmental advantages of breastfeeding and its longer duration persist into old age, and longer duration of breastfeeding may benefit aging-related change, particularly in verbal reasoning ability.
  • Karhula, Kati; Harma, Mikko; Sallinen, Mikael; Lindholm, Harri; Hirvonen, Ari; Elovainio, Marko; Kivimaki, Mika; Vahtera, Jussi; Puttonen, Sampsa (2016)
    Although the prevalence of work-related stress has increased, knowledge on the contributions of that stress to long-term adverse health effects is still lacking. Stress biomarkers can reveal early signs of negative health effects, but no previous studies have measured both acute stress reactions and long-term exposure to job strain using both salivary cortisol and -amylase (AA). The present study examines the association between job strain and these biomarkers among shift-working female health care professionals in the laboratory and the field. The 95 participants were recruited from hospital wards categorized in either the top (high job strain [HJS] group, n = 42) or the bottom quartile of job strain (low job strain [LJS] group, n = 53), as rated by survey responses. Participants' self-perceived job strain was at least as high or low as the ward's average estimation. Saliva samples were collected during the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), preselected morning and night shifts, and a day off. There was a larger increase in the cortisol concentration of participants in the HJS than in the LJS group (2.27- vs. 1.48-fold, respectively, nonsignificant) during the TSST. Participants in the HJS group also had higher salivary AA levels 30 min after awakening on the morning-shift day than those in the LJS group (p = .02), whereas the salivary cortisol awakening response on the day off was higher in the LJS group (p = .05, education as a covariate). The remaining stress-biomarker results did not differ significantly between groups. These data suggest that HJS in shift-working health care professionals is weakly associated with changes in stress biomarkers.
  • Partanen, Eino; Mårtensson, Gustaf; Hugoson, Pernilla; Huotilainen, Minna; Fellman, Vineta; Ådén, Ulrika (2022)
    As the human auditory system is highly malleable in infancy, perinatal risk factors, such as preterm birth, may affect auditory development. In comparison to healthy full-term infants, preterm infants show abnormal auditory brain responses at term age, which may have long-term detrimental outcomes. To achieve an optimal neonatal care environment for preterm-born infants, many early interventions have been developed. Musical interventions developed for neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) have shown beneficial effects on vital functions and weight gain of preterm infants and might also influence basic auditory processing and thereby enhance outcomes. In the present study, we tested the effect of parental singing during kangaroo care on auditory processing of standardized audio stimuli. Preterm infants (born between 24 and 32 weeks of gestation) were randomized to singing intervention (n = 13) or control (n = 8) groups. The auditory processing was tested using two audio paradigms assessed with magnetoencephalography (MEG) at term corresponding age. To verify that the paradigms elicit responses in MEG, we studied 12 healthy full-term infants. In the singing intervention group, parents were instructed by a music therapist twice a week for 4 weeks to sing or hum during kangaroo care in an infant-directed way. The control group received standard kangaroo care. The results show that the infants in the singing intervention group show larger neural responses than those in the control group when controlling for the total amount of singing during kangaroo care. Our findings suggest that incorporating singing into kangaroo care may be beneficial for preterm infants, but the effect may not be due to exposure to singing but instead positive parenting, improved parental self-esteem and improved caregiver sensitivity.
  • Cardoso, Pedro; Branco, Vasco V.; Borges, Paulo A.; Carvalho, Jose C.; Rigal, Francois; Gabriel, Rosalina; Mammola, Stefano; Cascalho, Jose; Correia, Luis (2020)
    Ecological systems are the quintessential complex systems, involving numerous high-order interactions and non-linear relationships. The most used statistical modeling techniques can hardly accommodate the complexity of ecological patterns and processes. Finding hidden relationships in complex data is now possible using massive computational power, particularly by means of artificial intelligence and machine learning methods. Here we explored the potential of symbolic regression (SR), commonly used in other areas, in the field of ecology. Symbolic regression searches for both the formal structure of equations and the fitting parameters simultaneously, hence providing the required flexibility to characterize complex ecological systems. Although the method here presented is automated, it is part of a collaborative human-machine effort and we demonstrate ways to do it. First, we test the robustness of SR to extreme levels of noise when searching for the species-area relationship. Second, we demonstrate how SR can model species richness and spatial distributions. Third, we illustrate how SR can be used to find general models in ecology, namely new formulas for species richness estimators and the general dynamic model of oceanic island biogeography. We propose that evolving free-form equations purely from data, often without prior human inference or hypotheses, may represent a very powerful tool for ecologists and biogeographers to become aware of hidden relationships and suggest general theoretical models and principles.