Browsing by Subject "STRESS"

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  • Haghighi, Mona; Johnson, Suzanne Bennett; Qian, Xiaoning; Lynch, Kristian F.; Vehik, Kendra; Huang, Shuai; TEDDY Study Grp; Knip, Mikael (2016)
    Regression models are extensively used in many epidemiological studies to understand the linkage between specific outcomes of interest and their risk factors. However, regression models in general examine the average effects of the risk factors and ignore subgroups with different risk profiles. As a result, interventions are often geared towards the average member of the population, without consideration of the special health needs of different subgroups within the population. This paper demonstrates the value of using rule-based analysis methods that can identify subgroups with heterogeneous risk profiles in a population without imposing assumptions on the subgroups or method. The rules define the risk pattern of subsets of individuals by not only considering the interactions between the risk factors but also their ranges. We compared the rule-based analysis results with the results from a logistic regression model in The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study. Both methods detected a similar suite of risk factors, but the rule-based analysis was superior at detecting multiple interactions between the risk factors that characterize the subgroups. A further investigation of the particular characteristics of each subgroup may detect the special health needs of the subgroup and lead to tailored interventions.
  • Kaukonen, Riikka; Lehto, Elviira; Ray, Carola; Vepsäläinen, Henna; Nissinen, Kaija; Korkalo, Liisa; Koivusilta, Leena; Sajaniemi, Nina; Erkkola, Maijaliisa; Roos, Eva (2019)
    Although evidence exists of the association between children's temperament and weight, only few studies have examined how temperament is associated with actual food consumption among preschoolers. We examined concurrent associations between children's temperament and the consumption of different foods, and investigated whether the association between children's temperament and vegetable consumption is mediated by vegetable-related parenting practices. We utilized the data from the cross-sectional DAGIS study of 864 preschool children aged between three to six and their families, conducted between 2015 and 2016 in Finland. The parents reported their children's temperament, food consumption, and their vegetable-related parenting practices. Adjusted logistic regression analyses found positive associations between surgency and vegetable consumption as well as between effortful control and vegetable consumption. Both associations were mediated by one examined vegetable-related parenting practice: enhanced availability and autonomy support. No associations were found between children's negative affectivity and food consumption or vegetable-related parenting practices. In conclusion, children's temperament may be an important factor behind food-related parenting practices and children's diet. However, further longitudinal research and research covering different food-related parenting practices and home environment factors is necessary to better understand the complex associations between temperament and food consumption among young children.
  • Acosta, H.; Tuulari, J. J.; Kantojärvi, K.; Lewis, J. D.; Hashempour, N.; Scheinin, N. M.; Lehtola, S. J.; Fonov, V. S.; Collins, D. L.; Evans, A.; Parkkola, R.; Lahdesmaki, T.; Saunavaara, J.; Merisaari, H.; Karlsson, L.; Paunio, T.; Karlsson, H. (2021)
    Genetic variants in the oxytocin receptor (OTR) have been linked to distinct social phenotypes, psychiatric disorders and brain volume alterations in adults. However, to date, it is unknown how OTR genotype shapes prenatal brain development and whether it interacts with maternal prenatal environmental risk factors on infant brain volumes. In 105 Finnish mother-infant dyads (44 female, 11-54 days old), the association of offspring OTR genotype rs53576 and its interaction with prenatal maternal anxiety (revised Symptom Checklist 90, gestational weeks 14, 24, 34) on infant bilateral amygdalar, hippocampal and caudate volumes were probed. A sex-specific main effect of rs53576 on infant left hippocampal volumes was observed. In boys compared to girls, left hippocampal volumes were significantly larger in GG-homozygotes compared to A-allele carriers. Furthermore, genotype rs53576 and prenatal maternal anxiety significantly interacted on right hippocampal volumes irrespective of sex. Higher maternal anxiety was associated both with larger hippocampal volumes in A allele carriers than GG-homozygotes, and, though statistically weak, also with smaller right caudate volumes in GG-homozygotes than A-allele carriers. Our study results suggest that OTR genotype enhances hippocampal neurogenesis in male GG-homozygotes. Further, prenatal maternal anxiety might induce brain alterations that render GG-homozygotes compared to A-allele carriers more vulnerable to depression.
  • Salmela-Aro, Katariina; Upadyaya, Katja; Vinni-Laakso, Janica; Hietajärvi, Lauri (2021)
    This longitudinal study examined school engagement and burnout profiles among early and middle adolescents before and during COVID-19, and within-class latent change and stability in students' socio-emotional skills the profiles. The longitudinal data were collected in fall 2019 and 2020 from 1381 5th to 6th, and 1374 7th to 8th grade students. Using repeated measures latent profile analyses based on school engagement and burnout we identified five study well-being change profiles in both samples showing structural similarity: normative (53% sample 1; 69% sample 2), moderate-decreasing (4%; 5%), high-decreasing (17%; 10%), low-increasing (6%;7%) and moderate-increasing (20%; 10%) groups. The groups with increasing study well-being showed simultaneous increase in intrapersonal socio-emotional competencies but showed less changes in interpersonal outcomes.
  • Mikkola, Tuija M.; Kautiainen, Hannu; Mänty, Minna; von Bonsdorff, Mikaela B.; Kröger, Teppo; Eriksson, Johan G. (2021)
    Background Evidence on family caregivers' health is conflicting. Aim To investigate all-cause and cause-specific mortality in Finnish family caregivers providing high-intensity care and to assess whether age modifies the association between family caregiver status and mortality using data from multiple national registers. Methods The data include all individuals, who received family caregiver's allowance in Finland in 2012 (n = 42,256, mean age 67 years, 71% women) and a control population matched for age, sex, and municipality of residence (n = 83,618). Information on dates and causes of death between 2012 and 2017 were obtained from the Finnish Causes of Death Register. Results Family caregivers had lower all-cause mortality than the controls over the follow-up (8.1 vs. 11.6%) both among women (socioeconomic status adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 0.64, 95% CI 0.61-0.68) and men (adjusted HR: 0.73, 95% CI 0.70-0.77). When modelling all-cause mortality as a function of age, younger caregivers had only slightly lower or equal mortality to their controls, but older caregivers had markedly lower mortality than their controls, up to more than 10% lower. Caregivers had a lower mortality rate for all the causes of death studied, namely cardiovascular, cancer, neurological, external, respiratory, gastrointestinal and dementia. The lowest risk was for dementia (subhazard ratio = 0.29, 95% CI 0.25-0.34). Conclusions Older family caregivers had lower mortality than the age-matched general population while mortality did not differ according to caregiver status in young adulthood. This age-dependent advantage in mortality is likely to reflect the selection of healthier individuals into the family caregiver role.
  • Grotell, Milo; den Hollander, Bjornar; Jalkanen, Aaro; Törrönen, Essi; Ihalainen, Jouni; de Miguel, Elena; Dudek, Mateusz; Kettunen, Mikko I.; Hyytiä, Petri; Forsberg, Markus M.; Kankuri, Esko; Korpi, Esa R. (2021)
    Mephedrone (4-MMC), despite its illegal status, is still a widely used psychoactive substance. Its effects closely mimic those of the classical stimulant drug methamphetamine (METH). Recent research suggests that unlike METH, 4-MMC is not neurotoxic on its own. However, the neurotoxic effects of 4-MMC may be precipitated under certain circumstances, such as administration at high ambient temperatures. Common use of 4-MMC in conjunction with alcohol raises the question whether this co-consumption could also precipitate neurotoxicity. A total of six groups of adolescent rats were treated twice daily for four consecutive days with vehicle, METH (5 mg/kg) or 4-MMC (30 mg/kg), with or without ethanol (1.5 g/kg). To investigate persistent delayed effects of the administrations at two weeks after the final treatments, manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging brain scans were performed. Following the scans, brains were collected for Golgi staining and spine analysis. 4-MMC alone had only subtle effects on neuronal activity. When administered with ethanol, it produced a widespread pattern of deactivation, similar to what was seen with METH-treated rats. These effects were most profound in brain regions which are known to have high dopamine and serotonin activities including hippocampus, nucleus accumbens and caudate-putamen. In the regions showing the strongest activation changes, no morphological changes were observed in spine analysis. By itself 4-MMC showed few long-term effects. However, when co-administered with ethanol, the apparent functional adaptations were profound and comparable to those of neurotoxic METH.
  • Direk, Nese; Williams, Stephanie; Smith, Jennifer A.; Ripke, Stephan; Air, Tracy; Amare, Azmeraw T.; Amin, Najaf; Baune, Bernhard T.; Bennett, David A.; Blackwood, Douglas H. R.; Boomsma, Dorret; Breen, Gerome; Buttenschon, Henriette N.; Byrne, Enda M.; Borglum, Anders D.; Castelao, Enrique; Cichon, Sven; Clarke, Toni-Kim; Cornelis, Marilyn C.; Dannlowski, Udo; De Jager, Philip L.; Demirkan, Ayse; Domenici, Enrico; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Dunn, Erin C.; Eriksson, Johan G.; Esko, Tonu; Faul, Jessica D.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Fornage, Myriam; de Geus, Eco; Gill, Michael; Gordon, Scott D.; Grabe, Hans Joergen; van Grootheest, Gerard; Hamilton, Steven P.; Hartman, Catharina A.; Heath, Andrew C.; Hek, Karin; Hofman, Albert; Homuth, Georg; Horn, Carsten; Hottenga, Jouke Jan; Kardia, Sharon L. R.; Kloiber, Stefan; Koenen, Karestan; Kutalik, Zoltan; Ladwig, Karl-Heinz; Lahti, Jari; Levinson, Douglas F.; Lewis, Cathryn M.; Lewis, Glyn; Li, Qingqin S.; Llewellyn, David J.; Lucae, Susanne; Lunetta, Kathryn L.; MacIntyre, Donald J.; Madden, Pamela; Martin, Nicholas G.; McIntosh, Andrew M.; Metspalu, Andres; Milaneschi, Yuri; Montgomery, Grant W.; Mors, Ole; Mosley, Thomas H.; Murabito, Joanne M.; Mueller-Myhsok, Bertram; Nothen, Markus M.; Nyholt, Dale R.; O'Donovan, Michael C.; Penninx, Brenda W.; Pergadia, Michele L.; Perlis, Roy; Potash, James B.; Preisig, Martin; Purcell, Shaun M.; Quiroz, Jorge A.; Raikkonen, Katri; Rice, John P.; Rietschel, Marcella; Rivera, Margarita; Schulze, Thomas G.; Shi, Jianxin; Shyn, Stanley; Sinnamon, Grant C.; Smit, Johannes H.; Smoller, Jordan W.; Snieder, Harold; Tanaka, Toshiko; Tansey, Katherine E.; Teumer, Alexander; Uher, Rudolf; Umbricht, Daniel; Van der Auwera, Sandra; Ware, Erin B.; Weir, David R.; Weissman, Myrna M.; Willemsen, Gonneke; Yang, Jingyun; Zhao, Wei; Tiemeier, Henning; Sullivan, Patrick F. (2017)
    BACKGROUND: The genetics of depression has been explored in genome-wide association studies that focused on either major depressive disorder or depressive symptoms with mostly negative findings. A broad depression phenotype including both phenotypes has not been tested previously using a genome-wide association approach. We aimed to identify genetic polymorphisms significantly associated with a broad phenotype from depressive symptoms to major depressive disorder. METHODS: We analyzed two prior studies of 70,017 participants of European ancestry from general and clinical populations in the discovery stage. We performed a replication meta-analysis of 28,328 participants. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based heritability and genetic correlations were calculated using linkage disequilibrium score regression. Discovery and replication analyses were performed using a p-value-based meta-analysis. Lifetime major depressive disorder and depressive symptom scores were used as the outcome measures. RESULTS: The SNP-based heritability of major depressive disorder was 0.21 (SE = 0.02), the SNP-based heritability of depressive symptoms was 0.04 (SE = 0.01), and their genetic correlation was 1.001 (SE = 0.2). We found one genome-wide significant locus related to the broad depression phenotype (rs9825823, chromosome 3: 61,082,153, p = 8.2 x 10(-9)) located in an intron of the FHIT gene. We replicated this SNP in independent samples (p = .02) and the overall meta-analysis of the discovery and replication cohorts (1.0 x 10(-9)). CONCLUSIONS: This large study identified a new locus for depression. Our results support a continuum between depressive symptoms and major depressive disorder. A phenotypically more inclusive approach may help to achieve the large sample sizes needed to detect susceptibility loci for depression.
  • Rantonen, O.; Alexanderson, K.; Clark, A. J.; Aalto, P.; Sonden, A.; Bronnum-Hansen, H.; Hougaard, C. O.; Rod, N. H.; Mittendorfer-Rutz, E.; Kivimäki, M.; Oksanen, T.; Salo, P. (2019)
    Background: Social workers have an elevated risk for mental disorders, but little is known about their antidepressant treatment. Aims: To examine any and long-term antidepressant treatment among social workers in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Methods: We linked records from drug prescription registers to three prospective cohorts: the Finnish Public Sector study, years 2006-2011, and nation-wide cohorts in Sweden and Denmark, years 2006-2014, including a total of 1.5 million employees in (1) social work, (2) other social and health care professions, (3) education and (4) office work. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios for any and long-term (>6 months) antidepressant treatment among social workers compared to the three reference occupational groups and carried out meta-analyses. Results: During follow-up, 25% of social workers had any prescriptions for antidepressants (19-24% reference occupations) and 20% for long-term treatment (14-19% reference occupations). The pooled effects for any and long-term treatment showed that probabilities were 10% higher in social workers compared to other health and social care professionals and 30% higher compared to education and non-human service professionals. Probabilities for any treatment in the three countries were relatively similar, but for long-term treatment social workers in Finland had a greater risk compared with other human service professions. Limitations: There were differences between the cohorts in the availability of data. Specific diagnoses for the antidepressant treatment were not known neither adherence to treatment. Conclusion: Social workers have a higher risk for any and long-term antidepressant treatment than other human and non-human service professionals.
  • Diniz, Cassiano Ricardo Alves Faria; Casarotto, Plinio C.; Fred, Senem M.; Biojone, Caroline; Castrén, Eero; Joca, Sâmia R.L. (2018)
    The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is associated with peripheral fluid homeostasis and cardiovascular function, but recent evidence also suggests a functional role in the brain. RAS regulates physiological and behavioral parameters related to the stress response, including depressive symptoms. Apparently, RAS can modulate levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and TRKB, which are important in the neurobiology of depression and antidepressant action. However, the interaction between the BDNF/TRKB system and RAS in depression has not been investigated before. Accordingly, in the forced swimming test, we observed an antidepressant-like effect of systemic losartan but not with captopril or enalapril treatment. Moreover, infusion of losartan into the ventral hippocampus (vHC) and prelimbic prefrontal cortex (PL) mimicked the consequences of systemically injected losartan, whereas K252a (a blocker of TRK) infused into these brain areas impaired such effect. PD123319, an antagonist of AT2 receptor (AGTR2), also prevented the systemic losartan effect when infused into PL but not into vHC. Cultured cortical cells of rat embryos revealed that angiotensin II (ANG2), possibly through AGTR2, increased the surface levels of TRKB and its coupling to FYN, a SRC family kinase. Higher Agtr2 levels in cortical cells were reduced after stimulation with glutamate, and only under this condition an interaction between losartan and ANG2 was achieved. TRKB/AGTR2 heterodimers were also observed, in MG87 cells GFP-tagged AGTR2 co-immunoprecipitated with TRKB. Therefore, the antidepressant-like effect of losartan is proposed to occur through a shift of ANG2 towards AGTR2, followed by coupling of TRK/FYN and putative TRIG transactivation. Thus, the blockade of AGTR1 has therapeutic potential as a novel antidepressant therapy. (C) 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Santavirta, Torsten; Santavirta, Nina; Gilman, Stephen (2018)
    Importance Although there is evidence that adverse childhood experiences are associated with worse mental health in adulthood, scarce evidence is available regarding an emerging concern that the next generation might also be affected. Objective To compare the risk of psychiatric hospitalization in cousins whose parents were vs were not exposed to the Finnish evacuation policy that involved a mean 2-year stay with a Swedish foster family. Design, Setting, and Participants This multigenerational, population-based cohort study of Finnish individuals and their siblings born between January 1, 1933, and December 31, 1944, analyzed the association of evacuee status as a child during World War II in the first generation with the risk of psychiatric hospitalization among offspring in the second generation. Evacuee status during World War II was determined using the Finnish National Archive’s registry of participants in the Finnish evacuation. Data on evacuee status were linked to the psychiatric diagnoses in the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register from January 1, 1971, through December 31, 2012, for offspring (n = 93 391) born between January 1, 1950, and December 31, 2010. Sex-specific Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios for risk of psychiatric hospitalization during the follow-up period. Because offspring of evacuees and their nonevacuated siblings are cousins, the Cox proportional hazards regression models included fixed effects to adjust for confounding factors in families. Data analysis was performed from June 15, 2016, to August 26, 2017. Exposures Parental participation in the evacuation during World War II (coded 1 for parents who were evacuated and placed in foster care and 0 for those not evacuated). Main Outcomes and Measures Offspring’s initial admission to the hospital for a psychiatric disorder, obtained from the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register from January 1, 1971, through December 31, 2012. Results Of the 93 391 study persons, 45 955 (49.2%) were women and 47 436 (50.8) were men; mean (SD) age in 2012 among survivors was 45.4 (6.58) years. Female offspring of mothers evacuated to Sweden during childhood had an elevated risk of psychiatric hospitalization (hazard ratio for any type of psychiatric disorder: 2.04 [95% CI, 1.04-4.01]; hazard ratio for mood disorder: 4.68 [95% CI, 1.92-11.42]). There was no excess risk of being hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder among women whose fathers were exposed to the Finnish evacuation policy during World War II or among men whose mothers or fathers were exposed. Conclusions and Relevance In a prior follow-up study of the Finnish evacuees, girls evacuated to Swedish foster families during World War II were more likely to be hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder—in particular, a mood disorder—in adulthood than their nonevacuated sisters. The present study found that the offspring of these individuals were also at risk for mental health problems that required hospitalization and suggests that early-life adversities, including war-related exposures, may be associated with mental health disorders that persist across generations.
  • Cooper, Helen M.; Yang, Yang; Ylikallio, Emil; Khairullin, Rafil; Woldegebriel, Rosa; Lin, Kai-Lan; Euro, Liliya; Palin, Eino; Wolf, Alexander; Trokovic, Ras; Isohanni, Pirjo; Kaakkola, Seppo; Auranen, Mari; Lonnqvist, Tuula; Wanrooij, Sjoerd; Tyynismaa, Henna (2017)
    De novo mutations in ATAD3A (ATPase family AAA-domain containing protein 3A) were recently found to cause a neurological syndrome with developmental delay, hypotonia, spasticity, optic atrophy, axonal neuropathy, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Using whole-exome sequencing, we identified a dominantly inherited heterozygous variant c.1064G > A (p.G355D) in ATAD3A in a mother presenting with hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) and axonal neuropathy and her son with dyskinetic cerebral palsy, both with disease onset in childhood. HSP is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder of the upper motor neurons. Symptoms beginning in early childhood may resemble spastic cerebral palsy. The function of ATAD3A, a mitochondrial inner membrane AAA ATPase, is yet undefined. AAA ATPases form hexameric rings, which are catalytically dependent on the co-operation of the subunits. The dominant-negative patient mutation affects the Walker A motif, which is responsible for ATP binding in the AAA module of ATAD3A, and we show that the recombinant mutant ATAD3A protein has a markedly reduced ATPase activity. We further show that overexpression of the mutant ATAD3A fragments the mitochondrial network and induces lysosome mass. Similarly, we observed altered dynamics of the mitochondrial network and increased lysosomes in patient fibroblasts and neurons derived through differentiation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells. These alterations were verified in patient fibroblasts to associate with upregulated basal autophagy through mTOR inactivation, resembling starvation. Mutations in ATAD3A can thus be dominantly inherited and underlie variable neurological phenotypes, including HSP, with intrafamiliar variability. This finding extends the group of mitochondrial inner membrane AAA proteins associated with spasticity.
  • Halonen, Jaana; Lallukka, Tea; Virtanen, Marianna; Rod, Naja H.; Hanson, Linda L. Magnusson (2019)
    Objectives Bi-directional associations between perceived effort-reward imbalance (FRI) at work and neck-shoulder pain have been reported. There is also evidence of associations between ERI and depressive symptoms, and between depressive symptoms and pain while the links between ERI, depressive symptoms and pain have not been tested. We aimed to assess whether depressive symptoms mediate the association between ERI and neck-shoulder pain, as well as the association between neck-shoulder pain and ERI. Methods We used prospective data from three consecutive surveys of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) study. ERI was assessed with a short version of the ERI questionnaire, and pain was defined as having had neck-shoulder pain that affected daily life during the past three months. Depressive symptoms were assessed with a continuous scale based on six-items of the (Hopkins) Symptom Checklist. Counterfactual mediation analyses were applied using exposure measures from 2010/2012 (T1), depressive symptoms from 2012/2014 (T2), and outcomes from 2014/2016 (T3), and including only those free of outcome at T1 and T2 (N=2876-3239). Results ERI was associated with a higher risk of neck-shoulder pain [risk ratio (RR) for total effect 1.22, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00-1.48] and 41% of this total effect was mediated through depressive symptoms. Corresponding RR for association between neck-shoulder pain and ERI was 1.34 (95% CI 1.09-1.64), but the mediating role of depressive symptoms was less consistent. Conclusions Depressive symptoms appear to be an intermediate factor in the relationship between ERI and neck-shoulder pain.
  • Tienaho, Jenni; Karonen, Maarit; Muilu-Mäkelä, Riina; Kaseva, Janne; de Pedro, Nuria; Vicente, Francisca; Genilloud, Olga; Aapola, Ulla; Uusitalo, Hannu; Vuolteenaho, Katriina; Franzen, Robert; Wähälä, Kristiina; Karp, Matti; Santala, Ville; Sarjala, Tytti (2020)
    Despite the continuing interest in various plant and natural products, only a small portion of the biologically active compounds from nature has been discovered and exploited. In this study, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of aqueous fractions of three endophytic fungi isolated from the roots of 8-year-old Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) growing on a drained peatland were investigated. The endophytic fungi species were Acephala applanata, Phialocephala fortinii, and Humicolopsis cephalosporioides/Coniochaeta mutabilis. The bioactivities were examined using hydrogen peroxide scavenging and oxygen radical absorbance capacity tests as well as sensitive Escherichia coli-based biosensors, which produce a luminescent signal in the presence of substances with oxidative or genotoxic properties. In addition, cell models for Parkinson's disease, age-related macular degeneration, and osteoarthritis were used to evaluate the potential for pharmaceutical applications. The aqueous extracts of fungi and 19 out of 42 fractions were found to be active in one or more of the tests used. However, no activity was found in the age-related macular degeneration and osteoarthritis cell model tests. Additionally, bioactivity data was connected with metabolites putatively annotated, and out of 330 metabolites, 177 were interesting in view of the bioactivities investigated. A majority of these were peptides and all three fungal species shared a highly similar metabolome. We propose that Scots pine endophytic fungi are a rich source of interesting metabolites, and synergistic effects may cause the bioactivities, as they were found to vary after the fractionation process.
  • Nowak, Jessika; Visnovsky, Sandra B.; Pitman, Andrew R.; Cruz, Cristina D.; Palmer, Jon; Fletcher, Graham C.; Flint, Steve (2021)
    Listeria monocytogenes is a ubiquitous foodborne pathogen that results in a high rate of mortality in sensitive and immunocompromised people. Contamination of food with L. monocytogenes is thought to occur during food processing, most often as a result of the pathogen producing a biofilm that persists in the environment and acting as the source for subsequent dispersal of cells onto food. A survey of seafoodprocessing plants in New Zealand identified the persistent strain 15G01, which has a high capacity to form biofilms. In this study, a transposon library of L. monocytogenes 15G01 was screened for mutants with altered biofilm formation, assessed by a crystal violet assay, to identify genes involved in biofilm formation. This screen identified 36 transposants that showed a significant change in biofilm formation compared to the wild type. The insertion sites were in 27 genes, 20 of which led to decreased biofilm formation and seven to an increase. Two insertions were in intergenic regions. Annotation of the genes suggested that they are involved in diverse cellular processes, including stress response, autolysis, transporter systems, and cell wall/membrane synthesis. Analysis of the biofilms produced by the transposants using scanning electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy showed notable differences in the structure of the biofilms compared to the wild type. In particular, inactivation of uvrB and mltD produced coccoid-shaped cells and elongated cells in long chains, respectively, and the mgtB mutant produced a unique biofilm with a sandwich structure which was reversed to the wild-type level upon magnesium addition. The mltD transposant was successfully complemented with the wild-type gene, whereas the phenotypes were not or only partially restored for the remaining mutants. IMPORTANCE The major source of contamination of food with Listeria monocytogenes is thought to be due to biofilm formation and/or persistence in food-processing plants. By establishing as a biofilm, L. monocytogenes cells become harder to eradicate due to their increased resistance to environmental threats. Understanding the genes involved in biofilm formation and their influence on biofilm structure will help identify new ways to eliminate harmful biofilms in food processing environments. To date, multiple genes have been identified as being involved in biofilm formation by L. monocytogenes; however, the exact mechanism remains unclear. This study identified four genes associated with biofilm formation by a persistent strain. Extensive microscopic analysis illustrated the effect of the disruption of mgtB, clsA, uvrB, and mltD and the influence of magnesium on the biofilm structure. The results strongly suggest an involvement in biofilm formation for the four genes and provide a basis for further studies to analyze gene regulation to assess the specific role of these biofilm-associated genes.
  • Sihvola, Nora; Korpela, Riitta; Henelius, Andreas; Holm, Anu; Huotilainen, Minna; Muller, Kiti; Poussa, Tuija; Pettersson, Kati; Turpeinen, Anu; Peuhkuri, Katri (2013)
  • Hemanthakumar, Karthik Amudhala; Fang, Shentong; Anisimov, Andrey; Mäyränpää, Mikko I.; Mervaala, Eero; Kivelä, Riikka (2021)
    Aging, obesity, hypertension, and physical inactivity are major risk factors for endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease (CVD). We applied fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), RNA sequencing, and bioinformatic methods to investigate the common effects of CVD risk factors in mouse cardiac endothelial cells (ECs). Aging, obesity, and pressure overload all upregulated pathways related to TGF-beta signaling and mesenchymal gene expression, inflammation, vascular permeability, oxidative stress, collagen synthesis, and cellular senescence, whereas exercise training attenuated most of the same pathways. We identified collagen chaperone Serpinhl (also called as Hsp47) to be significantly increased by aging and obesity and repressed by exercise training. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that increased SERPINH1 in human ECs induced mesenchymal properties, while its silencing inhibited collagen deposition. Our data demonstrate that CVD risk factors significantly remodel the transcriptomic landscape of cardiac ECs inducing inflammatory, senescence, and mesenchymal features. SERPINH1 was identified as a potential therapeutic target in ECs.
  • Kuusi, Tuire; Haukka, Jari; Myllykangas, Liisa; Järvelä, Irma (2019)
    OBJECTIVE. Music practice and listening have been reported to have favorable effects on human health, but empirical data are largely missing about these effects. To obtain more information about the effect of exposure to music from early childhood, we examined the causes of death of professional musicians in the classical genre. METHODS: We used standardized mortality ratios (SMR) for Finnish performing artists (n=5,780) and church musicians (n=22,368) during 1981-2016. We examined deaths from cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and neurodegenerative and alcohol-related diseases. The diagnoses were based on the ICD-10, with data obtained from Statistics of Finland. RESULTS: Overall, SMR for all-cause mortality was 0.59 (95% CI 0.57-0.61) for church musicians and 0.75 (95% CI 0.70-0.80) for performing artists, suggesting a protective effect of music for health. In contrast, we found increased mortality in alcohol-related diseases among female performing artists (SMR 1.85, 95% CI 1.062.95) and in neurodegenerative diseases among male performing artists (1.46, 95% CI 1.13-1.84). Additionally, we found higher SMRs for female than male church musicians for cancers (SMRfemales 0.90, 95% CI 0.83-0.97; SMRmales 0.60, 95% CI 0.54-0.67) and cardiovascular diseases (SMRfemales 0.75, 95% CI 0.68-0.82; SMRmales 0.58, 95% CI 0.54-0.64). CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the causes of death in performers differ from those in church musicians. Performing artists are not protected from neurodegenerative diseases or alcohol-related deaths. The findings call for further study on the life-long effects of music in musicians.
  • Stenholm, Sari; Pulakka, Anna; Kawachi, Ichiro; Oksanen, Tuula; Halonen, Jaana I.; Aalto, Ville; Kivimaki, Mika; Vahtera, Jussi (2016)
    Background: Retirement is a major life transition which may affect lifestyle. The aim of this study is to examine within-individual changes in physical activity during the transition from full-time work to retirement. Methods: The study population consisted of 9,488 Finnish public-sector employees who retired in 2000-2011 and who reported their leisure-time and commuting physical activity before and after retirement. On average, participants provided data at 3.6 (of the four) repeat examinations during 10 years before and 10 years after the retirement. Physical activity was self-reported and was expressed as weekly metabolic equivalent task (MET) hours. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine physical activity trajectories around retirement. Results: Among participants entering to statutory retirement physical activity first increased by 1.81 MET-hours (95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.20 to 2.42) during 4-year retirement transition, but then decreased by -1.80 MET hours (95 % CI -2.83 to -0.79) during the subsequent post-retirement period. Older retirement age, higher occupational status and fewer chronic diseases were associated with greater increase in physical activity during transition to statutory retirement. Conclusions: Statutory retirement appears to be associated with a temporary increase in physical activity. Future research should examine ways to maintain the increased activity level after retirement.
  • Halko, Marja-Liisa; Sääksvuori, Lauri (2017)
    This paper investigates whether physiological measures related to chronic and acute stress predict individual differences in willingness to compete. We measure individuals' autonomic nervous system activity in a resting state as well as under non-competitive and competitive incentive schemes using heart rate variability (HRV) measurement. We find that both baseline HRV and competition-induced changes in HRV predict willingness to compete. Notably, we find that women with low baseline HRV, a marker associated with chronic stress exposure, are more likely to choose piece rate incentives over competitive incentives than women with high baseline HRV. We observe that men with large acute HRV response to forced competition are more likely to choose tournament pay over piece rate pay than men with small acute HRV response to competition. Our results suggest that HRV can predict individual differences in willingness to compete, but HRV does not close the gender gap in willingness to compete at the aggregate level.
  • Eriksson, C. J. P.; Etelälahti, T. J.; Apter, S. J. (2017)
    A number of studies have shown that stress and an activated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are associated with increased voluntary alcohol drinking. Recently, associations have been found between activated HPA and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axes in alcohol-preferring AA and non-preferring ANA, F2 (crossbred second generation from original AA and ANA), and Wistar rats. The aim of the present study has been to determine the role of corticosterone and alcohol-related testosterone-effects in subsequent alcohol drinking in AA, ANA, F2 and Wistar rats. The present study comprises of four substudies presenting new analyses of existing data, by which correlations between basal corticosterone levels, changes in testosterone levels during alcohol intoxications and subsequent voluntary alcohol consumption are investigated. The results displayed positive correlations between basal corticosterone levels and subsequent alcohol-mediated testosterone elevations, which was positively associated with voluntary alcohol consumption. The results also showed a negative correlation between basal corticosterone levels and alcohol-mediated testosterone decreases, which was negatively associated with alcohol consumption. In conclusion, the present study displays novel results, according to which the HPA axis, one hand, relates to testosterone elevation (potentially causing and/or strengthening reinforcement) during alcohol intoxication, which in turn may relate to higher voluntary alcohol consumption (AA rats). Vice versa, the HPA axis may also relate to alcohol-mediated testosterone decrease (causing testosterone reduction and disinforcement) and low-alcohol drinking (ANA, F2 and Wistar rats). In addition, the present results showed that alcohol-mediated testosterone changes may also, independently of the HPA axis, correlate with voluntary alcohol drinking, which indicate the impact of genetic factors. Thus, the role of the HPA-axis may be more related to situational stress than to intrinsic factors. In further studies, it should be investigated, whether the present results also apply to stress and human alcohol drinking.