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See detailInfluence of ovarian hormones on cortical spreading depression and its suppression by L-kynurenine in rat.
Chauvel, Virginie ULg; Schoenen, Jean ULg; Multon, Sylvie ULg

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(12), 82279

Migraine is sexually dimorphic and associated in 20-30% of patients with an aura most likely caused by cortical spreading depression (CSD). We have previously shown that systemic L-kynurenine (L-KYN), the ... [more ▼]

Migraine is sexually dimorphic and associated in 20-30% of patients with an aura most likely caused by cortical spreading depression (CSD). We have previously shown that systemic L-kynurenine (L-KYN), the precursor of kynurenic acid, suppresses CSD and that this effect depends on the stage of the estrous cycle in female rats. The objectives here are to determine the influence of ovarian hormones on KCl-induced CSD and its suppression after L-KYN by directly modulating estradiol or progesterone levels in ovariectomized rats. Adult female rats were ovariectomized and subcutaneously implanted with silastic capsules filled with progesterone or 17β-estradiol mixed with cholesterol, with cholesterol only or left empty. Two weeks after the ovariectomy/capsule implantation, the animals received an i.p. injection of L-KYN (300 mg/kg) or NaCl as control. Thirty minutes later CSDs were elicited by applying KCl over the occipital cortex and recorded by DC electrocorticogram for 1 hour. The results show that both estradiol and progesterone increase CSD frequency after ovariectomy. The suppressive effect of L-KYN on CSD frequency, previously reported in normal cycling females, is not found anymore after ovariectomy, but reappears after progesterone replacement therapy. Taken together, these results emphasize the complex role of sex hormones on cortical excitability. The CSD increase by estradiol and, more surprisingly, progesterone may explain why clinically migraine with aura appears or worsens during pregnancy or with combined hormonal treatments. [less ▲]

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See detailTrophic Relationships and Habitat Preferences of Delphinids from the Southeastern Brazilian Coast Determined by Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotope Composition
Bisi, Tatiana; Dorneles, Paulo; Lailson-Brito, José et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(12),

To investigate the foraging habitats of delphinids in southeastern Brazil, we analyzed stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes in muscle samples of the following 10 delphinid species: Sotalia ... [more ▼]

To investigate the foraging habitats of delphinids in southeastern Brazil, we analyzed stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes in muscle samples of the following 10 delphinid species: Sotalia guianensis, Stenella frontalis, Tursiops truncatus, Steno bredanensis, Pseudorca crassidens, Delphinus sp., Lagenodelphis hosei, Stenella attenuata, Stenella longirostris and Grampus griseus. We also compared the δ13C and δ15N values among four populations of S. guianensis. Variation in carbon isotope results from coast to ocean indicated that there was a significant decrease in δ13C values from estuarine dolphins to oceanic species. S. guianensis from Guanabara Bay had the highest mean δ13C value, while oceanic species showed significantly lower δ13C values. The highest δ15N values were observed for P. crassidens and T. truncatus, suggesting that these species occupy the highest trophic position among the delphinids studied here. The oceanic species S. attenuata, G. griseus and L. hosei had the lowest δ15N values. Stable isotope analysis showed that the three populations of S. guianensis in coastal bays had different δ13C values, but similar δ15N results. Guiana dolphins from Sepetiba and Ilha Grande bays had different foraging habitat, with specimens from Ilha Grande showing more negative δ13C values. This study provides further information on the feeding ecology of delphinids occurring in southeastern Brazil, with evidence of distinctive foraging habitats and the occupation of different ecological niches by these species in the study area. [less ▲]

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See detailA genome scan conducted in a multigenerational pedigree with convergent strabismus supports a complex genetic determinism.
GEORGES, Anouk ULg; Cambisano, Nadine ULg; Ahariz, Naïma ULg et al

in PloS one (2013), 8(12), 83574

A genome-wide linkage scan was conducted in a Northern-European multigenerational pedigree with nine of 40 related members affected with concomitant strabismus. Twenty-seven members of the pedigree ... [more ▼]

A genome-wide linkage scan was conducted in a Northern-European multigenerational pedigree with nine of 40 related members affected with concomitant strabismus. Twenty-seven members of the pedigree including all affected individuals were genotyped using a SNP array interrogating > 300,000 common SNPs. We conducted parametric and non-parametric linkage analyses assuming segregation of an autosomal dominant mutation, yet allowing for incomplete penetrance and phenocopies. We detected two chromosome regions with near-suggestive evidence for linkage, respectively on chromosomes 8 and 18. The chromosome 8 linkage implied a penetrance of 0.80 and a rate of phenocopy of 0.11, while the chromosome 18 linkage implied a penetrance of 0.64 and a rate of phenocopy of 0. Our analysis excludes a simple genetic determinism of strabismus in this pedigree. [less ▲]

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See detailProteomic Analysis of the Reproductive Organs of the Hermaphroditic Gastropod Lymnea stagnalis Exposed to Different Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
Giusti, Arnaud ULg; Leprince, Pierre ULg; Mazzucchelli, Gabriel ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(11), 81086

Many studies have reported perturbations of mollusc reproduction following exposure to low concentrations (ng/L range) of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). However, the mechanisms of action of these ... [more ▼]

Many studies have reported perturbations of mollusc reproduction following exposure to low concentrations (ng/L range) of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). However, the mechanisms of action of these molecules on molluscs are still poorly understood. Investigation of the modifications of protein expression in organisms exposed to chemicals using proteomic methods can provide a broader and more comprehensive understanding of adverse impacts of pollution on organisms than conventional biochemical biomarkers (e.g., heat-shock proteins, metallothioneins, GST, EROD). In this study we have investigated the impacts of four chemicals, which exhibit different endocrine disrupting properties in vertebrates, on the proteome of the hermaphroditic freshwater pulmonate gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis after 21 days of exposure. Testosterone, tributyltin, chlordecone and cyproterone acetate were chosen as tested compounds as they can induce adverse effects on the reproduction of this snail. The 2D-DIGE method was used to identify proteins whose expression was affected by these compounds. In addition to modifying the expression of proteins involved in the structure and function of the cytoskeleton, chemicals had impacts on the expression of proteins involved in the reproduction of L. stagnalis. Exposure to 19.2 μg/L of chlordecone increased the abundance of ovipostatin, a peptide transmitted during mating through seminal fluid, which reduces oviposition in this species. The expression of yolk ferritin, the vitellogenin equivalent in L. stagnalis, was reduced after exposure to 94.2 ng Sn/L of tributyltin. The identification of yolk ferritin and the modification of its expression in snails exposed to chemicals were refined using western blot analysis. Our results showed that the tested compounds influenced the abundance of yolk ferritin in the reproductive organs. Alteration in proteins involved in reproductive pathways (e.g., ovipostatin and yolk ferritin) could constitute relevant evidence of interaction of EDCs with reproductive pathways that are under the control of the endocrine system of L. stagnalis. [less ▲]

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See detailIntroduced goldfish affect amphibians through inhibition of sexual behaviour in risky habitats: an experimental approach
Winandy, Laurane ULg; Denoël, Mathieu ULg

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(11), 82736

The introduction of alien species is one of the major causes of current and global biodiversity loss. The introduction of fish can be a particular threat to native amphibian populations, which are ... [more ▼]

The introduction of alien species is one of the major causes of current and global biodiversity loss. The introduction of fish can be a particular threat to native amphibian populations, which are declining worldwide. One way for amphibians to persist in such altered environments is to adopt anti-predator strategies especially at the behavioural level. However, although it has been shown that avoidance behaviour may decrease the probability of being detected by a potential predator, little is known on the consequences on sexual behaviour. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that adult Alpine newts (Ichthyosaura alpestris) use shelters more often and exhibit less sexual activity in the presence of goldfish (Carassius auratus) and that they reduce sexual activity more in risky micro-habitats than in safe environments. To this end, we assessed behavioural patterns of adult newts in a replicated laboratory design. Goldfish were present in direct contact with newts in half of the tanks. Consistently throughout the study period, significantly more newts used shelter in the presence of fish than in their absence. Newts also significantly decreased their sexual activity level overall, but specially outside the shelter when they were in direct contact with fish. These results show that fish presence can affect newts in complex ways, such as through inhibition of their reproduction. Our work highlights that integrating behaviour in conservation studies is essential to understanding the patterns of coexistence and exclusion between introduced fish and amphibians. [less ▲]

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See detailA Comparison of Two Spelling Brain-Computer Interfaces Based on Visual P3 and SSVEP in Locked-In Syndrome
Combaz, Adrien; Chatelle, Camille ULg; Robben, Arne et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(9), 73691

Objectives: We study the applicability of a visual P3-based and a Steady State Visually Evoked Potentials (SSVEP)-based Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) for mental text spelling on a cohort of patients ... [more ▼]

Objectives: We study the applicability of a visual P3-based and a Steady State Visually Evoked Potentials (SSVEP)-based Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) for mental text spelling on a cohort of patients with incomplete Locked-In Syndrome (LIS). Methods: Seven patients performed repeated sessions with each BCI. We assessed BCI performance, mental workload and overall satisfaction for both systems. We also investigated the effect of the quality of life and level of motor impairment on the performance. Results: All seven patients were able to achieve an accuracy of 70% or more with the SSVEP-based BCI, compared to 3 patients with the P3-based BCI, showing a better performance with the SSVEP BCI than with the P3 BCI in the studied cohort. Moreover, the better performance of the SSVEP-based BCI was accompanied by a lower mental workload and a higher overall satisfaction. No relationship was found between BCI performance and level of motor impairment or quality of life. Conclusion:Our results show a better usability of the SSVEP-based BCI than the P3-based one for the sessions performed by the tested population of locked-in patients with respect to all the criteria considered. The study shows the advantage of developing alternative BCIs with respect to the traditional matrix-based P3 speller using different designs and signal modalities such as SSVEPs to build a faster, more accurate, less mentally demanding and more satisfying BCI by testing both types of BCIs on a convenience sample of LIS patients. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Anti-Tumor Effect of HDAC Inhibition in a Human Pancreas Cancer Model Is Significantly Improved by the Simultaneous Inhibition of Cyclooxygenase 2
Peulen, Olivier ULg; Gonzalez, Arnaud; Peixoto, Paul ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(9), 75102

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with no satisfactory treatment to date. In this study, we tested whether the combined inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 ... [more ▼]

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with no satisfactory treatment to date. In this study, we tested whether the combined inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and class I histone deacetylase (HDAC) may results in a better control of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The impact of the concomitant HDAC and COX-2 inhibition on cell growth, apoptosis and cell cycle was assessed first in vitro on human pancreas BxPC-3, PANC-1 or CFPAC-1 cells treated with chemical inhibitors (SAHA, MS-275 and celecoxib) or HDAC1/2/3/7 siRNA. To test the potential antitumoral activity of this combination in vivo, we have developed and characterized, a refined chick chorioallantoic membrane tumor model that histologically and proteomically mimics human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The combination of HDAC1/3 and COX-2 inhibition significantly impaired proliferation of BxPC-3 cells in vitro and stalled entirely the BxPC-3 cells tumor growth onto the chorioallantoic membrane in vivo. The combination was more effective than either drug used alone. Consistently, we showed that both HDAC1 and HDAC3 inhibition induced the expression of COX-2 via the NF-kB pathway. Our data demonstrate, for the first time in a Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) model, a significant action of HDAC and COX-2 inhibitors on cancer cell growth, which sets the basis for the development of potentially effective new combinatory therapies for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients. [less ▲]

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See detailProteomic Investigation of Aphid Honeydew Reveals an Unexpected Diversity of Proteins
Sabri, Ahmed; Vandermoten, Sophie ULg; Leroy, Pascal et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(9),

Aphids feed on the phloem sap of plants, and are the most common honeydew-producing insects. While aphid honeydew is primarily considered to comprise sugars and amino acids, its protein diversity has yet ... [more ▼]

Aphids feed on the phloem sap of plants, and are the most common honeydew-producing insects. While aphid honeydew is primarily considered to comprise sugars and amino acids, its protein diversity has yet to be documented. Here, we report on the investigation of the honeydew proteome from the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. Using a two-Dimensional <br />Differential in-Gel Electrophoresis (2D-Dige) approach, more than 140 spots were isolated, demonstrating that aphid honeydew also represents a diverse source of proteins. About 66% of the isolated spots were identified through mass spectrometry analysis, revealing that the protein diversity of aphid honeydew originates from several organisms (i.e. the host aphid and its microbiota, including endosymbiotic bacteria and gut flora). Interestingly, our experiments also allowed to identify some proteins like chaperonin, GroEL and Dnak chaperones, elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu), and flagellin that might act as mediators in the plant-aphid interaction. In addition to providing the first aphid honeydew proteome analysis, we propose to reconsider the importance of this substance, mainly acknowledged to be a waste product, from the aphid <br />ecology perspective. [less ▲]

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See detailChanges in Effective Connectivity by Propofol Sedation
Gomez Jaramillo, Francisco Albeiro ULg; Phillips, Christophe ULg; Soddu, Andrea ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(8), 71370

Mechanisms of propofol-induced loss of consciousness remain poorly understood. Recent fMRI studies have shown decreases in functional connectivity during unconsciousness induced by this anesthetic agent ... [more ▼]

Mechanisms of propofol-induced loss of consciousness remain poorly understood. Recent fMRI studies have shown decreases in functional connectivity during unconsciousness induced by this anesthetic agent. Functional connectivity does not provide information of directional changes in the dynamics observed during unconsciousness. The aim of the present study was to investigate, in healthy humans during an auditory task, the changes in effective connectivity resulting from propofol induced loss of consciousness. We used Dynamic Causal Modeling for fMRI (fMRI-DCM) to assess how causal connectivity is influenced by the anesthetic agent in the auditory system. Our results suggest that the dynamic observed in the auditory system during unconsciousness induced by propofol, can result in a mixture of two effects: a local inhibitory connectivity increase and a decrease in the effective connectivity in sensory cortices. [less ▲]

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See detailAltered white matter architecture in BDNF Met carriers
Ziegler, Erik ULg; Foret, Ariane; Mascetti, Laura ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013)

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates the pruning of synaptically-silent axonal arbors. The Met allele of the BDNF gene is associated with a reduction in the neurotrophin's activity-dependent ... [more ▼]

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates the pruning of synaptically-silent axonal arbors. The Met allele of the BDNF gene is associated with a reduction in the neurotrophin's activity-dependent release. We used di ffusion-weighted imaging to construct structural brain networks for 36 healthy subjects with known BDNF genotypes. Through permutation testing we discovered clear di fferences in connection strength between subjects carrying the Met allele and those homozygotic for the Val allele. We trained a Gaussian process classi fier capable of identifying the subjects' allelic group with 86% accuracy and high predictive value. In Met carriers structural connectivity was greatly increased throughout the forebrain, particularly in connections corresponding to the anterior and superior corona radiata as well as corticothalamic and corticospinal projections from the sensorimotor, premotor and prefrontal portions of the internal capsule. Interhemispheric connectivity was also increased via the corpus callosum and anterior commissure, and extremely high connectivity values were found between inferior medial frontal polar regions via the anterior forceps. We propose that the decreased availability of BDNF leads to de cifits in axonal maintenance in carriers of the Met allele, and that this produces mesoscale changes in white matter architecture. [less ▲]

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See detailAre Bogs Reservoirs for Emerging Disease Vectors? Evaluation of Culicoides Populations in the Hautes Fagnes Nature Reserve (Belgium)
Zimmer, Jean-Yves ULg; Smeets, François ULg; Simonon, Grégory et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(6),

Several species of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) biting midges serve as biological vectors for the bluetongue virus (BTV) and the recently described Schmallenberg virus (SBV) in northern Europe ... [more ▼]

Several species of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) biting midges serve as biological vectors for the bluetongue virus (BTV) and the recently described Schmallenberg virus (SBV) in northern Europe. Since their recent emergence in this part of the continent, these diseases have caused considerable economic losses to the sheep and cattle industries. Much data is now available that describe the distribution, population dynamics, and feeding habits of these insects. However, little is known regarding the presence of Culicoides in unusual habitats such as peaty marshes, nor their potential vector capacity. This study evaluated Culicoides biting midges present in the bogs of a Belgian nature reserve compared to those residing at a nearby cattle farm. Culicoides were trapped in 2011 at four different sites (broadleaved and coniferous forested areas, open environments, and at a scientific station) located in the Hautes Fagnes Nature Reserve (Belgium). An additional light trap was operated on a nearby cattle farm. Very high numbers of biting midges were captured in the marshy area and most of them (70 to 95%) were Culicoides impunctatus, a potential vector of BTV and other pathogens. In addition, fewer numbers of C. obsoletus/C. scoticus species, C. chiopterus, and C. dewulfi were observed in the bogs compared to the farm. The wet environment and oligotrophic nature of the soil were probably responsible for these changes in the respective populations. A total of 297,808 Culicoides midges belonging to 27 species were identified during this study and 3 of these species (C. sphagnumensis, C. clintoni and C. comosioculatus) were described in Belgium for the first time. [less ▲]

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See detailPersistent Organochlorine Pollutants with Endocrine Activity and Blood Steroid Hormone Levels in Middle- Aged Men
Emeville, Elise; Giton, Frank; Giusti, Arnaud ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(6), 66460

Abstract Background: Studies relating long-term exposure to persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs) with endocrine activities (endocrine disrupting chemicals) on circulating levels of steroid hormones ... [more ▼]

Abstract Background: Studies relating long-term exposure to persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs) with endocrine activities (endocrine disrupting chemicals) on circulating levels of steroid hormones have been limited to a small number of hormones and reported conflicting results. Objective: We examined the relationship between serum concentrations of dehydroepiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, androstenedione, androstenediol, testosterone, free and bioavailable testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrone, estrone sulphate, estradiol, sex-hormone binding globulin, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone as a function of level of exposure to three POPs known to interfere with hormone-regulated processes in different way: dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethene (DDE), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener 153, and chlordecone. Methods: We collected fasting, morning serum samples from 277 healthy, non obese, middle-aged men from the French West Indies. Steroid hormones were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, except for dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, which was determined by immunological assay, as were the concentrations of sex-hormone binding globulin, follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. Associations were assessed by multiple linear regression analysis, controlling for confounding factors, in a backward elimination procedure, in multiple bootstrap samples. Results: DDE exposure was negatively associated to dihydrotestosterone level and positively associated to luteinizing hormone level. PCB 153 was positively associated to androstenedione and estrone levels. No association was found for chlordecone. Conclusions: These results suggested that the endocrine response pattern, estimated by determining blood levels of steroid hormones, varies depending on the POPs studied, possibly reflecting differences in the modes of action generally attributed to these compounds. It remains to be investigated whether this response pattern is predictive of the subsequent occurrence of disease. [less ▲]

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See detailAdult Bone Marrow Neural Crest Stem Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells are not able to Replace Lost Neurons in Acute MPTP-lesioned Mice
Neirinckx, Virginie ULg; Marquet, Alice ULg; Coste, Cécile ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(5),

Adult bone marrow stroma contains multipotent stem cells (BMSC) that are a mixed population of mesenchymal and neural-crest derived stem cells. Both cells are endowed with in vitro multi-lineage ... [more ▼]

Adult bone marrow stroma contains multipotent stem cells (BMSC) that are a mixed population of mesenchymal and neural-crest derived stem cells. Both cells are endowed with in vitro multi-lineage differentiation abilities, then constituting an attractive and easy-available source of material for cell therapy in neurological disorders. Whereas the in vivo integration and differentiation of BMSC in neurons into the central nervous system is currently matter of debate, we report here that once injected into the striatum of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-treated mice, pure populations of either bone marrow neural crest stem cells (NCSC) or mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) survived only transiently into the lesioned brain. Moreover, they do not migrate through the brain tissue, neither modify their initial phenotype, while no recovery of the dopaminergic system integrity was observed. Consequently, we tend to conclude that MSC/NCSC are not able to replace lost neurons in acute MPTP-lesioned dopaminergic system through a suitable integration and/or differentiation process. Altogether with recent data, it appears that neuroprotective, neurotrophic and anti-inflammatory features characterizing BMSC are of greater interest as regards CNS lesions management. [less ▲]

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See detailFunction of the Chloroplast Hydrogenase in the Microalga Chlamydomonas: The Role of Hydrogenase and State Transitions during Photosynthetic Activation in Anaerobiosis
Ghysels, Bart ULg; Godaux, Damien ULg; Matagne, René-Fernand ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(5), 64161

Like a majority of photosynthetic microorganisms, the green unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii may encounter O2 deprived conditions on a regular basis. In response to anaerobiosis or in a ... [more ▼]

Like a majority of photosynthetic microorganisms, the green unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii may encounter O2 deprived conditions on a regular basis. In response to anaerobiosis or in a respiration defective context, the photosynthetic electron transport chain of Chlamydomonas is remodeled by a state transition process to a conformation that favours the photoproduction of ATP at the expense of reductant synthesis. In some unicellular green algae including Chlamydomonas, anoxia also triggers the induction of a chloroplast-located, oxygen sensitive hydrogenase, which accepts electrons from reduced ferredoxin to convert protons into molecular hydrogen. Although microalgal hydrogen evolution has received much interest for its biotechnological potential, its physiological role remains unclear. By using specific Chlamydomonas mutants, we demonstrate that the state transition ability and the hydrogenase function are both critical for induction of photosynthesis in anoxia. These two processes are thus important for survival of the cells when they are transiently placed in an anaerobic environment. [less ▲]

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See detailSimulation of Left Atrial Function Using a Multi-Scale Model of the Cardiovascular System
Pironet, Antoine ULg; Dauby, Pierre ULg; Paeme, Sabine ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(6), 65146

During a full cardiac cycle, the left atrium successively behaves as a reservoir, a conduit and a pump. This complex behavior makes it unrealistic to apply the time-varying elastance theory to ... [more ▼]

During a full cardiac cycle, the left atrium successively behaves as a reservoir, a conduit and a pump. This complex behavior makes it unrealistic to apply the time-varying elastance theory to characterize the left atrium, first, because this theory has known limitations, and second, because it is still uncertain whether the load independence hypothesis holds. In this study, we aim to bypass this uncertainty by relying on another kind of mathematical model of the cardiac chambers. In the present work, we describe both the left atrium and the left ventricle with a multi-scale model. The multi-scale property of this model comes from the fact that pressure inside a cardiac chamber is derived from a model of the sarcomere behavior. Macroscopic model parameters are identified from reference dog hemodynamic data. The multi-scale model of the cardiovascular system including the left atrium is then simulated to show that the physiological roles of the left atrium are correctly reproduced. This include a biphasic pressure wave and an eight-shaped pressure-volume loop. We also test the validity of our model in non basal conditions by reproducing a preload reduction experiment by inferior vena cava occlusion with the model. We compute the variation of eight indices before and after this experiment and obtain the same variation as experimentally observed for seven out of the eight indices. In summary, the multi-scale mathematical model presented in this work is able to correctly account for the three roles of the left atrium and also exhibits a realistic left atrial pressure-volume loop. Furthermore, the model has been previously presented and validated for the left ventricle. This makes it a proper alternative to the time-varying elastance theory if the focus is set on precisely representing the left atrial and left ventricular behaviors. [less ▲]

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See detailSubstrate Marking by an Invasive Ladybeetle: Seasonal Changes in Hydrocarbon Composition and Behavioral Responses
Durieux, Delphine ULg; Fassotte, Bérénice ULg; Vanderplanck et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(4),

The multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), aggregates inside dwellings during the winter to survive the cold. Recent published reports have highlighted that overwintering individuals ... [more ▼]

The multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), aggregates inside dwellings during the winter to survive the cold. Recent published reports have highlighted that overwintering individuals use hydrocarbon markings deposited on surfaces by conspecifics to orient toward aggregation sites. In the current study, monthly GC-MS analyses revealed seasonal modifications in the chemical profile of substrate markings deposited by moving individuals. The markings of overwintering ladybeetles contained larger proportions of heptacosadiene, nonacosadiene, hentriacontadienes, and methyl-nonacosanes, along with a lower proportion of heptacosene and nonacosene. This finding suggests the importance of the unsaturated and/or branched hydrocarbons in the H. axyridis aggregation process. Subsequently, we conducted behavioral assays to test whether (1) there is seasonal variation in the behavioral response of H. axyridis individuals toward substrate markings deposited by conspecifics in the same physiological state and (2) the observed behavioral modification is due to a change in ladybeetle sensitivity and/or a change in the chemical composition of the substrate marking. The results indicate that overwintering individuals exhibit a stronger ‘‘following’’ response toward conspecific substrate markings. This behavior is linked to both the physiological state of ladybeetles and the specific chemical profile of the marking biomolecules deposited under overwintering conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacteristics of Near-Death Experiences Memories as Compared to Real and Imagined Events Memories
Thonnard, Marie ULg; Charland-Verville, Vanessa ULg; Brédart, Serge ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(3),

Since the dawn of time, Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) have intrigued and, nowadays, are still not fully explained. Since reports of NDEs are proposed to be imagined events, and since memories of imagined ... [more ▼]

Since the dawn of time, Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) have intrigued and, nowadays, are still not fully explained. Since reports of NDEs are proposed to be imagined events, and since memories of imagined event have, on average, fewer phenomenological characteristics than real events memories, we here compared phenomenological characteristics of NDEs reports with memories of imagined and real events. We included three groups of coma survivors (8 patients with NDE as defined by the Greyson NDE scale, 6 patients without NDE but with memory of their coma, 7 patients without memories of their coma) and a group of 18 age-matched healthy volunteers. Five types of memories were assessed using Memory Characteristics Questionnaire (MCQ – Johnson et al., 1988): target memory (NDE for NDE memory group, coma memory for coma memory group, and first childhood memory for no memory and control groups), old and recent real event memories and old and recent imagined event memories. Since NDEs are known to have high emotional content, participants were requested to choose the most emotionally salient memories for both real and imagined recent and old event memories. Results showed that, in NDE memories group, NDE memories have more characteristics than memories of imagined and real events (p<0.02). NDE memories contain more self-referential and emotional information and have better clarity than memories of coma (all p<0.02). The present study showed that NDE memories contain more characteristics than real event memories and coma memories. Thus, this suggests that they cannot be considered as imagined event memories. On the contrary, their physiological origins could lead them to be really perceived although not lived in the reality. Further work is needed to better understand this phenomenon. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of Amylolysin, a Novel Lantibiotic from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens GA1
Arguelles Arias, Anthony ULg; Ongena, Marc ULg; Devreese, Bart et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(12),

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