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  • Author or Editor: Ágnes Szabó x
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Chlamydophila pneumoniae is an obligate intracellular human pathogen, which causes acute respiratory tract infections and can also cause chronic infections.C. pneumoniae possess type III secretion system (TTSS), which allows them to secrete effector molecules into the inclusion membrane and the host cell cytosol. Low calcium response protein E (LcrE) is a part of TTSS. The gene of LcrE in a 6His-tagged form was cloned from C. pneumoniae CWL029, expressed and purified from Escherichia coli using the HIS-select TALON CellThru Resin, this gene was also cloned into a eukaryotic expression vector (pΔRC). One group of BALB/c mice received an intramuscular pΔRC inoculation then the mice were immunized with purified LcrE protein; the second group of mice was immunized two times with the recombinant plasmid (pΔRCLcrE), and the third group was primed with pΔRCLcrE inoculation then boosted with LcrE protein. LcrE-specific antibody response was induced by DNA immunization with a shift towards Th1 isotype pattern compared to protein-immunization, this shifting pattern was observed in plasmid primed then protein-boosted animals. DNA immunization given as a priming and followed by a protein booster significantly reduced the number of viable bacteria in the lungs after challenge with C. pneumoniae. These results confirm that immunization with pΔRCLcrE can be an effective part of a vaccination schedule against C. pneumoniae.

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The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the attitudes displayed towards death by the youth and their mental health in the Hungarian population and to compare the results to data published in the literature. Our goal was to examine changes in the way youth conceived death, furthermore to examine the way youth perceived their own death within a small generational comparison study.


In order to measure the degree and possible dimensions of the fear of death in Hungarian young the Multidimensional Fear of Death Scale (MFODS) was used. The samples came from different socio-economic groups in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.


The two highest anxiety factors were Fear for Significant Others and Fear of the Dying Process in all the examined groups. A significant difference in the overall fear of death was detected between the young and middle aged groups (p = 0.000) but the most characteristic difference was found between the young and older age groups.


This study confirmed previous observations in Western type societies being the first in Hungary to use the validated MFODS method. Improvement of communication within families, opening up channels of communication about death and dying together with the use and distribution of educational materials in schools may reduce fear of death and anxiety among young people.

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Kutatásunk célja a halálról alkotott elképzelések generációs értékítélet-különbségeinek összehasonlító vizsgálata a magyar társadalomban. A halállal kapcsolatos, leginkább félelmet keltő dimenziók mérésére kérdőíves vizsgálatot végeztünk, 178 fős célpopuláción. A felméréshez a Nei­meyer és Moore-féle Multidimenzionális Halálfélelem Skálát (MFODS, 42 tétel, 8 faktorba rendezve) használtuk. A skálát Lester Halál Iránti Attitűd Skálájával, a Rövidített Beck Depresszió Kérdőívvel és a STAI-T skálával validáltuk és bemértük. A statisztikai elemzés alapján a skála valid, jól mér a magyar populáción, a skálák egymással jól korrelálnak. Az MFODS eredeti faktorstruktúrája kirajzolódott a magyar mintán, az 5. faktor kivételével. A kapott eredmények - mint a fiatalok és a nők magasabb halálfélelme és szorongása - alátámasztják a szakirodalomban korábban közölt kutatási eredményeket.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: Samantha Pitt, Ágnes Vehovszky, Henriette Szabó and C. J. H. Elliott

We describe octopamine responses of 3 large buccal neurons of Lymnaea and test the hypothesis that these are cAMP-dependent. The B1 neuron is excited by octopamine and the depolarisation is significantly enlarged (P<0.05) by application of the blocker of cAMP breakdown, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX). The B1 neuron is also depolarised by forskolin, an activator of adenylyl cyclase. The B2 and B3 neurons are inhibited by octopamine, and the response is not affected by IBMX. Both cells are excited by forskolin. We conclude that the B1 neuron response to octopamine is likely to be mediated by cAMP, while the B2 and B3 responses are cAMP-independent.

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The osmotic stimulation which is able to change the behavioral state of the animal are most effective during rainy weather while they are less effective during dry weather conditions. In isolated CNS preparations from aestivated animals the highest firing activity and serotonin sensitivity of the serotonergic (RPas) heart modulator neurons are recorded during rainy weather and the lowest parameters are observed in dry conditions. In aestivated animals the serotonin (5HT) content in both the CNS and the foot is higher than the dopamine (DA) content during rainy weather, while in dry weather the DA level is higher than the 5HT. The inactivation-reactivation process is accompanied by decreasing both the DA and 5HT levels in the CNS and increasing them in the peripheral organs. Our results suggest that aestivated animals adapt to (favorable and unfavorable) environmental conditions by modulating their central arousal state through changing the levels and distribution of monoamines (5HT, DA) in their body.

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The responses of the snail central neurons (Helix pomatia, Lymnaea stagnalis) and the isolated Helix heart were characterized evoked by cyanobacterial extracts (Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii ACT strains) isolated from Lake Balaton (Hungary). The nicotinergic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors in the CNS (both excitatory and inhibitory) were blocked by the extracts of ACT 9502 and ACT 9505 strains and the anatoxin- a (homoanatoxin-a) producing reference strain of Oscillatoria sp. (PCC 6506), similar to the inhibitory effects of the pure anatoxin-a. The enhancement of the ACh responses by the ACT 9504 extract suggests additional, probably acetylcholine esterase inhibitory mechanisms. On the isolated Helix heart the crude ACT 9505 and PCC 6506 extracts evoked frequency increase and transient twitch contraction, opposite to the ACh evoked heart relaxation. Anatoxin-a similarly contracted the heart but did not increase its contration frequency. These data suggest the involvement of some non-cholinergic mechanisms, acting very likely by direct modulation of the electrical or contractile system of the isolated heart. Diversity of the effects evoked by the cyanobacterial extracts in the CNS and heart suggest pharmacologically different neuroactive components among the secondary metabolites of the cyanobacteria acting on both (anatoxin-a like) cholinergic and (unidentified) non-cholinergic receptors.

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(Artemia) nauplii was used to asses the toxicity of rotenone, MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine), MP+ (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium) and the effect of L-DOPA co-treatment with rotenone. Rotenone had a dose dependent effect on mortality (LC50: 0.37 ± 0.04 μM mean ± S E, n = 24), while MPTP and MP+ proved to be toxic in millimolar range (LC50: 0.21 ± 0.09 mM and 0.20 ± 0.08 mM, respectively, n = 4). L-DOPA (50–200 μM) co-treatment increased the survival of the rotenone-treated animals (LC50: 0.51 ± 0.23 μM, 1.03 ± 0.66 μM, and 0.76 ± 0.52 μM, respectively). In the whole body tissue homogenates of Artemia, sublethal (up to 0.3 μM) concentrations of rotenone increased the glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity by up to 50 about percent (LC50: 53.3 ± 6.8 nM/min/mg protein, against 34.7 ± 3.6 nM/min/mg protein, n = 4). Nauplii treated in 100 mM L-DOPA and rotenone together showed further increase of GST activity all across the range of rotenone concentrations. These results on Artemia nauplii show similarities with other animal models, when complex I inhibitors were tested. Biochemical measurements suggest a protective role of L-DOPA by increasing the GST activity as part of the intracellular defences during toxin-evoked oxidative stress.

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Claudins are integral membrane proteins of the tight junction structures expressed by epithelial and endothelial cells. The present study has evaluated the expression of claudin-4 in 10 normal canine hepatoid glands and in 67 hepatoid glands with hyperplastic and neoplastic lesions. The lesions studied included normal hepatoid glands (n = 10), nodular hyperplasias (n = 10), adenomas (n = 12), epitheliomas (n = 15), differentiated carcinomas (n = 15) and anaplastic carcinomas (n = 15). There was an intensive expression of claudin-4 in normal canine hepatoid glands as well as in hyperplasias and adenomas. Claudin-4 was detected as a well-localised linear circumferential membranous staining pattern of epithelial cells (mature hepatoid cells) in normal hepatoid glands, perianal gland hyperplasias and adenomas. In nodular hyperplasia and adenoma, the reserve cells showed membrane positivity for the claudin-4 molecule. There was a weaker expression in hepatoid gland epitheliomas. In the epitheliomas, the basaloid reserve cells never expressed the claudin-4 molecule. The multiple small parts of epitheliomas in which the cells exhibited typical hepatoid features showed a well-localised linear circumferential membranous staining pattern for claudin-4. The numerical score for cellular expression of claudin-4 was higher in differentiated carcinomas than in epitheliomas, but moderately lower than in adenomas. The anaplastic, poorly differentiated hepatoid gland carcinomas showed an overexpression of claudin-4. These results suggest that low claudin-4 expression in epitheliomas is a molecular characteristic indicative of increasing cellular disorientation, detachment motility and invasion by tumour cells, and claudin-4 seems to be helpful in distinguishing undifferentiated carcinomas from differentiated carcinomas and epitheliomas of the hepatoid gland. In addition, claudin-4 can help distinguish epithelioma from differentiated carcinoma of the canine hepatoid gland.

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Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating disease of wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) world-wide. The objective of this study was to identify FHB resistance QTLs of the Brazilian spring wheat cultivar Frontana through molecular mapping. Frontana has small and medium effective QTLs. These types of QTLs are sensitive for the environmental factors and for the problems of heterogeneity. 206 DH lines from Frontana/Remus (IFA-Tulln) /2005–2006/ and 105 DH lines of Mini Mano/Frontana (CRC Szeged) /2006–2007/ were inoculated with isolates of F. graminearum and F. culmorum . The Frontana/Remus DH population had wide differences in flowering time and plant height. MM/Frontana was created by CRC, Szeged so that too early and late DH lines were discarded and the remaining lines flowered within five days. Lines with extra plant height were also discarded, so differences were kept within 20–30 cm. In the Frontana/Remus population QTLs were identified on the chromosomes 3B, 5A, 6B. In the MM/Frontana population chromosomes 3B and 5B gave positive signal. Although in both populations Frontana was the resistant parent no QTL markers were identical for them. It seems that the more homogeneous population increases the accuracy of the QTL analysis. An increased morphological homogeneity seems to be necessary to decrease „background noise“ in QTL analyses and increase precision. Until now no QTL were found that gave positive signs for all epidemic situations. As QTLs are not validated, it is early to apply MAS in breeding.

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Papaver somniferum produces secondary metabolites which have important roles in self-defense processes, in plant biochemistry, and in allelochemistry. By performing experiments to determine how irregular stress effects changed the alkaloid content of poppies we have shown that different types of stress affect the quantities of alkaloids. Papaver somniferum (cv. ‘Kék Duna’, Budakalász, Hungary) plants were grown for 2 months, from seeds, in quartz-sand (natural light, temperature 24–28°C, in Knopf ’s nutritive solution). In this work we studied alkaloids in poppies subjected to two kinds of stress — mycotoxin and drought. Amounts of alkaloids were measured by different separation and detection procedures — thin-layer chromatography (TLC and HPTLC) with fluorescence detection, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). HPLC proved superior for identification and approximate estimation of the morphine alkaloids, but the effects of stress on poppy plants can be detected by use of either method. Drought stress resulted in higher levels of the alkaloids whereas mycotoxin stress did not result in significant differences.

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