Atherosclerosis is a disease caused by a build-up of fatty plaques and cholesterol in the arteries. The lumen of the vessels is obliterated resulting in restricted blood supply to tissues. In ischemic conditions, the cytosolic Ca2+ level of skeletal muscle may increase, indicating the alteration of Ca2+ removal mechanisms. Ca2+ is transported from cytosol into the sarcoplasmic reticulum by Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA), with its 1a isoform expressed in adult, while its 1b isoform in neonatal and regenerating fast-twitch skeletal muscle. To investigate the role of these isoforms in ischemic skeletal muscle, biopsies from musculus biceps femoris of patients who underwent amputation due to atherosclerosis were examined. Samples were removed from the visibly healthy and hypoxia-affected tissue. Significantly increased SERCA1a expression was detected under the ischemic conditions (246 ± 69%; p < 0.05) compared with the healthy tissue. Furthermore, the ratio of SERCA1a-positive fibers was slightly increased (46 ± 4% in healthy tissue and 60 ± 5% in ischemic tissue; p > 0.05), whereas SERCA2a did not change. In addition, in primary cultures derived from hypoxia-affected tissue, the diameter and fusion index of myotubes were significantly increased (30 ± 1.6 µm vs. 41 ± 2.4 µm and 31 ± 4% vs. 45 ± 3%; p < 0.05). We propose that the increased SERCA1a expression indicates the existence and location of compensating mechanisms in ischemic muscle.
The addition of synthetic (E)-anethol to the known attractant phenylacetaldehyde synergized attraction of the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera, the blend invariably catching 4 to 6 times more than phenylacetaldehyde on its own. Highest catches were recorded by the 1:1-3:1 blends. The addition of salicyl aldehyde, ±linalool, (R)-(+)-limonene, 2-methoxybenzyl alcohol and 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol (compounds described earlier in the literature as co-attractants for H. armigera), increased catches when added to phenylacetaldehyde. However, the addition of these compounds did not increase catches of the (E)-anethol+pheny- lacetaldehyde blend. When directly compared with performance of the synthetic pheromone, the (E)-anethol +phenylacetaldehyde blend caught an average of 27% of the catch in pheromone baited traps. On an average 79% of moths caught in traps with the (E)-anethol+phenylacetaldehyde blend were females, while traps with pheromone caught only males. The (E)-anethol+phenylacetaldehyde blend described in this study may form the basis for the development of an efficient bisexual lure for H. armigera AFTER further optimization.