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Dee Unglaub Silverthorn: Human Physiology, An Integrated Approach (Second Edition). Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA, 2001. 818 pages, 573 figures

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Starting from the second half of the 18 th century, a brief chronology of teaching medical physiology and pathophysiology in Hungary is given in this article. Even when the major milestones of this history are only identified, one can recognize several significant achivements that may inspire the present and coming generations to develope and enrich this inheritance of high values. These achivements involve - inter alia - influential scientific “schools” founded by eminent professors, outstanding institutions of basic medicine, recognition of the relevance of the integrative approach in medical education, close relationship between teaching and scientific research, high-standard theoretical and practical training, teaching based on excellent domestic and foreign textbooks, extensive international relationships and experience.

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Authors: O. Hänninen, Mária Faragó and E Monos

Professor Ignác Semmelweis (1818-1865) is one of the great personalities of medical history. He insisted on washing hands with chlorine water before any obstetrical intervention, he was the first to demonstrate its importance in preventing puerperal fever. Thus, the principle of asepsis was introduced prior to the discovery of bacteria and bacterial diseases. Semmelweis carefully documented his findings and in this way pioneered the scientific analysis of clinical data. Medical community of that time misinterpreted Semmelweis' great ideas, he died abandoned and forgotten. A Finnish doctor Josef Adam Joachim Pippingsköld was one of the first obstetricians who had realized the importance of Semmelweis' work. In 1861, in his letter to Semmelweis he reported about his own findings and favorable results in prevention of puerperal fever in Helsinki. Two decades earlier, Dr. Ehrström in the University of Helsinki had submitted his thesis on pathophysiology of puerperal fever that was similar to the ideas of Semmelweis. Long before modern times in Finland, mothers traditionally had their babies delivered in smoke saunas, where heating and smoke of bactericidal phenols created a clean, rather aseptic environment. Hand washing was self-evident necessity. However, the situation was quite different in the Central European universities and departments of obstetrics, where the medical training and clinical practice took place side by side. Semmelweis' life and his contribution to medicine was appreciated even in the theatrical circles of Finland. The piece “Semmelweis” of Norwegian playwright Jens Bjørneboe got its World Premier in the Swedish Theatre in Turku, former capital of Finland, in September 1969.

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Aims

Labyrinthectomized rats are suitable models to test consequences of vestibular lesion and are widely used to study neural plasticity. We describe a combined microsurgical–chemical technique that can be routinely performed with minimum damage.

Methods

Caudal leaflet of the parotis is elevated. The tendinous fascia covering the bulla is opened frontally from the sternomastoid muscle’s tendon while sparing facial nerve branches. A 4 mm diameter hole is drilled into the bulla’s hind lower lateral wall to open the common (in rodents) mastoid-tympanic cavity. The cochlear crista (promontory) at the lower posterior part of its medial wall is identified as a bony prominence. A 1 mm diameter hole is drilled into its lower part. The perilymphatic/endolymphatic fluids with tissue debris of the Corti organ are suctioned. Ethanol is injected into the hole. Finally, 10 µL of sodium arsenite solution (50 µM/mL) is pumped into the labyrinth and left in place for 15 min. Simple closure in two layers (fascia and skin) is sufficient.

Results and conclusion

All rats had neurological symptoms specific for labyrinthectomy (muscle tone, body position, rotatory movements, nystagmus, central deafness). Otherwise, their behavior was unaffected, drinking and eating normally. After a few days, they learned to balance relying on visual and somatic stimuli (neuroplasticity).

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Background/Aim: There is a limited number of methods to measure blood flow velocity in small veins. A cheap and simple new videomicroscopic method developed in our laboratories is described in the paper.Methods: A stretch of the saphenous vein of the rat was exposed by careful micropreparation on the thigh of anesthetized animals. Bolus amount (approx. 5 μl) of saline was infused into a small side branch through a microcannula to dilute flowing blood. Videomicroscopic picture of the vein was then taken of the exposed upstream stretch of the vein. Serial pictures were digitized and analyzed using macro functions of the Image J software. Sensitive areas of serial pictures were selected and fitted. Consecutive pictures were subtracted from each other to better characterize their alteration in-between frames. Greyscale intensity values measured at different points of the inner diameter were averaged for each point of the vessel axis. Cross-correlations along the axis were then computed for consecutive frames with delays of 40, 80, 120 and 160 msec. Pixel offsets producing cross-correlation maxima were determined and used to compute mean flow velocity.Results: Combination of digital subtraction and cross-correlation computations yielded easily identifiable maximums. Mean flow velocities could be determined with limited uncertainty.Conclusion: The described technique gives a cheap, simple and reproducible mean to determine mean blood flow velocities in small veins in anesthetized animals, where other current techniques (ultrasonography, laser-Doppler, fluorescently labelled red cell movement) are either expensive or can be applied with difficulty only.

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Authors: Fares Osman, I. Romics, P. Nyírády, E. Monos and GyL. Nádasy

The pyeloureteral function is to transport urine from the kidneys into the ureter toward the urinary bladder for storage until micturition. A set of mechanisms collaborates to achieve this purpose: the basic process regulating ureteral peristalsis is myogenic, initiated by active pacemaker cells located in the renal pelvis. Great emphasis has been given to hydrodynamic factors, such as urine flow rate in determining the size and pattern of urine boluses which, in turn, affect the mechanical aspects of peristaltic rhythm, rate, amplitude, and baseline pressure. Neurogenic contribution is thought to be limited to play a modulatory role in ureteral peristalsis. The myogenic theory of ureteral peristalsis can be traced back to Engelmann (1) who was able to localize the peristaltic pressure wave’s origin in the renal pelvis and suggested that the ureteral contraction impulse passes from one ureteral cell to another, the whole ureter working as a functional syncitium. Recent studies of ureteral biomechanics, smooth muscle cell electrophysiology, membrane ionic currents, cytoskeletal components and pharmacophysiology much improved our understanding of the mechanism of how the urine bolus is propelled, how this process is disturbed in pathological states, and what could be done to improve it.

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Authors: M. Matrai, B. Szekacs, M. Mericli, G. Nadasy, M. Szekeres, F. Banhidy, G. Bekesi, E. Monos and Szabolcs Várbíró

Hypertension causes small vessel remodeling, vasomotor alterations. We investigated diameter, tone and mechanics of intramural small coronaries of female rats that received chronic angiotensin treatment to induce hypertension.Angiotensin II infusion (AII, 100 ng/bwkg/min, sc.) was used to establish hypertension in 10 female rats. Other 10 rats served as controls. Following 4 weeks of treatment, side branches of the left anterior descendant coronary (diameter∼200 μm) were isolated, cannulated and pressure-diameter curves were registered between 2–90 mmHg. Changes in vessel diameter were measured in Krebs solution, in the presence of thromboxane A2 receptor agonist (U46619, 10−6M), bradykinin (BK, 10−6M), and finally at complete relaxation (in Ca2+-free solution).Chronic AII treatment raised the mean arterial pressure (130±5 mmHg vs. 96±2 mmHg, average ±SEM) significantly. Wall thickness of the AII group was significantly greater (40.2±4.2 μm vs. 31.4±2.7 μm at 50 mmHg in Ca2+-free solution), but cross-section of the vessel wall did not differ. Tangentional wall stress and elastic modulus decreased significantly in hypertensive animals. Constrictions in the presence of U46619 were greater in the AII group (24.4± 5.6% vs. 14.5±3.3% at 50 mmHg).In hypertension, intramural small coronaries showed inward eutrophic remodeling, as a morphological adaptation following AII treatment enhanced thromboxane A2 — induced tone.

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Authors: Levente Sára, GyL. Nádasy, P. Antal, M. Szekeres, A. Monori-Kiss, E. Horváth, A. Tőkés, G. Masszi, E. Monos and Szabolcs Várbíró

To clarify the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-induced polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) on arteriolar biomechanics in a rat model and the possible modulatory role of vitamin D3.Methods and Results The PCOS model was induced in female Wistar rats by ten-weeks DHT treatment. Arteriolar biomechanics was tested in arterioles by pressure arteriography in control as well as DHT- and DHT with vitamin D3-treated animals in contracted and passive conditions. Increased wall stress and distensibility as well as increased vascular lumen were detected after DHT treatment. Concomitant vitamin D3 treatment lowered the mechanical load of the arterioles and restored the vascular diameter.Conclusion The hyperandrogenic state resulted in more rigid, less flexible arteriolar walls with increased vascular lumen compared with controls. DHT treatment caused eutrophic remodelling of gracilis arteriole. These prehypertensive alterations caused by chronic DHT treatment were mostly reversed by concomitant vitamin D3 administration.

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