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Abstract  

We have determined the concentration of 25 trace elements in crude petroleum from seven Libyan oil fields by instrumental neutron activation analysis. Crude oil samples were irradiated with a thermal neutron dose rate of 1012 and 1013 n·cm–2·s–1 in the Tajoura research reactor. The concentration of U, Br, Mg, Cu, Na, V, Cl, Al, Mn and Ca is in a range of 0.015 to 84 ppm and that of sulphur of 0.12 to 1.8%. The elements Sc, Cr, Ni, Fe, Co, Zn, Ag, Se, Sb, Ba, Cs, Yb, Hf and Hg have a concentration range of 0.009 to 8747 ppb. The coefficients of variation are within 10%. The elements V and Ni occur as both porphyrin and non-porphyrin and the ratio of these two forms varies over a wide range. The V/Ni ratios are located between 0.17 and 6.67, which are comparable to the reported values for the crude oils from other countries.

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The octapeptide NAP is well known for its neuroprotective properties. We here investigated whether NAP treatment could alleviate pro-inflammatory immune responses during experimental subacute ileitis. To address this, mice with a human gut microbiota were perorally infected with one cyst of Toxoplasma gondii (day 0) and subjected to intraperitoneal synthetic NAP treatment from day 1 until day 8 postinfection (p.i.). Whereas placebo (PLC) control animals displayed subacute ileitis at day 9 p.i., NAP-treated mice exhibited less pronounced pro-inflammatory immune responses as indicated by lower numbers of intestinal mucosal T and B lymphocytes and lower interferon (IFN)-γ concentrations in mesenteric lymph nodes. The NAP-induced anti-inflammatory effects were not restricted to the intestinal tract but could also be observed in extra-intestinal including systemic compartments, given that pro-inflammatory cytokines were lower in liver, kidney, and lung following NAP as compared to PLC application, whereas at day 9 p.i., colonic and serum interleukin (IL)-10 concentrations were higher in the former as compared to the latter. Remarkably, probiotic commensal bifidobacterial loads were higher in the ileal lumen of NAP as compared to PLC-treated mice with ileitis. Our findings thus further support that NAP might be regarded as future treatment option directed against intestinal inflammation.

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Abstract

Enterocolitis caused by Campylobacter jejuni represents an important socioeconomic burden worldwide. The host-specific intestinal microbiota is essential for maintaining colonization resistance (CR) against C. jejuni in conventional mice. Notably, CR is abrogated by shifts of the intestinal microbiota towards overgrowth with commensal E. coli during acute ileitis. Thus, we investigated whether oral transplantation (TX) of ileal microbiota derived from C. jejuni susceptible mice with acute ileitis overcomes CR of healthy conventional animals. Four days following ileitis microbiota TX or ileitis induction and right before C. jejuni infection, mice displayed comparable loads of main intestinal bacterial groups as shown by culture. Eight days following ileitis induction, but not ileal microbiota TX, however, C. jejuni could readily colonize the gastrointestinal tract of conventional mice and also translocate to extra-intestinal tissue sites such as mesenteric lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and blood within 4 days following oral infection. Of note, C. jejuni did not further deteriorate histopathology following ileitis induction. Lack of C. jejuni colonization in TX mice was accompanied by a decrease of commensal E. coli loads in the feces 4 days following C. jejuni infection. In summary, oral ileal microbiota TX from susceptible donors is not sufficient to abrogate murine CR against C. jejuni.

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Abstract

Campylobacter jejuni is one of the predominant causes for foodborne bacterial infections worldwide. We investigated whether signaling of C. jejuni-lipoproteins and -lipooligosaccharide via Toll-like-receptor (TLR) -2 and -4, respectively, is inducing intestinal and extra-intestinal immune responses following infection of conventional IL-10-/- mice with chronic colitis. At day 3 following oral infection, IL-10-/- mice lacking TLR-2 or TLR-4 harbored comparable C. jejuni strain ATCC 43431 loads in their colon. Interestingly, infected TLR-4-/- IL-10-/- mice displayed less compromized epithelial barrier function as indicated by lower translocation rates of live gut commensals into mesenteric lymphnodes (MLNs), and exhibited less distinct B lymphocyte responses in their colonic mucosa as compared to naïve IL-10-/- controls. Furthermore, in extra-intestinal compartments such as MLNs and spleens, abundance of myeloid cells was less distinct whereas relative percentages of activated T helper cells and cytotoxic T cells were higher in spleens and dendritic cells more abundant in MLNs of infected IL-10-/- animals lacking TLR-4 as compared to IL-10-/- controls. Taken together, in conventionally colonized IL-10-/- mice, TLR-4, but not TLR-2, is involved in mediating extra-intestinal pro-inflammatory immune responses following C. jejuni infection. Thus, conventional IL-10-/- mice are well suited to further dissect mechanisms underlying Campylobacter infections in vivo.

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Investigation of polymers by a novel analytical approach for evolved gas analysis in thermogravimetry

Gas chromatography comprehensively coupled to single photon ionization mass spectrometry

Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: Mohammad R. Saraji-Bozorgzad, Thorsten Streibel, Markus Eschner, Thomas M. Groeger, Robert Geissler, Erwin Kaisersberger, Thomas Denner, and Ralf Zimmermann

Abstract

A newly developed measurement technique for evolved gas analysis in thermogravimetry, viz. a thermo balance coupled to comprehensive gas chromatography/single photon ionization mass spectrometry (TG–GC × SPIMS), has been applied to investigate the thermal degradation of two polymers (polycarbonate (PC) blended with ABS and PVC). This detection method provides a two-dimensional analysis of the evolved gaseous products. TG relevant data is obtained as well as an improved resolution power to separate isobaric molecular structures without losing any fraction of the samples. In addition, this solution is not associated with any extension of the measurement time. The assignment of the substance pattern to distinct species is improved compared to solely using MS without a preceding separation step. Furthermore, hitherto undetected compounds when compared to applying TG–SPIMS without GC such as benzonitrile and its methylated derivatives have been found in the evolved gases from the thermal degradation of PC/ABS blend. Finally, a first estimation of the limit of detection has been carried out, yielding 400 ppt for styrene and 500 ppt for toluene from the thermal decomposition of PC/ABS blend.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: Éva Kurucz, B. Váczi, R. Márkus, Barbara Laurinyecz, P. Vilmos, J. Zsámboki, Kinga Csorba, Elisabeth Gateff, D. Hultmark, and I. Andó

We analyzed the heterogeneity of Drosophila hemocytes on the basis of the expression of cell-type specific antigens. The antigens characterize distinct subsets which partially overlap with those defined by morphological criteria. On the basis of the expression or the lack of expression of blood cell antigens the following hemocyte populations have been defined: crystal cells, plasmatocytes, lamellocytes and precursor cells. The expression of the antigens and thus the different cell types are developmentally regulated. The hemocytes are arranged in four main compartments: the circulating blood cells, the sessile tissue, the lymph glands and the posterior hematopoietic tissue. Each hemocyte compartment has a specific and characteristic composition of the various cell types. The described markers represent the first successful attempt to define hemocyte lineages by immunological markers in Drosophila and help to define morphologically, functionally, spatially and developmentally distinct subsets of hemocytes.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Markus M. Heimesaat, K. Heilmann, A. A. Kühl, U. Erben, M. Rühl, A. Fischer, R. W. Farndale, S. Bereswill, U. B. Göbel, M. Zeitz, R. Somasundaram, and C. Freise

Abstract

In experimental models of and humans with intestinal inflammation, increased levels of the matrix-degrading gelatinases MMP-2 and -9 in inflamed tissues can be detected. The synthetic collagen analogue (Gly-Pro-Hyp)10, (GPO)10, has been identified as a relevant binding structure for proMMP-2/-9 and promotes enzymatic activity of proMMP-2. Since targeted MMP strategies might offer promising anti-inflammatory treatment options, we for the first time studied in vivo actions exerted by (GPO)10 applying an acute dextrane sulfate sodium (DSS) induced colitis model. Seven-day intraperitoneal (GPO)10 treatment ameliorated clinical symptoms and histopathological colonic changes as compared to placebo controls with severe colitis. (GPO)10-treated mice displayed a diminished influx of neutrophils, and T- and B-lymphocytes into their colonic mucosa whereas numbers of regulatory T-cells and regenerative cells were higher as compared to placebo controls. Furthermore, IL-6 secretion was down-regulated in ex vivo colonic biopsies derived from (GPO)10-treated mice whereas higher concentrations of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in extra-intestinal compartments such as MLN and spleen could be detected. Strikingly, influx of inflammatory cells into lungs was abolished following (GPO)10 application. We therefore propose (GPO)10 as a promising effective and safe treatment option of intestinal and extra-intestinal inflammatory conditions in humans.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Markus M. Heimesaat, I. R. Dunay, D. Fuchs, D. Trautmann, A. Fischer, A. A. Kühl, C. Loddenkemper, B. Siegmund, A. Batra, S. Bereswill, and O. Liesenfeld

Abstract

Expression of gelatinases A and B, also referred to matrixmetalloproteinases (MMP)-2 and -9, respectively, is increased in inflamed tissues of experimental intestinal inflammation and humans with inflammatory bowel disease (IBDs). Given that we recently reported that treatment with the selective gelatinase inhibitor RO28-2653 ameliorates acute dextrane sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis, we asked whether gelatinase A or B expression is pivotal in mediating large intestinal inflammation. Results from our study reveal that symptoms of acute DSS colitis as well as histopathological colonic changes were ameliorated in MMP-2-, but not MMP-9-deficient mice, and were paralleled by a diminished influx of immune cells. In MMP-2-deficient mice, we observed lower expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interferon-γ (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and IL-6 in colonic biopsies and less overgrowth of the colonic lumen by potentially pro-inflammatory enterobacteria from the commensal gut microbiota. We conclude that rather MMP-2 than MMP-9 is causative for the establishment of DSS colitis in mice. The discrepancy of these data to prior reports might be due to substantial differences in the intestinal microbiota composition of the mice bred at different animal facilities impacting susceptibility to inflammatory stimuli. Consequently, a detailed survey of the gut microbiota should be implemented in immunological/inflammatory studies in the future in order to allow comparison of data from different facilities.

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