Modulation of distal colonic epithelial barrier function by dietary fibre in normal rats.
BACKGROUND: Dietary fibre influences the turnover and differentiation of the colonic epithelium, but its effects on barrier function are unknown. AIMS: To determine whether altering the type and amount of fibre in the diet affects paracellular permeability of intestinal epithelium, and to identify the mechanisms of action. METHODS: Rats were fed isoenergetic low fibre diets with or without supplements of wheat bran (10%) or methylcellulose (10%), for four weeks. Paracellular permeability was determined by measurement of conductance and 51Cr-EDTA flux across tissue mounted in Ussing chambers. Faecal short chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations were assessed by gas chromatography, epithelial kinetics stathmokinetically, and mucosal brush border hydrolase activities spectrophotometrically. RESULTS: Body weight was similar across the dietary groups. Conductance and 51Cr-EDTA flux were approximately 25% higher in animals fed no fibre, compared with those fed wheat bran or methylcellulose in the distal colon, but not in the caecum or jejunum. Histologically, there was no evidence of epithelial injury or erosion associated with any diet. The fibres exerted different spectra of effects on luminal SCFA concentrations and pH, and on mucosal indexes, but both bulked the faeces, were trophic to the epithelium, and stimulated expression of a marker of epithelial differentiation. CONCLUSIONS: Both a fermentable and a non-fermentable fibre reduce paracellular permeability specifically in the distal colon, possibly by promoting epithelial cell differentiation. The mechanisms by which the two fibres exert their effects are likely to be different. (+info)
Axon voltage-clamp simulations. I. Methods and tests.
This is the first in a series of four papers in which we present the numerical simulation of the application of the voltage clamp technique to excitable cells. In this paper we describe the application of the Crank-Nicolson (1947) method for the solution of the parabolic partial differential equations that describe a cylindrical cell in which the ionic conductances are functions of voltage and time (Hodgkin and Huxley, 1952). This method is compared with other methods in terms of accuracy and speed of solution for a propagated action potential. In addition, differential equations representing a simple voltage-clamp electronic circuit are presented. Using the voltage clamp circuit equations, we simulate the voltage clamp of a single isopotential membrane patch and show how the parameters of the circuit affect the transient response of the patch to a step change in the control potential. The stimulation methods presented in this series of papers allow the evaluation of voltage clamp control of an excitable cell or a syncytium of excitable cells. To the extent that membrane parameters and geometrical factors can be determined, the methods presented here provide solutions for the voltage profile as a function of time. (+info)
Axon voltage-clamp simulations. II. Double sucrose-gap method.
This is the second in a series of four papers on the simulation of the voltage clamp of cylindrical excitable cells. In this paper we evaluate the double sucrose-gap voltage-clamp technique for the squid and lobster giant axons. Using the Crank-Nicolson method of solution of the cable equations and differential equations representing the voltage clamp circuit we studied the effect of length of the sucrose gap "node" on the voltage profile along an excitable cell during a simulated voltage clamp. The voltage gradients along the region of the cell within the node produce "notches" in the current recording as well as changes in the magnitude of the sodium and potassium current for a given voltage step. Our results show that good voltage clamp control requires node lengths less than one-half the axon diameter. (+info)
Axon voltage-clamp simulations. A multicellular preparation.
In this paper we extend the simulation of the voltage clamp of a single nerve fiber to a bundle of axons. These simulations included not only the description of the voltage clamp circuit and a single unidimensional cable to represent the preparation in the "node" region of a double sucrose gap used previously but also a series resistance and a shunt pathway. The output of the voltage control amplifier is applied across the membrane plus the series resistance, producing a voltage drop across the series resistance due to the current generated by the membrane in response to a depolarizing voltage step. Since the membrane current has an inward and an outward phase, voltage drops of opposite sign are produced across the series resistance. During the transient current and at all points along an axon, the potential deviation produced by the series resistance is opposite to the deviation produced by the longitudinal gradient. Only at a command potential equal to the sodium equilibrium potential, the membrane potential transiently matches the command potential. For the attempted voltage clamp of an axon, values of series resistance larger than 50 omega-cm2 allowed propagated action potentials in the membrane. In spite of the presence of propagated action potentials at the calbe membrane, the recorded current does not show "notches" and it has a phase of inward current and a phase of outward current. It is concluded that, in a multicellular preparation with series resistance, the recording of a square voltage pulse does not indicate voltage control of the transmembrane potential. The presence of a shunt pathway produces inaccurate values of current density. Neither series or shunt resistance produce "notches" in the current records. (+info)
The interaction of DNA with dopamine by spectroscopic and electrochemical methods.
It has recently been reported that dopamine may show some biological activities in antitumor and cell apoptosis. We have thoroughly investigated the interaction between dopamine and DNA by CD, UV, fluorescence and electrochemical methods. The results of spectroscopic measurements have indicated that a binding event occurs in a dopamine-DNA system. Besides the electronstatic interaction between a negatively charged DNA molecule and a positively charged dopamine molecule, other binding modes, such as hydrogen-bond and intercalation may also exist in this system. The interaction parameters, including the equilibrium constant and binding numbers, were estimated by an electrochemical method based on the redox current and formal potentials. Both of the two calculation methods showed that the 1:1 type of complex was formed in the dopamine-DNA system and that its equilibrium constant was about 5.85 x 10(6) M(-1). Based on the results of UV, fluorescence and electrochemical experiments in the present study, dopamine may be employed as an effective probe for a DNA assay. (+info)
Spectroscopic and voltammetric study on the binding of aluminium(III) to DNA.
Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy were used, for the first time, to study the interaction between aluminium(III) and calf thymus DNA under neutral pH conditions. Thus obtained data confirmed the existence of a relatively strong interaction between Al(III) and DNA. The binding site for aluminium(III) on DNA chains is not the bases, but the phosphate groups on the DNA backbones, the same as that for [Co(phen)3](3+/2+) that binds non-specifically and electrostatically to the deoxyribose phosphate backbone of DNA. When coexisting, Al(III) binds more favorably to DNA than [Co(phen)3](3+/2+), which implies the relatively strong binding of Al(III) to the phosphate backbone of DNA under neutral pH conditions. The nature of the binding of Al(III) to DNA is also discussed. (+info)
Effect of polylysine on transformations and permeability of negative vesicular membranes.
Small (40-60 nm in diameter) and large (300-350 nm) negative vesicles were complexed with a cationic polypeptide, poly-L-lysine (PL). Laser microelectrophoresis experiments showed that in small vesicles rendered anionic with the addition of cardiolipin (CL(2-)), only the CL(2-) in the outer leaflet is involved in the complexation with PL. Calorimetric and other data demonstrate that the binding of PL to the membrane surface causes domains ("rafts") of CL(2-) to form in the outer leaflet, and it is these domains that electrostatically bind the polymer. The kinetics of transmembrane permeation of doxorubicin (Dox, a fluorescent anti-tumor drug) was monitored with and without PL binding to the outer surface of the vesicles. It was found that PL mediates the permeation of Dox into the vesicle interior. In the absence of PL, the Dox molecule (possessing an amino group of pK(a)=8.6) binds to the anionic vesicles in the protonated form and, consequently, suffers an impaired mobility through the membrane. On the other hand, when the PL covers the vesicle surface, Dox passes though the membrane with greater ease. The effects of salt and polyanion on the stability of PL-vesicle complexes and the PL-mediated Dox permeation are also discussed. (+info)
A disposable voltammetric cell for determining the titratable acidity in vinegar.
A disposable voltammetric cell using three pencil leads as working, reference, and counter electrodes was developed for determining the titratable acidity, i.e. the acid content in vinegar. The materials of the pencil leads were graphite-reinforcement carbons (GRCs). A voltammetric determination of acid was made by measuring the reduction prepeak current of 3,5-di-t-butyl-1,2-benzoquinone (DBBQ) due to the presence of acids in unbuffered solution. The potential stability of the pseudo-reference electrode of GRC was examined. The prepeak current was found to be proportional to the acetic acid concentration from 0.05 to 2.7 mM with a correlation coefficient of 0.999. The cell-to-cell reproducibility for 1 mM acetic acid was evaluated with ten individual disposable cells. The RSD of the prepeak current and the SD of the prepeak potential were 2.56% and 0.008, respectively. The titratable acidity in five vinegar samples was determined by voltammetry using disposable cells and compared with that of the titratable acidity determined by the conventional potentiometric titration method. We then observed the results by both methods, and found a correlation coefficient of 0.972. As such, the voltammetry using disposable-cell required only one thousandth the volume of a vinegar sample for the titration method. The disposable cell was superior to the conventional electrochemical cell, in terms of facility, environment-friendly, and economy, and thus a sensor using the present cell would be useful for routine work in the quality control of vinegar. (+info)