Quantitative aspects in the assessment of liver injury. (1/4912)

Liver function data are usually difficult to use in their original form when one wishes to compare the hepatotoxic properties of several chemical substances. However, procedures are available for the conversion of liver function data into quantal responses. These permit the elaboration of dose-response lines for the substances in question, the calculation of median effective doses and the statistical analysis of differences in liver-damaging potency. These same procedures can be utilized for estimating the relative hazard involved if one compares the liver-damaging potency to the median effective dose for some other pharmacologie parameter. Alterations in hepatic triglycerides, lipid peroxidation, and the activities of various hepatic enzymes can also be quantitiated in a dose-related manner. This permits the selection of equitoxic doses required for certain comparative studies and the selection of doses in chemical interaction studies. The quantitative problems involved in low-frequency adverse reactions and the difficulty these present in the detection of liver injury in laboratory animals are discussed.  (+info)

Physiological properties of raphe magnus neurons during sleep and waking. (2/4912)

Neurons in the medullary raphe magnus (RM) that are important in the descending modulation of nociceptive transmission are classified by their response to noxious tail heat as ON, OFF, or NEUTRAL cells. Experiments in anesthetized animals demonstrate that RM ON cells facilitate and OFF cells inhibit nociceptive transmission. Yet little is known of the physiology of these cells in the unanesthetized animal. The first aim of the present experiments was to determine whether cells with ON- and OFF-like responses to noxious heat exist in the unanesthetized rat. Second, to determine if RM cells have state-dependent discharge, the activity of RM neurons was recorded during waking and sleeping states. Noxious heat applied during waking and slow wave sleep excited one group of cells (ON-U) in unanesthetized rats. Other cells were inhibited by noxious heat (OFF-U) applied during waking and slow wave sleep states in unanesthetized rats. NEUTRAL-U cells did not respond to noxious thermal stimulation applied during either slow wave sleep or waking. ON-U and OFF-U cells were more likely to respond to noxious heat during slow wave sleep than during waking and were least likely to respond when the animal was eating or drinking. Although RM cells rarely respond to innocuous stimulation applied during anesthesia, ON-U and OFF-U cells were excited and inhibited, respectively, by innocuous somatosensory stimulation in the unanesthetized rat. The spontaneous activity of >90% of the RM neurons recorded in the unanesthetized rat was influenced by behavioral state. OFF-U cells discharged sporadically during waking but were continuously active during slow wave sleep. By contrast, ON-U and NEUTRAL-U cells discharged in bursts during waking and either ceased to discharge entirely or discharged at a low rate during slow wave sleep. We suggest that OFF cell discharge functions to suppress pain-evoked reactions during sleep, whereas ON cell discharge facilitates pain-evoked responses during waking.  (+info)

Arousal from sleep shortens sympathetic burst latency in humans. (3/4912)

1. Bursts of sympathetic activity in muscle nerves are phase-locked to the cardiac cycle by the sinoaortic baroreflexes. Acoustic arousal from non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep reduces the normally invariant interval between the R-wave of the electrocardiogram (ECG) and the peak of the corresponding sympathetic burst; however, the effects of other forms of sleep disruption (i.e. spontaneous arousals and apnoea-induced arousals) on this temporal relationship are unknown. 2. We simultaneously recorded muscle sympathetic nerve activity in the peroneal nerve (intraneural electrodes) and the ECG (surface electrodes) in seven healthy humans and three patients with sleep apnoea syndrome during NREM sleep. 3. In seven subjects, burst latencies were shortened subsequent to spontaneous K complexes (1.297 +/- 0.024 s, mean +/- s. e.m.) and spontaneous arousals (1.268 +/- 0.044 s) compared with latencies during periods of stable NREM sleep (1.369 +/- 0.023 s). In six subjects who demonstrated spontaneous apnoeas during sleep, apnoea per se did not alter burst latency relative to sleep with stable electroencephalogram (EEG) and breathing (1.313 +/- 0.038 vs. 1.342 +/- 0.026 s); however, following apnoea-induced EEG perturbations, burst latencies were reduced (1.214 +/- 0.034 s). 4. Arousal-induced reduction in sympathetic burst latency may reflect a temporary diminution of baroreflex buffering of sympathetic outflow. If so, the magnitude of arterial pressure perturbations during sleep (e.g. those caused by sleep disordered breathing and periodic leg movements) may be augmented by arousal.  (+info)

Effects of truss mattress upon sleep and bed climate. (4/4912)

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a truss mattress upon sleep and bed climate. The truss mattress which has been designed to decrease the pressure and bed climate humidity was tested. Six healthy female volunteers with a mean age of 23.3 years, served as subjects. The experiment was carried out under two conditions: a truss mattress (T) and a futon (F) (Japanese bedding). The ambient temperature and relative humidity were controlled at 19-20 degrees C, and RH 50-60% respectively. Sleep was monitored by an EEG machine and the rectal temperature, skin temperature and bed climate were also measured continuously. Subjective evaluations of bed and sleep were obtained before and after the recording sessions. No significant difference was observed in the sleep parameters and time spent in each sleep stage. Rectal temperature was significantly lower in T than F. Although there was no significant difference in bed climate over the T/F, the temperature under T/F was significantly higher in T. No significant difference was observed in subjective sleep evaluation. The subjective feeling of the mattress was significantly warmer in F than T before sleep. These results suggest that although T does not disturb the sleep parameters and the bed climate is maintained at the same level as with F, it may affect rectal temperature which can be due to low thermal insulation.  (+info)

Effect of working hours on cardiovascular-autonomic nervous functions in engineers in an electronics manufacturing company. (5/4912)

A field survey of 147 engineers (23-49 years) in an electronics manufacturing company was conducted to investigate the effect of working hours on cardiovascular-autonomic nervous functions (urinary catecholamines, heart rate variability and blood pressure). The subjects were divided into 3 groups by age: 23-29 (n = 49), 30-39 (n = 74) and 40-49 (n = 24) year groups. Subjects in each age group were further divided into shorter (SWH) and longer (LWH) working hour subgroups according to the median of weekly working hours. In the 30-39 year group, urinary noradrenaline in the afternoon for LWH was significantly lower than that for SWH and a similar tendency was found in the LF/HF ratio of heart rate variability at rest. Because these two autonomic nervous indices are related to sympathetic nervous activity, the findings suggested that sympathetic nervous activity for LWH was lower than that for SWH in the 30-39 year group. Furthermore, there were significant relationships both between long working hours and short sleeping hours, and between short sleeping hours and high complaint rates of "drowsiness and dullness" in the morning in this age group. Summarizing these results, it appeared that long working hours might lower sympathetic nervous activity due to chronic sleep deprivation.  (+info)

Ethanol as a hypnotic in insomniacs: self administration and effects on sleep and mood. (6/4912)

The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of low ethanol doses on sleep and mood and to assess its reinforcing effects used as a hypnotic. Twenty healthy adults, aged 21-45 yrs, all moderate social drinkers, were studied: eleven subjects had insomnia and nine were normal sleepers, as documented by clinical polysomnography. On two sampling nights each, ethanol (0.5 g/kg) or placebo was administered before sleep in color-coded cups presented in three doses (0.2, 0.2, and 0.1 g/kg) separated by 15 min. On three subsequent nights subjects chose their preferred presleep beverage (0.2 g/kg ethanol or placebo) based on cup color and were given an opportunity for 3 additional refills (0.2 g/kg each) of the chosen beverage at 15 min intervals, yielding a total possible dose of 0.8 g/kg. Insomniacs chose ethanol 67% of nights and normals 22%. Insomniacs chose significantly more ethanol refills than normals for an average nightly dose of 0.45 g/kg and normals took significantly more placebo refills. On the sampling nights 0.5 g/kg ethanol reduced REM sleep for both groups for the 8-hr sleep period and in insomniacs increased stage 3-4 sleep and reduced stage 1 sleep during the first half of the night to the level seen in the normals. Other sleep variables were not altered in either group or halves of the night. Presleep improvements in the Profile of Mood States tension and concentration factors were also associated with ethanol administration. Thus, acutely, both sleep and mood effects appear to be associated with the reinforcing effects of ethanol as a hypnotic for insomniacs.  (+info)

Intrapreoptic microinjection of GHRH or its antagonist alters sleep in rats. (7/4912)

Previous reports indicate that growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) is involved in sleep regulation. The site of action mediating the nonrapid eye movement sleep (NREMS)-promoting effects of GHRH is not known, but it is independent from the pituitary. GHRH (0.001, 0. 01, and 0.1 nmol/kg) or a competitive antagonist of GHRH (0.003, 0.3, and 14 nmol/kg) was microinjected into the preoptic area, and the sleep-wake activity was recorded for 23 hr after injection in rats. GHRH elicited dose-dependent increases in the duration and in the intensity of NREMS compared with that in control records after intrapreoptic injection of physiological saline. The antagonist decreased the duration and intensity of NREMS and prolonged sleep latency. Consistent alterations in rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) and in brain temperature were not found. The GHRH antagonist also attenuated the enhancements in NREMS elicited by 3 hr of sleep deprivation. Histological verification of the injection sites showed that the majority of the effective injections were in the preoptic area and the diagonal band of Broca. The results indicate that the preoptic area mediates the sleep-promoting activity of GHRH.  (+info)

Energy intake, not energy output, is a determinant of body size in infants. (8/4912)

BACKGROUND: It has been proposed that the primary determinants of body weight at 1 y of age are genetic background, as represented by parental obesity, and low total energy expenditure. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to determine the relative contributions of genetic background and energy intake and expenditure as determinants of body weight at 1 y of age. DESIGN: Forty infants of obese and 38 infants of lean mothers, half boys and half girls, were assessed at 3 mo of age for 10 risk factors for obesity: sex, risk group (obese or nonobese mothers), maternal and paternal body mass index, body weight, feeding mode (breast, bottle, or both), 3-d energy intake, nutritive sucking behavior during a test meal, total energy expenditure, sleeping energy expenditure, and interactions among them. RESULTS: The only difference between risk groups at baseline was that the high-risk group sucked more vigorously during the test meal. Four measures accounted for 62% of the variability in weight at 12 mo: 3-mo weight (41%, P = 0.0001), nutritive sucking behavior (9%, P = 0.0002), 3-d food intake (8%, P = 0.0002), and male sex (3%, P = 0.05). Food intake and sucking behavior at 3 mo accounted for similar amounts of variability in weight-for-length, body fat, fat-free mass, and skinfold thickness at 12 mo. Contrary to expectations, neither total nor sleeping energy expenditure at 3 mo nor maternal obesity contributed to measures of body size at 12 mo. CONCLUSIONS: Energy intake contributes significantly to measures of body weight and composition at 1 y of age; parental obesity and energy expenditure do not.  (+info)