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We have developed a novel laboratory rodent model to detect competitive, non-competitive and no-hurdle foraging behaviors as seen in natural environment. However, it is not clear which brain region is important for the food foraging activity. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of lesions in the bilateral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) on the rat(More)
There is no consensus in the stem cell field as to what constitutes the mature cardiac myocyte. Thus, helping formalize a molecular signature for cardiac myocyte maturation would advance the field. In the mammalian heart, inactivation of the "fetal" TNNI gene, TNNI1 (ssTnI), together in temporal concert with its stoichiometric replacement by the adult TNNI(More)
An enriched environment has been shown to influence brain plasticity and function by involving the action of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF, which is synthesized as a precursor molecule (proBDNF) that undergoes proteolytic cleavage, plays an important role in synaptic plasticity and contributes to several brain functions such as memory,(More)
Adult spinal motoneurons can regenerate their axons into a peripheral nerve (PN) graft following root avulsion injury if the graft is implanted immediately after the lesion is induced. The present study was designed to determine how avulsed motoneurons respond to a PN graft if implantation takes place a few days to a few weeks later. Survival, regeneration,(More)
Perhaps one of the most significant achievements in modern science is the discovery of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), which have paved the way for regeneration therapy using patients' own cells. Cardiomyocytes differentiated from hiPSCs (hiPSC-CMs) could be used for modelling patients with heart failure, for testing new drugs, and for(More)
Cerebellar Purkinje neurons (PNs) possess a well characterized propensity to fuse with bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs), producing heterokaryons with Purkinje cell identities. This offers the potential to rescue/repair at risk or degenerating PNs in the inherited ataxias, including Spinocerebellar Ataxia 1 (SCA1), by introducing therapeutic factors through(More)
Both bone marrow (BM) and myocardium contain progenitor cells expressing the c-Kit tyrosine kinase. The aims of this study were to determine the effects of c-Kit mutations on: i. myocardial c-Kit(+) cells counts and ii. the stability of left ventricular (LV) contractile function and structure during aging. LV structure and contractile function were(More)
Conventional protocols for differentiating human induced-pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into smooth-muscle cells (SMCs) can be inefficient and generally fail to yield cells with a specific SMC phenotype (i.e., contractile or synthetic SMCs). Here, we present two novel hiPSC-SMC differentiation protocols that yield SMCs with predominantly contractile or(More)
RATIONALE The effectiveness of transplanted bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for cardiac repair has been limited; thus, strategies for optimizing stem-cell-based myocardial therapy are needed. OBJECTIVE The present study was designed to test our central hypothesis that hypoxia-preconditioned MSCs (HP-MSCs) are more effective than MSCs cultured(More)
In an established swine model of severe left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (LVH), the bioenergetic and functional consequences of transplanting autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) overexpressing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-MSCs) into the LV were evaluated; transplantation was accomplished by infusion of VEGF-MSCs into the interventricular(More)