Nicole A. Bouffard

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BACKGROUND The role played by the thoracolumbar fascia in chronic low back pain (LBP) is poorly understood. The thoracolumbar fascia is composed of dense connective tissue layers separated by layers of loose connective tissue that normally allow the dense layers to glide past one another during trunk motion. The goal of this study was to quantify shear(More)
Acupuncture needle rotation has been previously shown to cause specific mechanical stimulation of subcutaneous connective tissue. This study uses acupuncture to investigate the role of mechanotransduction-based mechanisms in mechanically-induced cytoskeletal remodeling. The effect of acupuncture needle rotation was quantified by morphometric analysis of(More)
Cytoskeleton-dependent changes in cell shape are well-established factors regulating a wide range of cellular functions including signal transduction, gene expression, and matrix adhesion. Although the importance of mechanical forces on cell shape and function is well established in cultured cells, very little is known about these effects in whole tissues(More)
BACKGROUND Although the connective tissues forming the fascial planes of the back have been hypothesized to play a role in the pathogenesis of chronic low back pain (LBP), there have been no previous studies quantitatively evaluating connective tissue structure in this condition. The goal of this study was to perform an ultrasound-based comparison of(More)
Studies in cultured cells have shown that nuclear shape is an important factor influencing nuclear function, and that mechanical forces applied to the cell can directly affect nuclear shape. In a previous study, we demonstrated that stretching of whole mouse subcutaneous tissue causes dynamic cytoskeletal remodeling with perinuclear redistribution of(More)
OBJECTIVES To evaluate the level of information and informed consent for maternal serum screening (MSS) for Down syndrome (DS) in the second trimester of pregnancy and analyse the exercise of autonomy towards the test by the women concerned. METHODS We studied the population of pregnant women attending obstetric consultations in two French hospitals over(More)
Alpha smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) was recently shown to be present in mouse subcutaneous tissue fibroblasts in the absence of tissue injury. In this study, we used a combination of immunohistochemistry and correlative confocal scanning laser and electron microscopy to investigate the structural organization of alpha-SMA in relation to the nucleus.(More)
The visco-elastic behavior of connective tissue is generally attributed to the material properties of the extracellular matrix rather than cellular activity. We have previously shown that fibroblasts within areolar connective tissue exhibit dynamic cytoskeletal remodeling within minutes in response to tissue stretch ex vivo and in vivo. Here, we tested the(More)
Fibroblasts in whole areolar connective tissue respond to static stretching of the tissue by expanding and remodeling their cytoskeleton within minutes both ex vivo and in vivo. This study tested the hypothesis that the mechanism of fibroblast expansion in response to tissue stretch involves extracellular ATP signaling. In response to tissue stretch ex(More)
BACKGROUND Although acupuncture-needle manipulation is an important component of acupuncture therapy, little information is currently available on whether or not specific types of needle manipulation produce different effects on the body. Bidirectional (back-and-forth) rotation is one of the most common forms of needle manipulation used in acupuncture(More)