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  1. Wilson N, Steadman R, Muller I, Draman M, Rees DA, Taylor P, et al.
    Int J Mol Sci, 2019 May 31;20(11).
    PMID: 31151314 DOI: 10.3390/ijms20112675
    Hyaluronan (HA), an extra-cellular matrix glycosaminoglycan, may play a role in mesenchymal stem cell differentiation to fat but results using murine models and cell lines are conflicting. Our previous data, illustrating decreased HA production during human adipogenesis, suggested an inhibitory role. We have investigated the role of HA in adipogenesis and fat accumulation using human primary subcutaneous preadipocyte/fibroblasts (PFs, n = 12) and subjects of varying body mass index (BMI). The impact of HA on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) expression was analysed following siRNA knockdown or HA synthase (HAS)1 and HAS2 overexpression. PFs were cultured in complete or adipogenic medium (ADM) with/without 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU = HA synthesis inhibitor). Adipogenesis was evaluated using oil red O (ORO), counting adipogenic foci, and measurement of a terminal differentiation marker. Modulating HA production by HAS2 knockdown or overexpression increased (16%, p < 0.04) or decreased (30%, p = 0.01) PPARγ transcripts respectively. The inhibition of HA by 4-MU significantly enhanced ADM-induced adipogenesis with 1.52 ± 0.18- (ORO), 4.09 ± 0.63- (foci) and 2.6 ± 0.21-(marker)-fold increases compared with the controls, also increased PPARγ protein expression (40%, (p < 0.04)). In human subjects, circulating HA correlated negatively with BMI and triglycerides (r = -0.396 (p = 0.002), r = -0.269 (p = 0.038), respectively), confirming an inhibitory role of HA in human adipogenesis. Thus, enhancing HA action may provide a therapeutic target in obesity.
  2. Borland R, Li L, Driezen P, Wilson N, Hammond D, Thompson ME, et al.
    Addiction, 2012 Jan;107(1):197-205.
    PMID: 21883605 DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03636.x
    To describe some of the variability across the world in levels of quit smoking attempts and use of various forms of cessation support.
  3. Kushida Y, Imahara Y, Wee HB, Fernandez-Silva I, Fromont J, Gomez O, et al.
    PeerJ, 2022;10:e13929.
    PMID: 36164604 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.13929
    Octocorals possess sclerites, small elements comprised of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) that are important diagnostic characters in octocoral taxonomy. Among octocorals, sea pens comprise a unique order (Pennatulacea) that live in a wide range of depths. Habitat depth is considered to be important in the diversification of octocoral species, but a lack of information on sea pens has limited studies on their adaptation and evolution across depth. Here, we aimed to reveal trends of adaptation and evolution of sclerite shapes in sea pens with regards to habitat depth via phylogenetic analyses and ancestral reconstruction analyses. Colony form of sea pens is suggested to have undergone convergent evolution and the loss of axis has occurred independently across the evolution of sea pens. Divergences of sea pen taxa and of sclerite forms are suggested to depend on habitat depths. In addition, their sclerite forms may be related to evolutionary history of the sclerite and the surrounding chemical environment as well as water temperature. Three-flanged sclerites may possess the tolerance towards the environment of the deep sea, while plate sclerites are suggested to be adapted towards shallower waters, and have evolved independently multiple times. The common ancestor form of sea pens was predicted to be deep-sea and similar to family Pseudumbellulidae in form, possessing sclerites intermediate in form to those of alcyonaceans and modern sea pens such as spindles, rods with spines, and three-flanged sclerites with serrated edges sclerites, as well as having an axis and bilateral traits.
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