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Articles by B Johnson
Total Records ( 5 ) for B Johnson
  D. L. F Garden , P. V Massey , D. A Caruana , B Johnson , E. C Warburton , J. P Aggleton and Z. I. Bashir

Recent, convergent evidence places the anterior thalamic nuclei at the heart of diencephalic amnesia. However, the reasons for the severe memory loss in diencephalic amnesia remain unknown. A potential clue comes from the dense, reciprocal connections between the anterior thalamic nuclei and retrosplenial cortex, another region vital for memory. We now report a loss of synaptic plasticity [long-term depression (LTD)] in rat retrosplenial cortex slices months following an anterior thalamic lesion. The loss of LTD was lamina-specific, occurring only in superficial layers of the cortex and was associated with a decrease in GABAA-mediated inhibitory transmission. As retrosplenial cortex is itself vital for memory, this distal lesion effect will amplify the impact of anterior thalamic lesions. These findings not only provide novel insights into the functional pathology of diencephalic amnesia and have implications for the aetiology of the posterior cingulate hypoactivity in Alzheimer's disease, but also show how distal changes in plasticity could contribute to diaschisis.

  J. P Dal Bianco , E Aikawa , J Bischoff , J. L Guerrero , M. D Handschumacher , S Sullivan , B Johnson , J. S Titus , Y Iwamoto , J Wylie Sears , R. A Levine and A. Carpentier

Background— In patients with left ventricular infarction or dilatation, leaflet tethering by displaced papillary muscles frequently induces mitral regurgitation, which doubles mortality. Little is known about the biological potential of the mitral valve (MV) to compensate for ventricular remodeling. We tested the hypothesis that MV leaflet surface area increases over time with mechanical stretch created by papillary muscle displacement through cell activation, not passive stretching.

Methods and Results— Under cardiopulmonary bypass, the papillary muscle tips in 6 adult sheep were retracted apically short of producing mitral regurgitation to replicate tethering without confounding myocardial infarction or turbulence. Diastolic leaflet area was quantified by 3-dimensional echocardiography over 61±6 days compared with 6 unstretched sheep MVs. Total diastolic leaflet area increased by 2.4±1.3 cm2 (17±10%) from 14.3±1.9 to 16.7±1.9 cm2 (P=0.006) with stretch with no change in the unstretched valves despite sham open heart surgery. Stretched MVs were 2.8 times thicker than normal (1.18±0.14 versus 0.42±0.14 mm; P<0.0001) at 60 days with an increased spongiosa layer. Endothelial cells (CD31+) coexpressing -smooth muscle actin were significantly more common by fluorescent cell sorting in tethered versus normal leaflets (41±19% versus 9±5%; P=0.02), indicating endothelial-mesenchymal transdifferentiation. -Smooth muscle actin–positive cells appeared in the atrial endothelium, penetrating into the interstitium, with increased collagen deposition. Thickened chordae showed endothelial and subendothelial -smooth muscle actin. Endothelial-mesenchymal transdifferentiation capacity also was demonstrated in cultured MV endothelial cells.

Conclusions— Mechanical stresses imposed by papillary muscle tethering increase MV leaflet area and thickness, with cellular changes suggesting reactivated embryonic developmental pathways. Understanding such actively adaptive mechanisms can potentially provide therapeutic opportunities to augment MV area and reduce ischemic mitral regurgitation.

  J Solis , R. A Levine , B Johnson , J. L Guerrero , M. D Handschumacher , S Sullivan , K Lam , J Berlin , G. J. C Braithwaite , O. K Muratoglu , G. J Vlahakes and J. Hung

Ischemic mitral regurgitation (MR) results from displacement of the papillary muscles caused by ischemic ventricular distortion. Progressive left ventricular (LV) remodeling has challenged therapy. Our hypothesis is that repositioning of the papillary muscles can be achieved by injection of polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA) hydrogel polymer into the myocardium in chronic MR despite advanced LV remodeling.

Methods and Results—

Ten sheep underwent ligation of the circumflex branches to produce chronic ischemic MR over 8 weeks. PVA was injected into the myocardium underlying the infarcted papillary muscle. Two-dimensional and 3D echocardiograms and hemodynamic data were obtained before infarct (baseline), before PVA (chronic MR), and after PVA. PVA injection significantly decreased MR from moderate to severe to trace (MR vena contracta, 5.8±1.2 to1.8±1.3 mm; chronic MR to post-PVA stage; P=0.0003). This was associated with a decrease in infarcted papillary muscle–to–mitral annulus tethering distance (30.3±5.7 to 25.9±4.6 mm, P=0.02), tenting volume (1.8±0.7 to 1.4±0.5 mL, P=0.01), and leaflet closure area (8.8±1.3 cm2to 7.6±1.3 cm2, P=0.004) from chronic MR to post-PVA stages. PVA was not associated with significant decreases in LV ejection fraction (41±3% versus 40±3%, P=NS), end-systolic elastance, (82±36 ms to 72±26, P=NS), or LV stiffness coefficient (0.05±0.04 to 0.03±0.01).


PVA hydrogel injections improve coaptation and reduce remodeling in chronic MR without impairing LV systolic and diastolic function. This new approach offers a potential alternative for relieving tethering and ischemic MR by correcting papillary muscle position.

  M Casal , F Rodriguez , B Johnson , E Garduno , F Tubau , R. O de Lejarazu , A Tenorio , M. J Gimenez , R Bartolome , C Garcia Rey , L Aguilar and N. Garcia Escribano

To compare the tigecycline activity profile against Acinetobacter spp. by Etest versus broth microdilution in isolates with high Etest MIC.


Acinetobacter spp. isolates with tigecycline MICs of ≥0.5 mg/L determined by commercially developed Etests strips (January 2006 to July 2007) in five Spanish hospitals were considered. Values were rounded to the nearest upper double-dilution. Susceptibility by broth microdilution following CLSI (formerly NCCLS) recommendations, as the reference method, was determined in a central laboratory. BSAC breakpoints were used: susceptible ≤1 mg/L; intermediate = 2 mg/L; and resistant >2 mg/L.


One hundred and forty-eight isolates were collected: 12 isolates with a tigecycline Etest MIC of 0.5 mg/L, 14 with 1 mg/L, 86 with 2 mg/L, 31 with 4 mg/L and 5 with 8 mg/L. Isolates with Etest MICs of 0.5–1 mg/L showed the same values by broth microdilution. Among isolates with Etest MICs of 2 mg/L, only 5.8% of strains showed the same value by both methods (88.4% showed values that were one or two dilutions lower by microdilution). None of the 36 isolates with Etest MICs of 4–8 mg/L showed the same value by both methods, with values at least two dilutions lower by microdilution. Weak correlation (R = 0.238; P ≤ 0.001) was found between both methods. All 26 Etest susceptible isolates, 80/86 (93.0%) Etest intermediate and 32/36 (88.9%) Etest resistant strains were susceptible by microdilution.


Caution should be taken in interpreting Etest MICs of ≥2 mg/L for Acinetobacter spp. since strains with Etest MICs of 2–4 mg/L are susceptible when tested by microdilution. False non-susceptibility by Etest may exclude tigecycline as a therapeutic option in a field where multiresistance is the rule.

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