Skip to main content
Login | Suomeksi | På svenska | In English

Browsing by study line "none"

Sort by: Order: Results:

  • Tukiainen, Kristiina (2019)
    Anisakiasis is a parasitic disease caused by larval nematodes of the genus Anisakis. Humans become infected by consuming contaminated raw or undercooked seafood products. Most human infections are caused by Anisakis simplex (A. simplex) complex. Currently there is no effective drug for this global emerging disease. Novel active compounds against the nematode are needed for drug development purposes. The research with A. simplex requires the isolation of the larvae from fish, which is time-consuming, unecological and uneconomical. Thus, the utilization of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) in the research of A. simplex is considered in this study. Activities of Tea tree, Java citronella and Ho wood essential oils against C. elegans were studied. Aim of the assays was to examine whether C. elegans could be used as a model for A. simplex. Observed effects on C. elegans were compared to the previously reported effects on A. simplex. Activity of Tea tree and Java citronella essential oils against A. simplex was also examined to confirm previously reported activity. In addition, activity of six coumarins against A. simplex was investigated. The aim of the assays was to discover novel active compounds against the pathogenic nematode. Four coumarins were tested against C. elegans to examine possible comparable effects. Toxicity studies were performed in aquatic medium in a 6 well plate format (A. simplex) and in a 96 well plate format or in 1.5 mL Eppendorf tubes (C. elegans). Tea tree essential oil showed dose dependent activity against C. elegans, producing 100% mortality with the concentration 20 μL/mL after 24 hours exposure. Compared to A. simplex, two to three times higher doses were required to produce same degree of mortality in C. elegans. By contrast, Java citronella and Ho wood essential oils showed no significant activity against C. elegans. The activity of Tea tree and Java citronella essential oils against A. simplex was confirmed. The tested coumarins displayed no significant activity against the nematodes. Due to the contradictory results, further investigation about the suitability of C. elegans as a model for A. simplex is needed. Differences between the effective concentrations are probably caused by the differences in the biology of the nematodes, which result from the phylogenetic distance. Based on current results, the tested coumarins were excluded as potential antinematodal compounds against A. simplex, due to the lack of any significant activity on this model.
  • Elf, Sonja (2019)
    Despite recent advances in understanding, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, this complex and versatile disease remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. New and rapid diagnostic methods are needed to detect cancers at their early stages of development, thus enabling earlier prognosis, better risk assessment and more efficient treatment of the disease. There has been an increasing interest in specific molecular biomarkers as the hallmark for cancer research, and the detection of these markers from liquid biopsies using advanced molecular diagnostics methods provides major advantages over the conventional imaging methods currently used in oncology. The aims of this thesis were to examine the applicability of a novel molecular method, SIBA® (Strand Invasion Based Amplification), for the detection of cancer biomarkers, and to develop an assay targeting androgen receptor splice variant 7 (AR-V7) mRNA. The AR-V7 is proposed as a treatment-response biomarker in patients with castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer (mCRPC). The expression of this variant can indicate resistance to hormonal therapies used for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer after lung cancer in men worldwide and can gradually develop into a highly advanced lethal form, mCRPC, that is not responsive to androgen deprivation therapies. Positive AR-V7 status is suggested to represent the phenotype of this advanced stage of prostate cancer, and its detection can assist in treatment selection for the mCRPC patients. SIBA is a novel isothermal method for the amplification and detection of nucleic acids. The technology offers significant advantages over the more conventional molecular detection method, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), since the amplification reaction occurs at constant temperature and does not require sophisticated laboratory equipment for the thermal cycling. Reverse transcription SIBA (RT-SIBA) enables reverse transcription of RNA to cDNA as well as the simultaneous amplification and detection of the cDNA in one-step reaction under isothermal conditions. The method displays both high analytical sensitivity and specificity to the target nucleic acids. The RT-SIBA technology has not formerly been applied for the detection of human DNA or RNA. The main finding of this thesis was, that the RT-SIBA technology can be applied for rapid detection of specific molecular cancer biomarkers such as the AR-V7 mRNA. In this study, two RT-SIBA assays targeting the full-length androgen receptor (AR-FL) mRNA and the AR splice variant 7 mRNA were developed and optimized. Performance of the assays were evaluated by testing RNA isolates from AR-V7 positive and negative prostate cancer cell lines in the presence of human whole blood and plasma in the reaction. The developed RT-SIBA assays provided high analytical sensitivity and specificity: low copies of the target mRNA were amplified within 20 minutes without the production of non-intended amplicons. The results suggest that the RT-SIBA technology can be utilized for easy and rapid detection of AR-V7 and AR-FL mRNA directly from liquid sample material without a need for time-consuming sample treatment. Further performance evaluation using real AR-V7 positive clinical samples from mCRPC patients is necessary for the reliable validation of the developed assays.
  • Pitkänen, Stina (2018)
    The arylhydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is known for its xenobiotic role. In the last decades we have realized it has an important role even in normal physiology. Earlier studies have shown different circadian behavior in mice and rats when AHR is activated with the environmental toxoid TCDD. Also, AHR knock-out (AHRKO) mice have shown to adapt quicker to new lighting conditions. The aim of this study was to chart AHRs role on the circadian behavior in rats, by comparing daily eating and drinking habits under normal lighting condition for 7 days and for 7 days after a 12-hour light shift. Tissue samples to be used in continuing studies were taken after the 14 days long follow up. These studies will chart how the circadian timekeeping genes are expressed in the central (suprachiasmatic nucleus) and periphery (liver) cells in AHRKO rats after an adaptation to phase shift compared to wild type rats. This way the study will provide information that will help us understand the role of AHR in different species regarding behavior and in continuing studies gene expression. In our study no differences in drinking and eating activity could be seen between AHRKO and wild type rats. Both groups adapted to new lighting conditions equally fast.
  • Yrjänheikki, Ulla (2019)
    Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) outlined in their report published in 2014 that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a real public health threat worldwide and the actions against it should be taken. Otherwise, the post-antibiotic era where common community-acquired infections can lead to death, could hypothetically become true. The discovery and development of novel antibiotics (ATBs) against Gram-negative bacteria (GNB)-related infections is difficult due to a dual defence mechanism: the extra protection barrier called the outer membrane and efflux pumps which GNB utilize to protect themselves against external noxious compounds. Efflux pumps are expressed at the basal level in GNB, such as E. coli, but when exposed to sub-inhibitory concentrations of ATBs and the intrinsic extruding capacity is exceeded, GNB start overexpressing these “so-called” multi-drug resistance (MDR) efflux pumps. The most abundant and studied MDR efflux pump in E. coli is a tripartite protein complex AcrAB-TolC which traverse through the bacterial cell envelope and is capable of extruding a broad range of structurally unrelated compounds, thus leading to cross-resistance against several classes of ATBs. It has been suggested that antibacterial activity of existing ATBs could be restored again by inhibiting increased efflux activity through efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs). Objectives: Define the optimal assay conditions and a positive control (EPI) to be used in high throughput screening (HTS) of novel EPIs. The assay consists of one E. coli strain of clinical relevance with high intrinsic efflux activity, one ATB and one EPI, both of them at specific concentrations defined during this study. Methods: The intrinsic efflux activities of seven E. coli strains were studied by Hoechst 33342 (H33342) accumulation assay, both in the absence and presence of five commercially available EPIs. The same assay was used in the dose-response studies in which an optimal concentration of EPIs was identified for further to be utilized in the checkerboard assays. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined by broth microdilution method according to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. The synergistic effects of ATB and EPI in terms of decreasing the intrinsic MIC value of the ATB were determined in the checkerboard assays partially performed by the Biomek i7 Automated Workstation. The data was analysed by using Microsoft Excel and IBM SPSS Statistics, version 25. Results and discussion: E. coli ATCC 25922 had statistically significantly the highest efflux activity of all wild-type pathogenic and non-pathogenic E. coli strains. However, when H33342 accumulation assay was carried out in conjunction with EPIs, E. coli BAA1161 (uropathogenic strain) had the highest median increase in the intracellular level of H33342. Mefloquine showed to be the most potent of all EPIs at the tested concentrations. However, mefloquine increased the intracellular H33342 accumulation even in efflux-deficient E. coli JW5503 (ΔtolC), thus possible additional modes of action or inhibitory activity towards other efflux pumps might exist. Dose-response studies carried out in ΔtolC E. coli JW5503 suggested that CCCP at 1.25 g/ml and mefloquine at 0.5 g/ml were the optimal concentrations. However, for mefloquine, when tested at 0.5 g/ml, the intracellular level of H33342 was not increased in six remaining E. coli strains. Therefore higher concentrations up to ½ MIC were tested in the checkerboard assays. In the antibacterial susceptibility testing, E. coli BAA1161 was the only strain showing resistance to tetracycline and piperacillin, resulting in MIC ratios (MIC wild-type/MIC mutant) of 512 to 2048. Piperacillin and ofloxacin, which showed a MIC ratio of 4 in two E. coli strains, were chosen to the checkerboard assays in which mefloquine reduced the intrinsic MIC of piperacillin by 16-fold and CCCP by 32-fold in E. coli BAA1161. Conclusions: E. coli BAA1161 was chosen to be used as a model strain in HTS due to the highest median increase in intracellular H33342 accumulation and also for being the only strain with resistance towards the ATBs tested. Mefloquine (16 g/ml) was the EPI of choice for the positive control in HTS because the synergistic effects observed between piperacillin and mefloquine were most probably explained by efflux pump inhibition and not by antibacterial activity of mefloquine itself. Piperacillin (256 g/ml) was selected to be used as an ATB in HTS because it was the only ATB which was potentiated by the tested EPIs.
  • Mäkinen, Arttu (2018)
    This is a systematic review aiming to investigate the efficacy, effectiveness, and safety of biosimilars in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. Biosimilar drugs used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases include biosimilar infliximab and biosimilar adalimumab. Biosimilar infliximab has been authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2013 and by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016. Biosimilar adalimumab has been authorized by EMA and FDA in 2017 and, at the time the literary search for this systematic review was conducted no studies were found regarding the treatment of adalimumab biosimilar for inflammatory bowel diseases. To acquire marketing authorization for biosimilars, it must be proven that the biosimilar is biologically similar to the original medicinal product. Bioequivalence is demonstrated through physicochemical trials and clinical trials. However, clinical trials do not have to be performed with all of the indications for which the original medical product is registered. After proving bioequivalence with one or more indication it is possible to extrapolate the biosimilar to be used in all of the original medical products indications. This has raised the question of whether biosimilars are really comparable to the originator in indications for which no clinical trials have been conducted. This systematic review was implemented using the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews and Interventions. Systematic literature searches were made in Cochrane, Medline (Ovid®), PubMed and Scopus databases on 12.05.2017. 14 observational studies, one systematic review and a randomized clinical trial that met the inclusion criteria were included in the systematic review. The quality of the publications was evaluated using the STROBE-, NOS- and CONSORT-checklists and information regarding the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of biosimilars was extracted. CD-patients receiving tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors for the first time, the clinical response was achieved in 50.0 % to 97.2 % of patients depending on patient population and the duration of treatment. Similarly, for UC-patients, the clinical response was achieved in 62.2 % to 100.0 %. The clinical remission was achieved among 28.9 % to 84.4 % of CD-patients and among 28.9 % to 84.4 % of UC-patients, depending on patient population and treatment follow-up. After the switch from original infliximab to biosimilar, the proportion of patients in clinical remission during follow-up ranged from 62.3 % to 100.0 % in CD-patients and from 45.5 % to 100.0 % in UC-patients. Clinical remission was sustained throughout the whole follow-up in 70 % to 100 % of CD-patients and 66.7 % to 92.0 % of UC-patients. The incidence of adverse events leading to the discontinuation of drug treatment was between 0.0 % and 25.0 %, and the incidence of all adverse events ranged from 0.0 % to 93.6 % in CD- and UC-patients. Biosimilar infliximab seems to be comparable to the original product regarding the efficacy, effectiveness and safety. This result is supported by the systematic literature review published earlier. Conducting a meta-analysis of the information contained in this systematic literature review could have led to a more final decision considering efficacy, effectiveness and safety of biosimilar-infliximab in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Seppälä, Antti (2018)
    This master’s thesis addresses the role of intermediary organizations in sustainability transitions, specifically in the field of energy. The thesis discusses how intermediary organizations can diffuse and support the development of novel sustainable socio-technical niche-innovations through experiments. Theoretically, this thesis draws mostly upon the sustainability transition literature, particularly strategic niche management theory. Empirically, this thesis focuses on a case study of joint procurement of solar power plants that was implemented as a part of “New and innovative low-carbon business generates competitive advantage for companies and municipalities” (Välke) project in South-western Päijänne during 2016. Välke is a sub-project of Carbon-neutral municipalities (HINKU) and therefore the case study of this thesis links to other similar experiments in the HINKU network. The material of the thesis was collected through 9 semi-structured interviews with different stakeholders involved in the experiment and by using pre-existing secondary material. The material was analysed by qualitative content analysis using an analytical framework adopted from a previous study. The findings show that intermediaries support niche development by aggregating, circulating and applying lessons learned between and within joint procurement experiments. This was done by producing and disseminating documents, but more importantly through personal contact between intermediaries. The network of intermediaries showed hierarchical features as the coordinator of HINKU, the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), maintained the repositories of the learned lessons and also formed a link between municipal intermediaries involved with the experiments. Also, during the experiments the more experienced higher profile intermediaries – mostly SYKE – provided assistance to lower profile municipal intermediaries. This support included providing knowledge, but also raising the confidence of lower profile intermediaries. Following, the lower profile intermediaries provided similar assistance to the participants of the experiments. However, the intermediary roles were not stable as lower level intermediaries were adopting some of the roles of the higher profile intermediaries after gaining experience during the experimentation. In order to support the Finnish solar niche, the intermediaries went beyond mere aggregating, circulating and applying lessons between and within experiments. They were actively initiating new experiments in adjusted formsin new geographical locations and advocating the niche. This was partially linked to the strategic nature of the intermediaries, as they were established to catalyse activities that would lead to mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. However, this active support for a particular socio-technical innovation contradicted the pursuit of intermediaries to be viewed as neutral and credible actors. Partially as a consequence – but also because of the phase of solar niche development in Finland and lack of resource and interest – SYKE chose to withdraw from future joint procurements of solar power plants for private actors. However, SYKE was planning to utilize the governance innovation of joint procurements in order to support other niche-innovations with sustainability gains. The findings show that intermediaries can accelerate energy transitions, at least on a regional scale. They emphasize the importance of cooperation and personal contact between intermediaries and the ability of intermediaries to utilize governance innovations. Also, the findings support stronger inclusion of intermediaries in governance frameworks to hasten energy transition and achieve wider sustainability goals. However, the thesis shows that particularly public intermediary organizations have to work under unclear mandates.
  • Banerjee, Rishi (2019)
    After birth, stem cells act as the source of reparative and regenerative potential in various tissues. Among different tissues and organs in human body, tooth is one of the organs which does not undergo continuous regeneration. Therefore, tooth regeneration must be studied in a different animal, which possesses continuously growing teeth. In mouse, the incisor undergoes continuous growth which is fueled by the interaction between epithelial and mesenchymal stem cell compartments located at its apical end. The inferior alveolar nerve, which supports mandibular dentition, and its surrounding blood vessels (combinedly known as neurovascular bundle or NVB) were previously shown to act as a source of the mesenchymal stem cells during incisor growth and regeneration. However, the regulation of the cells in the NVB is not well understood. The primary aim of my master’s thesis was to characterize the effect of the Hh pathway modification on cellular properties of the NVB and the MSCs within it. The Ptch2 KO mouse model used in this study demonstrated increase in the number of blood vessel in the NVB. Additionally, analysis of the structure of skin in the mouse model was the second aim of my project, which showed significant increase in the thickness of the dermis at the postnatal day 1. Collectively, the change in structure of skin and NVB showed that Ptch2 might regulates the cellular properties of tooth mesenchyme and dermis by modulating the structural components of the NVB of continuously growing mice incisor and skin, respectively.
  • Holappa, Katri (2018)
    Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal bacterium in humans and approximately 30% of healthy people carry it as part of their microbiome, in the nasal cavity and skin, without any harm. However, it is an opportunistic pathogen that causes severe infections in immunocompromised and hospitalized patients. Typical infections caused by S. aureus are wound and skin infections, pneumonia and urinary tract infections in people with a medical implanted device such as for example a catheter. S. aureus has gained resistance to virtually all antibiotics over the years of excessive antibiotic consumption, making treatment nearly impossible in some cases. MRSA, methicillin resistant S. aureus, is a worldwide problem in hospitals and the mortality rate is still rising. One of the most common MRSA lineages is USA300, a community-acquired MRSA, which is notorious not only for its antibiotic resistance but also for its ability to form prolific biofilms. Biofilm production combined with antibiotic resistance complicates treatment of S. aureus even further. A detailed understanding the molecular mechanisms of biofilm formation might bring us closer to a cure for infections caused by MRSA biofilms. The study comprised two parts. First, characterize the phenotype of the mutants under static and dynamic conditions, test the minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC’s) for antibiotics and verify the gene knockout by real-time RT-PCR. Second, study gene function by transduction to the parental strain USA300-UAS391 EryS and a MRSA strain TCH1516 EryS to study the gene function in a different bacterial background. The methods used were cell culturing for static and dynamic biofilm as well as growth curve, fluorescence microscopy, antibiotic susceptibility testing and real-time RT-PCR. In total seven strains were selected for characterization. The chosen seven knockouts were ΔHAD (HAD-superfamily hydrolase, subfamily IA, variant 1), non-coding region, ΔausA (non-ribosomal peptide synthetase), ΔoppA (Oligopeptide ABC transporter substrate-binding protein), ΔclfB (clumping factor B), ΔampA (cytosol aminopeptidase), and ΔpgsA (CDP-diacylglycerol--glycerol-3-phosphate 3-phosphatidyltransferase). General characterization showed a few changes in biofilm formation for the genes ΔoppA, ΔausA, ΔHAD and ΔpgsA. Especially ΔpgsA is interesting because of increased ciprofloxacin resistance. The real-time RT-PCR showed some altered gene expression patterns, but no connection to poor biofilm formation. With fluorescence microscopy the growth patterns of USA300 transposon mutant strain biofilms could be described. To verify the results of the characterization, further experimentation is needed, such as RNA sequencing and complementation. Also expanding the studies to other gene hits of the screening is recommended.
  • Alburkat, Hussein (2019)
    LCMV Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus is a rodent-borne pathogen belongs to Arenaviridae family. Most of the studies have referred Mus musculus as the main reservoir of the LCMV. It has been detected in pet rodents, laboratory rodents, and wild mice. Humans be infected with LCMV through the ingestion or inhalation of sources contaminated with rodent feces, urine, or both. LCMV infection can be asymptomatic, present with mild symptoms, or it can cause aseptic meningoencephalitis (AME) and teratogenic effects in infants. However, clinical cases of LCMV infection have been rarely reported, and there is only fragmental knowledge on the presence and prevalence of LCMV infections around the world. Likewise, the genetic characteristics of the circulating LCMV strains and impact of LCMV on public health have remained poorly characterized. This study was performed in the Southern Iraq, due to the lack of comprehensive information about LCMV in this area. There were three main aims in this thesis. First, to assess the prevalence of LCMV among the healthy human population in the Nasiriyah region, southern Iraq. Second, to assess whether LCMV infections can be associated with neurological manifestations. Third, to characterize the genetic variation and evolutionary history of LCMV strains circulating in southern Iraq. Serum and CSF samples were collected from patients and healthy people in Nasiriyah governorate in the Southern Iraq. Serum samples were screened for LCMV using Immunofluorescence assay (IFA) to detect IgG and IgM antibodies. Real-time PCR was used to detect LCMV genome. In order to confirm the PCR positive samples, we sequenced these samples by Next-generation sequencing. The serological assay results showed 12.22% IgG prevalence of LCMV among healthy people and 7.36% IgG prevalence among patients with neurological symptoms. The IgM prevalence was 1.25% among the patients with acute infections. From symptomatic patients, we sequenced partial L-segments of two new LCMV strains. The phylogenetic tree constructed on the basis of all known LCMV strains suggested that these new LCMV strains from Iraq are genetically distant from the previously known LCMV strains and form a novel sub-cluster within LCMV species. This study is the first survey of LCMV in the Southern Iraq. LCMV appears to be a rather common infection in Iraq. I reported new strains of LCMV that are circulating in the study site and most likely is the causative agent of the central nervous system-associated clinical manifestations in these patients. For future work, I’m aiming the detection of other Arenaviruses spreading in the Southern Iraq.
  • Hussein, Zahra (2018)
    Drug shortages have become a global issue and reasons for drug shortages are several and multifactorial. Definition of drug shortages is not unambiguous. However, in literature are numerous different suggestions to determine the phenomenon of drug shortages. This study provides more focused information on drug shortages and the reasons behind them. The study was performed in cooperation with Orion Corporation. The aim of this study was to explore the in-depth reasons behind medicine shortages from the perspective of one European pharmaceutical company with special focus on Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom and Sweden. Interviews of the company employees were used to achieve this aim and build a few case studies. Further the aim was to investigate in-depth reasons for drug shortages using data from case studies. Case studies were provided by Orion since this enabled use of unpublished information compare the case studies with relevant legal and regulatory measures in the European pharmaceutical framework which influence drug shortages. Reviewing available data from literature and from EUDRA GMDP database for drug shortages and investigate if the data is detailed enough to understand in-depth reasons for drug shortages. Based on the interview results the most common reasons behind drug shortages in Europe are mainly pharmaceutical market structure 38%. It contains many different factors, such as small stock size, local and foreign manufacturing issues, logistics and distribution issues, changes in demand and regulatory issues. However, the manufacturing (33%) or regulatory (29%) reasons are almost as numerous as pharmaceutical market structure issues. Pharmaceutical market structure issues include most common reasons which are categorized in supply-related and demand-related reasons. According to this study supply-related reasons are more common (73%) than demand-related reasons (27%). Some reasons behind drug shortages overlap and often cause a domino effect, whilst other are unique or stand alone, like reasons resulting from natural disasters. The results of this study seem generalizable because the EUDRA GDMP database shows same results and case studies illustrative same reasons behind drug shortages. This study provides more focused information on drug shortages and the reasons behind them from the perspective of pharmaceutical company and authorities.
  • Auvinen, Pauliina (2018)
    Assisted reproductive technology (ART) refers to treatments used for infertile couples to achieve pregnancy in vitro. The main technology of ART is in vitro fertilization (IVF), which may also include intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and/or embryo cryopreservation and frozen embryo transfer (FET). ART treatments are well-accepted in Western countries and there is an increasing number of children being conceived in that way. Even though, majority of ART derived newborns appear healthy, they have been associated with increased risks of adverse perinatal outcomes, especially, alterations in birth size as well as higher frequencies of imprinting disorders and alterations in epigenetic modifications, such as in DNA methylation, of imprinted genes. Epigenetically regulated imprinted genes have crucial roles in fetal and placental growth during development and they are known to be affected by environmental factors. Since ART takes place in the early embryo in vulnerable time-period of epigenetic reprogramming, ART has been suggested to impact on epigenetic profiles of the embryo, consequently, affecting the phenotype of newborns, and therefore potentially causing long-term health effects. This thesis aimed to study whether ART has effects on DNA methylation in the placenta and whether ART has effects on the phenotype of newborns. To study these effects, this thesis focused on the sixth binding sequence of CTCF (CTCF6) of H19 ICR1 of the growth-related imprinted IGF2/H19 gene locus. The aim was also to study whether the possible changes associate with the rs10732516 G/A polymorphism locating at CTCF6 of H19 ICR1. DNA methylation levels of placental tissue as well as white blood cells in umbilical cord blood of ART derived, and spontaneously conceived newborns were explored by mass spectrometry-based Sequenom MassARRAY® EpiTYPER® method and traditional bisulfite sequencing. To study the effects of ART on the phenotype of newborns, the birth weight, length and head circumference of ART and control newborns were explored using international growth standards. Moreover, placental weights were compared. The results of this thesis showed slightly, but consistently decreased DNA methylation levels at H19 ICR1 in the paternal allele of ART derived placentas in rs10732516 patA/matG genotype, but not in patG/matA genotype. Thus, the results suggest that the changes in DNA methylation at IGF2/H19 in the placenta are genotype-specific and associate with the rs10732516 polymorphism. Similar decreased methylation levels in the paternal allele of patA/matG genotype was not detected in white blood cells suggesting that the effects on DNA methylation levels are also cell type-specific. The effects of ART on the phenotype also associated with the rs10732516 polymorphism. Fresh embryo transfer derived newborns with A/A genotype were seen to have smaller birth weight than newborns with G/G genotype. Moreover, in A/A genotype, frozen embryo transfer derived newborns were demonstrated to be heavier and to have heavier placentas than fresh embryo transfer derived newborns. The findings of this thesis suggest that ART has effects on DNA methylation in the placenta and on the phenotype of newborns, and the effects associate with the rs10732516 G/A polymorphism. This underlines the significance of the polymorphism when studying the effects of ART. However, further investigations are needed to confirm these findings and to discern whether the changes are due to the ART procedures or underlying infertility.
  • Hautala, Jonna (2018)
    Appetite regulation is a complex process involving regulation of energy homeostasis and the rewarding nature of food. Abnormalities in appetite regulation lead to obesity and eating disorders which are challenging to treat with medicines. Especially obesity is an increasing public health problem and drug development against it is a current subject in research. Hypothalamus is the most important brain area related to appetite regulation. Also, the basal forebrain and the amygdala which are part of the reward system in the brain, contribute to the appetite regulation. There is cholinergic innervation from the basal forebrain to the amygdala and most of the cholinergic activity in the amygdala is originating from the basal forebrain. It is known that the cholinergic system inhibits appetite but there is still no research about impact of cholinergic projections between these two brain areas. Aim of this study was to find out if the cholinergic projections from the basal forebrain to the amygdala effect on appetite regulation. The study included two stereotactic surgery. In the first surgery the mice (n=14) received injections to the basal forebrain that contained genetic materials for DREADDs in AAV. DREADDs appeared in the cholinergic cells of the basal forebrain and emanated within their axons to the amygdala. In the second surgery cannulas were placed to the amygdala. CNO was injected through the cannulas to the amygdala to cause the DREADDs activate or inhibit the cholinergic cells. As a control, mice received vehicle. The feeding experiments were performed in normal conditions or after food restriction and there were either food or sugar pellets available. The pellet dispenser monitored how many pellets mice ate during the six hours after the CNO or vehicle treatment. The success of virus injections was checked after the feeding experiments by antibody dyeing. In any conditions there was no significant differences in the results due to DREADDs and treatment. Because of the small group sizes and dispersion of the results no final conclusions can be made but the additional research about this topic is needed.
  • Partti, Edvard (2018)
    Kaurapohjaiset elintarvikkeet ovat terveellisiä. Monet niiden terveyshyödyt johtuvat kauran liukoisen ravintokuidun suuresta β-glukaanipitoisuudesta. β-glukaanin terveysvaikutukset ovat riippuvaisia sen molekyylipainosta ja viskositeetista. Viskositeetilla on myös muuta merkitystä kaurapohjaisissa elintarvikkeissa kuten kaurajugurteissa ja kauramaidoissa. Aiemmassa Folafibre-tutkimusprojektissa oli tutkittu kaurakuidun folaattipitoisuuden (B9 vitamiini) kasvattamista fermentoimalla sitä eri mikrobeilla. Hyvin folaattia tuottaneet mikrobit myös alensivat kaurakuituvalmisteen viskositeettia, ja erittivät glykosyylihydrolaaseja ja/tai proteaasia. Oli kuitenkin jäänyt epäselväksi, olivatko entsyymit ainut syy viskositeetin alenemiseen, ja kuinka paljon kullakin niistä oli vaikutusta viskositeettiin. Lisäksi tämän alan kirjallisuudessa on pidetty epäselvänä, onko esim. tärkkelyksen ja β-glukaanin välillä jotain interaktioita jotka mm. nostavat niiden viskositeettia yli yksittäisten polymeerien viskositeetin summan. Näitä voitaisiin selvittää puhdistamalla viskositeettia alentaneista mikrobikannoista kyseiset entsyymit ja tutkimalla niiden vaikutusta kaurakuidun viskositeettiin. Yhdeksi mikrobiksi valittiin Exiguobacterium sp. RB3 kanta, koska em. syiden lisäksi tässä bakteerisuvussa esiintyy psykrofiilejä ja mikrobeja jotka voivat kasvaa korkeassa pH:ssa, jolloin sen erittämät entsyymit saattaisivat olla aktiivisia matalissa lämpötiloissa ja korkeassa pH:ssa, ja olla siten teollisesti kiinnostavia. Toiseksi mikrobiksi valittiin Bacillus sp. ABM5119, koska sitä oli käytetty monissa Folafibre-projektin tutkimuksissa. Työn tavoitteena oli puhdistaa Bacillus sp. ABM5119:n endo-β-1,4-glukanaasi, ja Exiguobacterium sp. RB3:n α-amylaasi ainakin siinä määrin, että ne ovat muista endoaktiivisista glykosyylihydrolaaseista ja proteaaseista puhtaita, ja sitten mitata puhdistettuja entsyymejä ja proteaasia käyttäen niiden vaikutus yhdessä ja erikseen keitetyn kaurakuituvalmisteen viskositeettiin. Lisäksi tavoitteena oli karakterisoida Exiguobacterium sp. RB3 amylaasin olennaisimmat biokemialliset ominaisuudet, sekvensoida sen geenin amylaasia koodaava alue, ja selittää sen ominaisuuksia myös sekvenssistä johdettavissa olevan tiedon perusteella. Keitetyn kaurakuitupreparaatin viskositeettia alentavat eniten α-amylaasi ja endo-β-1,4-glukanaasi. Proteaasi ei vaikuta kaurakuitupreparaatin viskositeettiin, kun kuitupreparaatti on keitetty. Endo-β-1,4-glukanaasi alentaa viskositeettia yhtä hyvin kuin β-1,3-1,4-glukanaasi. Synergiaa viskositeetin alentamisessa α-amylaasilla ja endo-β-1,4-glukanaasilla ei havaittu, mutta havaittiin että β-glukaani saattaa estää tärkkelyksen retrogradaatiota. Hyvin pienetkin entsyymiaktiivisuudet vaikuttavat viskositeettiin. Jos halutaan β-glukaanin viskositeetin ja siten terveysvaikutusten säilyvän, täytyy esim. kauramaidon valmistuksessa käytettävien entsyymivalmisteiden olla β-glukanaaseista hyvin puhtaita. Mikrobifermentaatioissa tapahtuvat viskositeetin alenemat johtuvat lähinnä mikrobien erittämistä glykosyylihydrolaaseista, ei niinkään esim. niiden metabolian sivutuotteista kuten happiradikaaleista. Exiguobacterium sp. RB3 α-amylaasi on rakenteeltaan Bacillus licheniformis α-amylaasin kaltainen glykosyylihydrolaasiryhmän 13 entsyymi. Se sitoo rakenteeseensa kolme kalsiumiatomia, ja kalsiumpitoisuus vaikuttaa sen aktiivisuuteen. Se on aktiivisimmillan pH alueella 5,0 – 7,5. Se sietää detergenttejä, toisin kuin eräs aiemmin karakterisoitu Exiguobacterium-α-amylaasi. RB3 α-amylaasin turnover number oli korkea, 29000 1/s. Exiguobacterium-suvun psykrofiilisessä haarassa esiintyy kahta eri α-amylaasia, joista yksi on tässä karakterisoitu, ja toinen on selvästi erilainen rakenteeltaan ja biokemiallisilta ominaisuuksiltaan.
  • Sjöberg, Madeleine (2018)
    Cancer afflicts an ever-growing number of people globally each year. In part due to a complex pathophysiology where much is still unknown, the need for new cancer treatments has been persistent, fuelled further by the issue of treatment resistance. An emerging field holding much promise in oncology is immunotherapy, a subgroup of which is oncolytic virus treatments. These treatments utilize the inherent or acquired ability of certain viruses to selectively replicate in tumor cells to fight cancer. One of these viruses is the adenovirus. With these viruses it is possible to modulate the immune response e.g. through the expression of certain genes. The thesis focuses on genetically arming an oncolytic adenovirus in an effort to enhance treatment efficacy. The transgene of choice is the CD40 ligand (CD40L), a costimulatory molecule capable of aiding in the development of systemic antitumor immunity. Adenoviruses have previously been designed expressing the CD40L, however, a novel aspect was introduced with the design and incorporation of a soluble a form of the protein. The main aim of the study was the construction of four functional oncolytic adenoviruses, encoded with either the human or mouse variants of the two CD40L proteins (full-length and soluble). Successful completion required protocols for the cloning, bacterial colony screening, and primary virus production to be established. Insertion of the CD40L transgenes into the E3-gp19k region of the chosen Ad5Δ24 backbone was first attempted with the traditional approach of homologous recombination. The method that ultimately proved successful was a one-step Gibson Assembly® reaction. Screening the bacterial colonies with colony polymerase chain reaction, the potential CD40L positive clones underwent restriction analysis to affirm the presence of the transgene in the viral genome, as well as the retainment of critical elements. Two out of three recombined plasmids carrying the full-length CD40L proceeded to transfection and virus propagation in A549 cells, after which the presence of the adenovirus and CD40L expression was confirmed with immunostaining. Finally, a protocol was successfully established by the construction of one of the intended four viruses. The protocol entails all the main steps from cloning until primary virus production, additionally offering the option of applying it to the genetic arming of the Ad5Δ24 with other transgenes of interest. In terms of future perspectives for the project, following construction of the remaining viruses, the intentions are to validate transgene expression and functionality for all constructs, as well as compare the immunogenicity between the full-length and soluble CD40L. In the event of promising results, the project will hopefully proceed to in vivo studies.
  • Johansson, Annika (2019)
    This thesis examines the strengths and weaknesses of transport sector planning documents in reaching post-carbon future in Helsinki. The three last governmentally produced planning documents, regarding the future of transport in Helsinki, are being analyzed with the use of a framework created by Wiseman etc. (2013), pathways by Rosenbloom (2017) and semiotics. As the planning of the city’s transport is continuous by na-ture, knowledge of how the previous documents would succeed in reaching a post- carbon future is essential in order to form the new set of actions needed, even thou different set of aims were present at the time the documents were created. Helsinki aims to be carbon neutral by 2035. The goal was first published in 2017. Previously there have been less ambitious carbon reduction targets regarding Helsinki and its transport sector. The role of traffic is essential, as in 2017 the traffic was accountable for 23 % of the overall carbon emissions in Helsinki. This thesis uses a framework created by Wiseman etc. (2013) initially to analyze large- scale transfor-mations regarding the society as a whole. As the traffic sector is facing similar challenges, the path to post-carbon future is possible through the same identified set of means. As with Helsinki’s transport planning documents it is possible to reduce emissions by using a slow evolu-tionary approach, according to Wiseman etc. (2013) the approach is insufficient in making a leap to a post-carbon future in a short timeframe. The planning needs to include actions that make more rapid and trans-formational changes to the society as a whole. This thesis argues that the frames that need to be present in order to successfully reach a post- carbon future are already present in the transport planning documents, but they only need strengthening and precision. According to Wiseman etc. (2013) the success in reaching the target dependents on the social and physical transformations happening at the same speed and magni-tude. This is something to pay a special attention to in the future planning of reaching a carbon free traffic.
  • Huusari, Anna (2018)
    Plants control the exchange of gases through the stomatal pores. Stomata are formed by guard cells and the closure of stomata are regulated via a complex signaling network in response to various biotic and abiotic stimuli, such as pathogens, elevated levels of CO2 and darkness. The leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase (LRR-RLK) GUARD CELL HYDROGEN PEROXIDE-RESISTANT1 (GHR1) is part of the network regulating stomatal closure. GHR1 is an inaktive pseudokinase that can activate SLOW ANION CHANNEL-ASSOCIATED1 (SLAC1), an anion channel that is crucial for stomatal closure, via interacting proteins. The exact role of GHR1 is still partly unknown, however, it has been suggested that GHR1 could function as a scaffold or as an allosteric regulator of additional components required for stomatal closure. The aim of this study was to identify novel interactors of GHR1. First stable plant lines expressing fusion proteins GHR1-YFP, GHR1W799*-YFP and plain YFP as a negative control were generated and from these lines fusion protein expression levels and the subcellular localization were studied. Next the plant lines were used for purifying GHR1 interacting proteins with the use of co-immunoprecipitation and identification of the proteins with mass spectrometry. The unlikely GHR1 interactor candidates were then filtered from the mass spectrometry data. The subcellular localization and the protein expression of the interacting proteins were studied with the use of internet databases. Literature of the GHR1 interacting proteins were studied in order to make possible connections with GHR1 and stomatal closure. In this study 38 GHR1 interactors were identified. Literature search revealed that many of the identified interactors had a known role in stomatal movements. These included proteins such as PLASMA MEMBRANE INTRINSIC PROTEIN2-1 (PIP2-1) and BETA CARBONIC ANHYDRASE 4 (BCA4), that are known to have a role in stomatal closure. Future work includes confirming the interactions with independent methods and studying the molecular mechanisms related to stomatal movements. The GHR1 interactome identified here for the first time reveals novel parts of the network regulating stomatal movements and thus increases our understanding of molecular mechanisms behind stomatal functions.
  • Doagu, Fatma (2013)
    Intellectual disability (ID) is a clinically diverse and genetically heterogeneous disorder characterized by central nervous system defects of varying severity resulting in substantial impairment of intellectual and adaptive functioning as expressed in conceptual (IQ<70), social and practical adaptive skills diagnosed before 18 years of age. The condition is referred to as non-syndromic when ID is the only clinical feature and syndromic when ID is accompanied by specific other features, for example, Down syndrome. Intellectual disability is one of the largest unsolved problems of health care with a prevalence of 2-3% in the population. There is a 30-40% excess of male versus female patients in ID which refers to over-representation of X chromosomal defects causing ID. In this study, exome sequencing of the X chromosome was applied in order to identify genes and their mutations in two Finnish families with intellectual disability of unknown cause. The mutations were identified using Agilent Sure select array that covers almost 93% of the coding region of the chromosome. Exome sequencing resulted in 11 variations in total. Segregation of these variants was studied using PCR, ExoSAP-IT purification protocol and BigDye® Terminator v3.1 Cycle Sequencing Kit. Eventually, two novel mutations were identified: one for each family. Both mutations reside in genes that have previously been shown to cause X-linked intellectual disability. Both of the mutations were absent in over 120 control DNA samples. In one family with three affected males, a novel splice mutation was identified in discs large homolog 3 (DLG3), which encodes synapse-associated protein 102 (SAP102). The mutation is located at the splice site in intron 1 (500+1 G>C) and its effect on protein function needs to be analyzed at the RNA-level using cDNA-sequencing. The clinical phenotype of the three affected brothers is mild to moderate intellectual disability. In the other family with three severely affected male patients, a novel mutation in exon 12 was identified on glutamate receptor, ionotropic, AMPA 3 (GRIA3) resulting in amino acid glycine (GGG) changing to arginine (CGG) at codon 630 (G630R). GRIA3 belongs to AMPA receptors implicated in the regulation of several biological processes. Our findings elucidate the power of exome sequencing in the diagnosis of rare, genetically heterogeneous disorders like intellectual disability. The results obtained will help in assessing the prognosis of the disease, in estimating the risk of the disorder to other family members, and in facilitating the development of future therapies for these devastating disorders. The results also further confirm the role of DLG3 and GRIA3 in human cognitive development.
  • Myllymäki, Pilvi (2018)
    The majority of potential new chemical entities reaching drug development phase belong to Class II the Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) which complicates formulation of orally administered drugs. Therefore, there is a need to develop methods to increase the solubility and dissolution rate. Transformation of a crystalline drug into its amorphous form can be used to enhance these properties of poorly water-soluble drugs. However, amorphous drugs are thermodynamically unstable and tend to recrystallize back to the crystalline form. Coamorphous forms are a new and promising method to stabilize amorphous form. A relatively new approach is to combine the active drug compound with an amino acid to form a coamorphous system. In this study, co-amorphous systems were prepared from gamma, alpha or amorphous form of indomethacin (IND) and tryptophan (TRP) by ball milling. The solid-state changes during milling were investigated to obtain information about the co-amorphization process. The main objective was to investigate the effects of initial solid state of indomethacin on the formation pathways. In addition, different analytical methods were compared with respect to observed endpoints of the formation process. Raman spectroscopy has not been used in previous studies regarding solid state changes in co-amorphous forms. The presence of fluorescence in amorphous systems may have limited use of the method. A time-gated Raman setup together with X-ray powder diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to investigate this kind of potentially fluorescent system. Principal component analysis of spectral data revealed that the three different binary systems had individual and direct pathways towards the same end points during milling. This indicates that the co-amorphous form formed after 60 minutes of ball milling is not dependent on the initial solid-state form of IND. Straight pathways also indicated direct transformation to the coamorphous form. DSC was found to be the most sensitive method to detect changes for the longest period during co-amorphization. Conventional Raman spectroscopy was found to be suitable for investigation of the co-amorphization process. However, time-gated Raman spectroscopy did not show significant advantages compared to conventional Raman data. This study revealed that the most stable form of IND could be used for production of co-amorphous form together with TRP. Raman spectroscopy could potentially be used for investigating coamorphization also as an in-process analytical method.
  • Hyrkäs, Noora (2018)
    Limasienet (Myxomycota) ovat aitoameeboihin (Amoebozoa) kuuluvia, aitotumaisia eliöitä, joiden elinkierrossa vuorottelevat yksisoluinen, yleensä haploidi ameeba- ja kenosyyttinen, diploidi limakkovaihe. Limasieniä tunnetaan noin 1000 lajia, joista Suomessa on tavattu reilut 200. Lajimonimuotoisuus on suurinta metsissä mm. karikkeessa, lahopuussa ja elävien puiden kaarnalla. Suurimman osan elämästään ne viettävät joko lepovaiheina (esim. itiöinä tai sklerootioina) tai ameeboina. Limakko kehittyy tavallisesti ameebojen pariutuessa, ja se kykenee liikkumaan hitaasti elinalustallaan etsien ravinnokseen mm. bakteereja ja sieni-itiöitä. Sopivissa olosuhteissa limakko muuttuu kokonaisuudessaan itiöpesäkkeiksi, joissa syntyvät meioottiset itiöt. Kaarnalimasienet ovat sopeutuneet viemään koko elinkiertonsa läpi elävien puiden kaarnalla. Niiden lepoasteet kestävät kasvualustalleen tyypillisiä ääreviä ja nopeasti vaihtuvia kosteus- ja lämpöoloja. Elinkierto ja limakkovaihe ovat yleensä nopeita ja limakot sekä itiöpesäkkeet pienikokoisia, tuskin silmin havaittavia. Ehdottomien kaarnalajien lisäksi kaarnalla elää myös joukko laaja-alaisempia ja opportunistisia lajeja. Tässä tutkimuksessa kartoitettiin kaarnalimasienten lajistoa 15 yleisellä, Suomessa luonnonvaraisena esiintyvällä puulajilla ja neljällä eri kasvillisuusvyöhykkeellä (boreaalisen vyöhykkeen alavyöhykkeellä). Tavoitteena oli selvittää lajiston lisäksi, onko eri isäntäpuulajien tai vyöhykkeiden välillä eroja limasienilajistossa. Kaarnanäytteitä kerättiin yhteensä 196 puuyksilöstä (yksi näyte/yksilö) hemi-, etelä- ja pohjoisboreaaliselta sekä orohemiarktiselta vyöhykkeeltä. Näytteistä kasvatettiin limasieniä kosteakammioviljelmissä, ja itiöpesäkkeitä tuottaneet lajit tunnistettiin ja valokuvattiin. Puulajien ja vyöhykkeiden eroja tutkittiin tilastollisin menetelmin. Lisäksi mitattiin ja tutkittiin kaarnan happamuuden ja vedenpidätyskyvyn vaikutusta limasienilajistoon. Kaarnanäytteistä 65 % tuotti limasienten itiöpesäkkeitä. Tutkituilta 15 puulajilta löytyi yhteensä 23 tunnistettua limasienilajia, joista kaksi hapsista (suku Echinostelium) havaittiin nyt Suomessa ensi kertaa. Yhden puulajin limasienilajien lukumäärä vaihteli välillä 1-9 ja vyöhykkeittäin 1-19. Sekä puulajien että vyöhykkeiden välillä havaittiin merkitseviä eroja, eli ainakin osa limasienilajeista vaikuttaa suosivan tiettyjä isäntäpuulajeja tai lajiryhmiä (esim. havu- tai lehtipuita) ja painottuvan levinneisyydeltään maan etelä- tai pohjoisosiin. Toisaalta muutamaa limasienilajia esiintyi hyvin laajalti eri puilla ja alueilla. Kasvualustan happamuuden ja vedenpidätyskyvyn vaikutukset lajistoon eivät olleet yksiselitteisiä. Tutkimustulosten perusteella limasienet ovat sienten ja jäkälien tavoin hyvin yleinen osa kaarnan mikrobistoa, eikä niiden esiintyminen eri puulajeilla tai kasvillisuusvyöhykkeillä ole täysin satunnaista. Tulokset tukivat useiden aiempien tutkimusten tuloksia kaarnalimasienten puulaji- ja aluespesifisyydestä. Edellä kuvattu tutkimus oli puulajien osalta laajin tähän mennessä tehty selvitys Suomen kaarnalimasienistä.
  • Niittynen, Ilona (2018)
    Medication-related events are a significant cause of in-hospital adverse events. Intravenous medication errors occur more frequently and are more likely to result in serious harm than other medication therapies. Closed loop medication management which seamlessly integrates automated and intelligent systems barriers, is used for reducing medication errors. The aim of this systematic review was to identify what kind of scientific studies exist regarding closed loop medication in intravenous medication therapy and barriers related to it. This study is part of a larger systematic review. The literature search indentified 2292 scientific papers. Of these, only 57 were included in the larger review since most of the references were excluded based on titles, abstracts or full-texts. Of these, 21 studies regarding closed loop medication management in intravenous medication therapy were included in this thesis. The studies conserned intelligent infusion devices, computerized physician order entries, clinical decision support systems, automated workflow management systems reducing compounding errors and bar-code confirmation of drugs and patients. According to this review, closed loop medication management potentially reduces medication errors related to intravenous medication therapy. It seems to be more effective to seamlessly integrate the closed loop medication management barriers to each other and to the medication management process than to implement the barriers separately. It’s important to plan the implementation carefully by a multidisciplinary team. In addition, the latest care guidelines need to be taken in to account. Significant resources must be allocated to training and engaging employees and to systematically maintaining and developing the process to manage the successful implementation of the process. This review provides valuable information for Finnish hospitals implementing the closed loop medication management since the concept is not yet well-known in Finland.