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  • 1.
    Jacobsson, Johan Lars Henrik
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science.
    3D-dynamic visualization of complex molecular cell biology processes: 1-year university students' understanding of visualizations of signal transduction2008Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This study deals with the use of 3D-dynamic visualizations for teaching complex molecular cell biology concepts. The focus is on signal transduction, which is a concept that constitutes an important part of biological systems. 3D-dynamic visualizations (animations) were produced and shown for a total of 24 students attending a course in molecular cell biology at Karlstad University, Sweden. Data were collected by questionnaires and interviews which were structured around the understandability and usefulness of the animations. The results indicate that animations are useful for teaching life science concepts and can serve as a complement to lectures. They are useful for visualizing continuous time-dependent processes like signal transduction chains. Several connections between students' issues of understanding and layout-issues of the animations were established. A number of implications follow from the study. Basic understanding of animations is fundamental for understanding of advanced concepts, which should be kept in mind in the design phase of production. The level of realism of different factors in animations, like molecule speed and distances, has to be set to strike a balance between conceptual understanding and scientific correctness. Visualization of 3D-structure of molecules provides an understanding of molecule and systemic function. The study reinforces the need to use visualizations in life science teaching.

     

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  • 2.
    Lindgren, Elin
    Karlstad University.
    Antikroppssvar och PD-1/PD-L1 nivåer efter Covidvaccination2023Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The virus SARS-CoV-2 gave rise to a global pandemic and several vaccines, whose efficiency needed to be evaluated, have been developed. Our immune system is regulated by several mechanisms that activate and inhibit immune response. PD-1 and its ligand PD-L1 are immune inhibitors with a possible correlation between the potency of the immune response and the number of inhibitors. The hypothesis of this study is that individuals with a lower antibody response after vaccination have higher levels of PD-1/PD-L1. Using an ELISA, the concentration of the proteins was measured from blood plasma from 19 individuals from the CoVacc Cohort, with known antibody response after one as well as two doses of vaccine. The study found a significant correlation between the inhibitors PD-1 and PD-L1 after both the first and the second dose. No correlation was found between the response of antibodies and PD-1/PD-L1 and the hypothesis is therefore rejected. It is possible that the interval between each dose of vaccine and the collection of blood plasma was not optimized for this study. It is also possible that the number of individuals that were included in this study was too low. Considering this result, more research should be conducted on the subject before an absolute conclusion can be drawn. 

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  • 3.
    Roos, Cecilia
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Technology and Science, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    Studies of leukotriene C4 synthase expression and regulation in chronic myeloid leukaemia2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
    Abstract [en]

    Leukotriene (LT) C4 is generated through conjugation of LTA4 with glutathione by the actions of leukotriene C4 synthase (LTC4S). This biologically potent mediator of asthma and inflammation has also been suggested to play a regulatory role in human myelopoiesis and is overproduced by blood and bone marrow cells from patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).

    We investigated the expression and activity of LTC4S in normal and leukemic myeloid cells of different degrees of maturity. Normal cells displayed the highest expression and activity in the most immature cells, and it decreased with increasing maturity. The expression and activity of LTC4S followed the same pattern in corresponding CML cell fractions, however with a consistently higher expression and activity than seen in the normal cells. LTC4S could not be detected at the protein level in normal mature neutrophils but LTC4S mRNA could be amplified from total RNA. However, in cytoplasmic extracts from these cells LTC4S mRNA could not be detected.

    To study a possible posttranscriptional regulation we synthesised a LTC4S RNA. Cytosolic extracts from CML neutrophils, in contrast to normal neutrophil extracts, degraded this RNA, suggesting that the aberrant expression of LTC4S in CML neutrophils is not caused by stabilisation of LTC4S mRNA in the cytosol.

    We also show the first in vivo evidence of an increased LTC4S activity. Thus, CML patients were found to have significantly higher levels of the LTC4 metabolite LTE4 in their urine compared to healthy individuals.

    Imatinib is an inhibitor of BCR-ABL, a tyrosine kinase believed to induce and maintain the malignant transformation in CML. In vivo treatment with imatinib normalised the aberrant LTC4S expression seen in CML neutrophils. We could detect a significant decrease in LTC4S activity already within two weeks of therapy, without any effect on the presence of BCR-ABL.

    To further explore the possible connection between BCR-ABL and LTC4S, a CML cell line that expresses active LTC4S was identified. Surprisingly, upon treatment of KCL22 cells with imatinib there was a dose- and time-dependent increase in the enzyme activity. Real-time RT-PCR showed an increase in LTC4S mRNA levels, which could explain the increased enzyme activity.

    Taken together, the expression pattern of LTC4S during myeloid differentiation further implies a role for LTC4 in normal and leukemic myelopoiesis. The upregulated expression of LTC4S in CML seems to be a down-stream step in BCR-ABL-induced signalling.

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