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The hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), a heterodimer composed of HIF-1alpha and HIF-1beta, is activated in response to low oxygen tension and serves as the master regulator for cells to adapt to hypoxia. HIF-1 is usually considered to be regulated via degradation of its a-subunit. Recent findings, however, point to the existence of alternative mechanisms of HIF-1 regulation which appear to be important for down-regulating HIF-1 under prolonged and severe oxygen depletion. The aims of my Ph.D. thesis, therefore, were to further elucidate mechanisms involved in such down-regulation of HIF-1. The first part of the thesis addresses the impact of the severity and duration of oxygen depletion on HIF-1alpha protein accumulation and HIF-1 transcriptional activity. A special focus was put on the influence of the transcription factor p53 on HIF-1. I found that p53 only accumulates under prolonged anoxia (but not hypoxia), thus limiting its influence on HIF-1 to severe hypoxic conditions. At low expression levels, p53 inhibits HIF-1 transactivity. I attributed this effect to a competition between p53 and HIF-1alpha for binding to the transcriptional co-factor p300, since p300 overexpression reverses this inhibition. This assumption is corroborated by competitive binding of IVTT-generated p53 and HIF-1alpha to the CH1-domain of p300 in vitro. High p53 expression, on the other hand, affects HIF-1alpha protein negatively, i.e., p53 provokes pVHL-independent degradation of HIF-1alpha. Therefore, I conclude that low p53 expression attenuates HIF-1 transactivation by competing for p300, while high p53 expression negatively affects HIF-1alpha protein, thereby eliminating HIF-1 transactivity. Thus, once p53 becomes activated under prolonged anoxia, it contributes to terminating HIF-1 responses. In the second part of my study, I intended to further characterize the effects induced by prolonged periods of low oxygen, i.e., hypoxia, as compared to anoxia, with respect to alterations in HIF-1alpha mRNA. Prolonged anoxia, but not hypoxia, showed pronounced effects on HIF-1alpha mRNA. Long-term anoxia induced destabilization of HIF-1alpha mRNA, which manifests itself in a dramatic reduction of the half-life. The mechanistic background points to natural anti-sense HIF-1alpha mRNA, which is induced in a HIF-1-dependent manner, and additional factors, which most likely influence HIF-1alpha mRNA indirectly via anti-sense HIF-1alpha mRNA mediated trans-effects. In summary, the data provide new information concerning the impact of p53 on HIF-1, which might be of importance for the decision between pro- and anti-apoptotic mechanisms depending upon the severity and duration of hypoxia. Furthermore, the results of this project give further insights into a novel mechanism of HIF-1 regulation, namely mRNA down-regulation under prolonged anoxic incubations. These mechanisms appear to be activated only in response to prolonged anoxia, but not to hypoxia. These considerations regarding HIF-1 regulation should be taken into account when prolonged incubations to hypoxic or anoxic conditions are analyzed at the level of HIF-1 stability regulation.

Nowadays one of the major objectives in geosciences is the determination of the gravitational field of our planet, the Earth. A precise knowledge of this quantity is not just interesting on its own but it is indeed a key point for a vast number of applications. The important question is how to obtain a good model for the gravitational field on a global scale. The only applicable solution - both in costs and data coverage - is the usage of satellite data. We concentrate on highly precise measurements which will be obtained by GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady State Ocean Circulation Explorer, launch expected 2006). This satellite has a gradiometer onboard which returns the second derivatives of the gravitational potential. Mathematically seen we have to deal with several obstacles. The first one is that the noise in the different components of these second derivatives differs over several orders of magnitude, i.e. a straightforward solution of this outer boundary value problem will not work properly. Furthermore we are not interested in the data at satellite height but we want to know the field at the Earth's surface, thus we need a regularization (downward-continuation) of the data. These two problems are tackled in the thesis and are now described briefly. Split Operators: We have to solve an outer boundary value problem at the height of the satellite track. Classically one can handle first order side conditions which are not tangential to the surface and second derivatives pointing in the radial direction employing integral and pseudo differential equation methods. We present a different approach: We classify all first and purely second order operators which fulfill that a harmonic function stays harmonic under their application. This task is done by using modern algebraic methods for solving systems of partial differential equations symbolically. Now we can look at the problem with oblique side conditions as if we had ordinary i.e. non-derived side conditions. The only additional work which has to be done is an inversion of the differential operator, i.e. integration. In particular we are capable to deal with derivatives which are tangential to the boundary. Auto-Regularization: The second obstacle is finding a proper regularization procedure. This is complicated by the fact that we are facing stochastic rather than deterministic noise. The main question is how to find an optimal regularization parameter which is impossible without any additional knowledge. However we could show that with a very limited number of additional information, which are obtainable also in practice, we can regularize in an asymptotically optimal way. In particular we showed that the knowledge of two input data sets allows an order optimal regularization procedure even under the hard conditions of Gaussian white noise and an exponentially ill-posed problem. A last but rather simple task is combining data from different derivatives which can be done by a weighted least squares approach using the information we obtained out of the regularization procedure. A practical application to the downward-continuation problem for simulated gravitational data is shown.

In traditional portfolio optimization under the threat of a crash the investment horizon or time to maturity is neglected. Developing the so-called crash hedging strategies (which are portfolio strategies which make an investor indifferent to the occurrence of an uncertain (down) jumps of the price of the risky asset) the time to maturity turns out to be essential. The crash hedging strategies are derived as solutions of non-linear differential equations which itself are consequences of an equilibrium strategy. Hereby the situation of changing market coefficients after a possible crash is considered for the case of logarithmic utility as well as for the case of general utility functions. A benefit-cost analysis of the crash hedging strategy is done as well as a comparison of the crash hedging strategy with the optimal portfolio strategies given in traditional crash models. Moreover, it will be shown that the crash hedging strategies optimize the worst-case bound for the expected utility from final wealth subject to some restrictions. Another application is to model crash hedging strategies in situations where both the number and the height of the crash are uncertain but bounded. Taking the additional information of the probability of a possible crash happening into account leads to the development of the q-quantile crash hedging strategy.

In the filling process of a car tank, the formation of foam plays an unwanted role, as it may prevent the tank from being completely filled or at least delay the filling. Therefore it is of interest to optimize the geometry of the tank using numerical simulation in such a way that the influence of the foam is minimized. In this dissertation, we analyze the behaviour of the foam mathematically on the mezoscopic scale, that is for single lamellae. The most important goals are on the one hand to gain a deeper understanding of the interaction of the relevant physical effects, on the other hand to obtain a model for the simulation of the decay of a lamella which can be integrated in a global foam model. In the first part of this work, we give a short introduction into the physical properties of foam and find that the Marangoni effect is the main cause for its stability. We then develop a mathematical model for the simulation of the dynamical behaviour of a lamella based on an asymptotic analysis using the special geometry of the lamella. The result is a system of nonlinear partial differential equations (PDE) of third order in two spatial and one time dimension. In the second part, we analyze this system mathematically and prove an existence and uniqueness result for a simplified case. For some special parameter domains the system can be further simplified, and in some cases explicit solutions can be derived. In the last part of the dissertation, we solve the system using a finite element approach and discuss the results in detail.

Inappropriate speed is the most common reason for road traffic accidents world wide. Thus, a necessity for speed management exists. The so-called SUNflower states Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands - each spending strong effort in traffic safety policies - have great success in reducing mean road speeds and speed variances through speed management. However, the effect is still insufficient for gaining real traffic safety. Thus, there is a discussion to make use of technical in-vehicle devices. One of these technologies called Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) reduces vehicle speeds. This is done either by warning the driver that he is speeding, or activating the accelerator pedal with a counterforce, or reducing the gasoline supply to the motor. The three ways of reducing the speed are called version 1-3. The EC-project for research on speed adaptation policies on European roads (PROSPER) deals with strategic proposals for the implementation of the different ISA-versions. This thesis includes selected results of PROSPER. In this thesis two empiric surveys were done in order to give an overview about the basic conditions (e.g. social, economic, technical aspects) for an ISA implementation in Germany. On one hand, a stakeholder analysis and questionnaire using the Delphi-method has been accomplished in two rounds. On the other hand, a questionnaire with speed offenders has been accomplished, too, in two rounds. In addition, the author created an expert pool consisting of 23 experts representing the most important fields of science and practice in which ISA is involved. The author made phone or personal interviews with most of the experts. 12 experts also produced a detailed publication on their professional point of view towards ISA. The two surveys and the professional comments on ISA led to four possible implementation scenarios for ISA in Germany. However, due to a strong political opposition against ISA it is also thinkable that ISA is not implemented or the implementation process starts after 2015 (i.e. outside the aimed period of time). The scenarios are as follows: A) Implementation of version 1 by market forces with governmental subventions. B) Implementation of version 2 by market forces supported by traffic safety institutions and image-making processes. C) Implementation of a modified version 3 by law for speed offenders instead of cancellation of the driving licence. D) Implementation of various versions in Germany because of a broad implementation of ISA in the SUNflower states. X) Non-implementation of ISA leads to the necessity of alternative speed management measures. The author prefers scenario B because - ceteris paribus - it seems to be the most likely way to implement the technology. As soon as ISA reaches technical maturity, the implementation process has to be accomplished in three steps. 1) Marketing and image making 2) Margin introduction 3) Market penetration This implementation process for ISA by market forces could effect a percentage of at least 15% of all vehicles equipped with ISA before the year 2015.

In the present work, various aspects of the mixed continuum-atomistic modelling of materials are studied, most of which are related to the problems arising due to a development of microstructures during the transition from an elastic to plastic description within the framework of continuum-atomistics. By virtue of the so-called Cauchy-Born hypothesis, which is an essential part of the continuum-atomistics, a localization criterion has been derived in terms of the loss of infinitesimal rank-one convexity of the strain energy density. According to this criterion, a numerical yield condition has been computed for two different interatomic energy functions. Therewith, the range of the Cauchy-Born rule validity has been defined, since the strain energy density remains quasiconvex only within the computed yield surface. To provide a possibility to continue the simulation of material response after the loss of quasiconvexity, a relaxation procedure proposed by Tadmor et al. leading necessarily to the development of microstructures has been used. Thereby, various notions of convexity have been overviewed in details. Alternatively to the above mentioned criterion, a stability criterion has been applied to detect the critical deformation. For the study in the postcritical region, the path-change procedure proposed by Wagner and Wriggers has been adapted for the continuum-atomistic and modified. To capture the deformation inhomogeneity arising due to the relaxation, the Cauchy-Born hypothesis has been extended by assumption that it represents only the 1st term in the Taylor's series expansion of the deformation map. The introduction of the 2nd, quadratic term results in the higher-order materials theory. Based on a simple computational example, the relevance of this theory in the postcritical region has been shown. For all simulations including the finite element examples, the development tool MATLAB 6.5 has been used.

Herbivory is discussed as a key agent in maintaining dynamics and stability of tropical forested ecosystems. Accordingly increasing attention has been paid to the factors that structure tropical herbivore communities. The aim of this study was (1) to describe diversity, density, distribution and host range of the phasmid community (Phasmatodea) of a moist neotropical forest in Panamá, and (2) to experimentally assess bottom-up and top-down factors that may regulate populations of the phasmid Metriophasma diocles. The phasmid community of Barro Colorado Island was poor in species and low in density. Phasmids mainly occurred along forest edges and restricted host ranges of phasmid species reflected the successional status of their host plants. Only M. diocles that fed on early and late successional plants occurred regularly in the forest understory. A long generation time with a comparably low fecundity converted into a low biotic potential of M. diocles. However, modeled potential population density increased exponentially and exceeded the realized densities of this species already after one generation indicating that control factors continuously affect M. diocles natural populations. Egg hatching failure decreased potential population growth by 10 % but was of no marked effect at larger temporal scale. Interspecific differences in defensive physical and chemical leaf traits of M. diocles host plants, amongst them leaf toughness the supposedly most effective anti-herbivore defense, seemed not to affect adult female preference and nymph performance. Alternatively to these defenses, I suggest that the pattern of differential preference and performance may be based on interspecific differences in qualitative toxic compounds or in nutritive quality of leaves. The significant rejection of leaf tissue with a low artificial increase of natural phenol contents by nymphs indicated a qualitative defensive pathway in Piper evolution. In M. diocles, oviposition may not be linked to nymph performance, because the evolutionary prediction of a relation between female adult preference and nymph performance was missing. Consequently, the recruitment of nymphs into the reproductive adult phase may be crucially affected by differential performance of nymphs. Neonate M. diocles nymphs suffered strong predation pressure when exposed to natural levels of predation. Concluding from significantly increased predation-related mortality at night, I argue that arthropods may be the main predators of this nocturnal herbivore. Migratory behavior of nymphs seemed not to reflect predation avoidance. Instead, I provided first evidence that host plant quality may trigger off-plant migration. In conclusion, I suggest that predation pressure with its direct effects on nymph survival may be a stronger factor regulating M. diocles populations, compared to direct and indirect effects of host plant quality, particularly because slow growth and off-host migration both may feed back into an increase of predation related mortality.

Characterization of neuronal activity in the auditory brainstem of rats: An optical imaging approach
(2004)

In this doctoral thesis, several aspects of neuronal activity in the rat superior olivary complex (SOC), an auditory brainstem structure, were analyzed using optical imaging with voltage-sensitive dyes (VSD). The thesis is divided into 5 Chapters. Chapter 1 is a general introduction, which gives an overview of the auditory brainstem and VSD imaging. In Chapter 2, an optical imaging method for the SOC was standardized, using the VSD RH795. To do so, the following factors were optimized: (1) An extracellular potassium concentration of 5 mM is necessary during the incubation and recording to observe synaptically evoked responses in the SOC. (2) Employing different power supplies reduced the noise. (3) Averaging of 10 subsequent trials yielded a better signal-to-noise ratio. (4) RH795 of 100 µM with 50 min prewash was optimal to image SOC slices for more than one hour. (5) Stimulus-evoked optical signals were TTX sensitive, revealing action potential-driven input. (6) Synaptically evoked optical signals were characterized to be composed of pre- and postsynaptic components. (7) Optical signals were well correlated with anatomical structures. Overall, this method allows the comparative measurement of electrical activity of cell ensembles with high spatio-temporal resolution. In Chapter 3, the nature of functional inputs to the lateral superior olive (LSO), the medial superior olive (MSO), and the superior paraolivary nucleus (SPN) were analyzed using the glycine receptor blocker strychnine and the AMPA/kainate receptor blocker CNQX. In the LSO, the known glutamatergic inputs from the ipsilateral, and the glycinergic inputs from the ipsilateral and contralateral sides, were confirmed. Furthermore, a CNQX-sensitive input from the contralateral was identified. In the MSO, the glutamatergic and glycinergic inputs from the ipsilateral and contralateral sides were corroborated. In the SPN, besides the known glycinergic input from the contralateral, I found a glycinergic input from the ipsilateral and I also identified CNQX-sensitive inputs from the contralateral and ipsilateral sides. Together, my results thus corroborate findings obtained with different preparations and methods, and provide additional information on the pharmacological nature of the inputs. In Chapter 4, the development of glycinergic inhibition for the LSO, the MSO, the SPN, and the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) was studied by characterizing the polarity of strychnine-sensitive responses. In the LSO, the high frequency region displayed a shift in the polarity at P4, whereas the low frequency region displayed at P6. In the MSO, both the regions displayed the shift at P5. The SPN displayed a shift in the polarity at E18-20 without any regional differences. The MNTB lacked a shift between P3-10. Together, these results demonstrate a differential timing in the development of glycinergic inhibition in these nuclei. In Chapter 5, the role of the MSO in processing bilateral time differences (t) was investigated. This was done by stimulating ipsilateral and contralateral inputs to the MSO with different t values. In preliminary experiments, the postsynaptic responses showed a differential pattern in the spread of activity upon different t values. This data demonstrates a possible presence of delay lines as proposed by Jeffress in the interaural time difference model of sound localization. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the usage of VSD imaging to analyze the neuronal activity in auditory brainstem slices. Moreover, this study expands the knowledge of the inputs to the SOC, and has identified one glycinergic and three AMPA/kainate glutamatergic novel inputs to the SOC nuclei.

Compared to our current knowledge of neuronal excitation, little is known about the development and maturation of inhibitory circuits. Recent studies show that inhibitory circuits develop and mature in a similar way like excitatory circuit. One such similarity is the development through excitation, irrespective of its inhibitory nature. Here in this current study, I used the inhibitory projection between the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) and the lateral superior olive (LSO) as a model system to unravel some aspects of the development of inhibitory synapses. In LSO neurons of the rat auditory brainstem, glycine receptor-mediated responses change from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing during the first two postnatal weeks (Kandler and Friauf 1995, J. Neurosci. 15:6890-6904). The depolarizing effect of glycine is due to a high intracellular chloride concentration ([Cl-]i), which induces a reversal potential of glycine (EGly) more positive than the resting membrane potential (Vrest). In older LSO neurons, the hyperpolarizing effect is due to a low [Cl-]i (Ehrlich et al., 1999, J. Physiol. 520:121-137). Aim of the present study was to elucidate the molecular mechanism behind Clhomeostasis in LSO neurons which determines polarity of glycine response. To do so, the role and developmental expression of Cl-cotransporters, such as NKCC1 and KCC2 were investigated. Molecular biological and gramicidin perforated patchclamp experiments revealed, the role of KCC2 as an outward Cl-cotransporter in mature LSO neurons (Balakrishnan et al., 2003, J Neurosci. 23:4134-4145). But, NKCC1 does not appear to be involved in accumulating chloride in immature LSO neurons. Further experiments, indicated the role of GABA and glycine transporters (GAT1 and GLYT2) in accumulating Cl- in immature LSO neurons. Finally, the experiments with hypothyroid animals suggest the possible role of thyroid hormone in the maturation of inhibitory synapse. Altogether, this thesis addressed the molecular mechanism underlying the Cl- regulation in LSO neurons and deciphered it to some extent.

The polydispersive nature of the turbulent droplet swarm in agitated liquid-liquid contacting equipment makes its mathematical modelling and the solution methodologies a rather sophisticated process. This polydispersion could be modelled as a population of droplets randomly distributed with respect to some internal properties at a specific location in space using the population balance equation as a mathematical tool. However, the analytical solution of such a mathematical model is hardly to obtain except for particular idealized cases, and hence numerical solutions are resorted to in general. This is due to the inherent nonlinearities in the convective and diffusive terms as well as the appearance of many integrals in the source term. In this work two conservative discretization methodologies for both internal (droplet state) and external (spatial) coordinates are extended and efficiently implemented to solve the population balance equation (PBE) describing the hydrodynamics of liquid-liquid contacting equipment. The internal coordinate conservative discretization techniques of Kumar and Ramkrishna (1996a, b) originally developed for the solution of PBE in simple batch systems are extended to continuous flow systems and validated against analytical solutions as well as published experimental droplet interaction functions and hydrodynamic data. In addition to these methodologies, we presented a conservative discretization approach for droplet breakage in batch and continuous flow systems, where it is found to have identical convergence characteristics when compared to the method of Kumar and Ramkrishna (1996a). Apart from the specific discretization schemes, the numerical solution of droplet population balance equations by discretization is known to suffer from inherent finite domain errors (FDE). Two approaches that minimize the total FDE during the solution of the discrete PBEs using an approximate optimal moving (for batch) and fixed (for continuous systems) grids are introduced (Attarakih, Bart & Faqir, 2003a). As a result, significant improvements are achieved in predicting the number densities, zero and first moments of the population. For spatially distributed populations (such as extraction columns) the resulting system of partial differential equations is spatially discretized in conservative form using a simplified first order upwind scheme as well as first and second order nonoscillatory central differencing schemes (Kurganov & Tadmor, 2000). This spatial discretization avoids the characteristic decomposition of the convective flux based on the approximate Riemann Solvers and the operator splitting technique required by classical upwind schemes (Karlsen et al., 2001). The time variable is discretized using an implicit strongly stable approach that is formulated by careful lagging of the nonlinear parts of the convective and source terms. The present algorithms are tested against analytical solutions of the simplified PBE through many case studies. In all these case studies the discrete models converges successfully to the available analytical solutions and to solutions on relatively fine grids when the analytical solution is not available. This is accomplished by deriving five analytical solutions of the PBE in continuous stirred tank and liquid-liquid extraction column for especial cases of breakage and coalescence functions. As an especial case, these algorithms are implemented via a windows computer code called LLECMOD (Liquid-Liquid Extraction Column Module) to simulate the hydrodynamics of general liquid-liquid extraction columns (LLEC). The user input dialog makes the LLECMOD a user-friendly program that enables the user to select grids, column dimensions, flow rates, velocity models, simulation parameters, dispersed and continuous phases chemical components, and droplet phase space-time solvers. The graphical output within the windows environment adds to the program a distinctive feature and makes it very easy to examine and interpret the results very quickly. Moreover, the dynamic model of the dispersed phase is carefully treated to correctly predict the oscillatory behavior of the LLEC hold up. In this context, a continuous velocity model corresponding to the manipulation of the inlet continuous flow rate through the control of the dispersed phase level is derived to get rid of this behavior.