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  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Increased type-I interferon level is associated with liver damage and fibrosis in primary sclerosing cholangitis
    (2024)
    Salzmann,Rebekka J.S. 
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    Krötz, Christina 
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    Mocan, Tudor 
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    Mocan, Lavinia P. 
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    Grapa, Cristiana 
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    Rottmann, Sophia 
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    Reichelt, Ramona 
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    Keller, Cindy M. 
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    Langhans, Bettina 
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    ; ; ; ;
    Krawczyk, Marcin 
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    Milkiewicz, Piotr 
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    Sparchez, Zeno 
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    Lammert, Frank 
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    Gonzalez-Carmona, Maria A. 
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    Willms, Arnulf 
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    Strassburg, Christian P. 
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    Kornek, Miroslaw T. 
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    Dold, Leona 
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    Lukacs-Kornek, Veronika 
    Background: The level of type-I interferons (IFNs) in primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) was investigated to evaluate its association with disease activity and progression. Methods: Bioactive type-I IFNs were evaluated in a murine model of PSC and human patients’ sera using a cell-based reporter assay and ELISA techniques. In total, 57 healthy participants, 71 PSC, and 38 patients with primary biliary cholangitis were enrolled in this study. Results: Bioactive type-I IFNs were elevated in the liver and serum of multidrug resistance protein 2–deficient animals and showed a correlation with the presence of CD45+ immune cells and serum alanine transaminase levels. Concordantly, bioactive type-I IFNs were elevated in the sera of patients with PSC as compared to healthy controls (sensitivity of 84.51%, specificity of 63.16%, and AUROC value of 0.8267). Bioactive IFNs highly correlated with alkaline phosphatase (r=0.4179, p<0.001), alanine transaminase (r=0.4704, p<0.0001), and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase activities (r=0.6629, p<0.0001) but not with serum bilirubin. In addition, patients with PSC with advanced fibrosis demonstrated significantly higher type-I IFN values. Among the type-I IFN subtypes IFNα, β and IFNω could be detected in patients with PSC with IFNω showing the highest concentration among the subtypes and being the most abundant among patients with PSC. Conclusions: The selectively elevated bioactive type-I IFNs specifically the dominating IFNω could suggest a novel inflammatory pathway that might also have a hitherto unrecognized role in the pathomechanism of PSC.
      4
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Complementing endozoochorous seed dispersal patterns by donkeys and goats in a semi-natural island ecosystem
    (2017)
    Treitler, Julia 
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    Drissen, Tim 
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    Stadtmann, Robin 
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    Zerbe, Stefan 
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    Mantilla-Contreras, Jasmin 
    Endozoochory is, in grazing systems, a substantial vector for seed dispersal. It can play an important role in vegetation dynamics, especially in colonization processes through seed input on the vegetation and on the soil seed bank. We investigated the endozoochorous seed input of donkeys and goats on a semi-natural island ecosystem in the Mediterranean. Through germination experiments, we assessed the viable seed content of the dung of these grazing animals to estimate their suitability and efficiency for seed dispersal of the vegetation types of the island.
      6
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Solidarity in the Public Sphere
    (2020)
    Wallaschek, Stefan 
    Multiple crises in the EU have sparked a renaissance of the concept of solidarity. However, discursive approaches to solidarity and the public understanding of solidarity have hardly received scholarly attention. Empirical research on solidarity is rather centered on welfare institutions as well as on individual attitudes and behavior. To shed new light on solidarity in public discourse, we investigate in which policy fields the term is most often used, which actors refer to it and how different types of solidarity are covered in the German public discourse. We investigate the coverage of solidarity in four German newspapers (Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Tageszeitung) from 2008 to 2017. By deploying the discourse network methodology with 306 claims in 230 news articles, we analyze the co-occurrence of actors and issues over time. Our results indicate a varying set of issues in which solidarity occurs, a rather stable actor visibility, across time and a context-dependent use of different types of solidarity. Government actors, civil society actors as well as citizens drive the solidarity discourse showing that institutional as well as non-institutional actors make use of solidarity in their public actions regarding political protest, financial issues and migration. The study provides novel insights into the interdependence of actor and issue visibility and sheds new light on solidarity in media discourses.
      5
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Political Communication Patterns of Young Adults in Germany
    (2021)
    Datts, Mario 
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    Wiederholz, Jan-Erik 
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    Schultze, Martin 
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    Vowe, Gerhard 
    While the political communication and participation activities of young adults are changing, this is often not adequately captured by research due to a too narrow conceptualization of the phenomenon. Our approach conceptualizes political communication as activities comprising the reception of political content, interpersonal communication regarding political issues and political participation. We incorporated both analog and digital media, as well as different forms of political participation, to reflect the complex reality of political communication activities of young adults in the digital age. On the basis of a sample from 2013, we investigated the patterns of political communication of young adults (ages 18–33 years). This age group represents the first generation to have grown up under the ubiquitous influence of the internet and other modern information technologies. In addition, we examined factors influencing the formation of different political communication patterns of this generation. Results of cluster analyses demonstrated that young adults should not be seen as a homogeneous group. Rather, we found six communication types. Interestingly, no online-only type of political communication was revealed, By applying multinomial logistic regression analysis, we were able to demonstrate that socio-demographic variables, individual resources and cognitive involvement in politics influence the likelihood of belonging to more active political communication types. The present study investigated various information and communication opportunities of young adults, and is rare in terms of the richness of data provided. Our conceptual innovative approach enables a better understanding of young adults’ complex political communication patterns. Moreover, our approach encourages follow-up research, as our results provide a valuable starting point for intergenerational comparisons regarding changes in political engagement among young adults in Germany, as well as for cross-country analysis regarding different generations of young adults.
      6