• 'Palaeoshellomics' reveals the use of freshwater mother-of-pearl in prehistory

      Sakalauskaite, J.; Andersen, S.H.; Biagi, P.; Borrello, M.A.; Cocquerez, T.; Colonese, A.C.; Bello, F.D.; Girod, A.; Heumuller, M.; Koon, Hannah E.C.; et al. (2019-05)
      The extensive use of mollusc shell as a versatile raw material is testament to its importance in prehistoric times. The consistent choice of certain species for different purposes, including the making of ornaments, is a direct representation of how humans viewed and exploited their environment. The necessary taxonomic information, however, is often impossible to obtain from objects that are small, heavily worked or degraded. Here we propose a novel biogeochemical approach to track the biological origin of prehistoric mollusc shell. We conducted an in-depth study of archaeological ornaments using microstructural, geochemical and biomolecular analyses, including ‘palaeoshellomics’, the first application of palaeoproteomics to mollusc shells (and indeed to any invertebrate calcified tissue). We reveal the consistent use of locally-sourced freshwater mother-of-pearl for the standardized manufacture of ‘double-buttons’. This craft is found throughout Europe between 4200–3800 BCE, highlighting the ornament-makers’ profound knowledge of the biogeosphere and the existence of cross-cultural traditions.
    • The sunburn response in human skin is characterized by sequential eicosanoid profiles that may mediate its early and late phases.

      Rhodes, L.E.; Gledhill, Karl; Masoodi, Mojgan; Haylett, A.K.; Brownrigg, M.; Thody, Anthony J.; Tobin, Desmond J.; Nicolaou, Anna (2009)
      Sunburn is a commonly occurring acute inflammatory process, with dermal vasodilatation and leukocyte infiltration as central features. Ultraviolet (UV) B-induced hydrolysis of membrane phospholipids releases polyunsaturated fatty acids and their subsequent metabolism by cyclooxygenases (COX) and lipoxygenases (LOX) may produce potent eicosanoid mediators modulating different stages of the inflammation. Our objective was to identify candidate eicosanoids formed during the sunburn reaction in relation to its clinical and histological course. We exposed skin of healthy humans (n=32) to UVB and for 72h examined (i) expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids using LC/ESI-MS/MS and (ii) immunohistochemical expression of COX-2, 12-LOX, 15-LOX and leucocyte markers, while (iii) quantifying clinical erythema. We show that vasodilatory prostaglandins (PG)E2, PGF2¿ and PGE3 accompany the erythema in the first 24-48h, associated with increased COX-2 expression at 24h. Novel, potent leukocyte chemoattractants 11-, 12- and 8-monohydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acid (-HETE) are elevated from 4-72h, in association with peak dermal neutrophil influx at 24h, and increased dermal CD3+ lymphocytes and 12- and 15-LOX expression from 24-72h. Anti-inflammatory metabolite 15-HETE shows later expression, peaking at 72h. Sunburn is characterized by overlapping phases of increases in COX products followed by LOX products that may regulate subsequent events and ultimately its resolution.