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1.  Diagnosis of antiphospholipid syndrome in routine clinical practice 
Lupus  2013;22(1):18-25.
The updated international consensus criteria for definite antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) are useful for scientific clinical studies. However, there remains a need for diagnostic criteria for routine clinical use. We audited the results of routine antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) in a cohort of 193 consecutive patients with aPL positivity-based testing for lupus anticoagulant (LA), IgG and IgM anticardiolipin (aCL) and anti-ß2glycoprotein-1 antibodies (aß2GPI). Medium/high-titre aCL/aβ2GPI was defined as >99th percentile. Low-titre aCL/aβ2GPI positivity (>95th < 99th percentile) was considered positive for obstetric but not for thrombotic APS. One hundred of the 145 patients fulfilled both clinical and laboratory criteria for definite APS. Twenty-six women with purely obstetric APS had persistent low-titre aCL and/or aβ2GPI. With the inclusion of these patients, 126 of the 145 patients were considered to have APS. Sixty-seven out of 126 patients were LA-negative, of whom 12 had aCL only, 37 had aβ2GPI only and 18 positive were for both. The omission of aCL or aβ2GPI testing from investigation of APS would have led to a failure to diagnose APS in 9.5% and 29.4% of patients, respectively. Our data suggest that LA, aCL and aβ2GPI testing are all required for the accurate diagnosis of APS and that low-titre antibodies should be included in the diagnosis of obstetric APS.
PMCID: PMC4108293  PMID: 22988029
2.  Self-monitoring of oral anticoagulation: does it work outside trial conditions? 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2009;62(2):168-171.
Patient self-monitoring (PSM) of oral anticoagulation therapy (OAT) can improve anticoagulant control, but poor uptake and high dropout rates have prompted suggestions that PSM is suitable for only a minority of patients in the UK.
To determine whether PSM could be a viable alternative to regular hospital anticoagulant clinic attendance, if offered from the start of treatment.
318 consecutive patients referred, for the first time, to an anticoagulation clinic were assessed for eligibility using established criteria. Patients electing for PSM attended training and, following successful assessment, performed a capillary blood INR every two weeks or more frequently if directed to do so by the anticoagulation clinic. Primary outcome measures were uptake of PSM and the percentage time in target therapeutic INR range (TIR) compared to patients electing for routine clinic care.
Of 318 patients referred for OAT, 188 were eligible for PSM. 84 (26%) elected to self-monitor, of whom 72 (23%) remained self-monitoring or had completed their course of treatment at the end of the audit. Self-monitoring patients had significantly better anticoagulant control than those receiving routine hospital anticoagulation clinic care (TIR 71% vs 60%, p = 0.003) and significantly less time outside critical limits, ie, INR <1.5 or >5.0 (0.45% vs 2.04%, p = 0.008).
Patients offered PSM from the start of treatment show increased uptake compared to previous UK studies and a level of oral anticoagulation control comparable to that reported in previous clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC2629005  PMID: 19181634
3.  A comparison of the relative activities of a number of GABAB antagonists in the isolated vas deferens of the rat. 
British Journal of Pharmacology  1991;102(3):631-634.
1. A series of GABAB receptor antagonists were tested against (+/-)-baclofen for activity on the presynaptic GABAB receptor in the rat vas deferens. 2. All the antagonists tested caused a rightward shift in the concentration-response curve to (+/-)-baclofen. 3. pA2 values calculated from full Schild analysis were as follows: phaclofen, pA2 = 4.3; delta-amino valeric acid, pA2 = 4.4; 3-aminopropyl(diethoxymethyl)phosphinic acid (CGP 35348), pA2 = 5.0; 3-amino-propyl(n-hexyl)phosphinic acid (3-APHPA), pA2 = 4.5. 4. These results show that none of the above compounds possess potent antagonist activity at the GABAB receptor (i.e. pA2 > 6) in this peripheral tissue. In addition, the more recently available phosphinic acid antagonists, appear to offer no great advance over the GABAB antagonists previously available.
PMCID: PMC1917935  PMID: 1364830
4.  Phosphinic acid analogues of GABA are antagonists at the GABAB receptor in the rat anococcygeus. 
CGP 35348 (3-aminopropyl(diethoxymethyl)phosphinic acid) and 3-aminopropyl(n-hexyl)phosphinic acid (3-APHPA) were tested in the rat anococcygeus muscle against CGP 27492 (3-aminopropylphosphinic acid), a selective GABAB agonist, for their antagonist activity. Their antagonist potency was compared with that of 2-hydroxysaclofen. The pA2 values for CGP 35348, 3-APHPA and 2-hydroxysaclofen were 5.38, 4.86, 4.45 respectively in the rat anococcygeus muscle. These results confirm the previous reports of GABAB antagonist activity for these compounds and show a marginal improvement in potency over 2-hydroxysaclofen.
PMCID: PMC1917890  PMID: 1646062
5.  3-Aminopropylphosphinic acid--a potent, selective GABAB receptor agonist in the guinea-pig ileum and rat anococcygeus muscle. 
British Journal of Pharmacology  1989;97(4):1292-1296.
1. 3-Aminopropylphosphinic acid, a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analogue, was tested for activity on guinea-pig isolated ileum and rat isolated anococcygeus muscle preparations. The effects of 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid were compared with those of GABA and baclofen. 2. In the electrically stimulated ileum, 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid, like GABA and baclofen, caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of the cholinergic twitch contraction, the IC50 value being 1.84 +/- 0.23 microM (n = 12). Unlike GABA, but like baclofen, 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid did not produce an initial contraction. 3. The inhibitory effects of 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid and baclofen in the guinea-pig ileum were not significantly antagonized by bicuculline (10 microM), phentolamine plus propranolol (both 1 microM), yohimbine (1 microM), naloxone (1 microM), impromidine (1 microM) or 8-phenyltheophylline (10 microM). The inhibitory effects of 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid, but not of baclofen, were however antagonized by phaclofen (500 microM). In addition the effects of 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid were abolished by baclofen desensitization in the guinea-pig ileum. 4. 3-Aminopropylphosphinic acid, GABA and baclofen reduced the twitch contraction evoked by electrical field stimulation in the rat anococcygeus muscle. The IC50 for 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid inhibition of the anococcygeus contraction was 0.89 +/- 0.15 microM (n = 8). 5. It is concluded that 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid is a potent, selective GABAB agonist, being seven times more potent than baclofen in the guinea-pig ileum and five times more potent than baclofen in the rat anococcygues muscle preparations.
PMCID: PMC1854597  PMID: 2551445
6.  GABA immunoreactivity and 3H-GABA uptake in mucosal epithelial cells of the rat stomach. 
Gut  1988;29(11):1549-1556.
GABA, best known as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, is also present in various peripheral tissues including the gastrointestinal tract, where there is strong evidence that GABA acts as a transmitter in some intrinsic myenteric neurones. Several studies indicate that the gastric mucosa is one of the sites of action of GABA in the gut. Highly specific anti-GABA antibodies have been used to detect endogenous GABA in the mucosa of the rat gastrointestinal tract, and 3H-GABA uptake followed by autoradiography has been used to localise cells with uptake sites for exogenous GABA. It was found that although GABA immunoreactive nerve fibres are essentially absent from this site, some mucosal cells are strongly GABA-immunoreactive. These cells are common in the pyloric stomach and upper part of the small intestine. The autoradiographic experiments provide evidence that these cells also possess high-affinity GABA uptake sites. These observations raise the possibility that in the gastrointestinal tract GABA acts as a gut hormone in a subpopulation of mucosal endocrine cells, in addition to its role as an enteric neurotransmitter.
PMCID: PMC1433825  PMID: 3209112
7.  Evidence that the P1-purinoceptor in the guinea-pig taenia coli is an A2-subtype. 
British Journal of Pharmacology  1984;81(3):533-541.
The effects of 5'-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (NECA), L-NECA, 2-chloroadenosine, N6-phenylisopropyladenosine (L-PIA and D-PIA), cyclohexyladenosine (CHA), and adenosine were examined on the guinea-pig taenia coli. All the analogues except L-NECA caused relaxations; the order of potency for the series was: NECA greater than 2-chloroadenosine greater than L-PIA greater than CHA greater than D-PIA greater than adenosine. L-PIA was twice as potent as D-PIA in inducing relaxations of the guinea-pig taenia coli. Adenosine and its analogues that induce relaxation all caused a slow membrane hyperpolarization; differences in the rates of hyperpolarization and latencies were apparent, although not statistically significant. The duration of the response to adenosine was significantly less than that for any adenosine analogue. Ion studies, using the sucrose gap, revealed that responses to the analogues were attenuated in elevated extracellular potassium or reduced extracellular chloride. 8-Phenyltheophylline, a potent P1-purinoceptor antagonist, caused a rightward shift of all the adenosine and analogue concentration-response curves. Dipyridamole, an adenosine uptake inhibitor, potentiated the relaxations to adenosine but had no significant effect on the relaxations induced by the analogues. It is concluded that NECA, 2-chloroadenosine, L-PIA, CHA, D-PIA and adenosine mediate their relaxant effects via an extracellular P1-purinoceptor which displays characteristics of the A2-subtype as determined by the rank order of agonist potency. Electrophysiological analysis of the responses to each of the analogues did not reveal any marked differences in the modes of action even between NECA and L-PIA (preferential A2- and A1-receptor agonists, respectively).
PMCID: PMC1986865  PMID: 6320941
8.  Studies on the stereoselectivity of the P2-purinoceptor. 
British Journal of Pharmacology  1983;79(4):907-913.
ATP, 2-chloro-ATP, 2-methylthio-ATP, and their unnatural L-enantiomers, were synthesized and their effects tested on the guinea-pig taenia coli and urinary bladder, and the stimulated frog ventricle. The potent P2-purinoceptor agonists, 2-chloro-ATP and 2-methylthio-ATP were, respectively, 30 and 200 times more effective than ATP in relaxing the guinea-pig taenia, but approximately as effective as ATP in contracting the guinea-pig bladder and augmenting the force of contraction of the frog ventricle. A high degree of stereoselectivity was observed for relaxations of the guinea-pig taenia coli produced by the P2-purinoceptoragonists, and 2-methylthio-ATP was over 700 times more effective than its L-enantiomer. In contrast, stereoselectivity for contraction of the guinea-pig bladder was observed only at low concentrations with each pair of enantiomers, and a similar low stereoselectivity was displayed by the frog ventricle. These results show that P2-purinoceptors mediating inhibitory responses in the guinea-pig taenia coli can show a high degree of stereoselectivity, while P2-purinoceptors mediating excitatory responses in the guinea-pig bladder and in the frog ventricle show little stereoselectivity. The partial stereoselectivity of the P2-purinoceptor in smooth muscle contrasts with the absolute stereospecificity of P1-purinoceptors for adenosine on smooth muscle and autonomic nerve terminals and the absolute stereospecificity of the receptor for ADP on the human platelet.
PMCID: PMC2044953  PMID: 6317121
Pyrogenic tolerance following 7 daily intravenous injections of 2.0 µg/kg E. coli endotoxin in albino rabbits was associated with significant increases in RES phagocytic activity as measured with colloidal carbon. Nevertheless, 4 hours after RES blockade with thorotrast (3 ml/kg), the tolerant rabbits exhibited significantly lower fever indices following intravenous endotoxin challenge than did non-tolerant control animals despite comparably depressed capacities to clear carbon from the blood. Moreover, plasma from rabbits tolerant to endotoxin induced significant tolerance in normal rabbits prepared by thorotrast blockade without enhancing the depressed carbon clearance. This passive protection extended to heterologous endotoxins. Analysis of the data indicates that RES blockade does not abolish tolerance; rather blockade resets the reactivity to endotoxin in the normal and tolerant animal, rendering both exquisitely reactive, but permitting retention of the major portion of tolerance. Apparently the tolerant animal possesses a dual endotoxin defense system. One system is abolished by thorotrast; the other is in part humoral, accounts for the greater portion of tolerance, and is thorotrast-resistant. The nature of the humoral component is not defined but is consistent with that of an opsonin with high endotoxin specificity.
PMCID: PMC2137619  PMID: 13950296

Results 1-10 (10)