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2.  Highly Sensitive and Novel Point-of-Care System, aQcare Chlamydia TRF Kit for Detecting Chlamydia trachomatis by Using Europium (Eu) (III) Chelated Nanoparticles 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2014;35(1):50-56.
The bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis is one of the leading causes of sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. Since no simple and effective tool exists to diagnose C. trachomatis infections, we evaluated a novel point-of-care (POC) test, aQcare Chlamydia TRF kit, which uses europium-chelated nanoparticles and a time-resolved fluorescence reader.
The test performance was evaluated by comparing the results obtained using the novel POC testing kit with those obtained using a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), using 114 NAAT-positive and 327 NAAT-negative samples.
The cut-off value of the novel test was 20.8 with a detection limit of 0.27 ng/mL. No interference or cross-reactivity was observed. Diagnostic accuracy showed an overall sensitivity of 93.0% (106/114), specificity of 96.3% (315/327), positive predictive value (PPV) of 89.8% (106/118), and negative predictive value (NPV) of 97.5% (315/323). The sensitivity of the novel test was much higher than that of currently available POC tests. Furthermore, the relative ease and short turnaround time (30 min) of this assay enables C. trachomatis-infected individuals to be treated without a diagnostic delay.
This simple and novel test is a potential tool to screen a larger population, especially those in areas with limited resources.
PMCID: PMC4272965  PMID: 25553280
Chlamydia trachomatis; Europium; Point-of-care systems
3.  Clinical Application of Exhaled Nitric Oxide Measurements in a Korean Population 
Nitric oxide (NO) is a biologic mediator of various physiologic functions. Recent evidence suggests the clinical utility of fractional exhaled NO (FeNO) as a biomarker for assessing asthma and other respiratory diseases. FeNO methodologies have been recently standardized by international research groups and subsequently validated in several Korean population studies. Normal ranges for FeNO have been reported for various ethnic groups, and the clinical utility has been widely evaluated in asthma and various respiratory diseases. Based on current evidence including most of Korean population data, this position paper aims to introduce the methodological considerations, and provide the guidance for the proper clinical application of FeNO measurements in Korean populations.
PMCID: PMC4274466  PMID: 25553257
Exhaled nitric oxide; reference value; guideline; position paper; asthma
4.  A Case of the Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptom (DRESS) Following Isoniazid Treatment 
The drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptom (DRESS) syndrome is a severe adverse drug-induced reaction which includes a severe skin eruption, fever, hematologic abnormalities (eosinophilia or atypical lymphocytes) and internal organ involvement. The most frequently reported drug was anticonvulsants. The diagnosis of DRESS syndrome is challenging because the pattern of cutaneous eruption and the types of organs involved are various. The treatments for DRESS syndrome are culprit drug withdrawal and corticosteroids. Here we report a 71-year-old man with skin eruption with eosinophilia and hepatic and renal involvement that appeared 4 weeks after he had taken anti-tuberculosis drugs (isoniazid, ethambutol, rifampicin, and pyrazinamide), and resolved after stopping anti-tuberculosis drugs and the administration of systemic corticosteroids. DRESS recurred after re-challenging isoniazid, we identified isoniazid was causative drug.
PMCID: PMC4311032  PMID: 25653694
DRESS Syndrome; Tuberculosis; Isoniazid
5.  Risk Factors for Asthma-Related Healthcare Use: Longitudinal Analysis Using the NHI Claims Database in a Korean Asthma Cohort 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112844.
Though insurance claims data are useful for researching asthma, they have important limitations, such as a diagnostic inaccuracy and a lack of clinical information. To overcome these drawbacks, we used the novel method by merging the clinical data from our asthma cohort with the National Health Insurance (NHI) claims data.
Methods and Results
Longitudinal analysis of asthma-related healthcare use from the NHI claims database, merged with data of 736 patients registered in a Korean asthma cohort, was conducted for three consecutive years from registration of the cohort. Asthma-related asthma healthcare referred to outpatient and emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and the use of systemic corticosteroids. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate risk factors for asthma-related healthcare. Over three years after enrollment, many patients changed from tertiary to primary/secondary hospitals with a lack of maintenance of inhaled corticosteroid-based controllers. An independent risk factor for emergency visits was a previous history of asthma exacerbation. In hospitalizations, old age and Asthma Control Test (ACT) score variability were independent risk factors. An independent risk factor for per person cumulative duration of systemic corticosteroids was the FEV1 (Forced expiratory volume in one second)%. The use of systemic corticosteroids was independently associated with being female, the FEV1%, and ACT score variability.
We found that old age, being female, long-standing asthma, a low FEV1%, asthma brittleness, asthma drug compliance, and a history of asthma exacerbation were independent risk factors for increased asthma-related healthcare use in Korea.
PMCID: PMC4232512  PMID: 25397972
6.  Serum angiopoietin is associated with lung function in patients with asthma: a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Pulmonary Medicine  2014;14:143.
Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) is an essential mediator of angiogenesis that establishes vascular integrity, and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) acts as its natural inhibitor. We considered that angiopoietin might be important in bronchial asthma.
In total, 35 patients with asthma and 20 healthy subjects were studied.
The serum Ang-1 levels were significantly elevated in patients with asthma compared to control subjects (293.9 ± 13.8 pg/mL vs. 248.3 ± 16.2 pg/mL, respectively, p = 0.04). The serum Ang-2 levels were not different between the two groups. The areas under the curve (AUC) for serum angiopoietins revealed that the serum level of Ang-1 (0.68) was more sensitive and specific than the serum Ang-2 level (0.55) for differentiating between patients with asthma and control subjects. The serum Ang-1/Ang-2 ratio was correlated with the FEV1/FVC ratio (r = -0.312, p = 0.02), while serum Ang-2 was correlated with body mass index.
Our results indicate that the serum Ang-1 levels were higher in asthma patients compared with healthy subjects. As the Ang-1/Ang-2 ratio was related to lung function, the data suggest that serum angiopoietin is associated with lung function in patients with asthma.
PMCID: PMC4236734  PMID: 25178399
Angiogenesis; Angiopoietin-1; Angiopoietin-2; Asthma
7.  Functional Genomic Assessment of Phosgene-Induced Acute Lung Injury in Mice 
In this study, a genetically diverse panel of 43 mouse strains was exposed to phosgene and genome-wide association mapping performed using a high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assembly. Transcriptomic analysis was also used to improve the genetic resolution in the identification of genetic determinants of phosgene-induced acute lung injury (ALI). We prioritized the identified genes based on whether the encoded protein was previously associated with lung injury or contained a nonsynonymous SNP within a functional domain. Candidates were selected that contained a promoter SNP that could alter a putative transcription factor binding site and had variable expression by transcriptomic analyses. The latter two criteria also required that ≥10% of mice carried the minor allele and that this allele could account for ≥10% of the phenotypic difference noted between the strains at the phenotypic extremes. This integrative, functional approach revealed 14 candidate genes that included Atp1a1, Alox5, Galnt11, Hrh1, Mbd4, Phactr2, Plxnd1, Ptprt, Reln, and Zfand4, which had significant SNP associations, and Itga9, Man1a2, Mapk14, and Vwf, which had suggestive SNP associations. Of the genes with significant SNP associations, Atp1a1, Alox5, Plxnd1, Ptprt, and Zfand4 could be associated with ALI in several ways. Using a competitive electrophoretic mobility shift analysis, Atp1a1 promoter (rs215053185) oligonucleotide containing the minor G allele formed a major distinct faster-migrating complex. In addition, a gene with a suggestive SNP association, Itga9, is linked to transforming growth factor β1 signaling, which previously has been associated with the susceptibility to ALI in mice.
PMCID: PMC3824050  PMID: 23590305
ARDS; countermeasures; genetics; sodium absorption; lipoxygenase
8.  Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-2α Is an Essential Catabolic Regulator of Inflammatory Rheumatoid Arthritis 
PLoS Biology  2014;12(6):e1001881.
Hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α) is sufficient to cause experimental rheumatoid arthritis and acts to regulate the functions of fibroblast-like cells from tissue surrounding joints, independent of HIF-1α.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disorder that manifests as chronic inflammation and joint tissue destruction. However, the etiology and pathogenesis of RA have not been fully elucidated. Here, we explored the role of the hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), HIF-1α (encoded by HIF1A) and HIF-2α (encoded by EPAS1). HIF-2α was markedly up-regulated in the intimal lining of RA synovium, whereas HIF-1α was detected in a few cells in the sublining and deep layer of RA synovium. Overexpression of HIF-2α in joint tissues caused an RA-like phenotype, whereas HIF-1α did not affect joint architecture. Moreover, a HIF-2α deficiency in mice blunted the development of experimental RA. HIF-2α was expressed mainly in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) of RA synovium and regulated their proliferation, expression of RANKL (receptor activator of nuclear factor–κB ligand) and various catabolic factors, and osteoclastogenic potential. Moreover, HIF-2α–dependent up-regulation of interleukin (IL)-6 in FLS stimulated differentiation of TH17 cells—crucial effectors of RA pathogenesis. Additionally, in the absence of IL-6 (Il6−/− mice), overexpression of HIF-2α in joint tissues did not cause an RA phenotype. Thus, our results collectively suggest that HIF-2α plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of RA by regulating FLS functions, independent of HIF-1α.
Author Summary
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disorder characterized by chronic inflammation in joint tissues leading to destruction of cartilage and bone. Despite some therapeutic advances, the etiology of RA pathogenesis is not yet clear, and effective treatment of RA remains a significant, unmet medical need. Hypoxia is a prominent feature of inflamed tissue within RA-affected joints, and earlier work has implicated limited involvement of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1 α. We explored the role of a second HIF family member, HIF-2α, in RA pathogenesis. We showed that HIF-2α is markedly increased in the tissue lining the RA-affected joints. Notably and in contrast to HIF-1α, when overexpressed in normal mouse joint tissues, HIF-2α is sufficient to cause RA-like symptoms. Conversely, an HIF-2α deficiency blocks the development of experimental arthritis in mice. We discovered further that HIF-2α regulates RA pathogenesis by modulating various RA-associated functions of joint-specific fibroblast-like cells, including proliferation, expression of cytokines, chemokines, and matrix-degrading enzymes, and bone-remodeling potential. HIF-2α also increases the ability of these cells to promote interleukin-6–dependent differentiation of TH17 cells, a known effector of RA pathogenesis. We thus show that HIF-1α and HIF-2α have distinct roles and act via different mechanisms in RA pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4051611  PMID: 24914685
9.  Characteristics, In-Hospital and Long-Term Clinical Outcomes of Nonagenarian Compared with Octogenarian Acute Myocardial Infarction Patients 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;29(4):527-535.
We compared clinical characteristics, management, and clinical outcomes of nonagenarian acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients (n=270, 92.3±2.3 yr old) with octogenarian AMI patients (n=2,145, 83.5±2.7 yr old) enrolled in Korean AMI Registry (KAMIR). Nonagenarians were less likely to have hypertension, diabetes and less likely to be prescribed with beta-blockers, statins, and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors compared with octogenarians. Although percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) was preferred in octogenarians than nonagenarians, the success rate of PCI between the two groups was comparable. In-hospital mortality, the composite of in-hospital adverse outcomes and one year mortality were higher in nonagenarians than in octogenarians. However, the composite of the one year major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) was comparable between the two groups without differences in MI or re-PCI rate. PCI improved 1-yr mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.36-0.69, P<0.001) and MACEs (adjusted HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.37-0.61, P<0.001) without significant complications both in nonagenarians and octogenarians. In conclusion, nonagenarians had similar 1-yr MACEs rates despite of higher in-hospital and 1-yr mortality compared with octogenarian AMI patients. PCI in nonagenarian AMI patients was associated to better 1-yr clinical outcomes.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC3991796  PMID: 24753700
Aged, Eighty and over; Myocardial Infarction; Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
10.  The Association of Socioeconomic Status with Three-Year Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction Who Underwent Percutaneous Coronary Intervention 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;29(4):536-543.
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the clinical outcomes were associated with socioeconomic status (SES) in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The author analyzed 2,358 patients (64.9 ± 12.3 yr old, 71.5% male) hospitalized with AMI between November 2005 and June 2010. SES was measured by the self-reported education (years of schooling), the residential address (social deprivation index), and the national health insurance status (medical aid beneficiaries). Sequential multivariable modeling assessed the relationship of SES factors with 3-yr major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) and mortality after the adjustment for demographic and clinical factors. During the 3-yr follow-up, 630 (26.7%) MACEs and 322 (13.7%) all-cause deaths occurred in 2,358 patients. In multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression modeling, the only lower education of SES variables was associated with MACEs (hazard ratio [HR], 1.41; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.91) and mortality (HR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.16-3.20) in the patients with AMI who underwent PCI. The study results indicate that the lower education is a significant associated factor to increased poor clinical outcomes in patients with AMI who underwent PCI.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC3991797  PMID: 24753701
Social Class; Acute Myocardial Infarction; Mortality
11.  The Apical Junctional Complex in Respiratory Diseases 
Chonnam Medical Journal  2014;50(1):1-5.
The epithelium, including the respiratory system, acts as a selective gate between the outside environment and underlying tissue. Epithelial cells are polarized due to the formation of the apical junctional complex, which includes adherent junctions and tight junctions. Endothelial cells are one of the most important cellular constituents of blood vessels. Endothelial junctional proteins play important roles in tissue integrity as well as in vascular permeability, leukocyte extravasation, and angiogenesis. This review focuses on the apical junctional complex in respiratory diseases.
PMCID: PMC4022791  PMID: 24855600
Epithelium; Permeability; Tight junctions
12.  Low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 5 governs Wnt-mediated osteoarthritic cartilage destruction 
Wnt ligands bind to low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein (LRP) 5 or 6, triggering a cascade of downstream events that include β-catenin signaling. Here we explored the roles of LRP5 in interleukin 1β (IL-1β)- or Wnt-mediated osteoarthritic (OA) cartilage destruction in mice.
The expression levels of LRP5, type II collagen, and catabolic factors were determined in mouse articular chondrocytes, human OA cartilage, and mouse experimental OA cartilage. Experimental OA in wild-type, Lrp5 total knockout (Lrp5-/-) and chondrocyte-specific knockout (Lrp5fl/fl;Col2a1-cre) mice was caused by aging, destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM), or intra-articular injection of collagenase. The role of LRP5 was confirmed in vitro by small interfering RNA–mediated knockdown of Lrp5 or in Lrp5-/- cells treated with IL-1β or Wnt proteins.
IL-1β treatment increased the expression of LRP5 (but not LRP6) via JNK and NF-κB signaling. LRP5 was upregulated in human and mouse OA cartilage, and Lrp5 deficiency in mice inhibited cartilage destruction. Treatment with IL-1β or Wnt decreased the level of Col2a1 and increased those of Mmp3 or Mmp13, whereas Lrp5 knockdown ameliorated these effects. In addition, we found that the functions of LRP5 in arthritic cartilage were subject to transcriptional activation by β-catenin. Moreover, Lrp5-/- and Lrp5fl/fl;Col2a1-cre mice exhibited decreased cartilage destruction (and related changes in gene expression) in response to experimental OA.
Our findings indicate that LRP5 (but not LRP6) plays an essential role in Wnt/β-catenin-signaling-mediated OA cartilage destruction in part by regulating the expression levels of type II collagen, MMP3, and MMP13.
PMCID: PMC3978879  PMID: 24479426
13.  Gene-Gene Interaction Between CCR3 and Eotaxin Genes: The Relationship With Blood Eosinophilia in Asthma 
Eosinophils function as an effector cell in the development of asthma and allergic disease. Eotaxins are cytokines that promote pulmonary eosinophilia via the receptor CCR3. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CCR3 and eotaxin genes are associated with asthma. In this study, genetic interactions among SNPs of several eotaxin genes and CCR3 were assessed and their relationship with blood eosinophilia in asthma was examined.
A total of 533 asthmatics were enrolled in this study. Asthmatics with eosinophilia (>0.5×109/L) were compared with those without eosinophilia (≤0.5×109/L). Chi-square tests were used to compare SNP frequencies. Two different models were used to evaluate gene-gene interactions: logistic regression and generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction (GMDR).
EOT2+304C>A (29L>I) was significantly associated with 3 of the 4 CCR3 SNPs among asthmatics with eosinophilia (P=0.037-0.009). EOT2+304C>A (29L>I) and the CCR3 SNPs were also significantly associated with blood eosinophilia in an interaction model constructed by logistic regression (P=0.0087). GMDR analysis showed that the combination of EOT2+304C>A (29L>I) and CCR3-174C>T was the best model (accuracy=0.536, P=0.005, CVC 9/10).
The epistatic influence of CCR3 on eotaxin gene variants indicates that these variants may be candidate markers for eosinophilia in asthma.
PMCID: PMC3881401  PMID: 24404394
Asthma; epistasis; polymorphisms; CCR3; eotaxin
14.  NSAID-Avoidance Education in Community Pharmacies for Patients at High Risk for Acute Kidney Injury, Upstate New York, 2011 
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently associated with community-acquired acute kidney injury (AKI), a strong risk factor for development and progression of chronic kidney disease. Using access to prescription medication profiles, pharmacists can identify patients at high risk for NSAID-induced AKI. The primary objective of this analysis was to evaluate the effectiveness of a community pharmacy–based patient education program on patient knowledge of NSAID-associated renal safety concerns.
Patients receiving prescription medications for hypertension or diabetes mellitus were invited to participate in an educational program on the risks of NSAID use. A patient knowledge questionnaire (PKQ) consisting of 5 questions scored from 1 to 5 was completed before and after the intervention. Information was collected on age, race, sex, and frequency of NSAID use.
A total of 152 participants (60% women) completed both the pre- and post-intervention questionnaire; average age was 54.6 (standard deviation [SD], 17.5). Mean pre-intervention PKQ score was 3.3 (SD, 1.4), and post-intervention score was 4.6 (SD, 0.9) (P = .002). Participants rated program usefulness (1 = not useful to 5 = extremely useful) as 4.2 (SD, 1.0). In addition, 48% reported current NSAID use and 67% reported that the program encouraged them to limit their use.
NSAID use was common among patients at high risk for AKI. A brief educational intervention in a community pharmacy improved patient knowledge on NSAID-associated risks. Pharmacists practicing in the community can partner with primary care providers in the medical home model to educate patients at risk for AKI.
PMCID: PMC4273546  PMID: 25523351
15.  Clinical Significance of Asthma Clusters by Longitudinal Analysis in Korean Asthma Cohort 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83540.
We have previously identified four distinct groups of asthma patients in Korean cohorts using cluster analysis: (A) smoking asthma, (B) severe obstructive asthma, (C) early-onset atopic asthma, and (D) late-onset mild asthma.
Methods and Results
A longitudinal analysis of each cluster in a Korean adult asthma cohort was performed to investigate the clinical significance of asthma clusters over 12 months.
Cluster A showed relatively high asthma control test (ACT) scores but relatively low FEV1 scores, despite a high percentage of systemic corticosteroid use. Cluster B had the lowest mean FEV1, ACT, and the quality of life questionnaire for adult Korean asthmatics (QLQAKA) scores throughout the year, even though the percentage of systemic corticosteroid use was the highest among the four clusters. Cluster C was ranked second in terms of FEV1, with the second lowest percentage of systemic corticosteroid use, and showed a marked improvement in subjective symptoms over time. Cluster D consistently showed the highest FEV1, the lowest systemic corticosteroid use, and had high ACT and QLQAKA scores.
Our asthma clusters had clinical significance with consistency among clusters over 12 months. These distinctive phenotypes may be useful in classifying asthma in real practice.
PMCID: PMC3877049  PMID: 24391784
16.  Advanced glycation end-products and receptor for advanced glycation end-products expression in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and NSIP 
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are associated with the pathogenesis of various diseases. AGEs induce excess accumulation of extracellular matrix and expression of profibrotic cytokines. In addition, studies on receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) have shown that the ligand-RAGE interaction activates several intracellular signaling cascades associated with several fibrotic diseases. We investigated the expression of AGEs and RAGE in samples from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and non-specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP). Lung tissues and plasma samples from patients with IPF (n=10), NSIP (n=10), and control subjects (n=10) were obtained. Expression of AGEs and RAGE was determined by immunofluorescence assay of lung tissue. Circulating AGEs were measured by Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Lungs with IPF showed strong expression for both AGEs and RAGE compared to that in NSIP and controls. However, no difference in AGE or RAGE expression was observed in lungs with NSIP compared to that in the controls. Levels of circulating AGEs also increased significantly in lungs of patients with IPF compared to those with NSIP and normal control. Increased AGE-RAGE interaction may play an important role in the pathogenesis of IPF.
PMCID: PMC3885476  PMID: 24427342
Advanced glycation end products; Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; receptor for advanced glycation end product
17.  The role of rhinosinusitis in severe asthma 
The prevalence of asthma is approximately 5% to 10% in the general population. Of these, approximately 5% to 10% are severe asthmatics who respond poorly to asthmatic drugs, including high-dose inhaled steroids. Severe asthmatics have persistent symptoms, frequent symptom exacerbation, and severe airway obstruction even when taking high-dose inhaled steroids. The medical costs of treating severe asthmatics represent ~50% of the total healthcare costs for asthma. Risk factors for severe asthma are genetic and environmental, including many kinds of aeroallergens, β-blockers, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Gastroesophageal reflux disease and factors such as denial, anxiety, fear, depression, socioeconomic status, and alcohol consumption can exacerbate asthma. Rhinitis and asthma usually occur together. There is increasing evidence that allergic rhinitis and rhinosinusitis may influence the clinical course of asthma. This review discusses the role of rhinosinusitis in severe asthma.
PMCID: PMC3846987  PMID: 24307837
Asthma; Rhinitis; Sinusitis
18.  A Genome-Wide Association Study of Total Serum and Mite-Specific IgEs in Asthma Patients 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71958.
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is one of the central players in asthma and allergic diseases. Although the serum IgE level, a useful endophenotype, is generally increased in patients with asthma, genetic factors influencing IgE regulation in asthma are still not fully understood. To identify the genetic variations associated with total serum and mite-specific IgEs in asthmatics, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 657,366 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was performed in 877 Korean asthmatics. This study found that several new genes might be associated with total IgE in asthmatics, such as CRIM1 (rs848512, P = 1.18×10−6; rs711254, P = 6.73×10−6), ZNF71 (rs10404342, P = 7.60×10−6), TLN1 (rs4879926, P = 7.74×10−6), and SYNPO2 (rs1472066, P = 8.36×10−6; rs1038770, P = 8.66×10−6). Regarding the association of specific IgE to house dust mites, it was observed that intergenic SNPs nearby to OPRK1 and LOC730217 might be associated with Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (D.p.) and Dermatophagoides farinae (D.f.) in asthmatics, respectively. In further pathway analysis, the phosphatidylinositol signaling system and adherens junction pathways were estimated to play a role in the regulation of total IgE levels in asthma. Although functional evaluations and replications of these results in other populations are needed, this GWAS of serum IgE in asthmatics could facilitate improved understanding of the role of the newly identified genetic variants in asthma and its related phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC3742455  PMID: 23967269
19.  Integrative Assessment of Chlorine-Induced Acute Lung Injury in Mice 
The genetic basis for the underlying individual susceptibility to chlorine-induced acute lung injury is unknown. To uncover the genetic basis and pathophysiological processes that could provide additional homeostatic capacities during lung injury, 40 inbred murine strains were exposed to chlorine, and haplotype association mapping was performed. The identified single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations were evaluated through transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling. Using ≥ 10% allelic frequency and ≥ 10% phenotype explained as threshold criteria, promoter SNPs that could eliminate putative transcriptional factor recognition sites in candidate genes were assessed by determining transcript levels through microarray and reverse real-time PCR during chlorine exposure. The mean survival time varied by approximately 5-fold among strains, and SNP associations were identified for 13 candidate genes on chromosomes 1, 4, 5, 9, and 15. Microarrays revealed several differentially enriched pathways, including protein transport (decreased more in the sensitive C57BLKS/J lung) and protein catabolic process (increased more in the resistant C57BL/10J lung). Lung metabolomic profiling revealed 95 of the 280 metabolites measured were altered by chlorine exposure, and included alanine, which decreased more in the C57BLKS/J than in the C57BL/10J strain, and glutamine, which increased more in the C57BL/10J than in the C57BLKS/J strain. Genetic associations from haplotype mapping were strengthened by an integrated assessment using transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling. The leading candidate genes associated with increased susceptibility to acute lung injury in mice included Klf4, Sema7a, Tns1, Aacs, and a gene that encodes an amino acid carrier, Slc38a4.
PMCID: PMC3423464  PMID: 22447970
ARDS; countermeasures; glutamine; genetics; metabolomics
20.  A Case of Capillary Hemangioma of Lingular Segmental Bronchus in Adult 
Capillary hemangioma of the tracheobronchial tree is an extremely rare benign tumor in adults, especially those located in the bronchus. Characteristics and treatment of capillary hemangiomas of adult tracheobronchial trees have not been well known. We present a 61-year-old man with hemoptysis, which was caused by a small tiny nodule in the left lingular segmental bronchus. The nodule was removed by a forcep biopsy, via flexible bronchoscopy, and it was revealed to be capillary hemangioma. A small isolated endobronchial capillary hemangioma can be treated with excisional forcep biopsy, but a risk of massive bleeding should not be overlooked.
PMCID: PMC3741473  PMID: 23946758
Hemangioma, Capillary; Bronchi; Hemoptysis; Bronchoscopy
21.  The Efficacy of Percutaneous Long-Segmental Posterior Fixation of Unstable Thoracolumbar Fracture with Partial Neurologic Deficit 
Asian Spine Journal  2013;7(2):81-90.
Study Design
Retrospective analysis.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological outcomes of patients with unstable thoracolumbar fracture (UTLF) who were treated by percutaneous long-segmental posterior fixation (PLSPF) by two vertebrae cranial to the fracture with two vertebrae caudal.
Overview of Literature
To the best of our knowledge, PLSPF for stabilization of UTLF has not been reported.
The study involved retrospective analysis and investigation from the results of 27 patients who had undergone PLSPF for stabilization of a UTLF with partial neurologic deficit, over a follow-up period of two years. Kyphotic angle (KA), anterior vertebral height percentage (AVHP) and cross-sectional ratio of the displaced fragment within the spinal canal were evaluated with simple radiographs and axial computed tomography scans preoperatively and two years postoperatively. The clinical outcome for pain was assessed by a visual analogue scale (VAS) and Denis' scale, and the degree of neurologic deficit was measured by modified Frankel classification.
Five patients had minor complications. The KA, AVHP, and cross-sectional ratio of the displaced fragment improved significantly after surgery (p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.003, respectively). Neurologic recovery of one or more for the Frankel grade was seen in 19 patients with an average improvement of 1.7. The VAS and Denis' score improved significantly at a two year follow-up (p=0.02, p=0.012, respectively).
The technique of PLSPF is useful for the treatment of UTLF with partial neurologic deficit, and produces decreased morbidity and fewer complications.
PMCID: PMC3669707  PMID: 23741544
Spinal fracture; Fracture fixation, Internal
22.  Acute eosinophilic pneumonia related to a mesalazine suppository 
Asia Pacific Allergy  2013;3(2):136-139.
It has been well known that mesalazine can cause the interstitial lung disease, such as Bronchiolitis obliterans with organizing pneumonia (BOOP), Non-Specific Interstitial Pneumonia (NSIP), or eosinophilic pneumonia. 5-Aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA), mesalazine, and sulfasalazine are important drugs for treating inflammatory bowel disease. Topical products of these limited systemic absorption and have less frequent side effects, therefore suppository form of these drugs have been used more than systemic drug. Most cases of measalzine-induced lung toxicity develop from systemic use of the drug. A 30-year-old woman had an interstitial lung disease after using mesalazine suppository because of ulcerative colitis. The lung biopsy demonstrated eosinophilic pneumonia combined with BOOP. She was recovered after stopping of mesalazine suppository and treatment with systemic steroid.
PMCID: PMC3643058  PMID: 23667838
Eosinophilic pneumonia; Bronchiolitis obliterans with organizing pneumonia; Mesalazine; Suppository
23.  The effects of pycnogenol on antioxidant enzymes in a mouse model of ozone exposure 
Ozone is an environmentally reactive oxidant, and pycnogenol is a mixture of flavonoid compounds extracted from pine tree bark that have antioxidant activity. We investigated the effects of pycnogenol on reactive nitrogen species, antioxidant responses, and airway responsiveness in BALB/c mice exposed to ozone.
Antioxidant levels were determined using high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Nitric oxide (NO) metabolites in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid from BALB/c mice in filtered air and 2 ppm ozone with pycnogenol pretreatment before ozone exposure (n = 6) were quantified colorimetrically using the Griess reaction.
Uric acid and ascorbic acid concentrations were significantly higher in BAL fluid following pretreatment with pycnogenol, whereas γ-tocopherol concentrations were higher in the ozone exposed group but were similar in the ozone and pycnogenol pretreatment groups. Retinol and γ-tocopherol concentrations tended to increase in the ozone exposure group but were similar in the ozone and pycnogenol pretreatment groups following ozone exposure. Malonylaldehyde concentrations increased in the ozone exposure group but were similar in the ozone and pycnogenol plus ozone groups. The nitrite and total NO metabolite concentrations in BAL fluid, which parallel the in vivo generation of NO in the airways, were significantly greater in the ozone exposed group than the group exposed to filtered air, but decreased with pycnogenol pretreatment.
Pycnogenol may increase levels of antioxidant enzymes and decrease levels of nitrogen species, suggesting that antioxidants minimize the effects of acute ozone exposure via a protective mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3604612  PMID: 23526176
Antioxidants; Nitric oxide; Reactive nitrogen species; Ozone
24.  Overexpression of Apolipoprotein A1 in the Lung Abrogates Fibrosis in Experimental Silicosis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55827.
The inhalation of silica particles induces silicosis, an inflammatory and fibrotic lung disease characterized by the early accumulation of macrophages and neutrophils in the airspace and subsequent appearance of silicotic nodules as a result of progressive fibrosis. This study evaluated whether apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1) protects against ongoing fibrosis and promotes the resolution of established experimental lung silicosis. Crystallized silica was intratracheally administered to 6- to 8-week-old transgenic mice expressing human ApoA1 in their alveolar epithelial cells (day 0). ApoA1 was overexpressed beginning on day 7 (ApoA1_D7 group) or day 15 (ApoA1_D15 group). The mice were sacrificed on day 30 for an evaluation of lung histology; the measurement of collagen, transforming growth factor-b1 and lipoxin A4; and a TUNEL assay for apoptotic cells. The ApoA1_D7 and D15 groups showed significant reductions in the silica-induced increase in inflammatory cells, silicotic nodule area, and collagen deposition compared with the silica-treated ApoA1 non-overexpressing mice. The level of transforming growth factor-b1 decreased in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, whereas lipoxin A4 was increased in the ApoA1_D7 and D15 groups compared with the silica-treated ApoA1 non-overexpressing mice. The silica-induced increase in the number of apoptotic cells was significantly reduced in the lungs of mice overexpressing ApoA1. Overexpression of ApoA1 decreased silica-induced lung inflammation and fibrotic nodule formation. The restoration of lipoxin A4 may contribute to the protective effect of ApoA1 overexpression against silica-induced lung fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3568133  PMID: 23409054
25.  Association Analysis Between FILIP1 Polymorphisms and Aspirin Hypersensitivity in Korean Asthmatics 
Aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) results in a severe asthma attack after aspirin ingestion in asthmatics. The filamin A interacting protein 1 (FILIP1) may play a crucial role in AERD pathogenesis by mediating T cell activation and membrane rearrangement. We investigated the association of FILIP1 variations with AERD and the fall rate of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1).
A total of 34 common FILIP1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in 592 Korean asthmatic subjects that included 163 AERD patients and 429 aspirin-tolerant asthma (ATA) controls.
This study found that 5 SNPs (P=0.006-0.01) and 2 haplotypes (P=0.01-0.03) of FILIP1 showed nominal signals; however, corrections for the multiple testing revealed no significant associations with the development of AERD (Pcorr>0.05). In addition, association analysis of the genetic variants with the fall rate of FEV1, an important diagnostic marker of AERD, revealed no significant evidence (Pcorr>0.05).
Although further replications and functional evaluations are needed, our preliminary findings suggest that genetic variants of FILIP1 might be not associated with the onset of AERD.
PMCID: PMC3529227  PMID: 23277876
Filamin A interacting protein 1; single nucleotide polymorphism; haplotype; asthma; aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease

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