Purpose of review
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) can present management challenges to the pediatric clinician. Glucocorticoid replacement remains the cornerstone of treatment; however, there are new formulations and delivery mechanisms being studied. Clinicians continue to discuss the optimal treatment of patients from the prenatal stage, through infancy to adulthood. As well, the role of genetics in the clinical care of patients with CAH, and screening for complications, remain topics of discussion. This review will highlight advances made in the past year, as they pertain to the management of pediatric patients with CAH.
This article covers recent studies pertaining to optimal medication regimens, including prenatal dexamethasone treatment; medication delivery; monitoring of hormonal control; and the role of genotyping and genetics in the management of children with CAH.
Much remains to be learned about the optimal management of children with CAH, including fludrocortisone replacement in simple-virilizing patients, frequency of and specific monitoring strategies (e.g., electrolytes, bone age, etc.), catecholamine status, stress-dosing in non-classical adrenal hyperplasia, and early screening for complications or metabolic sequelae. Further randomized, prospective studies are needed to address these issues.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia; CAH; NCAH; childhood; treatment
An 18-month-old female status post-orthotopic liver transplant for biliary atresia presented nine months after transplant with severe diarrhea and intolerance of feeds. She was found to have a PLE as evidenced by a low serum albumin and a persistent elevation of fecal A1AT. Investigation eventually revealed that the cause of the PLE was a stricture at the anastomosis site between the hepatic vein and inferior cava, supported by resolution of the PLE after venoplasty of the stricture. The patient has subsequently required several repeat venoplasties for recurrence of her symptoms correlating with recurrence of the stricture. This is a very rare presentation of hepatic venous outflow obstruction. Moreover, normal duplex ultrasound imaging of liver vasculature and her unusual presentation led to a delay in her diagnosis highlighting the need for an increased index of suspicion.
diarrhea; infant; liver transplant
Many important experiments in cancer research are initiated with cell line data analysis due to the ease of accessibility and utilization. Recently, the ability to capture and characterize circulating tumor cells (CTCs) has become more prevalent in the research setting. This ability to detect, isolate, and analyze CTCs allows us to directly compare specific protein expression levels found in patient CTCs to cell lines. In this study, we use immunocytochemistry to compare the protein expression levels of total cytokeratin (CK) and androgen receptor (AR) in CTCs and cell lines from patients with prostate cancer to determine what translational insights might be gained through the use of cell line data. A non-enrichment CTC detection assay enables us to compare cytometric features and relative expression levels of CK and AR by indirect immunofluorescence from prostate cancer patients against the prostate cancer cell line LNCaP. We measured physical characteristics of these two groups and observed significant differences in cell size, fluorescence intensity, and nuclear to cytoplasmic (N/C) ratio. We hope that these experiments will initiate a foundation to allow cell line data to be compared against characteristics of primary cells from patients.
As important as the events that influence selection for specific chromosome types in the derivation of novel karyotypes, are the events that initiate the changes in chromosome number and structure between species, and likewise polymorphisms, variants and disease states within species. Although once thought of as transcriptional ‘noise', noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are now recognized as important mediators of epigenetic regulation and chromosome stability. Here we highlight recent work that illustrates the influence short and long ncRNAs have as participants in the function and stability of chromosome regions such as centromeres, telomeres, evolutionary breakpoints and fragile sites. We summarize recent evidence that ncRNAs can facilitate chromosome change and present mechanisms by which ncRNAs create DNA breaks. Finally, we present hypotheses on how they may create novel karyotypes and thus affect chromosome evolution.
non-coding; ncRNA; small RNA; chromosome; evolution; karyotype
Integrins are involved in prostate cancer metastasis by regulating cell adhesion, migration, invasion, motility, angiogenesis and bone metabolism. We evaluated the efficacy of two dose levels of cilengitide in patients (pts) with castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
Chemotherapy-naïve, asymptomatic metastatic CRPC pts were randomized to cilengitide 500mg or 2000mg IV twice weekly using parallel 2-stage design. The primary endpoint was rate of objective clinical progression at six-months. Secondary endpoints included clinical and PSA response rates, safety and effects of cilengitide treatment on circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and bone remodeling markers.
Forty-four pts were accrued to first stage (22/arm). Median number of cycles was three in both arms (500mg arm: 1–8; 2000 mg arm: 1–15). At six months, two pts (9%) on the 500mg arm and five pts (23%) on the 2000mg arm had not progressed. Best objective response was stable disease (SD) in seven pts for 9.9[8.1,20.9] months. There were three grade 3 and no grade 4 toxicities. At 12 weeks, analysis of bone markers did not reveal significant trends. At progression, bone specific alkaline phosphatase and N-telopeptide increased in all pts, less so in pts on the 2000mg arm and in pts on both arms who obtained SD at 6 months. CTCs increased over time in both arms.
Cilengitide was well tolerated with modest clinical effect in favor of the higher dose. The unique trial design including a shift from response rate to objective progression as the endpoint, and not acting on PSA increases was feasible.
prostate cancer; metastatic disease; integrins; angiogenesis; cilengitide; bone biomarkers
Primary graft failure after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is a life-threatening complication. A shortened conditioning regimen may reduce the risk of infection and increase the chance of survival. Here, we report the outcome of 11 patients with hematologic diseases (median age, 44; range, 25–67 years, 7 males) who received a 1-day reduced-intensity preparative regimen given as a re-transplantation for primary graft failure. The salvage regimen consisted of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, alemtuzumab, and total-body irradiation, all administered 1 day before re-transplantation. All patients received T-cell replete peripheral blood stem cells from the same or different haploidentical donor (n = 10) or from the same matched sibling donor (n = 1). Neutrophil counts promptly increased to >500/µL for 10 of the 11 patients at a median of 13 days. Of these, none developed Grade III/IV acute graft-versus-host disease. At present, 8 of the 11 patients are alive with a median follow-up of 11.2 months from re-transplantation and 5 of the 8 are in remission. In conclusion, this series suggests that our 1-day preparative regimen is feasible, leads to successful engraftment in a high proportion of patients, and is appropriate for patients requiring immediate re-transplantation after primary graft failure following reduced-intensity transplantation.
allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation; primary graft failure; re-transplantation
We report a scrotal epidermal inclusion cyst located outside the median raphe which a rare entity in the absence of trauma and few cases have been reported. 47 year old male presents with a complaint of right sided testicular swelling and discomfort. On examination a 3 cm mass was palpated between the scrotum and the medial thigh on the subcutaneous tissue with a positive slip sign. Complete surgical excision of the cyst was performed. Histopathology confirmed epidermal inclusion cyst with no evidence of malignancy.
The rationale for the use of epothilones in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer is highlighted and the clinical data concerning epothilones in this setting are summarized.
The management of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) presents a clinical challenge because of limitations in efficacy and durability with currently available therapeutics. The epothilones represent a novel class of anticancer therapy that stabilizes microtubules, causing cell death and tumor regression in preclinical models. The structure of the tubulin-binding site for epothilones is distinct from that of the taxanes. Moreover, preclinical studies suggest nonoverlapping mechanisms of resistance between epothilones and taxanes. In early-phase studies in patients with CRPC, treatment with ixabepilone, a semisynthetic analog of epothilone B, induced objective responses and prostate-specific antigen declines in men previously progressing on docetaxel-based regimens. Clinical activity has been observed in nonrandomized trials for patients with CRPC using ixabepilone in the first- and second-line settings as a single agent and in combination with estramustine. Patupilone and sagopilone were also shown to have promising efficacy in phase II clinical trials of patients with CRPC. All three epothilones appear to be well tolerated, with modest rates of neutropenia and peripheral neuropathy. The lack of crossresistance between epothilones and taxanes may allow sequencing of these agents. Evaluating epothilones in phase III comparative trials would provide much-needed insight into their potential place in the management of patients with CRPC.
Epothilones; Castration-resistant prostate cancer; Chemotherapy; Taxanes
This article presents a novel method for small-scale lipidomics of bacterial cells by integrating extraction of glycerophospholipids on microchip with a nanoelectrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometer (nanoESI-Q-TOF MS/MS). The standard starting point for typical macroscale lipid analysis is a multiphase liquid-liquid extraction. Working with small populations of cells (1 to about 1000) requires a scaled down process in order to minimize dilution and facilitate the interface with microscale separation methods for sample cleanup and introduction to mass spectrometry. We have developed a microfluidic system that allows for lysis of bacterial cells, capture of lipids, and elution of captured lipids from a solid phase for microscale purification of lipids. The best on-chip extraction efficiency for glycerophospholipids was as high as 83.3% by integrating silica beads as the packing material with methanol as the eluent. Ten successive measurements were evaluated indicating that the microchip packed with fresh silica beads is capable of being reused for four times without any loss in lipid extraction process. The initial screening based on high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry data along with discovery profiling approach revealed the presence of 173 identified phospholipid species from microfluidic cell extracts. This work demonstrates the potential of incorporating microchip-based lipid extraction into cellular lipidomics research.
lipid extraction; lipidomics; microchip; solid phase extraction
Background and objective
The presence of β-cell antibodies is associated with a high risk of type 1 diabetes. With increasing rates of obesity, the distinction between obese T1DM and T2DM has become difficult. Moreover, increasing body mass index (BMI) in at-risk children has been proposed not only as a possible contributor to T1DM by increasing insulin resistance, but also as exerting an effect via the immunomodulatory properties of certain adipokines. This study aimed to determine prevalence of β-cell autoantibodies (AA) in overweight non-diabetic children and assess insulin sensitivity and secretion derived from an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in those with vs. without β-cell AA.
Research design and methods
A total of 357 overweight (BMI > 85%) youths underwent OGTTs, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and measurement of GAD65 and IA-2 AA according to the NIDDK harmonization assay. Using the same methodology, AA were measured in 90 normal weight, non-diabetic individuals.
About 1.9% of overweight and 4.4% of control normal weight children had evidence of β-cell autoimmunity, with GAD65 AA detected in all subjects but none with IA-2. Youth with positive vs. those with negative AA had higher leptin/adiponectin ratio, glucose at 60 min and C-peptide at 90 min.
These findings suggest that the prevalence of β-cell AA in overweight youth may be similar to that in non-overweight children. Further studies using standardized methods are required.
autoimmunity; β-cell antibodies; children; obesity
To determine the activity and tolerability of 100-mg once-daily (QD) dasatinib in patients with metastatic castration-resistance prostate cancer (CRPC). Dasatinib, an oral Src family kinase inhibitor, has demonstrated both preclinical and clinical activity with twice-daily dosing in patients with metastatic CRPC.
Chemotherapy-naive men with metastatic CRPC and increasing prostate-specific antigen levels were treated with dasatinib 100 mg QD. The primary measurement was a composite lack of disease progression, according to the Prostate Cancer Working Group 2 criteria, determined every 12 weeks during the study. The other analyses included changes in the prostate-specific antigen level, bone lesions, soft tissue disease, and bone turnover markers (urine N-telopeptide and bone alkaline phosphatase).
The present trial was designed before the publication of the recent Prostate Cancer Working Group 2 criteria; however, the analyses are presented to conform to the updated guidelines. A total of 48 patients received dasatinib. A lack of disease progression was observed in 21 patients (44%) at week 12 and in 8 (17%) at week 24. Urine N-telopeptide was reduced by ≥40% from baseline in 22 (51%) of 43 patients, and bone alkaline phosphatase was decreased in 26 (59%) of 44 patients. Dasatinib was well-tolerated, with only 6 patients (13%) with drug-related grade 3–4 adverse events and 3 (6%) with grade 3 adverse events. The most common treatment-related adverse events (≥20%) were fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, headache, and anorexia.
Dasatinib 100 mg QD has a favorable safety profile and maintains a similar degree of activity as the previously reported twice-daily dosing schedules. These data support additional study of dasatinib 100 mg QD for metastatic CRPC.
This study aimed to perform a prospective evaluation of 18F-NaF and 18F-FDG PET/CT in the detection of occult metastatic disease in men with prostate cancer and biochemical relapse.
Thirty-seven men with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) relapse (median, 3.2 ng/mL; range, 0.5–40.2 ng/mL) after definitive therapy for localized prostate cancer [26 radical prostatectomy (RP), 11 external beam radiation therapy] and negative conventional imaging underwent 18F-FDG and 18F-NaF PET/CT on 2 separate days within the same week. Studies were interpreted by 2 experienced radiologists in consensus for abnormal uptake suspicious for metastatic disease. The reference standard was a combination of imaging and clinical follow-up. Rank of PSA values for positive and negative PET/CT was compared using analysis of variance adjusting for primary therapy. Association between PSA and scan positivity in patients with RP was evaluated using Wilcoxon rank sum test.
Result of the 18F-FDG PET/CT scan was positive for nodal disease in 2 patients. True-positive detection rate for occult osseous metastases by 18F-NaF PET/CT was 16.2%. Median PSA levels for positive versus negative PET/CT scans were 4.4 and 2.9 ng/mL, respectively, with the difference marginally significant in prostatectomized men (P = 0.072). Percentages of patients with either 18F-NaF– or 18F-FDG–positive PET/CT in RP and external beam radiation therapy were 10% (n = 10) and undefined (n = 0) for a PSA of 2 ng/mL or less, 29% (n = 7) and 50% (n = 2) for PSA greater than 2 ng/mL but 4 ng/mL or less,60% (n = 5) and 40%(n = 5) for PSA greater than 4 ng/mL but 10 ng/mL or less, and 25% (n = 4) and 25% (n = 4) for PSA greater than 10 ng/mL, respectively.
In biochemical relapse of prostate cancer, 18F-NaF PET/CT is useful in the detection of occult osseous metastases, whereas the yield of 18F-FDG PET/CT is relatively limited. 18F-NaF PET/CT positivity tends to associate with increasing PSA level in prostatectomized men and may occur in lower PSA ranges than conventionally recognized.
18F-NaF; 18F-FDG; prostate; cancer; PSA
High resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be used to precisely identify blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) activation of small structures within the brainstem not accessible with standard fMRI. A previous study identified a region within the pons exhibiting sustained neuromodulation due to electrical tongue stimulation, but was unable to precisely identify the neuronal structure involved. For this study, high-resolution images of neural activity induced by optic flow were acquired in nine healthy controls and nine individuals with balance dysfunction before and after information-free tongue stimulation. Subjects viewed optic flow videos to activate the structures of interest. Sub-millimeter in-plane voxels of structures within the posterior fossa were acquired using a restricted field of view. Whole-brain functional imaging verified that global activation patterns due to optic flow were consistent with previous studies. Optic flow activated the visual association cortices, the vestibular nuclei, and the superior colliculus, as well as multiple regions within the cerebellum. The anterior cingulate cortex showed decreased activity after stimulation, while a region within the pons had increased post-stimulation activity. These observations suggest the pontine region is the trigeminal nucleus and that tongue stimulation interfaces with the balance-processing network within the pons. This high-resolution imaging allows detection of activity within individual brainstem nuclei not possible using standard resolution imaging.
High-resolution; fMRI; balance; tongue; trigeminal; stimulation
Mucopolysaccharidosis VI (MPS VI, Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome) is one of approximately 50 known lysosomal storage disorders. MPS VI is characterized by an absence or deficiency of N-acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfatase (arylsulfatase B) resulting in accumulation of dermatan sulfate. Prior to the availability of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) the clinical management of MPS VI was limited to supportive care and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT); however, due to the rarity of this disease, little is known about the long-term outcomes of HSCT for MPS VI. The following retrospective study was performed using aggregate data gathered by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) between 1982 and 2007 to determine survival probability for patients with MPS VI following allogeneic HSCT. This analysis identified 45 MPS VI patients with a median age of 5 years (range, 1-22 years) at the time they received an allogeneic HSCT. Cumulative incidence (95% CI) of acute graft vs. host disease at 100 days was 36% (21-53%). Probability of survival was 78% (65-89%) at 100 days and 66% (52-79%) at 1 and 3 years. While these data are based upon small numbers of recipients, they represent the largest series to date and may help clinicians assess the relative risks and benefits of currently available therapies.
mucopolysaccharidosis VI; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; enzyme replacement therapy; mortality; arylsulfatase B; galsulfase
Glycerophosphodiesters are the products of phospholipase-mediated deacylation of phospholipids. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a single gene, GIT1, encodes a permease responsible for importing glycerophosphodiesters, such as glycerophosphoinositol and glycerophosphocholine, into the cell. In contrast, the Candida albicans genome contains four open reading frames (ORFs) with a high degree of similarity to S. cerevisiae GIT1 (ScGIT1) Here, we report that C. albicans utilizes glycerophosphoinositol (GroPIns) and glycerophosphocholine (GroPCho) as sources of phosphate at both mildly acidic and physiological pHs. Insertional mutagenesis of C. albicans GIT1 (CaGIT1) (orf19.34), the ORF most similar to ScGit1, abolished the ability of cells to use GroPIns as a phosphate source at acidic pH and to transport [3H]GroPIns at acidic and physiological pHs, while reintegration of a GIT1 allele into the genome restored those functions. Several lines of evidence, including the detection of internal [3H]GroPIns, indicated that GroPIns is transported intact through CaGit1. GroPIns transport was shown to conform to Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with an apparent Km of 28 ± 6 μM. Notably, uptake of label from [3H]GroPCho was found to be roughly 50-fold greater than uptake of label from [3H]GroPIns and roughly 500-fold greater than the equivalent activity in S. cerevisiae. Insertional mutagenesis of CaGIT1 had no effect on the utilization of GroPCho as a phosphate source or on the uptake of label from [3H]GroPCho. Growth under low-phosphate conditions was shown to increase label uptake from both [3H]GroPIns and [3H]GroPCho. Screening of a transcription factor deletion set identified CaPHO4 as required for the utilization of GroPIns, but not GroPCho, as a phosphate source.
People with colorectal cancer have impaired quality of life (QoL). We investigated what factors were most highly associated with it.
Four hundred and ninety-six people with colorectal cancer completed questionnaires about QoL, functioning, symptoms, co-morbidity, cognitions and personal and social factors. Disease, treatment and co-morbidity data were abstracted from case notes. Multiple linear regression identified modifiable and unmodifiable factors independently predictive of global quality of life (EORTC-QLQ-C30).
Of unmodifiable factors, female sex (P<0.001), more self-reported co-morbidities (P=0.006) and metastases at diagnosis (P=0.036) significantly predicted poorer QoL, but explained little of the variability in the model (R2=0.064). Adding modifiable factors, poorer role (P<0.001) and social functioning (P=0.003), fatigue (P=0.001), dyspnoea (P=0.001), anorexia (P<0.001), depression (P<0.001) and worse perceived consequences (P=0.013) improved the model fit considerably (R2=0.574). Omitting functioning subscales resulted in recent diagnosis (P=0.002), lower perceived personal control (P=0.020) and travel difficulties (P<0.001) becoming significant predictors.
Most factors affecting QoL are modifiable, especially symptoms (fatigue, anorexia, dyspnoea) and depression. Beliefs about illness are also important. Unmodifiable factors, including metastatic (or unstaged) disease at diagnosis, have less impact. There appears to be potential for interventions to improve QoL in patients with colorectal cancer.
quality of life; colorectal cancer; assessment
The purpose of this study is to describe and clarify the birth and prenatal characteristics of a large cohort of children with optic nerve hypoplasia.
This is a descriptive report of 204 patients aged ≤ 36 months and enrolled in a prospective study at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Birth characteristics, including complications, were abstracted from study files and medical records. Systematic maternal interviews were conducted to obtain detailed prenatal histories. National birth data were used for comparison with birth findings.
Birth characteristics were unremarkable for birthweight and gestation, but significant for increased frequency of caesarean delivery and fetal and neonatal complications. Young maternal age and primaparity were dominating maternal features. Preterm labour, gestational vaginal bleeding, low maternal weight gain and weight loss during pregnancy were prevalent.
These findings confirm young maternal age and primaparity as associated risk factors, challenge many other suggested factors such as alcohol and drug abuse, and introduce potentially significant prenatal characteristics such as maternal weight loss and early gestational vaginal bleeding as aetiological correlates.
aetiology; de Morsier syndrome; optic nerve hypoplasia; perinatal; prenatal; septo-optic dysplasia
We investigated playmate and play style preference in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) (26 females, 31 males) and their unaffected siblings (26 females, 17 males) using the Playmate and Play Style Preferences Structured Interview (PPPSI). Both unaffected boys and girls preferred same-sex playmates and sex-typical play styles. In the conflict condition where children chose between a same-sex playmate engaged in an other-sex activity or an other-sex playmate engaged in a same-sex activity, boys (both CAH and unaffected brothers) almost exclusively chose playmates based on the preferred play style of the playmate as opposed to the preferred gender label of the playmate. By contrast, unaffected girls used play style and gender label about equally when choosing playmates. Girls with CAH showed a pattern similar to that of boys: their playmate selections were more masculine than unaffected girls, they preferred a boy-typical play style and, in the conflict condition, chose playmates engaged in a masculine activity. These findings suggest that prenatal androgen exposure contributes to sex differences in playmate selection observed in typically-developing children, and that, among boys and girls exposed to high levels of androgens prenatally, play style preferences drive sex segregation in play.
androgen; CAH; hormones; playmate; play style; rough-and-tumble; sex differences; sex segregation
Background and Aims
The Hawaiian silversword alliance (Asteraceae) is one the best examples of a plant adaptive radiation, exhibiting extensive morphological and ecological diversity. No research within this group has addressed the role of geographical isolation, independent of ecological adaptation, in contributing to taxonomic diversity. The aims of this study were to examine genetic differentiation among subspecies of Dubautia laxa (Asteraceae) to determine if allopatric or sympatric populations and subspecies form distinct genetic clusters to understand better the role of geography in diversification within the alliance.
Dubautia laxa is a widespread member of the Hawaiian silversword alliance, occurring on four of the five major islands of the Hawaiian archipelago, with four subspecies recognized on the basis of morphological, ecological and geographical variation. Nuclear microsatellites and plastid DNA sequence data were examined. Data were analysed using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic methodologies to identify unique evolutionary lineages.
Plastid DNA sequence data resolved two highly divergent lineages, recognized as the Laxa and Hirsuta groups, that are more similar to other members of the Hawaiian silversword alliance than they are to each other. The Laxa group is basal to the young island species of Dubautia, whereas the Hirsuta group forms a clade with the old island lineages of Dubautia and with Argyroxiphium. The divergence between the plastid groups is supported by Bayesian microsatellite clustering analyses, but the degree of nuclear differentiation is not as great. Clear genetic differentiation is only observed between allopatric populations, both within and among islands.
These results indicate that geographical separation has aided diversification in D. laxa, whereas ecologically associated morphological differences are not associated with neutral genetic differentiation. This suggests that, despite the stunning ecological adaptation observed, geography has also played an important role in the Hawaiian silversword alliance plant adaptive radiation.
Dubautia laxa; Hawaiian silversword alliance; infraspecific divergence; subspecies; speciation; geographical divergence; microsatellites; plastid DNA; chloroplast DNA
Curcumin has been demonstrated to have many neuroprotective properties, including improvement of cognition in humans and neurogenesis in animals, yet the mechanism of such effects remains unclear.
We assessed behavioural performance and hippocampal cell proliferation in aged rats after 6- and 12-week curcumin-fortified diets. Curcumin enhanced non-spatial and spatial memory, as well as dentate gyrate cell proliferation as compared to control diet rats. We also investigated underlying mechanistic pathways that might link curcumin treatment to increased cognition and neurogenesis via exon array analysis of cortical and hippocampal mRNA transcription. The results revealed a transcriptional network interaction of genes involved in neurotransmission, neuronal development, signal transduction, and metabolism in response to the curcumin treatment.
The results suggest a neurogenesis- and cognition-enhancing potential of prolonged curcumin treatment in aged rats, which may be due to its diverse effects on genes related to growth and plasticity.
This pilot study aimed to show that information-free stimulation of the tongue can improve behavioral measures and induce sustained neuromodulation of the balance-processing network in individuals with balance dysfunction. Twelve balance-impaired subjects received one week of cranial nerve non-invasive neuromodulation (CN-NINM). Before and after the week of stimulation, postural sway and fMRI activation were measured to monitor susceptibility to optic flow. Nine normal controls also underwent the postural sway and fMRI tests but did not receive CN-NINM. Results showed that before CN-NINM balance-impaired subjects swayed more than normal controls as expected (p≤0.05), and that overall sway and susceptibility to optic flow decreased after CN-NINM (p≤0.005 & p≤0.05). fMRI showed upregulation of visual sensitivity to optic flow in balance-impaired subjects that decreased after CN-NINM. A region of interest analysis indicated that CN-NINM may induce neuromodulation by increasing activity within the dorsal pons (p≤0.01).
fMRI; Optic flow; Neuromodulation; Balance disorders; Brainstem; Plasticity
Optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH) with/or without septo-optic dysplasia (SOD) is a known concomitant of congenital growth hormone deficiency (CGHD).
Demographic and longitudinal data from KIGS, the Pfizer International Growth Database, were compared between 395 subjects with ONH/SOD and CGHD and 158 controls with CGHD without midline pathology.
ONH/SOD subjects had higher birth length/weight, and mid-parental height SDS. At GH start, height, weight, and BMI SDS were higher in the ONH/SOD group. After 1 year of GH, both groups showed similar changes in height SDS, while weight and BMI SDS remained higher in the ONH/SOD group. The initial height responses of the two groups were similar to those predicted using the KIGS-derived prediction model for children with idiopathic GHD. At near-adult height, ONH/SOD and controls had similar height, weight, and BMI SDS.
Compared to children with CGHD without midline defects, those with ONH/SOD presented with greater height, weight, and BMI SDS. These differences persisted at 1 year of GH therapy, but appeared to be overcome by long-term GH treatment.
Increased dietary sodium has been reported to increase cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, perhaps through blood pressure (BP) independent vascular remodeling. Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is an accepted measure of structural vascular remodeling and a strong predictor of CVD. This study aimed to determine whether urinary sodium is positively associated with carotid IMT in normotensive overweight and obese adults.
We evaluated baseline data from 258 participants in the Slow Adverse Vascular Effects (SAVE) Clinical Trial. Urinary sodium was measured from one 24-hour urine collection from each individual. Carotid IMT was measured using high resolution B-mode ultrasonography. Participants were categorized into quartiles of urinary sodium.
There was a significant positive trend with greater IMT associated with increasing urinary sodium quartile in univariate linear regression (P=0.047). This trend was significant when adjusting for age, sex, race, and systolic BP (SBP) (P=0.03) as well as in a fully adjusted model (P=0.04). In pairwise comparisons, the highest urinary sodium quartile had a significantly greater mean IMT (0.62 mm) than the lowest urinary sodium quartile (0.59 mm) after adjustment for age, sex, race, and SBP (P=0.04). This comparison lost significance after the addition of BMI.
In our community-based sample of normotensive overweight and obese adults, we observed a significant positive trend in carotid IMT with increasing quartile of urinary sodium. If the ongoing clinical trial confirms this relationship between sodium and carotid IMT, it would lend support to efforts to decrease sodium intake in overweight and obese individuals.
sodium; obesity; vascular remodeling; carotid IMT
The Washington Group on Disability Statistics is a voluntary working group made up of representatives of over 100 National Statistical Offices and international, non-governmental and disability organizations that was organized under the aegis of the United Nations Statistical Division. The purpose of the Washington Group is to deal with the challenge of disability definition and measurement in a way that is culturally neutral and reasonably standardized among the UN member states. The work, which began in 2001, took on added importance with the passage and ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities since the Convention includes a provision for monitoring whether those with and without disabilities have equal opportunities to participate in society and this will require the identification of persons with disabilities in each nation. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) developed by the World Health Organization provided a framework for conceptualizing disability. Operationalizing an ICF-based approach to disability has required the development of new measurement tools for use in both censuses and surveys. To date, a short set of six disability-related questions suitable for use in national censuses has been developed and adopted by the Washington Group and incorporated by the United Nations in their Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses. A series of extended sets of questions is currently under development and some of the sets have been tested in several countries. The assistance of many National and International organizations has allowed for cognitive and field testing of the disability questionnaires in multiple languages and locations. This paper will describe the work of the Washington Group and explicate the applicability of its approach and the questions developed for monitoring the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the type I insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) are two cell surface receptor tyrosine kinases known to cooperate to promote tumor progression and drug resistance. Combined blockade of EGFR and IGF-1R has shown improved anti-tumor activity in preclinical models. Here, we report the characterization of a stable IgG-like bispecific antibody (BsAb) dual-targeting EGFR and IGF-1R that was developed for cancer therapy. The BsAb molecule (EI-04), constructed with a stability-engineered single chain variable fragment (scFv) against IGF-1R attached to the carboxyl-terminus of an IgG against EGFR, displays favorable biophysical properties for biopharmaceutical development. Biochemically, EI-04 bound to human EGFR and IGF-1R with sub-nanomolar affinity, co-engaged the two receptors simultaneously, and blocked the binding of their respective ligands with similar potency compared to the parental monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). In tumor cells, EI-04 effectively inhibited EGFR and IGF-1R phosphorylation, and concurrently blocked downstream AKT and ERK activation, resulting in greater inhibition of tumor cell growth and cell cycle progression than the single mAbs. EI-04, likely due to its tetravalent bispecific format, exhibited high avidity binding to BxPC3 tumor cells co-expressing EGFR and IGF-1R, and consequently improved potency at inhibiting IGF-driven cell growth over the mAb combination. Importantly, EI-04 demonstrated enhanced in vivo anti-tumor efficacy over the parental mAbs in two xenograft models, and even over the mAb combination in the BxPC3 model. Our data support the clinical investigation of EI-04 as a superior cancer therapeutic in treating EGFR and IGF-1R pathway responsive tumors.
EGFR; IGF-1R; bispecific antibody; stability; anti-tumor; cancer therapy