Obesity is a growing public health problem among reproductive-aged women, with consequences for chronic disease risk and reproductive and obstetric morbidities. Evidence also suggests that body shape (i.e., regional fat distribution) may be independently associated with risk, yet it is not known if women adequately perceive their shape. This study aimed to assess the validity of self-reported body size and shape figure drawings when compared to anthropometric measures among reproductive-aged women.
Self-reported body size was ascertained using the Stunkard nine-level figures and self-reported body shape using stylized pear, hourglass, rectangle, and apple figures. Anthropometry was performed by trained researchers. Body size and body mass index (BMI) were compared using Spearman's correlation coefficient. Fat distribution indicators were compared across body shapes for nonobese and obese women using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Fisher's exact test. Percent agreement and kappa statistics were computed for apple and pear body shapes.
The 131 women studied were primarily Caucasian (81%), aged 32 years, with a mean BMI of 27.1 kg/m2 (range 16.6–52.8 kg/m2). The correlation between body size and BMI was 0.85 (p<0.001). Among nonobese women, waist-to-hip ratios (WHR) were 0.75, 0.75, 0.80, and 0.82 for pear, hourglass, rectangle, and apple, respectively (p<0.001). Comparing apples and pears, the percent agreement (kappa) for WHR≥0.80 was 83% (0.55).
Self-reported size and shape were consistent with anthropometric measures commonly used to assess obesity and fat distribution, respectively. Self-reported body shape may be a useful proxy measure in addition to body size in large-scale surveys.
Microarray-based transcriptional profiling was used to determine the effect of nicotinamide on gene expression in an experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI) model. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) was used to evaluate the effect on relevant functional categories and canonical pathways. At 24 h, 72 h, and 7 days, respectively, 70, 58, and 76%, of the differentially expressed genes were up-regulated in the vehicle treated compared to the sham animals. At 24 h post-TBI, there were 150 differentially expressed genes in the nicotinamide treated animals compared to vehicle; the majority (82%) down-regulated. IPA analysis identified a significant effect of nicotinamide on the functional categories of cellular movement, cell-to-cell-signaling, antigen presentation and cellular compromise, function, and maintenance and cell death. The canonical pathways identified were signaling pathways primarily involved with the inflammatory process. At 72 h post-cortical contusion injury, there were 119 differentially expressed genes in the nicotinamide treated animals compared to vehicle; the majority (90%) was up-regulated. IPA analysis identified a significant effect of nicotinamide on cell signaling pathways involving neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, growth factors, and ion channels with little to no effect on inflammatory pathways. At 7 days post-TBI, there were only five differentially expressed genes with nicotinamide treatment compared to vehicle. Overall, the effect of nicotinamide on counteracting the effect of TBI resulted in significantly decreased number of genes differentially expressed by TBI. In conclusion, the mechanism of the effect of nicotinamide on secondary injury pathways involves effects on inflammatory response, signaling pathways, and cell death.
nicotinamide; gene expression; cortical contusion model; traumatic brain injury
Vitamin D levels have been linked to various health outcomes including reproductive disorders. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between serum vitamin D level (25-hydroxy-vitamin D, or 25OHD) and semen and hormonal parameters. This is a cross-sectional study that included 170 healthy men recruited for the study of spermatogenesis from the general population. Men completed general and reproductive health questionnaires, and donated blood and semen samples. The main measures were hormonal (total and free testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone) and semen parameters, adjusted (n=147) for age, body mass index (BMI), season, alcohol intake and smoking, in relation to categories of vitamin D levels, determined a priori. The mean age of the study population was 29.0±8.5 years and mean BMI was 24.3±3.2 kg m−2. The mean 25OHD was 34.1±15.06 ng ml−1. BMI showed a negative association with 25OHD. Sperm concentration, sperm progressive motility, sperm morphology, and total progressively motile sperm count were lower in men with ‘25OHD≥50 ng ml−1' when compared to men with ‘20 ng ml−1≤25OHD<50 ng ml−1'. Total sperm count and total progressive motile sperm count were lower in men with ‘25OHD<20 ng ml−1' when compared to men with ‘20 ng ml−1≤25OHD<50 ng ml−1'. The adjusted means of various hormonal parameters did not show statistical difference in the different categories of 25OHD. In conclusion, serum vitamin D levels at high and low levels can be negatively associated with semen parameters.
low semen count; obesity; semen parameters; vitamin D
The biodistribution profile of a series of linear N-(2-hydroxylpropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymers were compared with that of branched poly (amido amine) dendrimers containing surface hydroxyl groups (PAMAM-OH) in orthotopic ovarian tumor-bearing mice. Below an average molecular weight (MW) of 29 kDa, the HPMA copolymers were smaller than the PAMAM-OH dendrimers of comparable molecular weight. In addition to molecular weight, hydrodynamic size and polymer architecture affected the biodistribution of these constructs. Biodistribution studies were performed by dosing mice with 125Iodine-labeled polymers and collecting all major organ systems, carcass and excreta at defined time points. Radiolabeled polymers were detected in organ systems by measuring gamma emission of the 125Iodine radiolabel. The hyperbranched PAMAM dendrimer, hydroxyl terminated, generation 5 (G5.0-OH) was retained in the kidney over one week while the linear HPMA copolymer of comparable molecular weight was excreted into the urine and did not show persistent renal accumulation. PAMAM dendrimer, hydroxyl terminated, generation 6.0 (G6.0-OH) was taken up by the liver to a higher extent while the HPMA copolymer of comparable molecular weight was observed to have a plasma exposure three times that of this dendrimer. Tumor accumulation and plasma exposure were correlated with the hydrodynamic sizes of the polymers. PAMAM dendrimer, hydroxyl terminated, generation 7.0 (G7.0-OH) showed extended plasma circulation, enhanced tumor accumulation and prolonged retention with the highest tumor/blood ratio for the polymers under study. Head-to-head comparative study of HPMA copolymers and PAMAM dendrimers can guide the rational design and development of carriers based on these systems for delivery of bioactive and imaging agents.
PAMAM dendrimers; N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide copolymers; enhanced permeability and retention effect; drug delivery; polymer architecture; ovarian tumor
Intensive chemotherapy regimens are not feasible in many adults with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). We sought to build upon our previous experience with a non-intensive regimen, modified R-hyperCVAD chemotherapy (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, dexamethasone) with maintenance rituximab (MR), by the incorporation of bortezomib (VcR-CVAD) and the extension of MR beyond 2 years. Patients with previously untreated MCL received VcR-CVAD chemotherapy every 21 days for 6 cycles. Patients achieving at least a partial response to induction chemotherapy received rituximab consolidation (375 mg/m2 × 4 weekly doses) and MR (375 mg/m2 every 12 weeks × 20 doses). The primary end points were overall and complete response (CR), and secondary endpoints were progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Thirty patients were enrolled, with a median age of 61 years. All patients had advanced stage disease, and 60% had medium/high MCL International Prognostic Index risk factors. A CR or unconfirmed CR was achieved in 77% of patients. After a median follow-up of 42 months, the 3-year PFS and OS were 63% and 86%, respectively. The observed 3-year PFS and OS with VcR-CVAD in MCL were comparable to reported outcomes with more intensive regimens. A cooperative group trial (E1405) is attempting to replicate these promising results.
bortezomib; chemotherapy; mantle cell lymphoma; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; rituximab
To estimate the incidence of endometriosis in an operative cohort of women seeking clinical care and in a matched population cohort to delineate more fully the scope and magnitude of endometriosis in the context of and beyond clinical care.
Matched exposure cohort design.
Surgical centers in the Salt Lake City, Utah and San Francisco, California areas.
The operative cohort comprised 495 women undergoing laparoscopy/laparotomy between 2007–2009, while the population cohort comprised 131 women from the surgical centers’ catchment areas.
Main Outcome Measure(s)
Incidence of endometriosis by diagnostic method in the operative cohort and by pelvic magnetic resonance imaged (MRI) disease in the population cohort.
Endometriosis incidence in the operative cohort ranged by two orders of magnitude by diagnostic method: 0.7% for only histology, 7% for only MRI and 41% for visualized disease. Endometriosis staging was skewed toward minimal (58%) and mild disease (15%). The incidence of MRI-diagnosed endometriosis was 11% in the population cohort.
Endometriosis incidence is dependent upon the diagnostic method and choice of sampling framework. Conservatively, 11% of women have undiagnosed endometriosis at the population level with implications for the design and interpretation of etiologic research.
Endometriosis; epidemiology; histology; incidence; laparoscopy; magnetic resonance imaging
Spherical and rod-shaped gold nanoparticles with surface poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) chains were characterized for size, shape, charge, poly dispersity and surface plasmon resonance. The nanoparticles were injected intravenously to 6–8 weeks old female nu/nu mice bearing orthotopic ovarian tumors and their biodistribution in vital organs was compared. Gold nanorods were taken up to a lesser extent by the liver, had longer circulation time in the blood, and higher accumulation in the tumors, compared with their spherical counterparts. The cellular uptake of PEGylated gold nanoparticles by a murine macrophage-like cell line as a function of geometry was examined. Compared to nanospheres, PEGylated gold nanorods were taken up to a lesser extent by macrophages. These studies point to the importance of gold nanoparticle geometry and surface properties on transport across biological barriers.
gold nanoparticles; nanorods; nanomedicine; biodistribution; ovarian tumor; macrophages; phagocytosis
Persons with post-stroke hemiparesis usually walk slowly and asymmetrically. Stroke severity and functional walking status are commonly predicted by post-stroke walking speed. The mechanisms that limit walking speed, and by extension functional walking status, need to be understood to improve post-stroke rehabilitation methods.
Three-dimensional forward dynamics walking simulations of hemiparetic subjects (and speed-matched controls) with different levels of functional walking status were developed to investigate the relationships between muscle contributions to walking subtasks and functional walking status. Muscle contributions to forward propulsion, swing initiation and power generation were analyzed during the pre-swing phase of the gait cycle and compared between groups.
Contributions from the paretic leg muscles (i.e., soleus, gastrocnemius and gluteus medius) to forward propulsion increased with improved functional walking status, with the non-paretic leg muscles (i.e., rectus femoris and vastii) compensating for reduced paretic leg propulsion in the limited community walker. Contributions to swing initiation from both paretic (i.e., gastrocnemius, iliacus and psoas) and non-paretic leg muscles (i.e., hamstrings) also increased as functional walking status improved. Power generation was also an important indicator of functional walking status, with reduced paretic leg power generation limiting the paretic leg contribution to forward propulsion and leg swing initiation.
These results suggest that deficits in muscle contributions to the walking subtasks of forward propulsion, swing initiation and power generation are directly related to functional walking status and that improving output in these muscle groups may be an effective rehabilitation strategy for improving post-stroke hemiparetic walking.
forward dynamics simulation; modeling; biomechanics; gait; muscle function
Background: An equivocal literature exists regarding the relation between persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs) and endometriosis in women, with differences attributed to methodologies.
Objectives: We assessed the association between POPs and the odds of an endometriosis diagnosis and the consistency of findings by biological medium and study cohort.
Methods: Using a matched cohort design, we assembled an operative cohort of women 18–44 years of age undergoing laparoscopy or laparotomy at 14 participating clinical centers from 2007 to 2009 and a population-based cohort matched on age and residence within a 50-mile catchment area of the clinical centers. Endometriosis was defined as visualized disease in the operative cohort and as diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging in the population cohort. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each POP in relation to an endometriosis diagnosis, with separate models run for each medium (omental fat in the operative cohort, serum in both cohorts) and cohort. Adjusted models included age, body mass index, breast-feeding conditional on parity, cotinine, and lipids.
Results: Concentrations were higher in omental fat than in serum for all POPs. In the operative cohort, γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH) was the only POP with a significant positive association with endometriosis [per 1-SD increase in log-transformed γ-HCH: adjusted OR (AOR) = 1.27; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.59]; β-HCH was the only significant predictor in the population cohort (per 1-SD increase in log-transformed β-HCH: AOR = 1.72; 95% CI: 1.09, 2.72).
Conclusions: Using a matched cohort design, we found that cohort-specific and biological-medium–specific POPs were associated with endometriosis, underscoring the importance of methodological considerations when interpreting findings.
endocrine-disrupting chemicals; organochlorine pesticides; persistent organochlorine pollutants; polybrominated diphenyl ethers; polychlorinated biphenyls
Obesity has a negative effect on male reproductive function. It is associated with low testosterone levels and alteration in gonadotropin secretion. Male obesity has been linked to reduced male fertility. Data regarding the relation of obesity to sperm parameters are conflicting in terms of the nature and magnitude of the effect. New areas of interest are emerging that can help explain the variation in study results, such as genetic polymorphism and sleep apnea. Sleep disorders have been linked to altered testosterone production and hypogonadism in men. It was also correlated to erectile dysfunction. The relation of sleep disorders to male fertility and sperm parameters remains to be investigated. Men with hypogonadism and infertility should be screened for sleep apnea. Treatment of obesity and sleep apnea improves testosterone levels and erectile function.
infertility; male infertility; reproductive function; sleep apnea; weight excess
Purpose: Despite the growing evidence for effects of religious factors on cardiac health in general populations, findings are not always consistent in sicker and older populations. We previously demonstrated that short-term negative outcomes (depression and anxiety) among older adults following open heart surgery are partially alleviated when patients employ prayer as part of their coping strategy. The present study examines multifaceted effects of religious factors on long-term postoperative adjustment, extending our previous findings concerning prayer and coping with cardiac disease. Design and Methods: Analyses capitalized on a preoperative survey and medical variables from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ National Database of patients undergoing open heart surgery. The current participants completed a mailed survey 30 months after surgery. Two hierarchical regressions were performed to evaluate the extent to which religious factors predicted depression and anxiety, after controlling for key demographics, medical indices, and mental health. Results: Predicting lower levels of depression at the follow-up were preoperative use of prayer for coping, optimism, and hope. Predicting lower levels of anxiety at the follow-up were subjective religiousness, marital status, and hope. Predicting poorer adjustment were reverence in religious contexts, preoperative mental health symptoms, and medical comorbidity. Including optimism and hope in the model did not eliminate effects of religious factors. Several other religious factors had no long-term influences. Implications: The influence of religious factors on the long-term postoperative adjustment is independent and complex, with mediating factors yet to be determined. Future research should investigate mechanisms underlying religion–health relations.
Depression; Anxiety; Cardiovascular diseases and surgery; Religion, faith, and spirituality; Intended use of private prayer for coping; Reverence; Optimism and hope
To quantitate and predict colon-specific 9-aminocamptothecin (9-AC) release from the N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer–9-AC conjugate and its absorption behavior after oral administration in rats.
Drug distribution in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the plasma concentration-time profile of 9-AC released from the HPMA copolymer conjugate were predicted using the degradation, transit, and absorption rate constants in cecum. The fate of 9-AC in cecum and liver was measured by in-situ cecum absorption and liver perfusion.
Following oral administration of the conjugate, 9-AC was released rapidly in cecum. Based on the pharmacokinetic model, up to 60% of the dose was in the cecum at ∼6 h, and 7% of the dose still remained there at 24 h. The predicted plasma concentration curve for released 9-AC after an oral dose of 3 mg/kg of 9-AC equivalent increased gradually and reached a peak of 98 nM at 7 h, then started decreasing slowly to 16 nM at 24 h. The bioavailability value was estimated as 0.31 after the first-pass elimination.
A pharmacokinetic model delineated the impact of GI transit, drug absorption rate, and first-pass metabolism on drug disposition following oral administration of HPMA copolymer–9-AC conjugate in rats.
absorption prediction; colon-specific drug delivery; HPMA copolymer–9-aminocamptothecin conjugate; oral dosing; pharmacokinetic modeling
Post-stroke hemiparetic walking is typically asymmetric. Assessment of symmetry is often performed at either self-selected or fastest-comfortable walking speeds to gain insight into coordination deficits and compensatory mechanisms. However, how walking speed influences the level of asymmetry is unclear. This study analyzed relative changes in paretic and non-paretic leg symmetry to assess whether one speed is more effective at highlighting asymmetries in hemiparetic walking and whether there is a systematic effect of speed on asymmetry. Forty-six subjects with chronic hemiparesis walked at their self-selected and fastest-comfortable speeds on an instrumented split-belt treadmill. Relative proportions (paretic leg value/(paretic + non-paretic leg value)) were computed at each speed for step length (PSR), propulsion (PP), and joint moment impulses at the ankle and hip. Thirty-six subjects did not change their step length symmetry with speed, while three subjects changed their step length values toward increased asymmetry and seven changed toward increased symmetry. Propulsion symmetry did not change uniformly with speed for the group, with fifteen subjects changing their propulsion values toward increased asymmetry while increasing speed from their self-selected to fastest-comfortable and eleven decreasing the asymmetry. Both step length and propulsion symmetry were correlated with ankle impulse proportion at self-selected and fastest-comfortable speed (c.f., hip impulse proportion), but ratios (self-selected value / fastest-comfortable value) of the proportion measures (PSR and PP) showed that neither step length nor propulsion symmetry correlated with the ankle impulse proportions. Thus, the individual kinetic mechanisms used to increase speed could not be predicted from PSR or PP.
gait; walking speed; biomechanics; stroke
To determine differences in the rates of growth, endocrine and calcium related abnormalities in the various thalassemia syndromes in North America with current therapy.
Medical history, physical examinations and blood and urine collections were obtained from patients with all thalassemia syndromes age 6 years and older in the Thalassemia Clinical Research Network.
361 subjects, 49% male, mean age 23.2 years (range 6.1 to 75 years) were studied. Approximately 25% of children and adults, regardless of the thalassemia syndrome, had short stature. Overall growth in children was mildly affected. Final height was close to midparental height (z = -0.73 ± 1.24). Patients with beta thalassemia major (TM) had higher rates of hypogonadism, multiple endocrinopathies, worse hyperglycemia, subclinical hypoparathyroidism and hypercalciuria. Hypogonadism remained the most frequent endocrinopathy and was frequently under-treated. 12.8% of the subjects had 25 vitamin D concentrations less than 27nmol/L and 82% less than 75nmol/L, regardless of the thalassemia syndrome. Adolescents had lower 25 vitamin D levels than children and adults.
Compared to patients with other thalassemia syndromes, those with beta TM suffer from higher rates of multiple endocrinopathies, abnormal calcium metabolism and hypercalciuria. Vitamin D abnormalities are high among adolescents.
Firm recommendations about the way thiopurine drugs are introduced and the use of thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) and metabolite measurements during treatment in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are lacking.
To evaluate pharmacokinetics and tolerance after initiation of thiopurine treatment with a fixed dosing schedule in patients with IBD.
60 consecutive patients with Crohn's disease (n = 33) or ulcerative colitis (n = 27) were included in a 20 week open, prospective study.
Thiopurine treatment was introduced using a predefined dose escalation schedule, reaching a daily target dose at week 3 of 2.5 mg azathioprine or 1.25 mg 6‐mercaptopurine per kg body weight. TPMT and ITPA genotypes, TPMT activity, TPMT gene expression, and thiopurine metabolites were determined. Clinical outcome and occurrence of adverse events were monitored.
27 patients completed the study per protocol, while 33 were withdrawn (early protocol violation (n = 5), TPMT deficiency (n = 1), thiopurine related adverse events (n = 27)); 67% of patients with adverse events tolerated long term treatment on a lower dose (median 1.32 mg azathioprine/kg body weight). TPMT activity did not change during the 20 week course of the study but a significant decrease in TPMT gene expression was found (TPMT/huCYC ratio; p = 0.02). Patients with meTIMP concentrations >11 450 pmol/8×108 red blood cells during steady state at week 5 had an increased risk of developing myelotoxicity (odds ratio = 45.0; p = 0.015).
After initiation of thiopurine treatment using a fixed dosing schedule, no general induction of TPMT enzyme activity occurred, though TPMT gene expression decreased. The development of different types of toxicity was unpredictable, but we found that measurement of meTIMP early in the steady state phase helped to identify patients at risk of developing myelotoxicity.
inflammatory bowel disease; thiopurine methyltransferase; thioguanine nucleotides; methylated metabolites
The current study tested a psychosocial interactive model of perfectionism, self-efficacy, and weight/shape concern within a sample of women with clinically significant bulimic symptoms, examining how different dimensions of perfectionism operated in the model. Individuals with bulimia nervosa (full diagnostic criteria or subthreshold) completed measures of bulimic symptoms, multidimensional perfectionism, self-efficacy, and weight/shape concern. Among those who were actively binge eating (n = 180), weight/shape concern was associated with binge eating frequency in the context of high perfectionism (either maladaptive or adaptive) and low self-efficacy. Among those who were actively vomiting (n = 169), weight/shape concern was associated with vomiting frequency only in the context of high adaptive perfectionism and low self-efficacy. These findings provide support for the value of this psychosocial interactive model among actively binge eating and purging samples and for the importance of considering different dimensions of perfectionism in research and treatment related to bulimia nervosa.
Perfectionism; Self-efficacy; Body dissatisfaction; Binge eating; Vomiting
This study aimed to evaluate whether patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer experience disrupted rest–activity daily rhythms, poor sleep quality, weakness, and maintain attributes that are linked to circadian function such as fatigue. This report describes the rest–activity patterns of 33 non-small-cell lung cancer patients who participated in a randomised clinical trial evaluating the benefits of melatonin. Data are reported on circadian function, health-related quality of life (QoL), subjective sleep quality, and anxiety/depression levels prior to randomisation and treatment. Actigraphy data, an objective measure of circadian function, demonstrated that patients' rest–activity circadian function differs significantly from control subjects. Our patients reported poor sleep quality and high levels of fatigue. Ferrans and Powers QoL Index instrument found a high level of dissatisfaction with health-related QoL. Data from the European Organization for Research and Treatment for Cancer reported poor capacity to fulfil the activities of daily living. Patients studied in the hospital during or near chemotherapy had significantly more abnormal circadian function than those studied in the ambulatory setting. Our data indicate that measurement of circadian sleep/activity dynamics should be accomplished in the outpatient/home setting for a minimum of 4–7 circadian cycles to assure that they are most representative of the patients' true condition. We conclude that the daily sleep/activity patterns of patients with advanced lung cancer are disturbed. These are accompanied by marked disruption of QoL and function. These data argue for investigating how much of this poor functioning and QoL are actually caused by this circadian disruption, and, whether behavioural, light-based, and or pharmacologic strategies to correct the circadian/sleep activity patterns can improve function and QoL.
circadian function; non-small-cell lung cancer; rest/activity function; sleep quality; quality of life; actigraphy
Laboratory animals are commonly used for evaluating the physiological properties of the mammalian ovarian follicle and the enclosed oocyte. The use of different species to determine the morphological relationship between the follicle and oocyte has led to a recognizable pattern of follicular stages, but differences in follicle size, oocyte diameter and granulosa cell proliferation are not consistent across the different species. In an effort to better understand how these differences are expressed across multiple species, this investigation evaluates oocyte and follicle diameters and granulosa cell proliferation in the mouse, hamster, pig, and human.
Histological sections of ovaries from the mouse, hamster, pig, and human were used to calculate the diameter of the oocyte and follicle and the number of granulosa cells present at pre-determined stages of follicular development. A statistical analysis of these data was performed to determine the relationship of follicular growth and development within and between the species tested.
These data have revealed that the relationships of the features listed are tightly regulated within each species, but they vary between the species studied.
This information may be useful for comparative studies conducted in different animal models and the human.
Methods: Induced sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples from 14 patients with respiratory conditions and four healthy individuals were studied. Antigens were detected at their intracellular sites in cells with well preserved structures using optimal techniques for fixation, permeabilisation, and immunolabelling.
Results: Anti-EPO antibodies reacted only with eosinophils, and anti-HNL antibodies only with neutrophils. Anti-ECP antibodies reacted with both eosinophils and neutrophils and anti-MPO antibodies with neutrophils and monocytes. Cells not stained by monoclonal anti-EPO and anti-HNL antibodies included lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages, squamous epithelial cells, and ciliated epithelial cells.
Conclusions: EPO, a unique component of eosinophils, and HNL, a unique component of neutrophils, are useful markers for the identification of eosinophils and neutrophils, respectively, in sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.
The sperm penetration assay (SPA) is used to predict the fertilizing capacity of sperm. Thus, some programs rely on SPA scores to formulate insemination plans in conjunction with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if a relationship exists between SPA scores and polyspermy rates during conventional IVF cycles.
A total of 1350 consecutive IVF patients using conventional IVF insemination were evaluated in the study. Oocytes were inseminated three hours post-retrieval by the addition of 150,000 to 300,000 progressively motile sperm. Approximately 18 hours after insemination, the oocytes were evaluated for fertilization by the visualization of pronuclei. The presence of three or more pronuclei was indicative of polyspermy. Polyspermy rates, fertilization success, embryo quality, and pregnancy rates were analyzed retrospectively to evaluate their relationship with SPA score, count, motility, number of progressively motile sperm inseminated, oocyte pre-insemination incubation time, patient age, and diagnosis.
A significant positive relationship was observed between SPA score and polyspermy rate (rs = 0.10, p < 0.05). Patients with a normal SPA score had significantly higher polyspermy rates than those with abnormal SPA scores (6.3% ± 1.5% vs. 2.0% ± 0.7%, p < 0.05). Fertilization percentage was significantly lower in the group with severely abnormal SPA scores versus all other SPA groups (57.5% ± 2.1% vs. 70.2% ± 1.3%, p < 0.005). Although embryo quality was not affected, both clinical pregnancy and implantation rates improved slightly as SPA score increased. In addition, there was a decrease in the rate of spontaneous abortion as SPA score increased.
These data indicate SPA score is positively correlated with polyspermy rates and IVF fertilization percentage. Additionally, there is a slight increase in clinical pregnancy rates, and embryo implantation rates with increased SPA. Furthermore, there is a slight decrease in spontaneous abortions rates related to increased SPA.
Purpose:This study was undertaken to evaluate simplified methods of human embryo coculture using either attached or nonattached autologous cumulus tissue.
Methods:Eight hundred one zygotes were cultured for 48 hr in a prospective, randomized trial comparing culture of embryos either with intact cumulus tissue, with cumulus tissue added to the droplet of culture medium, or without any cumulus tissue. In a follow-up study, embryo quality, pregnancy rates, and implantation rates were compared in 120 consecutive patients undergoing in vitro fertilization with a coculture system using cumulus tissue compared to a cohort of 127 patients undergoing IVF immediately preceding the institution of the coculture protocol.
Results:Embryo morphology was significantly improved (P < 0.05) following culture with attached cumulus tissue (5.61 ± 0.29) and culture with added cumulus tissue (4.72 ± 0.31) compared to that of embryos grown in culture medium without cumulus tissue (3.95 ± 0.26). The clinical pregnancy rate improved from 39.4% (50/127) to 49.2% (59/120) following institution of a system of coculture with attached cumulus tissue.
Conclusions:These data indicate that a simple coculture system using autologous cumulus tissue can result in improved embryo morphology, implantation rates, and clinical pregnancy rates during in vitro fertilization. This coculture system is simple, is non-labor intensive, and eliminates many of the risks which may be present in other embryo coculture systems.
coculture; cumulus tissues; embryo morphology; in vitro fertilization; pregnancy rates
hTERT; telomerase; HL-60 cells; differentiation
Purpose:The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible correlation of low-dose heparin-induced decondensation of sperm chromatin with sperm concentration, motility, morphology, membrane hypoosmotic response, ejaculate volume, and the ability of sperm to penetrate zona-free hamster oocytes.
Methods:Twenty-two donors of known fertility and 105 patients undergoing evaluation at an andrology laboratory were evaluated by standard World Health Organization semen analysis techniques and a modified sperm penetration assay (SPA). An aliquot was also incubated for 60 min and Ham's F10 medium containing 50 USP/ml heparin. The percentage of sperm undergoing chromatin decondensation was evaluated and correlated to SPA rates and semen quality parameters.
Results:No significant correlation was observed between semen parameters and decondensation rates. A nonsignificant (P = 0.11) inverse correlation (P = −0.21) wax observed between SPA rates and chromatin decondensation. Significant (P < 0.001) differences were observed in the decondensation rate of donors (3.7 ± 0.6), patients with normal SPA rates (7.8 ± 1.5), and patients with decreased SPA rates (21.7 ± 1.8). The decondensation rates were significantly different (P < 0.01) between patients with a normal SPA rate and patients with a decreased SPA rate.
Conclusions:These data indicate a significant inverse relationship between the SPA rate, which has previously been shown to correlate highly with fertilization ability, and heparin-induced sperm chromatin decondensation.
protamine; chromatin; decondensation; capacitation
The yeast SWI/SNF complex is required for expression of many genes and for the full functioning of several transcriptional activators. Genetic and biochemical studies indicate that SWI/SNF uses the energy of ATP hydrolysis to antagonize chromatin-mediated transcriptional repression. We have tested the possibility that SWI/SNF might also play a role in DNA replication. A mitotic minichromosome stability assay was used to investigate the replication efficiency of a variety of autonomous replication sequences (ARSs) in the presence and absence of SWI/SNF. The stability of minichromosomes that contain ARS1, ARS309 or ARS307 is not altered by lack of SWI/SNF, whereas the functioning of ARS121 is crippled when SWI/SNF is inactivated. The SWI/SNF dependence of ARS121 does not require the replication enhancer factor, ABF1, and thus, it appears to be a property of a minimal ARS121 origin. Likewise, a minimal derivative of ARS1 that lacks the ABF1 replication enhancer acquires SWI/SNF dependence. Replacing the ABF1 binding site at ARS1 with a binding site for the LexA-GAL4 chimeric activator also creates a SWI/SNF-dependent ARS. Our studies suggest that the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex can play a role in both replication and transcription and, furthermore, that SWI/SNF dependence of ARS elements is a property of both an ARS-specific replication enhancer and the overall organization of ARS sequence elements.