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1.  A laparoscopic simulator – maybe it is worth making it yourself 
Laparoscopic trainers have gained recognition for improving laparoscopic surgery skills and preparing for operations on humans. Unfortunately, due to their high price, commercial simulators are hard to obtain, especially for young surgeons in small medical centers. The solution might be for them to construct a device by themselves.
To make a relatively cheap and easy to construct laparoscopic trainer for residents who wish to develop their skills at home.
Material and methods
Two laparoscopic simulators were designed and constructed: 1) a box model with an optical system based on two parallel mirrors, 2) a box model with an HD webcam, a light source consisting of LED diodes placed on a camera casing, and a modeling servo between the webcam and aluminum pipe to allow electronic adjustment of the optical axis.
The two self-constructed simulators were found to be effective training devices, the total cost of parts for each not exceeding $100. Advice is also given for future constructors.
Home made trainers are accessible to any personal budget and can be constructed with a minimum of practical skill. They allow more frequent practice at home, outside the venue and hours of surgical departments. What is more, home made trainers have been shown to be comparable to commercial trainers in facilitating the acquisition of basic laparoscopic skills.
PMCID: PMC4198645  PMID: 25337161
laparoscopy; simulator; bench models; surgical training
2.  Contribution of toll-like receptor 9 gene single-nucleotide polymorphism to systemic lupus erythematosus 
Rheumatology International  2012;33(5):1121-1125.
There are several studies on the association of TLR9 polymorphisms with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in different ethnicities; however, the results are inconsistent. Therefore, we studied the distribution of the TLR9 C > T (rs352140) polymorphism in patients with SLE (n = 254) and controls (n = 521) in a Polish population. We did not observe significant differences in the prevalence of the TLR9 C > T genotype and alleles between patients with SLE and controls. However, we found a contribution of the T/T and T/C genotypes to renal [OR = 2.949 (95 % CI = 1.523–5.711, p = 0.001), (pcorr = 0.017)] and immunologic disorders [OR = 2.938 (95 % CI 1.500–5.755, p = 0.0012), (pcorr = 0.0204)] in SLE patients. Moreover, we observed a significant association between the TLR9 T/T and T/C genotypes and the presence of anti-dsDNA Ab [OR = 3.682 (1.647–8.230, p = 0.001), (pcorr = 0.017)]. Our studies suggest that the TLR9 C > T (rs352140) polymorphism might contribute to renal and immunologic disorders and to the presence of anti-dsDNA Ab.
PMCID: PMC3632719  PMID: 22948541
TLR9; Polymorphisms; SLE
3.  Contribution of STAT4 gene single-nucleotide polymorphism to systemic lupus erythematosus in the Polish population 
Molecular Biology Reports  2012;39(9):8861-8866.
The STAT4 has been found to be a susceptible gene in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in various populations. There are evident population differences in the context of clinical manifestations of SLE, therefore we investigated the prevalence of the STAT4 G > C (rs7582694) polymorphism in patients with SLE (n = 253) and controls (n = 521) in a sample of the Polish population. We found that patients with the STAT4 C/G and CC genotypes exhibited a 1.583-fold increased risk of SLE incidence (95 % CI = 1.168–2.145, p = 0.003), with OR for the C/C versus C/G and G/G genotypes was 1.967 (95 % CI = 1.152–3.358, p = 0.0119). The OR for the STAT4 C allele frequency showed a 1.539-fold increased risk of SLE (95 % CI = 1.209–1.959, p = 0.0004). We also observed an increased frequency of STAT4 C/C and C/G genotypes in SLE patients with renal symptoms OR = 2.259 (1.365–3.738, p = 0.0014), (pcorr = 0.0238) and in SLE patients with neurologic manifestations OR = 2.867 (1.467–5.604, p = 0.0016), (pcorr = 0.0272). Moreover, we found a contribution of STAT4 C/C and C/G genotypes to the presence of the anti-snRNP Ab OR = 3.237 (1.667–6.288, p = 0.0003), (pcorr = 0.0051) and the presence of the anti-Scl-70 Ab OR = 2.665 (1.380–5.147, p = 0.0028), (pcorr = 0.0476). Our studies confirmed an association of the STAT4 C (rs7582694) variant with the development of SLE and occurrence of some clinical manifestations of the disease.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11033-012-1752-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3404285  PMID: 22729903
SLE; STAT4; Polymorphism
4.  Antioxidants Induce Apoptosis of Rat Ovarian Theca-Interstitial Cells1 
Biology of Reproduction  2010;84(1):162-166.
Regulation of growth of ovarian theca-interstitial tissues is essential for normal ovarian development and function. Reactive oxygen species are involved in modulation of signal transduction pathways, including regulation of tissue growth and apoptosis. Previously, we have demonstrated that antioxidants inhibit proliferation of theca-interstitial cells. This report evaluates the effects of antioxidants on apoptosis of rat theca-interstitial cells. The cells were cultured in chemically defined media without or with vitamin E succinate and ebselen. Apoptosis was evaluated by cytochemical assessment of nuclear morphology, activity of executioner caspases 3 and 7, and determination of staining with annexin V in combination with propidium iodide. Both tested antioxidants induced significant morphological changes consistent with apoptosis, including chromatin condensation, nuclear shrinkage, and pyknosis. Antioxidants also induced other hallmarks of apoptosis including increased activity of caspases 3/7 as well as increased staining with annexin V. The present findings demonstrate that antioxidants with distinctly different mechanisms of action induce a series of events consistent with the process of apoptosis in ovarian mesenchyme. These observations may be of translational-clinical relevance, providing mechanistic support for the use of antioxidants in the treatment of PCOS, a condition associated with excessive growth and activity of theca-interstitial cells.
The antioxidants vitamin E succinate and ebselen induce apoptosis of ovarian theca-interstitial cells in a concentration-dependent fashion.
PMCID: PMC3012568  PMID: 20844276
antioxidants; apoptosis; ovary; theca-interstitial cells
5.  Role of Isoprenylation in Simvastatin-Induced Inhibition of Ovarian Theca-Interstitial Growth in the Rat1 
Biology of Reproduction  2009;81(5):850-855.
Statins are competitive inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, a rate-limiting step of the mevalonate pathway. The pleiotropic effects of statins may be due to inhibition of cholesterol synthesis, as well as decreased availability of several biologically important intermediate components of the mevalonate pathway, including two substrates for isoprenylation (farnesyl pyrophosphate [FPP] and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate [GGPP]). Recently, we demonstrated statin-induced inhibition of ovarian theca-interstitial cell proliferation in vitro, as well as reduction of testosterone levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This study evaluates the relative contribution of inhibition of isoprenylation and/or cholesterol availability to the modulation of theca-interstitial proliferation. Rat theca-interstitial cells were cultured in chemically defined media with or without simvastatin, FPP, GGPP, squalene, and/or two membrane-permeable forms of cholesterol (25-hydroxycholesterol and 22-hydroxycholesterol). Simvastatin inhibited DNA synthesis and the count of viable cells. The effects of simvastatin were partly abrogated by FPP and GGPP but not by squalene or cholesterol. Inhibition of farnesyl transferase and geranylgeranyl transferase reduced cell proliferation. The present findings indicate that simvastatin inhibits proliferation of theca-interstitial cells, at least in part, by reduction of isoprenylation. These observations provide likely mechanisms explaining clinically observed improvement of ovarian hyperandrogenism in women with PCOS.
Isoprenylation may mediate statin-induced inhibition of theca-interstitial proliferation in ovarian theca-interstitial cells.
PMCID: PMC2770018  PMID: 19571257
interstitial cells; isoprenylation; ovary; proliferation; statin; theca cells
6.  Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1− 2518 A/G Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Might Be Associated with Renal Disease and Thrombocytopenia of SLE 
There is conflicting evidence on the contribution of the MCP-1 −2518 A>G (rs 1024611) polymorphism to SLE incidence and clinical manifestations. We examined the prevalence of the MCP-1 −2518 A>G polymorphism in SLE patients (n = 199) and controls (n = 250) in Poland. We did not observe a significant difference in the distribution of MCP-1 −2518 A>G polymorphic variants in patients with SLE and healthy individuals. However, we found an association between the GG versus AG and AA genotypes as well as the AG and GG versus AA genotypes with renal manifestations of SLE OR = 3.614 (1.123–11.631, P = 0.0345) and OR = 2.297 (1.301–4.057, P = 0.0046), respectively. We also observed that the MCP-1 AG and GG -genotypes contribute to the occurrence of thrombocytopenia in SLE patients OR = 2.618 (1.280–5.352, P = 0.0089). Our observations indicate that either MCP-1 −2518 G variant can be associated with some clinical findings in patients with SLE.
PMCID: PMC2858281  PMID: 20414371

Results 1-6 (6)