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1.  Evaluation of CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+ Regulatory T cells and FoxP3 and CTLA-4 gene Expression in Patients wwith Newly Diagnosed Tuberculosis in Northeast of Iran 
Tuberculosis (TB) is the world's second most common infectious disease after Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AID) and the most frequent cause of mortality especially in developing countries. T regulatory (Treg) cells, which have suppressive activity and express forkhead winged-helix family transcriptional repressor p3 (FoxP3), suppress the immune responses against pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. There are controversial results regarding the role of FoxP3 expressing cells in the blood of patients with TB.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells, and FoxP3 and Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Antigen 4 (CTLA-4) gene expressions in peripheral blood of patients with tuberculosis and patients with positive tuberculin skin test before and after Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) activation with Purified Protein Derivative (PPD).
Patients and Methods:
In this cross-sectional study, Peripheral Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) were isolated from peripheral blood of 29 patients with newly diagnosed pulmonary TB and 19 patients with positive tuberculin skin test. The PBMCs were activated with PPD for 72 hours. Activated cells were harvested, RNA was extracted and cDNA was synthesized. A real-time Taqman method was designed and optimized for evaluation of Foxp3 gene expression and SYBR Green method was used and optimized for evaluation of CTLA-4 gene expression. A flow cytometry analysis was used to evaluate the frequency of CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in both groups.
There was no significant difference in the frequency of CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+ regulatory T cells between the two groups. Expression of FoxP3 and CTLA-4 in peripheral blood of patients with newly diagnosed TB was significantly lower than the control group after and before activation with PPD.
The expression of FoxP3 and CTLA-4 in PBMCs of patients with newly diagnosed TB was low, which might suggest that Treg cells may be sequestered in the lungs.
PMCID: PMC4449857  PMID: 26034548
Tuberculosis; T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory; Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4 Antigen)
2.  Oncogenic Virus Infections in the General Population and End-stage Renal Disease Patients With Special Emphasis on Kaposi’s Sarcoma Associated Herpes Virus (KSHV) in Northeast of Iran 
Globally, almost 20% of cancers are related to infectious agents that can be prevented. Oncogenicity refers to viruses that may cause cancers, more importantly in immunocompromised subjects such as transplant and hemodialysis patients. Therefore, epidemiological studies are the first line for understanding the importance of these agents in public health, particularly, in mobile populations, tourism and pilgrimage regions.
Oncogenic viral infections, such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and Epstein-barr virus (EBV) are the most common viral agents in immunocompromised patients. Furthermore, human T lymphocyte virus type I (HTLV-I), due to endemicity in Khorasan Razavi province located northeast of Iran as a pilgrimage region, and Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpes virus (KSHV), as an oncogenic herpesvirus in immunocompromised subjects have been investigated among the general population and those with end-stage renal diseases (ESRD).
Patients and Methods:
A cross-sectional study was carried out among 1227 randomly selected individuals; 25 donors and 195 patients with ESRD, including 60 kidney transplant recipients and 135 dialysis patients from the Khorasan Razavi province, Iran. Serological tests were carried out using commercial enzyme-immunoassay kits. To confirm positive serology tests, the extracted viral DNA or RNA was examined for the presence of KSHV, HTLV-I and HCV by conventional PCR.
The prevalence of KSHV infection in the general population was 1.71% (21/1227); 2.60% (10/384) males and 1.30% (11/843) females. In kidney transplants, viral infections occurred in 23.3% of subjects; including EBV, HTLV-I and HBV-HCV co-infection in 8.3%, 3.3% and 1.7%, respectively. In patients on hemodialysis, viral infections were present in 29.6% including EBV, HTLV-I and HBV-HCV co-infection in 2.2%, 5.9% and 16.3%, respectively. Seroprevalence of KSHV in patients with kidney transplants was 1.7% and in patients on dialysis was 3.0%. Furthermore, KSHV and HTLV-I genome was detected in 25% and 100% of seropositive subjects, respectively.
In conclusion, this study demonstrated that these tumor virus infections including HTLV-I, KSHV and particularly hepatitis viruses (HBV plus HCV) are prevalent in the general population and in patients on hemodialysis, which might be an important health concern in this region due to the mobile population.
PMCID: PMC4377171  PMID: 25834713
Oncogenic Viruses; HTLV-I Infections; Human Herpesvirus 8; Human Kidney Transplantation; HIV Seroprevalence; Kidney Failure; Chronic
3.  Up-regulation of Bcl-2 expression in cultured human lymphocytes after exposure to low doses of gamma radiation 
Lymphocytes have demonstrated complex molecular responses to induced stress by ionizing radiation. Many of these reactions are mediated through modifications in gene expressions, including the genes involved in apoptosis. The primary aim of this study was to assess the effects of low doses of ionizing radiation on the apoptotic genes, expression levels. The secondary goal was to estimate the time-effect on the modified gene expression caused by low doses of ionizing radiation. Mononuclear cells in culture were exposed to various dose values ranged from 20 to 100 mGy by gamma rays from a Cobalt-60 source. Samples were taken for gene expression analysis at hours 4, 24, 48, 72, and 168 following to exposure. Expression level of two apoptotic genes; BAX (pro-apoptotic) and Bcl-2 (anti-apoptotic) were examined by relative quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), at different time intervals. Radio-sensitivity of peripheral blood mononucleated cells (PBMCs) was measured by the Bcl-2/BAX ratio (as a predictive marker for radio-sensitivity). The non-parametric two independent samples Mann–Whitney U-test were performed to compare means of gene expression. The results of this study revealed that low doses of gamma radiation can induce early down-regulation of the BAX gene of freshly isolated human PBMCs; however, these changes were restored to near normal levels after 168 hours. In most cases, expression of the Bcl-2 anti-apoptotic gene was up-regulated. Four hours following to exposure to low doses of gamma radiation, apoptotic gene expression is modified, this is manifested as adaptive response. Modification of these gene expressions seems to be a principle pathway in the early radioresistance response. In our study, we found that these changes were temporary and faded completely within a week.
PMCID: PMC4471643  PMID: 26150686
Apoptosis; deoxyribose nucleic acid damage; gene expression; ionizing radiation
4.  Serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a third leading cause of death.
Methods: In this case control study, we prepared 5 cc bloods from the antecubital vein of 100 COPD patients and 40 healthy individuals as control group. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression protein level was measured by ELISA in both groups.
Results: We found that concentration of VEGF in blood serum of patients with COPD (189.9±16pg/ml) was significantly higher than the control group (16.4±3.48pg/ml) (p<0.001). While VEGF serum level in emphysematous patients wasn’t significantly different with control group (p=0.07). Furthermore VEGF serum level in COPD patients was proportionally increased with severity of disease (p<0.001). Besides all COPD patients, regardless of their smoking status, were experienced significantly higher levels of VEGF than healthy ones (p=0.001; z=4.3).
Conclusion: Our results suggest VEGF serum concentration as the sensitive index for severity and activity of COPD and its prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4301221  PMID: 25664286
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor; Chronic bronchitis; Emphysema
5.  25(OH) vitamin D serum values and rheumatoid arthritis disease activity (DA S28 ESR) 
Background: The role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis is under investigation. This study was designed to evaluate the correlation between serum values of 25(OH) vitamin D [25(OH)D] and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients according to Disease Activity Score 28 joints and ESR (DA S28 ESR).
Methods: Ninety-nine patients according to ACR classification criteria for RA and 68 healthy controls were included in this study. The participants with known confounding risk factors affecting serum values of 25(OH)D were excluded. All patients were under treatment with supplementary calcium carbonate (1500mg), 25(OH)D (800U), and Hydroxychloroquine (6mg/kg). The control group was mostly recruited from patients’ relatives who lived with them to minimize the impact of diverse lifestyles on 25(OH)D status. Disease activity was assessed by DA S28 ESR. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D were measured. Serum values of 25(OH)D less than 50 nmol/L were considered 25(OH)D deficiency.
Results: The mean 25(OH)D serum values were 83.74±46.45 nmol/L in patients and 46.53±34.07 nmol/L in controls. After adjustment for age, sex and BMI, multivariate analysis showed no correlation between 25(OH)D serum levels and DAS in RA (P=0.29, rp=0.11). However, 25(OH)D serum values were significantly lower in patients with early diagnosed RA compared with the other patients (p=0.012). In the early diagnosed patients, 25(OH)D and anti-CCP serum values were negatively correlated (P=0.04, rs=-0.5).
Conclusion: This study showed that there was no correlation between 25(OH)D serum values and DAS over a short duration of disease course. However, in early RA, 25(OH) D serum values were lower than the established RA.
PMCID: PMC4143736  PMID: 25202442
25(OH)D; vitamin D; Rheumatoid Arthritis; RA; DAS 28 (ESR).
6.  Assessment of HTLV-I proviral load, HIV viral load and CD4 T cell count in infected subjects; with an emphasis on viral replication in co-infection 
Objective(s): HTLV-I and HIV virus quantification is an important marker for assessment of virus activities. Since there is a direct relationship between the number of virus and disease progression, HTLV-I and HIV co-infection might have an influence on the development of viral associated diseases, thus, viral replication of these viruses and co-infection were evaluated.
Materials and Methods: In this study, 40 subjects were selected; 14 HIV infected, 20 HTLV-I infected and 6 HTLV-I/HIV co-infected subjects. The amount of viruses was measured using qPCR TaqMan method and CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes were assessed by flow cytometry.
Results: The mean viral load of HIV infected subjects and HTLV-I infected individuals were 134626.07±60031.07 copies/ml and 373.6±143.3 copies/104 cells, respectively. The mean HIV viral load in co-infected group was 158947±78203.59 copies/ml which is higher than HIV infected group. The mean proviral load of HTLV-I in co-infected group was 222.33±82.56 copies/ml which is lower than HTLV-I infected group (P<0.05). Also, the mean white blood cell count was higher in co-infected group (5666.67±1146.49 cells/μl). However, the differences between these subjects did not reach to a statistical significance within 95% confidence interval level (P =0.1). No significant differences were observed regarding CD4 and CD8 positive lymphocytes between these groups.
Conclusion: HTLV-I/HIV co-infection might promote HIV replication and could reduce the HTLV-I proviral load, in infected cells. Considering the presence of both viruses in Khorasan provinces, it encourages researchers and health administrators to have a better understanding of co-infection outcome.
PMCID: PMC3938886  PMID: 24592307
HIV viral load; HTLV-I/HIV co-infection; HTLV-I proviral load; Lymphocytes
7.  The combination of arsenic, interferon-alpha, and zidovudine restores an “immunocompetent-like” cytokine expression profile in patients with adult T-cell leukemia lymphoma 
Retrovirology  2013;10:91.
HTLV-I associated adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) carries a dismal prognosis due to chemo-resistance and immuno-compromised micro-environment. The combination of zidovudine and interferon-alpha (IFN) significantly improved survival in ATL. Promising results were reported by adding arsenic trioxide to zidovudine and IFN.
Here we assessed Th1/Th2/Treg cytokine gene expression profiles in 16 ATL patients before and 30 days after treatment with arsenic/IFN/zidovudine, in comparison with HTLV-I healthy carriers and sero-negative blood donors. ATL patients at diagnosis displayed a Treg/Th2 cytokine profile with significantly elevated transcript levels of Foxp3, interleukin-10 (IL-10), and IL-4 and had a reduced Th1 profile evidenced by decreased transcript levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and IL-2. Most patients (15/16) responded, with CD4+CD25+ cells significantly decreasing after therapy, paralleled by decreases in Foxp3 transcript. Importantly, arsenic/IFN/zidovudine therapy sharply diminished IL-10 transcript and serum levels concomittant with decrease in IL-4 and increases in IFN-γ and IL-2 mRNA, whether or not values were adjusted to the percentage of CD4+CD25+ cells. Finally, IL-10 transcript level negatively correlated with clinical response at Day 30.
The observed shift from a Treg/Th2 phenotype before treatment toward a Th1 phenotype after treatment with arsenic/IFN/zidovudine may play an important role in restoring an immuno-competent micro-environment, which enhances the eradication of ATL cells and the prevention of opportunistic infections.
PMCID: PMC3751834  PMID: 23962110
Arsenic; Interferon; Zidovudine; HTLV-I; ATL; Cytokines; Immune deficiency
8.  The SDF-1α3′A Genetic Variation Is Correlated with Susceptibility of Asthma in Iranian Patients 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:759361.
Background and Aim. Chemokine/receptor axis is a predominant actor of clinical disorders. They are key factors of pathogenesis of almost all clinical situations including asthma. Correspondingly, CXCL12 is involved in the immune responses. Therefore, this study was designed to explore the association between gene polymorphism at position +801 of CXCL12, known as SDF-1α3′A, and susceptibility to asthma in Iranian patients. Material and Methods. In this experimental study, samples were taken from 162 asthma patients and 189 healthy controls on EDTA. DNA was extracted and analyzed for CXCL12 polymorphisms using PCR-RLFP. The demographic information was also collected in parallel with the experimental part of the study by a questionnaire which was designed specifically for this study. Findings. Our results indicated a significant difference (P < 0.0001) between the A/A, A/G, and G/G genotypes and A and G alleles of polymorphisms at position +801 of CXCL12. We also showed an elevated level of CXCL12 circulating level in Iranian asthma patients. Conclusion. Our findings suggest that SDF-1α3′A (CXCL12) polymorphism plays a role in pathogenesis of asthma. It can also be concluded that circulatory level of CXCL12 presumably can be used as one of the pivotal biological markers in diagnosis of asthma.
PMCID: PMC3762203  PMID: 24024210
9.  The Impact of Immune Response on HTLV-I in HTLV-I-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP) 
Human T lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) is a retrovirus which is associated with adult T cells leukaemia (ATL) and HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) in a minority of HTLV-I-infected individuals. It is not clear why a minority of HTLV-I-infected individuals develop HAM/TSP and majority remains lifelong carriers. It seems that the interaction between the virus and the immune response plays an important role in HTLV-I-associated diseases. Although the role of the immune response in HTLV-I pathogenesis is not fully understood, however it seems that the efficacy of the immune response which is involved in controlling or limiting of viral persistence determines the outcome of HTLV-I-associated diseases. Here we discuss the role of innate and adaptive immune response and also the risk factors contribute to the observed differences between HAM/TSP patients and asymptomatic HTLV-I carriers.
PMCID: PMC3881240  PMID: 24470869
Human T lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I); HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP); Immune response
10.  Association between HLA Class I Alleles and Proviral Load in HTLV-I Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraperesis (HAM/TSP) Patients in Iranian Population 
Objective(s): The aim of this study was to investigate the association between HLA class I alleles (HLA-A*02, HLA-A*24, HLA-Cw*08, HLA-B5401) and proviral load in HTLV-I associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraperesis (HAM/TSP) patients in Iranian population.
Materials and Methods: 20 new cases of HAM/TSP patients and 30 HTLV-I infected healthy carriers were recruited. Peripheral blood samples were collected. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated. DNA was extracted from PBMC.HTLV-I proviral load was calculated by Taqman quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). PCR sequence-specific primer (PCR-SSP) reactions were performed to detect HLA-A, HLA-B and, HLA-Cw alleles.
Results: There was no significant difference in sex and age between asymptomatic and HAM/TSP group. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare proviral load between HAM/TSP patients and healthy carrier. Provirus load of HAM/TSP patients was significantly higher than that of HCs (P=0.003, Mann–Whitney U test).Odd ratio was calculated to determine association between class I alleles including (HLA-A*02, HLA-A*24, HLA-Cw*08) and risk of HAM/TSP development. We couldn’t find any association between these class I alleles and risk of HAM/TSP development in our study. In our survey HLA-A*02, HLA-A24, HLA-Cw*08 didn’t have protective effect on proviral load (P=0.075, P=0.060 and 0.650 Mann–Whitney U test respectively).
Conclusion: In conclusion, certain HLA alleles with protective effect in one population may have not similar effect in other population. This may be because of pathogen polymorphism or host genetic heterogeneity and allele frequency in desired population.
PMCID: PMC3881249  PMID: 24470874
HTLV-I; HAM/TSP; HLA; Proviral load
11.  Is there any Association Between Human Lymphotropic Virus Type I (HTLV-I) Infection and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus? An Original Research and Literature Review 
Objective(s): Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease with unknown etiology. Some environmental factors can induce SLE in genetically susceptible individuals; for example, sun exposure and some viral infections may emerge the disease manifestations. Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-I) can dysregulate the human immune system, and the role of this virus in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases is under investigation. There are conflicting data about the role of HTLV-I in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases such as SLE. In this study, we have focused on the correlation between HTLV-I infection and SLE in the northeast of Iran, an endemic area for the virus.
Materials and Methods: One hundred and thirty women with SLE and 915 healthy controls were screened for HTLV-I by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Western blot method was used for confirmation of the positive results done by ELISA in the patients and the control group.
Results: Two (1.5%) of the patients and 23 (2.5%) of the healthy controls were HTLV-I seropositive. There was not a statistical difference between patients and controls in the number of HTLV-I seropositive samples (P=0.49).
Conclusion: This cross-sectional case-control study did not find any association between HTLV-I and SLE. With regard to the previous studies, these controversies may stem from differences in ethnic background. Geographical and environmental factors should also be taken into account.
PMCID: PMC3881250  PMID: 24470872
HTLV-I; Human T Lymphotropic Virus Type 1; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; SLE
12.  Association of IL-10 Gene Polymorphisms and Human T Lymphotropic Virus Type I-Associated Myelopathy/tropical Spastic Paraparesis in North-East of Iran (Mashhad) 
The underlying mechanisms leading to the development of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) in HTLV-I infected individuals are not fully understood. Host genetic factors appear to be involved as risk factors for developing HAM/TSP. We investigated the possible contribution of interleukin-10 (IL-10) as a risk factor to HAM/TSP by comparing frequencies of promoter region single nucleotide polymorphisms in HTLV-I infected Iranian patients who either remained asymptomatic or developed HAM/TSP and asymptomatic HTLV-I carriers. Healthy, uninfected individuals from the same region served as healthy controls. Significant differences were observed in the distribution of IL-10 promoter alleles and genotypes at position -819 and -592 between HAM/TSP patients and healthy controls (P=0.01), and between HTLV-I carriers and healthy controls (P=0.02). The frequency of the low IL-10 producer haplotype (-1082*A, -819*T, -592*A) was significantly associated with HTLV-I carriage or HAM/TSP compared with healthy controls (P=0.02 and 0.01, respectively). Our results suggest that IL-10 -819*T and -592*A alleles are significant risk factors for developing HTLLV-I infection but do not appear to convey additional risk for developing HAM/TSP.
PMCID: PMC3881251  PMID: 24470873
Gene; HAM/TSP; HTLV-I; IL-10; Polymorphisms
14.  No Evidence of HTLV-II Infection Among Immonoblot Indeterminate Samples Using Nested PCR in Mashhad, Northeast of Iran 
Objective(s): Although HTLV-I infection is endemic in different geographical parts of the world including Northeast of Iran, there have been no documents of HTLV-II infection in this region. It is reported that one possible reason for seroindeterminate state in HTLV western blot is HTLV-II virus. This study aimed to investigate the presence of HTLV-II among blood donors with seroindeterminate western blot results.
Materials and Methods: Three ml whole blood obtained from 50 blood donors referring to Mashhad Blood Transfusion Organization who had reactive Elisa for HTLV-I and seroindeterminate HTLV western blot state. A conventional PCR was applied to detect HTLV-I provirus using specific primers while a nested PCR was designed with specific external and internal primers for the detection of HTLV-II.
Results: The average age of participants, 39 males and 11 females, was 37.12± 14.36 years. The average OD of the Elisa assay was 1.767± 1.195. The most common indeterminate patterns were Rgp46-II alone (n=12, 27.3%), Rgp46-I alone (n=7, 15.9%), and Rgp46-I with GD21 (n=7, 15.9%).After introducing the DNA to the PCR tests, results revealed 10 (20%) HTLV-I PCR positive samples while no HTLV-II positive sample was detected by nested PCR. There were no significant age, blood group, Optical Density of the Elisa assay, and western blot indeterminate pattern differences between HTLV-I PCR positive and negative samples.
Conclusion : No HTLV-II positive sample was detected in this study which confirms the absence of HTLV-II infection in this region. However, high frequency of HTLV-I PCR positive samples among the seroindeterminate cases implies on the important role of molecular techniques for further confirmation of the infection.
PMCID: PMC3881255  PMID: 24470868
HTLV-I; HTLV-II; Iran; Mashhad; PCR; Seroindeterminate; Western blot
15.  Drug-Related Mutational Patterns in Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Reverse Transcriptase Proteins From Iranian Treatment-Naïve Chronic HBV Patients 
Hepatitis Monthly  2013;13(1):e6712.
Immunomodulators and Nucleotide analogues have been used globally for the dealing of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. However, the development of drug resistance is a major limitation to their long-term effectiveness.
The aim of this study was to characterize the hepatitis B virus reverse transcriptase (RT) protein variations among Iranian chronic HBV carriers who did not receive any antiviral treatments.
Materials and Methods
Hepatitis B virus partial RT genes from 325 chronic in active carrier patients were amplified and directly sequenced. Nucleotide/amino acid substitutions were identified compared to the sequences obtained from the database.
All strains belonging to genotype D.365 amino-acid substitutions were found. Mutations related to lamivudine, adefovir, telbivudine, and entecavir occurred in (YMDD) 4% (n = 13), (SVQ) 17.23% (n = 56), (M204I/V + L180M) 2.45% (n = 8) and (M204I) 2.76% (n = 9) of patients, respectively.
RT mutants do occur naturally and could be found in HBV carriers who have never received antiviral therapy. However, mutations related to drug resistance in Iranian treatment-naïve chronic HBV patients were found to be higher than other studies published formerly. Chronic HBV patients should be monitored closely prior the commencement of therapy to achieve the best regimen option.
PMCID: PMC3626233  PMID: 23596461
Therapy; Drug-Resistance; Hepatitis B Virus; Iran
16.  The effect of PTZ-induced epileptic seizures on hippocampal expression of PSA-NCAM in offspring born to kindled rats 
Maternal epileptic seizures during pregnancy can affect the hippocampal neurons in the offspring. The polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM), which is expressed in the developing central nervous system, may play important roles in neuronal migration, synaptogenesis, and axonal outgrowth. This study was designed to assess the effects of kindling either with or without maternal seizures on hippocampal PSA-NCAM expression in rat offspring.
Forty timed-pregnant Wistar rats were divided into four groups: A) Kind+/Seiz+, pregnant kindled (induced two weeks prior to pregnancy) rats that received repeated intraperitoneal (i.p.) pentylenetetrazol, PTZ injections on gestational days (GD) 14-19; B) Kind-/Seiz+, pregnant non-kindled rats that received PTZ injections on GD14-GD19; C) Kind+/Seiz-, pregnant kindled rats that did not receive any PTZ injections; and D) Kind-/Seiz-, the sham controls. Following birth, the pups were sacrificed on PD1 and PD14, and PSA-NCAM expression and localization in neonates’ hippocampi were analyzed by Western blots and immunohistochemistry.
Our data show a significant down regulation of hippocampal PSA-NCAM expression in the offspring of Kind+/Seiz+ (p = 0.001) and Kind-/Seiz+ (p = 0.001) groups compared to the sham control group. The PSA-NCAM immunoreactivity was markedly decreased in all parts of the hippocampus, especially in the CA3 region, in Kind+/Seiz+ (p = 0.007) and Kind-/Seiz+ (p = 0.007) group’s newborns on both PD1 and 14.
Our findings demonstrate that maternal seizures but not kindling influence the expression of PSA-NCAM in the offspring’s hippocampi, which may be considered as a factor for learning/memory and cognitive impairments reported in children born to epileptic mothers.
PMCID: PMC3586948  PMID: 22651102
Maternal Seizure; Polysialylated Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule; Kindling; Rat Hippocampus
17.  Correlation between HBsAg quantitative assay results and HBV DNA levels in chronic HBV 
Hepatitis Monthly  2011;11(5):342-345.
Viral load has been used to diagnose and monitor patients who are being treated for chronic hepatitis B (CHB). The Diagnosis methods are molecular-based and expensive. Quantitation of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) by automated chemiluminescent micro-particle immunoassay has been proposed to be a surrogate marker. Quantitating HBV DNA levels molecularly is expensive; thus, a cheaper laboratory test as a surrogate diagnostic marker might simplify our management.
We determined whether quantitative HBsAg levels correlate with HBV DNA levels in CHB.
Patients and Methods
In this cross-sectional study, all CHB patients who were referred by a gastroenterologist to undergo quantitative HBV DNA assay in a qualified laboratory in Mashhad, Iran in 2009 were enrolled, and blood samples was obtained. Patients who were positive for antibodies to HCV and HDV were excluded. HBV DNA was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction, and serum HBsAg was quantified byelectrochemiluminescence assay (Roche Diagnostic).
Of 97 patients, 70 were male (72%) and 27 were female (28%); the mean age was 39 ± 11 years. Eighty-seven percent wasHBeAg-negative. By Mann-Whitney test,HBSAg titer differed significantly between HBeAg-positive and -negative patients (P = 0.001), as did HBV DNA levels (P = 0.009). By Spearman test, there was no significant correlation between HBsAg and HBV DNA levels (P= 0.606 and r = 0.53).
HBeAg-negative patients have higher levels of HBsAg and lower levels of HBV DNA. By electrochemiluminescence assay,HBsAg has no significant correlation with HBV DNA levels in CHB with predominant genotype D and HBeAg negativity in Iran.
PMCID: PMC3212769  PMID: 22087158
Chronic hepatitis B; Quantitative HBsAg; HBV DNA level
18.  Nitric oxide contributes to learning and memory deficits observed in hypothyroid rats during neonatal and juvenile growth 
Clinics  2010;65(11):1175-1181.
Severe cognitive impairment follows thyroid hormone deficiency during the neonatal period. The role of nitric oxide (NO) in learning and memory has been widely investigated.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of hypothyroidism during neonatal and juvenile periods on NO metabolites in the hippocampi of rats and on learning and memory. Animals were divided into two groups and treated for 60 days from the first day of lactation. The control group received regular water, whereas animals in a separate group were given water supplemented with 0.03% methimazole to induce hypothyroidism. Male offspring were selected and tested in the Morris water maze. Samples of blood were collected to measure the metabolites of NO, NO2, NO3 and thyroxine. The animals were then sacrificed, and their hippocampi were removed to measure the tissue concentrations of NO2 and NO3.
Compared to the control group's offspring, serum thyroxine levels in the methimazole group's offspring were significantly lower (P<0.01). In addition, the swim distance and time latency were significantly higher in the methimazole group (P<0.001), and the time spent by this group in the target quadrant (Q1) during the probe trial was significantly lower (P<0.001). There was no significant difference in the plasma levels of NO metabolites between the two groups; however, significantly higher NO metabolite levels in the hippocampi of the methimazole group were observed compared to controls (P<0.05).
These results suggest that the increased NO level in the hippocampus may play a role in the learning and memory deficits observed in childhood hypothyroidism; however, the precise underlying mechanism(s) remains to be elucidated.
PMCID: PMC2999716  PMID: 21243293
Hypothyroidism; Learning; Memory; Nitric Oxide; Offspring
19.  Mutations in the coding regions of the hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha in Iranian families with maturity onset diabetes of the young 
Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) is a nuclear receptor involved in glucose homeostasis and is required for normal β cell function. Mutations in the HNF4α gene are associated with maturity onset diabetes of the young type 1 (MODY1). The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence and nature of mutations in HNF4α gene in Iranian patients with a clinical diagnosis of MODY and their family members. Twelve families including 30 patients with clinically MODY diagnosis and 21 members of their family were examined using PCR-RFLP method and in case of mutation confirmed by sequencing techniques. Fifty age and sex matched subjects with normal fasting blood sugar (FBS) and Glucose tolerance test (GTT) were constituted the control group and investigated in the similar pattern. Single mutation of V255M in the HNF4α gene was detected. This known mutation was found in 8 of 30 patients and 3 of 21 individuals in relatives. Fifty healthy control subjects did not show any mutation. Here, it is indicated that the prevalence of HNF4α mutation among Iranian patients with clinical MODY is considerable. This mutation was present in 26.6% of our patients, but nothing was found in control group. In the family members, 3 subjects with the age of ≤25 years old carried this mutation. Therefore, holding this mutation in this range of age could be a predisposing factor for developing diabetes in future.
PMCID: PMC2797770  PMID: 20003313
20.  Alloimmunization among transfusion-dependent thalassemia patients 
Thalassemia is a common hemoglobin disorder in Iran and one of the major public health problems. Although blood transfusions are lifesavers for thalassemia patients, they may be associated with some complications especially erythrocyte alloimmunization. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of red blood cell alloantibodies and to determine types of these antibodies among multiple-transfused thalassemic patients.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 313 thalassemia patients in the northeast of Iran, who received regular blood transfusion, were included in this study. Screening of antibodies was performed on fresh serum of all patients and then antibodies were identified in patients’ serum that had positive antibody screening test using a panel of recognized blood group antigens.
We identified 12 alloantibodies in 9 patients (2.87%) that all were against Rhesus (Rh) blood group antigens (D, C, E). Three patients developed 2 antibodies, and others had one antibody. The most common alloantibodies were Anti-D (88.88%) and followed by Anti-C and Anti-E. Higher frequency of alloimmunization was observed in female, Rh negative and splenectomized patients.
This study showed that evaluation of the packed cells for Rh (C, E) from the start of transfusion can be helpful in decreasing the rate of alloantibody synthesis.
PMCID: PMC2920480  PMID: 20808654
Alloantibody; thalassemia; transfusion

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