Hexanchiformes is regarded as a monophyletic taxon, but the morphological and genetic relationships between the five extant species within the order are still uncertain. In this study, we determined the whole mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of seven sharks including representatives of the five Hexanchiformes, one squaliform, and one carcharhiniform and inferred the phylogenetic relationships among those species and 12 other Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes) species for which the complete mitogenome is available. The monophyly of Hexanchiformes and its close relation with all other Squaliformes sharks were strongly supported by likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of 13,749 aligned nucleotides of 13 protein coding genes and two rRNA genes that were derived from the whole mDNA sequences of the 19 species. The phylogeny suggested that Hexanchiformes is in the superorder Squalomorphi, Chlamydoselachus anguineus (frilled shark) is the sister species to all other Hexanchiformes, and the relations within Hexanchiformes are well resolved as Chlamydoselachus, (Notorynchus, (Heptranchias, (Hexanchus griseus, H. nakamurai))). Based on our phylogeny, we discussed evolutionary scenarios of the jaw suspension mechanism and gill slit numbers that are significant features in the sharks.
In Western countries, active maternal smoking during pregnancy is recognized as the most important preventable risk factor for adverse birth outcomes. However, the effect of passive maternal smoking is less clear and has not been extensively studied. In Japan, there has been only one epidemiological study which examined the effects of active smoking during early pregnancy on birth outcomes although the effects of passive smoking were not assessed.
Study subjects were 1565 mothers with singleton pregnancies and the babies born from these pregnancies. Data on active maternal smoking status in the first, second, and third trimesters and maternal environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure at home and work were collected with self-administered questionnaires.
Compared with children born to mothers who had never smoked during pregnancy, children born to mothers who had smoked throughout their pregnancy had a significantly increased risk of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) (adjusted odd ratio [OR] = 2.87; 95% confidence interval: 1.11 − 6.56). However, active maternal smoking only in the first trimester and active maternal smoking in the second and/or third trimesters but not throughout pregnancy were not significantly associated with SGA. With regard to the risk of preterm birth, the adjusted ORs for the above-mentioned three categories were not significant; however, the positive linear trend was significant (P for trend = 0.048). No significant association was found between active maternal smoking during pregnancy and the risk of low birth weight. There was a significant inverse relationship between active maternal smoking during pregnancy and birth weight; newborns of mothers who had smoked throughout pregnancy had an adjusted mean birth weight reduction of 169.6 g. When classifying babies by gender, a significant positive association between active maternal smoking throughout pregnancy and the risk of SGA was found only in male newborns, however, the interaction was not significant. Maternal ETS exposure at home or work was not significantly associated with any birth outcomes.
This is the first study in Japan to show that active maternal smoking throughout pregnancy, but not during the first trimester, is significantly associated with an increased risk of SGA and a decrease in birth weight. Thus, women who smoke should quit smoking as soon as possible after conception.
To examine facilitators of dental smoking intervention practices in Japan, where smokeless tobacco is rarely used, we evaluated the characteristics of dental care for smokers.
Community dentists volunteered to record the treated disease or encounter with patients that was principally responsible for their dental care on the survey day. Patients were classified into groups receiving gingival/periodontal treatment (GPT), caries/endodontic treatment (CET), prosthetic treatment (PRT), periodical check-up/orthodontic treatment (POT), or other encounters/treatments. Potential effect of dentist clustering was adjusted by incorporating the complex survey design into the analysis.
Data of 2835 current smokers (CS) and 6850 non-smokers (NS) from 753 clinics were analysed. Distribution of treatments significantly differed between CS and NS (P = 0.001). In ad hoc multiple comparisons for each treatment, CS were significantly higher than NS for CET (47.1% vs. 43.6%, P = 0.002), and lower for POT (1.6% vs. 2.7%, P = 0.001), whereas GPT and PRT proportions were equivalent by smoking. When stage of disease progression was compared in the GPT subpopulation, CS were more likely received treatment for advanced stage disease than NS in the age groups of 40–59 years (24.9% vs. 15.3%, P = 0.001) and more than 60 years (40.8% vs. 22.1%, P < 0.001). However, the difference was less apparent in the entire population (9.7% vs. 6.0%), and CS were not predominant among patients receiving GPT for advanced stage disease (37.6%).
The association of smoking with type of dental care of CET and GPT severity would warrant the need for dental professionals to engage their patients smoking within clinical practice. The detrimental effects of smoking in dental care for smokers, as evidenced by the distribution of treatment and encounter and stage of treated disease, may not be clearly realized by dental professionals, unless the smoking status of all patients is identified.
Dental care; Dental caries; Dental clinic; Periodontal disease; Prosthetic treatment; Smoking
Epidemiological evidence for the association of socioeconomic status with prenatal depression has been inconsistent. The current cross-sectional study examined the association between employment, job type, household income, and educational level and the prevalence of depressive symptoms during pregnancy.
Subjects were 1741 Japanese women. Depressive symptoms were defined as present when subjects had a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score of 16 or higher. Adjustment was made for age, gestation, region of residence, family structure, personal and family history of depression, smoking, secondhand smoke exposure at home and at work, employment, household income, and education.
The prevalence of depressive symptoms during pregnancy was 19.3%. Compared with unemployment, employment, part-time employment, and full-time employment were significantly associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms during pregnancy: the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were 0.65 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.50 − 0.86), 0.66 (95% CI: 0.46 − 0.95), and 0.66 (95% CI: 0.48 − 0.90), respectively. Regarding the job type held, women with a professional or technical job and those with a clerical or related occupation had a significantly lower prevalence of depressive symptoms during pregnancy: the adjusted ORs were 0.67 (95% CI: 0.47 − 0.96) and 0.62 (95% CI: 0.43 − 0.90), respectively. Sales, service, production, and other occupations were not significantly related to the prevalence of depressive symptoms during pregnancy. There were no relationships between household income or education and the prevalence of depressive symptoms during pregnancy.
Employment, whether full-time or part-time, and holding a professional or technical job or a clerical or related occupation may be inversely associated with the prevalence of depressive symptoms during pregnancy.
Cross-sectional study; Depressive symptoms during pregnancy; Education; Employment; Income; Japanese
A recent meta-analysis on the UCHL1 S18Y variant and Parkinson’s disease (PD) showed a significant inverse association between the Y allele and PD; the individual studies included in that meta-analysis, however, have produced conflicting results. We examined the relationship between UCHL1 S18Y single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and sporadic PD in Japan.
Included were 229 cases within 6 years of onset of PD, defined according to the UK PD Society Brain Bank clinical diagnostic criteria. Controls were 357 inpatients and outpatients without neurodegenerative disease. Adjustment was made for sex, age, region of residence, smoking, and caffeine intake.
Compared with subjects with the CC or CA genotype of UCHL1 S18Y SNP, those with the AA genotype had a significantly increased risk of sporadic PD: the adjusted OR was 1.57 (95 % CI: 1.06 − 2.31). Compared with subjects with the CC or CA genotype of UCHL1 S18Y and the CC or CT genotype of SNCA SNP rs356220, those with the AA genotype of UCHL1 S18Y and the TT genotype of SNP rs356220 had a significantly increased risk of sporadic PD; the interaction, however, was not significant. Our previous investigation found significant inverse relationships between smoking and caffeine intake and PD in this population. There were no significant interactions between UCHL1 S18Y and smoking or caffeine intake affecting sporadic PD.
This study reveals that the UCHL1 S18Y variant is a risk factor for sporadic PD. We could not find evidence for interactions affecting sporadic PD between UCHL1 S18Y and SNCA SNP rs356220, smoking, or caffeine intake.
We made an H1N1 vaccine candidate from a virus library consisting of 144 ( = 16 HA×9 NA) non-pathogenic influenza A viruses and examined its protective effects against a pandemic (2009) H1N1 strain using immunologically naïve cynomolgus macaques to exclude preexisting immunity and to employ a preclinical study since preexisting immunity in humans previously vaccinated or infected with influenza virus might make comparison of vaccine efficacy difficult. Furthermore, macaques carrying a major histocompatibility complex class I molecule, Mafa-A1*052∶02, were used to analyze peptide-specific CD8+ T cell responses. Sera of macaques immunized with an inactivated whole particle formulation without addition of an adjuvant showed higher neutralization titers against the vaccine strain A/Hokkaido/2/1981 (H1N1) than did sera of macaques immunized with a split formulation. Neutralization activities against the pandemic strain A/Narita/1/2009 (H1N1) in sera of macaques immunized twice with the split vaccine reached levels similar to those in sera of macaques immunized once with the whole particle vaccine. After inoculation with the pandemic virus, the virus was detected in nasal samples of unvaccinated macaques for 6 days after infection and for 2.67 days and 5.33 days on average in macaques vaccinated with the whole particle vaccine and the split vaccine, respectively. After the challenge infection, recall neutralizing antibody responses against the pandemic virus and CD8+ T cell responses specific for nucleoprotein peptide NP262-270 bound to Mafa-A1*052∶02 in macaques vaccinated with the whole particle vaccine were observed more promptly or more vigorously than those in macaques vaccinated with the split vaccine. These findings demonstrated that the vaccine derived from our virus library was effective for pandemic virus infection in macaques and that the whole particle vaccine conferred more effective memory and broader cross-reactive immune responses to macaques against pandemic influenza virus infection than did the split vaccine.
Maternal nutrition status during pregnancy may affect fetal tooth development, formation, and mineralization, and may affect dental caries susceptibility in children. We investigated the association between maternal intake of dairy products and calcium during pregnancy and the risk of childhood dental caries.
Subjects were 315 Japanese mother-child pairs. Data on maternal intake during pregnancy were assessed through a diet history questionnaire. Outcome data was collected at 41–50 months of age. Children were classified as having dental caries if one or more primary teeth had decayed or been filled.
Higher maternal cheese intake during pregnancy was significantly inversely associated with the risk of dental caries in children, showing a clear inverse dose–response relationship; the adjusted odds ratio (OR) in comparison of the highest tertile with the lowest was 0.37 (95 % confidence interval [CI]: 0.17-0.76, P for trend = 0.01). The inverse associations between maternal intake of total dairy products, yogurt, and calcium during pregnancy and the risk of childhood dental caries were of borderline significance: the adjusted ORs for the highest tertile of total dairy products, yogurt, and calcium were 0.51 (95 % CI: 0.23-1.09, P for trend = 0.07), 0.51 (95 % CI: 0.23-1.10, P for trend = 0.07), and 0.50 (95 % CI: 0.23-1.07, P for trend = 0.08), respectively. There was no evident relationship between maternal milk intake and the risk of childhood dental caries.
These data suggested that high intake of maternal cheese during pregnancy may reduce the risk of childhood dental caries.
Calcium; Dairy products; Dental caries; Prospective study
Causative role of encephalitis in major psychotic features, dyskinesias (particularly orofacial), seizures, and autonomic and respiratory changes has been recently emphasized. These symptoms often occur in young females with ovarian teratomas and are frequently associated with serum and CSF autoantibodies to the NMDA receptor (NMDAR).
The study included a total of 61 patients from age 15 to 61 and was carried out between January 1, 2005, and Dec 31, 2010. The patients were divided into the following three clinical groups for comparison. Group A; Patients with typical clinical characteristics of anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Group B; Patients with narcolepsy with severe psychosis. Group C; Patients with schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorders.
Ten out of 61 cases were anti-NMDAR antibody positive in typical encephalitis cases (group A: 3 of 5 cases) and cases in a broader range of psychiatric disorders including narcolepsy (group B: 3 of 5 cases) and schizophrenia (group C: 4 of 51 cases).
In addition to 3 typical cases, we found 7 cases with anti-NMDAR antibody associated with various psychotic and sleep symptoms, which lack any noticeable clinical signs of encephalitis (seizures and autonomic symptoms) throughout the course of the disease episodes; this result suggest that further discussion on the nosology and pathophysiology of autoimmune-mediated atypical psychosis and sleep disorders is required.
Dietary fat exerts numerous complex effects on proinflammatory and immunologic pathways. Several epidemiological studies have examined the relationships between intake of fatty acids and/or foods high in fat and allergic rhinitis, but have provided conflicting findings. The current cross-sectional study investigated such relationships in Japan.
Study subjects were 1745 pregnant women. The definition of rhinoconjunctivitis was based on criteria from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. Information on dietary factors was collected using a validated self-administered diet history questionnaire. Adjustment was made for age; gestation; region of residence; number of older siblings; number of children; smoking; secondhand smoke exposure at home and at work; family history of asthma, atopic eczema, and allergic rhinitis; household income; education; and body mass index.
The prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis in the past 12 months was 25.9%. Higher meat intake was significantly associated with an increased prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis: the adjusted odds ratio between extreme quartiles was 1.71 (95% confidence interval: 1.25-2.35, P for trend = 0.002). No measurable association was found between fish intake and rhinoconjunctivitis. Intake of total fat, saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, α-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, and cholesterol and the ratio of n-3 to n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake were not evidently related to the prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis.
The current results suggest that meat intake may be positively associated with the prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis in young adult Japanese women.
Studies on the associations between smoking and allergic diseases have mostly focused on asthma. Epidemiological studies in adults on the effects of smoking on allergic diseases other than asthma, such as eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis, have been limited, and the information that is available has been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between smoking status and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure and the prevalence of allergic diseases.
Study subjects were 1743 pregnant Japanese women. The definitions of wheeze and asthma were based on criteria from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey whereas those of eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis were based on criteria from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. Adjustment was made for age; region of residence; family history of asthma, atopic eczema, and allergic rhinitis; household income; and education.
Compared with never smoking, current smoking and ≥ 4 pack-years of smoking were independently positively associated with the prevalence of wheeze. There were no associations between smoking status and the prevalence of asthma, eczema, or rhinoconjunctivitis. When subjects who had never smoked were classified into four categories based on the source of ETS exposure (never, only at home, only at work, and both), exposure occurring both at home and at work was independently associated with an increased prevalence of two outcomes: wheeze and rhinoconjunctivitis. No relationships were observed between exposure to ETS and the prevalence of asthma or eczema.
Our results provide evidence that current smoking and ETS exposure may increase the likelihood of wheeze. The possibility of a positive association between ETS exposure and rhinoconjunctivitis was also suggested.
Asthma; Cross-sectional studies; Eczema; Environmental tobacco smoke; Smoking; Wheeze; Rhinoconjunctivitis
The case of an elderly patient who had chorea as an initial symptom of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) accompanied by antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is reported. A 68-year-old woman suddenly developed chorea of her left arm and leg. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain demonstrated a focal lesion in the right caudate head, which showed hyperintensity on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and diffusion-weighted imaging. This condition was thought to be a common form of vascular chorea, which is likely to occur in elderly individuals; however, the laboratory data of this patient finally fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of SLE and APS. Physicians should be careful in diagnosing elderly individuals simply as having a vascular chorea because this symptom can be the initial manifestation of SLE or APS.
Six previous studies have examined the relationships between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL13 gene and allergic rhinitis, but the results have been inconsistent. However, a recent meta-analysis using data from these 6 studies has shown that the A allele of IL13 SNP rs20541 was associated with an increased risk of allergic rhinitis, whereas no such relationship existed between IL13 SNP rs1800925 and allergic rhinitis. We investigated the associations between IL13 SNPs rs1800925 and rs20541 and the risk of rhinoconjunctivitis in Japanese women.
Included were 393 cases who met the criteria of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) for rhinoconjunctivitis. Control subjects were 767 women without rhinoconjunctivitis according to the ISAAC criteria, who had also not been diagnosed with allergic rhinitis by a doctor. Adjustment was made for age, region of residence, presence of older siblings, smoking, family history of allergic rhinitis, and education.
Compared with the GG genotype of IL13 SNP rs20541, the AA genotype, occurring in 7.1% of control subjects, was significantly positively related to the risk of rhinoconjunctivitis: the adjusted odds ratio was 1.65 (95% confidence interval: 1.05 - 2.60). SNP rs1800925 was not associated with rhinoconjunctivitis. The haplotype comprising the rs1800925 C allele and the rs20541 A allele was significantly positively related to rhinoconjunctivitis. The multiplicative interactions between the two SNPs under study and smoking on the risk of rhinoconjunctivitis were not statistically significant. Based on the recessive model, however, the additive interaction between SNP rs1800925, but not rs20541, and smoking was significant.
This study suggests that the minor genotype of IL13 SNP rs20541 and the CA haplotype are significantly positively associated with the risk of rhinoconjunctivitis. In addition, a new pattern of biological interaction that affects the risk of rhinoconjunctivitis is described between SNP rs1800925 and smoking.
Several genetic association studies have examined the relationships between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL13 gene and eczema, and have provided contradictory results. We investigated the relationship between the IL13 SNPs rs1800925 and rs20541 and the risk of eczema in Japanese young adult women.
Included were 188 cases who met the criteria of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) for eczema. Control subjects were 1,082 women without eczema according to the ISAAC criteria, who had not been diagnosed with atopic eczema by a doctor and who had no current asthma as defined by the European Community Respiratory Health Survey criteria. Adjustment was made for age, region of residence, number of children, smoking, and education.
The minor TT genotype of SNP rs1800925 was significantly associated with an increased risk of eczema in the co-dominant model: the adjusted odds ratio was 2.19 (95% confidence interval: 1.03-4.67). SNP rs20541 was not related to eczema. None of the haplotypes were significantly associated with eczema. Compared with women with the CC or CT genotype of SNP rs1800925 who had never smoked, those with the TT genotype who had ever smoked had a 2.85-fold increased risk of eczema, though the adjusted odds ratio was not statistically significant, and neither multiplicative nor additive interaction was statistically significant.
Our findings suggest that the IL13 SNP rs1800925 is significantly associated with eczema in Japanese young adult women. We could not find evidence for an interaction between SNP rs1800925 and smoking with regard to eczema.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by alterations in dopaminergic neurotransmission. Genetic polymorphisms involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission may influence susceptibility to PD.
We investigated the relationship of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), monoamine oxidase B (MAOB), dopamine receptor (DR) D2 and DRD4 polymorphisms and PD risk with special attention to the interaction with cigarette smoking among 238 patients with PD and 369 controls in a Japanese population.
Subjects with the AA genotype of MAOB rs1799836 showed a significantly increased risk of PD (odds ratio (OR) = 1.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.12 - 2.58) compared with the AG and GG genotypes combined. The AA genotype of COMT rs4680 was marginally associated with an increased risk of PD (OR = 1.86, 95% CI = 0.98 - 3.50) compared with the GG genotype. The DRD2 rs1800497 and DRD4 rs1800955 polymorphisms showed no association with PD. A COMT -smoking interaction was suggested, with the combined GA and AA genotypes of rs4680 and non-smoking conferring significantly higher risk (OR = 3.97, 95% CI = 2.13 - 7.41) than the AA genotype and a history of smoking (P for interaction = 0.061). No interactions of smoking with other polymorphisms were observed.
The COMT rs4680 and MAOB rs1799836 polymorphisms may increase susceptibility to PD risk among Japanese. Future studies involving larger control and case populations and better pesticide exposure histories will undoubtedly lead to a more thorough understanding of the role of the polymorphisms involved in the dopamine pathway in PD.
Although an inverse relationship between number of siblings and likelihood of allergic disorders has been shown in many epidemiological studies, the biological mechanism underlying this phenomenon has not yet been identified. There is no epidemiological research regarding the sibling effect on allergic disorders in Japanese adults. The current cross-sectional study examined the relationship between number of siblings and prevalence of allergic disorders among adult women in Japan.
Subjects were 1745 pregnant women. This study was based on questionnaire data. The definitions of wheeze and asthma were based on criteria from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey whereas those of eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis were based on criteria from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. Adjustment was made for age, region of residence, pack-years of smoking, secondhand smoke exposure at home and at work, family history of asthma, atopic eczema, and allergic rhinitis, household income, and education.
The prevalence values of wheeze, asthma, eczema, and rhinoconjunctivitis in the past 12 months were 10.4%, 5.5%, 13.0%, and 25.9%, respectively. A significant inverse exposure-response relationship was observed between the number of older siblings and rhinoconjunctivitis, but not wheeze, asthma, or eczema (P for trend = 0.03); however, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for having 2 or more older siblings was not significant although the adjusted OR for having 1 older sibling was statistically significant (adjusted OR = 0.71 [95% CI: 0.56-0.91]). Number of total siblings and number of younger siblings were not related to wheeze, asthma, eczema, or rhinoconjunctivitis.
This study found a significant inverse relationship between the number of older siblings and the prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis among pregnant Japanese women. Our findings are likely to support the intrauterine programming hypothesis; however, we could not rule out the hygiene hypothesis.
The evidence for associations between occupational factors and the risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) is inconsistent. We assessed the risk of PD associated with various occupational factors in Japan.
We examined 249 cases within 6 years of onset of PD. Control subjects were 369 inpatients and outpatients without neurodegenerative disease. Information on occupational factors was obtained from a self-administered questionnaire. Relative risks of PD were estimated using odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) based on logistic regression. Adjustments were made for gender, age, region of residence, educational level, and pack-years of smoking.
Working in a professional or technical occupation tended to be inversely related to the risk of PD: adjusted OR was 0.59 (95% CI: 0.32-1.06, P = 0.08). According to a stratified analysis by gender, the decreased risk of PD for persons in professional or technical occupations was statistically significant only for men. Adjusted ORs for a professional or technical occupation among men and women were 0.22 (95% CI: 0.06-0.67) and 0.99 (0.47-2.07), respectively, and significant interaction was observed (P = 0.048 for homogeneity of OR). In contrast, risk estimates for protective service occupations and transport or communications were increased, although the results were not statistically significant: adjusted ORs were 2.73 (95% CI: 0.56-14.86) and 1.74 (95% CI: 0.65-4.74), respectively. No statistical significance was seen in data concerning exposure to occupational agents and the risk of PD, although roughly a 2-fold increase in OR was observed for workers exposed to stone or sand.
The results of our study suggest that occupational factors do not play a substantial etiologic role in this population. However, among men, professional or technical occupations may decrease the risk of PD.
Pregnancy in patients with Parkinson disease is a rare occurrence. To the best of our knowledge, the effect of pregnancy as well as treatment in genetically confirmed autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism (ARJP) has never been reported. Here, we report the first case of pregnancy in a patient with ARJP associated with a parkin gene mutation, ARJP/PARK2.
A 27-year-old woman with ARJP/PARK2 was diagnosed as having a spontaneous dichorionic/diamniotic twin pregnancy. Exacerbation of motor disability was noted between ovulation and menstruation before pregnancy as well as during late pregnancy, suggesting that her parkinsonism might have been influenced by fluctuations in the levels of endogenous sex hormones. During the organogenesis period, she was only treated with levodopa/carbidopa, although she continued to receive inpatient hospital care for assistance in the activities of daily living. After the organogenesis period, she was administered sufficient amounts of antiparkinsonian drugs. She delivered healthy male twins, and psychomotor development of both the babies was normal at the age of 2 years.
Pregnancy may worsen the symptoms of ARJP/PARK2, although appropriate treatments with antiparkinsonian drugs and adequate assistance in the activities of daily living might enable successful pregnancy and birth of healthy children.
The recent increase in the prevalence of allergic disorders might be a consequence of increased intake of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and reduced intake of n-3 PUFAs. The current cross-sectional study examined the association between intake levels and the prevalence of eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis in Japanese children.
Subjects were 23,388 schoolchildren aged 6-15 years residing in Okinawa. The presence of eczema and/or rhinoconjunctivitis was determined according to the criteria of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. A brief diet history questionnaire for children and adolescents was administered to acquire information on dietary factors. Adjustment was made for age, sex, residential municipality, number of siblings, smoking in the household, body mass index, paternal and maternal history of allergic diseases, and paternal and maternal educational level.
The prevalences of eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis in the previous 12 months were 7.0% and 8.0%, respectively. Consumption of PUFAs, n-3 PUFAs, α-linolenic acid, n-6 PUFAs, and linoleic acid was positively associated with the prevalence of eczema: the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) between extreme quintiles (95% confidence intervals [CIs], P for trend) were 1.26 (1.07-1.48, 0.04), 1.31 (1.11-1.54, 0.009), 1.31 (1.12-1.55, 0.003), 1.26 (1.07-1.48, 0.01), and 1.27 (1.08-1.49, 0.01), respectively. Arachidonic acid intake was independently inversely related to eczema: the adjusted OR between extreme quintiles was 0.81 (0.69-0.95, 0.0008). Eczema was not associated with eicosapentaenoic or docosahexaenoic acid intake, or with the ratio of n-3 to n-6 PUFA intake. Only arachidonic acid intake was statistically significantly related to the prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis, showing a clear inverse linear trend: the adjusted OR between extreme quintiles was 0.86 (0.74-0.997, 0.03).
Consumption of n-3 and n-6 PUFAs, especially α-linolenic acid and linoleic acid, may be positively associated with eczema. Arachidonic acid intake may be inversely related to eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis.
This review evaluated evidence of the relationship between secondhand smoke (SHS) and dental caries in children in epidemiological studies. Relevant literature was searched and screened, and the methodological quality was assessed. The search yielded 42 citations. High-quality studies including one cohort format and 14 case-control format studies were selected. Early childhood caries was examined in 11 studies. The independent association of SHS was significant in 10 studies, and the strength was mostly weak to moderate. One study did not select SHS as a significant variable. Three studies reported decreases in the risk of previous exposure, and the association was not significant. Dose-response relationships were evident in five studies. Permanent teeth were examined in seven studies. Five studies reported significant associations, which were mostly weak. The risk of previous exposure remained similar to that of current exposure, and a dose-response relationship was not evident in one study. The overall evidence for the causal association in early childhood caries is possible regarding epidemiological studies, and the evidence of permanent teeth and the effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy were insufficient. The results warrant further studies of deciduous teeth using a cohort format and basic studies regarding the underlying mechanism.
secondhand smoke; parental smoking; perinatal smoking; dental caries; causal assessment; motivation of smoking cessation
Tooth loss impairs oral function. The aim of the present review was to evaluate the causal association between smoking and tooth loss on the basis of high-quality studies.
Relevant literature was searched and screened, and the methodological quality was assessed. Information on the strength of the association between smoking and tooth loss, the dose-response relationship and natural experimental data was collected and evaluated with respect to consistency and study design.
Our literature search yielded 496 citations, and 6 cross-sectional and 2 cohort high-quality studies examining 58,755 subjects in four countries. All studies reported significant associations, although the strength of the association was usually moderate. Four studies reported dose-response relationships between exposure to smoking and the risk of developing tooth loss. A decrease in the risk of tooth loss for former smokers was evident in six studies. Interpretation of evidence for each element was consistent, despite some shortcomings regarding study type and population.
Based on the consistent evidence found with the existing biological plausibility, a causal association between smoking and tooth loss is highly likely. Further studies using a cohort design and different populations are necessary to confirm this association.
Midkine is a heparin-binding cytokine involved in cell survival and various inflammatory processes. Midkine accumulates in senile plaques of patients with Alzheimer's disease, while it counteracts the cytotoxic effects of amyloid β-peptide and inhibits its oligomerization. The present study was conducted to understand the role of midkine upon plaque formation of amyloid β-peptide.
A surface plasmon assay was performed to determine the affinity of midkine for amyloid β-peptide. The deposition of amyloid β-peptide was compared in the brain of wild-type and midkine-deficient mice. An effect of midkine to microglias was examined by cell migration assay.
Midkine bound to amyloid β-peptide with the affinity of 160 nM. The C-terminal half bound to the peptide more strongly than the N-terminal half, and heparin inhibited midkine from binding to the peptide. Pleiotrophin, which has about 50% sequence identity with midkine also bound to amyloid β-peptide. The deposition of amyloid β-peptide plaques in the cortex and hippocampus was more intense in 15-month-old midkine-deficient mice, compared to the corresponding wild-type mice. Midkine promoted migration of microglias in culture.
These results are consistent with the view that midkine attenuates the deposition of amyloid β-peptide plaques, and thus progression of Alzheimer's disease, by direct binding and also by promoting migration of microglias.
A 19-year-old man developed rapidly progressive muscle weakness and dysesthesia in the extremities, and dyspnea after a flu-like episode. Nerve conduction studies showed reduced motor nerve conduction velocities with conduction block, and sensory nerve action potentials could not be evoked. The patient was diagnosed as having Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and was treated with 2 cycles of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy and was assisted by mechanical ventilation. During the recovery course of the illness, he experienced several attacks of psychomotor agitation from the 37th hospital day, and generalized tonic convulsive seizures suddenly developed on the 42nd hospital day. Brain MRI showed high-intensity lesions in the bilateral thalamus and medial temporal lobes. The convulsions were controlled by continuous thiopental infusion (until the 50th hospital day) and mechanical ventilation (until the 84th hospital day). Intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy (1,000 mg/day) for 3 days followed by dexamethasone (16 mg/day) was added. After relief of convulsive seizures, prominent orolingual dyskinesia appeared, and on MRI marked atrophy of the bilateral medial temporal lobes was seen. Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antibodies in serum and cerebrospinal fluid were positive on the 92nd hospital day. Anti-NMDAR encephalitis usually affects young females but a small number of male cases with this disease have been reported. Our male patient was unique in having GBS, a post-infectious autoimmune disease, as a preceding disease, suggesting that anti-NMDAR encephalitis itself is caused by a parainfectious autoimmune mechanism.
Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis; Guillain-Barré syndrome; Parainfectious autoimmune disorder; Male gender
Although some epidemiologic studies found inverse associations between alcohol drinking and Parkinson's disease (PD), the majority of studies found no such significant associations. Additionally, there is only limited research into the possible interactions of alcohol intake with aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) 2 activity with respect to PD risk. We examined the relationship between alcohol intake and PD among Japanese subjects using data from a case-control study.
From 214 cases within 6 years of PD onset and 327 controls without neurodegenerative disease, we collected information on "peak", as opposed to average, alcohol drinking frequency and peak drinking amounts during a subject's lifetime. Alcohol flushing status was evaluated via questions, as a means of detecting inactive ALHD2. The multivariate model included adjustments for sex, age, region of residence, smoking, years of education, body mass index, alcohol flushing status, presence of selected medication histories, and several dietary factors.
Alcohol intake during peak drinking periods, regardless of frequency or amount, was not associated with PD. However, when we assessed daily ethanol intake separately for each type of alcohol, only Japanese sake (rice wine) was significantly associated with PD (adjusted odds ratio of ≥66.0 g ethanol per day: 3.39, 95% confidence interval: 1.10-11.0, P for trend = 0.001). There was no significant interaction of alcohol intake with flushing status in relation to PD risk.
We did not find significant associations between alcohol intake and PD, except for the daily amount of Japanese sake. Effect modifications by alcohol flushing status were not observed.
Anti‐aquaporin 4 (AQP4) antibodies were found in patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and Japanese optic–spinal multiple sclerosis (OSMS).
To review the clinical features and investigate anti‐AQP4 antibodies of Japanese patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), with or without long spinal cord lesions (LCL).
Anti‐AQP4 antibodies were examined in the sera of 128 consecutive Japanese patients by the immunofluorescence method using AQP4 transfected cells.
The 45 LCL‐MS patients included 28 with a long spinal cord lesion extending contiguously over three vertebral segments on sagittal T2 weighted images (long T2 lesion) and 17 with segmental cord atrophy extending more than three vertebral segments. We identified 25 patients with anti‐AQP4 antibody with LCL and anti‐AQP4 antibody. Anti‐AQP4 antibody was found in 12/17 (70.6%) LCL‐MS patients with segmental cord atrophy, and in 13/28 (46.4%) LCL‐MS patients without segmental long cord atrophy (p = 0.135, Fisher's exact test). Seropositive MS patients with LCL had more relapses than seronegative patients (p = 0.0004, Mann–Whitney U test). 9 patients with OSMS were negative for anti‐AQP4 antibody who did not show LCL.
These results suggest that an anti‐AQP4 antibody is found not only in MS patients with long T2 lesions but also in patients with segmental cord atrophy extending more than three vertebral segments. It is a marker of LCL‐MS showing frequent exacerbations. Japanese OSMS cases comprised those that were identical to NMO cases and those that were more closely related to classic MS.
Midkine is a heparin-binding cytokine and is involved in etiology of various diseases. Thus, midkine inhibitors are expected to be helpful in treatment of many diseases.
We developed a simple assay for midkine activity based on midkine-dependent migration of osteblastic cells. Midkine inhibitors were searched as materials that inhibit this midkine activity. To develop peptides that inhibit midkine activity, we constructed models in which C-terminal half of midkine interacted with α4β1-integrin. Low molecular weight compounds which are expected to bind to midkine with high affinity were searched by in silico screening with the aid of Presto-X2 program.
Among peptides in putative binding sites of midkine and the integrin, a peptide derived from β1-integrin and that derived from the first β sheet of the C-terminal half of midkine significantly inhibited midkine activity. Two low molecular weight compounds found by in silico screening exhibited no toxicity to target cells, but inhibited midkine activity. They are trifluoro compounds: one (PubChem 4603792) is 2-(2,6-dimethylpiperidin-1-yl)-4-thiophen-2-yl-6-(trifluoromethy)pyrimidine, and the other has a related structure.
The assay procedure is helpful in screening midkine inhibitors. All reagents described here might become mother material to develop clinically effective midkine inhibitors.