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1.  Paired measurement of urinary creatinine in neonates based on a Jaffe and an enzymatic IDMS-traceable assay 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:62.
Urinary creatinine can be quantified by Jaffe or enzymatic assays and is commonly used as denominator of urinary excretion of electrolytes or protein. Paired analysis in pediatric and adult samples documented inter-assay differences (up to 80%). We verified the interchangeability of two IDMS-traceable assays (Jaffe and enzymatic) for neonatal urine and report on neonatal urinary creatinine values using these IDMS-traceable methods.
Creatinine was measured in 84 neonatal urine samples from 46 neonates by an IDMS traceable Jaffe and enzymatic assay (Roche Diagnostics, Cobas c702 module). Creatinine values, differences in urinary creatinine and clinical characteristics were described and covariates of between assay difference were explored (Wilcoxon, Bland-Altman, correlation, multiple regression).
Median Jaffe and enzymatic urinary creatinine concentrations were 9.25 (range 3.7-42.2) and 9.15 (range 3.8-42.9) mg/dL respectively, resulting in a median difference of 0.08 (SD 0.6, range −2.4 to 0.96) mg/dL. In a multiple regression model, urinary enzymatic creatinine concentration (r = 0.45) and postnatal age (r = −0.59) remained independent variables of the difference between both assays (r2 adj = 0.45).
The tested IDMS-traceable assays showed interchangeable in heterogeneous neonatal urine samples. Using these assays, neonatal urinary creatinine showed 5–20 fold lower values than those observed in children or adults with a significant negative correlation with postnatal age.
PMCID: PMC3996176  PMID: 24731305
Urinary creatinine; Newborn; Jaffe; Enzymatic; IDMS traceable
2.  Ventricular phosphodiesterase 5 expression is increased in patients with advanced heart failure and contributes to adverse ventricular remodeling after myocardial infarction in mice 
Circulation  2009;119(3):408-416.
Ventricular expression of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5), an enzyme responsible for cGMP catabolism, is increased in human right ventricular hypertrophy, but its role in left ventricular (LV) failure remains incompletely understood. We therefore measured LV PDE5 expression in patients with advanced systolic heart failure and characterized LV remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI) in transgenic mice with cardiomyocyte-specific over-expression of PDE5 (PDE5-TG).
Methods and Results
Immunoblot and immunohistochemistry techniques revealed that PDE5 expression was greater in explanted LVs from patients with dilated and ischemic cardiomyopathy than in control hearts. To evaluate the impact of increased ventricular PDE5 levels on cardiac function, PDE5-TG mice were generated. Confocal and immunoelectron microscopy revealed increased PDE5 expression in cardiomyocytes predominantly localized to Z-bands. At baseline, myocardial cGMP levels, cell shortening and calcium handling in isolated cardiomyocytes, and LV hemodynamic measurements were similar in PDE5-TG and wild-type littermates (WT). Ten days after MI, LV cGMP levels increased to a greater extent in WT than PDE5-TG (P<0.05). Ten weeks after MI, LV end-systolic and -diastolic volumes were larger in PDE5-TG than in WT (57±5 vs 39±4 and 65±6 vs 48±4 µL, respectively, P<0.01 for both). LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction was more marked in PDE5-TG than WT associated with enhanced hypertrophy and reduced contractile function in isolated cardiomyocytes from remote myocardium.
Increased PDE5 expression predisposes mice to adverse LV remodeling after MI. Increased myocardial PDE5 expression in patients with advanced cardiomyopathy may contribute to the development of heart failure and represents an important therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC3791110  PMID: 19139381
phosphodiesterase-5; cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP); myocardial infarction; heart failure
3.  Evaluation of the First Commercial Hepcidin ELISA for the Differential Diagnosis of Anemia of Chronic Disease and Iron Deficiency Anemia in Hospitalized Geriatric Patients 
ISRN Hematology  2012;2012:567491.
Introduction. Anemia is a frequent problem in hospitalized geriatric patients, and the anemia of chronic disease (ACD) and iron deficiency anemia (IDA) are the 2 most prevalent causes. The aim of the study was to assess the possible role of serum hepcidin in the differential diagnosis between ACD and IDA. Methods. We investigated serum hepcidin, iron status, anemia, and C-reactive protein in 39 consecutive geriatric patients with ACD and IDA. Serum hepcidin levels were determined using a commercial ELISA kit (DRG Instruments, Marburg, Germany). We also measured hepcidin in 26 healthy controls. Results. The serum hepcidin levels were not significantly higher in the 28 patients with ACD as compared to the 11 patients with IDA. Conclusions. The serum hepcidin levels measured using the commercial ELISA kit (DRG) do not appear to increase in older patients with ACD. It should be noted that an assay-specific problem could explain our results.
PMCID: PMC3302103  PMID: 22461996
4.  A prospective randomized open-label crossover trial of regional citrate anticoagulation vs. anticoagulation free liver dialysis by the Molecular Adsorbents Recirculating System 
Critical Care  2012;16(1):R20.
The Molecular Adsorbent Recycling System (MARS) is used to treat patients with liver failure. Observational data suggest that citrate anticoagulation during MARS is feasible. Comparative studies on the optimal anticoagulation regimen during MARS are lacking. The aim of the current study was to evaluate two heparin-free anticoagulation regimens.
We performed a prospective randomized open-label crossover study of regional citrate anticoagulation against no anticoagulation. Ten patients (age 55 ± 11 years) with liver failure undergoing MARS treatment were included. The primary endpoint was completion of MARS sessions. Secondary endpoints included treatment efficacy and safety. Longevity of MARS treatment was plotted as a Kaplan-Meier estimate. Fisher's exact test was used for contingency table analysis.
Of a total of 27 6-hour sessions, four sessions had to be terminated prematurely, three due to occlusive clotting of the extracorporeal circuit and one due to uncontrollable bleeding from the vascular access site. All four events occurred in the group without anticoagulation. Between group comparison demonstrated citrate anticoagulation to significantly increase the likelihood of completed MARS treatment (Fisher's exact test, P 0.04). This translates into higher bilirubin reduction ratios when citrate was applied (reduction ratio 0.25 vs. 0.15, P 0.02). Systemic ionized calcium concentrations were significantly reduced during citrate anticoagulation (P < 0.001) but remained within a safe range. We observed no major adverse events.
Regional citrate anticoagulation in patients with liver failure is feasible. Citrate anticoagulation provides superior patency of the extracorporeal circuit. Avoidance of anticoagulation during MARS results in significant loss of treatment efficacy, due to treatment downtime. Additional studies are required to identify the optimal anticoagulation regimen for extracorporeal circulation in patients with liver failure.
PMCID: PMC3396260  PMID: 22305273
5.  Gender-Specific Modulation of the Response to Arterial Injury by Soluble Guanylate Cyclase α1 
Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), a heterodimer composed of α and β subunits, synthesizes cGMP in response to nitric oxide (NO). NO modulates vascular tone and structure but the relative contributions of cGMP-dependent versus cGMP-independent mechanisms remain uncertain. We studied the response to vascular injury in male (M) and female (F) mice with targeted deletion of exon 6 of the sGCα1 subunit (sGCα1-/-), resulting in a non-functional heterodimer.
We measured aortic cGMP levels and mRNA transcripts encoding sGC α1, α2, and β1 subunits in wild type (WT) and sGCa1-/- mice. To study the response to vascular injury, BrdU-incorporation and neointima formation (maximum intima to media (I/M) ratio) were determined 5 and 28 days after carotid artery ligation, respectively.
Aortic cGMP levels were 4-fold higher in F than in M mice in both genotypes, and, within each gender, 4-fold higher in WT than in sGCa1-/-. In contrast, sGCα1, sGCα2, and sGCβ1 mRNA expression did not differ between groups. 3H-thymidine incorporation in cultured sGCa1-/- smooth muscle cells (SMC) was 27%±12% lower than in WT SMC and BrdU-incorporation in carotid arteries 5 days after ligation was significantly less in sGCa1-/- M than in WT M. Neointima area and I/M 28 days after ligation were 65% and 62% lower in sGCa1-/- M than in WT M mice (p<0,05 for both) but were not different in F mice.
Functional deletion of sGCa1 resulted in reduced cGMP levels in male sGCa1-/- mice and a gender-specific effect on the adaptive response to vascular injury.
PMCID: PMC2743853  PMID: 19771174
Soluble guanylate cyclase; gender; vascular remodelling; nitric oxide.
6.  Cytochrome P450 Epoxygenase Gene Function in Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction and Pulmonary Vascular Remodeling 
Hypertension  2006;47(4):762-770.
We assessed pulmonary cytochrome P450 (CYP) epoxygenase expression and activity during hypoxia and explored the effects of modulating epoxygenase activity on pulmonary hypertension. The acute hypoxic vasoconstrictor response was studied in Swiss Webster mice, who express CYP2C29 in their lungs. Animals were pretreated with vehicle, the epoxygenase inhibitor (N-methylsulfonyl-6-[2-propargyloxyphenyl] hexanamide) or an inhibitor of the soluble epoxide hydrolase. Whereas the epoxygenase inhibitor attenuated hypoxic pulmonary constriction (by 52%), the soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor enhanced the response (by 39%), indicating that CYP epoxygenase–derived epoxyeico-satrienoic acids elicit pulmonary vasoconstriction. Aerosol gene transfer of recombinant adenovirus containing the human CYP2C9 significantly elevated mean pulmonary artery pressure and total pulmonary resistance indices, both of which were sensitive to the inhibitor sulfaphenazole. The prolonged exposure of mice to hypoxia increased CYP2C29 expression, and transcript levels increased 5-fold after exposure to normobaric hypoxia (FIO2 0.07) for 2 hours. This was followed by a 2-fold increase in protein expression and by a significant increase in epoxyeicosatrienoic acid production after 24 hours. Chronic hypoxia (7 days) elicited pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary vascular remodeling, effects that were significantly attenuated in animals continually treated with N-methylsulfonyl-6-[2-propargyloxyphenyl] hexanamide (−46% and −55%, respectively). Our results indicate that endogenously generated epoxygenase products are associated with hypoxic pulmonary hypertension in mice and that selective epoxygenase inhibition significantly reduces acute hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction and chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling. These observations indicate potential novel targets for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension and highlight a pivotal role for CYP epoxygenases in pulmonary responses to hypoxia.
PMCID: PMC1993904  PMID: 16505204
endothelium-derived factors; arachidonic acids; endothelium-derived factors; lung; remodeling

Results 1-6 (6)