Phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor, mixed connective tissue variant (PMTMCT) is a rare tumor typically occurring in soft tissues and bone, causing oncogenic (tumor-induced) osteomalacia (TIO) through secretion of the phosphaturic hormone, fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23). Rare tumors identical to PMTMCT occur without known TIO. Intracranial localization of PMTMCT is extremely rare, with only two cases reported in the literature. We present a very unusual case of a patient with an intracranial PMTMCT that presented with neurologic changes without osteomalacia.
A 67-year-old woman presented with progressive incontinence, apathy, and abulia after having undergone a total knee replacement 1 month earlier. Imaging disclosed a large left frontal anterior fossa mass. She underwent uncomplicated surgical resection of this tumor. Surprisingly, histopathology suggested PMTMCT. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay demonstrating FGF-23 expression in the tumor confirmed the diagnosis. Serum FGF-23 levels postoperatively were normal and she had no clinical or laboratory evidence of osteomalacia or phosphaturia.
This report should serve to alert clinicians to the possibility that PMTMCT can be included in the differential diagnosis of intracranial masses even in the absence of tumor-induced osteomalacia.
Intracranial; neoplasm; neuropathology; oncogenic osteomalacia
The use of cyclotrons and synchrotrons to accelerate charged particles in hospital settings for the purpose of cancer therapy is increasing. Consequently, there is a growing demand from medical physicists, radiographers, physicians and oncologists for articles that explain the basic physical concepts of these technologies. There are unique advantages and disadvantages to all methods of acceleration. Several promising alternative methods of accelerating particles also have to be considered since they will become increasingly available with time; however, there are still many technical problems with these that require solving. This article serves as an introduction to this complex area of physics, and will be of benefit to those engaged in cancer therapy, or who intend to acquire such technologies in the future.
Background and Aims
Specific leaf area (SLA), a key element of the ‘worldwide leaf economics spectrum’, is the preferred ‘soft’ plant trait for assessing soil fertility. SLA is a function of leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and leaf thickness (LT). The first, LDMC, defines leaf construction costs and can be used instead of SLA. However, LT identifies shade at its lowest extreme and succulence at its highest, and is not related to soil fertility. Why then is SLA more frequently used as a predictor of soil fertility than LDMC?
SLA, LDMC and LT were measured and leaf density (LD) estimated for almost 2000 species, and the capacity of LD to predict LDMC was examined, as was the relative contribution of LDMC and LT to the expression of SLA. Subsequently, the relationships between SLA, LDMC and LT with respect to soil fertility and shade were described.
Although LD is strongly related to LDMC, and LDMC and LT each contribute equally to the expression of SLA, the exact relationships differ between ecological groupings. LDMC predicts leaf nitrogen content and soil fertility but, because LT primarily varies with light intensity, SLA increases in response to both increased shade and increased fertility.
Gradients of soil fertility are frequently also gradients of biomass accumulation with reduced irradiance lower in the canopy. Therefore, SLA, which includes both fertility and shade components, may often discriminate better between communities or treatments than LDMC. However, LDMC should always be the preferred trait for assessing gradients of soil fertility uncoupled from shade. Nevertheless, because leaves multitask, individual leaf traits do not necessarily exhibit exact functional equivalence between species. In consequence, rather than using a single stand-alone predictor, multivariate analyses using several leaf traits is recommended.
Ellenberg numbers; functional traits; leaf density; leaf nitrogen; leaf size; leaf thickness; relative growth rate (RGR); shade tolerance; variation in trait expression
Background: Recently, the analysis of gastric and colorectal tumor specimens determined that 78-kiloDalton glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), an endoplasmic reticulum chaperone, up-regulation serves as an efficient mechanism protecting cells against apoptosis and can confer drug resistance. We tested whether functional polymorphisms within the GRP78 gene are related to clinical outcome in gastric and colorectal cancer (CRC) patients.
Patients and methods: Blood samples of 234 stage II/III CRC patients at the University of Southern California (USC) and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues of 137 patients with localized gastric adenocarcinoma (GA) at USC and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centers were obtained. GRP78 polymorphisms analyzed on germline DNA were correlated with clinical outcome using univariate and multivariate analyses.
Results: GA patients with the combined GRP78 rs391957 C/T and T/T genotype were at higher risk for tumor recurrence and death [hazard ratio (HR) 2.61; P < 0.001 and HR 3.17; P < 0.001, respectively], than those with C/C. These findings were subsequently tested in a CRC cohort where patients with the homozygous T/T genotype were at highest risk for tumor recurrence (HR 2.61; P = 0.015). The results remained significant after adjusting for clinicopathologic determinants.
Conclusion: These data provide the first evidence that the GRP78 rs391957 polymorphism can predict clinical outcome in localized GA and locally advanced CRC patients.
colorectal cancer; gastric cancer; GRP78; outcome; polymorphism
Alkaptonuria (AKU) is a rare genetic disease which results in severe early onset osteoarthropathy. It has recently been shown that the subchondral interface is of key significance in disease pathogenesis. Human surgical tissues are often beyond this initial stage and there is no published murine model of pathogenesis, to study the natural history of the disease. The murine genotype exists but it has been reported not to demonstrate ochronotic osteoarthropathy consistent with the human disease. Recent anecdotal evidence of macroscopic renal ochronosis in a mouse model of tyrosinaemia led us to perform histological analysis of tissues of these mice that are known to be affected in human AKU.
The homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase Hgd+/−Fah−/− mouse can model either hereditary tyrosinaemia type I (HT1) or AKU depending on selection conditions. Mice having undergone Hgd reversion were sacrificed at various time points, and their tissues taken for histological analysis. Sections were stained with haematoxylin eosin (H&E) and Schmorl’s reagent.
Early time point observations at 8 months showed no sign of macroscopic ochronosis of tissues. Macroscopic examination at 13 months revealed ochronosis of the kidneys. Microscopic analysis of the kidneys revealed large pigmented nodules displaying distinct ochre colouration. Close microscopic examination of the distal femur and proximal fibula at the subchondral junctions revealed the presence of numerous pigmented chondrocytes.
Here we present the first data showing ochronosis of tissues in a murine model of AKU. These preliminary histological observations provide a stimulus for further studies into the natural history of the disease to provide a greater understanding of this class of arthropathy.
Alkaptonuria; Mouse model; Arthropathy; Arthritis; Ochronosis
Lower adiponectin levels are associated with higher risk of incident type 2 diabetes (T2D). Most analyses have been adjusted for confounding factors, but few have taken into account insulin resistance per se. We tested the hypothesis that the association of adiponectin levels with incident T2D differs in insulin resistant (IR) vs sensitive (IS) individuals.
We studied two prospective cohorts: the Framingham Offspring (n=2023) and KORA S4/F4 Studies (n=887). Insulin resistance was estimated by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR). We used logistic regression analysis to test the association between adiponectin and incident T2D overall and in IR vs IS individuals (defined by ≥ vs <75th percentile of HOMA-IR).
At baseline, Framigham’s participants were 60±9 years old and 56% were women; KORA’s participants were 63±5 years old and 49% were women. T2D incidence was 5.4% over 6.5 years (n=109) in Framingham and 10.5% over 8 years (n=93) in KORA. Lower adiponectin levels were associated with T2D incidence in both cohorts. In IR individuals, lower adiponectin levels were associated with higher risk of T2D incidence (OR=1.60 [95%CI: 1.10–2.31] per SD decrease in Framingham; p=0.01, and OR= 2.34 [95%CI: 1.16–4.73] in KORA; P=0.02); while this was not observed in IS individuals (OR=1.10 [95%CI: 0.73–1.67] in Framingham; p=0.64, and OR=1.34 [95%CI: 0.88–2.03] in KORA; P=0.18).
We conclude that lower adiponectin levels are associated with higher risk of T2D in IR but not in IS individuals. This suggests that some level of insulin resistance is needed to see deleterious effects of low adiponectin.
The role of further hormone therapy in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) remains unclear. We performed a multi-centre randomised phase III study comparing the use of Dexamethasone, Aspirin, and immediate addition of Diethylstilbestrol (DAiS) vs Dexamethasone, Aspirin, and deferred (until disease progression) addition of Diethylstilbestrol (DAdS).
From 2001 to 2008, 270 men with chemotherapy-naive CRPC were randomly assigned, in a 1 : 1 ratio, to receive either DAiS or DAdS. They were stratified for performance status, presence of bone metastases, and previous normalisation of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to androgen deprivation. The study end points were the proportion of patients achieving a 50% PSA response, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, and quality of life. Intention-to-treat analysis was carried out. The effect of treatment was studied first by Kaplan–Meier curves and log-rank test, and finally through multivariable stratified Cox's proportional hazards model adjusting for the effects of possible baseline prognostic factors. Quality of life was analysed using multivariate analysis of variance.
At study entry, the median age was 76 years (inter-quartile range: 70–80 years), the median PSA was 79 ng ml−1, and 76% of the cohort had metastatic disease. The response rates for DAiS (68%) and DAdS (64%) were not significantly different (P=0.49). Similar to the response rate, neither the PFS (median=8.1 months for both arms) nor the overall survival (19.4 vs 18.8 months) differed significantly between the DAiS and DAdS groups (P>0.20). However, the response rate for the DAiS (68%) was significantly higher than the response rate of DA (before adding Diethylstilbestrol) (50%) (P=0.002). Similarly, the median time to progression for DAiS (8.6 months) was significantly longer than that of DA (4.5 months) (P<0.001). Multivariable analysis showed that patients with previous haemoglobin ⩾11 g dl−1 decreased the risk of death significantly (hazard ratio: 0.44, 95% CI: 0.25–0.77). Patients treated with previous anti-androgens alone had more than 5 times more risk of death compared with patients treated with gonadorelin analogues throughout their castration-sensitive phase. Treatment sequencing did not affect the quality of life but pre-treatment performance status did. The incidence of veno–thromboembolic events was 22% (n=28) in DAiS and 11% (n=14) in the DA arm (P=0.02). Painful gynaecomastia occurred in only 1% on DA, whereas in 40% on DAiS (P=0.001).
Dexamethasone and immediate Diethylstilbestrol resulted in neither higher PSA response rate nor higher PFS compared with Dexamethasone with deferred Diethylstilbestrol. There was no suggestion of significantly improved overall survival or quality of life. Given the significantly higher toxicity of Diethylstilbestrol, deferring Diethylstilbestrol until failure of Dexamethasone is the preferred strategy when using these agents in CRPC.
CRPC; Dexamethasone; Diethylstilbestrol; treatment sequencing
Background and Aims
Genome size is a function, and the product, of cell volume. As such it is contingent on ecological circumstance. The nature of ‘this ecological circumstance’ is, however, hotly debated. Here, we investigate for angiosperms whether stomatal size may be this ‘missing link’: the primary determinant of genome size. Stomata are crucial for photosynthesis and their size affects functional efficiency.
Stomatal and leaf characteristics were measured for 1442 species from Argentina, Iran, Spain and the UK and, using PCA, some emergent ecological and taxonomic patterns identified. Subsequently, an assessment of the relationship between genome-size values obtained from the Plant DNA C-values database and measurements of stomatal size was carried out.
Stomatal size is an ecologically important attribute. It varies with life-history (woody species < herbaceous species < vernal geophytes) and contributes to ecologically and physiologically important axes of leaf specialization. Moreover, it is positively correlated with genome size across a wide range of major taxa.
Stomatal size predicts genome size within angiosperms. Correlation is not, however, proof of causality and here our interpretation is hampered by unexpected deficiencies in the scientific literature. Firstly, there are discrepancies between our own observations and established ideas about the ecological significance of stomatal size; very large stomata, theoretically facilitating photosynthesis in deep shade, were, in this study (and in other studies), primarily associated with vernal geophytes of unshaded habitats. Secondly, the lower size limit at which stomata can function efficiently, and the ecological circumstances under which these minute stomata might occur, have not been satisfactorally resolved. Thus, our hypothesis, that the optimization of stomatal size for functional efficiency is a major ecological determinant of genome size, remains unproven.
Stomatal size; genome size; seed size; life history; photosynthesis; allometry; ecology; evolution; SLA; leaf structure; CAM; C4
In the United States, Black men have a higher risk of prostate cancer and worse survival than do White men, but it is unclear whether this is because of differences in diagnosis and management. We re-examined these differences in the United Kingdom, where health care is free and unlikely to vary by socioeconomic status.
This study is a population-based retrospective cohort study of men diagnosed with prostate cancer with data on ethnicity, prognostic factors, and clinical care. A Delphi panel considered the appropriateness of investigations and treatments received.
At diagnosis, Black men had similar clinical stage and Gleason scores but higher age-adjusted prostate-specific antigen levels (geometric mean ratio 1.41, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.15–1.73). Black men underwent more investigations and were more likely to undergo radical treatment, although this was largely explained by their younger age. Even after age adjustment, Black men were more likely to undergo a bone scan (odds ratio 1.37, 95% CI: 1.05–1.80). The Delphi analysis did not suggest differential management by ethnicity.
This UK-based study comparing Black men with White men found no evidence of differences in disease characteristics at the time of prostate cancer diagnosis, nor of under-investigation or under-treatment in Black men.
clinical management; diagnosis; epidemiology; ethnicity; prostate cancer
Hospital-acquired infection (HAI) is an important public health issue with unacceptable levels of morbidity and mortality, over the last 5 years. Disease can be transmitted by air (over large distances), by direct/indirect contact or a combination of both routes. While contact transmission of disease forms the majority of HAI cases, transmission through the air is harder to control, but one where the engineering sciences can play an important role in limiting the spread. This forms the focus of this themed volume.
In this paper, we describe the current hospital environment and review the contributions from microbiologists, mechanical and civil engineers, and mathematicians to this themed volume on the airborne transmission of infection in hospitals. The review also points out some of the outstanding scientific questions and possible approaches to mitigating transmission.
droplet evaporation; dispersion; hospital-acquired infection
The asymmetric unit of the title compound, (C24H20P)2[Pt(C7H5NO2S3)2]·H2O, consists of two tetraphenylphosphonium cations, two half bis[N-(phenylsulfonyl)dithiocarbimato]platinate(II) dianions and one water molecule. The anions are completed by crystallographic inversion symmetry associated with the central PtII ion. The PtII ion is doubly S,S′-chelated by two symmetry-related phenylsulfonyldithiocarbimate ligands, forming a slightly distorted square-planar configuration. Besides the electrostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions in the crystal packing, intramolecular C—H⋯O and several intermolecular C—H⋯O, C—H⋯N and O—H⋯O hydrogen-bonding interactions between the cations, anions and water molecules are observed.
Previously, we used cDNA expression profiling to identify genes associated with glucocorticoid (Gc) sensitivity. We now identify which of these directly influence Gc action. Interferon-inducible protein 16 (IFI16), bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II (BMPRII), and regulator of G-protein signaling 14 (RGS14) increased Gc transactivation, whereas sialyltransferase 4B (SIAT4B) had a negative effect. Amyloid β (A4) precursor-protein binding, family B, member 1 (APBB1/Fe65) and neural cell expressed developmentally down-regulated 9 (NEDD9) were without effect. Only IFI16 potentiated Gc repression of NF-κB. In addition, IFI16 affected basal expression, and Gc induction of endogenous target genes. IFI16 did not affect glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression, ligand-dependent repression of GR expression, or the ligand-dependent induction of GR phosphorylation on Ser-211 or Ser-203. Coimmunoprecipitation revealed an interaction, suggesting that IFI16 modulation of GR function is mediated by protein crosstalk. Transfection analysis with GR mutants showed that the ligand-binding domain of GR binds IFI16 and is the target domain for IFI16 regulation. Analysis of human lung sections identified colocalization of GR and IFI16, suggesting a physiologically relevant interaction. We demonstrate that IFI16 is a novel modulator of GR function and show the importance of analyzing variation in Gc sensitivity in humans, using appropriate technology, to drive discovery.—Berry, A., Matthews, L. Jangani, M., Plumb, J., Farrow, S., Buchan, N., Wilson, P. A., Singh, D., Ray, D., W., Donn, R. P. Interferon-inducible factor 16 is a novel modulator of glucocorticoid action.
IFI16; steroid sensitivity; nuclear receptor; inflammation
In the title salt, (C24H20P)2[Pt(C7H3Cl2NO2S3)2], the PtII ion (site symmetry ) is coordinated by two S,S′-bidentate N-(2,5-dichlorophenylsulfonyl)dithiocarbimate ligands, resulting in a slightly distorted PtS4 square-planar geometry. In the crystal, a C—H⋯O interaction is observed, as well as electrostatic attraction between the oppositely charged ions.
To determine whether, in acute non‐ST elevation coronary syndrome, the benefit from early invasive coronary intervention compared with a conservative strategy of later symptom‐guided intervention varies over time.
In RITA 3 (Randomised Intervention Trial of unstable Angina 3) patients were randomly assigned to coronary angiography (median 2 days after randomisation) and appropriate intervention (n = 895) or to a symptom‐guided conservative strategy (n = 915).
In the first week patients in both groups were at highest risk of death, myocardial infarction (MI) or refractory angina (incidence rate 40 times higher than in months 5–12 of follow up). There were 22 MIs and 6 deaths in the intervention group (largely due to procedure‐related events, 14 MIs and 3 deaths) versus 17 MIs and 3 deaths in the conservative group. In the rest of the year there were an additional 12 versus 27 MIs, respectively (treatment–time interaction p = 0.021). Over one year in the intervention group there was a 43% reduction in refractory angina; 22% of patients underwent coronary artery bypass surgery and 35% underwent percutaneous coronary intervention only, which reduced refractory angina but provoked some early MIs; and 43% were still treated medically, mostly because of a favourable initial angiogram.
Any intervention policy needs to recognise the high risk of events in the first week and the substantial minority of patients not needing intervention. Intervention may be best targeted at higher risk patients, as the early hazards of the procedure are then offset by reduced subsequent events.
acute coronary syndrome; coronary angiography; myocardial ischaemia; percutaneous coronary intervention
To characterise patients who appear to fulfil the diagnosis of heart failure with preserved systolic function clinically, echocardiographically, and by concentrations of brain‐type natriuretic peptide (BNP).
102 new cases of heart failure were identified over 24 months in 213 patients referred to a rapid access heart failure clinic. Patients with heart failure and preserved systolic function with contemporary markers of diastolic function were assessed to evaluate their cardiac status further.
Forty patients (39%) had an ejection fraction (EF) < 45% and 62 (61%) had an EF ⩾ 45%. Of these 62 patients, 30 (48%) fulfilled the case definition of diastolic heart failure. The remaining 32 (52%) had neither an EF < 45% nor abnormalities of diastolic function. Dobutamine stress echocardiography was performed on 26 (42%) patients with EF ⩾ 45%, which provided an alternative explanation for symptoms in 15 (58%) patients. Concentrations of BNP were higher in patients with diastolic abnormalities (mean (SEM) 101.4 (32.5) pg/ml v 58.4 (6.78) pg/ml, p = 0.042) and with no diastolic abnormalities (199 (37.9) pg/ml v 58.4 (6.78) pg/ml, p < 0.0001) than in patients with no heart failure.
Among ambulatory patients presenting with suspected heart failure in the community 19% have systolic dysfunction, 14% have diastolic dysfunction, and 15% seemingly have heart failure with neither systolic nor diastolic dysfunction. A new understanding, including alternative parameters of diastolic function, seems to be necessary to classify patients with heart failure and preserved systolic function.
heart failure; echocardiography; diastolic function; stress echocardiography; brain natriuretic peptide
The recently published guidelines by the European Society of Cardiology on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic heart failure are well worth reading, include important new recommendations and are reviewed here
chronic heart failure; ACE inhibitors; angiotensin receptor blockers; β blockers; diuretics
When chemotherapy is used in androgen-independent prostate cancer (AIPC), androgen deprivation is continued despite its failure. In this study, we investigated whether it was possible to re-induce hormone sensitivity in previously castrate patients by stopping endocrine therapy during chemotherapy. A phase II prospective study investigated the effects of reintroduction of endocrine therapy after oral chemotherapy in 56 patients with AIPC, which was given without concurrent androgen deprivation. After chemotherapy, patients were given maximum androgen blockade until failure when treatment was switched to diethylstilbestrol and dexamethasone. Patients had already received these endocrine treatments in the same sequence before chemotherapy. All patients were castrate at the start of chemotherapy. Forty-three subsequently restarted endocrine therapy after the completion of chemotherapy. The median overall survival for these 43 patients from the time of restarting endocrine therapy was 7.7 months (95% confidence interval (CI): 3.7–10.9 months). Sixteen (37%) patients had a 50% PSA response to treatment, which was associated with improved overall survival (14.0 months vs 3.7 months P=0.003). Eight out of 12 patients who did not respond to diethylstilbestrol before chemotherapy did so post chemotherapy. Re-induction of hormone sensitivity can occur after chemotherapy in AIPC.
re-induction; endocrine sensitivity; prostate cancer; chemotherapy
The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) in squamous cell cancer of the tonsil with respect to patterns of spread, relapse-free, overall and disease-specific survival. Eighty-four patients with squamous cell cancer of the tonsil were identified. There was a male predominance of 3 : 1 and the median age at diagnosis was 53 (range 35–86) years. The median duration of follow-up was 33 (range 2–124) months. There was a significant association between CCR7 immunopositivity and synchronous cervical nodal metastasis in patients with tonsillar cancer (Spearman's correlation coefficient 0.564; P<0.001). Relapse-free (P=0.0175), overall (P=0.0136) and disease-specific (P=0.0062) survival rates were significantly lower in patients whose tumours expressed high levels of CCR7. On multivariate analysis, high-level CCR7 staining predicted relapse-free (hazard ratio 3.0, 95% confidence intervals 1.1–8.0, P=0.026) and disease-specific (hazard ratio 10.2, 95% confidence intervals 2.1–48.6, P=0.004) survival. Fifteen percent of patients with the highest level of tumour CCR7 immunopositivity relapsed with systemic metastases. These data demonstrated that CCR7 expression was associated with cervical nodal and systemic metastases from tonsillar cancers. High levels of CCR7 expression predicted a poor prognosis.
CCR7; chemokine receptor; head and neck cancer; metastasis; survival; tonsil
There is no consensus as to the management of untreated poor prognosis or relapsed/refractory germ cell tumours. We have studied an intensive cisplatin-based regimen that incorporates high-dose methotrexate (HD MTX) and actinomycin-D and etoposide every 14 days (GAMEC). Sixty-two patients were enrolled in a phase 2 study including 27 who were untreated (IGCCCG, poor prognosis) and 35 with progression despite conventional platinum based chemotherapy. The pharmacokinetics of the drugs were correlated with standard outcome measures. Twenty of the untreated patients were progression free following GAMEC and appropriate surgery, as were 18 individuals in the pretreated group. None of the established prognostic factors for therapy for pretreated patients could identify a poor-prognosis group. Five out of nine late relapses to prior chemotherapy were progression free following GAMEC and appropriate surgery. All patients had at least one episode of febrile neutropenia and there were five (8%) treatment-related deaths. PK values were not predictive of efficacy or toxicity, although the dose intensity in the pretreated group of patients, especially of HD MTX, was significantly correlated with progression-free survival (PFS). GAMEC is a novel intensive regimen for this group of patients producing encouraging responses, although with significant toxicity. For those in whom it fails, further therapy is still possible with durable responses being seen.
GAMEC; methotrexate; high dose; germ cell
Background: Direct to consumer advertising is increasingly used by the pharmaceutical industry, but its benefits and harms have yet to be summarised in a comprehensive and rigorous manner.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted of robust evaluations of the impact (positive and negative) of direct to consumer advertising. A broad range of databases and data sources (including Cinahl, Embase, HMIC, HSRProj, Medline, PsycInfo, and the internet) were searched from inception to 2004.
Results: From 2853 citations only four reports were found that met the strict inclusion criteria and provided usable results. Direct to consumer advertising is associated with increased prescription of advertised products and there is substantial impact on patients' request for specific drugs and physicians' confidence in prescribing. No additional benefits in terms of health outcomes were demonstrated.
Discussion: Direct to consumer advertising is banned in most countries, and the research evidence tends to support the negative impact that is feared by those who support a legislative ban. Further research is needed into the clinical and economic impact of direct to consumer advertising in healthcare systems.
Regulation of feeding behavior and energy balance are among the central effects of insulin. For example, intracerebroventricular administration of insulin decreases food intake and body weight, whereas antisense oligodeoxynucleotide downregulation of insulin receptors (IRs) produces hyperphagia. To further examine the role of IRs in the central actions of insulin, we designed an IR antisense lentiviral vector (LV-IRAS) and injected this vector into the third ventricle to selectively decrease IR expression in the rat hypothalamus. Three weeks after LV-IRAS administration, the expression of IRs in the hypothalamus was significantly decreased, whereas no changes were observed in hippocampal IR levels. LV-IRAS administration decreased insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of hypothalamic IRs and translocation of the insulin-sensitive glucose transporter GLUT4 in the hypothalamus; no changes in IR signaling were observed in the hippocampus of LV-IRAS-treated rats. Lentivirus-mediated downregulation of IR expression and signaling produced significant increases in body weight, as well as increases in fat mass that were selective for the subcutaneous compartment. Conversely, lean muscle mass and water mass were not affected in LV-IRAS-treated rats compared to rats treated with control virus. Changes in peripheral adiposity were associated with increases in basal hypothalamic leptin signaling in the absence of changes in leptin receptor expression in LV-IRAS rats. Collectively, these data illustrate the important functional relationships between hypothalamic insulin and leptin signaling in the regulation of body composition and provide insight into the mechanisms through which decreases in IR expression and signaling dysregulates leptin activity, thereby promoting increases in peripheral adiposity.
Study objective: To assess whether opportunistic and postal screening strategies for Chlamydia trachomatis can be compared with usual care in a randomised trial in general practice.
Design: Feasibility study for a randomised controlled trial.
Setting: Three West of Scotland general medical practices: one rural, one urban/deprived, and one urban/affluent.
Participants: 600 women aged 16–30 years, 200 from each of three participating practices selected at random from a sample of West of Scotland practices that had expressed interest in the study. The women could opt out of the study. Those who did not were randomly assigned to one of three groups: postal screening, opportunistic screening, or usual care.
Results: 38% (85 of 221) of the approached practices expressed interest in the study. Data were collected successfully from the three participating practices. There were considerable workload implications for staff. Altogether 124 of the 600 women opted out of the study. During the four month study period, 55% (81 of 146) of the control group attended their practice but none was offered screening. Some 59% (80 of 136) women in the opportunistic group attended their practice of whom 55% (44 of 80) were offered screening. Of those, 64% (28 of 44) accepted, representing 21% of the opportunistic group. Forty eight per cent (59 of 124) of the postal group returned samples.
Conclusion: A randomised controlled trial comparing postal and opportunistic screening for chlamydial infection in general practice is feasible, although resource intensive. There may be problems with generalising from screening trials in which patients may opt out from the offer of screening.
A summary of a systematic review of clinical audits of cancer referrals in England and Wales