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1.  The Role of SIRT1 in Diabetic Kidney Disease 
Sirtuins (SIRTs) are members of the silent information regulator 2 family. In mammals, of the seven known SIRTs, SIRT1 function is most studied and has been shown to regulate wide range of cellular functions that affect metabolic homeostasis and aging. SIRT1 exerts anti-apoptotic, anti-oxidative, and anti-inflammatory effects against cellular injury, and protects the cells through the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis, autophagy, and metabolism in response to the cellular energy and redox status. SIRT1 also promotes vasodilation and protects vascular tissues. In humans and animal models with diabetic kidney disease (DKD), its expression tends to be decreased in renal cells, and increased expression of SIRT1 was found to play a renal protective role in animal models with DKD. In this review, we discuss the role and potential mechanisms by which SIRT1 protects against DKD.
PMCID: PMC4191277  PMID: 25346724
SIRT1; diabetic kidney disease; senescence; deacetylation; apoptosis; autophagy; diabetes mellitus; sirtuin
2.  Detection of circulating tumor cells in cancers of biliary origin 
Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) have been described in malignancies of epithelial origin. In this study we examined the detection of CTCs using CellSearch assay in cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder cancer.
The clinical outcomes and detection of CTCs were examined in sixteen patients with biliary cancer using the CellSearch assay. Stages of cancer, baseline demographic data and overall survival were evaluated.
Thirteen patients had cholangiocarcinoma and three had gallbladder cancer. Using a cut off of two or more CTCs per 7.5 mL of blood, 3/13 cholangiocarcinoma and 1/3 gallbladder cancer patients had detectable CTCs. At 12 months of follow up from time CTC is drawn; 1/4(25%) of patients with positive CTC were alive while 6/12 (50%) of patients with negative CTC remained alive without a significant difference in survival between the two groups.
Our finding that 25% of patients with cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder cancer have two or more detectable CTCs/7.5 mL is the first report to our knowledge in this disease. Larger patient numbers are needed to determine the prognostic significance of finding CTCs in biliary cancer. Prospective validation of the role of CTC in advanced biliary cancer patients is on going.
PMCID: PMC3397649  PMID: 22811877
Biliary cancer; CellSearch; cholangiocarcinoma; circulating tumor cells; EpCAM
3.  Urinary Tract Infections and Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in Renal Transplant Recipients 
Asymptomatic bacteriuria and urinary tract infection are common complications after kidney transplantation. In this population, if urinary tract infection occurred in the first six months post procedure, it carries a grave impact on both graft and patient survival. Renal transplant recipients with urinary tract infection are often clinically asymptomatic as a consequence of immunosuppression. Urinary tract infection, however, may progress to acute pyelonephritis, bacteremia and the full blown picture of urosepsis. PubMed and Cochrane databases were searched. The purpose of this review is to discuss the screening and treatment of urinary tract infection and asymptomatic bacteriuria in renal transplant recipients and to evaluate the guidelines on the basis of a review of published evidence.
PMCID: PMC3249996  PMID: 22224004
Asymptomatic bacteriuria; Graft survival; Renal transplantation; Screening; Urinary tract infection; Uropathogens
4.  Association between smoking and chronic kidney disease: a case control study 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:731.
The progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains one of the main challenges in clinical nephrology. Therefore, identifying the pathophysiological mechanisms and the independent preventable risk factors helps in decreasing the number of patients suffering end stage renal disease and slowing its progression.
Smoking data was analyzed in patients with CKD throughout 2005-2009. One hundred and ninety-eight patients who had recently been diagnosed with stage three CKD or higher according to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) 2002 Classification were studied. The control group was randomly selected and then matched with the case subjects using a computerized randomization technique. The relative risk was estimated by computing odds ratio (OR) by using multinomial logistic regression in SPSS ® for Windows between the two groups.
Smoking significantly increases the risk of CKD (OR = 1.6, p = 0.009, 95% CI = 1.12-2.29). When compared to nonsmokers, current smokers have an increased risk of having CKD (OR = 1.63 p = 0.02, 95% CI = 1.08-2.45), while former smokers did not have a statistically significant difference. The risk increased with high cumulative quantity (OR among smokers with > 30 pack-years was 2.6, p = 0.00, 95% CI = 1.53-4.41). Smoking increased the risk of CKD the most for those classified as hypertensive nephropathy (OR = 2.85, p = 0.01, 95% CI = 1.27-6.39) and diabetic nephropathy (2.24, p = 0.005, 95% CI = 1.27-3.96). No statistically significant difference in risk was found for glomerulonephritis patients or any other causes.
This study suggests that heavy cigarette smoking increases the risk of CKD overall and particularly for CKD classified as hypertensive nephropathy and diabetic nephropathy.
PMCID: PMC3004836  PMID: 21108832
5.  Hepatitis B Vaccination Status and Needlestick Injuries Among Healthcare Workers in Syria 
Although a majority of countries in the Middle East show intermediate or high endemicity of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, which clearly poses a serious public health problem in the region, the situation in the Republic of Syria remains unclear. The aim of this study is to determine the hepatitis B vaccination status, to assess the number of vaccinations administered, and to estimate the annual incidence of needlestick injuries (NSIs) among healthcare workers (HCWs) in Aleppo University hospitals.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional design with a survey questionnaire was used for exploring details of NSIs during 2008, hepatitis B vaccination status, and HBV infection among a random stratified sample of HCWs in three tertiary hospitals in Aleppo (n = 321).
Two hundred and forty-six (76.6%) HCWs had sustained at least one NSI during 2008. Nine (2.8%) had HBV chronic infection and 75 HCWs (23.4%) were never vaccinated. Anesthesiology technicians had the greatest exposure risk when compared to office workers [OR = 16,95% CI (2.55-100), P < 0.01], doctors [OR = 10,95% CI (2.1 47.57), P < 0.01], and nurses [OR = 6.75,95% CI (1.56-29.03), P = 0.01]. HCWs under 25 and between the age of 25 and 35 years were at increased risk for NSI when compared to HCWs older than 45 years [OR = 3.12,95% CI (1.19-8.19), P = 0.02] and [OR = 3.05,95% CI (1.42-6.57), P < 0.01], respectively.
HCWs at Aleppo University hospitals are frequently exposed to blood-borne infections. Precautions and protection from NSIs are important in preventing infection of HCWs. Education about the transmission of blood-borne infections, vaccination, and post-exposure prophylaxis must be implemented and strictly monitored.
PMCID: PMC2840977  PMID: 20300414
Needlestick injuries; Hepatitis B infection; Healthcare workers

Results 1-5 (5)