The relevance of allergic sensitization, judged by titers of serum IgE antibodies, to the risk of an asthma exacerbation caused by rhinovirus is unclear.
To examine the prevalence of rhinovirus infections in relation to the atopic status of children treated for wheezing in Costa Rica, a country with an increased asthma burden.
The children enrolled (n=287) were 7 through 12 years old. They included 96 with acute wheezing, 65 with stable asthma, and 126 non-asthmatic controls. PCR methods, including gene sequencing to identify rhinovirus strains, were used to identify viral pathogens in nasal washes. Results were examined in relation to wheezing, total IgE, allergen-specific IgE antibody, and levels of expired nitric oxide (FENO).
Sixty-four percent of wheezing children compared to 13% of children with stable asthma and 17% of the non-asthmatic controls tested positive for rhinovirus (p<0.001 for both comparisons). Among wheezing subjects, 75% of the rhinoviruses detected were Group C strains. High titers of IgE antibodies to dust mite allergen (especially Dermatophagoides sp) were common and correlated significantly with levels of total IgE and FENO. The greatest risk for wheezing was observed among children with titers of IgE antibodies to dust mite ≥17.5 IU/ml who tested positive for rhinovirus (odds ratio for wheezing: 31.5; 95% CI 8.3–108, p<0.001).
High titers of IgE antibody to dust mite allergen were common and significantly increased the risk for acute wheezing provoked by rhinovirus among asthmatic children.
acute asthma; dust mite specific IgE; emergency room visits; viral respiratory tract infections; rhinovirus strain C; total serum IgE; inhaled allergens; exhaled nitric oxide (FENO)
The neural pathways through which substance P (SP) influences fear and anxiety are poorly understood. However, the amygdala, a brain area repeatedly implicated in fear and anxiety processes, is known to contain large numbers of SP containing neurons and SP receptors. Several studies have implicated SP neurotransmission within the amygdala in anxiety processes. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of site-specific infusions of a SP receptor antagonist, GR 82334, on conditioned fear responses using the fear-potentiated startle paradigm. GR 82334 infusion into the basolateral (BLA) or the medial (MeA) nuclei of the amygdala, but not into the central nucleus (CeA) of the amygdala, dose-dependently reduced fear-potentiated startle. Similar effects were obtained with GR 82334 infusion into the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH), to which the MeA projects, and into the rostral dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (PAG), to which the VMH projects, but not into the deep layers of the superior colliculus/deep mesencephalic nucleus (dSC/DpMe), an output of the CeA previously shown to be important for fear-potentiated startle. Consistent with previous findings, infusion of the AMPA receptor antagonist, NBQX, into the dSC/DpMe, but not into the PAG, did disrupt fear-potentiated startle. These findings suggest that multiple outputs from the amygdala play a critical role in fear-potentiated startle and that SP plays a critical, probably modulatory role, in the MeA to VMH to PAG to the startle pathway based on these and data from others.
Amygdala; Hypothalamus; Periaqueductal Gray; Superior Colliculus; Midbrain; GR 82334; Morphine; Anxiety; CRH; Tachykinin
Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients is characterized by a series of genotypic and phenotypic changes that reflect the transition from acute to chronic infection. These include the overproduction of the exopolysaccharide alginate and the loss of complete lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS is a major component of the Gram-negative outer membrane and is composed of lipid A, core oligosaccharide, and O antigen. In this report, we show that the LPS defect of the P. aeruginosa chronic infection isolate 2192 is temperature sensitive. When grown at 25°C, 2192 expresses serotype O1 LPS with a moderate chain length and in reduced amounts relative to those of a wild-type serotype O1 laboratory strain (stO1). In contrast, 2192 expresses no LPS O antigen when grown at 37°C. This is the first time that a temperature-sensitive defect in O-antigen production has been reported. Using complementation analyses with a constructed wbpM deletion mutant of stO1, we demonstrate that the temperature-sensitive O-antigen production defect in 2192 is due to a mutation in wbpM, which encodes a UDP-4,6-GlcNAc dehydratase involved in O-antigen synthesis. The mutation, a deletion of a single amino acid (V636) from the extreme C terminus of WbpM, renders the protein less stable than its wild-type counterpart. This residue of WbpM, which is critical for stability and function, is located outside of the recognized domains of the protein and may provide insight into the structure-function relationship of this enzyme, which is found in all 20 serotypes of P. aeruginosa. We also identify a promoter of wbpM, map a transcriptional start site of wbpM, and show that mucoidy plays a role in the loss of expression of high-molecular-weight LPS in this CF isolate.
Over the past decade immuno-spin trapping (IST) has been used to detect and identify protein radical sites in numerous heme and metalloproteins. To date, however, the technique has had little application toward non-metalloproteins. In this study, we demonstrate the successful application of IST in a system free of transition metals and present the first conclusive evidence of ·NO-mediated protein radical formation in the HRas GTPase. HRas is a non-metalloprotein that plays a critical role in regulating cell growth control. Protein radical formation in Ras GTPases has long been suspected of initiating premature release of bound guanine nucleotide. This action results in altered Ras activity both in vitro and in vivo. As described herein, successful application of IST may provide a means for detecting and identifying radical-mediated Ras activation in many different cancers and disease states where Ras GTPases play an important role.
Ras GTPase; radical-mediated activation; protein radical; immuno-spin trapping
Disturbed folate metabolism is associated with an increased risk of some cancers. Our objective was to determine whether blood levels of folate, vitamin B12 and related metabolites were associated with prostate cancer risk.
Matched case-control study nested within the UK population-based ProtecT study of PSA-detected prostate cancer in men aged 50–69 years. Plasma concentrations of folate, B12 (cobalamin), holo-haptocorrin, holo- and total-transcobalamin, and total homocysteine (tHcy) were measured in 1,461 cases and 1,507 controls. ProtecT study estimates for associations of folate, B12, and tHcy with prostate cancer risk were included in a meta-analysis, based on a systematic review.
In the ProtecT study, increased B12 and holo-haptocorrin concentrations showed positive associations with prostate cancer risk (highest vs lowest quartile of B12 odds ratio (OR)=1.17 (95% CI 0.95–1.43), P-for-trend=0.06; highest vs lowest quartile of holo-haptocorrin OR=1.27 (1.04–1.56), P-for-trend=0.01); folate, holo-transcobalamin and tHcy were not associated with prostate cancer risk. In the meta-analysis, circulating B12 levels were associated with an increased prostate cancer risk (pooled OR=1.10 (1.01–1.19) per 100 pmol/L increase in B12, P=0.002); the pooled OR for the association of folate with prostate cancer was positive (OR=1.11 (0.96–1.28) per 10 nmol/L, P=0.2) and conventionally statistically significant if ProtecT (the only case-control study) was excluded (OR=1.18 (1.00–1.40) per 10 nmol/L, P=0.02).
Vitamin B12 and (in cohort studies) folate were associated with increased prostate cancer risk.
Given current controversies over mandatory fortification, further research is needed to determine whether these are causal associations.
folate; vitamin B12; cobalamin; transcobalamin; haptocorrin; homocysteine; folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism; prostate cancer
The lateral division of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), which forms part of the circuitry regulating fear and anxiety, contains a large number of neurons expressing corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), a neuropeptide that plays a prominent role in the etiology of fear- and anxiety-related psychopathologies. Stress increases CRF expression within BNST neurons, implicating these cells in stress- and anxiety-related behaviors. These experiments examined the effect of chronically enhanced CRF expression within BNST neurons on conditioned and unconditioned anxiety-related behavior by using a lentiviral vector containing a promoter that targets CRF gene over-expression (OE) to CRFergic cells. We found that BNST CRF over-expression did not affect unconditioned anxiety-like responses in the elevated plus maze or basal acoustic startle amplitude. CRF OE induced prior to training weakened sustained fear (conditioned anxiety); when induced after conditioning, CRF OE increased expression of the conditioned emotional memory. Increased BNST CRF expression did not affect plasma corticosterone concentration but did decrease CRFR1 receptor density within the BNST and CRFR2 receptor density within the dorsal portion of the caudal dorsal raphe nucleus. These data raise the possibility that the observed behavioral effects may be mediated by enhanced CRF receptor signaling or compensatory changes in CRF receptor density within these structures. Together, these studies demonstrate that CRF neurons within the lateral BNST modulate conditioned anxiety-like behaviors and also suggest that enhanced CRF expression within these neurons may contribute to inappropriate regulation of emotional memories.
bed nucleus of the stria terminalis; corticotropin releasing factor; fear; anxiety; startle; HPA axis
Although the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is twice as high in women as it is in men, the role of estrogen in the risk for PTSD is not well understood. Deficits in fear inhibition and impaired safety signal learning may be biomarkers for PTSD. We examined menstrual cycle phase and serum estradiol levels in naturally cycling women while they were undergoing a novel conditioned inhibition procedure that measured their ability to discriminate between cues representing danger versus safety and to inhibit fear in the presence of safety cues.
Sample 1 included healthy participants in whom we compared inhibition of fear-potentiated startle during the follicular (lower estrogen) and luteal (higher estrogen) phases of the menstrual cycle. We used the same paradigm in a traumatized clinical population (sample 2) in whom we compared low versus high estradiol levels.
In both samples, we found that lower estrogen in cycling women was associated with impaired fear inhibition.
In the clinical sample, the low estradiol group was on average older than the high estradiol group owing to the random recruitment approach; we did not exclude participants based on hormonal status or menopause.
Our results suggest that the lower estrogen state during normal menstrual cycling may contribute to risk for anxiety disorders through dysregulated fear responses.
Previous work has shown that inhibition of fear is impaired in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from both civilian and combat trauma. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the inhibition of learned fear in traumatized individuals diagnosed with either acute stress disorder (ASD) or PTSD. This is the first study to use a conditioned inhibition paradigm with traumatized individuals within a month of trauma exposure. We hypothesized that impaired fear inhibition would be evident in PTSD, but not ASD.
Using established translational, psychophysiological methods including fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance, we examined fear acquisition, stimulus discrimination, and the transfer of learned safety in a Croatian population with ASD or PTSD. This cross-sectional study included three age-matched groups: healthy nontrauma controls (n = 27), a group with chronic PTSD (10 or more years since trauma exposure, n = 24), and a group with ASD (30 days or less since trauma exposure, n = 27).
The presence of trauma-related psychopathology, whether acute or chronic, was associated with an impaired ability to transfer learned safety based on fear-potentiated startle measures, while healthy control subjects showed significant fear inhibition in the presence of the safety cue compared to the danger cue, F(1,26) = 12.64, P = .001.
These data expand our previously observed findings of PTSD-associated fear inhibition deficits by demonstrating that trauma-related impairments in safety learning are evident within 30 days of trauma exposure.
anxiety disorders; biological markers; PTSD; startle; trauma
The purpose of this study was to analyze fear extinction and reinstatement in humans using fear-potentiated startle. Participants were fear conditioned using a simple discrimination procedure with colored lights as the conditioned stimuli (CSs) and an airblast to the throat as the unconditioned stimulus (US). Participants were extinguished 24 h after fear conditioning. Upon presentation of unsignaled USs after extinction, participants displayed significant fear reinstatement. In summary, these procedures produced robust fear-potentiated startle, significant CS+/CS− discrimination, within-session extinction, and significant reinstatement. This is the first demonstration of fear extinction and reinstatement in humans using startle measures.
Fear conditioning studies have demonstrated the critical role played by the amygdala in emotion processing. Although all lesion studies until now investigated the effect of adult-onset damage on fear conditioning, the current study assessed fear-learning abilities, as measured by fear-potentiated startle, in adult monkeys that had received neonatal neurotoxic amygdala damage or sham-operations. After fear acquisition, their abilities to learn and use a safety cue to modulate their fear to the conditioned cue, and, finally, to extinguish their response to the fear conditioned cue were measured with the AX+/BX− Paradigm. Neonatal amygdala damage retarded, but did not completely abolish, the acquisition of a learned fear. After acquisition of the fear signal, four of the six animals with neonatal amygdala lesions discriminated between the fear and safety cues and were also able to use the safety signal to reduce the potentiated-startle response and to extinguish the fear response when the air-blast was absent. In conclusion, the present results support the critical contribution of the amygdala during the early phases of fear conditioning that leads to quick, robust responses to potentially threatening stimuli, a highly adaptive process across all species and likely to be present in early infancy. The neonatal amygdala lesions also indicated the presence of amygdala-independent alternate pathways that are capable to support fear learning in the absence of a functional amygdala. This parallel processing of fear responses within these alternate pathways was also sufficient to support the ability to flexibly modulate the magnitude of the fear responses.
safety-signal learning; post-traumatic stress disorder; emotion regulation; rhesus monkey
Fear-potentiated startle is defined as an increase in the magnitude of the startle reflex in the presence of a stimulus that was previously paired with an aversive event. It has been proposed that a subject’s awareness of the contingencies in the experiment may affect fear-potentiated startle. The authors adapted a conditional discrimination procedure (AX+/BX−), previously validated in animals, to a human fear-potentiated startle paradigm in 50 healthy volunteers. This paradigm allows for an assessment of fear-potentiated startle during threat conditions as well as inhibition of fear-potentiated startle during safety conditions. A response keypad was used to assess contingency awareness on a trial-by-trial basis. Both aware and unaware subjects showed fear-potentiated startle. However, awareness was related to stimulus discrimination and fear inhibition.
human startle response; contingency awareness; discrimination learning; fear inhibition
Nitrite-preserved meats (e.g., hot dogs) may help cause colon cancer because they contain N-nitroso compounds. We tested whether purified hot-dog-derived total apparent N-nitroso compounds (ANC) could induce colonic aberrant crypts, which are putative precursors of colon cancer. We purified ANC precursors in hot dogs and nitrosated them to produce ANC. In preliminary tests, CF1 mice received 1 or 3 i.p. injections of 5mg azoxymethane (AOM)/kg. In Experiments 1 and 2, female A/J mice received ANC in diet. In Experiment 1, ANC dose initially dropped sharply because the ANC precursors had mostly decomposed but, later in Experiment 1 and throughout Experiment 2, ANC remained at 85 nmol/g diet. Mice were killed after 8 (AOM tests) or 17–34 (ANC tests) wk. Median numbers of aberrant crypts in the distal 2 cm of the colon for 1 and 3 AOM injections, CF1 controls, ANC (Experiment 1), ANC (Experiment 2),and untreated A/J mice were 31, 74, 12, 20, 12, and 5–6, with P < 0.01 for both ANC tests. Experiment 2 showed somewhat increased numbers of colonic mucin-depleted foci in the ANC-treated group. We conclude that hot-dog-derived ANC induced significant numbers of aberrant crypts in the mouse colon.
Aberrant Crypt Foci; chemically induced; Animals; Azoxymethane; administration & dosage; toxicity; Carcinogens; toxicity; Colonic Neoplasms; chemically induced; Feces; chemistry; Female; Food Handling; Meat Products; analysis; toxicity; Mice; Nitrosation; Nitroso Compounds; analysis; toxicity; Sodium Nitrite; administration & dosage; metabolism
Fear extinction is a reduction in conditioned fear following repeated exposure to the feared cue in the absence of any aversive event. Extinguished fear often reappears after extinction through spontaneous recovery. Animal studies suggest that spontaneous recovery can be abolished if extinction occurs within minutes of acquisition. However, a limited number of human extinction studies have shown that short interval extinction does not prevent the return of fear. For this reason, we performed an in-depth parametric analysis of human fear extinction using fear-potentiated startle. Using separate single-cue and differential conditioning paradigms, participants were fear conditioned and then underwent extinction either 10 min (Immediate) or 72 hr (Delayed) later. Testing for spontaneous recovery occurred 96 hr after acquisition. In the single cue paradigm, the Immediate and Delayed groups exhibited differences in context, but not fear, conditioning. With differential conditioning, there were no differences in context conditioning and the Immediate group displayed less spontaneous recovery. Thus, the results remain inconclusive regarding spontaneous recovery and the timing of extinction and are discussed in terms of performing translational studies of fear in humans.
fear conditioning; fear extinction in humans; spontaneous recovery; startle
Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a signaling molecule that plays important roles in B-1 B cell development and innate myeloid cell functions and has recently been identified as a target for therapy of B cell lymphomas. We examined the contribution of B-1 B cells to resistance to Cryptococcus neoformans infection by utilizing X-linked immunodeficient (XID) mice (CBA-CaHN-XID), which possess a mutation in Btk. XID mice had significantly higher brain fungal burdens than the controls 6 weeks after infection with C. neoformans strain 52D (CN52D); however, consistent with the propensity for greater virulence of C. neoformans strain H99 (CNH99), CNH99-infected XID mice had higher lung and brain fungal burdens than the controls 3 weeks after infection. Further studies in a chronic CN52D model revealed markedly lower levels of total and C. neoformans-specific serum IgM in XID mice than in the control mice 1 and 6 weeks after infection. Alveolar macrophage phagocytosis was markedly impaired in CN52D-infected XID mice compared to the controls, with XID mice exhibiting a disorganized lung inflammatory pattern in which Gomori silver staining revealed significantly more enlarged, extracellular C. neoformans cells than the controls. Adoptive transfer of B-1 B cells to XID mice restored peritoneal B-1 B cells but did not restore IgM levels to those of the controls and had no effect on the brain fungal burden at 6 weeks. Taken together, our data support the hypothesis that IgM promotes fungal containment in the lungs by enhancing C. neoformans phagocytosis and restricting C. neoformans enlargement. However, peritoneal B-1 B cells are insufficient to reconstitute a protective effect in the lungs.
Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen that causes an estimated 600,000 deaths per year. Most infections occur in individuals who are immunocompromised, with the majority of cases occurring in those with HIV/AIDS, but healthy individuals also develop disease. Immunoglobulin M (IgM) has been linked to resistance to disease in humans and mice. In this article, we found that X-linked immunodeficient (XID) mice, which have markedly reduced levels of IgM, were unable to contain Cryptococcus in the lungs. This was associated with reduced yeast uptake by macrophages, an aberrant tissue inflammatory response, an enlargement of the yeast cells in the lungs, and fungal dissemination to the brain. Since XID mice have a mutation in the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk) gene, our data suggest that treatments aimed at blocking the function of Btk could pose a higher risk for cryptococcosis.
The outcome of cryptococcal pneumonia correlates with local macrophage polarization status, as M1 and M2 polarization marks protective and nonprotective responses, respectively. Overall, pulmonary macrophage polarization status changes over time during a cryptococcal infection. This could have been caused by repolarization of individual macrophages or by a replacement of M2-polarized cells by new M1-polarized cells. To explore the ability of macrophages to change between polarization states, we conducted a series of experiments using in vitro macrophages. Coculture of macrophages with Cryptococcus neoformans resulted in development of a weak M1-like phenotype, with modestly increased inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) but lacking interleukin 6 (IL-6) induction. The C. neoformans-induced M1-like polarization state was plastic, as macrophages stimulated first with C. neoformans and then with gamma interferon (IFN-γ) or IL-4 expressed mRNA polarization patterns similar to those stimulated with cytokines alone. To further evaluate macrophage polarization plasticity, cytokine stimulatory conditions were established which fully polarized macrophages. IFN-γ and IL-4 stimulation differentially induced complete M1 and M2 polarization, defined by differential expression of marker mRNA panels, surface marker expression, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) protein production. Switching IFN-γ- to IL-4-stimulating conditions, and vice versa, resulted in uniform changes in profiles of polarization marker genes consistent with the most recent cytokine environment. Furthermore, the ability of sequentially stimulated macrophages to inhibit C. neoformans reflected the most recent polarizing condition, independent of previous polarization. Collectively, these data indicate that M1/M2 macrophage polarization phenotypes are highly plastic to external signals, and interventions which therapeutically repolarize macrophages could be beneficial for treatment of cryptococcosis.
Our studies reveal how a major opportunistic fungal pathogen, Cryptococcus neoformans, interacts with macrophages, immune cells which can ingest and kill invading pathogens. Macrophages play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of cryptococcal infection, as their polarization phenotype determines the outcome of the battle between the infected host and C. neoformans. This study suggests that dynamic changes in polarization of macrophages at the level of individual cells are an important characteristic of in vivo cryptococcosis, as they occur throughout the natural course of infection. We demonstrate that macrophages can rapidly and uniformly reverse their polarization phenotype in response to dynamic signaling conditions and lose or regain their fungicidal function. Demonstrating importance of these pathways may become a cornerstone for novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of cryptococcosis in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent patients.
Nonhuman primates have been a common animal model to evaluate experimentally-induced malformations. Reports on spontaneous malformations are important in determining the background incidence of congenital anomalies in specific species and in evaluating experimental results. Here we report on a stillborn cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) with multiple congenital anomalies from the colony maintained at the Southwest National Primate Research Center at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, Texas. Physical findings included low birth weight, craniorachischisis, facial abnormalities, omphalocele, malrotation of the gut with areas of atresia and intussusception, a Meckel diverticulum, arthrogryposis, patent ductus arteriosus, and patent foramen ovale. The macaque had normal male external genitalia, but undescended testes. Gestational age was unknown but was estimated from measurements of the limbs and other developmental criteria. Although cytogenetic analysis was not possible due to the tissues being in an advanced state of decomposition, array Comparative Genomic Hybridization analysis using human bacterial artificial chromosome clones was successful in effectively eliminating aneuploidy or any copy number changes greater than approximately 3–5 Mb as a cause of the malformations. Further evaluation of the animal included extensive imaging of the skeletal and neural tissue defects. The animal’s congenital anomalies are discussed in relation to the current hypotheses attempting to explain the frequent association of neural tube defects with other abnormalities.
neural tube defects; schisis association; macaque; cynomolgus monkey; non-human primate; congenital defects; malformations
Dendrimers comprise a category of branched materials with diverse functions that can be constructed with defined architectural and chemical structures. When decorated with bioactive ligands made of peptides and saccharides through peripheral chemical groups, dendrimer conjugates are turned into nanomaterials possessing attractive binding properties with the cognate receptors. At the cellular level, bioactive dendrimer conjugates can interact with cells with avidity and selectivity, and this function has particularly stimulated interests in investigating the targeting potential of dendrimer materials for the design of drug delivery systems. In addition, bioactive dendrimer conjugates have so far been studied for their versatile capabilities to enhance stability, solubility and absorption of various types of therapeutics. This review presents a brief discussion on three aspects of the recent studies to use peptide- and saccharide-conjugated dendrimers for drug delivery: (i) synthesis methods, (ii) cell- and tissue-targeting properties and (iii) applications of conjugated dendrimers in drug delivery nanodevices. With more studies to elucidate the structure–function relationship of ligand–dendrimer conjugates in transporting drugs, the conjugated dendrimers hold promise to facilitate targeted delivery and improve drug efficacy for discovery and development of modern pharmaceutics.
dendrimer; ligand; drug delivery; targeting; binding
New therapeutic targets for antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens are desperately needed. The bacterial surface polysaccharide poly-β-(1-6)-N-acetyl-glucosamine (PNAG) mediates biofilm formation by some bacterial species, and antibodies to PNAG can confer protective immunity. By analyzing sequenced genomes, we found that potentially multidrug-resistant bacterial species such as Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and the Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC) may be able to produce PNAG. Among patients with cystic fibrosis patients, highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the BCC have emerged as problematic pathogens, providing an impetus to study the potential of PNAG to be targeted for immunotherapy against pan-resistant bacterial pathogens.
The presence of PNAG on BCC was assessed using a combination of bacterial genetics, microscopy, and immunochemical approaches. Antibodies to PNAG were tested using opsonophagocytic assays and for protective efficacy against lethal peritonitis in mice.
PNAG is expressed in vitro and in vivo by the BCC, and cystic fibrosis patients infected by the BCC species B. dolosa mounted a PNAG-specific opsonophagocytic antibody response. Antisera to PNAG mediated opsonophagocytic killing of BCC and were protective against lethal BCC peritonitis even during coinfection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Our findings raise potential new therapeutic options against PNAG-producing bacteria, including even pan-resistant pathogens.
Understanding the tissue-specific pattern of gene expression is critical in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of tissue development, gene function, and transcriptional regulations of biological processes. Although tissue-specific gene expression information is available in several databases, follow-up strategies to integrate and use these data are limited. The objective of the current study was to identify and evaluate novel tissue-specific genes in human and mouse tissues by performing comparative microarray database analysis and semi-quantitative PCR analysis. We developed a powerful approach to predict tissue-specific genes by analyzing existing microarray data from the NCBI′s Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) public repository. We investigated and confirmed tissue-specific gene expression in the human and mouse kidney, liver, lung, heart, muscle, and adipose tissue. Applying our novel comparative microarray approach, we confirmed 10 kidney, 11 liver, 11 lung, 11 heart, 8 muscle, and 8 adipose specific genes. The accuracy of this approach was further verified by employing semi-quantitative PCR reaction and by searching for gene function information in existing publications. Three novel tissue-specific genes were discovered by this approach including AMDHD1 (amidohydrolase domain containing 1) in the liver, PRUNE2 (prune homolog 2) in the heart, and ACVR1C (activin A receptor, type IC) in adipose tissue. We further confirmed the tissue-specific expression of these 3 novel genes by real-time PCR. Among them, ACVR1C is adipose tissue-specific and adipocyte-specific in adipose tissue, and can be used as an adipocyte developmental marker. From GEO profiles, we predicted the processes in which AMDHD1 and PRUNE2 may participate. Our approach provides a novel way to identify new sets of tissue-specific genes and to predict functions in which they may be involved.
Administration of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) after myocardial infarction (MI) results in modest functional improvements. However; the effect of microenvironment changes after MI, such as elevated levels of oxidative stress on cardiogenic gene expression of MSCs, remains unclear.
MSCs were isolated from the bone marrow of adult rats and treated for 1 week with H2O2 (0.1 to 100 μM) or 48 hours with glucose oxidase (GOX; 0 to 5 mU/ml) to mimic long-term pulsed or short-term continuous levels of H2O2, respectively.
In 100 μM H2O2 or 5 mU/ml GOX-treated MSCs, mRNA expression of selected endothelial genes (Flt1, vWF, PECAM1), and early cardiac marker (nkx2-5, αMHC) increased significantly, whereas early smooth muscle markers (smooth muscle α-actin and sm22α) and fibroblast marker vimentin decreased, as measured with real-time PCR. Interestingly, mRNA expression and activity of the cell-surface receptor Notch1 were significantly increased, as were its downstream targets, Hes5 and Hey1. Co-treatment of MSCs with 100 μM H2O2 and a γ-secretase inhibitor that prevents Notch signaling abrogated the increase in cardiac and endothelial genes, while augmenting the decrease in smooth muscle markers. Further, on GOX treatment, a significant increase in Wnt11, a downstream target of Notch1, was observed. Similar results were obtained with adult rat cardiac-derived progenitor cells.
These data suggest that H2O2- or GOX-mediated oxidative stress upregulates Notch1 signaling, which promotes cardiogenic gene expression in adult stem/progenitor cells, possibly involving Wnt11. Modulating the balance between Notch activation and H2O2-mediated oxidative stress may lead to improved adult stem cell-based therapies for cardiac repair and regeneration.
Cardiac progenitor cells; Gene expression; Glucose oxidase; Hydrogen peroxide; Mesenchymal stem cells; Notch1
Heterogeneity of the length–tension relationships in lymph vessels has never been evaluated systematically.
Methods and Results
In this study we measured the length–tension relationships in lymph vessels from three different regions of the rat: thoracic duct, cervical, and femoral lymph vessels, and compared the results to our previous measurements of rat mesenteric lymph vessels. We performed isometric force measurements on activated and passive lymph vessel segments using a small-vessel wire myograph. We found that all groups of vessels had relatively broad plateaus in their active tension versus length relationships, suggesting that they are adapted to generate near-maximal tensions over a relatively wide range of preloads (at least 0.85–1.05 L0). Thoracic duct exhibited the flattest active tension curve, particularly for peak active tension, in which there was less than a 5% change in peak active tension from 0.75 to 1.30 of optimal length. Femoral lymph vessels were able to withstand the highest estimated pressures, followed by mesenteric and cervical vessels and then thoracic duct.
We conclude that lymph vessels effectively adapt their contractile force to the particular hydrodynamic conditions (transmural pressures and intraluminal flows) that exist in different regions of the lymphatic system.
AIM: To assess the diagnostic yield and clinical value of early repeat colonoscopies for indications other than colorectal cancer (CRC) screening/surveillance.
METHODS: A retrospective review of patients who had more than one colonoscopy performed for the same indication within a three year time frame at our tertiary care referral hospital between January 1, 2000 and January 1, 2010 was conducted. Exclusion criteria included repeat colonoscopies performed for CRC screening/surveillance, poor bowel preparation, suspected complications from the index procedure, and incomplete initial procedure. Primary outcome was new endoscopic finding that led to an endoscopic therapeutic intervention or any change in clinical management. Clinical parameters including age, sex, race, interval between procedures, indication of the procedure, presenting symptoms, severity of symptoms, hemodynamic instability, duration between onset of symptoms and when the procedure was performed, change in endoscopist, withdrawal time, location of colonic lesions and improvement of quality of bowel preparation were analyzed using bivariate analysis and logistic regression analysis to examine correlation with this primary outcome.
RESULTS: Among 19 772 colonoscopies performed during the above mentioned period, 947 colonoscopies (4.79%) were repeat colonoscopies performed within 3 years from the index procedure. Out of these repeat colonoscopies, 139 patient pairs met the inclusion criteria. The majority of repeat colonoscopies were for lower gastrointestinal bleeding (88.4%), change in bowel habits (6.4%) and abdominal pain (5%). Among 139 eligible patient pairs of colonoscopies, only repeat colonoscopies that were done for lower gastrointestinal bleeding and abdominal pain produced endoscopic findings that led to a change in management [25 out of 123 (20.33%) and 2 out of 7 (28.57%), respectively]. When looking at only recurrent lower gastrointestinal bleeding cases, new endoscopic findings included 8 previously undetected hemorrhoid lesions (6.5%), 7 actively bleeding lesions requiring endoscopic intervention, which included 3 bleeding arterio-venous malformations (2.43%), 2 bleeding radiation colitis (1.6%), and 2 bleeding internal hemorrhoids (1.6%), 5 previously undetected tubular adenomas [4 were smaller than 1 cm (4.9%) and 1 was larger than 1 cm (0.8%)], 3 radiation colitis (2.43%), 1 rectal ulcer (0.8%), and 1 previously undetected right sided colon cancer (0.8%). Of the 25 new endoscopic findings, 18 (72%) were found when repeat colonoscopy was done within the first year after the index procedure. These findings were 1 rectal ulcer, 3 radiation colitis, 4 new hemorrhoid lesions, 3 previously undetected tubular adenomas, and 7 actively bleeding lesions requiring endoscopic intervention. Of all parameters analyzed, only the interval between procedures less than one year was associated with higher likelihood of finding a clinically significant change in repeat colonoscopy (odds ratios of interval between procedures of 1-2 year and 2-3 year compared to 0-1 year were 0.09; 95%CI 0.01-0.74, P = 0.025 and 0.26; 95%CI 0.09-0.72, P = 0.010 respectively). No complications were observed among all 139 colonoscopy pairs.
CONCLUSION: There is clinical value of repeating a colonoscopy for recurrent lower gastrointestinal bleeding, especially within the first year after the index procedure.
Lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage; Recurrent hemorrhage; Colonoscopy; Colonic disease; Diagnostic yield
Measuring serum levels of the prostate specific antigen (PSA) is the most common screening method for prostate cancer. However, PSA levels are affected by a number of factors apart from neoplasia. Notably, around 40% of the variability of PSA levels in the general population is accounted for by inherited factors, suggesting that it may be possible to improve both sensitivity and specificity by adjusting test results for genetic effects. In order to search for sequence variants that associate with PSA levels, we performed a genome-wide association study and follow-up analysis using PSA information from 15,757 Icelandic and 454 British men not diagnosed with prostate cancer. Overall, we detected a genome-wide significant association between PSA levels and SNPs at six loci: 5p15.33 (rs2736098), 10q11 (rs10993994), 10q26 (rs10788160), 12q24 (rs11067228), 17q12 (rs4430796), and 19q13.33 (rs17632542 (KLK3: I179T), each with Pcombined < 3×10−10. Among 3,834 men who underwent a biopsy of the prostate, the 10q26, 12q24, and 19q13.33 alleles that associate with high PSA levels are associated with higher probability of a negative biopsy (OR between 1.15 and 1.27). Assessment of association between the 6 loci and prostate cancer risk in 5,325 cases and 41,417 controls from Iceland, the Netherlands, Spain, Romania, and the US showed that the SNPs at 10q26 and 12q24 were exclusively associated with PSA levels, whereas the other 4 loci also were associated with prostate cancer risk. We propose that a personalized PSA cutoff value, based on genotype, should be used when deciding to perform a prostate biopsy.
A dysregulated fear response is one of the hallmark clinical presentations of patients suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These patients show overgeneralization of fear and in tandem an inability to inhibit fear responses in the presence of safety. Here, we summarize our recent findings using a conditional discrimination paradigm, which assesses safety signal processing (AX+/BX−) in combat and civilian PTSD populations. Overall, PTSD subjects demonstrate a lack of safety signal learning and an inability to modulate the fear responses with safety cues. We then review studies of the neurobiology of fear expression and inhibition in humans and non-humans, in order to provide a background for preliminary studies using reverse translation procedures in which the same AX+/BX− paradigm was used in rhesus macaques.