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1.  Fetuin-A is related to syndesmophytes in patients with ankylosing spondylitis: a case control study 
Clinics  2014;69(10):688-693.
New bone formation is one of the hallmark characteristics of ankylosing spondylitis, which is thereby associated with syndesmophytes. Fetuin-A is a molecule that is abundantly found in calcified tissues and it shows high affinity for calcium phosphate minerals and related compounds. Considering the role of fetuin-A in the regulation of calcified matrix metabolism, we compared the fetuin-A levels in ankylosing spondylitis patients with syndesmophytes with those in patients without syndesmophytes and in healthy controls. We also studied other biomarkers that are thought to be related to syndesmophytes.
Ninety-four patients (49 patients without syndesmophytes, 67.3% male, 40.7±8.7 years; 45 patients with syndesmophytes, 71.1% M, 43.9±9.9 years) and 68 healthy controls (44.2±10.6 years and 70.6% male) were included in this study. Syndesmophytes were assessed on the lateral radiographs of the cervical and lumbar spine. The serum levels of fetuin-A, dickkopf-1, sclerostin, IL-6, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and bone morphogenetic protein-7 were measured with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Patients with syndesmophytes had significantly higher levels of fetuin-A compared with patients without syndesmophytes and controls (1.16±0.13, 1.05±0.09 and 1.08±0.13 mg/ml, respectively). However, fetuin-A was not different between the patients without syndesmophytes and controls. Bone morphogenetic protein-7 was significantly lower; dickkopf-1 was significantly higher in patients with ankylosing spondylitis compared with controls. The sclerostin concentrations were not different between the groups. In regression analysis, fetuin-A was an independent, significant predictor of syndesmophytes.
Our results suggest that fetuin-A may a role in the pathogenesis of bony proliferation in ankylosing spondylitis.
PMCID: PMC4221327  PMID: 25518021
Ankylosing Spondylitis; Bone Formation; Fetuin-A; Dickkopf-1 Protein Human; Sclerostin Protein Human; Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7
2.  Vasculitis and long standing ankylosing spondylitis in a patient with familial Mediterranean fever 
Coexistence of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) and other inflammatory disorders has been frequently reported, but no specific underlying factor has been identified. We report a patient with FMF who is presented with long-standing ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and cutaneous leukocytoklastic vasculitis (LV) of the lower limbs. It is the first report on combination of FMF with AS and LV. The Mediterranean Fever (MEFV) gene mutation of heterozygote (R202Q/R726A) and HLA-B27 are detected in this case, and are believed to form genetic susceptibility to LV.
PMCID: PMC4274560  PMID: 25538787
Ankylosing spondylitis; familial Mediterranean fever; leukocytoklastic vasculitis; vasculitis
3.  Is there a relationship between endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene polymorphisms and ankylosing spondylitis? 
Clinics  2013;68(3):305-309.
Nitric oxide is produced by endothelial nitric oxide synthase, and its production can be influenced by polymorphisms of the endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene. Because candidate genes responsible for susceptibility to ankylosing spondylitis are mostly unknown and available data suggest that there may be problems related to the nitric oxide pathway, such as endothelial dysfunction and increased asymmetric dimethylarginine, this study aimed to assess the association of common endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene polymorphisms with ankylosing spondylitis.
One hundred ninety-four unrelated Turkish ankylosing spondylitis patients and 113 healthy without apparent cardiovascular disease, hypertension or diabetes mellitus were included. All individuals were genotyped by PCR-RFLP for two single-nucleotide polymorphisms, namely 786T>C (rs2070744, promoter region) and 786 Glu298Asp (rs1799983, exon 7). Variable numbers of tandem repeat polymorphisms in intron 4 were also studied and investigated by direct electrophoresis on agarose gel following polymerase chain reaction analysis. The Bath ankylosing spondylitis metrology index of the patients was calculated, and human leukocyte antigen B27 was studied.
All studied polymorphisms satisfied Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Sex distributions were similar between the patient and control groups. No significant differences were found in the distributions of allele and genotype frequencies of the studied endothelial nitric oxide synthase polymorphisms between patients and controls. There were no correlations between endothelial nitric oxide synthase polymorphisms, disease duration, Bath ankylosing spondylitis metrology index or human leukocyte antigen B27.
The results presented in this study do not support a major role of common endothelial nitric oxide synthase polymorphisms in Turkish ankylosing spondylitis patients.
PMCID: PMC3611897  PMID: 23644848
Ankylosing Spondylitis; Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase; Nitric Oxide; Inflammation; Atherosclerosis
4.  Increased Levels of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor in Patients with Familial Mediterranean Fever 
Objective: To determine the level of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), its relationship with Mediterranean fever (MEFV) gene mutations and oxidative stress in familial Mediterranean fever (FMF).
Methods: Fifty one unrelated attack free FMF patients (24 M and 27 F, 32.8±8.7 years) and 30 healthy controls (16 M and 14 F, 32.7±7 years) were included in the study. Serum MIF, total oxidant status (TOS) and total anti-oxidant status (TAS) were studied.
Results: Age, sex distribution, anthropometrical indices, smoking status, serum lipids and TAS concentrations were similar between the patients and controls. However; erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), MIF, and TOS were significantly higher in the patients' group compared with healthy subjects. MIF, TOS and TAS levels were not different between patients with or without M694V mutations.
Conclusion: We found increased concentrations of MIF in patients with FMF. Increased MIF levels were significantly correlated with oxidative stress and in regression analysis MIF concentrations were independent from the inflammatory activity as assessed by ESR and CRP. M694V mutations seem no effect on MIF and oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC3689875  PMID: 23794947
Macrophage migration inhibitory factors; Familial Mediterranean fever; Oxidative stress; Inflammation.
5.  Ghrelin and adipokines as circulating markers of disease activity in patients with Takayasu arteritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(6):R272.
The current markers of disease activity in Takayasu arteritis (TA) are insufficient for proper assessment. We investigated circulating levels of unacylated and acylated ghrelin, leptin and adiponectin and their relationships with disease activity in patients with TA.
This study included 31 patients with TA and 32 sex-, age- and body mass index-matched healthy controls. Disease activity was assessed in TA patients using various tools, including Kerr's criteria, disease extent index-Takayasu, physician's global assessment, radiological parameters, and laboratory markers. Plasma unacylated and acylated ghrelin, and serum leptin and adiponectin levels were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Unacylated and acylated ghrelin levels were found to be significantly lower in TA patients than that in healthy controls. Patients with active disease had lower unacylated ghrelin levels than those with inactive disease and had lower acylated ghrelin levels than healthy controls. Ghrelin levels were negatively correlated with various parameters of disease activity. The leptin/ghrelin ratio was significantly higher in TA patients than controls. It was positively correlated with disease activity. There was a positive correlation between unacylated and acylated ghrelin and a negative correlation between leptin and ghrelin. There was no statistical difference in adiponectin levels between TA patients and controls. The radiological activity markers were positively correlated with other parameters of disease activity.
This study suggests that plasma unacylated and acylated ghrelin levels may be useful in monitoring disease activity and planning treatment strategies for patients with TA. The serum leptin level and leptin/ghrelin ratio may also be used to help assess the disease activity.
PMCID: PMC3674588  PMID: 23259466
6.  Biomarkers and cytokines of bone turnover: extensive evaluation in a cohort of patients with ankylosing spondylitis 
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of spine and sacroiliac joints; it is characterized by new bone formation, and the disease processes can be accompanied by osteoporosis. In the present study, we investigated changes in bone mineral density (BMD) and in the levels of various bone turnover-related biomarkers and cytokines in a cohort of AS patients, with regard to clinical parameters, disease activity, and treatment regimen.
55 AS patients and 33 healthy controls included in the study. Spinal mobility was assessed by the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index (BASMI), and radiologic changes were scored by the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Radiologic Index (BASRI). Patients were also evaluated with the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) and the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI). Bone mineral density (BMD) assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Various biomarkers and cytokines of bone turnover including osteoprotegerin (OPG), serum band 5 tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP-5), soluble receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (sRANKL), secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (sFRP-1), Dickkopf-related protein 1 (DKK-1), and sclerostin were studied.
The levels of TRAP-5, NTX, sRANKL, sclerostin, sFRP-1, DKK-1, and IFNγ, were similar between the patients and controls (p > 0.05), while BMD of femoral neck, and OPG levels were significantly lower in AS patients (p < 0.05). In a subgroup analysis, patients with active disease had significantly higher concentrations of OPG compared with the inactive group. Rest of the biomarkers and cytokines of bone turnover were similar between the active and inactive disease groups. Subgroup analysis of patients receiving anti-TNFα agents and conventional therapy revealed that OPG concentrations were significantly lower in the patients receiving biological drugs, while BAP and DKK-1 were significantly higher in the patients treated with conventional agents.
In this cross-sectional study we showed that OPG levels were significantly lower in AS patients compared to healthy subjects. On the other hand, the levels of wingless (Wnt) signal pathway inhibitors seem not altered. Ectopic bone formation in AS may be related to dysfunction of these molecules at the cellular level.
PMCID: PMC3492209  PMID: 23025387
Ankylosing spondylitis; Bone mineral density; OPG; RANKL; DKK-1
7.  Comparison of Oxidant/Antioxidant, Detoxification Systems in Various Tissue Homogenates and Mitochondria of Rats with Diabetes Induced by Streptozocin 
Experimental Diabetes Research  2012;2012:386831.
Objective. Oxidative stress is considered to be the main factor in the development of diabetic complications and tissue injury. our objective was to investigate and compare the oxidant/antioxidant conditions and detoxification mechanisms of the liver, lung, kidney, cardiac tissues, and mitochondria of rats with diabetes induced by streptozocin (STZ). Methods. Rats with diabetes induced by streptozocin were anesthetized by administering 90 mg/kg ketamine hydrochloride and 3 mg/kg xylazine hydrochloride. Thoracic cavities were incised open; liver, lung, kidney, and cardiac tissues were removed and stored at −70°C. All samples were homogenized and mitochondrial fractions were separated. Total Antioxidant Status (TAS), Total Oxidant Status (TOS), Oxidative Stress Index (OSI), Paraoxonase (PON), Arylesterase, Catalase (Cat), Malondialdehyde (MDA), and Glutathion-S-transferase were measured in each fraction. Results. MDA and TOS levels were significantly increased in liver tissues, and T OS and OSI were increased in the mitochondrial fractions of diabetic rats. These increases were not statistically significant compared to the control group. No significant differences were determined in the antioxidant and GST activities. Conclusion. According to our results, oxidative stress has not developed in rats with diabetes induced by streptozocin. The detoxification system was induced; however, this induction did not differ significantly from the controls.
PMCID: PMC3320003  PMID: 22536214
8.  Determination of Serum Adenosine Deaminase and Xanthine Oxidase Levels in Patients with Crimean–Congo Hemorrhagic Fever 
Clinics  2010;65(7):697-702.
Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever with a high mortality rate. Despite increasing knowledge about hemorrhagic fever viruses, little is known about the pathogenesis of Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever. In this study, we measured serum adenosine deaminase and xanthine oxidase levels in Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever patients.
Serum adenosine deaminase levels were measured with a sensitive colorimetric method described by Giusti and xanthine oxidase levels by the method of Worthington in 30 consecutive hospitalized patients (mean age 42.6 ± 21.0). Laboratory tests confirmed their diagnoses of Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever. Thirty-five subjects (mean age 42.9 ± 19.1) served as the control group.
There was a significant difference in adenosine deaminase and xanthine oxidase levels between cases and controls (p<0.05). However, neither adenosine deaminase nor xanthine oxidase levels varied with the severity of disease in the cases assessed (p>0.05).
Adenosine deaminase and xanthine oxidase levels were increased in patients with Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever. Elevated serum xanthine oxidase activity in patients with Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever may be associated with reactive oxygen species generated by the xanthine/xanthine oxidase system during inflammatory responses. In addition, elevated lipid peroxidation may contribute to cell damage and hemorrhage. The association of cell damage and hemorrhage with xanthine oxidase activity should be further investigated in large-scale studies.
PMCID: PMC2910858  PMID: 20668627
Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever; Adenosine deaminase; Xanthine oxidase; intracellular enzyme; Nairovirus
9.  Rhabdomyolysis in a Healthy Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donor following Mobilization with Filgrastim 
Although granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) mobilization is generally well tolerated by healthy donors, there is also a wide spectrum of adverse events associated with it. Among these events, rhabdomyolysis in peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donors is very rare. In this paper, we present a first case of rhabdomyolysis after administration of filgrastim for PBSC mobilization.
Case Report
A 6-year-old donor received 10 μg/kg/day filgrastim subcutaneously for 5 days. On the 3rd day of filgrastim, the donor complained of bone pain; a single dose of paracetamol (250 mg) was given to relieve pain. On the 4th day, she complained of bone pain, myalgia, and vomiting. On laboratory analysis, serum creatine phosphokinase was 1,095 U/l (40–226 U/l), LDH 312 U/l (100–190 U/l), aspartate aminotransferase 85 U/l (0–40 U/l), potassium 3.3 mmol/l (3.6–5.1 mmol/l). Urine myoglobin was 110 ng/ml (<5 ng/ml). Rhabdomyolysis was suspected on clinical and laboratory findings. Clinical manifestations regressed and the laboratory results returned to normal within three days after intravenously forced diuresis and potassium replacement. Stem cells were successfully harvested from peripheral blood on the 5th day of G-CSF therapy.
Rhabdomyolysis is a rare but important adverse effect of G-CSF. Allogeneic PBSC donors should be closely monitored with regard to rhabdomyolysis after G-CSF administration in the mobilization setting.
PMCID: PMC2928827  PMID: 20823994
Rhabdomyolysis; Filgrastim; Peripheral blood stem cell mobilization
10.  A Case of Adult-Onset Still's Disease Complicated with Diffuse Alveolar Hemorrhage 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;24(1):155-157.
Adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) is an inflammatory disease that presents with a variety of clinical symptoms. Pulmonary involvement is well-known in AOSD and is seen in up to 53% of AOSD cases, with the most common pulmonary diseases being pleural effusion and transient pulmonary infiltrates. We present the first case of chronic AOSD complicated with diffuse alveolar hemorrhage during the acute flare of the disease.
PMCID: PMC2650997  PMID: 19270830
Still's Disease, Adult-Onset; Lung Diseases
11.  Comparison of Plateletpheresis on the Fenwal Amicus and Fresenius Com.Tec Cell Separators 
A variety of apheresis devices are now available on the market for plateletapheresis. We compared two apheresis instruments (Fenwal Amicus and Fresenius COM.TEC) with regard to processing time, platelet (PLT) yield and efficiency, and white blood cell (WBC) content.
Material and Methods
Donors undergoing plateletpheresis were randomly separated into two groups (either the Amicus or the COM.TEC cell separator).
In the pre-apheresis setting, 32 plateletpheresis procedures performed with each instrument revealed no significant differences in donors’ sex, age, weight, height and total blood volume between the two groups. However, the pre-apheresis PLT count was higher with the COM.TEC than with the Amicus (198 × 103/μl vs. 223 × 103/μl; p = 0.035). The blood volume processed to reach a target PLT yield of ≥3.3 × 1011 was higher in the COM.TEC compared to the Amicus (3,481 vs. 2,850 ml; p < 0.001). The median separation time was also significantly longer in the COM.TEC than in the Amicus (61 vs. 44 min; p < 0.001). 91 and 88% of the PLT products collected with the Amicus and the COM.TEC, respectively, had a PLT count of >3.3 × 1011 (p = 0.325). All products obtained with both instruments had WBC counts lower than 5 ↔ 106, as required. There was no statistical difference with regard to collection efficiency between the devices (55 ± 15 vs. 57 ± 15%; p = 0.477). However, the collection rate was significantly higher with the Amicus compared to the COM.TEC instrument (0.077 ± 0.012 × 1011 vs. 0.057 ± 0.008 × 1011 PLT/min; p < 0.001).
Both instruments collected platelets efficiently. Additionally, consistent leukoreduction was obtained with both instruments; however, compared with the COM.TEC instrument, the Amicus reached the PLT target yield more quickly.
PMCID: PMC3076329  PMID: 21512626
Plateletpheresis; Apheresis; Amicus; COM.TEC; Cell separator
12.  Cytomegalovirus colitis in a patient with Behcet’s disease receiving tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitory treatment 
Anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) inhibitors are effective in the treatment of various inflammatory rheumatic conditions. Increased risks of serious infections are the major issues concerning the long-term safety of these agents. We present a case of a young male Behcet’s patient whose disease was complicated by cytomegalovirus (CMV) colitis. Colitis started 10 d after the third Infliximab dose and responded to the cessation of TNF blocking treatment and administration of ganciclovir. Tumor necrosis factor alpha and interferon gamma act at several levels in combating viral infections. CMV infections should be kept in mind and included in the differential diagnosis of severe gastrointestinal symptoms in patients receiving anti-TNF agents.
PMCID: PMC2710737  PMID: 18473420
Tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors; Adverse effects; Virus diseases
13.  Characterization of an archaeal malic enzyme from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus kodakaraensis KOD1 
Archaea  2005;1(5):293-301.
Although the interconversion between C4 and C3 compounds has an important role in overall metabolism, limited information is available on the properties and regulation of enzymes acting on these metabolites in hyperthermophilic archaea. Malic enzyme is one of the enzymes involved in this interconversion, catalyzing the oxidative decarboxylation of malate to pyruvate as well as the reductive carboxylation coupled with NAD(P)H. This study focused on the enzymatic properties and expression profile of an uncharacterized homolog of malic enzyme identified in the genome of a heterotrophic, hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus kodakaraensis KOD1 (Tk-Mae). The amino acid sequence of Tk-Mae was 52–58% identical to those of malic enzymes from bacteria, whereas the similarities to the eukaryotic homologs were lower. Several catalytically important regions and residues were conserved in the primary structure of Tk-Mae. The recombinant protein, which formed a homodimer, exhibited thermostable malic enzyme activity with strict divalent cation dependency. The enzyme preferred NADP+ rather than NAD+, but did not catalyze the decarboxylation of oxaloacetate, unlike the usual NADP-dependent malic enzymes. The apparent Michaelis constant (Km) of Tk-Mae for malate (16.9 mM) was much larger than those of known enzymes, leading to no strong preference for the reaction direction. Transcription of the gene encoding Tk-Mae and intracellular malic enzyme activity in T. kodakaraensis were constitutively weak, regardless of the growth substrates. Possible roles of Tk-Mae are discussed based on these results and the metabolic pathways of T. kodakaraensis deduced from the genome sequence.
PMCID: PMC2685551  PMID: 15876562
carbon metabolism; hyperthermophile; malate; pyruvate; tricarboxylic acid cycle

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