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1.  Elevated Serum Gamma-Glutamyltransferase Is a Strong Marker of Insulin Resistance in Obese Children 
Elevated levels of serum gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) levels have been found to predict the development of type 2 diabetes in adults. The role of GGT in insulin resistance (IR) among children is largely unknown. We investigated whether GGT among hepatic enzymes is independently associated with IR in obese Korean children. A total of 1308 overweight (above the 85th BMI percentile of Korean reference) boys (n = 822) and girls (n = 486), aged 9–15 years, were studied. Measures acquired included weight, height, percent body fat (BF%), waist circumference, blood pressure, blood glucose and insulin, C-reactive protein, total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-Cholesterol, GGT, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). IR was calculated using the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR). Serum GGT and ALT, but not AST, were positively correlated with HOMA-IR in boys (r = 0.222 for GGT; P < 0.05, r = 0.188 for ALT; P < 0.05) and girls (r = 0.292 for GGT; P < 0.05, r = 0.258 for ALT; P < 0.05). In multiple regression analysis for HOMA-IR as dependent variable, GGT (β = 0.068; P = 0.053 in boys, β = 0.145; P = 0.002 in girls) and ALT (β = 0.074; P = 0.034 in boys, β = 0.130; P = 0.005 in girls) emerged as determinants of HOMA-IR after adjusting age, BMI, tanner stage, and triglycerides. Serum GGT level is a strong marker of IR in obese Korean children.
PMCID: PMC3610353  PMID: 23573088
2.  2014 Clinical Practice Guidelines for Overweight and Obesity in Korea 
Endocrinology and Metabolism  2014;29(4):405-409.
The dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity and its accompanying comorbidities are major health concerns in Korea. Obesity is defined as a body mass index ≥25 kg/m2 in Korea. Current estimates are that 32.8% of adults are obese: 36.1% of men and 29.7% of women. The prevalence of being overweight and obese in national surveys is increasing steadily. Early detection and the proper management of obesity are urgently needed. Weight loss of 5% to 10% is the standard goal. In obese patients, control of cardiovascular risk factors deserves the same emphasis as weight-loss therapy. Since obesity is multifactorial, proper care of obesity requires a coordinated multidisciplinary treatment team, as a single intervention is unlikely to modify the incidence or natural history of obesity.
PMCID: PMC4285036  PMID: 25559568
Clinical practice guidelines; Obesity; Korea
3.  Metformin Attenuates Experimental Autoimmune Arthritis through Reciprocal Regulation of Th17/Treg Balance and Osteoclastogenesis 
Mediators of Inflammation  2014;2014:973986.
Metformin is widely used to suppress certain functions of the cells found in diseases including diabetes and obesity. In this study, the effects of metformin on downregulating IL-17-producing T (Th17) cells, activating and upregulating regulatory T (Treg) cells, suppressing osteoclastogenesis, and clinically scoring collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) were investigated. To evaluate the effect of metformin on CIA, mice were orally fed with either metformin or saline as control three times a week for nine weeks. Histological analysis of the joints was performed using immunohistochemistry and Th17 cells and Treg cells of the spleen tissue were examined by confocal microscopy staining. Metformin mitigated the severity of CIA, reduced serum immunoglobulin concentrations, and reciprocally regulated Th17/Treg axis. Also, metformin treatment of normal cells cultured in Th17 conditions decreased the number of Th17 cells and increased the number of Treg cells. Metformin decreased gene expression and osteoclastogenic activity in CIA and normal mice. These results indicate that metformin had immunomodulatory actions influencing anti-inflammatory action on CIA through the inhibition of Th17 cell differentiation and the upregulation of Treg cell differentiation along with the suppression of osteoclast differentiation. Our results suggest that metformin may be a potential therapeutic for rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC4158168  PMID: 25214721
4.  Interferon Gamma Suppresses Collagen-Induced Arthritis by Regulation of Th17 through the Induction of Indoleamine-2,3-Deoxygenase 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60900.
C57BL/6 mice are known to be resistant to the development of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). However, they show a severe arthritic phenotype when the Ifng gene is deleted. Although it has been proposed that IFN-γ suppresses inflammation in CIA via suppressing Th17 which is involved in the pathogenesis of CIA, the exact molecular mechanism of the Th17 regulation by IFN-γ is poorly understood. This study was conducted to 1) clarify that arthritogenic condition of IFN-γ knockout (KO) mice is dependent on the disinhibition of Th17 and 2) demonstrate that IFN-γ-induced indoleamine2,3dioxgenase (IDO) is engaged in the regulation of Th17. The results showed that the IFN-γ KO mice displayed increased levels of IL-17 producing T cells and the exacerbation of arthritis. Also, production of IL-17 by the splenocytes of the IFN-γ KO mice was increased when cultured with type II collagen. When Il17 was deleted from the IFN-γ KO mice, only mild arthritis developed without any progression of the arthritis score. The proportion of CD44highCD62Llow memory-like T cells were elevated in the spleen, draining lymph node and mesenteric lymph node of IFN-γ KO CIA mice. Meanwhile, CD44lowCD62Lhigh naïve T cells were increased in IFN-γ and IL-17 double KO CIA mice. When Th17 polarized CD4+ T cells of IFN-γ KO mice were co-cultured with their own antigen presenting cells (APCs), a greater increase in IL-17 production was observed than in co-culture of the cells from wild type mice. In contrast, when APCs from IFN-γ KO mice were pretreated with IFN-γ, there was a significant reduction in IL-17 in the co-culture system. Of note, pretreatment of 1-methyl-DL- tryptophan, a specific inhibitor of IDO, abolished the inhibitory effects of IFN-γ. Given that IFN-γ is a potent inducer of IDO in APCs, these results suggest that IDO is involved in the regulation of IL-17 by IFN-γ.
PMCID: PMC3628800  PMID: 23613752
5.  IL-17-mediated Bcl-2 expression regulates survival of fibroblast-like synoviocytes in rheumatoid arthritis through STAT3 activation 
Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) are a major cell population of the pannus that invades adjacent cartilage and bone in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The study was undertaken to determine the effect of interleukin-17 (IL-17) on the survival and/or proliferation of FLSs from RA patients and to investigate whether signal tranducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is implicated in this process.
Bcl-2 and Bax expression in FLSs was determined using the real-time PCR and western blot analysis. The expression of Bcl-2 and phosphoSTAT3 in synovial tissues was investigated by confocal microscope. Apoptosis of FLSs was detected by Annexin V/propidium iodide staining and/or phase contrast microscopy. The proliferation of FLSs was determined by CCK-8 ELISA assay.
The pro-apoptotic Bax is decreased and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 is increased in FLSs from RA patients compared with those from patients with osteoarthritis (OA). IL-17 upregulated the expression of Bcl-2 in FLSs from RA patients, but not in FLSs from OA patients. STAT3 was found to mediate IL-17-induced Bcl-2 upregulation in FLSs from RA patients. Additionally, IL-17 promoted the survival and proliferation of FLSs from RA patients. Most importantly, treatment with STAT3 inhibitor reversed the protective effect of IL-17 on FLSs apoptosis induced by sodium nitroprusside (SNP).
Our data demonstrate that STAT3 is critical in IL-17-induced survival of FLS from RA patients. Therefore, therapeutic strategies that target the IL-17/STAT3 pathway might be strong candidates for RA treatment modalities.
PMCID: PMC3672783  PMID: 23421940
6.  IL-32 and IL-17 interact and have the potential to aggravate osteoclastogenesis in rheumatoid arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(6):R246.
Interleukin (IL)-32 and IL-17 play critical roles in pro-inflammatory responses and are highly expressed in the synovium of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We investigated the relations between these two cytokines (IL-17 and IL-32) for their ability to induce each other and to stimulate osteoclasts in RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) and T cells.
FLSs were isolated through surgical synovectomy obtained from patients with RA or osteoarthritis (OA). Real-time PCR were performed to evaluate the expression of IL-32, IL-17 and osteoclast-related genes. Immunohistochemical staining and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining were performed to determine the distribution of inflammatory cytokines and the presence of osteoclastogenesis.
IL-17 induced the expression of IL-32 in the FLSs from RA patients, as assessed by microarray. IL-32 production was increased by IL-17. IL-32 in the FLSs from RA patients induced the production of IL-17 in CD4+ T cells. IL-32 and IL-17 were colocalized near TRAP-positive areas in joint specimens. IL-17 and IL-32 synergistically induced the differentiation of osteoclasts, as demonstrated by the expression of osteoclast-related genes. IL-32 and IL-17 also could induce resorption by osteoclasts in a RANKL-dependent manner.
IL-17 affected the expression of IL-32 in FLSs of RA patients and IL-32 induced the production of IL-17 in CD4+ T cells. Both IL-17 and IL-32 cytokines can reciprocally influence each other's production and amplify the function of osteoclastogenesis in the in RA synovium. Separately, IL-17 and IL-32 each stimulated osteoclastogenesis without RANKL. Together, the two cytokines synergistically amplified the differentiation of osteoclasts, independent of RANKL stimulation.
PMCID: PMC3674587  PMID: 23148681
7.  TLR2 ligation induces the production of IL-23/IL-17 via IL-6, STAT3 and NF-kB pathway in patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome 
The study was undertaken to investigate the interrelation of toll-like receptor (TLR) and interleukin (IL)-17 in the salivary glands of patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome (pSS) and to determine the role of TLR and IL-17 in the pathophysiology of pSS.
The expressions of various TLRs, IL-17 and the cytokines involved in Th17 cell differentiation including IL-6, IL-23, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and IL-1β were examined by immunohistochemistry in salivary glands of pSS patients. The IL-17 producing CD4+ T cells (Th17 cells) were examined by flow cytometry and confocal staining in peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PMBCs) and salivary glands of pSS patients. After PBMCs were treated with TLR specific ligands, the induction of IL-17 and IL-23 was determined using real-time PCR and ELISA. The signaling pathway that mediates the TLR2 stimulated production of IL-17 and IL-23 was investigated by using treatment with specific signaling inhibitors.
We showed that TLR2, TLR4, TLR6, IL-17 and the cytokines associated with Th17 cells were highly expressed in salivary glands of pSS patients but not in controls. The expressions of TLR2, TLR4 and TLR6 were observed in the infiltrating mononuclear cells and ductal epithelial cells, whereas IL-17 was mainly observed in infiltrating CD4+ T cells. The number of IL-17 producing CD4+ T cells was significantly higher in pSS patients both in PBMCs and minor salivary glands. The stimulation of TLR2, TLR4 and TLR6 additively induced the production of IL-17 and IL-23 from the PBMCs of pSS patients especially in the presence of TLR2 stimulation. IL-6, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kB) pathways were implicated in the TLR2 stimulated IL-17 and IL-23.
Our data demonstrate that TLR2 ligation induces the production of IL-23/IL-17 via IL-6, STAT3 and NF-kB pathway in pSS. Therefore, therapeutic strategies that target TLR/IL-17 pathway might be strong candidates for treatment modalities of pSS.
PMCID: PMC3446432  PMID: 22417709
8.  A Survey on Activities of Daily Living and Occupations of Upper Extremity Amputees 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2011;35(6):907-921.
To assess prosthetic use by upper extremity amputees, and their difficulties with prostheses in activities of daily living and occupations.
This study is based on a survey of 307 subjects, who were using prostheses manufactured in the Center of Prosthetics and Orthotics. The survey questionnaire included items about general demographic characteristics, side and level of amputation, type of prosthesis and its use, and difficulties in the activities of daily living, employment and driving.
The most common type of prosthesis was the cosmetic hand type (80.2%). There were no statistically significant correlations between satisfaction with prosthesis and the amputation level or type of prosthesis. The most common difficulties in daily living activities experienced by amputees were lacing shoes, removing bottle-tops with a bottle opener, and using scissors. Only 7.3% of amputees received rehabilitation services. Less than half of the amputees (44.7%) used their prostheses for eight or more hours a day, and 76.9% used their prostheses for regular or irregular cosmetic purposes. After amputation, most of the respondents (69.0%) became unemployed or changed workplaces.
In our study, respondents preferred cosmetic usage to functional usage. Only 30.0% of respondents reported satisfaction with their prostheses. Many of the amputees had difficulties in complex tasks and either changed jobs or became unemployed. Clerical workers were the occupation group, which was most likely to return to work. The development of a more functional prosthetic hand and additional rehabilitation services are required.
PMCID: PMC3309384  PMID: 22506221
Upper extremity amputees; Prosthesis; Activities of daily living; Occupation
9.  The expression of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) in RA-FLS is induced by IL-17 via Act-1 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2011;13(4):R113.
The receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of arthritis. We conducted this study to determine the effect of interleukin (IL)-17 on the expression and production of RAGE in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The role of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activator 1 (Act1) in IL-17-induced RAGE expression in RA-FLS was also evaluated.
RAGE expression in synovial tissues was assessed by immunohistochemical staining. RAGE mRNA production was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Act-1 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) was produced and treated to evaluate the role of Act-1 on RAGE production.
RAGE, IL-17, and Act-1 expression increased in RA synovium compared to osteoarthritis synovium. RAGE expression and production increased by IL-17 and IL-1β (*P <0.05 vs. untreated cells) treatment but not by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in RA-FLS. The combined stimuli of both IL-17 and IL-1β significantly increased RAGE production compared to a single stimulus with IL-17 or IL-1β alone (P <0.05 vs. 10 ng/ml IL-17). Act-1 shRNA added to the RA-FLS culture supernatant completely suppressed the enhanced production of RAGE induced by IL-17.
RAGE was overexpressed in RA synovial tissues, and RAGE production was stimulated by IL-17 and IL-1β. Act-1 contributed to the stimulatory effect of IL-17 on RAGE production, suggesting a possible inhibitory target for RA treatment.
PMCID: PMC3239351  PMID: 21749686
10.  Engagement of Toll-Like Receptor 3 Induces Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Interleukin-8 in Human Rheumatoid Synovial Fibroblasts 
Angiogenesis, which is a critical step in the initiation and progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), involves pro-angiogenic factors, including interleukin (IL)-8 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We investigated the role of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) in the regulation of pro-angiogenic factors in RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS).
FLS were isolated from RA synovial tissues and stimulated with the TLR3 ligand, poly (I:C). The levels of VEGF and IL-8 in the culture supernatants were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and the mRNA levels were assessed by semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The expression patterns of VEGF and IL-8 in the RA synovium and osteoarthritis (OA) synovium were compared using immunohistochemistry.
The expression levels of TLR3, VEGF, and IL-8 were significantly higher in the RA synovium than in the OA synovium. VEGF and IL-8 production were increased in the culture supernatants of RA FLS stimulated with poly (I:C), and the genes for these proteins were up-regulated at the transcriptional level after poly (I:C) treatment. Treatment with inhibitors of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB), i.e., pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate and parthenolide, abrogated the stimulatory effect of poly (I:C) on the production of VEGF and IL-8 in RA FLS.
Our results suggest that the activation of TLR3 in RA FLS promotes the production of proangiogenic factors, in a process that is mediated by the NF-κB signaling pathway. Therefore, targeting the TLR3 pathway may be a promising approach to preventing pathologic angiogenesis in RA.
PMCID: PMC2997973  PMID: 21179282
Toll-like receptor 3; Arthritis, rheumatoid; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Interleukin-8; Synovial fibroblast
11.  Assessment methods in human body composition 
Purpose of review
The present study reviews the most recently developed and commonly used methods for the determination of human body composition in vivo with relevance for nutritional assessment.
Recent findings
Body composition measurement methods are continuously being perfected with the most commonly used methods being bioelectrical impedance analysis, dilution techniques, air displacement plethysmography, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and MRI or magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Recent developments include three-dimensional photonic scanning and quantitative magnetic resonance. Collectively, these techniques allow for the measurement of fat, fat-free mass, bone mineral content, total body water, extracellular water, total adipose tissue and its subdepots (visceral, subcutaneous, and intermuscular), skeletal muscle, select organs, and ectopic fat depots.
There is an ongoing need to perfect methods that provide information beyond mass and structure (static measures) to kinetic measures that yield information on metabolic and biological functions. On the basis of the wide range of measurable properties, analytical methods and known body composition models, clinicians and scientists can quantify a number of body components and with longitudinal assessment, can track changes in health and disease with implications for understanding efficacy of nutritional and clinical interventions, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment in clinical settings. With the greater need to understand precursors of health risk beginning in childhood, a gap exists in appropriate in-vivo measurement methods beginning at birth.
PMCID: PMC2741386  PMID: 18685451
body composition; human; in vivo; measurement; method

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