We present high-resolution anatomical imaging of the cervical spinal cord in healthy volunteers at the ultrahigh field of 7 T with a prototype four-channel radiofrequency coil array, in comparison with 3-T imaging of the same subjects. Signal-to-noise ratios at both field strengths were estimated using the rigorous Kellman method. Spinal cord cross-sectional area measurements were performed, including whole-cord measurements at both fields and gray matter segmentation at 7 T. The 7-T array coil showed reduced sagittal coverage, comparable axial coverage and the expected significantly higher signal-to-noise ratio compared with equivalent 3-T protocols. In the cervical spinal cord, the signal-to-noise ratio was found by the Kellman method to be higher by a factor of 3.5 with the 7-T coil than with standard 3-T coils. Cervical spine imaging in healthy volunteers at 7 T revealed not only detailed white/gray matter differentiation, but also structures not visualized at lower fields, such as denticulate ligaments, nerve roots and rostral–caudal blood vessels. Whole-cord cross-sectional area measurements showed good agreement at both field strengths. The measurable gray/white matter cross-sectional areas at 7 T were found to be comparable with reports from histology. These pilot data demonstrate the use of higher signal-to-noise ratios at the ultrahigh field of 7 T for significant improvement in anatomical resolution of the cervical spinal cord, allowing the visualization of structures not seen at lower field strength, particularly for axial imaging.
cervical spine; 7 T; gradient echo imaging; high field; gray/white matter
Most genetic variants identified for type 2 diabetes have been discovered in European populations. We performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in a Chinese population with the aim of identifying novel variants for type 2 diabetes in Asians.
We performed a meta-analysis of three GWAS comprising 684 patients with type 2 diabetes and 955 controls of Southern Han Chinese descent. We followed up the top signals in two independent Southern Han Chinese cohorts (totalling 10,383 cases and 6,974 controls), and performed in silico replication in multiple populations.
We identified CDKN2A/B and four novel type 2 diabetes association signals with p < 1 × 10−5 from the meta-analysis. Thirteen variants within these four loci were followed up in two independent Chinese cohorts, and rs10229583 at 7q32 was found to be associated with type 2 diabetes in a combined analysis of 11,067 cases and 7,929 controls (pmeta = 2.6 × 10−8; OR [95% CI] 1.18 [1.11, 1.25]). In silico replication revealed consistent associations across multiethnic groups, including five East Asian populations (pmeta = 2.3 × 10−10) and a population of European descent (p = 8.6 × 10−3). The rs10229583 risk variant was associated with elevated fasting plasma glucose, impaired beta cell function in controls, and an earlier age at diagnosis for the cases. The novel variant lies within an islet-selective cluster of open regulatory elements. There was significant heterogeneity of effect between Han Chinese and individuals of European descent, Malaysians and Indians.
Our study identifies rs10229583 near PAX4 as a novel locus for type 2 diabetes in Chinese and other populations and provides new insights into the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-013-2874-4) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
Chinese; Diabetes; East Asians; Genetics; Genome-wide association study
Wnt signaling pathways are a highly conserved pathway, which plays an important role from the embryonic development to bone formation. The effect of Wnt pathway on osteogenesis relies on their cellular environment and the expression of target genes. However, the molecular mechanism of that remains unclear. On the basis of the preliminary results, we observed the contrary effect of canonical Wnt signaling on osteogenic differentiation of periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) in the different culture environment. Furthermore, we found that the expression level of miR-17 was also varied with the change in the culture environment. Therefore, we hypothesized that miR-17 and canonical Wnt signaling may have potential interactions, particularly the inner regulation relationship in different microenvironments. In this paper, we observed that canonical Wnt signaling promoted osteogenesis of PDLSCs in the fully culture medium, while inhibited it in the osteogenic differentiation medium. Interestingly, alteration in the expression level of endogenous miR-17 could partially reverse the different effect of canonical Wnt signaling. Furthermore, the role of miR-17 was because of its target gene TCF3 (transcription factor 3), a key transcription factor of canonical Wnt pathway. Overexpression of TCF3 attenuated the effect of miR-17 on modulating canonical Wnt signaling. Finally, we elucidated that TCF3 enhanced osteogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. In brief, the different level of miR-17 was the main cause of the different effect of canonical Wnt signaling, and TCF3 was the crucial node of miR-17–canonial Wnt signaling regulation loop. This understanding of microRNAs regulating signaling pathways in different microenvironments may pave the way for fine-tuning the process of osteogenesis in bone-related disorders.
transcription factor 3; miR-17; canonical Wnt signaling; osteogenesis; microenvironment
Hepatocyte nuclear factor-1α (HNF-1α) regulates the expression of genes encoding proteins involved in glucose metabolism and insulin secretion. Mutations in the HNF-1α gene cause maturity-onset diabetes of the young Type 3. However, the mechanism leading to this disease has not been completely ascertained. Previously, we found a novel mutation in the regulatory element of the human HNF-1α gene in two Chinese diabetes pedigrees. The nucleotide at position -128 T was substituted by G (nt-128 T→G). In this study, we analysed the functional defect of nt-128 T→G in HNF-1α transcription activity.
Luciferase reporter gene assays were carried out to examine the functional characteristics of this mutant. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation were performed to confirm the binding of nuclear proteins to oligonucleotides.
The variant construct (nt-128 T→G) had a 1.65-fold increase in promoter activity compared with that of the wild-type construct in HepG2 cells and a 1.33-fold increase in MIN6 cells, respectively. The variant resided at a FOXA/ HNF-3 binding site identified by a series of competitive electrophoretic mobility shift assays and antibody supershift analyses. The assays showed a differential binding affinity in the wild-type and the nt-128 T→G mutant fragments by FOXA/ HNF-3. Chromatin immunoprecipitation indicated that FOXA/ HNF-3 bound to this region in vivo. One nucleotide substitution in the FOXA/ HNF-3 site in the human HNF-1α regulatory element caused an increase of HNF-1α transcriptional activity.
Our data suggested that this substitution in the promoter region affects DNA–protein interaction and HNF-1α gene transcription. The mutant may contribute to the development of diabetes in these two nt-128 T→G pedigrees of Chinese.
Inflammation can influence multipotency and self-renewal of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), resulting in their awakened bone-regeneration ability. Human periodontal ligament tissue-derived MSCs (PDLSCs) have been isolated, and their differentiation potential was found to be defective due to β-catenin signaling indirectly regulated by inflammatory microenvironments. Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is well studied in inflammation by many different groups. The role of NF-κB needs to be studied in PDLSCs, although genetic evidences have recently shown that NF-κB inhibits osteoblastic bone formation in mice. However, the mechanism as to how inflammation leads to the modulation of β-catenin and NF-κB signaling remains unclear. In this study, we investigated β-catenin and NF-κB signaling through regulation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β activity (GSK-3β, which modulates β-catenin and NF-κB signaling) using a specific inhibitor LiCl and a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY 294002. We identified that NF-κB signaling might be more important for the regulation of osteogenesis in PDLSCs from periodontitis compared with β-catenin. BAY 11-7082 (an inhibitor of NF-κB) could inhibit phosphorylation of p65 and partly rescue the differentiation potential of PDLSCs in inflammation. Our data indicate that NF-κB has a central role in regulating osteogenic differentiation of PDLSCs in inflammatory microenvironments. Given the molecular mechanisms of NF-κB in osteogenic differentiation governed by inflammation, it can be said that NF-κB helps in improving stem cell-mediated inflammatory bone disease therapy.
periodontal ligament stem cell; NF-κB; GSK-3β; osteogenic differentiation; inflammation
The aim of the study was to describe emtricitabine pharmacokinetics during pregnancy and postpartum.
The International Maternal Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT), formerly Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG), study P1026s is a prospective pharmacokinetic study of HIV-infected pregnant women taking antiretrovirals for clinical indications, including a cohort taking emtricitabine 200 mg once daily. Intensive steady-state 24-hour emtricitabine pharmacokinetic profiles were performed during the third trimester and 6–12 weeks postpartum, and on maternal and umbilical cord blood samples collected at delivery. Emtricitabine was measured by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry with a quantification limit of 0.0118 mg/L. The target emtricitabine area under the concentration versus time curve, from time 0 to 24 hours post dose (AUC0-24), was ≥7 mg h/L (≤30% reduction from the typical AUC of 10 mg h/L in nonpregnant historical controls). Third-trimester and postpartum pharmacokinetics were compared within subjects.
Twenty-six women had pharmacokinetics assessed during the third trimester (median 35 weeks of gestation) and 22 postpartum (median 8 weeks postpartum). Mean [90% confidence interval (CI)] emtricitabine pharmacokinetic parameters during the third trimester vs. postpartum were, respectively: AUC: 8.0 (7.1–8.9) vs. 9.7 (8.6–10.9) mg h/L (P = 0.072); apparent clearance (CL/F): 25.0 (22.6–28.3) vs. 20.6 (18.4–23.2) L/h (P = 0.025); 24 hour post dose concentration (C24): 0.058 (0.037–0.063) vs. 0.085 (0.070–0.010) mg/L (P = 0.006). The mean cord:maternal ratio was 1.2 (90% CI 1.0–1.5). The viral load was <400 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL in 24 of 26 women in the third trimester, in 24 of 26 at delivery, and in 15 of 19 postpartum. Within-subject comparisons demonstrated significantly higher CL/F and significantly lower C24 during pregnancy; however, the C24 was well above the inhibitory concentration 50%, or drug concentration that suppresses viral replication by half (IC50) in all subjects.
While we found higher emtricitabine CL/F and lower C24 and AUC during pregnancy compared with postpartum, these changes were not sufficiently large to warrant dose adjustment during pregnancy. Umbilical cord blood concentrations were similar to maternal concentrations.
emtricitabine; HIV; pregnancy; pharmacokinetics
FTO harbours the strongest known obesity-susceptibility locus in Europeans. While there is growing evidence for a role for FTO in obesity risk in Asians, its association with type 2 diabetes, independently of BMI, remains inconsistent. To test whether there is an association of the FTO locus with obesity and type 2 diabetes, we conducted a meta-analysis of 32 populations including 96,551 East and South Asians.
All studies published on the association between FTO-rs9939609 (or proxy [r2 > 0.98]) and BMI, obesity or type 2 diabetes in East or South Asians were invited. Each study group analysed their data according to a standardised analysis plan. Association with type 2 diabetes was also adjusted for BMI. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed to pool all effect sizes.
The FTO-rs9939609 minor allele increased risk of obesity by 1.25-fold/allele (p = 9.0 × 10−19), overweight by 1.13-fold/allele (p = 1.0 × 10−11) and type 2 diabetes by 1.15-fold/allele (p = 5.5 × 10−8). The association with type 2 diabetes was attenuated after adjustment for BMI (OR 1.10-fold/allele, p = 6.6 × 10−5). The FTO-rs9939609 minor allele increased BMI by 0.26 kg/m2 per allele (p = 2.8 × 10−17), WHR by 0.003/allele (p = 1.2 × 10−6), and body fat percentage by 0.31%/allele (p = 0.0005). Associations were similar using dominant models. While the minor allele is less common in East Asians (12–20%) than South Asians (30–33%), the effect of FTO variation on obesity-related traits and type 2 diabetes was similar in the two populations.
FTO is associated with increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, with effect sizes similar in East and South Asians and similar to those observed in Europeans. Furthermore, FTO is also associated with type 2 diabetes independently of BMI.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-011-2370-7) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
Asians; FTO; Meta-analysis; Obesity; Type 2 diabetes
Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) 1α and HIF2α and the inhibitor of apoptosis survivin represent prominent markers of many human cancers. They are also widely expressed in various embryonic tissues, including the central nervous system; however, little is known about their functions in embryos. Here, we show that zebrafish HIF2α protects neural progenitor cells and neural differentiation processes by upregulating the survivin orthologues birc5a and birc5b during embryogenesis. Morpholino-mediated knockdown of hif2α reduced the transcription of birc5a and birc5b, induced p53-independent apoptosis and abrogated neural cell differentiation. Depletion of birc5a and birc5b recaptured the neural development defects that were observed in the hif2α morphants. The phenotypes induced by HIF2α depletion were largely rescued by ectopic birc5a and birc5b mRNAs, indicating that Birc5a and Birc5b act downstream of HIF2α. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that HIF2α binds to birc5a and birc5b promoters directly to modulate their transcriptions. Knockdown of hif2α, birc5a or birc5b reduced the expression of the cdk inhibitors p27/cdkn1b and p57/cdkn1c and increased ccnd1/cyclin D1 transcription in the surviving neural progenitor cells. The reduction in elavl3/HuC expression and enhanced pcna, nestin, ascl1b and sox3 expression indicate that the surviving neural progenitor cells in hif2α morphants maintain a high proliferation rate without terminally differentiating. We propose that a subset of developmental defects attributed to HIF2α depletion is due in part to the loss of survivin activity.
HIF2α; surviving; neural progenitor cells; apoptosis
Electrocardiographic ventricular repolarization QT parameters are independent risk factors for cardiovascular events and sudden cardiac death in diabetic patients. The aim of the study was to investigate the association of polymorphisms of the nitric oxide synthase 1 adaptor protein (NOS1AP) gene with QT interval in Chinese subjects with or without Type 2 diabetes.
Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs10494366, rs12143842 and rs12029454) were genotyped in 1240 Type 2 diabetic patients (631 men and 609 women) and 1196 normal controls (433 men and 763 women). Individuals with overt diseases other than diabetes were excluded. Heart-rate corrected QT interval (QTc) was determined by standard 12-lead ECG and Bazett formula. Sex-pooled analysis and sex-specific analysis for genotype–phenotype association were both conducted.
In the diabetic group, the rs12143842 T allele was associated with a 3.87-ms (P = 0.014, empirical P = 0.039) increase in QTc duration for each additional allele copy, while rs10494366 and rs12029454 exhibited no significant association with QTc. We found no evidence of association for the three SNPs in subjects with normal glucose regulation. No significant SNP-gender and -diabetes affection interaction was observed.
The genetic variant rs12143842 in NOS1AP is associated with QT interval duration in a Chinese population with Type 2 diabetes. Future studies in different populations are needed to validate this finding and to evaluate the impact of NOS1AP variants on cardiovascular events and sudden cardiac death in diabetic patients.
NOS1AP; QT interval; single nucleotide polymorphism
Novel PZT-5A ceramic-polymer composite was prepared via freezing technology. This composite exhibited good dielectric and ferroelectric behaviors. At 1 kHz, the dielectric constant and the dielectric loss were 546 and 0.046, respectively, while the remnant polarization was 13.0 μC/cm2 at room temperature. The electromechanical coupling coefficient (kt) of PZT-5A composite was measured to be 0.54, which is similar to that of PZT piezoelectric ceramic. The piezoelectric coefficient (d33) of PZT-5A composite was determined to be ~250 pC/N. Using this composite, a 58MHz single element transducer with the bandwidth of 70% at −6dB was built, and the insertion loss was tested to be −29dB around the central frequency.
Piezoelectric composite; PZT; transducer
The vitamin D metabolite 1,25(OH)2D is the bioactive ligand of the vitamin D receptor (VDR). VDR forms a heterodimer with the retinoid X receptors (RXRs) that when bound to ligand influences the transcriptional control of genes that regulate circulating levels of vitamin D metabolites. Whether genetic variation in VDR or RXRA affects circulating levels of 1,25(OH)2D or 25(OH)D has not been established. We used a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) tagging approach to evaluate the association between SNPs in VDR and RXRA and serum levels of 1,25(OH)2D and 25(OH)D. A total of 42 tagSNPs in VDR and 32 in RXRA were analyzed in a sample of 415 participants. Principal components analyses revealed a gene-level association between RXRA and serum 1,25(OH)2D concentrations (P = 0.01), but not 25(OH)D. No gene-level association was found for VDR with either serum biomarker. At the single SNP level, a significant positive trend was observed for increasing 1,25(OH)2D levels with each additional copy of the A allele for RXRA SNP rs9409929 (Ptrend = 0.003). After a multiple comparisons adjustment, no individual SNP in VDR or RXRA was significantly associated with either outcome. These results demonstrate an association between genetic variation in RXRA and 1,25(OH)2D serum concentrations.
VDR; RXR; polymorphism; 25(OH)D; 1,25(OH)2D; vitamin D
Pregnancy may alter protein binding (PB) of highly bound protease inhibitors due to changes in plasma concentrations of albumin and α-1 acid glycoprotein (AAG). Small changes in PB can greatly impact the fraction of drug unbound (FU) exerting pharmacological effect. We report lopinavir (LPV) PB during third trimester (antepartum, AP) compared to ≥1.7 weeks postpartum (PP) to determine if FU changes compensate for reduced total concentrations reported previously.
P1026s enrolled women receiving LPV/ritonavir, soft gel capsules 400/100 mg or 533/133 mg twice daily. LPV FU, albumin and AAG were determined AP and PP.
AP/PP samples were available from 29/25 women respectively with all but one woman receiving the same dose AP/PP. LPV FU was increased 18% AP vs. PP (mean 0.96 ± 0.16% AP vs. 0.82 ± 0.21% PP, P = 0.001). Mean protein concentrations were reduced AP (AAG = 477 mg/L; albumin = 3.28 mg/dL) vs. PP (AAG = 1007 mg/L; albumin = 3.85 mg/dL) (P<0.0001 for each comparison). AAG concentration correlated with LPV binding. Total LPV concentration did not correlate with LPV FU AP or PP. However, higher LPV concentration PP was associated with reduced PB and higher FU after adjustment for AAG.
LPV FU was higher and AAG lower AP vs. PP. The 18% increase in LPV FU AP is smaller than the reduction in total LPV concentration reported previously and is not of sufficient magnitude to eliminate the need for an increased dose during pregnancy.
lopinavir; pharmacokinetics; plasma proteins; pregnancy; protein binding
To determine whether measurement of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) concentration in newly diagnosed peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) can be used to predict persistent left ventricular dysfunction after a 6‐month follow‐up.
Patients and methods
This was a prospective, multiple‐centre clinical trial that studied 106 patients with newly diagnosed PPCM surviving over 6 months. cTnT concentration was measured within 2 weeks of the onset of PPCM.
Serum cTnT concentration was negatively correlated with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) at follow‐up (LVEF, r = −0.518, p = 0.0001). Analysis by receiver operator characteristic curve yielded an area under the curve of 0.764 (95% CI 0.669 to 0.860, p = 0.0001, vs null hypothesis value 0.5) for cTnT, and a cTnT concentration cut off of >0.04 ng/ml, predicting persistent left ventricular dysfunction with a sensitivity of 54.9% and a specificity of 90.9%. Among 106 recruited patients, there were 33 patients with cTnT concentrations >0.04 ng/ml and 73 patients with cTnT concentrations ⩽0.04 ng/ml. After a 6‐month follow‐up, there was significantly smaller LVEF (35.42% (13.04% vs 50.16% (10.48%, p = 0.0001) and more persistent left ventricular dysfunction (84.8% vs 31.5%, OR = 12.17 (95% CI 4.17 to 35.57), p = 0.001) in patients with cTnT >0.04 ng/ml than in patients with cTnT ⩽0.04 ng/ml.
Serum cTnT concentration measured within 2 weeks of the onset of PPCM was correlated negatively with LVEF at follow‐up. This marker offers a simple, quick, inexpensive, non‐invasive method for predicting a persistent LVEF of ⩽50%. A cTnT concentration of >0.04 ng/ml predicted persistent left ventricular dysfunction with a sensitivity of 54.9% and a specificity of 90.9%.
To determine the impact of pregnancy on the pharmacokinetics (PK) of nevirapine (NVP) during chronic dosing in HIV-infected women and appropriate NVP dosing in this population.
Twenty-six pregnant women participating in two open-label Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group studies (P1022 and P1026S) were evaluated. Each patient received 200 mg NVP every 12 h and had PK evaluations during the second or third trimester; these evaluations were repeated postpartum. Paired maternal and cord blood NVP concentrations were collected at delivery in nine patients. Ante- and postpartum comparisons were made using paired t-tests and using a ‘bioequivalence’ approach to determine confidence interval (CI).
The average NVP Area Under the Curve (AUC) was 56 ± 13 mcg*h/mL antepartum and 61 ± 15 mcg*h/mL postpartum. The typical parameters ± standard error were apparent clearance (CL/F)=3.51 ± 0.18 L/h and apparent volume of distribution (Vd/F)=121 ± 19.8 L. There were no significant differences between antepartum and postpartum AUC or pre-dose concentrations. The AUC ratio was 0.90 with a 90% CI of the mean equal to 0.80-1.02. The median ( ± standard deviation) cord blood to maternal NVP concentration ratio was 0.91 ± 0.90.
Pregnancy does not alter NVP PK and the standard dose (200 mg every 12 h) is appropriate during pregnancy.
HIV; nevirapine; non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase; pharmacokinetics; pregnancy
Our objective was to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of nelfinavir (NFV) (625 mg tablets) 1250 mg twice daily during pregnancy and postpartum.
The participants were HIV-1-infected pregnant women enrolled in P1026s and receiving NFV (625 mg tablets) 1250 mg twice daily as part of routine clinical care. Intensive steady-state 12-h NFV pharmacokinetic profiles were performed during pregnancy and postpartum. The target NFV area under the plasma concentration–time curve (AUC0–12) was ≥ 10th percentile NFV AUC0–12 in non-pregnant historical controls (18.5 μg h/mL).
Of 27 patients receiving NFV, pharmacokinetic data were available for four (second trimester), 27 (third trimester) and 22 (postpartum) patients. The NFV maximum concentration (Cmax), 12-h post-dose concentration (C12) and AUC0–12 were significantly lower during the third trimester compared to postpartum (P ≤ 0.03). The metabolite hydroxyl-tert-butylamide (M8) AUC0–12 and the M8/NFV AUC ratio were lower during the third trimester compared to postpartum (P<0.01). The NFV AUC0–12 exceeded the AUC0–12 target for 15/27 (56%) and 21/22 (95%) of third trimester and postpartum patients, respectively. The minimum concentration (Cmin) was above the suggested minimum trough concentration (0.8 μg/mL) in 15% (third trimester) and 18% (postpartum). The plasma viral load was <400 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL in 81% of patients at delivery.
These results suggest that higher doses of NFV should be considered during pregnancy.
HIV; nelfinavir; pharmacokinetics; pregnancy
To compare rate control and rhythm control strategies in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) after percutaneous mitral balloon valvotomy (PMV).
183 patients with AF after successful PMV, with AF duration ⩽ 12 months and post‐PMV left atrial (LA) size ⩽ 45 mm, were studied in a prospective, randomised trial. The primary end point was improvement in AF‐related symptoms. Secondary study end points were 6 min walk tests, quality of life (QOL), normalisation of LA size, number of hospital admissions and duration of hospital stay.
Over one year, 2% patients in the rate control group had sinus rhythm, as compared with 96% of patients in the rhythm control group (p < 0.001). A greater proportion of patients reported improvement in symptoms in the rhythm control group than in the rate control group (p < 0.0001 at every visit time). Walking distance in a 6 min walk test, QOL and LA size normalisation were better in the rhythm control group than in the rate control group. The strategy of rhythm control was associated with similar numbers of hospital admissions but with longer duration of hospital admissions. Drug‐related side effect did not differ between the rate control and rhythm control groups. During the follow‐up period, no patients in either group had embolic or transitory ischaemic neurological events.
In patients with AF after PMV, AF duration ⩽ 12 months and post‐PMV LA size ⩽ 45 mm, sinus rhythm was easy and safe to achieve and maintain. Moreover, patients benefited from restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm in terms of improved AF‐related symptoms, 6 min walk tests and QOL, and of LA size normalisation. Rhythm control should therefore be considered as the preferred initial therapy for this group of patients. The optimal strategy to treat AF after PMV should be individualised.
Mammalian Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthase (P5CS) is a bifunctional ATP- and NAD(P)H-dependent mitochondrial enzyme that catalyzes the coupled phosphorylation and reduction-conversion of L-glutamate to P5C, a pivotal step in the biosynthesis of L-proline, L-ornithine and L-arginine. Previously, we reported cloning and characterization of two P5CS transcript variants generated by exon sliding that encode two protein isoforms differing only by a 2 amino acid-insert at the N-terminus of the γ-glutamyl kinase active site. The short form (P5CS.short) is highly expressed in the gut and is inhibited by ornithine. In contrast, the long form (P5CS.long) is expressed ubiquitously and is insensitive to ornithine. Interestingly, we found that all the established human cell lines we have studied expressed P5CS.long but not P5CS.short. In addition, expression of P5CS.long can be modulated by hormones: downregulation by hydrocortisone and dexamethasone and upregulation by estradiol, for example. Using a quantitative proteomic approach, we showed that P5CS.long is upregulated by p53 in p53-induced apoptosis in DLD-1 colorectal cancer cells. Functional genomic analysis confirmed that there are two p53-binding consensus sequences in the promoter region and in the intron 1 of the human P5CS gene. Interestingly, overexpression of P5CS by adenoviruses harboring P5CS.long or P5CS.short in various cell types has no effect on cell growth or survival. It would be of importance to investigate the role of P5CS as a p53 downstream effector and how P5CS.short expression is regulated by hormones and factors of alternative splicing in cells isolated from model animals.
Alternative splicing; Apoptosis; Exon sliding; Hormones; P53; Proline; Quantitative proteomics; Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C); P5C synthase (P5CS)
The antimicrobial peptide Attacin is an immune effector molecule that can inhibit the growth of gram-negative bacteria. In Glossina morsitans morsitans, which serves as the sole vectors of African trypanosomes, Attacins also play a role in trypanosome resistance, and in maintaining parasite numbers at homeostatic levels in infected individuals. We characterized the attacin encoding loci from a Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) library. The attacin genes are organized into three clusters. Cluster 1 contains two attacin (attA) genes located in head-to-head orientation, cluster 2 contains two closely related genes (attA and attB) located in a similar transcriptional orientation, and cluster 3 contains a single attacin gene (attD). Coding and transcription regulatory sequences of attA and attB are nearly identical, but differ significantly from attD. Putative AttA and AttB have signal peptide sequences, but lack the pro domain typically present in insect Attacins. Putative AttD lacks both domains. Analysis of attacin cDNA sequences shows polymorphisms that could arise either from allelic variations or from the presence of additional attacin genomic loci. Real time-PCR analysis reveals that attA and attB expression is induced in the fat body of flies per os challenged with Escherichia coli and parasitized with trypanosomes. In the midgut, expression of these attacins is similarly induced following microbial challenge, but reduced in response to parasite infections. Transcription of AttD is significantly less relative to the other two genes, and is preferentially induced in the fat body of parasitized flies. These results indicate that the different attacin genes may be differentially regulated.
attacin loci; attacin expression; Glossina morsitans morsitans; trypanosome
An 81 year old man with a history of hypertension received intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for right middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction. He had not had stroke or arrhythmia previously. The initial National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score was 8. However, a left MCA territory infarction developed 2 minutes after the full course of tPA therapy was completed, and 24 hours after tPA infusion, NIHSS score was 17. The subsequent magnetic resonance imaging scan confirmed an extensive left MCA territory infarction and a small right MCA territory infarction. Although the intracerebral haemorrhage after tPA therapy is relatively more common, tPA infusion may result in an ischaemic cerebral stroke in rare cases.
ischaemic stroke; left MCA territory infarction; right MCA territory infarction; tissue plasminogen activator; thrombolytic therapy
HLA‐DR; hepatitis C virus; autoantibodies
Bone marrow (BM) neoangiogenesis plays an important role in acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML), and depends on the interplay of members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin (Ang) families. We determined the marrow levels of seven molecules associated with angiogenesis in 52 AML patients before chemotherapy and 20 healthy controls: VEGF-A, VEGF/PlGF, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, Ang-1, Ang-2, and Tie-2. All the molecules were quantified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Comparing to normal controls, the marrow levels of VEGF/PlGF, Ang-2, and Tie-2 were significantly higher, and those of VEGF-C and Ang-1 were significantly lower in the AML patients (P<0.001). A total of 31 patients were further subjected to survival analysis. Patients with lower Tie-2 (<26 ng ml−1) and Ang-2 levels (<4500 pg ml−1) displayed a survival advantage (P=0.037 and 0.042, respectively), same as patients with higher VEGF/PlGF (⩾1 pg ml−1) and VEGF-D levels (⩾350 pg ml−1) (P=0.020 and 0.016, respectively). An angio-index ((Ang-2 × Tie-2)/(VEGF/PlGF × VEGF-D)) was established and multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that patients with higher angio-index values (⩾50) displayed poor prognosis (hazard ratio 5.91, 95% confidence interval 1.99–17.56; P=0.001). The angio-index is closely associated with the clinical outcome of AML patients and may be valuable in disease prognosis.
prognostic biomarker; AML; angiopoietin family; VEGF family
Objective: To examine the therapeutic efficacy of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) in rabbits with experimental osteoarthritis (OA).
Methods: Experimental OA was induced in rabbits by anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT). In the first study, rabbits (six in each group) received intramuscular injections of GlcNAc or normal saline three times a week starting 1 week postoperatively. In the second study, rabbits (eight in each group) were injected intra-articularly with GlcNAc (either once or twice a week) or normal saline. In the third study, rabbits (seven in each group) were injected intra-articularly twice a week with either GlcNAc, hyaluronan, or normal saline. Animals were killed 8 weeks after ACLT for macroscopic and histological assessment of the knee joints.
Results: Intramuscular administration of GlcNAc in rabbits with experimental knee OA did not show chondroprotective effects but showed mild anti-inflammatory activity. In contrast, intra-articular administration of GlcNAc twice a week reduced cartilage degradation. Additionally, intra-articular GlcNAc also suppressed synovitis. Once a week intra-articular injections of GlcNAc did not demonstrate therapeutic efficacy. The chondroprotective efficacy of GlcNAc was better than that of viscosupplementation treatment with hyaluronan.
Conclusion: Intra-articular GlcNAc has chondroprotective and anti-inflammatory activity in experimental OA.
Among Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato isolates, seven outer surface protein A (OspA) serotypes have been described: serotypes 1 and 2 correspond to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and Borrelia afzelii, respectively, and serotypes 3 to 7 correspond to Borrelia garinii. In Europe, serotype 4 has never been isolated from Ixodes ricinus ticks until recently, although this serotype has been frequently isolated from cerebrospinal fluid from patients. In Europe, B. afzelii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto were found associated with rodents and B. garinii was found associated with birds. In this study, the reservoir role of Apodemus mice for B. garinii OspA serotype 4 was demonstrated by xenodiagnosis. Apodemus mice are the first identified reservoir hosts for B. garinii OspA serotype 4.
In Europe, Borrelia garinii OspA serotype 4 has been isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid of patients but, up to now, has never been identified among culture isolates from Ixodes ricinus ticks. This information raises the question of whether OspA serotype 4 is transmitted by I. ricinus in nature. In the present study, I. ricinus nymphs collected in an area of endemicity in southern Germany were allowed to feed on mice. Cultivation of ear biopsy specimens showed that six of seven B. garinii-infected mice were infected by OspA serotype 4. In contrast, very few B. garinii OspA serotype 4 organisms were isolated directly from the ticks which infected the mice; most isolates were B. afzelii. The infected mice transmitted mainly OspA serotype 4 to xenodiagnostic ticks, preferentially in combination with B. afzelii.
This study assessed the health perceptions of self-reported violence victims in an urban minority population attending a walk-in clinic by using an anonymous, 1-week, cross-sectional survey. The Medical Outcome Study Short-Form (MOS SF-20) was used to assess functioning/well being, including the dimensions of physical functioning, role functioning, social functioning, mental health, health perceptions, and pain. Health perception main scores were calculated for each of the six health dimensions in the following four groups: patient-victims, patient-nonvictims, visitor-victims, and visitor-nonvictims. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated to assess the association of violence victimization and functioning/well-being. The mean scores of health status were consistently better among nonvictims for all of the six health concepts measured; patients who were victims showed lower mean scores than nonvictim patients. A similar pattern also was found in visitors' health status scores when victims were compared to nonvictims. The strongest association was found between violence victimization and mental health, and the least association was between the pain score and violence victimization. This study showed a substantial association between poor health and violence victimization in the patient population studied. Intervention is needed to prevent and decrease violence in order to minimize the impact of violence on the health of victims.