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1.  ANP and BNP Responses to Dehydration in the One-Humped Camel and Effects of Blocking the Renin-Angiotensin System 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e57806.
The objectives of this study were to investigate and compare the responses of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) in the circulation of hydrated, dehydrated, and dehydrated losartan - treated camels; and to document the cardiac storage form of B-type natriuretic peptide in the camel heart. Eighteen male camels were used in the study: control or hydrated camels (n = 6), dehydrated camels (n = 6) and dehydrated losartan-treated camels (n = 6) which were dehydrated and received the angiotensin II (Ang II) AT-1 receptor blocker, losartan, at a dose of 5 mg/kg body weight intravenously for 20 days. Control animals were supplied with feed and water ad-libitum while both dehydrated and dehydrated-losartan treated groups were supplied with feed ad-libitum but no water for 20 days. Compared with time-matched controls, dehydrated camels exhibited a significant decrease in plasma levels of both ANP and BNP. Losartan-treated camels also exhibited a significant decline in ANP and BNP levels across 20 days of dehydration but the changes were not different from those seen with dehydration alone. Size exclusion high performance liquid chromatography of extracts of camel heart indicated that proB-type natriuretic peptide is the storage form of the peptide.
We conclude first, that dehydration in the camel induces vigorous decrements in circulating levels of ANP and BNP; second, blockade of the renin-angiotensin system has little or no modulatory effect on the ANP and BNP responses to dehydration; third, proB-type natriuretic peptide is the storage form of this hormone in the heart of the one-humped camel.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057806
PMCID: PMC3596322  PMID: 23516417
2.  Bioenergetics of murine lungs infected with respiratory syncytial virus 
Virology Journal  2013;10:22.
Background
Cellular bioenergetics (cellular respiration and accompanying ATP synthesis) is a highly sensitive biomarker of tissue injury and may be altered following infection. The status of cellular mitochondrial O2 consumption of the lung in pulmonary RSV infection is unknown.
Methods
In this study, lung fragments from RSV-infected BALB/c mice were evaluated for cellular O2 consumption, ATP content and caspase activity. The disease was induced by intranasal inoculation with the RSV strain A2 and lung specimens were analyzed on days 2–15 after inoculation. A phosphorescence O2 analyzer that measured dissolved O2 concentration as a function of time was used to monitor respiration. The caspase-3 substrate analogue N-acetyl-asp-glu-val-asp-7-amino-4-methylcoumarin (Ac-DEVD-AMC) was used to monitor intracellular caspases.
Results
O2 concentration declined linearly with time when measured in a sealed vial containing lung fragment and glucose as a respiratory substrate, revealing its zero-order kinetics. O2 consumption was inhibited by cyanide, confirming the oxidation occurred in the respiratory chain. Cellular respiration increased by 1.6-fold (p<0.010) and ATP content increased by 3-fold in the first week of RSV infection. Both parameters returned to levels found in uninfected lungs in the second week of RSV infection. Intracellular caspase activity in infected lungs was similar to uninfected lungs throughout the course of disease.
Conclusions
Lung tissue bioenergetics is transiently enhanced in RSV infection. This energy burst, triggered by the virus or virus-induced inflammation, is an early biomarker of the disease and may be targeted for therapy.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-22
PMCID: PMC3616819  PMID: 23320837
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV); Cellular respiration; Oxygen consumption; Cellular ATP; Mitochondria; Caspases
3.  In vitro biocompatibility of calcined mesoporous silica particles and fetal blood cells 
Background:
The biocompatibility of two forms of calcined mesoporous silica particles, labeled as MCM41-cal and SBA15-cal, with fetal blood mononuclear cells was assessed in vitro.
Methods and results:
Fetal mononuclear cells were isolated from umbilical cord blood and exposed to 0.5 mg/mL of MCM41-cal or SBA15-cal for several hours. Transmission electron micrographs confirmed the presence of particles in the cytosol of macrophages, neutrophils, and lymphocytes without noticeable damage to the cellular organelles. The particles (especially MCM41-cal) were in close proximity to plasma, and nuclear and mitochondrial membranes. Biocompatibility was assessed by a functional assay that measured cellular respiration, ie, mitochondrial O2 consumption. The rate of respiration (kc, in μM O2 per minute per 107 cells) for untreated cells was 0.42 ± 0.16 (n = 10), for cells treated with MCM41-cal was 0.39 ± 0.22 (n = 5, P > 0.966) and for cells treated with SBA15-cal was 0.44 ± 0.13 (n = 5, P > 0.981).
Conclusion:
The results show reasonable biocompatibility of MCM41-cal and SBA15-cal in fetal blood mononuclear cells. Future studies are needed to determine the potential of collecting fetal cells from a fetus or neonate, loading the cells in vitro with therapeutic MCM41-cal or SBA15-cal, and reinfusing them into the fetus or neonate.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S32711
PMCID: PMC3418074  PMID: 22904619
mesoporous silica; nanomaterials; biocompatibility; bioenergetics; in vitro; fetal cells
4.  Responses to Dehydration in the One-Humped Camel and Effects of Blocking the Renin-Angiotensin System 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37299.
Our objectives were to compare the levels of circulating electrolytes, hormones, and renal function during 20 days of dehydration in camels versus the level in non-dehydrated camels and to record the effect of blocking angiotensin II AT1 receptors with losartan during dehydration. Dehydration induced significant increments in serum sodium, creatinine, urea, a substantial fall in body weight, and a doubling in plasma arginine vasopressin (AVP) levels. Plasma aldosterone, however, was unaltered compared with time-matched controls. Losartan significantly enhanced the effect of dehydration to reduce body weight and increase serum levels of creatinine and urea, whilst also impairing the rise in plasma AVP and reducing aldosterone levels. We conclude that dehydration in the camel induces substantial increments in serum sodium, creatinine, urea and AVP levels; that aldosterone levels are altered little by dehydration; that blockade of angiotensin II type 1 receptors enhances the dehydration-induced fall in body weight and increase in serum creatinine and urea levels whilst reducing aldosterone and attenuating the rise in plasma AVP.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037299
PMCID: PMC3356281  PMID: 22624009
5.  Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is not related to cardiac natriuretic peptide in nulliparous and lactating women 
Background
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with heightened risk of cardiovascular disease. Potential mechanisms include involvement of vitamin D in regulation of renin-angiotensin system and manufacture and secretion of cardiac natriuretic peptides. Our aim was to document relationships between 25 hydroxyvitamin [25(OH)D] and N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and plasma renin activity (PRA) levels and to document the effect of vitamin D administration on NT-proBNP and PRA levels in vitamin D deficient subjects.
Methods
Serum 25(OH)D, parathyroid hormone (PTH), plasma or serum NT-proBNP and PRA levels were measured at baseline in nulliparous and lactating women and after 2 months of oral vitamin D2 (2,000 IU/day or 60,000 IU/month) supplementation to lactating women.
Results
Baseline levels of 25(OH)D were low (<50 nmol/L) in most women whereas PRA and NT-proBNP levels were within the normal range. There were no significant correlations between baseline 25(OH)D or PTH with NT-proBNP and PRA. Vitamin D administration over a 2-month period in lactating women was associated with a decline in NT-proBNP (by 9.1 ± 2.0 pmol/L; p < 0.001) and PRA (by 0.32 ± 0.17 nmol/L/hr; p = 0.064). However, there were no significant correlations between the changes from baseline in 25(OH)D and either NT-proBNP (r = -0.04, p = 0.8) or PRA (r = -0.04, p = 0.8).
Conclusion
We found no significant correlations between 25(OH)D or PTH with NT-proBNP and PRA in vitamin D deficient women. Further information is required to clarify the effects of vitamin D administration on cardiac structure and function.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-9-4
PMCID: PMC2646736  PMID: 19178708
6.  Serum interleukin-5 levels are elevated in mild and moderate persistent asthma irrespective of regular inhaled glucocorticoid therapy 
Background
Interleukin-5 (IL-5) is thought to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of asthma. High levels of circulating IL-5 have been documented in acute asthma. However, serum IL-5 levels in mild to moderate asthmatics and the influence of regular use of inhaled glucocorticoids, is not known.
Methods
Fifty-six asthmatics and 56 age and sex matched controls were recruited prospectively from an outpatient department. Information on asthma severity and treatment was gathered by a questionnaire. Serum IL-5, total IgE and specific IgE levels were measured in a blinded fashion.
Results
There were 32 atopic and 24 non-atopic mild-to-moderate asthmatics. The median serum IL-5 levels in atopic asthmatics (9.5 pg/ml) and in non-atopic asthmatics (8.1 pg/ml) were significantly higher than in normal controls (4.4 pg/ml, both p < 0.003). However, median serum IL-5 levels in atopic and non-atopic asthmatics were not significantly different. The median serum IL-5 level was insignificantly higher in fourteen moderate persistent asthmatics (10.6 pg/ml) compared to forty-two mild persistent asthmatics (7.3 pg/ml) (p = 0.13). The median serum IL-5 levels in asthmatics using regular inhaled steroids (7.8 pg/ml) was not significantly different from those not using inhaled steroids (10.2 pg/ml). Furthermore, serum total IgE levels and eosinophil counts were not significantly different in those using versus those not using inhaled glucocorticoids.
Conclusion
Serum IL-5 levels are elevated in mild and moderate persistent atopic and non-atopic asthmatics. Regular use of inhaled glucocorticoids may not abrogate the systemic Th2 type of inflammatory response in mild-moderate persistent asthma.
doi:10.1186/1471-2466-4-2
PMCID: PMC394333  PMID: 15113433
Interleukin-5; non-atopic asthma; atopic asthma; inhaled steroids

Results 1-6 (6)