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1.  In Memoriam of Iván Lásló Bonta (1922–2007) 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:38283.
PMCID: PMC1852885
2.  Curcumin (1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1, 6-heptadiene-3,5-dione) Blocks the Chemotaxis of Neutrophils by Inhibiting Signal Transduction through IL-8 Receptors 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:10767.
We investigated the impact of curcumin on neutrophils. Chemotactic activity via human recombinant IL-8 (hrIL-8) was significantly inhibited by curcumin. Curcumin reduced calcium ion flow induced by internalization of the IL-8 receptor. We analyzed flow cytometry to evaluate the status of the IL-8 receptor after curcumin treatment. The change in the distribution of receptors intracellularly and on the cell surface suggested that curcumin may affect the receptor trafficking pathway intracellulary. Rab11 is a low molecular weight G protein associated with the CXCR recycling pathway. Following curcumin treatment, immunoprecipitation studies showed that the IL-8 receptor was associated with larger amounts of active Rab11 than that in control cells. These data suggest that curcumin induces the stacking of the Rab11 vesicle complex with CXCR1 and CXCR2 in the endocytic pathway. The mechanism for antiinflammatory response by curcumin may involve unique regulation of the Rab11 trafficking molecule in recycling of IL-8 receptors.
PMCID: PMC1940327  PMID: 17710245
3.  Maternal Plasma Procalcitonin Concentrations in Pregnancy Complicated by Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:35782.
Objectives. Our objective is to compare maternal plasma procalcitonin concentrations in preterm premature rupture of membranes (pPROM) and premature rupture of membranes (PROM) at term with their levels in uncomplicated pregnancy, and to determine whether these concentrations are useful in the diagnosis of pPROM cases suspected of infection and in the prediction of pPROM-to-delivery interval. Study design. Forty eight patients with pPROM, 30 with PROM at term, 31 healthy women at preterm gestation, and 33 healthy women at term were included. In pPROM group, analysis of procalcitonin concentrations with reference to leucocytosis, serum C-reactive protein, vaginal fluid culture, neonatal infection, histological chorioamnionitis and pPROM-to-delivery interval was carried out. Results. Procalcitonin concentrations in pPROM and PROM at term cases were comparable. However, in both groups procalcitonin values were significantly higher than in healthy controls in approximate gestational age. In pPROM group, procalcitonin concentrations between the patients with and without laboratory indices of infection were comparable, as well as between patients who gave birth to newborns with and without congenital infection, and between patients with and without histological chorioamnionitis. The predictive values of procalcitonin determinations were poor. Conclusion. The value of maternal plasma procalcitonin determinations in the diagnostics of pPROM cases suspected of intraamniotic infection, as well as for the prediction of pPROM-to-delivery interval, newborn's infection or histological chorioamnionitis is unsatisfactory. However, procalcitonin concentrations are elevated, both in patients with preterm and term PROMs in comparison to healthy pregnants, and therefore further evaluations are necessary to establish the role of procalcitonin in the pathophysiology of pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC1940053  PMID: 17710246
4.  Perinatal Changes of Cardiac Troponin-I in Normal and Intrauterine Growth-Restricted Pregnancies 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:53921.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) implies fetal hypoxia, resulting in blood flow redistribution and sparing of vital organs (brain, heart). Serum cardiac Troponin-I (cTnI), a well-established marker of myocardial ischaemia, was measured in 40 mothers prior to delivery, the doubly clamped umbilical cords (representing fetal state), and their 20 IUGR and 20 appropriate-forgestational-age (AGA) neonates on day 1 and 4 postpartum. At all time points, no differences in cTnI levels were observed between the AGA and IUGR groups. Strong positive correlations were documented between maternal and fetal/neonatal values (r ≥ .498, P ≤ .025 in all cases in the AGA and r ≥ .615, P ≤ .009 in all cases in the IUGR group). These results may indicate (a) normal heart function, due to heart sparing, in the IUGR group (b) potential crossing of the placental barrier by cTnI in both groups.
PMCID: PMC1939921  PMID: 17710247
5.  Characterization of the De Novo Biosynthetic Enzyme of Platelet Activating Factor, DDT-Insensitive Cholinephosphotransferase, of Human Mesangial Cells 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:27683.
Platelet activating factor (PAF), a potent inflammatory mediator, is implicated in several proinflammatory/inflammatory diseases such as glomerulonephritis, glomerulosclerosis, atherosclerosis, cancer, allergy, and diabetes. PAF can be produced by several renal cells under appropriate stimuli and it is thought to be implicated in renal diseases. The aim of this study is the characterization of DTT-insensitive cholinephosphotransferase (PAF-CPT) of human mesangial cell (HMC), the main regulatory enzyme of PAF de novo biosynthetic pathway. Microsomal fractions of mesangial cells were isolated and enzymatic activity and kinetic parameters were determined by TLC and in vitro biological test in rabbit washed platelets. The effect of bovine serum albumin (BSA), dithiothreitol (DTT), divalent cations (Mg2+ and Ca2+), EDTA, and various chemicals on the activity of PAF-CPT of HMC was also studied. Moreover, preliminary in vitro tests have been performed with several anti-inflammatory factors such as drugs (simvastatin, IFNa, rupatadine, tinzaparin, and salicylic acid) and bioactive compounds of Mediterranean diet (resveratrol and lipids of olive oil, olive pomace, sea bass “Dicentrarchus labrax,” and gilthead sea bream “Sparus aurata”). The results indicated that the above compounds can influence PAF-CPT activity of HMC.
PMCID: PMC1939920  PMID: 17710109
6.  Serum TNF-Alpha Level Predicts Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy in Children 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:92196.
The aim of this study was identification of the immunologic markers of the damage to the eye apparatus at early stages of diabetes mellitus (DM) type 1 children. One hundred and eleven children with DM type 1 were divided into two groups: those with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) and without retinopathy. All the children had their daily urine albumin excretion, HbA1c, C-peptide measured, 24-hour blood pressure monitoring, and ophthalmologic examination. Levels of TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-12 in serum were measured by ELISA tests (Quantikine High Sensitivity Human by R&D Systems, Minneapolis, Minn, USA). The NPDR children demonstrated a significantly longer duration of the disease in addition to higher HbA1c, albumin excretion rate, C-reactive protein, systolic blood pressure, as well as TNF-α and IL-6 levels than those without retinopathy. The logistic regression revealed that the risk of NPDR was strongly dependent on TNF-α [(OR 4.01; 95%CI 2.01−7.96)]. TNF-α appears to be the most significant predictor among the analyzed parameters of damage to the eye apparatus. The early introduction of the TNF-α antagonists to the treatment of young patients with DM type 1 who show high serum activity of the TNF-α may prevent them from development of diabetic retinopathy.
PMCID: PMC1906713  PMID: 17641733
7.  Pulmonary and Cardiorenal Cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), -2 (COX-2), and Microsomal Prostaglandin E Synthase-1 (mPGES-1) and -2 (mPGES-2) Expression in a Hypertension Model 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:85091.
Hypertensive mice that express the human renin and angiotensinogen genes are used as a model for human hypertension because they develop hypertension secondary to increased renin-angiotensin system activity. Our study investigated the cellular localization and distribution of COX-1, COX-2, mPGES-1, and mPGES-2 in organ tissues from a mouse model of human hypertension. Male (n = 15) and female (n = 15) double transgenic mice (h-Ang 204/1 h-Ren 9) were used in the study. Lung, kidney, and heart tissues were obtained from mice at necropsy and fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin followed by embedding in paraffin wax. Cut sections were stained immunohistochemically with antibodies to COX-1, COX-2, mPGES-1, and mPGES-2 and analyzed by light microscopy. Renal expression of COX-1 was the highest in the distal convoluted tubules, cortical collecting ducts, and medullary collecting ducts; while proximal convoluted tubules lacked COX-1 expression. Bronchial and bronchiolar epithelial cells, alveolar macrophages, and cardiac vascular endothelial cells also had strong COX-1 expression, with other renal, pulmonary, or cardiac microanatomic locations having mild-to-moderate expression. mPGES-2 expression was strong in the bronchial and bronchiolar epithelial cells, mild to moderate in various renal microanatomic locations, and absent in cardiac tissues. COX-2 expression was strong in the proximal and distal convoluted tubules, alveolar macrophages, and bronchial and bronchiolar epithelial cells. Marked mPGES-1 was present only in bronchial and bronchiolar epithelial cells; while mild-to-moderate expression was present in other pulmonary, renal, or cardiac microanatomic locations. Expression of these molecules was similar between males and females. Our work suggests that in hypertensive mice, there are (a) significant microanatomic variations in the pulmonary, renal, and cardiac distribution and cellular localization of COX-1, COX-2, mPGES-1, and mPGES-2, and (b) no differences in expression between genders.
PMCID: PMC1906712  PMID: 17641732
8.  Proinflammatory Cytokine Gene Expression by Murine Macrophages in Response to Brugia malayi Wolbachia Surface Protein 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:84318.
Wolbachia, an endosymbiotic bacterium found in most species of filarial parasites, is thought to play a significant role in inducing innate inflammatory responses in lymphatic filariasis patients. However, the Wolbachia-derived molecules that are recognized by the innate immune system have not yet been identified. In this study, we exposed the murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 to a recombinant form of the major Wolbachia surface protein (rWSP) to determine if WSP is capable of innately inducing cytokine transcription. Interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) mRNAs were all upregulated by the rWSP stimulation in a dose-dependant manner. TNF transcription peaked at 3 hours, whereas IL-1β and IL-6 transcription peaked at 6 hours post-rWSP exposure. The levels of innate cytokine expression induced by a high-dose (9.0 μg/mL) rWSP in the RAW 264.7 cells were comparable to the levels induced by 0.1 μg/mL E. coli-derived lipopolysaccharides. Pretreatment of the rWSP with proteinase-K drastically reduced IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF transcription. However, the proinflammatory response was not inhibited by polymyxin B treatment. These results strongly suggest that the major Wolbachia surface protein molecule WSP is an important inducer of innate immune responses during filarial infections.
PMCID: PMC1906711  PMID: 17641731
9.  Urinary Eosinophil Protein X in Children with Atopic Asthma 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:49240.
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between urinary eosinophil protein X (uEPX) and asthma symptoms, lung function, and other markers of eosinophilic airway inflammation in asthmatic school children. Methods. A cross-sectional study was performed in 180 steroid dependent atopic children with stable moderately severe asthma, who were stable on 200 or 500μg of fluticasone per day. uEPX was measured in a single sample of urine and was normalized for creatinine concentration (uEPX/c). Symptom scores were kept on a diary card. FEV1 and PD20 methacholine were measured. Sputum induction was performed in 49 and FENO levels measured in 24 children. Results. We found an inverse correlation between uEPX/c and FEV1 (r = −.20, P = .01) and a borderline significant correlation between uEPX/c and PD20 methacholine (r = −.15, P = .06). Symptom score, %eosinophils and ECP in induced sputum and FENO levels did not correlate with uEPX/c. Conclusion. uEPX/c levels did not correlate with established markers of asthma severity and eosinophilic airway inflammation in atopic asthmatic children.
PMCID: PMC1906710  PMID: 17641730
10.  Serum Interleukin-6 in Patients with Burning Mouth Syndrome and Relationship with Depression and Perceived Pain 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:45327.
Objective. To examine alteration of serum interleukin-6 and its clinical significance in burning mouth syndrome (BMS) patients. Methods. 48 BMS patients and 31 healthy controls participated in the study. Serum interleukin-6 was measured by means of ELISA. Hamilton rating scale of depression (HRSD) and visual analogue scale (VAS) were used to quantitiate depressive status and pain levels of subjects, respectively. Results. 15 (31%) patients displayed substantial depressive symptoms (HRSD ≧ 16). HRSD scores of patients were significantly higher than controls and positively correlated to their VAS values (P = .002). Serum interleukin-6 in patients was much lower than controls and negatively correlated to their VAS values (P = .011). However, no significant relations were found between interleukin-6 and HRSD scores (P = .317). Conclusions. Serum interleukin-6 in patients with burning mouth syndrome is decreased and negatively correlated to chronic pain. Both psychological and neuropathic disorders might act as precipitating factors in BMS etiopathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC1906709  PMID: 17641729
11.  Serum Leptin Levels in Patients with Ocular and Nonocular Behçet's Disease 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:31986.
Aims. To investigate serum leptin levels in Behçet's patients with or without ocular involvement compared with healthy subjects and the relationship between serum leptin and uveitis activity in patients with ocular involvement. Methods. Fifty-seven patients with Behçet's disease and 20 healthy control subjects were included in this study. While 27 patients had ocular involvement (18 had acute uveitis, 9 had inactive ocular involvement), 30 did not have ocular disease. C-reactive protein, alpha 1-antitrypsin, and serum leptin levels were measured in all samples. Results. There was a significant difference between the patients with Behçet's disease and control group for both logarithm of leptin (P = .000) and logarithm of CRP (P = .031). Logarithm of leptin in non-ocular Behçet's patients was significantly higher compared to its level in ocular Behçet's disease and controls (P = .009). There was a significant difference between the patients with active ocular disease and control group (P = .03). Conclusions. Leptin might have a possible role in the pathogenesis of Behçet's disease.
PMCID: PMC1906708  PMID: 17641728
12.  Plasma Interleukin-18 and Dendritic Cells in Males with Psoriasis Vulgaris 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:61254.
Peripheral blood dendritic cells seem to play a crucial role in psoriatic inflammatory processes. The aim of our study is to investigate the relationship between plasma interleukin-18 (IL-18) levels and blood dendritic cells in psoriatic patients. IL-18 plasma levels were measured by ELISA. Phenotypes of dendritic cell subsets were analyzed by double-colour flow cytometry. Plasma IL-18 level in psoriatic males was significantly higher, whereas counts of BDCA-2+ cells were lower than in the control group. The myeloid/plasmacytoid ratio was significantly higher in the patient group compared to the control one. In the patient group, significant negative correlations between plasma IL-18 level and both the BDCA-1+ and BDCA-2+ counts were found. BDCA-1+ counts correlated negatively with percentage of skin involvement. IL-18 seems to play a role in psoriasis pathogenesis. The decreased counts of blood plasmacytoid DCs in psoriatic patients might result from IL-18 down-regulation of plasmacytoid DC precursor proliferation.
PMCID: PMC1892645  PMID: 17611614
13.  Protective Role of Genistein in Acute Liver Damage Induced by Carbon Tetrachloride 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:36381.
Aim. In the present study, we investigated the protective effect of genistein in experimental acute liver damage induced by CCl4. Method. Forty rats were equally allocated to 5 groups. The first group was designated as the control group (group 1). The second group was injected with intraperitoneal CCl4 for 3 days (group 2). The third group was injected with subcutaneous 1 mg/kg genistein for 4 days starting one day before CCl4 injection. The fourth group was injected with intraperitoneal CCl4 for 7 days. The fifth group was injected with subcutaneous 1 mg/kg genistein for 8 days starting one day before CCl4 injection. Plasma and liver tissue malondialdehyde (MDA) and liver glutathione levels, as well as AST and ALT levels were studied. A histopathological examination was conducted. Results. Liver tissue MDA levels were found significantly lower in group 3, in comparison to group 2 (P < .05). Liver tissue MDA level in group 5 was significantly lower than that in group 4 (P < .001). Liver tissue glutathione levels were higher in group 5 and 3, relative to groups 4 and 2, respectively (P > .05 for each). Inflammation and focal necrosis decreased in group 3, in comparison to group 2 (P < .001 for each). Inflammation and focal necrosis in group 5 was lower than that in group 4 (P < .001). Actin expression decreased significantly in group 5, relative to group 4 (P < .05). Conclusion. Genistein has anti-inflammatory and antinecrotic effects on experimental liver damage caused by CCl4. Genistein reduces liver damage by preventing lipid peroxidation and strengthening antioxidant systems.
PMCID: PMC1892644  PMID: 17597837
14.  The Serum High-Sensitive C Reactive Protein and Homocysteine Levels to Evaluate the Prognosis of Acute Ischemic Stroke 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:15929.
Ischemic stroke is one of the most common causes of death worldwide and is most often caused by thrombotic processes. We investigated the changes in hsCRP and homocysteine levels, two of these risk factors, during the acute period of ischemic stroke and evaluated the relationship between these levels and the short-term prognosis. HsCRP and homocysteine levels were measured at the 2nd, 5th, and 10th days in forty patients admitted within second of an ischemic stroke. The clinical status of the patients was simultaneously evaluated with the Scandinavian stroke scale. The results were compared with 40 healthy control subjects whose age and sex were matched with the patients. The mean hsCRP levels of the patients were 9.4 ± 7.0 mg/L on the 2nd day, 11.0 ± 7.4 mg/L on the 5th day, and 9.2 ± 7.0 mg/L on the 10th day. The mean hsCRP level of the control subjects was 1.7 ± 2.9 mg/L. The mean hsCRP levels of the patients on the 2nd, 5th, and 10th days were significantly higher than the control subjects (P < .001). The patients' mean homocysteine levels were 40.6 ± 9.6 μmol/L on the 2nd day, 21.7 ± 11.1 μmol/L on the 5th day, and 20.7 ± 9.2 μmol/L on the 10th day. The mean homocysteine level of the control subjects was 11.2 ± 1.1 μmol/L. The homocysteine levels of the patients were higher than the control subjects at all times (P < .01). In conclusion, patients with stroke have a higher circulating serum hsCRP and homocysteine levels. Short-term unfavorable prognosis seems to be associated with elevated serum hsCRP levels in patients with stroke. Although serum homocysteine was found to be higher, homocysteine seems not related to prognosis.
PMCID: PMC1892643  PMID: 17597836
15.  Inhibitory Effect of Inflexinol on Nitric Oxide Generation and iNOS Expression via Inhibition of NF-κB Activation 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:93148.
Inflexinol, an ent-kaurane diterpenoid, was isolated from the leaves of Isodon excisus. Many diterpenoids isolated from the genus Isodon (Labiatae) have antitumor and antiinflammatory activities. We investigated the antiinflammatory effect of inflexinol in RAW 264.7 cells and astrocytes. As a result, we found that inflexinol (1, 5, 10 μM) suppressed the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) as well as the production of nitric oxide (NO) in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells and astrocytes. Consistent with the inhibitory effect on iNOS and COX-2 expression, inflexinol also inhibited transcriptional and DNA binding activity of NF-κB via inhibition of IκB degradation as well as p50 and p65 translocation into nucleus. These results suggest that inflexinol inhibits iNOS and COX-2 expression through inhibition of NF-κB activation, thereby inhibits generation of inflammatory mediators in RAW 264.7 cells and astrocytes, and may be useful for treatment of inflammatory diseases.
PMCID: PMC1874678  PMID: 17541474
16.  Expression of Selected Integrins and Selectins in Bullous Pemphigoid 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:31051.
Blister development in bullous pemphigoid (BP) results from destruction of hemidesmosomes and basement membrane components within the dermoepidermal junction by autoantibodies. Adhesion molecules can take part in pathogenesis of this disease. The aim of the study was to determine the localization and expression of L- and E-selectins and β1, β3, and β4 integrins by immunohistochemistry in skin lesions of 21 patients with BP, compared with 10 healthy subjects. Expression of L and E selectins and β1, β3 integrins was detected mainly in basal keratinocytes and in inflammatory infiltrates in the dermis, expression of β4 integrin was irregular and was detected mainly in dermal part of the blister, while in the control group only weak and single expression of the examined molecules was detected in basal keratinocytes and endothelium cells. The obtained results reveal the important role of selected selectins and integrins in development of skin lesions in BP.
PMCID: PMC1868076  PMID: 17515951
17.  Resting Tension Affects eNOS Activity in a Calcium-Dependent Way in Airways 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:24174.
The alteration of resting tension (RT) from 0.5 g to 2.5 g increased significantly airway smooth muscle contractions induced by acetylcholine (ACh) in rabbit trachea. The decrease in extracellular calcium concentration [Ca2+]o from 2 mM to 0.2 mM reduced ACh-induced contractions only at 2.5 g RT with no effect at 0.5 g RT. The nonselective inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) increased ACh-induced contractions at 2.5 g RT. The inhibitor of inducible NOS, S-methylsothiourea or neuronal NOS, 7-nitroindazole had no effect. At 2.5 g RT, the reduction of [Ca2+]o from 2 mM to 0.2 mM abolished the effect of L-NAME on ACh-induced contractions. The NO precursor L-arginine or the tyrosine kinase inhibitors erbstatin A and genistein had no effect on ACh-induced contractions obtained at 2.5 g RT. Our results suggest that in airways, RT affects ACh-induced contractions by modulating the activity of epithelial NOS in a calcium-dependent, tyrosine-phosphorylation-independent way.
PMCID: PMC1868075  PMID: 17515950
18.  Increased Endothelin-1 Levels of BAL Fluid in Patients with Behçet's Disease 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:93726.
Objective and background. Pulmonary aneurysms and thrombosis constitute a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in Behçet's disease (BD). Various factors have been studied to explore the pathogenesis of vascular involvement in BD. As endothelin (ET) is known for its potent vasoconstrictor and proinflammatory properties, we supposed that it is involved during the inflammatory process of BD pulmonary vasculitis. Methods. To investigate the role of ET in BD, ET-1 concentrations were measured in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of 18 nonsmoking BD patients with pulmonary manifestations and 12 control subjects. Immunoreactivity of ET-1 was also evaluated in alveolar macrophages (AMs) cytoplasm. Results. ET-1 levels in BD-BALF were significantly higher than those of controls. ET-1 levels were correlated with the number of alveolar macrophages, but not with BAL-CD4/CD8 ratio. ET-1-immunoreactivity was found mainly in AM of BD-BAL. Conclusions. Increased ET-1 production from AM is associated with pulmonary BD manifestations.
PMCID: PMC1852888  PMID: 17497041
19.  Calotropis procera Latex Extract Affords Protection against Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Freund's Complete Adjuvant-Induced Monoarthritis in Rats 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:47523.
In view of the well-established anti-inflammatory properties of latex of Calotropis procera (DL), the present study was carried out to evaluate the protective effect of its methanol extract (MeDL) against inflammation and oxidative stress in monoarthritis induced by Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA) in rats. Intra-articular injection of FCA produced inflammation of the joint with a peak effect occurring on day 4 where a maximum increase in the levels of myeloperoxidase and inflammatory mediators like PGE2, TNF-α, and nitric oxide was observed. This was associated with oxidative stress with a marked reduction in the levels of glutathione, catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase and an increase in the lipid peroxidation as indicated by the higher levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARSs). Subsequently on day 28 the histological analysis of the joint also revealed arthritic changes. Daily treatment of rats with MeDL (50 and 500 mg/kg) and standard anti-inflammatory drug rofecoxib (20 and 100 mg/kg), produced a significant attenuation in the inflammatory response and ameliorated the arthritic changes in the joint. The protection afforded by MeDL and rofecoxib was more pronounced than that of phenylbutazone and was associated with normalization of the levels of inflammatory mediators and biochemical parameters of oxidative stress. However, the overall protection afforded by rofecoxib was better than that of MeDL.
PMCID: PMC1852887  PMID: 17497032
20.  Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF)-I and Insulin in Normal and Growth-Restricted Mother/Infant Pairs 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:42646.
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and insulin are essential for fetal growth. We investigated perinatal changes of both factors in 40 mothers and their 20 appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) and 20 intrauterine-growth-restricted (IUGR) fetuses and neonates on day 1 (N1) and day 4 (N4) postpartum. Fetal and N1, but not N4, IGF-I levels were increased in AGA (P < .001 and P = .037, resp.). N1 insulin levels were lower in IUGR (P = .048). Maternal, fetal, and N1 IGF-I, and fetal insulin levels positively correlated with customized centiles (r = .374, P = .035, r = .608, P < .001, r = .485, P = .006, and r = .654, P = .021, resp.). Female infants presented elevated fetal and N4 IGF-I levels (P = .023 and P = .016, resp.). Positive correlations of maternal, fetal, and neonatal IGF-I levels, and fetal insulin levels with customized centiles underline implication of both hormones in fetal growth. IUGR infants present gradually increasing IGF-I levels. Higher IGF-I levels are documented in females.
PMCID: PMC1852886  PMID: 17497031
21.  Association of GST Genes Polymorphisms with Asthma in Tunisian Children 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:19564.
Background. A positive association between genetic polymorphism and asthma may not be extrapolated from one ethnic group to another based on intra- and interethnic allelic and genotype frequencies differences. Objective. We assessed whether polymorphisms of GST genes (GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1) are associated with asthma and atopy among Tunisian children. Methods. 112 unrelated healthy individuals and 105 asthmatic (73 atopic and 32 nonatopic) children were studied. Genotyping the polymorphisms in the GSTT1 and GSTM1 genes was performed using the multiplex PCR. The GSTP1 ILe105Val polymorphism was determined using PCR-RFLP. Results. GSTM1 null genotype was significantly associated with the increased risk of asthma (P = .002). Asthmatic children had a higher prevalence of the GSTP1Ile105 allele than the control group (43.8% and 33.5%, respectively; P = .002). Also, the presence of the GSTP1 homozygote Val/Val was less common in subjects with asthma than in control group. We have found that GSTT1 null genotype (GSTT1 *0/*0) was significantly associated with atopy (P = .008). Conclusion. Polymorphisms within genes of the GST superfamily were associated with risk of asthma and atopy in Tunisia.
PMCID: PMC1852884  PMID: 17497028
22.  Angiogenic Factor Expression in Hepatic Cirrhosis 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:67187.
The pathogenesis of fibrosis in hepatic cirrhosis remains obscure. This study examines the eventual role of angiogenic factors in the fibrotic process. A series of 55 cirrhotic livers was studied for the proliferation state of fibroblasts, and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), thymidine phosphorylase (TP) and the basic and acidic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF, aFGF) in both fibroblasts and hepatic cells. The angiogenic and/or fibrogenic factors VEGF, TP, bFGF, and aFGF were clearly expressed in regenerative hepatocytes, but not in fibroblasts of diffuse hepatic fibrosis. The immunohistochemical findings suggest that angiogenic factors and factors promoting oxidative stress (i.e., TP) produced by hepatocytes may contribute to the development of fibrous bands in hepatic cirrhosis.
PMCID: PMC1847476  PMID: 17497037
23.  Plasma Levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha and Interleukin-6 in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:65704.
Aim. Recent research implicated place of an immune mechanism in the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Despite increasing evidence involvement of cytokine release in OCD, results of the studies are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to evaluate the plasma levels of the cytokines; tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in OCD patients. Methods. Plasma concentrations of TNF-α and IL-6 were measured in 31 drug-free outpatients with OCD, and 31-year age and sex-matched healthy controls. TNF-α and IL-6 concentrations in blood were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results. Both TNF-α and IL-6 levels showed statistically significant increases in OCD patients compared to controls (P < .000, P < .001, resp.). In addition, the age of onset was negatively correlated with TNF-α level (r = −.402, P = .025) and duration of illness was weakly correlated with IL-6 levels (r : .357; P : .048) in patients group. Conclusion. OCD patients showed increases in TNF-α and IL-6 levels compared to the healthy controls. This study provides evidence for alterations in the proinflamatory cytokines which suggest the involvement of the immune system in the pathophysiology of OCD.
PMCID: PMC1847475  PMID: 17497035
24.  Th1/Th2 Cytokine Ratio in Tissue Transudates from Patients with Oral Lichen Planus 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:19854.
Objective. The characteristics of oral lichen planus (OLP) provoke investigators to explore possible biomarkers by which to monitor disease activity and therapeutic efficacy. Oral fluids may provide an accessible medium for analysis of such biomarkers. Previous studies have shown that activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κ B) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of oral lichen planus (OLP), which is a chronic inflammatory disorder mediated by T cells. Prior to the present investigation, reports of the levels of NF-κ B and its dependent cytokines in oral fluids have not been forthcoming. The purpose of this study was to detect the level of NF-κ B dependent cytokines, TNF-alpha, IL-1-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8 in tissue transudates directly from lesions of OLP, and explore the feasibility of the data for clinical application. Study design. Thirteen definitively diagnosed OLP subjects were enrolled in the study as were 13 age-sex matched controls. In each subject, lesion tissue transudates (TTs) were collected by a novel collection technique with a filter paper. The level of cytokines, TNF-alpha, IL-1-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8 in three types of oral fluids were determined by ELISA. Results. In the tissue transudate(TT), there were significantly higher level of cytokines TNF-alpha, IL-1-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8 detected in OLP patients than in controls: (TT: 40.0 ± 9.8 versus 4.5 ± 0.7, 710 ± 114 versus 305 ± 78, 150 ± 25 versus 1.7 ± 0.5, 2800 ± 260 versus 1450 ± 130, P < .0001; unit: pg/mL). Conclusions. These results indicate that NF-κ B dependent inflammatory cytokines may be detected at increased levels in oral lesion tissue transudates which may have diagnostic and prognostic potentials for monitoring disease activity and making therapeutic decisions in patients with OLP.
PMCID: PMC1847474  PMID: 17497029
25.  Insights to Clinical Use of Serial Determination in Titers of Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Autoantibodies 
Mediators of Inflammation  2007;2007:12367.
Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) antibody is a useful marker for the diagnosis and prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recently, clinical significance of follow-up in anti-CCP antibody titer has been pointed out. Thus, we investigated the serial determination in anti-CCP antibodies titer in RA patients. Six patients with RA, who were followed up for longer than 5 years, were assessed in anti-CCP antibodies and radiographs (Larsen score). Anti-CCP antibodies in frozen sera were measured using ELISA. As a result, 6 patients with RA were divided into two groups: one possessed high titers without variation, and the other was without high titers. Joint damage progressed during observation in 2 out of 3 patients with high anti-CCP titers in a retrospective assessment. In contrast, the RA patient, whose anti-CCP titer decreases although it had been high titer at baseline, did not show increase in the Larsen score. These findings suggest that it might be necessary to analyze changes in anti-CCP to predict the prognosis of joint destruction.
PMCID: PMC1847473  PMID: 17497027

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