Phthalates are commonly used as plasticizers and vehicles for cosmetic ingredients. Phthalate metabolites have documented biochemical activity including activating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor and antiandrogenic effects, which may contribute to the development of obesity. In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that phthalates have significant effects on the development of obesity, especially after prenatal exposure at low doses. Although few studies have examined the effects of phthalate on obesity development in humans, some work has shown that phthalates affect humans and animals similarly. In this paper, we review the possible mechanisms of phthalate-induced obesity, and discuss evidence supporting the role of phthalates in the development of obesity in humans.
Diethylhexyl phthalate; Child; Endocrine disruptors; Obesity
To investigate the associations of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components between adolescents and their parents in Korea.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We analyzed data for 4,657 subjects (1,404 fathers, 1,404 mothers, 957 sons, and 892 daughters) from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted between 1998 and 2008.
Compared with adolescents whose parents did not have MetS, the odds ratio (95% CI) for MetS in adolescents with MetS in one parent was 4.2 (2.1–8.5) and 8.7 (3.4–22.3) in those with MetS in both parents. Among obese adolescents, the prevalence of MetS was 18.2% without parental MetS, whereas 29.2% of obese adolescents with MetS in one parent and 53.9% with MetS in both parents also had MetS (P = 0.01 for trend).
The risk of MetS increased significantly in adolescents with parental MetS and was especially high in those with coexisting obesity and parental MetS.
Phytoestrogen is an estrogenic compound that occurs naturally in plants. The most common sources of phytoestrogen are soybean products, which contain high levels of isoflavones. This compound, which has structural similarity with estrogen, can act as an estrogen receptor agonist or antagonist. Animal studies provide evidence of the significant effects of phytoestrogen on sexual development, including altered pubertal timing, impaired estrous cycling and ovarian function, and altered hypothalamus and pituitary functions. Although human studies examining the effects of phytoestrogen on sexual development are extremely limited, the results of some studies agree with those of the animal studies. In this paper, we review the possible mechanism of phytoestrogen action and the evidence showing the effects of phytoestrogen on sexual development in animal and human studies.
Phytoestrogens; Puberty; Sexual development
Unbalanced diets and decreased physical activity have contributed to increased prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome in adolescents. We have performed a systematic review and data analysis to examine the association between dietary pattern and metabolic syndrome risk factors in adolescents.
We searched the PubMed and BioMedLib databases for appropriate articles published during the past 10 years and selected 6 articles. The studies reviewed applied factor analysis or cluster analysis to extract dietary patterns. For data analysis, we examined the association between dietary patterns and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome risk factors using data of 3,168 adolescents (13 to 18 years) obtained from 4 consecutive Korean Nutrition Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1998, 2001, 2005, and 2007 to 2009).
Our systematic review confirmed that western dietary patterns are positively associated with metabolic syndrome risk factors such as obesity and elevated triglycerides, while traditional dietary patterns were negatively associated. Data analysis found that the number of adolescents aged 16 to 18 years who had "Rice & Kimchi" dietary pattern decreased, while the number having western dietary patterns increased during the 1998 to 2009 time frame. There were no changes in the dietary patterns in adolescents aged 13 to 15 years. The risk of elevated serum triglycerides and reduced serum high density lipoprotein cholesterol was high in the "Rice & Kimchi" dietary pattern compared to the other dietary pattern groups.
Because adolescents' dietary patterns are changing continuously and have long-term effects, further studies on the dietary patterns of adolescents and their health effects into adulthood are necessary.
Dietary pattern; Adolescent; Metabolic syndrome; KNHANES; Systematic review
NADH:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) is known to be involved in the regulation of energy synthesis and metabolism, and the functional studies of NQO1 have largely focused on metabolic disorders. Here, we show for the first time that compared to NQO1-WT mice, NQO1-KO mice exhibited a marked increase of permeability and spontaneous inflammation in the gut. In the DSS-induced colitis model, NQO1-KO mice showed more severe inflammatory responses than NQO1-WT mice. Interestingly, the transcript levels of claudin and occludin, the major tight junction molecules of gut epithelial cells, were significantly decreased in NQO1-KO mice. The colons of NQO1-KO mice also showed high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity, which are known to affect transcriptional regulation. Taken together, these novel findings indicate that NQO1 contributes to the barrier function of gut epithelial cells by regulating the transcription of tight junction molecules. [BMB Reports 2014;47(9): 494-499]
Barrier dysfunction of epithelial cells; Chromosome condensation; Claudin-1; Gut epithelial cell tight junction; Gut inflammation; Histone acetylation/deacetylation; NQO1 knockout mice; Occludin; Transcription
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used extensively to manufacture plastics and epoxy resin liners for food and beverage cans. BPA, with properties similar to estrogen, has endocrine-disrupting effects. In the present study, we examined the effects of early prepubertal BPA exposure on the onset of puberty and reproductive parameters such as estrous cycle and reproductive organ weights in female mice.
Female mice were injected subcutaneously at postnatal day (PND) 8 with BPA (0.1, 1, 10, 100 mg/kg) in sesame oil or with sesame oil alone. Body weight was measured from PND 10 to 70. Vaginal opening and estrous cycle were monitored from PND 20 to 29. Animals were sacrificed at PND 25, 30, and 70, and the ovary and uterus weights were measured.
Early prepubertal exposure to BPA (10 and 100 mg/kg) significantly decreased body weight from PND 18 to 30. BPA treated mice at testing dose levels showed early opening of the vagina compared to the control group. The number of estrous cycle and days of estrus were significantly decreased in high dose (100 mg/kg) BPA treated mice. The ovary weight at PND 25 and 30 was significantly decreased in all BPA treatment groups.
Early prepubertal exposure to BPA accelerated the onset of puberty but decreased reproductive parameters in female mice.
Bisphenol A; Endocrine Disruptors; Puberty; Female; Mice
Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) has been widely used to treat short stature. However, there are some concerns that growth hormone treatment may induce skeletal maturation and early onset of puberty. In this study, we investigated whether rhGH can directly affect the neuronal activities of of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
We performed brain slice gramicidin-perforated current clamp recording to examine the direct membrane effects of rhGH on GnRH neurons, and a whole-cell voltage-clamp recording to examine the effects of rhGH on spontaneous postsynaptic events and holding currents in immature (postnatal days 13-21) and adult (postnatal days 42-73) mice.
In immature mice, all 5 GnRH neurons recorded in gramicidin-perforated current clamp mode showed no membrane potential changes on application of rhGH (0.4, 1 µg/mL). In adult GnRH neurons, 7 (78%) of 9 neurons tested showed no response to rhGH (0.2-1 µg/mL) and 2 neurons showed slight depolarization. In 9 (90%) of 10 immature neurons tested, rhGH did not induce any membrane holding current changes or spontaneous postsynaptic currents (sPSCs). There was no change in sPSCs and holding current in 4 of 5 adult GnRH neurons.
These findings demonstrate that rhGH does not directly affect the GnRH neuronal activities in our experimental model.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone; Growth hormone; Patch clamp technique
This study aimed to evaluate weight and height status and their relationship with psychological problems among elementary schoolchildren.
Materials and Methods
A total of 405 schoolchildren (211 boys and 194 girls, aged: 10-13 years), living in Seoul, Korea, participated in this study. The participants were divided into 3 groups according to their weight and height standard deviation score. Psychological assessments were performed using the Korean-Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL).
In this study, 34.4% of boys and 32.1% of girls showed dissatisfaction with their weight, whereas 26.2% of boys and 30.2% of girls showed dissatisfaction with their height. The obese group showed higher weight dissatisfaction than the normal or underweight groups (p < 0.001). The short stature group showed higher dissatisfaction in their height than the normal group (p = 0.01). There was no significant difference in total CBCL problems score according to weight or height status. The underweight and obese groups had higher score for social problems than normal weight group (p < 0.05 respectively). There were no significant differences in each CBCL problem score by height status. As a whole, the prevalence rate of a CBCL total problems score in the clinical range was 3 percent (12/405). These children showed no difference in terms of weight or height, compared with normal students. Among the factors related, only school performance was negatively correlated with the total problems score (p < 0.01).
Approximately one-third of elementary schoolchildren were dissatisfied with their height or weight. Although their total CBCL psychological problem scores were closely related with school performance, they did not show any significant relation with height or weight status. Contrary to the general view, our study suggests that psychological problems of elementary schoolchildren may be related more with their school performance than their body physique.
Height; weight; psychologic problems; elementary schoolchildren
N-ras mutations are one of the most commonly detected abnormalities of myeloid origin. N-ras mutations result in a constitutively active N-ras protein that induces uncontrolled cell proliferation and inhibits apoptosis. We analyzed N-ras mutations in adult patients with AML at a particular institution and compared pyrosequencing analysis with a direct sequencing method for the detection of N-ras mutations.
We analyzed 90 bone marrow samples from 83 AML patients. We detected N-ras mutations in codons 12, 13, and 61 using the pyrosequencing method and subsequently confirmed all data by direct sequencing. Using these methods, we screened the N-ras mutation quantitatively and determined the incidence and characteristic of N-ras mutation.
The incidence of N-ras mutation was 7.2% in adult AML patients. The patients with N-ras mutations showed significant higher hemoglobin levels (P=0.022) and an increased incidence of FLT3 mutations (P=0.003). We observed 3 cases with N-ras mutations in codon 12 (3.6%), 2 cases in codon 13 (2.4%), and 1 case in codon 61 (1.2%). All the mutations disappeared during chemotherapy.
There is a low incidence (7.2%) of N-ras mutations in AML patients compared with other populations. Similar data is obtained by both pyrosequencing and direct sequencing. This study showed the correlation between the N-ras mutation and the therapeutic response. However, pyrosequencing provides quantitative data and is useful for monitoring therapeutic responses.
N-ras; AML; Pyrosequencing; Bone marrow
Brachydactyly type C (BDC) is characterized by shortening of the middle phalanges of the index, middle, and little fingers. Hyperphalangy of the index and middle finger and shortening of the first metacarpal can also be observed. BDC is a rare genetic condition associated with the GDF5 gene, and this condition has not been confirmed by genetic analysis so far in the Korean population. Herein, we present a case of a 6-yr-old girl diagnosed with BDC confirmed by molecular genetic analysis. The patient presented with shortening of the second and third digits of both hands. Sequence analysis of the GDF5 gene was performed and the pathogenic mutation, c.1312C>T (p.Arg438Cys), was identified. Interestingly, this mutation was previously described in a patient who presented with the absence of the middle phalanges in the second through fifth toes. However, our patient showed no involvement of the feet. Considering intrafamilial and interfamilial variability, molecular analysis of isolated brachydactyly is warranted to elucidate the genetic origin and establish a diagnosis.
Brachydactyly; GDF5 gene; Mutational analysis
Background and Objectives
In Korea, there hasn't been any previous literature that describes auscultatory blood pressure (BP) normative tables for adolescents. Using BP data, from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), we created normative auscultatory BP percentile tables for Korean adolescents.
Subjects and Methods
A total of 3508 adolescents (boys 1852, girls 1656), aged 10-17 in 2001, 2005 and 2007 from the KNHANES database years, were included. Auscultatory BP measurement was performed, using a Baumanometer Mercury Gravity Sphygmomanometer.
The mean systolic BP of boys was higher than that of girls in adolescents older than 13 years of age, and the mean diastolic BP of boys was higher than that of girls in those older than 15 years. Systolic and diastolic BP was correlated with weight, height and age. Age-specific normative auscultatory systolic and diastolic BP percentiles for boys and girls were completed. The graph that showed age-specific prehypertensive and hypertensive systolic and diastolic BP for boys and girls was presented. For adolescents, the height-specific auscultatory BP percentiles for boys and girls were completed. A graph that shows the height-specific prehypertensive and hypertensive BP for boys and girls was also made.
The auscultatory age-and height-specific BP percentiles for Korean adolescents are established. These can be useful in screening the prehypertension and hypertension of Korean adolescents in a clinical setting.
Blood pressure; Adolescent; Auscultation
Radioiodine is regularly used in the treatment of thyroid cancer to eliminate residual malignant tissue after thyroidectomy and to treat metastasis. Because of the low dose of radioiodine used to treat thyroid cancer patients, leukemia is an uncommon complication of exposure to radioiodine. Here, we present a patient who developed therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia with inv(16)(p13.1q22);CBFβ-MYH11, eosinophilia, and K-ras mutation and who had been treated with very low-dose radioiodine following total thyroidectomy.
Radioiodine; Thyroid cancer; Acute myeloid leukemia; CBFβ-MYH11; Eosinophilia; K-ras
This study compared birth stature, parents' stature, and food and nutrient intakes between normal and short stature Korean children visiting a growth clinic. A total of 143 growth clinic visitors agreed to participate in the study. Out of the 143 subjects, 37 children with height below the fifth percentile (short stature group) and 58 children with height above the twenty-fifth percentile (normal group) were included in the study analysis. Data were collected through a survey of parents or guardians of children and anthropometric measurements. The ratio of short stature in either parent was significantly higher in short stature group. The mean intakes of protein, fat, calcium, and iron were lower in short stature children compared to normal children. Among five major food groups, the intake frequency of vegetables and fruits was significantly lower in short stature group and that of meat·fish·egg·legume group was also significantly lower in short stature group. In further analysis categorized into 11 detail food groups, the intake frequency of fruit group and legume group was significantly lower in short stature group. Nutritional counseling should be provided to emphasize adequate intake of various food groups including vegetables, fruits, and legumes to short stature children visiting a growth clinic.
Children; Food group intake; Growth clinic; Nutrient intake; Short stature
Isolated left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC) is a rare disorder caused by embryonic arrest of compaction. LVNC is sometimes associated with other congenital cardiac disorders; however, there have been few reports of its coexistence with a left ventricular aneurysm. A 40-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital for renal infarction. She had a history of embolic cerebral infarction 10 years ago. Transthoracic echocardiography showed prominent trabeculae and deep intertrabecular recesses which are filled with blood from the left ventricular (LV) cavity. A thrombus in the akinetic apical wall was confirmed by contrast echocardiography. Using cardiac computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, we rejected a possible diagnosis of suspicion of coronary artery disease. She was diagnosed LVNC with a thrombus in apical aneurysm. Here, we report the first patient in Korea known to have LVNC accompanying LV congenital aneurysm presenting with recurrent embolism.
Left ventricular noncompaction; Left ventricular aneurysm
B-cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma (BL) (intermediate DLBCL/BL), is a heterogeneous group with some features resembling DLBCL and others resembling BL. Here, we report a case of intermediate DLBCL/BL in a Korean child. A 2-yr-old male was admitted for evaluation and management of left hip pain. Immunohistochemistry of a biopsy of the femur neck revealed tumor cells positive for CD20, CD10, BCL2, BCL6, and Ki67. A bone marrow (BM) aspirate smear revealed that 49.3% of all nucleated cells were abnormal lymphoid cells, composed of large- and medium-sized cells. Immunophenotyping of the neoplastic cells revealed positivity for CD19, CD10, CD20, and sIg lambda and negativity for CD34, Tdt, and myeloperoxidase (MPO). Cytogenetic and FISH analyses showed a complex karyotype, including t(8;14)(q24.1;q32) and IGH-MYC fusion. Intensive chemotherapy was initiated, including prednisone, vincristine, L-asparaginase, daunorubicin, and central nervous system prophylaxis with intrathecal methotrexate (MTX) and cytarabine. One month after the initial diagnosis, BM examination revealed the persistent of abnormal lymphoid cells; cerebrospinal fluid cytology, including cytospin, showed atypical lymphoid cells. The patient was treated again with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, adriamycin, MTX, and intrathecal MTX and cytarabine. The patient died of sepsis 5 months after the second round of chemotherapy.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Burkitt lymphoma; Gray zone lymphoma
Background and Objectives
We aimed to assess the usefulness of a threshold-based, 3-dimensional (3D) segmentation in comparison with the traditional 2-dimensional (2D) short axis-based method for measurement of epicardial fat volume with 64-slice multidetector computed tomography (MDCT).
Subjects and Methods
One hundred patients (52 males; mean age, 58.36±11.0 years) who underwent coronary CT angiography were enrolled in this study. The epicardial fat volume was measured using the two methods. The existing method was the 2D short axis-based method and the new method was the threshold-based 3D segmentation. Pearson's correlation was used to compare the two measurement methods. We also assessed the relationship between the epicardial fat volume and coronary artery disease (CAD).
There were a strong correlation between the epicardial fat volumes determined using the two methods (r=0.956, p<0.001). The mean overestimation of epicardial fat volume by the threshold-based 3D method was 59.89±12.00% compared to the 2D short-axis based method. Using the 3D method, the epicardial fat volume was significantly higher in the CAD group than in the controls (165.07±48.22 cm3 vs. 108.39±48.03 cm3, p<0.001).
Threshold-based 3D segmentation is another easy and useful tool for measuring the epicardial fat volume.
Pericardium; Tomography, X-ray computed; Visceral fats; Coronary artery disease
In this study, we investigated the atmospheric heavy metal concentrations in the particulate matter inside the subway stations of Seoul. In particular, we examined the correlation between the heavy metals and studied the effect of the heavy metals on cell proliferation. In six selected subway stations in Seoul, particulate matter was captured at the platforms and 11 types of heavy metals were analyzed. The results showed that the mean concentration of iron was the highest out of the heavy metals in particulate matter, followed by copper, potassium, calcium, zinc, nickel, sodium, manganese, magnesium, chromium and cadmium in that order. The correlation analysis showed that the correlations between the heavy metals was highest in the following order: (Cu vs Zn) , (Ca vs Na) , (Ca vs Mn) , (Ni vs Cr) , (Na vs Mn) , (Cr vs Cd) , (Zn vs Cd) , (Cu vs Cd) , (Ni vs Cd) , (Cu vs Ni) , (K vs Zn) , (Cu vs K) , (Cu vs Cr) , (K vs Cd) , (Zn vs Cr) , (K vs Ni) , (Zn vs Ni) , (K vs Cr) , and (Fe vs Cu) . The correlation coefficient between zinc and copper was 0.937, indicating the highest correlation. Copper, zinc, nickel, chromium and cadmium, which are generated from artificial sources in general, showed correlations with many of the other metals and the correlation coefficients were also relatively high. The effect of the heavy metals on cell proliferation was also investigated in this study. Cultured cell was exposed to 10 mg/l or 100 mg/l of iron, copper, calcium, zinc, nickel, manganese, magnesium, chromium and cadmium for 24 hours. The cell proliferation in all the heavy metal-treated groups was not inhibited at 10 mg/l of the heavy metal concentration. The only exception to this was with the cadmium-treated group which showed a strong cell proliferation inhibition. This study provides the fundamental data for the understanding of simultaneous heavy metal exposure tendency at the time of particulate matter exposure in subway stations and the identification of heavy metal sources. Moreover, this study can be used as the fundamental data for the cell toxicity study of the subway-oriented heavy metal-containing particulate matter.
Heavy metal; Subway station; Concentration; Correlation; Cell proliferation
Effect of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) administration on lipid storage, and its subsequent effect on insulin sensitivity have not yet been adequately examined. Thus, we investigated the effects of rhGH treatment on muscle triglyceride (TG) and ceramide content, and insulin sensitivity after 4 weeks of rhGH administration in rats.
Materials and Methods
Fourteen rats were randomly assigned to two groups: rhGH injection group (GH, n = 7) and saline injection group (CON, n = 7). GH received rhGH by subcutaneous injections (130 µg·kg-1·day-1, 6 days·week-1) for 4 weeks, while CON received saline injections that were equivalent in volume to GH group. Intramuscular TG and ceramide content and hepatic TG content were measured. To determine insulin sesitivity, oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and muscle incubation for glucose transport rate were performed in rats, and used as indicators of insulin sensitivity. We also examined plasm lipid profiles.
After 4 weeks of rhGH treatment, the GH group had higher muscle and liver TG contents than the CON (p < 0.05). Ceramide content in GH was significantly greater than that in CON (p < 0.05). GH also had higher plasma levels of FFA (p < 0.05), glucose and insulin responses during OGTT (p < 0.05), and lower glucose transport rates in submaximal insulin concentration (p < 0.05) as compared with CON. Results indicate that rhGH treatment is associated with insulin resistance in rats.
rhGH treatment elevated muscle TG and ceramide content, and hepatic TG content. Thus, elevation of these compounde by rhGH treatment could contribute to the development of insulin resistance in rats.
Growth hormone; triglyceride content; ceramide; glucose transport rate; insulin resistance
We wanted to evaluate the role of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) for detecting breast tumors, as compared with the T1- and T2-weighted images.
Materials and Methods
Forty-one female patients underwent breast MRI, and this included the T1-, T2-, DWI and dynamic contrast-enhanced images. Sixty-five enhancing lesions were detected on the dynamic contrast-enhanced images and we used this as a reference image for detecting tumor. Fifty-six breast lesions were detected on DWI and the histological diagnoses were as follows: 43 invasive ductal carcinomas, one mucinous carcinoma, one mixed infiltrative and mucinous carcinoma, seven ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS), and four benign tumors. First, we compared the detectability of breast lesions on DWI with that of the T1- and T2-weighted images. We then compared the ADCs of the malignant and benign breast lesions to the ADCs of the normal fibroglandular tissue.
Fifty-six lesions were detected via DWI (detectability of 86.2%). The detectabilities of breast lesions on the T1- and T2-weighted imaging were 61.5% (40/65) and 75.4% (49/65), respectively. The mean ADCs of the invasive ductal carcinoma (0.89 ± 0.18 × 10-3mm2/second) and DCIS (1.17 ± 0.18 × 10-3mm2/second) are significantly lower than those of the benign lesions (1.41 ± 0.56 × 10-3mm2/second) and the normal fibroglandular tissue (1.51 ± 0.29 × 10-3mm2/second).
DWI has a high sensitivity for detecting breast tumors, and especially for detecting malignant breast tumors. DWI was an effective imaging technique for detecting breast lesions, as compared to using the T1- and T2-weighted images.
Diffusion-weighted imaging; Breast, MR; Breast, cancer; Detectability