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1.  The Canadian experience with long term deflazacort treatment in Duchenne muscular dystrophy 
Acta Myologica  2012;31(1):16-20.
Deflazacort is the most commonly prescribed corticosteroid for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in Canada. We review the long term experience with deflazacort treatment at two centers in Canada; Montreal and Toronto. Deflazacort has benefitted both cohorts by prolonged ambulation, preserved cardiac and respiratory function, less scoliosis and improved survival. Common side effects in both cohorts include weight gain, decreased height and cataract formation. The Canadian experience supports the use of deflazacort in treating boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
PMCID: PMC3440807  PMID: 22655512
Deflazacort; Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; Canada
2.  Enhancement of Human Neutrophil Bactericidal Activity by Chemotactic Factors 
Infection and Immunity  1979;24(2):295-301.
Neutrophils are important effector cells in the defense against microorganisms. They migrate into infected sites and then phagocytose and kill bacteria. Chemotactic factors may be important for initiating neutrophil migration. We investigated whether chemotactic factors might also influence an event subsequent to chemotaxis, namely bacterial killing. It was found that preincubation (20 min at 37°C) of human leukocytes with chemotactic substances such as zymosan-activated serum, a C5a-containing fraction of zymosan-activated serum, N-formyl methionyl phenylalanine or N-formyl methionyl-leucine-phenylalanine, enhanced leukocyte killing of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Streptococcus faecalis in a dose-dependent fashion. The concentration of chemotactic factor required to enhance killing was similar to that required to induce neutrophil chemotaxis. In addition, zymosan-activated serum, C5a fraction, and the two N-formyl methionyl peptides increased the hexose monophosphate shunt activity of resting and phagocytosing neutrophils by two- to threefold. In contrast, bacterial killing by sodium azide-treated neutrophils and neutrophils from a patient with chronic granulomatous disease was not increased by any chemotactic factor. These findings suggest that chemotactic factors stimulate neutrophil oxygen-dependent microbicidal pathways. These observations illustrate another important contribution of biologically active molecules to effector cell function and host defense.
PMCID: PMC414300  PMID: 457274
3.  Partial Purine Nucleoside Phosphorylase Deficiency 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1978;61(4):1071-1080.
Immune function in two brothers with a deficiency of purine nucleoside phosphorylase was evaluated in vivo and in vitro. Both patients had a history of recurrent infections and profound lymphopenia. Studies of cell-mediated immunity revealed an absence of delayed cutaneous reactivity to a number of antigens, including dinitrochlorobenzene, and significantly reduced lymphocyte proliferative responses to nonspecific mitogens, specific antigen, and allogeneic cells. E-rosetting cells were present but reduced in number (20.0% and 31.5%). Serum immunoglobulin levels, percentages of circulating immunoglobulin-and C3-receptor-bearing B cells, as well as the ability to produce antibody in response to specific antigen in vivo were normal. Moreover, studies of the in vitro induction of specific IgM antibody delineated the presence of T-helper and T-regulator cells. The normal induction of bone marrow precursor T-cell maturation by human thymic epithelium-conditioned medium or thymosin suggested that the initial stages of T-cell generation were intact in these patients. Attempts to reconstitute the in vitro proliferative response with a variety of reagents, including purine nucleoside phosphorylase itself, were unsuccessful. Selective impairment of certain aspects of T-cell function in these patients and a less severe clinical picture than previously described may be explained by the presence of a partial deficiency of nucleoside phosphorylase activity and incomplete block of purine catabolism.
PMCID: PMC372624  PMID: 96131
4.  Hydrogen Peroxide Release by Rat Alveolar Macrophages: Comparison with Blood Neutrophils 
Infection and Immunity  1978;19(2):621-629.
Hydrogen peroxide release was examined using biochemical and cytochemical techniques in rat alveolar macrophages, at rest and during phagocytosis, and compared with rat blood neutrophils. Using biochemical techniques, alveolar macrophages released small amounts of hydrogen peroxide at rest, and no increase was observed after challenge with opsonized and nonopsonized zymosan particles at several particle-cell ratios (1:1 to 1:1,000). Neutrophils released similar quantities of hydrogen peroxide at rest but showed a 12-fold increase in hydrogen peroxide release following exposure to opsonized zymosan particles. Using cytochemical techniques to localize sites of hydrogen peroxide release, resting neutrophils showed little deposition of reaction product at the cell surface and occasional deposits in endocytotic vesicles. After exposure to latex particles, a dense reaction product was observed between the particle and the cell membrane, indicating significant increases in hydrogen peroxide release at the sites of particle contact with the neutrophil. The resting macrophage displayed a light, uniform precipitation of cerium over the cell surface and lining intracellular channels and endocytotic vesicles and vacuoles. Following particle exposure, there was no significant difference in the density or distribution of reaction product. These findings, together with previous studies of oxidative metabolism, suggest that alveolar macrophages do not release increased quantities of hydrogen peroxide during phagocytosis. In contrast to neutrophils, oxidative-dependent metabolic pathways may not be of primary importance for microbial killing by alveolar macrophages.
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PMCID: PMC414128  PMID: 564878
5.  Purine Nucleoside Phosphorylase Deficiency 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1977;60(3):741-746.
Purine-nucleoside phosphorylase (NP) deficiency is associated with severely defective thymus-derived (T)-cell and normally functioning bone marrow-derived (B)-cell immunity. In this study, two unrelated families with a total of three NP deficient members were investigated.
High pressure liquid chromatography of the plasma of the three patients showed inosine levels greater than 66 μM. This nucleoside was absent from the plasma of their parents and control samples.
NP was purified from normal human erythrocytes by affinity chromatography and an antiserum prepared in rabbits was used to study the NP variants in the two families.
In family M the patient had no detectable erythrocyte NP activity and no detectable immunological-reacting material (irm) to the NP antibody. The parents, who are second cousins, had less than one-half of normal enzyme activity and approximately 14% irm attributable to a variant protein. Their electrophoretic patterns revealed a series of isozymes with slower than normal migration.
In family B the patients had 0.5% residual enzyme activity and about one-half normal irm. Their electrophoretic pattern showed faintly staining bands which migrated faster than normal NP. The mother of the patients had one-half normal enzyme activity, 11% irm attributable to her variant protein, and a normal electrophoretic pattern. The father had less than one-half normal enzyme activity, equal amounts of normal and variant irm, and an electrophoretic pattern that showed increased activity of the more rapidly migrating isozyme bands.
The combined use of immunological and electrophoretic techniques has shown the presence of three separate mutations; one in family M and two in family B associated with severely defective T-cell function.
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PMCID: PMC372419  PMID: 408378
6.  B and T Lymphocytes in Primary Immunodeficiency Disease in Man 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1973;52(4):919-928.
B- and T-cell populations in 32 patients with different forms of primary immunodeficiency disease were studied. The B-cells in peripheral blood were investigated with respect to surface immunoglobulins by means of immunofluorescence. The T-cell function was studied utilizing quantitation of proliferative response to phytochemagglutinin (PHA)1 and delayed allergy to various antigens. In 10 patients lymph node lymphocytes were also evaluated 11 male children with infantile x-linked agammaglobulinemia were divided into two subgroups. One did not show immunoglobulin spots on peripheral blood lymphocytes at all, the other contained a very low percentage of IgM- and occasionally IgA bearing lymphocytes. Eight patients with common variable immunodeficiency had moderately decreased percentages of peripheral blood and lymph node lymphocytes with surface immunoglobulins, but these patients lacked immunoglobulin secreting cells. Four cases of isolated IgA deficiency had normal or high percentages, and two cases of ataxia-telangiectasia had high percentages of lymphocytes with IgA in so called receptor distribution in both peripheral blood and lymph nodes. In three patients with infantile combined immunodeficiency that had been corrected by marrow transplantation, the percentages of Ig-bearing lymphocytes increased to normal or high levels together with establishment of functional T-cell population and ultimate secretion of serum immunoglobulins. One case of Di George syndrome reconstituted by fetal thymus transplant showed gradual decrease of B lymphocytes in circulation parallel to restoration of T-cell population.
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PMCID: PMC302340  PMID: 4571426

Results 1-7 (7)