BACKGROUND: Methylated Septin 9 (mSEPT9) in plasma has recently been suggested as a screening marker for colorectal cancer (CRC) with variable sensitivity. We aimed to determine the usefulness of plasma mSEPT9 for screening CRC and gastric cancer (GC) and its diagnostic role in postoperative CRC patients. METHODS: A total of 350 peripheral blood samples from 101 CRC patients, 153 GC patients, and 96 healthy persons were collected. In addition, we obtained 35 follow-up blood samples from 27 CRC patients after curative radical surgery. Plasma mSEPT9, serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and serum CA19-9 were evaluated with clinicopathologic features. RESULTS: The sensitivity of plasma mSEPT9 was 36.6% for detecting CRC and 17.7% for detecting GC, and the specificity was 90.6%. During follow-up periods, mSEPT9 showed negative conversion in eight of nine CRC patients (88.9%) whose plasma mSEPT9 had been positive before radical surgery. The patients with plasma mSEPT9 had a tendency of presence of distant metastasis and lower disease-free survival in both CRC and GC. In GC patients, plasma mSEPT9 was more frequently observed in intestinal (23.5%) and mixed type (40.0%) than diffuse type (7.3%; P =.009). Combined analysis of mSEPT9, CEA, and CA19-9 increased the sensitivity for diagnosing GC to 32.7% (P = .002). CONCLUSION: Considering the high incidence of plasma mSEPT9 in intestinal or mixed type GCs similar to CRCs, GC should be examined through the plasma mSEPT9 screening test. In addition, plasma mSEPT9 is proposed as a follow-up marker in CRC patients, but further validation is required.
The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of autoantibodies with mimicking specificity by using the dilution technique, to assess the usefulness of the combination of the dilution technique and red blood cell (RBC) phenotyping, and to establish a pre-transfusion testing algorithm in patients with warm autoantibodies.
Serum samples from 71 patients with warm autoantibodies were tested using the dilution technique. Among them, 25 samples were adsorbed with allogeneic ZZAP (a combination of dithiothreitol and enzyme) or polyethylene glycol (PEG) and their RBC phenotypes were determined. Thirty-nine patients were transfused with our pre-transfusion testing algorithm using a combination of dilution technique and RBC phenotyping.
Autoantibodies with mimicking specificity were detected by the dilution technique in 26.8% (19/71) of the patients and most of them were directed against Rh system antigens. The agreement of the results obtained with the dilution technique in combination with RBC phenotyping and those from ZZAP or PEG adsorption was 100% (18/18) in patients who have autoantibodies with mimicking specificity and/or alloantibodies. No clinical symptoms indicating severe acute or delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions were reported in the 39 patients transfused with our pre-transfusion testing algorithm.
Autoantibodies with mimicking specificity detected by the dilution technique in patients with warm autoantibodies are relatively frequent, can be discriminated from alloantibodies by employing a combination of dilution technique and RBC phenotyping, and might not appear to cause severe acute or delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions.
Autoantibody; Dilution technique; Mimicking specificity
To investigate the effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism on the recovery after subcortical stroke, using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS).
Subcortical stroke patients with copies of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism (n=7) were compared to their controls (n=7) without a copy of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism after matching for initial severity, location and type of stroke. The mRS scores at 1 and 3 months after discharge from the neurorehabilitation unit were compared between the groups.
A repeated measures ANOVA for mRS revealed significant interaction between time and group (F(2, 24) =37.2, p<0.001) and a significant effect of time (F(2, 24)=10.8, p<0.001), thereby reflecting significant differences between the Met allele (+) group and the Met allele (-) group. There was a significant difference in mRS scores at 3 months post-discharge between the two groups (p=0.01) although no difference was evident in mRS scores at 1 month post-discharge between the two groups. There were significant improvements between mRS scores on admission and mRS scores at 1 month post-discharge (p=0.02), and between mRS scores at 1 month post-discharge and mRS scores at 3 months post-discharge (p=0.004) in the Met allele (-) group.
BDNF Val66Met polymorphism may be associated with worse functional outcome in Korean patients with subcortical stroke. Therefore, BDNF Val66Met polymorphism should be considered as an important prognostic factor for recovery and responses to rehabilitation therapies after stroke in Korean patients. There is a need for developing different rehabilitation strategies for the population with BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Further studies assessing different outcomes for various functional domains of stroke recovery are needed to clarify the role of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Polymorphism; Stroke; Recovery; Brain plasticity
A reliable rapid assay for hepatitis C virus (HCV) may be helpful in various clinical settings. We evaluated the performance of the OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test (OraSure Technologies Inc., Bethlehem, PA, USA).
Clinical sensitivity and specificity were evaluated with oral fluids and sera from 137 patients diagnosed with hepatitis C and 300 healthy blood donors in a multi-center collaborative study. The stored sera of 200 proven HCV-infected patients and 200 healthy subjects were also evaluated. Analytical sensitivity was estimated with 4 commercial seroconversion panels and 7 Korean reference panels. The performance of 4 laboratory-based tests (3 chemiluminescence assays and 1 enzyme immunoassay) and 4 rapid test kits was compared. We also assessed the interference due to bilirubin, hemoglobin, lipid, rheumatoid factor, multipara, and several viral infections.
The clinical sensitivity and specificity of the OraQuick HCV test using oral fluid were 97.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 93.2-99.4%) and 100% (95% CI, 98.4-100%), respectively. The clinical sensitivity using serum samples was 100%. Using the 4 seroconversion panels, the OraQuick HCV test showed results comparable to those of the laboratory-based assays; its analytical sensitivity was higher than that of the other rapid test kits. There was no cross-reactivity with common interfering factors.
The clinical performance of the OraQuick HCV Test is comparable to that of laboratory-based tests with both serum and oral fluid. This supports the supplementary use of rapid HCV testing using oral fluid in various medical and non-medical settings.
Hepatitis C virus; Rapid test; Performance evaluation; Clinical sensitivity; Clinical specificity; Oral fluid
Haptoglobin, the product of the Hp gene, is a glycoprotein involved in the scavenging of free hemoglobin. Haptoglobin levels increase or decrease in response to various acquired conditions, and they are also influenced by genetic predisposition. There were 2 major alleles, Hp1 and Hp2, and 1 minor allele, Hpdel. Many researchers have attempted to study the haptoglobin types and their association with disease; however, no definitive conclusions have been reached yet. It is reported that patients who are genetically deficient in haptoglobin are at risk of anaphylaxis against blood components containing haptoglobin. Haptoglobin genotypes also affect the reference intervals of haptoglobin levels. Many studies have attempted to establish simple and accurate typing methods. In this paper, we have broadly reviewed several methods for haptoglobin typing—phenotyping, Southern blotting, conventional PCR, real-time PCR, and loop-mediated isothermal amplification. We discuss their characteristics, clinical applications, and limitations. The phenotyping methods are time consuming and labor intensive and not designed to detect patients harboring Hpdel. The rapid and robust haptoglobin genotyping may help in preventing fatal anaphylactic reactions and in establishing the relationships between the haptoglobin phenotypes and diseases.
CD109 gene encodes a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked glycoprotein found in a subset of platelets and endothelial cell, and human platelet antigen (HPA) 15 is found on CD109. We evaluated the HPA genotype and/or the CD109 mRNA expression on two peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC), two peripheral bloods (PB), 12 granulocyte products, natural killer (NK)-92, B-lymphocyte (CO88BV59-1), K-562 leukemia cell line, human embryonic stem cell (hESC), and human fibroblasts (HF). HPA genotyping was performed by SNaPshot assay and CD109 mRNA expression was evaluated by real-time PCR with SYBR green and melting curve analysis. Genotype HPA-15a/-15a was found in PBSC#1 and two granulocyte products, and HPA-15a/-15b was found in PBSC#2, eight granulocyte products, NK-92, K-562, hESC, and HF, and HPA-15b/-15b was found in two granulocyte products. CD109 mRNA expression was highly increased in HF and increased in CD34+ and CD34− PBSCs and some granulocyte products, compared to the PB. However, the increase of expression level varied among the PBSC and granulocyte products. The CD109 mRNA expression of NK-92, K-562, hESC, and CO 88BV59-1 was not detected. HPA genotype was evaluated in various cells and the expression of CD109, which contains HPA 15, was different among cell lines and high in HF and PBSCs.
Reverse sequence screening for syphilis (RSSS) (screening with treponemal tests, followed by confirmation with nontreponemal tests) has been increasingly adopted. CDC recommends confirmation of discordant results (reactive EIA/CIA and nonreactive nontreponemal test) with Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay (TP-PA). We characterized sera with discordant results from RSSS with Architect Syphilis TP CIA. Among 15,713 screening tests using Architect Syphilis TP at Seoul National University Gangnam Center between October 2010 and May 2011, 260 (1.7%) showed reactive results. Rapid plasma reagin (RPR) and TP-PA were performed on 153 available sera among them. On sera with discordant results between Architect Syphilis TP and TP-PA, INNO-LIA Syphilis Score and FTA-ABS were performed. Among 153 sera, RPR was nonreactive in 126 (82.4%). Among them, TP-PA was positive in 103 (81.7%), indeterminate (±) in 7 (5.6%), and negative in 16 (12.7%). Out of 16 CIA(+)/RPR(−)/TP-PA(−) sera, INNO-LIA Syphilis Score and/or FTA-ABS were negative on 14 sera. Out of 7 CIA(+)/RPR(−)/TP-PA(±) sera, INNO-LIA Syphilis Score and FTA-ABS were positive/reactive in 6 sera. RSSS with confirmation by TP-PA on sera with discordant results between Architect Syphilis TP and RPR effectively delineated those discordant results and could be successfully adopted for routine checkup for syphilis.
We compared the performances of 3 Multiple Allergen Simultaneous Test (MAST) assays: RIDA Allergy Screen (R-Biopharm, Darmstadt, Germany), MAST Optigen allergy system (Hitachi Chemical Diagnostics, Mountain View, CA), and Polycheck Allergy (Biocheck GmbH, Munster, Germany). Forty sera that tested positive with the RIDA Allergy Screen (20 for food and 20 for inhalant panel) were subjected to MAST Optigen and Polycheck Allergy. For 26 available sera with discrepant results, 62 ImmunoCAP allergen-specific IgE tests (Pharmacia Diagnostics, Uppsala, Sweden) were performed. Percent agreements (kappa value) were 87.6% (0.59) and 91.3% (0.60) between RIDA and MAST; 89.9% (0.55) and 88.3% (0.46) between RIDA and Polycheck; and 86.8% (0.51) and 90.6% (0.61) between MAST and Polycheck. Compared with ImmunoCAP, agreements (kappa value) of inhalant and food panels were 51.7% (0.04) and 33.3% (−0.38) for RIDA; 60.7% (0.27) and 81.8% (0.59) for MAST; and 65.5% (0.26) and 45.5% (0.07) for Polycheck. The agreements between RIDA, MAST, and Polycheck and ImmunoCAP-positivity were 45.7%, 88.2%, and 28.6%, respectively, and the agreements for ImmunoCAP-negativity were 37.0%, 51.9%, and 88.9%. MAST Optigen showed better agreement with ImmunoCAP than other assays in the food panel. Better sensitivity of MAST Optigen and better specificity of Polycheck Allergy were suspected.
There is little information about the effectiveness of ciprofloxacin in regions where ciprofloxacin-resistant Escherichia coli is prevalent. This study was conducted to evaluate whether ciprofloxacin is effective as the initial empirical antibiotic for treatment of uncomplicated acute pyelonephritis (APN) due to ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli. A total of 255 women with clinical diagnoses of uncomplicated APN due to E. coli were enrolled in the emergency department between March 2005 and December 2008. All enrolled patients were initially treated with ciprofloxacin. Patients were followed up 4 to 7 days after the start of therapy and 14 to 21 days after its completion. At the first follow-up visit, ciprofloxacin was changed to the appropriate antibiotic when necessary, depending on the antibiotic susceptibility results. Not only improvement of symptoms and signs but also microbiologic eradication was assessed at each visit. Fifteen percent (39/255) of the E. coli isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin. There was no statistically significant difference between the clinical cure rates of the ciprofloxacin-susceptible group and the ciprofloxacin-resistant group at the first follow-up (87.0% versus 76.9%, P = 0.135) or the second follow-up (98.6% versus 94.9%, P = 0.177). However, there was a lower microbiologic cure rate in the ciprofloxacin-resistant group than in the ciprofloxacin-susceptible group (92.4% versus 41.7%, P = 0.000) at the first follow-up visit. No complications occurred in the ciprofloxacin-resistant group during the follow-up period. Our findings indicate that ciprofloxacin is an appropriate choice for empirical therapy of uncomplicated APN and has no serious adverse outcomes, if it is tailored appropriately, even for women infected with ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli.
Robinsoniella peoriensis has recently been identified as a Gram-positive, spore-forming, anaerobic rod originally recovered from swine manure storage pits. To date, 6 cases of R. peoriensis infection have been reported, including 2 cases of bacteremia, 1 of abdominal fluid collection, and 3 of wound infection. In the present study, we report a 76-yr-old man with R. peoriensis bacteremia who developed aspiration pneumonia. Gram staining of a purified colony revealed Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria. Biochemical identification using API 20 A (bioMérieux, France) indicated presence of Clostridium spp. We performed both 500-bp and full-gene sequencing of 16S rRNA of the isolate. The sequence was analyzed with MicroSeq ID 16S rRNA Library v2.0 (Applied Biosystems, USA), GenBank Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genbank), and EzTaxon database v2.1 (http://www.eztaxon.org). The 500-bp 16S rRNA sequence of the blood culture isolate showed 99.16-99.79% similarity with R. peoriensis and the full-gene 16S rRNA sequence showed 98.87-99.50% similarity with R. peoriensis. The organism was confirmed as R. peoriensis by using all of the mentioned databases except for MicroSeq, which did not include the RNA sequence of this bacterium. This case suggests that identification of R. peoriensis might be challenging in clinical laboratories with no access to molecular methods, as certain commercial identification systems may not identify, or may misidentify, this organism. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the isolation of R. peoriensis in Korea.
Robinsoniella peoriensis; Bacteremia; 16S ribosomal RNA
Anaphylactic transfusion reactions are rare complications of blood transfusions. Anhaptoglobinemia, a condition that has high incidence in Asia, can cause allergic transfusion reactions or anaphylaxis in severe cases. A 50-yr-old Korean woman was diagnosed with relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia. She developed thrombocytopenia during chemotherapy and an anaphylactic transfusion reaction on the 4th and 5th platelet transfusions immediately after the transfusion of the platelet concentrates was initiated. Blood analysis showed no detectable serum haptoglobin. We examined her genetic phenotype and detected anhaptoglobinemia, which occurs because of an allelic deletion in the Hp gene cluster. The presence of an antibody against haptoglobin was detected by performing ELISA. To prevent anaphylactic reactions, apheresis platelets were transfused after washing. Consequently, anaphylactic transfusion reactions did not develop. Here, we report the first case of anhaptoglobinemia causing anaphylactic transfusion reaction in Korea.
Platelet transfusion; Anaphylaxis; Haptoglobin
We compared and analyzed 16S rRNA and tuf gene sequences for 97 clinical isolates of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) by use of the GenBank, MicroSeq, EzTaxon, and BIBI databases. Discordant results for definitive identification were observed and differed according to the different databases and target genes. Although higher percentages of sequence identity were obtained with GenBank and MicroSeq for 16S rRNA analysis, the BIBI and EzTaxon databases produced less ambiguous results. Greater discriminatory power and fewer multiple probable identifications were observed with tuf gene analysis than with 16S rRNA analysis. The most pertinent results for tuf gene analysis were obtained with the GenBank database when the cutoff values for the percentage of identity were adjusted to be greater than or equal to 98.0%, with >0.8% separation between species. Analysis of the tuf gene proved to be more discriminative for certain CNS species; further, this method exhibited better distinction in the identification of CNS clinical isolates.
The aim of this study was to determine whether maternal serum C-reactive protein (CRP) is of value in predicting funisitis and early-onset neonatal sepsis (EONS) in women with preterm labor or preterm premature rupture of membranes (PROM). This retrospective cohort study included 306 consecutive women with preterm labor or preterm PROM who delivered preterm singleton neonates (23-35 weeks gestation) within 72 hr of CRP measurement. The CRP level was measured with a highly sensitive immunoassay. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of an elevated serum CRP level (≥ 8 mg/L) were 74.1%, 67.5%, 32.8%, and 92.4% for funisitis, and 67.7%, 63.3%, 17.2%, and 94.6% for EONS, respectively. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that elevated levels of serum CRP were significantly associated with funisitis and EONS, even after adjusting gestational age. The maternal serum CRP level obtained up to 72 hr before delivery is an independent predictor of funisitis and EONS in women with preterm labor or preterm PROM. A low serum CRP level (< 8 mg/L) has good negative predictive value in excluding funisitis and EONS, and may therefore be used as a non-invasive adjunct to clinical judgment to identify low-risk patients.
C-Reactive Protein; Early-Onset Neonatal Sepsis; Funisitis; Preterm Labor; Preterm Premature Rupture of Membrane
We attempted to determine the benefits of three-channel multiplex real-time PCR and melting curve analysis not only in detecting and distinguishing between nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex but also in identifying NTM to the species level.
Malaria, the most common vector-borne parasite infection worldwide, results from infection by Plasmodium species. Approximately 80% of malaria cases are caused by P. vivax, which is broadly distributed from tropical to temperate regions; P. falciparum is the second most common infectious species. P. malariae and P. ovale are responsible for a relatively small proportion of malaria cases. Here, we report the case of a 23-yr-old Korean woman who acquired a P. malariae infection while visiting the Republic of Ghana in West Africa for business. She was diagnosed with P. malariae malaria on the basis of peripheral blood smear (PBS) and species-specific conventional and real-time PCR assays for 18S rRNA. She was treated with hydroxychloroquine, and the resulting PBS examination on day 2 suggested that negative conversion occurred. At her 1-month follow-up, however, both the PBS examination and molecular test for malaria demonstrated recurrent parasitemia. We started rescue therapy with mefloquine, and the patient recovered successfully. This is an important finding suggesting possible late recrudescence of a chloroquine-resistant P. malariae strain identified not only by its morphological features, but also by molecular tests.
Plasmodium malariae; Malaria; 18S rRNA real-time PCR; 18S rRNA conventional PCR; Late recrudescence; Chloroquine resistance
Mycobacterium conceptionense; pulmonary infection; tuf; 16S rDNA; tuberculosis and other mycobacteria; bacteria; South Korea
We used several molecular typing methods to analyze 196 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and 139 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates collected between 1996 and 2005. The sequence type 72 MRSA has increased in frequency in the community in the Republic of Korea and in hospitals in recent years.
We evaluated the performance of multiplex tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) in newborn screening for detection of 6 lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs), namely, Niemann-Pick A/B, Krabbe, Gaucher, Fabry, and Pompe diseases and Hurler syndrome.
We revised the conditions and procedures of multiplex enzyme assay for the MS/MS analysis and determined the precision of our enzyme assay and the effects of sample amounts and incubation time on the results. We also measured the degree of correlation between the enzyme activities in the dried blood spots (DBSs) and those in the leukocytes. DBSs of 211 normal newborns and 13 newborns with various LSDs were analyzed using our revised methods.
The intra- and inter-assay precisions were 2.9-18.7% and 8.1-18.1%, respectively. The amount of product obtained was proportional to the DBS eluate volume, but a slight flattening was observed in the product vs. sample volume curve at higher sample volumes. For each enzyme assay, the amount of product obtained increased linearly with the incubation period (range, 0-24 hr). Passing and Bablok regression analysis revealed that the enzyme activities in the DBSs and those in the leukocytes were favorably correlated. The enzyme activities measured in the DBSs were consistently lower in patients with LSDs than in normal newborns.
The performance of our revised techniques for MS/MS detection and enzyme assays was of the generally acceptable standard. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of MS/MS for newborn screening of LSDs in an Asian population.
Lysosomal storage disorders; Multiplex enzyme assay; Tandem mass spectrometry; Newborn screening
Alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is a genetic disorder that primarily affects the lungs and liver. While AAT deficiency is one of the most common genetic disorders in the Caucasian population, it is extremely rare in Asians. Here, we report the case of a 36-year-old Korean woman with AAT deficiency who visited the emergency department of our hospital for the treatment of progressive dyspnea that had begun 10 years ago. She had never smoked. Chest computed tomography revealed panlobular emphysema in both lungs, which suggested AAT deficiency. The serum AAT level was 33 mg/dL (reference interval: 90-200 mg/dL). Four exons of the SERPINA1 gene, which is responsible for AAT deficiency, and their flanking regions were analyzed by PCR-direct sequencing. The patient was found to have 1 missense mutation (c.230C>T, p.Ser77Phe; Siiyama) and 1 frameshift mutation (c.1158dupC, p.Glu387ArgfsX14; QOclayton). This is the first Korean case of AAT deficiency confirmed by genetic analysis and the second case of a compound heterozygote of Siiyama and QOclayton, the first case of which was reported from Japan.
Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency; Compound heterozygote; Korean
DKK1 modulates Wnt signaling, which is involved in the atherosclerosis. However, no data exist regarding the usefulness of measuring serum DKK1 concentration in predicting coronary atherosclerosis. A total of 270 consecutive patients (62.8 ± 11.2 yr; 70% male) were included. A contrast-enhanced 64-slice coronary MDCT was performed to identify the presence of atherosclerotic plaques. Agatston calcium scores (CS) were calculated to quantify the coronary artery calcification (CAC). DKK1 concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. For each subsequent DKK1 quartile, there was a significant increase in CAC (P = 0.004) and the number of segments with coronary atherosclerosis (P < 0.001). In addition, DKK1 concentration was significantly higher in patients with atherosclerotic plaques, regardless of plaque composition (P = 0.01). Multivariate analysis identified DKK1 as an independent risk factor for the presence of coronary atherosclerotic plaque. The adjusted odds ratio for coronary atherosclerotic plaque was 4.88 (95% CI, 1.67 to 14.25) for highest versus lowest quartile of the DKK1 levels. Furthermore, patients with DKK1 concentrations ≥ 68.6 pg/mL demonstrated coronary atherosclerotic plaques even when they had low CS. Serum DKK1 concentrations correlate with the coronary atherosclerosis and play an independent role in predicting the presence of coronary atherosclerosis.
Dickkopf-1; Atherosclerosis; Vascular calcification; Biomarker
We developed a novel multiplex PCR assay using dual-priming oligonucleotide primers targeting the RD1 gene for simultaneous identification of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). This assay would be useful both for detection of the M. tuberculosis complex and for differentiation of M. bovis BCG from pathogenic M. tuberculosis complex species.
The infusion of natural killer (NK) cells is a promising therapy for patients with advanced malignancies. Clinical expanded NK cell products were compared to freshly isolated NK cells. Autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected by apheresis from 8 patients. NK cells were isolated by anti-CD3 negative selection followed by anti-CD56 positive selection. They were then expanded by coculture with IL-2 and an irradiated EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell line (EBV-TM-LCL) to produce 14 NK products. Molecular changes in the 14 NK cell products were characterized using gene and microRNA expression microarrays. EBV-TM-LCL feeder cells from 3 lots were also analyzed since they were expanded for over 90 days and each lot was used for multiple NK cell expansions. The gene expression profiles among the 3 EBV-TM-LCL lots used showed no differences and were not affected by their time in culture. Freshly isolated and expanded NK cells had distinct gene and microRNA expression profiles. Compared to fresh NK cells, expanded NK cells overexpressed 1,098 genes and 28 human microRNAs. Genes in the crosstalk between dendritic cells and NK cells and metabolic pathways were up-regulated in expanded NK cells, while genes in a number of immune function pathways were down-regulated. Among all the most up-regulated genes were the NK cell activating receptor natural cytotoxicity triggering receptor 3 (NCR3), myxovirus restistance 1 (MX1), lymphotoxin β (LTB) and BCL2-associated X protein (BAX) Although some expanded NK cell product variability was observed, perhaps related to patient factors, further studies on larger numbers of products will be needed to determine the impact of these differences on clinical outcomes.
consistency; expansion; gene and microRNA; natural killer cells; potency
The incidence of differentiated thyroid cancer is increasing in young adults and females in Korea. Some of them experience short-term hypothyroidism in preparation for radioiodine (RAI) therapy, which can have a deleterious effect on the cardiovascular system. However, it is not clear if short-term hypothyroidism induces endothelial dysfunction in patients with low cardiovascular risk. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether short-term hypothyroidism is associated with endothelial dysfunction in patients with low cardiovascular risk.
Materials and Methods
To evaluate the effect of short-term hypothyroidism on endothelial function in this group, we recruited fifteen female patients with low cardiovascular risk. We analyzed clinical, biochemical, and cardiovascular parameters at four time points: the last day on levothyroxine (LT4) at their usual thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)-suppressive doses (P1), 7 days (P2) & 4 weeks (P3) after withdrawal of LT4, and 8 weeks (P4) after replacement of the previous dose of LT4. A high resolution ultrasound was used to measure brachial artery diameter at rest, after reactive hyperemia, and after sublingual nitroglycerin.
During short-term hypothyroidism (P3), serum concentrations of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol were increased (p < 0.001 for each period). In spite of having worsened lipid states, serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein or flow-mediated vasodilatation, which is one of the surrogate markers of the endothelial function, did not change during short-term hypothyroidism.
Short-term hypothyroidism induced worsening of metabolic parameters, but not enough to induce the endothelial dysfunction in patients with low cardiovascular risk.
Short-term hypothyroidism; endothelial dysfunction; thyroid cancer; radioactive iodine; flow-mediated vasodilatation
Many genetic variations of GALK1 have been identified in the patients with galactokinase (GALK1) deficiency. However, the molecular characteristics of GALK1 in individuals with elevated GALK1 activity are relatively unknown.
We investigated the relationship between elevated GALK1 activity and the molecular GALK1 gene variations, and the molecular mechanism underlying elevated GALK1 activity. PCR products from 63 subjects, without any attenuation of galactose degradation enzymes, were sequenced to screen for nucleotide alterations in the GALK1 promoter.
Three nucleotide substitutions were identified: c.-179A>G, c.-27A>C, and c.-22T>C. With respect to the c.-22T>C mutation, GALK1 activity in 13 subjects with the T/C or C/C genotype was significantly higher than those in 50 subjects with the T/T genotype (p < 0.001). The dual luciferase reporter assay in Hep3B cells showed that the luciferase activity with the GALK1 promoter with the c.-22C mutant allele increased approximately 2.5-fold, compared to that with the c.-22T. A specific DNA-protein complex was observed in an electrophoretic mobility shift assay, with slightly higher affinity to c.-22C than to c.-22T.
The c.-22T>C mutation, which was observed frequently in individuals with elevated GALK1 activity, increased the expression of a reporter gene through enhanced binding of a currently unidentified nuclear protein. These results suggest that the elevated GALK1 activity resulted from enhanced gene expression, due to nucleotide variation within GALK1 promoter.
C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) play helpful roles in determining the presence of infection after TKA. To provide baseline values, we documented normative temporal values of CRP and ESR in unilateral and staged bilateral TKAs for osteoarthritis. Levels of CRP and ESR were evaluated before surgery and on the first, second, fifth, seventh, fourteenth, forty-second, and ninetieth postoperative days in 320 uncomplicated primary TKAs. C-reactive protein and ESR levels were compared in three groups: unilateral (108 knees), first knee bilateral (106 knees), and second knee bilateral (106 knees) groups. All three groups exhibited similar temporal patterns. Mean CRP levels increased rapidly, reaching a peak on the second day and decreased to less than the normal reference level on the forty-second day. They returned to preoperative levels on the ninetieth day. Mean ESR levels peaked on the fifth day and returned close to the preoperative levels only on the ninetieth day. Wide variations were observed and many cases (43%) did not follow the typical patterns. C-reactive protein had greater fold changes, less frequent atypical temporal patterns, and lower correlation between preoperative and postoperative levels than ESR. Our findings should help surgeons interpret CRP and ESR to determine the presence of infection after TKA.
Level of Evidence: Level I, diagnostic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.