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1.  Effects of Serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D and Fetal Bone Growth during Pregnancy 
Journal of Bone Metabolism  2015;22(3):127-133.
This study was conducted to observe the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and the effects of maternal 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25-[OH]D) levels on fetal bone growth.
Five hundred twenty-three Korean pregnant women were randomly recruited and serum 25-(OH)D level was measured. During pregnancy, fetal ultrasonography and serum 25-(OH)D measurements were carried out 3 times in 275 of 523 pregnant women. Fetal biparietal and occipitofrontal diameter, head and abdominal circumference, and femur and humerus length were measured through fetal ultrasonography.
The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (25-[OH]D<20 ng/mL) based on the 1st serum measurement of 25-(OH)D was 88.9%. There was no association between maternal serum 25-(OH)D level and fetal bone growth. In 275 pregnant women who completed study design, the mean value of 25-(OH)D was 12.97±5.93, 19.12±9.82, and 19.60±9.98 ng/mL at 12 to 14, 20 to 22, and 32 to 34 weeks of pregnancy, respectively and there was an association between the difference of serum 25-(OH)D level between 12 to 14 and 20 to 22 weeks and growth velocity of fetal biparietal diameter between 20 to 22 and 32 to 34 weeks of pregnancy.
This study shows a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Korean pregnant women and the change of serum 25-(OH)D levels is related with the growth of fetal biparietal diameter, however other parameters are not associated with serum 25-(OH)D levels.
PMCID: PMC4572034  PMID: 26389088
Fetal development; Pregnancy; Ultrasonography; Vitamin D
2.  Macronutrient composition of human milk from Korean mothers of full term infants born at 37-42 gestational weeks 
Nutrition Research and Practice  2015;9(4):433-438.
Breast milk is the best available food for optimum growth and development of infants and the breastfeeding rate is increasing in Korea. The purpose of this study is to measure the concentrations of macronutrients and to evaluate their changes according to lactation period in breast milk from lactating Korean women.
Milk samples were obtained from 2,632 healthy lactating women (mean age; 32.0 ± 3.3 years), where the lactating period was up to a period of 8 months, who also volunteered to participate in the Human Milk Macronutrient Analysis Research. Lactose, protein, fat and water content in the breast milk samples were analyzed with infrared spectrometry using MilkoScan FT-2.
The mean macronutrient composition per 100 mL of mature breast milk was 7.1 g for lactose, 1.4 g for protein and 3.0 g for fat, and energy content was 61.1 kcal. The protein concentration was significantly lower in milk samples at 1-2 weeks (2.0 g/dL) to 2-3 months (1.4 g/dL) than those at 0-1 week (2.2 g/dL), but it was similar among samples from 3-4 months to 7-8 months (1.3 g/dL). Mean lipid levels varied among different lactational period groups (2.7-3.2 g/dL), but presented no significant difference. Lactose concentration in the milk samples did not differ with lactation period. Maternal body mass index was positively related to protein and lipid breast milk contents, but was negatively related to lactose content. General linear models examining the associations between maternal variables and milk macronutrient content revealed that lactation period had a major impact on protein and lipid, but not on lactose content in breast milk.
These results warrant future studies to explore factors that may be associated with changes in macronutrient content in human milk.
PMCID: PMC4523489  PMID: 26244084
Breast milk; macronutrient; lactation period; BMI
3.  Gestational weight gain is an important risk factor for excessive fetal growth 
Obstetrics & Gynecology Science  2014;57(6):442-447.
To estimate the odds ratio of prepregnant body mass index (BMI), gestational weight gain (GWG), and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) for excessive fetal growth, which we define as large for gestational age (LGA).
We included 16,297 women who delivered a live-born singleton baby at term. We fit logistic regressions to estimate the odds ratios of variables, including maternal age, parity, prepregnant BMI ≥23, GWG ≥15 kg, and GDM, for LGA. We classified GWG into four categories (<10, 10-14.9, 15-19.9, and ≥20 kg) and BMI into four categories (underweight, normal, overweight, and obese). After adjusting for age and parity, we analyzed the odds ratios of prepregnant BMI according to GWG between non-GDM and GDM women for LGA.
The odds ratios of GWG ≥15 kg and prepregnancy BMI ≥23 for LGA were 2.40 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.16-2.67) and 2.24 (95% CI, 1.99-2.51), respectively. The odd ratio of GDM was 1.37 (95% CI, 1.09-1.71). The risk of GDM women with normal/-overweight BMI and GWG <15 kg for LGA was not significantly greater than those of the reference group. The odd ratios of GDM women with overweight/obese BMI and GWG 15 to 19.9 kg were 3.95 (95% CI, 1.26-12.38) and 9.70 (95% CI, 3.79-24.87), respectively.
GWG ≥15 kg might be a more important risk factor for LGA than either prepregnancy BMI ≥23 or GDM. Risk for LGA was highest in obese GDM women with GWG ≥15 kg.
PMCID: PMC4245336  PMID: 25469331
Birth weight; Body mass index; Diabetes; Gestational; Weight gain
4.  Recurrent Hypoglycemia Triggered by Sorafenib Therapy in a Patient with Hemangiopericytoma 
Endocrinology and Metabolism  2014;29(2):202-205.
Targeted therapy has been proven to be one of the most effective cancer treatments. However, some endocrine disorders can occur during treatment with targeted agents. We report the case of a patient who exhibited a wax and wane pattern of hypoglycemia that was attributed to sorafenib therapy. A 32-year-old woman with metastatic hemangiopericytoma visited the emergency department in a stuporous state. Nonhyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia was diagnosed, was exacerbated shortly after sorafenib therapy, and was improved by the cessation of sorafenib with additional glucocorticoid therapy. Patients with metastatic hemangiopericytoma should be carefully monitored with particular attention to hypoglycemia when sorafenib therapy is initiated.
PMCID: PMC4091496  PMID: 25031894
Hemangiopericytoma; Hypoglycemia; Sorafenib
5.  Clinical characteristics and outcomes of antenatal fetal intra-abdominal umbilical vein varix detection 
Obstetrics & Gynecology Science  2014;57(3):181-186.
This study reviewed clinical characteristics of fetal intra-abdominal umbilical vein (FIUV) varices that were detected during antenatal ultrasound examinations.
Between January 2006 and January 2012, 121 cases of FIUV varices were detected and 7 cases were lost to follow-up. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 114 patients and neonates.
From a total 96,553 ultrasound examinations in 43,995 pregnancies, 121 cases of FIUV varices were identified (2.8 per 1,000 pregnancies). Gestational age at diagnosis was 32.0 ± 2.9 weeks (range, 20.1-36.3 weeks), the mean diameter of the FIUV varix was 12.6 ± 2.1 mm (range, 8.0-21.0 mm) at initial diagnosis and the mean maximal diameter was 13.1 ± 2.3 mm (range, 8.0-21.0 mm) during follow-up. The most severe pregnancy complications included one case of intrauterine fetal death and another case of fetal hydrops. Associated fetal anomalies (n = 11, 9.6%) detected by ultrasonography included bilateral renal pelvis dilatation, ventriculomegaly, cryptorchidism, incomplete renal duplication and pulmonary sequestration. A total of 104 cases (91.2%) were delivered at term and 10 cases (8.8%) were preterm deliveries before 37 weeks of gestation.
FIUV varices that are not associated with fetal anomalies based on ultrasound examination during prenatal care have favorable pregnancy outcomes. Nevertheless, close fetal monitoring is recommended to decrease perinatal complications.
PMCID: PMC4038683  PMID: 24883288
Antenatal ultrasound; Umbilical veins; Varicose veins
6.  Combined Treatment of Murine Fibrosarcoma with Chemotherapy (Paclitaxel), Radiotherapy, and Intratumoral Injection of Dendritic Cells 
Annals of Dermatology  2014;26(1):53-60.
New antitumor therapeutic strategies aim to combine different approaches that are able to induce tumor-specific effector and memory T cell responses that might control tumor growth. Dendritic cells (DCs) have the capacity to induce antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. We have previously shown that the combined treatment of paclitaxel chemotherapy (Chemo) and injection of DCs led to complete tumor regression.
The goal of this study was to evaluate synergistic antitumor effect of a triple combination treatment comprising radiotherapy, paclitaxel Chemo and intratumoral injection of syngeneic bone marrow-derived DCs on murine fibrosarcoma, compared to other single or double combination treatments.
For the murine fibrosarcoma model, naïve C57BL/6 mice were inoculated intradermally with 2×103 MCA102 cells in the right upper flank. Mice were assigned to five groups (untreatedcontrol, RT alone, RT+Chemo, RT+DC, and RT+Chemo+DC), with eight mice in each group. In vitro cytotoxicity assays were performed to assess the immune activity. The persistence of tumor-specific immunity was determined by second tumor challenge in mice with complete tumor regression.
The triple combination treatment showed a significantly enhanced therapeutic efficacy by decreasing tumor size and inducing complete tumor regression, resulting in a cure of 50% of mice. The results of in vitro cytotoxicity assays and the second tumor challenge experiment strongly indicated the induction of a tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte response and acquisition of prolonged tumor immunity.
These findings suggest that the triple combination treatment can be a promising strategy for the treatment of murine fibrosarcoma.
PMCID: PMC3956795  PMID: 24648686
Combined modality therapy; Dendritic cells; Fibrosarcoma; Paclitaxel; Radiotherapy
7.  Hypoadiponectinemia in Patients With Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation 
Korean Circulation Journal  2012;42(10):668-673.
Background and Objectives
Adiponectin is an adipose tissue-derived hormone that has beneficial effects on cardiac function and has been reported to be associated with lipid metabolism, glucose metabolism, and insulin resistance. Serum levels of adiponectin are reduced in obese individuals compared with non-obese individuals. Obesity is associated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF); however, the role of adiponectin in AF is unclear. The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between the plasma adiponectin level and AF.
Subjects and Methods
Sixty-one consecutive patients were prospectively enrolled for this study. Subjects were divided into two groups: patients with AF (n=30) and controls (n=31). Laboratory evaluation, including levels of plasma adiponectin, was performed and echocardiographic parameters were measured.
The baseline characteristics were not different between the two groups. The plasma adiponectin level of patients in the AF group was significantly lower than in the control group (14.9±7.2 vs. 19.±8.9 µg/mL, p<0.05). In addition, when we divided the AF patients into paroxysmal and chronic AF, the plasma adiponectin level was significantly lower in patients with paroxysmal AF, compared with the control group. In multiple binary logistic regression analysis to evaluate the independent predictors for AF, adiponectin and left atrial diameter were strong independent predictors of AF.
In this study a lower plasma adiponectin concentration was significantly associated with that of paroxysmal AF. Hypoadiponectinemia can potentially be an important risk factor for AF.
PMCID: PMC3493803  PMID: 23170094
Adiponectin; Atrial fibrillation
8.  Antiviral activity of Bifidobacterium adolescentis SPM1005-A on human papillomavirus type 16 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:72.
Probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) support a functional and balanced immune system, and contribute to immune modulatory effects in combatting microbial pathogens, including viruses. Most cervical cancers are associated with anogenital region infection with high-risk (HR) human papillomavirus (HPV). In this study, we analyzed the antiviral activity of Bifidobacterium adolescentis SPM1005-A in the SiHa cervical cancer cell line expressing HPV type 16.
We assessed the cellular toxicity of B. adolescentis SPM1005-A in SiHa cells by the Trypan blue dye exclusion assay. Cells (3.6 × 105) in culture plates with or without B. adolescentis SPM1005-A in the same type of medium, were incubated with HPV type 16 at a concentration of 5.1 × 107 cfu/ml. For antiviral analysis, we performed quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) for E6 and E7 oncogene expressions and observed protein levels by immunoblotting.
The qRT-PCR results showed that E6 and E7 mRNA levels decreased simultaneously. Western blot analysis revealed that the E6 protein expression slightly decreased after 24 and 48 h, but the level of E7 protein expression appear unaffected compared with that in the control. Decreased HPV16 E6 and E7 mRNA transcript and protein levels were not associated with cell morphology or significant cytotoxic effects.
This study showed that B. adolescentis SPM1005-A had antiviral activity through suppression E6 and E7 oncogene expression. The results suggest that B. adolescentis SPM1005-A could be potential applications of HPV-associated cervical cancer prevention.
PMCID: PMC3409845  PMID: 22788922
antiviral activity; Bifidobacterium adolescentis SPM1005-A; human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16; quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR)
9.  Rate of vertical transmission of human papillomavirus from mothers to infants: Relationship between infection rate and mode of delivery 
Virology Journal  2012;9:80.
In contrast to consistent epidemiologic evidence of the role of sexual transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV) in adults, various routes may be related to HPV infection in infants. We have assessed the extent of HPV infection during the perinatal period, and the relationship between mode of delivery and vertical transmission.
A total of 291 pregnant women over 36 weeks of gestation were enrolled with informed consent. Exfoliative cells were collected from maternal cervix and neonatal buccal mucosa. HPV infection and genotypes were determined with an HPV DNA chip, which can recognise 24 types. The HPV-positive neonates were re-evaluated 6 months after birth to identify the presence of persistent infection. HPV DNA was detected in 18.9 % (55/291) of pregnant women and 3.4 % (10/291) of neonates. Maternal infection was associated with abnormal cytology (p = 0.007) and primiparity (p = 0.015). The infected neonates were all born to HPV-positive mothers. The rate of vertical transmission was estimated at 18.2 % (10/55) which was positively correlated with maternal multiple HPV infection (p = 0.003) and vaginal delivery (p = 0.050), but not with labour duration and premature rupture of membranes. The rate of concordance of genotype was 100 % in mother-neonate pairs with vertical transmission. The neonatal HPV DNAs found at birth were all cleared at 6 months after delivery.
Vertical transmission of HPV DNA from HPV infected mother to the neonate increased when the infant was delivered through an infected cervix. However, the absence of persistent infection in infants at 6 months after delivery may suggest temporary inoculation rather than true vertical infection.
PMCID: PMC3420243  PMID: 22497663
10.  Association between genetic polymorphisms in androgen receptor gene and the risk of preeclampsia in Korean women 
To investigate associations between the androgen receptor (AR) polymorphisms as CAG repeats, GGC repeats and c.211G>A polymorphism and the risk of preeclampsia.
The AR polymorphisms were experienced in 184 preeclamptic patients and 190 normal pregnancies and analyzed by multiple logistic regression.
Women with GGC repeats>16 were more frequently observed in preeclampsia, compared to those with GGC repeats≤16 [adjOR (95% CI): 3.64 (1.71–6.23)]. However, no significant differences were observed between the two groups with respect to CAG repeats. The genotypic and allelic frequencies of c.211G>A variant were significantly higher in cases than in controls (P < 0.05 for both). In the combined distribution of these polymorphisms, the highest risk of preeclampsia was found among women with the haplotype as CAG > 20/GA/GGC>16 [adjOR (95% CI): 4.26 (1.92–12.23)].
Our findings suggest that longer GGC repeats and c.211G>A variant in the AR gene are associated with increased susceptibility to the risk of preeclampsia.
PMCID: PMC3045487  PMID: 20922474
Androgen receptor; CAG repeats; GGC repeats; c.211G>A polymorphism; Preeclampsia
11.  Non-Invasive Epigenetic Detection of Fetal Trisomy 21 in First Trimester Maternal Plasma 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27709.
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common known aneuploidy, caused by an extra copy of all or part of chromosome 21. Fetal-specific epigenetic markers have been investigated for non-invasive prenatal detection of fetal DS. The phosphodiesterases gene, PDE9A, located on chromosome 21q22.3, is completely methylated in blood (M-PDE9A) and unmethylated in the placenta (U-PDE9A). Therefore, we estimated the accuracy of non-invasive fetal DS detection during the first trimester of pregnancy using this tissue-specific epigenetic characteristic of PDE9A.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A nested, case-control study was conducted using maternal plasma samples collected from 108 pregnant women carrying 18 DS and 90 normal fetuses (each case was matched with 5 controls according to gestational weeks at blood sampling). All pregnancies were singletons at or before 12 weeks of gestation between October 2008 and May 2009. The maternal plasma levels of M-PDE9A and U-PDE9A were measured by quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction. M-PDE9A and U-PDE9A levels were obtained in all samples and did not differ between male and female fetuses. M-PDE9A levels did not differ between the DS cases and controls (1854.3 vs 2004.5 copies/mL; P = 0.928). U-PDE9A levels were significantly elevated in women with DS fetuses compared with controls (356.8 vs 194.7 copies/mL, P<0.001). The sensitivities of U-PDE9A level and the unmethylation index of PDE9A for non-invasive fetal DS detection were 77.8% and 83.3%, respectively, with a 5% false-positive rate. In the risk assessment for fetal DS, the adjusted odds ratios of U-PDE9A level and UI were 46.2 [95% confidence interval: 7.8–151.6] and 63.7 [95% confidence interval: 23.2–206.7], respectively.
Our findings suggest that U-PDE9A level and the unmethylation index of PDE9A may be useful biomarkers for non-invasive fetal DS detection during the first trimester of pregnancy, regardless of fetal gender.
PMCID: PMC3223183  PMID: 22132128
12.  Enteropathogenic Bacteria Contamination of Unchlorinated Drinking Water in Korea, 2010 
The purpose of this study was to assess the microbiological quality of unchlorinated drinking water in Korea, 2010. One hundred and eighty unchlorinated drinking water samples were collected from various sites in Seoul and Gyeonggi province.
To investigate bacterial presence, the pour plate method was used with cultures grown on selective media for total bacteria, total coliforms, and Staphylococcus spp., respectively.
In the 180 total bacteria investigation, 72 samples from Seoul and 33 samples from Gyeonggi province were of an unacceptable quality (>102 CFU/mL). Of all the samples tested, total coliforms were detected in 28 samples (15.6%) and Staphylococcus spp. in 12 samples (6.7%). Most of the coliform isolates exhibited high-level resistance to cefazolin (88.2%), cefonicid (64.7%) and ceftazidime (20.6%). In addition, Staphylococcus spp. isolates exhibited high-level resistance to mupirocin (42%). Species of Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Cupriavidus, Hafnia, Rahnella, Serratia, and Yersinia were isolated from the water samples.
The results of this study suggest that consumption of unchlorinated drinking water could represent a notable risk to the health of consumers. As such, there is need for continuous monitoring of these water sources and to establish standards.
PMCID: PMC3233695  PMID: 22216417
Antimicrobial resistance; Enteropathogenic bacteria; Microbiological quality; Unchlorinated drinking water
13.  Antiobesity and lipid-lowering effects of Bifidobacterium spp. in high fat diet-induced obese rats 
Recent studies have reported the preventive effects of probiotics on obesity. Among commensal bacteria, bifidobacteria is one of the most numerous probiotics in the mammalian gut and are a type of lactic acid bacteria. The aim of this study was to assess the antiobesity and lipid-lowering effects of Bifidobacterium spp. isolated from healthy Korean on high fat diet-induced obese rats.
Thirty-six male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups as follows: (1) SD group, fed standard diet; (2) HFD group, fed high fat diet; and (3) HFD-LAB group, fed high fat diet supplemented with LAB supplement (B. pseudocatenulatum SPM 1204, B. longum SPM 1205, and B. longum SPM 1207; 108 ~ 109 CFU). After 7 weeks, the body, organ, and fat weights, food intake, blood serum levels, fecal LAB counts, and harmful enzyme activities were measured.
Administration of LAB reduced body and fat weights, blood serum levels (TC, HDL-C, LDL-C, triglyceride, glucose, leptin, AST, ALT, and lipase levels), and harmful enzyme activities (β-glucosidase, β-glucuronidase, and tryptophanase), and significantly increased fecal LAB counts.
These data suggest that Bifidobacterium spp. used in this study may have beneficial antiobesity effects.
PMCID: PMC3146849  PMID: 21745411
14.  Melatonin receptor 1 B polymorphisms associated with the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:82.
Two SNPs in melatonin receptor 1B gene, rs10830963 and rs1387153 showed significant associations with fasting plasma glucose levels and the risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) in previous studies. Since T2DM and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) share similar characteristics, we suspected that the two genetic polymorphisms in MTNR1B may be associated with GDM, and conducted association studies between the polymorphisms and the disease. Furthermore, we also examined genetic effects of the two polymorphisms with various diabetes-related phenotypes.
A total of 1,918 subjects (928 GDM patients and 990 controls) were used for the study. Two MTNR1B polymorphisms were genotyped using TaqMan assay. The allele distributions of SNPs were evaluated by x2 models calculating odds ratios (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and corresponding P values. Multiple regressions were used for association analyses of GDM-related traits. Finally, conditional analyses were also performed.
We found significant associations between the two genetic variants and GDM, rs10830963, with a corrected P value of 0.0001, and rs1387153, with the corrected P value of 0.0008. In addition, we also found that the two SNPs were associated with various phenotypes such as homeostasis model assessment of beta-cell function and fasting glucose levels. Further conditional analyses results suggested that rs10830963 might be more likely functional in case/control analysis, although not clear in GDM-related phenotype analyses.
There have been studies that found associations between genetic variants of other genes and GDM, this is the first study that found significant associations between SNPs of MTNR1B and GDM. The genetic effects of two SNPs identified in this study would be helpful in understanding the insight of GDM and other diabetes-related disorders.
PMCID: PMC3129295  PMID: 21658282
15.  Plasma levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 in women with cervical neoplasia 
Journal of Gynecologic Oncology  2010;21(3):174-180.
The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between plasma levels of insulin-like growth factors-1 (IGF-1) and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) and the risk for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical cancer.
Plasma levels of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 of 44 cervical cancer patients, 82 CIN patients and 40 neoplasm-free patients were investigated. Then the associations of the plasma levels of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 with cervical neoplasm or its clinicopathologic parameters were analyzed.
The mean IGF-1 concentrations were significantly different among the control, CIN, and cervical cancer groups; the levels were higher in the CIN group compared to the controls. According to the quartile category, the plasma IGF-1 level was significantly higher (p=0.0015) in the CIN group than in the controls. The IGFBP-3 level showed no association between the controls and CIN groups (p=0.842). Although the mean IGF-1/IGFBP-3 molar ratio had borderline significance (p=0.08) among the study population, the quartile comparison showed a significantly higher IGF-1/IGFBP-3 molar ratio in the CIN group compared to the control group (p=0.041).
Plasma levels of IGF-1 and the IGF-1/IGFBP-3 molar ratio might be useful for the development early detection of cervical lesions and used as an adjuvant diagnostic tool for cervical neoplasia after more larger scale research.
PMCID: PMC2948225  PMID: 20922140
IGF-1; IGFBP-3; IGF-1/IGFBP-3 molar ratio; Cervical neoplasia

Results 1-15 (15)