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1.  Matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 increase permeability of sheep pleura in vitro 
BMC Physiology  2012;12:2.
Background
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) 2 and 9 are two gelatinase members which have been found elevated in exudative pleural effusions. In endothelial cells these MMPs increase paracellular permeability via the disruption of tight junction (TJ) proteins occludin and claudin. In the present study it was investigated if MMP2 and MMP9 alter permeability properties of the pleura tissue by degradation of TJ proteins in pleural mesothelium.
Results
In the present study the transmesothelial resistance (RTM) of sheep pleura tissue was recorded in Ussing chambers after the addition of MMP2 or MMP9. Both enzymes reduced RTM of the pleura, implying an increase in pleural permeability. The localization and expression of TJ proteins, occludin and claudin-1, were assessed after incubation with MMPs by indirect immunofluorescence and western blot analysis. Our results revealed that incubation with MMPs did not alter neither proteins localization at cell periphery nor their expression.
Conclusions
MMP2 and MMP9 increase the permeability of sheep pleura and this finding suggests a role for MMPs in pleural fluid formation. Tight junction proteins remain intact after incubation with MMPs, contrary to previous studies which have shown TJ degradation by MMPs. Probably MMP2 and MMP9 augment pleural permeability via other mechanisms.
doi:10.1186/1472-6793-12-2
PMCID: PMC3337816  PMID: 22424238
2.  Pleural Transport Physiology: Insights from Biological Marker Measurements in Transudates 
Aims:
The aim of this study was to evaluate the physicochemical properties of the pleural mesothelial barrier and of the biological markers that facilitate or eliminate the passage of molecules through the pleura.
Methods and Material:
Pleural fluid samples from sixty-five patients with heart failure were analyzed. The biological markers studied were lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), adenosine deaminase (ADA), interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), -3 (MMP-3), -7(MMP-7), -8 (MMP-8) and -9 (MMP-9). Based on the pleural fluid/serum ratio, these molecules were divided into three groups: a) the LDH-like group with a pleural fluid/serum ratio between 0,4 and 0,8 (LDH, CEA, CuZnSOD, ADA, CRP, MMP-8), b) molecules with a pleural fluid/serum ratio less than 0,4 (MMP-7 and MMP-9) and c) molecules with a pleural fluid/serum ratio equal or above 1 (TNF-α, IL-6, MMP-2 and MMP-3).
Results:
No correlation between the molecular radius and the pleural fluid to serum ratio of the above biological markers was found.
Conclusions:
The molecular size is not a major determinant for the passage of molecules through the mesothelial barrier. Several other factors may influence the transport of the above molecules to pleural cavity, such as their charge and shape.
doi:10.2174/1874306401105010070
PMCID: PMC3204423  PMID: 22114657
Biological markers; mesothelial barrier; pleural fluid/ serum ratio; transudates; lactate dehydrogenase; tumor necrosis factor.
3.  Body Composition in Severe Refractory Asthma: Comparison with COPD Patients and Healthy Smokers 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(10):e13233.
Background
Body composition is an important parameter for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) whereas the association between asthma and obesity is not fully understood. The impact of severe refractory asthma (SRA) on fat free mass (FFM) has not been investigated.
Methodology and Principal Findings
213 subjects (70 healthy smokers, 71 COPD patients and 72 asthma patients) without significant comorbidities were included in the study. In all patients, body composition assessment (using bioelectrical impendance analysis, skinfold and anthropometric measurements) and spirometry were performed. Differences in fat free mass index (FFMI) between groups were assessed and determinants of FFMI in asthma were evaluated. Patients with SRA had lower values of FFMI compared to patients with mild-to-moderate asthma [18.0(17.3–18.3)–19.5(18.4–21.5), p<0.001], despite the fact that they were more obese. The levels of FFMI in SRA were lower than those of GOLD stage I–III COPD and comparable to those of stage IV COPD patients [18.0(17.3–18.3)–18.8(17.8–20.1), p = ns]. These differences were present even after proper adjustments for sex, age, smoking status, daily dose of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and daily use of oral corticosteroids (OCS). In multivariate analysis, independent predictors of FFMI in asthmatic patients were age, use of OCS and the presence of SRA, but not smoking, sex or cumulative dose of ICS used.
Conclusions and Significance
SRA is related to the presence of low FFMI that is comparable to that of GOLD stage IV COPD. The impact of this observation on asthma mechanisms and outcomes should be further investigated in large prospective studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013233
PMCID: PMC2950851  PMID: 20949085
4.  Surveillance study of vector species on board passenger ships, Risk factors related to infestations 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:100.
Background
Passenger ships provide conditions suitable for the survival and growth of pest populations. Arthropods and rodents can gain access directly from the ships' open spaces, can be carried in shiploads, or can be found on humans or animals as ectoparasites. Vectors on board ships may contaminate stored foods, transmit illness on board, or, introduce diseases in new areas. Pest species, ship areas facilitating infestations, and different risk factors related to infestations were identified in 21 ferries.
Methods
486 traps for insects and rodents were placed in 21 ferries. Archives of Public Health Authorities were reviewed to identify complaints regarding the presence of pest species on board ferries from 1994 to 2004. A detail questionnaire was used to collect data on ship characteristics and pest control practices.
Results
Eighteen ferries were infested with flies (85.7%), 11 with cockroaches (52.3%), three with bedbugs, and one with fleas. Other species had been found on board were ants, spiders, butterflies, beetles, and a lizard. A total of 431 Blattella germanica species were captured in 28 (9.96%) traps, and 84.2% of them were nymphs. One ship was highly infested. Cockroach infestation was negatively associated with ferries in which Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system was applied to ensure food safety on board (Relative Risk, RR = 0.23, p = 0.03), and positively associated with ferries in which cockroaches were observed by crew (RR = 4.09, p = 0.007), no cockroach monitoring log was kept (RR = 5.00, p = 0.02), and pesticide sprays for domestic use were applied by crew (RR = 4.00, p = 0.05). Cockroach infested ships had higher age (p = 0.03). Neither rats nor mice were found on any ship, but three ferries had been infested with a rodent in the past.
Conclusion
Integrated pest control programs should include continuing monitoring for a variety of pest species in different ship locations; pest control measures should be more persistent in older ships. HACCP system aids in the prevention of cockroach infestations on board.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-100
PMCID: PMC2359741  PMID: 18371217

Results 1-4 (4)