Persistent postmastectomy pain (PPMP) is a major individual and public health problem. Increasingly, psychosocial factors such as anxiety and catastrophizing are being revealed as crucial contributors to individual differences in pain processing and outcomes. Furthermore, differences in patients’ responses to standardized quantitative sensory testing (QST) may aid in the discernment of who is at risk for acute and chronic pain after surgery. However, characterization of the variables that differentiate those with PPMP from those whose acute postoperative pain resolves is currently incomplete. The purpose of this study was to investigate important surgical, treatment-related, demographic, psychophysical, and psychosocial factors associated with PPMP by comparing PPMP cases with PPMP-free controls. Pain was assessed using the breast cancer pain questionnaire to determine the presence and extent of PPMP. Psychosocial and demographic information were gathered via phone interview, and women underwent a QST session. Consistent with most prior research, surgical and disease-related variables did not differ significantly between cases and controls. Furthermore, treatment with radiation, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy was also not more common among those with PPMP. In contrast, women with PPMP did show elevated levels of distress-related psychosocial factors such as anxiety, depression, catastrophizing, and somatization. Finally, QST in nonsurgical body areas revealed increased sensitivity to mechanical stimulation among PPMP cases, while thermal pain responses were not different between the groups. These findings suggest that an individual’s psychophysical and psychosocial profile may be more strongly related to PPMP than their surgical treatment.
Mastectomy; Chronic pain/persistent pain; Quantitative sensory testing/QST; Psychosocial; Catastrophizing; Breast cancer survivors
Three-dimensional imaging (CT and MRI) is the gold standard for detecting femoral head-neck junction malformations in femoroacetabular impingement, yet plain radiographs are used for initial diagnostic evaluation. It is unclear, however, whether the plain radiographs accurately reflect the findings on three-dimensional imaging.
We therefore: (1) investigated the correlation of alpha angle measurements on plain radiographs and radial reformats of CT scans; (2) determined which radiographic views are most sensitive and specific in detecting head-neck deformities present on CT scans; and (3) determined if specific radiographic views correlated with specific locations on the radial oblique CT scan.
We retrospectively reviewed 41 surgical patients with preoperative CT scans (radial oblique reformats) and plain radiographs (AP pelvis, 45° Dunn, frog lateral, and crosstable lateral). Alpha angles were measured on plain radiographs and CT reformats.
The complete radiographic series was 86% to 90% sensitive in detecting abnormal alpha angles on CT. The maximum alpha angle on plain radiographs was greater than that of CT reformats in 61% of cases. Exclusion of the crosstable lateral did not affect the sensitivity (86%–88%). The Dunn view was most sensitive (71%–80%). The frog lateral showed the best specificity (91%–100%). Substantial correlations (intraclass correlation coefficients, 0.64–0.75) between radiograph and radial oblique CT position were observed, including AP/12:00 (superior), Dunn/1:00 (anterolateral), frog/3:00 (anterior), and crosstable/3:00 (anterior).
For diagnostic and treatment purposes, a three-view radiographic hip series (AP pelvis, 45° Dunn, and frog lateral) effectively characterizes femoral head-neck junction malformations.
Level of Evidence
Level II, diagnostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Osteoarthritis is a clinical syndrome of failure of the joint accompanied by varying degrees of joint pain, functional limitation, and reduced quality of life due to deterioration of articular cartilage and involvement of other joint structures.
Regulatory agencies require relevant clinical benefit on symptoms and structure modification for registration of a new therapy as a disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug (DMOAD). An international Working Group of the European Society on Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis (ESCEO) and International Osteoporosis Foundation was convened to explore the current burden of osteoarthritis, review current regulatory guidelines for the conduct of clinical trials, and examine the concept of responder analyses for improving drug evaluation in osteoarthritis.
The ESCEO considers that the major challenges in DMOAD development are the absence of a precise definition of the disease, particularly in the early stages, and the lack of consensus on how to detect structural changes and link them to clinically meaningful endpoints. Responder criteria should help identify progression of disease and be clinically meaningful. The ideal criterion should be sensitive to change over time and should predict disease progression and outcomes such as joint replacement.
The ESCEO considers that, for knee osteoarthritis, clinical trial data indicate that radiographic joint space narrowing >0.5 mm over 2 or 3 years might be a reliable surrogate measure for total joint replacement. On-going research using techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and biochemical markers may allow the identification of these patients earlier in the disease process.
magnetic resonance imaging; osteoarthritis; X-ray; responder; structure-modifying drug; pain
The maintenance of key germline derived DNA methylation patterns during preimplantation development depends on stores of DNA cytosine methyltransferase-1o (DNMT1o) provided by the oocyte. Dnmt1omat−/− mouse embryos born to Dnmt1Δ1o/Δ1o female mice lack DNMT1o protein and have disrupted genomic imprinting and associated phenotypic abnormalities. Here, we describe additional female-specific morphological abnormalities and DNA hypomethylation defects outside imprinted loci, restricted to extraembryonic tissue. Compared to male offspring, the placentae of female offspring of Dnmt1Δ1o/Δ1o mothers displayed a higher incidence of genic and intergenic hypomethylation and more frequent and extreme placental dysmorphology. The majority of the affected loci were concentrated on the X chromosome and associated with aberrant biallelic expression, indicating that imprinted X-inactivation was perturbed. Hypomethylation of a key regulatory region of Xite within the X-inactivation center was present in female blastocysts shortly after the absence of methylation maintenance by DNMT1o at the 8-cell stage. The female preponderance of placental DNA hypomethylation associated with maternal DNMT1o deficiency provides evidence of additional roles beyond the maintenance of genomic imprints for DNA methylation events in the preimplantation embryo, including a role in imprinted X chromosome inactivation.
During oocyte growth and maturation, vital proteins and enzymes are produced to ensure that, when fertilized, a healthy embryo will arise. When this natural process is interrupted, one or more of these essential elements can fail to be produced thus compromising the health of the future embryo. We are using a mouse model, lacking an enzyme (DNMT1o) produced in the oocyte and only required post-fertilization in the early embryo for the maintenance of inherited DNA methylation marks. Here, we reveal that oocytes lacking DNMT1o, when fertilized, generated conceptuses with a wide variety of placental abnormalities. These placental abnormalities were more frequent and severe in females, and showed specific genomic regions constantly deprived of their normal methylation marks. The affected genomic regions were concentrated on the X chromosome. Interestingly, we also found that a region important for the regulation of the X chromosome inactivation process was hypomethylated in female blastocysts and was associated with sex-specific abnormalities in the placenta, relaxation of imprinted X chromosome inactivation, and disruption of DNA methylation later in development. Our findings provide a novel unanticipated role for DNA methylation events taking place within the first few days of life specifically in female preimplantation embryos.
To examine the temporal stability of conditioned pain modulation (CPM), formerly termed diffuse noxious inhibitory controls (DNIC), among a sample of patients with chronic pain. The study also examined the factors that might be responsible for the stability of CPM.
Design & subjects, and methods
In this test-retest study, patients underwent a series of standardized psychophysical pain testing procedures designed to assess CPM on two separate occasions (i.e., baseline, follow-up). Patients also completed self-report measures of catastrophizing (PCS) and negative affect (NA).
Overall, results provided evidence for the stability of CPM among patients with chronic pain. Results, however, revealed considerable sex differences in the stability of CPM. For women, results revealed a significant test-retest correlation between baseline and follow-up CPM scores. For men, however, the test-retest correlation between baseline and follow-up CPM scores was not significant. Results of a Fisher’s Z-test revealed that the stability of CPM was significantly greater for women than for men. Follow-up analyses revealed that the difference between men and women in the stability of CPM could not be accounted for by any demographic (e.g., age) and/or psychologic factors (PCS, NA).
Our findings suggest that CPM paradigms possess sufficient reliability to be incorporated into bedside clinical evaluation of patients with chronic pain, but only among women. The lack of CPM reproducibility/stability observed among men places limits on the potential use of CPM paradigms in clinical settings for the assessment of men’s endogenous pain-inhibitory function.
Conditioned pain modulation; DNIC; catastrophizing; negative affect; chronic pain
While many studies have examined differences between body mass index (BMI) categories in terms of mortality risk and health-related quality of life (HRQL), little is known about the effect of body weight on health expectancy. We examined life expectancy (LE), health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE), and proportion of LE spent in nonoptimal (or poor) health by BMI category for the Canadian adult population (age ≥ 20).
Respondents to the National Population Health Survey (NPHS) were followed for mortality outcomes from 1994 to 2009. Our study population at baseline (n=12,478) was 20 to 100 years old with an average age of 47. LE was produced by building abridged life tables by sex and BMI category using data from the NPHS and the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System. HALE was estimated using the Health Utilities Index from the Canadian Community Health Survey as a measure of HRQL. The contribution of HRQL to loss of healthy life years for each BMI category was also assessed using two methods: by calculating differences between LE and HALE proportional to LE and by using a decomposition technique to separate out mortality and HRQL contributions to loss of HALE.
At age 20, for both sexes, LE is significantly lower in the underweight and obesity class 2+ categories, but significantly higher in the overweight category when compared to normal weight (obesity class 1 was nonsignificant). HALE at age 20 follows these same associations and is significantly lower for class 1 obesity in women. Proportion of life spent in nonoptimal health and decomposition of HALE demonstrate progressively higher losses of healthy life associated with lowered HRQL for BMI categories in excess of normal weight.
Although being in the overweight category for adults may be associated with a gain in life expectancy as compared to normal weight adults, overweight individuals also experience a higher proportion of these years of life in poorer health. Due to the descriptive nature of this study, further research is needed to explore the causal mechanisms which explain these results, including the important differences we observed between sexes and within obesity subcategories.
Overweight; Obesity; Underweight; Body mass index; Life expectancy; Health expectancy; Mortality; Health-related quality of life
Mechanistic hypotheses suggest a potential effect of dietary fiber on breast carcinogenesis through the modulation of insulin-like growth factor bioactivity, estrogen metabolism and inflammation. An association between dietary fiber intake and breast cancer risk has been suggested in epidemiological studies but remains inconclusive. In particular, data is lacking regarding the different types of dietary fibers.
The objective was to investigate the prospective relationship between dietary fiber intake and breast cancer risk, taking into account different types of dietary fiber (overall, insoluble, soluble and from different food sources: cereals, vegetables, fruits and legumes).
4684 women from the SU.VI.MAX cohort were included in this analysis as they completed at least three 24h-dietary records within the first two years of follow-up. Among them, 167 incident invasive breast cancers were diagnosed during a median follow-up of 12.6 years (between 1994 and 2007). The associations between quartiles of dietary fiber intake and breast cancer risk were characterized using multivariate Cox proportional hazards models.
Total fiber intake was not associated with breast cancer risk (HRQuartile4vs.Quartile1 = 1.29 (95%CI 0.66–2.50), P-trend = 0.5), nor was fiber intake from cereals (P-trend = 0.1), fruits (P-trend = 0.9) and legumes (P-trend = 0.3). In contrast, vegetable fiber intake was related to a decreased risk of breast cancer (HRQ4vs.Q1 = 0.50 (0.29-0.88), P-trend = 0.03). Overall vegetable intake (in g/day) was not associated with breast cancer risk (P-trend = 0.2).
This prospective study suggests that vegetable fiber intake may contribute to reduce breast cancer risk, in line with experimental mechanistic data.
The study evaluated trait associations with common Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), during an understudied developmental period: Preschool. Participants were 109 children ages 3 to 6 and their families. DBD symptoms were available via parent and teacher/caregiver report on the Disruptive Behavior Rating Scale. Traits were measured using observational coding paradigms, and parent and examiner report on the Child Behavior Questionnaire and the California Q-Sort. The DBD groups exhibited significantly higher negative affect, higher surgency, and lower effortful control. Negative affect was associated with most DBD symptom domains; surgency and reactive control were associated with hyperactivity-impulsivity; and effortful control was associated with ADHD and inattention. Interactive effects between effortful control and negative affect and curvilinear associations of reactive control with DBD symptoms were evident. Temperament trait associations with DBD during preschool are similar to those seen during middle childhood. Extreme levels of temperament traits are associated with DBD as early as preschool.
preschool children; behavior problems; Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); temperament
Neurotrophins play a central role in the development and maintenance of the nervous system. However, neurotrophins can also modulate B and T cell proliferation and activation, especially via autocrine loops. We hypothesized that both serum and lymphocytic neurotrophin levels may be deregulated in systemic Lupus erythematosus (SLE) and may reflect clinical symptoms of the disease.
Neurotrophins in the serum (ELISA tests) and lymphocytes (flow cytometry) were measured in 26 SLE patients and 26 control subjects. Th1 (interferon-γ) and Th2 (IL-10) profiles and serum concentration of BAFF were assessed by ELISA in the SLE and control subjects.
We have demonstrated that both NGF and BDNF serum levels are higher in SLE patients than healthy controls (p=0.003 and p<0.001), independently of Th1 or Th2 profiles. Enhanced serum NT-3 levels (p=0.003) were only found in severe lupus flares (i.e. SLEDAI ≥ 10) and significantly correlated with complement activation (decreased CH 50, Γ=-0.28, p=0.03). Furthermore, there was a negative correlation between serum NGF levels and the number of circulating T regulatory cells (Γ=0.48, p=0.01). In circulating B cells, production of both NGF and BDNF was greater in SLE patients than in healthy controls. In particular, the number of NGF-secreting B cells correlated with decreased complement levels (p=0.05). One month after SLE flare treatment, BDNF levels decreased; in contrast, NGF and NT-3 levels remained unchanged.
This study demonstrates that serum and B cell levels of both NGF and BDNF are increased in SLE, suggesting that the neurotrophin production pathway is deregulated in this disease. These results must be confirmed in a larger study with naive SLE patients, in order to avoid the potential confounding influence of prior immune-modulating treatments on neurotrophin levels.
For many years Canis familiaris, the domestic dog, has drawn particular interest as a model of osteoarthritis (OA). Here, we optimized the dog model of experimental OA induced by cranial cruciate ligament sectioning. The usefulness of noninvasive complementary outcome measures, such as gait analysis for the limb function and magnetic resonance imaging for structural changes, was demonstrated in this model. Relationships were established between the functional impairment and the severity of structural changes including the measurement of cartilage thinning. In the dog model of naturally occurring OA, excellent test-retest reliability was denoted for the measurement of the limb function. A criterion to identify clinically meaningful responders to therapy was determined for privately owned dogs undergoing clinical trials. In addition, the recording of accelerometer-based duration of locomotor activity showed strong and complementary agreement with the biomechanical limb function. The translation potential of these models to the human OA condition is underlined. A preclinical testing protocol which combines the dog model of experimental OA induced by cranial cruciate ligament transection and the Dog model of naturally occurring OA offers the opportunity to further investigate the structural and functional benefits of disease-modifying strategies. Ultimately, a better prediction of outcomes for human clinical trials would be brought.
The impact of modifying electronic colonoscopy reporting software for improving adherence to guidelines regarding quality standards documentation remains poorly characterized.
Consecutive colonoscopy reports of patients undergoing screening or surveillance for colorectal neoplasia were reviewed. Following a pre-intervention quality audit conducted in 2009, some modifications were made to the reporting software (Endoworks, Olympus Corporation, USA), including changes to field navigation, drop-down menus and visual cues, to optimize all compulsory items identified by existing guidelines in the report-generating template. Results from both audits were compared. Independent validation of 10% of all data was completed.
In 250 patient reports (mean [± SD] age 61.7±10.2 years, 51.2% female, February to May 2011) of five endoscopists (mean 11.6±7.8 years in practice), procedural indication was always present, as was informed consent. Seventy-six per cent of patients had undergone previous colonoscopy, 41% provided a previous colonoscopy date, with details on past polyp removal in 42.9%. Most procedural indicators were recorded (examination date 100%, medications given 100%, difficulty level 96.4%, preparation quality 100%). All reports noted extent of visualization (cecal intubation in 97.6%, photo documentation in 96.8%). Total procedural time was recorded in 8.2% and withdrawal time in 44%. Polyps were reported in 112 patients (44.8%), with polyp size (5.01±4.42 mm) reported in 95.5%, morphology in 88.4% and anatomical location in all. The method of polyp removal was missing in 2.7% of reports. Significant improvements were noted in the documentation of withdrawal and total time, cecal landmarks, type of bowel preparation, completeness of removal, morphology and method of polyp removal, and photo documentation compared with the 2009 audit.
These results illustrate the value of targeted modifications to an electronic colonoscopic reporting system in significantly enhancing the quality of reporting.
Audit; Colonoscopy; Colorectal cancer; Endoscopy; Quality; Reporting; Surveillance
Mineralo-organic nanoparticles form spontaneously in human body fluids when the concentrations of calcium and phosphate ions exceed saturation. We have shown previously that these mineralo-organic nanoparticles possess biomimetic properties and can reproduce the whole phenomenology of the so-called nanobacteria—mineralized entities initially described as the smallest microorganisms on earth. Here, we examine the possibility that various charged elements and ions may form mineral nanoparticles with similar properties in biological fluids. Remarkably, all the elements tested, including sodium, magnesium, aluminum, calcium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, strontium, and barium form mineralo-organic particles with bacteria-like morphologies and other complex shapes following precipitation with phosphate in body fluids. Upon formation, these mineralo-organic particles, which we term bions, invariably accumulate carbonate apatite during incubation in biological fluids; yet, the particles also incorporate additional elements and thus reflect the ionic milieu in which they form. Bions initially harbor an amorphous mineral phase that gradually converts to crystals in culture. Our results show that serum produces a dual inhibition-seeding effect on bion formation. Using a comprehensive proteomic analysis, we identify a wide range of proteins that bind to these mineral particles during incubation in medium containing serum. The two main binding proteins identified, albumin and fetuin-A, act as both inhibitors and seeders of bions in culture. Notably, bions possess several biomimetic properties, including the possibility to increase in size and number and to be sub-cultured in fresh culture medium. Based on these results, we propose that bions represent biological, mineralo-organic particles that may form in the body under both physiological and pathological homeostasis conditions. These mineralo-organic particles may be part of a physiological cycle that regulates the function, transport and disposal of elements and minerals in the human body.
Liposarcomas constitute a rare group of tumors of mesenchymal origin that are often poorly responsive to therapy. This study characterizes a novel human liposarcoma cell line (LiSa-2) and defines the mechanism of its response to a synthetic triterpenoid. Fatty acid synthase (FAS) is a key enzyme of de-novo fatty acid synthesis and is highly expressed in both human liposarcoma tissue specimens and LiSa-2 cells. Treatment of the LiSa-2 cell line with the synthetic triterpenoid 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oic imidazolide (CDDO-Im) markedly inhibited FAS mRNA expression, FAS protein production and FAS gene promoter activity. As expected, fatty acid synthesis was down regulated, but there was no effect on cellular fatty acid uptake or glycerol-3-phosphate synthesis suggesting a selective inhibition of endogenous fatty acid synthesis. Importantly, CDDO-Im produced a dose-dependent apoptotic effect in the LiSa-2 cell line, and simultaneous treatment with CDDO-Im and the fatty acid synthase inhibitor Cerulenin produced a synergistic cytotoxic effect. Thus, CDDO-Im and Cerulenin act at different loci to inhibit long chain fatty acid synthesis in liposarcoma cells. This study’s demonstration of CDDO-Im inhibition of FAS and Spot 14 (S14) expression is the first report of triterpenoid compounds affecting the fatty acid synthesis pathway. The observed dependence of liposarcomas on lipogenesis to support their growth and survival provides a novel approach to the treatment of liposarcomas with agents that target fatty acid production.
Liposarcoma; Fatty acid synthase; Spot-14; Lipogenic; Triterpenoid; CDDO
Inhibition of the HER-2 pathway via the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab has had a major impact in treatment of HER-2 positive breast cancer, but de novo or acquired resistance may reduce its effectiveness. The known interplay between the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and HER-2 receptors and pathways creates a rationale for combined anti-EGFR and anti-HER-2 therapy in HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC), and toxicities associated with the use of multiple chemotherapeutic agents together with biological therapies may also be reduced. We conducted a prospective, single arm, phase I/II trial to determine the efficacy and toxicity of the combination of trastuzumab with the EGFR inhibitor gefitinib and docetaxel, in patients with HER-2 positive MBC. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was determined in the phase I portion. The primary end point of the phase II portion was progression-free survival (PFS). Immunohistochemical analysis of biomarker expression of the PKA-related proteins cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), phospho-CREB and DARPP-32 (dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa) plus t-DARPP (the truncated isoform of DARPP-32); PTEN; p-p70 S6K; and EGFR was conducted on tissue from metastatic sites. Nine patients were treated in the phase I portion of the study and 22 in the phase II portion. The MTD was gefitinib 250 mg on days 2–14, trastuzumab 6 mg/kg, and docetaxel 60 mg/m2 every 21 days. For the 29 patients treated at the MTD, median PFS was 12.7 months, with complete and partial response rates of 18 and 46%, and a stable disease rate of 29%. No statistically significant correlation was found between response and expression of any biomarkers. We conclude that the combination of gefitinib, trastuzumab, and docetaxel is feasible and effective. Expression of the biomarkers examined did not predict outcome in this sample of HER-2 overexpressing metastatic breast cancer.
Breast cancer; HER2; Gefitinib; Phosphatase and tensin homolog; Protein kinase A; Trastuzumab
Discrepancies exist in reported mortality rates of nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (NVUGIB).
To perform a systematic review assessing possible reasons for these disparate findings and to more reliably compare them.
The MEDLINE, EMBASE and ISI Web of Knowledge databases were searched for studies reporting mortality rates in NVUGIB involving adults and published in English. To ensure robust and contemporary estimates, studies spanning 1996 to January 2011 that included more than 1000 patients were selected.
Eighteen of 3077 studies were selected. Ten studies used administrative databases and the remaining eight used registries. The mortality rates reported in these studies ranged from 1.1% in Japan to 11% in Denmark. There were variations in reported mortality rates among countries and also within countries. Reasons for these disparities included a spectrum of quality in reporting as well as heterogeneous definitions of case ascertainment, differing patient populations with regard to severity of presentation and associated comorbidities, varying durations of follow-up and different health care system-related practices.
Wide differences in reported NVUGIB mortality rates are attributable to differences in adopted methodologies and populations studied. More uniform standards in reporting are needed; only then can true observed variations enable a better understanding of causes of death and pave the way to improved patient outcomes.
Acetylsalicylic acid; Acute gastrointestinal bleeding; Bleeding peptic ulcer; Gastrointestinal endoscopy
Gastrointestinal (GI) complications of cardiovascular surgery, particularly bleeding, occur frequently.
To determine factors that predict upper GI bleeding (UGIB) after cardiac surgery to improve prognostication and, thus, outcomes.
The present case-control study reviewed institutional records spanning 2002 to 2005 for consecutive patients who developed in-hospital UGIB following cardiovascular surgery. Each case was matched to two to three controls for age, sex and date of hospital admission. Demographics, pharmacotherapy (including use of in-hospital acid suppression), endoscopic findings and outcomes were recorded. After adjustment for possible confounders, including Parsonnet score and demographic parameters, conditional logistic regression analysis identified independent significant predictors of the subsequent development of UGIB.
The study population consisted of 131 cases (mean [± SD] age 68.8±10.2 years, 69.5% male, mean Parsonnet score 24.6±14.2) and 387 matched controls (mean age 68.8±10.8 years, 70.0% male, mean Parsonnet score 20.9±14.2). UGIB events occurred a mean of 10.3±7.7 days after cardiac surgery. Duration of mechanical ventilation (OR 3.01 [95% CI 1.44 to 6.28]), elevation of international normalized ratio (OR 1.91 [95% CI 1.31 to 2.78]) and occurrence of Clostridium difficile colitis before bleeding (OR 3.15 [95% CI 1.19 to 8.36]) were independent risk factors. Use of histamine type 2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) (OR 0.65 [95% CI 0.38 to 1.12]) or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (OR 0.60 [95% CI 0.27 to 1.32]) demonstrated trends toward protecting against UGIB after cardiac surgery.
GI bleeding events occurred approximately 10 days after cardiac surgery in patients with a complicated postoperative course. Significant predictors of subsequent bleeding included increased duration of mechanical ventilation and elevation of international normalized ratio; routine acid suppression with PPIs should be considered in such patients. C difficile colitis also significantly predicted UGIB, and H2RAs should be considered for acid suppression. Neither H2RAs nor PPIs were effective in preventing UGIB, although the small number of patients limits definitive conclusions regarding the role of acid suppression.
Cardiac surgery; H2 receptor antagonist; Perioperative prophylaxis; Proton pump inhibitors; Stress ulcer bleeding; Upper gastrointestinal bleeding
Angiopoietin like‐2 (angptl2), a proinflammatory protein, is overexpressed in endothelial cells (ECs) from patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Whether angptl2 contributes to atherogenesis is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that angptl2 promotes inflammation and leukocyte adhesion onto ECs, thereby accelerating atherogenesis in preatherosclerotic dyslipidemic mice.
Methods and Results
In ECs freshly isolated from the aorta, basal expression of TNF‐α and IL‐6 mRNA was higher in 3‐month‐old severely dyslipidemic mice (LDLr−/−; hApoB100+/+ [ATX]) than in control healthy wild‐type (WT) mice (P<0.05) and was increased in both groups by exogenous angptl2 (100 nmol/L). Angptl2 stimulated the adhesion of leukocytes ex vivo on the native aortic endothelium of ATX, but not WT mice, in association with higher expression of ICAM‐1 and P‐selectin in ECs (P<0.05). Antibodies against these endothelial adhesion molecules prevented leukocyte adhesion. Intravenous administration of angptl2 for 1 month in preatherosclerotic 3‐month‐old ATX mice increased (P<0.05) total cholesterol and LDL‐cholesterol levels, strongly induced (P<0.05) the expression of endothelial proinflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules while accelerating atherosclerotic lesion formation by 10‐fold (P<0.05). Plasma and aortic tissue levels of angptl2 increased (P<0.05) with age and were higher in 6‐ and 12‐month‐old ATX mice than in age‐matched WT mice. Angptl2 accumulated to high levels in the atherosclerotic lesions (P<0.05). Finally, angptl2 was greatly expressed (P<0.05) in ECs cultured from CAD patients, and circulating angptl2 levels were 6‐fold higher in CAD patients compared with age‐matched healthy volunteers.
Angptl2 contributes to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.
adhesion molecules; aging; CAD; freshly isolated mouse endothelial cells; inflammation; mouse model of atherosclerosis
North America and the neotropics harbor nearly all species of plethodontid salamanders. In contrast, this family of caudate amphibians is represented in Europe and Asia by two genera, Speleomantes and Karsenia, which are confined to small geographic ranges. Compared to neotropical and North American plethodontids, mortality attributed to chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has not been reported for European plethodontids, despite the established presence of Bd in their geographic distribution. We determined the extent to which Bd is present in populations of all eight species of European Speleomantes and show that Bd was undetectable in 921 skin swabs. We then compared the susceptibility of one of these species, Speleomantes strinatii, to experimental infection with a highly virulent isolate of Bd (BdGPL), and compared this to the susceptible species Alytes muletensis. Whereas the inoculated A. muletensis developed increasing Bd-loads over a 4-week period, none of five exposed S. strinatii were colonized by Bd beyond 2 weeks post inoculation. Finally, we determined the extent to which skin secretions of Speleomantes species are capable of killing Bd. Skin secretions of seven Speleomantes species showed pronounced killing activity against Bd over 24 hours. In conclusion, the absence of Bd in Speleomantes combined with resistance to experimental chytridiomycosis and highly efficient skin defenses indicate that the genus Speleomantes is a taxon unlikely to decline due to Bd.
The pure autonomic failure is a rare entity, with only a few cases reported in the literature. The authors describe a case with compensatory excessive sweating of the right hemithorax as an initial manifestation of a pure autonomic failure, and the authors review the clinical characteristics of this disease. A 69-year-old man presented excessive sweating of the right hemithorax. Physical examination revealed orthostatic hypotension. No other neurological features were present. The autonomic study showed a low heart rate response to the Valsalva maneuver and reduced supine plasma norepinephrine levels. A pure autonomic failure was diagnosed. Treatment did not improve patient’s symptoms. Anhidrosis with asymmetrical compensatory hyperhidrosis can be the only symptom of a pure autonomic failure. The authors highlight an unusual form of presentation of a rare disease, difficult to diagnose if it is not taken into consideration.
A fully automated high-throughput solution X-ray scattering data collection system, developed for protein structure studies at beamline 4-2 of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, is described.
A fully automated high-throughput solution X-ray scattering data collection system has been developed for protein structure studies at beamline 4-2 of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. It is composed of a thin-wall quartz capillary cell, a syringe needle assembly on an XYZ positioning arm for sample delivery, a water-cooled sample rack and a computer-controlled fluid dispenser. It is controlled by a specifically developed software component built into the standard beamline control program Blu-Ice/DCS. The integrated system is intuitive and very simple to use, and enables experimenters to customize data collection strategy in a timely fashion in concert with an automated data processing program. The system also allows spectrophotometric determination of protein concentration for each sample aliquot in the beam via an in situ UV absorption spectrometer. A single set of solution scattering measurements requires a 20–30 µl sample aliquot and takes typically 3.5 min, including an extensive capillary cleaning cycle. Over 98.5% of measurements are valid and free from artefacts commonly caused by air-bubble contamination. The sample changer, which is compact and light, facilitates effortless switching with other sample-handling devices required for other types of non-crystalline X-ray scattering experiments.
proteomics; structural genomics; X-ray scattering; laboratory automation; SAXS
Long bones develop through the strictly regulated process of endochondral ossification within the growth plate, resulting in the replacement of cartilage by bone. Defects in this process result in skeletal abnormalities and can predispose to disease such as osteoarthritis (OA). Studies suggest that activation of the transcription factor peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) is a therapeutic target for OA. In order to devise PPARγ-related therapies in OA and related diseases, it is critical to identify its role in cartilage biology. Therefore, we determined the in vivo role of PPARγ in endochondral ossification and cartilage development using cartilage-specific PPARγ knockout (KO) mice.
Cartilage-specific PPARγ KO mice were generated using LoxP/Cre system. Histomorphometric and immunohistochemical analysis was performed to account for ossification patterns, chondrocyte proliferation, differentiation, hypertrophy, skeletal organization, bone density and calcium deposition. Real-Time PCR and western blotting was performed to determine the expression of key markers involved in endochondral ossification.
PPARγ KO mice exhibited reduced body length, weight, length of long bones, skeletal growth, cellularity, bone density, calcium deposition and trabecular bone thickness, abnormal growth plate organization, loss of columnar organization, shorter hypertrophic zones, and delayed primary and secondary ossification. Immunohistochemistry for Sox9, BrdU, p57, collagen X and PECAM revealed reduction in chondrocyte differentiation and proliferation, and hypertrophy and vascularisation in growth plates of mutant mice. Isolated chondrocytes and cartilage explants from mutant mice showed aberrant expression of ECM markers including aggrecan, collagen II and MMP-13.
PPARγ is required for normal endochondral ossification and cartilage development in vivo.
The androgen receptor (AR) is a member of the nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily of ligand-inducible DNA transcription factors, and is the major mediator of male sexual development, prostate growth and the pathogenesis of prostate cancer. Cell and gene specific regulation by the AR is determined by availability of and interaction with sets of key accessory cofactors. Ski-interacting protein (SKIP; SNW1, NCOA62) is a cofactor shown to interact with several NRs and a diverse range of other transcription factors. Interestingly, SKIP as part of the spliceosome is thought to link mRNA splicing with transcription. SKIP has not been previously shown to interact with the AR.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether SKIP interacts with the AR and modulates AR-dependent transcription. Here, we show by co-immunoprecipitation experiments that SKIP is in a complex with the AR. Moreover, SKIP increased 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) induced N-terminal/C-terminal AR interaction from 12-fold to almost 300-fold in a two-hybrid assay, and enhanced AR ligand-independent AF-1 transactivation. SKIP augmented ligand- and AR-dependent transactivation in PC3 prostate cancer cells. Live-cell imaging revealed a fast (half-time=129 s) translocation of AR from the cytoplasm to the nucleus upon DHT-stimulation. Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments suggest a direct AR-SKIP interaction in the nucleus upon translocation.
Our results suggest that SKIP interacts with AR in the nucleus and enhances AR-dependent transactivation and N/C-interaction supporting a role for SKIP as an AR co-factor.
Hormonal influences on the organization of behavior are apparent to neuroendocrinologists but under-examined in relation to childhood and adolescent mental disorders. A central mystery in the field of developmental psychopathology is the preferential male vulnerability to behavior disorders in childhood and female vulnerability to emotional disorders in adolescence. Relative neglect of a hormonal explanation may be due to lack of simple or unifying conceptual paradigms to guide studies. This paper seeks to stimulate research in this area by drawing upon clinical psychology and neuroscience literatures to offer a heuristic paradigm for clinical research. Two syndromes are selected here for illustration: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), because they have opposite gender risk profiles. Two guiding theories are evaluated. First, prenatal organizational effects of testosterone may modulate striatally-based dopaminergic circuits in such a way as to place boys at greater risk for early developing inattention and disruptive behavioral disorders. Second, activational effects of estradiol at puberty may modulate amygdalar and other circuitry, with particular effects on serotoninergic pathways, in such a way as to place girls at greater risk for internalizing and mood disorders. Hypotheses from these theories are evaluated based on the current available literature, and limitations of, and future directions for, this literature are discussed.
hormones; Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Major Depressive Disorder (MDD); organizational; activational
Patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) require an early, tailored approach best guided by knowledge of the bleeding lesion, especially a variceal versus a nonvariceal source.
To identify, by investigating a large national registry, variables that would be predictive of a variceal origin of UGIB using clinical parameters before endoscopic evaluation.
A retrospective study was conducted in 21 Canadian hospitals during the period from January 2004 until the end of May 2005. Consecutive charts for hospitalized patients with a primary or secondary discharge diagnosis of UGIB were reviewed. Data regarding demographics, including historical, physical examination, initial laboratory investigations, endoscopic and pharmacological therapies administered, as well as clinical outcomes, were collected. Multivariable logistic regression modelling was performed to identify clinical predictors of a variceal source of bleeding.
The patient population included 2020 patients (mean [± SD] age 66.3±16.4 years; 38.4% female). Overall, 215 (10.6%) were found to be bleeding from upper gastrointestinal varices. Among 26 patient characteristics, variables predicting a variceal source of bleeding included history of liver disease (OR 6.36 [95% CI 3.59 to 11.3]), excessive alcohol use (OR 2.28 [95% CI 1.37 to 3.77]), hematemesis (OR 2.65 [95% CI 1.61 to 4.36]), hematochezia (OR 3.02 [95% CI 1.46 to 6.22]) and stigmata of chronic liver disease (OR 2.49 [95% CI 1.46 to 4.25]). Patients treated with antithrombotic therapy were more likely to experience other causes of hemorrhage (OR 0.44 [95% CI 0.35 to 0.78]).
Presenting historical and physical examination data, and initial laboratory tests carry significant predictive ability in discriminating variceal versus nonvariceal sources of bleeding.
Chronic liver disease; Esophageal varices; Gastrointestinal hemorrhages; Hematemesis; Melena
Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) refers to the mobilization of cholesterol on HDL particles (HDL-C) from extravascular tissues to plasma, ultimately for fecal excretion. Little is known about how HDL-C leaves peripheral tissues to reach plasma. We first used 2 models of disrupted lymphatic drainage from skin — 1 surgical and the other genetic — to quantitatively track RCT following injection of [3H]-cholesterol–loaded macrophages upstream of blocked or absent lymphatic vessels. Macrophage RCT was markedly impaired in both models, even at sites with a leaky vasculature. Inhibited RCT was downstream of cholesterol efflux from macrophages, since macrophage efflux of a fluorescent cholesterol analog (BODIPY-cholesterol) was not altered by impaired lymphatic drainage. We next addressed whether RCT was mediated by lymphatic vessels from the aortic wall by loading the aortae of donor atherosclerotic Apoe-deficient mice with [2H]6-labeled cholesterol and surgically transplanting these aortae into recipient Apoe-deficient mice that were treated with anti-VEGFR3 antibody to block lymphatic regrowth or with control antibody to allow such regrowth. [2H]-Cholesterol was retained in aortae of anti–VEGFR3-treated mice. Thus, the lymphatic vessel route is critical for RCT from multiple tissues, including the aortic wall. These results suggest that supporting lymphatic transport function may facilitate cholesterol clearance in therapies aimed at reversing atherosclerosis.