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1.  Periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis, and adenitis (PFAPA) syndrome and IgA nephropathy 
A syndrome of periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis, and adenitis (PFAPA), as well as immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN), may be caused by autoimmune reactivity nephropathy.
A 10-year-old boy presented with periodic fever, exudative tonsillitis, oral aphthous ulcer, and cervical lymph node inflammation. These conditions had occurred at intervals of about 2–6 weeks since the age of 3 years. Microscopic hematuria, first detected at age 8 years, worsened during episodes of PFAPA-related fever; since 10 years of age, the hematuria was accompanied by sustained proteinuria. Examination of a kidney biopsy specimen led to a diagnosis of IgAN. In the kidney specimen, fractalkine immunoreactivity and heavy macrophage infiltration were prominent. Multi-drug cocktail therapy improved the urinalysis findings, and subsequent tonsillectomy succeeded in controlling recurrences of PFAPA and IgAN. In a post-treatment renal biopsy specimen, mesangial proliferation was decreased, and fractalkine immunoreactivity was absent.
Immunologic reactions against certain antigens in local mucosa, including tonsils, may be impaired in PFAPA and IgAN, as evidenced by the suppression of both diseases in our patient by tonsillectomy. Accordingly, the concurrence of PFAPA and IgAN in our patient appeared to be a consequence of shared autoimmune mechanisms and systemic and local increases in cytokine concentrations, rather than coincidence.
PMCID: PMC3505547  PMID: 22940910
2.  The effect of Lactobacillus brevis KB290 against irritable bowel syndrome: a placebo-controlled double-blind crossover trial 
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the digestive tract that causes chronic abdominal symptoms. We evaluated the effects of Lactobacillus brevis KB290 (KB290), which has been demonstrated to be effective at improving bowel movements and the composition of intestinal microflora, on IBS symptoms.
We performed a placebo control double-blind cross matched trial. Thirty-five males and females (aged 6 years and above) who had been diagnosed with IBS according to the Rome III criteria were divided into 2 groups, and after a 4-week pre-trial observation period, they were administered test capsules containing KB290 or placebo for 4 weeks (consumption period I). Then, the capsule administration was suspended for 4 weeks in both groups (washout period), before the opposite capsules were administered for a further 4 weeks (consumption period II). Fecal samples were collected on the first day of the pre-consumption observation period, the last day of consumption period I, the last day of the washout period, and the last day of consumption period II. In addition, the subjects’ IBS symptoms and quality of life (QOL) and any adverse events that they experienced were evaluated.
No significant difference in IBS symptoms was noted among the various periods. However, the mean QOL scores were improved during the test capsule consumption.
The frequencies of watery and mushy feces were significantly lower in the test capsule consumption period than during the pre-consumption observation period, and the frequency of abdominal pain was significantly reduced in the test capsule consumption period compared with the other periods.
The frequency of the genus Bifidobacterium was significantly higher, and that of the genus Clostridium was significantly lower, after the test capsule consumption than after the placebo consumption. The frequencies of the genera Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, and Enterococcus were also investigated, but no differences in their frequencies were detected between the placebo and test capsule consumption periods.
Probiotics, the safety of which has been established, are used widely in various foods and can now be purchased readily. The results of the present study suggest that KB290 is useful for early intervention in IBS.
PMCID: PMC3489517  PMID: 22863114
Irritable bowel syndrome; Lactobacillus brevis KB290; Probiotic
3.  Nonfunction of the ECT2 gene may cause renal tubulointerstitial injury leading to focal segmental glomerulosclerosis 
Secondary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) follows congenital or acquired tubulointerstitial alterations such as in Dent’s disease, Lowe syndrome, and reflux nephropathy. Failure of adequate regeneration after tubulointerstitial injury, or abnormal tubulogenesis, can disturb intrarenal blood circulation, causing excessive glomerular filtration. The epithelial cell-transforming sequence 2 gene (ECT2) contributes to tight junction function in epithelial cells.
We encountered two patients with a nonfunctioning ECT2 genotype who later developed FSGS. Both developed proteinuria associated with acute renal failure in early childhood.
Renal biopsy specimens showed marked tubulointerstitial nephritis at the onset of proteinuria, later progressing to FSGS consequent to tubulointerstitial injury. The patients did not respond to corticosteroids and attained only incomplete remission upon cyclosporine A administration. One patient received a maternal renal transplant with good function and no rejection.
ECT2 is important for tight junction function and maintenance of cell polarity. Nonfunction of this gene may cause renal tubulointerstitial injury, progressing to glomerular sclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3521645  PMID: 22552385
Hyperfiltration; Tight junction; Tubular epithelial cell; Tubulointerstitial injury

Results 1-3 (3)