The timing of referral to a nephrologist may influence the outcome of chronic kidney disease patients, but its impact has not been evaluated thoroughly. The results of a recent study showing an association between early referral and patient survival are still being debated. A total of 1028 patients newly diagnosed as end-stage renal disease (ESRD) from July 2008 to October 2011 were enrolled. Early referral (ER) was defined as patients meeting with a nephrologist more than a year before dialysis and dialysis education were provided, and all others were considered late referral (LR). The relationship of referral pattern with mortality in ESRD patients was explored using a Cox proportional hazards regression models. Time from referral to dialysis was significantly longer in 599 ER patients than in 429 LR patients (62.3±58.9 versus 2.9±3.4 months, P<0.001). Emergency HD using a temporary vascular catheter was required in 485 (47.2%) out of all patients and in 262 (43.7%) of ER compared with 223 (52.0%) of LR (P = 0.009). After 2 years of follow-up, the survival rate in ER was better than that in LR (hazard ratio [HR] 2.38, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.27–4.45, P = 0.007). In patients with diabetes nephropathy, patient survival was also significantly higher in ER than in LR (HR 4.74, 95% CI 1.73–13.00, P = 0.002). With increasing age, HR also increased. Timely referral to a nephrologist in the predialytic stage is associated with reduced mortality.
Air pollution’s mortality effects may differ by subpopulation; however, few studies have investigated this issue in Asia. We investigated susceptibility to air pollutants on total, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality in Seoul, Korea for the period 2000 – 2007. We applied time-stratified case-crossover analysis, which allows direct modeling of interaction terms, to estimate susceptibility based on sex, age, education, marital status, and occupation. An interquartile range increase in pollution was associated with odds ratios of 0.94 (95% confidence interval, 0.25 – 1.62), 2.27 (1.03–3.53), 1.94 (0.80 – 3.09), and 2.21 (1.00 – 3.43) for total mortality and 1.95 (0.64 – 3.27), 4.82 (2.18 – 7.54), 3.64 (1.46 – 5.87), and 4.32 (1.77 – 6.92) for cardiovascular mortality for PM10, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide (CO), respectively. Ozone effect estimates were positive, but not statistically significant. Results indicate that some populations are more susceptible than others. For total or cardiovascular mortality, associations were higher for males, those 65 – 74 years, and those with no education or manual occupation for some pollutants. For example, the odds ratio for SO2 and cardiovascular mortality was 1.19 (1.03 – 1.37) times higher for those with manual occupations than professional occupations. Our findings provide evidence that some populations are more susceptible to the effects of air pollution than others, which has implications for public policy and risk assessment for susceptible subpopulations.
air pollution; effect modifiers; mortality; time-stratified case–crossover analysis; susceptible subpopulations
Soon after the first novel influenza A (H1N1) death was documented in Korea on August 15, 2009, prompt treatment with antiviral drugs was recommended when an infection was suspected. Free antiviral drugs were distributed to patients who met the case definition in the treatment guidelines, and patients prescribed the antiviral drugs were included in the Antiviral Drug Surveillance System (ADSS). A total of 2,825,821 patients were reported to the ADSS from September 1 to December 31, 2009. Odds ratios were calculated to compare the risks of severe diseases, as indicated by general hospital admissions or intensive care unit (ICU) admissions according to demographic characteristics, underlying medical conditions, and behavioral factors. Approximately 6% of the total population received antiviral drugs during the study period. Of these, 2,709,611 (95.9%) were outpatients, 114,840 (4.06%) were hospitalized, and 1,370 (0.05%) were admitted to the ICU. Children aged 0–9 yr accounted for 33.94% of all reported cases, whereas only 3.89% of the patients were ≥ 60 yr. The estimated incidence of novel influenza A (H1N1) during the pandemic was 5.68/100 of all reported cases. Mortality due to influenza A (H1N1) during the pandemic was 0.33/100,000, with the highest mortality of 1.31/100,000 for patients aged ≥ 60 years. Severe pandemic H1N1 influenza was associated with the presence of one or more underlying medical conditions in elderly aged ≥ 60 years and with lower economic status. Moreover, influenza A (H1N1) appeared to be age-specific in terms of mortality. Although the incidence and admission rates of influenza A (H1N1) were higher in younger age groups, fatal cases were much more likely to occur in the elderly (≥60 years). In contrast to earlier influenza A (H1N1) reports, the risks of a severe outcome were elevated among those who were underweight (body mass index < 18.5 kg/m2).
Background: Although the effect of air pollution on various diseases has been extensively investigated, few studies have examined its effect on depression.
Objectives: We investigated the effect of air pollution on symptoms of depression in an elderly population.
Methods: We enrolled 537 participants in the study who regularly visited a community center for the elderly located in Seoul, Korea. The Korean version of the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form (SGDS-K) was used to evaluate depressive symptomatology during a 3-year follow-up study. We associated ambient air pollutants with SGDS-K results using generalized estimating equations (GEE). We also conducted a factor analysis with items on the SGDS-K to determine which symptoms were associated with air pollution.
Results: SGDS-K scores were positively associated with interquartile range (IQR) increases in the 3-day moving average concentration of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 10 μm (PM10) [17.0% increase in SGDS-K score, 95% confidence interval (CI): 4.9%, 30.5%], the 0–7 day moving average of nitrogen dioxide [NO2; 32.8% (95% CI: 12.6%, 56.6%)], and the 3-day moving average of ozone [O3; 43.7% (95% CI: 11.5%, 85.2%)]. For these three pollutants, factor analysis showed that air pollution was more strongly associated with emotional symptoms such as feeling happy and satisfied than with somatic or affective symptoms.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that increases in PM10, NO2, and O3 may increase depressive symptoms among the elderly. Of the symptoms evaluated, ambient air pollution was most strongly associated with emotional symptoms.
air pollution; depressive symptoms; elderly; factor analysis; panel study
Only a few large-scale studies have investigated the association between health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and renal function. Moreover, the HRQOL of patients with moderate renal dysfunction is frequently underestimated by healthcare providers. This study assessed the impact of renal function on preference-based HRQOL in Korean adult population.
We analyzed data for 5,555 adults from the 3rd Korean National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey 2005. The EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) utility score was used to evaluate HRQOL. The study subjects were stratified into three groups based on their estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs): ≥ 90.0, 60.0-89.9 and 30.0-59.9 mL/min/1.73 m2. Individuals with advanced renal dysfunction were excluded from the analysis.
The proportions of participants who reported problems in each of the five EQ-5D dimensions increased significantly with decreasing eGFR. However, a significant decrease in the EQ-5D utility score was observed among participants with an eGFR of 30.0-59.9 mL/min/1.73 m2. Participants with an eGFR of 30.0-59.9 mL/min/1.73 m2 had an almost 1.5-fold higher risk of impaired health utility (the lowest quartile of EQ-5D utility score) compared with those participants with eGFRs ≥ 90.0 mL/min/1.73 m2, after adjustment for age, gender, health-related behaviors, socioeconomic and psychological variables, and other comorbidities. Among the five dimensions of the EQ-5D, an eGFR of 30.0-59.9 mL/min/1.73 m2 was an independent determinant of self-reported problems in the mobility and pain/discomfort dimensions.
Although age affects the association between renal dysfunction and the EQ-5D, moderate renal dysfunction seems to be an important determinant of impaired health utility in a general population and may affect the mobility and pain/discomfort dimensions of health utility.
Chronic kidney disease; EuroQol-5D; Preference-based health utility
Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis are typically treated with vancomycin or metronidazole, but recent increases in relapse incidence and the emergence of drug-resistant strains of C. difficile indicate the need for new antibiotics. We previously isolated coprisin, an antibacterial peptide from Copris tripartitus, a Korean dung beetle, and identified a nine-amino-acid peptide in the α-helical region of it (LLCIALRKK) that had antimicrobial activity (J.-S. Hwang et al., Int. J. Pept., 2009, doi:10.1155/2009/136284). Here, we examined whether treatment with a coprisin analogue (a disulfide dimer of the nine peptides) prevented inflammation and mucosal damage in a mouse model of acute gut inflammation established by administration of antibiotics followed by C. difficile infection. In this model, coprisin treatment significantly ameliorated body weight decreases, improved the survival rate, and decreased mucosal damage and proinflammatory cytokine production. In contrast, the coprisin analogue had no apparent antibiotic activity against commensal bacteria, including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are known to inhibit the colonization of C. difficile. The exposure of C. difficile to the coprisin analogue caused a marked increase in nuclear propidium iodide (PI) staining, indicating membrane damage; the staining levels were similar to those seen with bacteria treated with a positive control for membrane disruption (EDTA). In contrast, coprisin analogue treatment did not trigger increases in the nuclear PI staining of Bifidobacterium thermophilum. This observation suggests that the antibiotic activity of the coprisin analogue may occur through specific membrane disruption of C. difficile. Thus, these results indicate that the coprisin analogue may prove useful as a therapeutic agent for C. difficile infection-associated inflammatory diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis.
A 66-year-old female presented with a 1-month history of dyspepsia. An initial upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with biopsy revealed a low-grade mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. A rapid urease test was positive for Helicobacter pylori. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and computed tomography (CT) revealed a 30×15-mm lymph node (LN) in the subcarinal area. Histopathologic and phenotypic analyses of the biopsy specimens obtained by EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration revealed a MALT lymphoma, and the patient was diagnosed with a stage 4E gastric MALT lymphoma. One year after H. pylori eradication, the lesion had disappeared, as demonstrated by endoscopy with biopsy, CT, fusion whole-body positron emission tomography, and EUS. Here, we describe a patient with gastric MALT lymphoma that metastasized to the mediastinal LN and regressed following H. pylori eradication.
Marginal zone B-cell lymphoma; Stomach
Glial cells are involved in immune and inflammatory responses in the central nervous system (CNS). Glial cells such as microglia and astrocytes also provide structural and functional support for neurons. Migration and morphological changes of CNS cells are associated with their physiological as well as pathological functions. The secreted protein lipocalin-2 (LCN2) has been previously implicated in regulation of diverse cellular processes of glia and neurons, including cell migration and morphology.
Here, we employed a zebrafish model to analyze the role of LCN2 in CNS cell migration and morphology in vivo. In the first part of this study, we examined the indirect effect of LCN2 on cell migration and morphology of microglia, astrocytes, and neurons cultured in vitro.
Conditioned media collected from LCN2-treated astrocytes augmented migration of glia and neurons in the Boyden chamber assay. The conditioned media also increased the number of neuronal processes. Next, in order to further understand the role of LCN2 in the CNS in vivo, LCN2 was ectopically expressed in the zebrafish spinal cord. Expression of exogenous LCN2 modulated neuronal cell migration in the spinal cord of zebrafish embryos, supporting the role of LCN2 as a cell migration regulator in the CNS.
Thus, LCN2 proteins secreted under diverse conditions may play an important role in CNS immune and inflammatory responses by controlling cell migration and morphology.
LCN2; Glia; Cell migration; Neuroinflammation; Central nervous system; Spinal cord
This study was designed to describe the trends in body mass index (BMI) during 6 years (2002 - 2008) and to identify associations between these trends and the amount of physical activity of South Korean career soldiers.
This study targeted the 40 993 (38 857 men and 2136 women) of the 58 657 career soldiers who had undergone four (2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008) biennial medical examinations conducted by the National Health Insurance Corporation; 17 664 soldiers with missing data on height, weight, and physical activity were excluded. A linear mixed-regression model was used to categorize changes in BMI due to age versus those due to amount of physical activity.
Career soldiers experienced significant increases in BMI compared with baseline data gathered in 2002. The increases in each age group were as follows: men aged 20- 29: 1.16, men aged 30 - 39: 0.61, men aged 40 - 49: 0.05, women aged 20- 29: 0.35, women aged 30- 39: 0.30, women aged 40-49: 0.26, and women aged 50- 59: 0.21. However, men aged 50 or older showed significant decreases (as high as 0.5) in BMI compared with baseline data obtained in 2002. They also experienced significant decreases in BMI compared with those who reported no physical activity. The differences between baseline and final BMIs were: 0.02 for men exercising 1- 2 times per week, -0.07 for men exercising 3-4 times per week, -0.19 for men exercising 5-6 times per week, -0.21 for men exercising seven times per week, -0.05 for women exercising 1- 2 times per week, -0.19 for women exercising 3- 4 times per week, -0.30 for women exercising 5-6 times per week, and -0.30 for women exercising seven times per week.
Obesity in South Korean career soldiers increased markedly between 2002 and 2008, and our data showed that the amount of physical activity was inversely related to increases in BMI. Policies to prevent obesity are needed to reduce this trend.
Obesity; BMI; Trend; Career soldier; Physical activity; Exercise
Within the vertebrate nervous system, myelination is required for the normal function of neurons by facilitating the rapid conduction of action potentials along axons. Oligodendrocytes are glial cells which myelinate axons in the central nervous system. Disruption of myelination and remyelination failure can cause human diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Despite the importance of myelination, the molecular basis of oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination are still poorly understood. To understand the molecular mechanisms which regulate oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination, novel genes were identified using a microarray analysis. The analysis used oligodendrocyte lineage cells isolated from transgenic zebrafish expressing fluorescent proteins in the oligodendrocyte lineage cells. Seven genes not previously known to be involved in oligodendrocyte differentiation were identified, and their expression during oligodendrocyte development was validated.
oligodendrocyte; differentiation; myelination; microarray; zebrafish
We examined time trend and age-period-cohort effects on acute myocardial infarction (AMI) mortality in Korean adults from 1988 to 2007. Annual AMI mortality data and population statistics from 1988 to 2007 were obtained from the STATISTICS KOREA website. Age adjusted mortality for four 5-yr calendar periods (1988-1992 to 2003-2007) was calculated by direct standardization using the Year 2000 WHO world standard population. A log-linear Poisson regression model was used to estimate age, period, and cohort effects on AMI mortality. In both genders, age-adjusted AMI mortality increased from period one (1988-1992) to period three (1998-2002) but decreased in period four (2003-2007). An exponential age effect was noted in both genders. The rate ratio of the cohort effect increased up to the 1943 birth cohort and decreased gradually thereafter, and the rate ratio of the period effect increased up to period three (1998-2002) and decreased thereafter. Our results suggest that AMI mortality in Korean adults has decreased since the period 1998-2002 and age, period, and cohort effects have influenced on AMI mortality.
Myocardial infarction; Mortality; Trends
It has recently been postulated that low mortality levels in the previous winter may increase the proportion of vulnerable individuals in the pool of people at risk of heat-related death during the summer months.
We explored the sensitivity of heat-related mortality in summer (June–August) to mortality in the previous winter (December–February) in Seoul, Daegu, and Incheon in South Korea, from 1992 through 2007, excluding the summer of 1994.
Poisson regression models adapted for time-series data were used to estimate associations between a 1°C increase in average summer temperature (on the same day and the previous day) above thresholds specific for city, age, and cause of death, and daily mortality counts. Effects were estimated separately for summers preceded by winters with low and high mortality, with adjustment for secular trends.
Temperatures above city-specific thresholds were associated with increased mortality in all three cities. Associations were stronger in summers preceded by winters with low versus high mortality levels for all nonaccidental deaths and, to a lesser extent, among persons ≥ 65 years of age. Effect modification by previous-winter mortality was not evident when we restricted deaths to cardiovascular disease outcomes in Seoul.
Our results suggest that low winter all-cause mortality leads to higher mortality during the next summer. Evidence of a relation between increased summer heat-related mortality and previous wintertime deaths has the potential to inform public health efforts to mitigate effects of hot weather.
high temperature; mortality; preventive heath services; South Korea; weather
Phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PtdInsPs) are ubiquitous membrane phospholipids that play diverse roles in cell growth and differentiation. To clarify the regulation mechanism acting on neurofilament light chain (NF-L) self assembly, we examined the effects of various PtdInsPs on this process. We found that PtdInsPs, including PI(4,5)P2, directly bind to the positively charged Arg54 of murine NF-L, and this binding promotes NF-L self assembly in vitro. Mutant NF-L (R53A/R54A) proteins lacking binding affinity to PtdInsPs did not have the same effect, but the mutant NF-L proteins showed greater self assembly than the wild-type in the absence of any PtdInsP. These results collectively suggest that Arg54 plays a pivotal role in NF-L self assembly by binding with PtdInsPs.
neurofilament protein L; phosphatidylinositol phosphates; phospholipase Cγ
To investigate the prevalence of asthma and determine its risk factors in elementary school students in Seoul.
A modified International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire was used to survey 4,731 elementary school students from five areas in Seoul between April and October, 2008.
In elementary school children, the lifetime and recent 12-month prevalence of wheezing were 11.7% and 5.6%, respectively. The lifetime prevalence of asthma diagnosis was 7.9%, and the recent 12-month prevalence of asthma treatment was 2.7%. Male sex (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36-2.66), history of atopic dermatitis (AD) (aOR, 2.76; 95% CI, 1.98-3.84), history of allergic rhinitis (AR) (aOR, 3.71; 95% CI, 2.61-5.26), history of bronchiolitis before 2 years of age (aOR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.39-3.07), use of antibiotics during infancy for >3 days (aOR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.35-2.62), parental history of asthma (aOR, 2.83; 95% CI, 1.52-5.27), exposure to household molds during infancy (aOR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.18-2.89), and the development or aggravation of asthma symptoms within 6 months after moving to a new house (aOR, 11.76; 95% CI, 5.35-25.86) were the independent risk factors for wheezing within 12 months.
The prevalence of wheezing and asthma in elementary school students in 2008 was similar to that in the past decade. Male sex, history of AD, history of AR, history of bronchiolitis before 2 years of age, parental asthma, use of antibiotics during infancy, exposure to molds in the house during infancy, and development or aggravation of asthma symptoms within 6 months after moving to a new house, could be risk factors for wheezing within 12 months.
Asthma; prevalence; risk factor; childhood
C. difficile toxin A impairs tight junction function of colonocytes by glucosylation of Rho family proteins causing actin filament disaggregation and cell rounding. We investigated the effect of toxin A on focal contact formation by assessing its action on focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the adapter protein paxillin. Exposure of NCM460 human colonocytes to toxin A for 1 hour resulted in complete dephosphorylation of FAK and paxillin, while protein tyrosine phosphatase activity was reduced. Blockage of toxin A-associated glucosyltransferase activity by co-incubation with UDP 2′3′dialdehyde did not reduce toxin A-induced FAK and paxillin dephosphorylation. GST-pull down and in vitro kinase activity experiments demonstrated toxin A binding directly to the catalytic domain of Src with suppression of its kinase activity. Direct binding of toxin A to Src, independent of any effect on protein tyrosine phosphatase or Rho glucosylation, inhibits Src kinase activity followed by FAK/paxillin inactivation. These mechanisms may contribute to toxin A-inhibition of colonocyte focal adhesion that occurs in human colonic epithelium exposed to toxin A.
To evaluate whether candidate genes in innate immunity are associated with childhood leukemia, we conducted an association study with the 1,536 SNPs in 203 genes related to innate immunity.
Incident childhood leukemia cases (n=136) aged from 0 to 18 were recruited from three teaching hospitals in Seoul between 2003 and 2006. Non-cancer controls (n=140) were frequency-matched to cases by age and gender. The information on the characteristics of children and their parents were collected by trained interviewers using structured questionnaire. Candidate genes were selected based on SNP databases (CGAP and SNP500 database), and genotype assay was performed using GoldenGate (Illumina) oligonucleotide pool assay (OPA). False discovery rate (FDR), permutation test, and haplotype analyses were used to identify the SNP with significant association with childhood leukemia. Childhood leukemia risk was estimated as ORs and 95% CIs adjusted for age, gender and birth weight.
Fourteen SNPs in 13 genes (LMAN1, TLR4, STAT4, CCR9, MBP, ZP1, C8B, XDH, C7, C1QG, FGF2, LOC390183, and STAT6) were significantly associated with childhood leukemia risk (FDR p-values <0.05). In particular, LMAN1 rs1127220, TLR4 rs11536897, STAT4 rs13020076, CCR9 rs1471962, and MBP rs10514234 were significant in 5,000 permutation tests (Permutation p-value <0.05). The most significant association with childhood leukemia risk was for the LMAN1 rs1127220 that is in the protein-coding region, this finding was also supported by haplotype analysis.
A number of innate immunity related genes are associated with childhood leukemia, suggesting possible links between the innate immunity system and development of the childhood leukemia.
Childhood Leukemia; Innate Immunity; Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
Race and ethnicity are influential in estimating glomerular filtration rate (GFR). We aimed to find the Korean coefficients for the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) study equations and to obtain novel proper estimation equations. Reference GFR was measured by systemic inulin clearance. Serum creatinine (SCr) values were measured by the alkaline picrate Jaffé kinetic method, then, recalibrated to CX3 analyzer and to isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS). The Korean coefficients for the 4 and 6 variable MDRD and IDMS MDRD study equations based on the SCr recalibrated to CX3 and to IDMS were 0.73989/0.74254 and 0.99096/0.9554, respectively. Coefficients for the 4 and 6 variable MDRD equations based on the SCr measured by Jaffé method were 1.09825 and 1.04334, respectively. The modified equations showed better performances than the original equations. The novel 4 variable equations for Korean based on the SCr measured and recalibrated to IDMS were 107.904×SCr-1.009×age-0.02 (×0.667, if woman) and 87.832×SCr-0.882×age0.01 (×0.653, if woman), respectively. Modified estimations of the MDRD and IDMS MDRD study equations with ethnic coefficients and the novel equations improve the performance of GFR estimation for the overall renal function.
Coefficient; Glomerular Filtration Rate; Inulin Clearance; Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study
CD147, as a receptor for Cyclophilins, is a multifunctional transmembrane glycoprotein. In order to identify genes that are induced by activation of CD147, THP-1 cells were stimulated with Cyclophilin A and differentially expressed genes were detected using PCR-based analysis. Interferon-induced transmembrane 1 (IFITM1) was detected to be induced and it was confirmed by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. CD147-induced expression of IFITM1 was blocked by inhibitors of ERK, PI3K, or NF-κB, but not by inhibitors of p38, JNK, or PKC. IFITM1 appears to mediate inflammatory activation of THP-1 cells since cross-linking of IFITM1 with specific monoclonal antibody against it induced the expression of proinflammatory mediators such as IL-8 and MMP-9. These data indicate that IFITM1 is one of the pro-inflammatory mediators that are induced by signaling initiated by the activation of CD147 in macrophages and activation of ERK, PI3K, and NF-κB is required for the expression of IFITM1.
This study was conducted to evaluate the modes of transmission of aseptic meningitis (AM) and hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) using a case-control and a case-crossover design. We recruited 205 childhood AM and 116 HFMD cases and 170 non-enteroviral disease controls from three general hospitals in Gyeongju, Pohang, and Seoul between May and August in both 2002 and 2003. For the case-crossover design, we established the hazard and non-hazard periods as week one and week four before admission, respectively. In the case-control design, drinking water that had not been boiled, not using a water purifier, changes in water quality, and contact with AM patients were significantly associated with the risk of AM (odds ratio [OR]=2.8, 2.9, 4.6, and 10.9, respectively), while drinking water that had not been boiled, having a non-water closet toilet, changes in water quality, and contact with HFMD patients were associated with risk of HFMD (OR=3.3, 2.8, 6.9, and 5.0, respectively). In the case-crossover design, many life-style variables such as contact with AM or HFMD patients, visiting a hospital, changes in water quality, presence of a skin wound, eating out, and going shopping were significantly associated with the risk of AM (OR=18.0, 7.0, 8.0, 2.2, 22.3, and 3.0, respectively) and HFMD (OR=9.0, 37.0, 11.0, 12.0, 37.0, and 5.0, respectively). Our findings suggest that person-to-person contact and contaminated water could be the principal modes of transmission of AM and HFMD.
Meningitis, Aseptic; Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease; Disease Transmission; Waterborne Infection; Enterovirus; Epidemiology
Air pollution is known to contribute to respiratory and cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Oxidative stress has been suggested as one of the main mechanisms for these effects on health.
The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of exposure to particulate matter (PM) with aerodynamic diameters ≤ 10 μm (PM10) and ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on urinary malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in schoolchildren.
The study population consisted of 120 schoolchildren. The survey and measurements were conducted in four cities—two in China (Ala Shan and Beijing) and two in Korea (Jeju and Seoul)—between 4 and 9 June 2007. We measured daily ambient levels of PM and their metal components at the selected schools during the study period. We also measured urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) and 2-naphthol, to assess PAH exposure, and MDA, to assess oxidative stress. Measurements were conducted once a day for 5 consecutive days. We constructed a linear mixed model after adjusting for individual variables to estimate the effects of PM and PAH on oxidative stress.
We found statistically significant increases in urinary MDA levels with ambient PM concentrations from the current day to the 2 previous days (p < 0.0001). Urinary 1-OHP level also showed a positive association with urinary MDA level, which was statistically significant with or without PM in the model (p < 0.05). Outdoor PM and urinary 1-OHP were synergistically associated with urinary MDA levels. Some metals bound to PM10 (aluminum, iron, strontium, magnesium, silicon, arsenic, barium, zinc, copper, and cadmium) and PM2.5 (magnesium, iron, strontium, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, aluminum, mercury, barium, and copper) also had significant associations with urinary MDA level.
Exposure to PM air pollution and PAHs was associated with oxidative stress in schoolchildren.
children; metal; oxidative stress; PAH; panel study; particulate matter
During vertebrate neural development, many dividing neuroepithelial precursors adopt features of radial glia, which are now known to also serve as neural precursors. In mammals, most radial glia do not persist past early postnatal stages, whereas zebrafish maintain large numbers of radial glia into adulthood. The mechanisms that maintain and specify radial glia for different fates are still poorly understood. We investigated formation of radial glia in the spinal cord of zebrafish and the role of Notch signaling in their maintenance and specification. We found that spinal cord precursors begin to express gfap+, a marker of radial glia, during neurogenesis and that gfap cells give rise to both neurons and oligodendrocytes. We also determined that Notch signaling is continuously required during embryogenesis to maintain radial glia, limit motor neuron formation and permit oligodendrocyte development, but that radial glia seem to be refractory to changes in Notch activity in postembryonic animals.
spinal cord; oligodendrocyte; motor neuron; radial glia; zebrafish transgenic; Notch
CD147, as a cellular receptor for cyclophilin A (CypA), is a multifunctional protein involved in tumor invasion, inflammation, tissue remodeling, neural function, and reproduction. Recent observations showing the expression of CD147 in leukocytes indicate that this molecule may have roles in inflammation.
In order to investigate the role of CD147 and its ligand in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, human atherosclerotic plaques were analyzed for the expression pattern of CD147 and CypA. The cellular responses and signaling molecules activated by the stimulation of CD147 were then investigated in the human macrophage cell line, THP-1, which expresses high basal level of CD147 on the cell surface.
Staining of both CD147 and CypA was detected in endothelial cell layers facing the lumen and macrophage-rich areas. Stimulation of CD147 with its specific monoclonal antibody induced the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 in THP-1 cells and it was suppressed by inhibitors of both ERK and NF-κB. Accordingly, the stimulation of CD147 was observed to induce phosphorylation of ERK, phosphorylation-associated degradation of IκB, and nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 and p50 subunits.
These results suggest that CD147 mediates the inflammatory activation of macrophages that leads to the induction of MMP-9 expression, which could play a role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis.
macrophage; atherosclerosis; inflammation; CD147; cyclophilin A
Clostridium difficile toxin A (TxA), a key mediator of antibiotic-associated colitis, requires binding to a cell surface receptor prior to internalization. Our aim was to identify novel plasma membrane TxA binding proteins on human colonocytes. TxA was coupled with biotin and cross-linked to the surface of HT29 human colonic epithelial cells. The main colonocyte binding protein for TxA was identified as glycoprotein 96 (gp96) by coimmunoprecipitation and mass spectrum analysis. gp96 is a member of the heat shock protein family, which is expressed on human colonocyte apical membranes as well as in the cytoplasm. TxA binding to gp96 was confirmed by fluorescence immunostaining and in vitro coimmunoprecipitation. Following TxA binding, the TxA-gp96 complex was translocated from the cell membrane to the cytoplasm. Pretreatment with gp96 antibody decreased TxA binding to colonocytes and inhibited TxA-induced cell rounding. Small interfering RNA directed against gp96 reduced gp96 expression and cytotoxicity in colonocytes. TxA-induced inflammatory signaling via p38 and apoptosis as measured by activation of BAK (Bcl-2 homologous antagonist/killer) and DNA fragmentation were decreased in gp96-deficient B cells. We conclude that human colonocyte gp96 serves as a plasma membrane binding protein that enhances cellular entry of TxA, participates in cellular signaling events in the inflammatory cascade, and facilitates cytotoxicity.
Since most multipoint linkage analysis programs currently assume linkage equilibrium (LE) between markers when inferring parental haplotypes, ignoring linkage disequilibrium (LD) may inflate the Type I error rate. We investigated the effect of LD on the Type I error rate and power of nonparametric multipoint linkage analysis of two-generation and multigenerational multiplex families. Using genome wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from the Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA), we modified the original dataset into 30 total data sets in order to consider 6 different patterns of missing data for 5 different levels of SNP density. To assess power, we designed simulated traits based on existing marker genotypes. For the Type I error rate, we simulated 1,000 qualitative traits from random distributions, unlinked to any of the marker data. Overall, the different levels of SNP density examined here had only small effects on power (except sibpair data). Missing data had a substantial effect on power, with more completely genotyped pedigrees yielding the highest power (except sibpair data). Most of the missing data patterns did not cause large increases in the Type I error rate if the SNP markers were more than 0.3 cM apart. However, in a dense 0.25 cM map, removing genotypes on founders and/or founders and parents in the middle generation caused substantial inflation of the Type I error rate, which corresponded to the increasing proportion of persons with missing data. Results also showed that long high-LD blocks have severe effects on Type I error rates.
SNPs; Type I error rate; False Positives; Linkage Disequilibrium; Pedigree Structure
The relationship between stroke and air pollution has not been adequately studied. We conducted a time-series study to examine the evidence of an association between air pollutants and stroke over 4 years (January 1995-December 1998) in Seoul, Korea. We used a generalized additive model to regress daily stroke death counts for each pollutant, controlling for seasonal and long-term trends and meteorologic influences, such as temperature, relative humidity, and barometric pressure. We observed an estimated increase of 1.5% [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.3-1.8%] and 2.9% (95% CI, 0.3-5.5%) in stroke mortality for each interquartile range increase in particulate matter < 10 microm aerodynamic diameter (PM(10)) and ozone concentrations in the same day. Stroke mortality also increased 3.1% (95% CI, 1.1-5.1%) for nitrogen dioxide, 2.9% (95% CI, 0.8-5.0%) for sulfur dioxide, and 4.1% (95% CI, 1.1-7.2%) for carbon monoxide in a 2-day lag for each interquartile range increase in single-pollutant models. When we examined the associations among PM(10) levels stratified by the level of gaseous pollutants and vice versa, we found that these pollutants are interactive with respect to their effects on the risk of stroke mortality. We also observed that the effects of PM(10) on stroke mortality differ significantly in subgroups by age and sex. We conclude that PM(10) and gaseous pollutants are significant risk factors for acute stroke death and that the elderly and women are more susceptible to the effect of particulate pollutants.