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1.  Expression of cytokine and chemokine mRNA and secretion of tumor necrosis factor-α by gallbladder epithelial cells: Response to bacterial lipopolysaccharides 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:23.
Background
In addition to immune cells, many other cell types are known to produce cytokines. Cultured normal mouse gallbladder epithelial cells, used as a model system for gallbladder epithelium, were examined for their ability to express the mRNA of various cytokines and chemokines in response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide. The synthesis and secretion of the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) protein by these cells was also measured.
Results
Untreated mouse gallbladder cells expressed mRNA for TNF-α, RANTES, and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2). Upon treatment with lipopolysaccharide, these cells now produced mRNA for Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and showed increased expression of TNF-α and MIP-2 mRNA. Untreated mouse gallbladder cells did not synthesize TNF-α protein; however, they did synthesize and secrete TNF-α upon treatment with lipopolysaccharide.
Methods
Cells were treated with lipopolysaccharides from 3 strains of bacteria. Qualitative and semi-quantitative RT-PCR, using cytokine or chemokine-specific primers, was used to measure mRNA levels of TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, KC, RANTES, MCP-1, and MIP-2. TNF-α protein was measured by immunoassays.
Conclusion
This research demonstrates that gallbladder epithelial cells in response to lipopolysaccharide exposure can alter their cytokine and chemokine RNA expression pattern and can synthesize and secrete TNFα protein. This suggests a mechanism whereby gallbladder epithelial cells in vivo may mediate gallbladder secretory function, inflammation and diseases in an autocrine/paracrine fashion by producing and secreting cytokines and/or chemokines during sepsis.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-23
PMCID: PMC130965  PMID: 12377103
2.  Adenosine preconditioning attenuates hepatic reperfusion injury in the rat by preventing the down-regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:22.
Background
Previous work has suggested that in the liver, adenosine preconditioning is mediated by nitric oxide. Whether the endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase plays a part in this mechanism has however not yet been investigated.
Methods
Wistar rats were used (6 in each group) – Groups: (1) sham, (2) ischemia-reperfusion, (3) adenosine + ischemia-reperfusion, (4) endothelial isoform inhibitor + adenosine + ischemia-reperfusion.
Results
Using immunohistochemistry, this study has revealed a decrease in the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase following hepatic ischemia-reperfusion. This was prevented by adenosine pre-treatment. When an inhibitor of endothelial nitric oxide synthase was administered prior to adenosine pre-treatment, pre-conditioning did not occur despite normal expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase.
Conclusions
These findings suggest that adenosine attenuates hepatic injury by preventing the downregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase that occurs during ischemia-reperfusion.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-22
PMCID: PMC130052  PMID: 12241560
ischemia; liver; Wistar rats; immunohistochemistry; NG-Nitro-L-arginine
3.  The liver is a common non-exocrine target in primary Sjögren's syndrome: A retrospective review 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:21.
Background
The autoimmune destruction of exocrine glands that defines primary Sjögren's syndrome (1°SS) often extends to non-exocrine organs including the liver. We aimed to determine the prevalence of liver disease in patients with 1°SS and to evaluate the association of this complication with other non-exocrine features and serologic markers of autoimmunity and systemic inflammation.
Methods
We reviewed 115 charts of patients with 1°SS and further analyzed the 73 cases that fulfilled the European Epidemiology Center Criteria, seeking evidence for clinical and subclinical liver disease.
Results
Liver function tests had been determined in 59 of the 73 patients. Of those, 29 patients (49.1%) had abnormal liver function tests including 20.3% with clinically overt hepatic disease. Liver disease was the most common non-exocrine feature in this cohort. Risk factors for abnormal liver function tests were distributed similarly between the patients with and without liver disease. In 60% of patients with abnormal liver function tests no explanation for this complication was found except for 1°SS. Liver involvement was significantly more common in 1°SS patients who also had evidence of lung, kidney and hematological abnormalities. Patients with abnormal liver function tests were also more likely to have an elevated sedimentation rate and a positive anti-ENA during the course of their disease.
Conclusion
Liver involvement is a common complication in 1°SS. Its presence correlates with systemic disease. We consider that this complication should be routinely sought in patients with 1°SS, especially when a positive anti-ENA or evidence of systemic inflammation is found.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-21
PMCID: PMC128830  PMID: 12230633
4.  cagA and vacA in strains of Helicobacter pylori from ulcer and non-ulcerative dyspepsia patients 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:20.
Background
The cytotoxin associated gene A (cagA), and the vacuolating cytotoxin gene A (vacA) of Helicobacter pylori have been associated to phenotypic characteristics of virulence. The objectives of this study were to detect the presence of cagA and to characterize the allelic variants of vacA in 63 strains of H. pylori isolated from colonized individuals with different clinical outcomes.
Methods
38 strains were isolated from patients with non-ulcerative dyspepsia (NUD) and 25 were isolated from colonized individuals with peptic ulcers. The genotypic characterization was carried out utilizing PCR methodology. The presence of the cagA gene was detected using two set of primers from the middle conservative region of the cagA, and primers for the signal and middle region were used for the genotyping of vacA
Results
The presence of cagA showed similar rates in strains from peptic ulcers (60%) and NUD patients (55%). Also similar was the prevalence of the allelic form s1 of vacA between the strains obtained from ulcers or NUD patients. However, the combination cagA+/vacA s1m1 was found more frequently among the H. pylori strains from peptic ulcer patients (52%) than among strains isolated from NUD patients (26%), this difference was statistically significant (p = 0.035).
Conclusions
The presence of either cagA or the allelic variant s1 vacA alone do not have a predictive value as as a risk markers of severe gastric pathologies in the Chilean population. However, being infected by a H. pylori strain with the genotype cagA+/vacA s1m1 may be associated to an increased risk of acquiring a peptic ulcer disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-20
PMCID: PMC128829  PMID: 12223115
5.  Treatment of achalasia: the short-term response to botulinum toxin injection seems to be independent of any kind of pretreatment 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:19.
Background
It has been suggested that intrasphincteric injection of botulinum toxin (BTX) may represent an alternative therapy to balloon dilatation in achalasia. The aim of the present study was to test the effectiveness of botulinum toxin injections in achalasia patients, as assessed using lower oesophageal sphincter pressure (LOSP) and symptom scores, and to compare the response in patients with different types of pretreatment (no previous treatment, balloon dilatation, myotomy, BTX injection).
Methods
Forty patients who presented with symptomatic achalasia were treated with BTX injection (48 injections in 40 patients). Some of the patients had received prior treatment (seven with myotomy, seven with dilatation and eight with BTX). The symptoms were assessed using a global symptom score (0–10), which was evaluated before treatment, 1 week afterwards, and 1 month afterwards. Manometry was also carried out before and after treatment. Three different selections of patients were studied: all patients; untreated patients; and patients with prior BTX, dilatation, or myotomy.
Results
After BTX injection, there was a significant reduction in LOSP (before, 38.2 ± 11.3 mmHg; 1 week after, 20.5 ± 6.9 mmHg; 1 month after, 17.8 ± 6.8 mmHg; P < 0.001). The global symptom score and symptom subscores (dysphagia, regurgitation, chest pain) were significantly decreased after 1 week and 1 month. When the beneficial effects following BTX injection were compared (untreated vs. pretreated), neither changes in LOSP nor beneficial effects on the symptom scores significantly differed. After 6 months, 67.7% of all treated patients were still in symptomatic remission (subgroups: previously untreated patients, 61.5%, n = 26; prior dilatation, 71.4%, n = 7; prior myotomy, 71.4%, n = 7; prior BTX, 73.9%, n = 8).
Conclusions
BTX injection offers an alternative treatment for achalasia which is safe and can be performed in an outpatient setting. The initial response to BTX, in terms of symptom scores and LOSP, appears to be independent of any prior treatment. A number of patients do not adequately respond to balloon dilatation or myotomy, which are the first-line treatment modalities in achalasia patients. BTX injection can be performed in these patients, and symptomatic benefit can be expected in the same percentages as with BTX injection in untreated patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-19
PMCID: PMC122056  PMID: 12175425
botulinum toxin; achalasia; myotomy; balloon dilatation; treatment failure
6.  Risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection among blood donors in southern Brazil: a case-control study 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:18.
Background
In Brazil, it is estimated that between 2.5 and 4.9% of the general population present anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies, which corresponds to as many as 3.9 to 7.6 million chronic carriers. Chronic liver disease is associated with HCV infection in 20% to 58% of the Brazilian patients. The objective of this case-control study was to investigate the risk factors for presence of anti-HCV antibody in blood donors in southern Brazil.
Methods
One hundred and seventy eight blood donors with two positive ELISA results for anti-HCV were cases, and 356 controls tested negative. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect data concerning demographic and socioeconomic aspects, history of previous hepatitis infection, social and sexual behaviors, and number of donations. Variables were grouped into sets of hierarchical categories. Cases and controls were compared using logistic regression, odds ratios, and 95% confidence intervals. The statistical significance of the associations was assessed through likelihood ratio tests based on a P value < 0.05.
Results
The prevalence of anti-HCV among blood donors was 1.1%. Most of the donors were white and males. In the multivariate analysis, independent predictors of anti-HCV positivity were: intravenous drug use, blood transfusion >10 years earlier, having had two to four sexually transmitted diseases, incarceration, tattooing, sex with a hepatitis B or C virus carrier or with intravenous drug users.
Conclusion
Intravenous drug use, blood transfusion, and tattooing were the main risk factors for anti-HCV positivity among blood donors from southern Brazil, but sexual HCV transmission should also be considered.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-18
PMCID: PMC122085  PMID: 12169200
Hepatitis C; blood donors; intravenous drug abuse; blood transfusion; incarceration; risk factors
7.  Are proton pump inhibitors the first choice for acute treatment of gastric ulcers? A meta analysis of randomized clinical trials 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:17.
Background
Gastric ulcers are a frequent problem in the United States. Proton pump inhibitors have been shown to increase healing rates and improve clinical symptoms. The objective of this study is to compare gastric ulcer healing rates for patients treated with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) (omeprazole, rabeprazole, pantoprazole, or lansoprazole), an histamine 2- receptor antagonist (ranitidine) or placebo.
Methods
A literature search was conducted to identify randomized, controlled clinical trials that included a PPI in at least one treatment arm and assessed the gastric ulcer healing rates endoscopically. The healing rates were estimated for each treatment at specific time points, and Rate Ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for each trial.
Results
Sixteen trials met the inclusion criteria: four compared a PPI versus placebo, nine compared a PPI versus ranitidine (no trials of rabeprazole versus ranitidine met the inclusion criteria), and three compared a newer PPI (lansoprazole, pantoprazole or rabeprazole) versus omeprazole. In relation to ranitidine, the pooled RR of PPIs (lansoprazole, omeprazole and pantoprazole) was 1.33 (95% CI 1.24 to 1.42) at four weeks. In each trial, greater improvement in the studied clinical symptoms was found with the newer PPIs (rabeprazole, pantoprazole and lansoprazole) when compared to omeprazole.
Conclusion
In this study treatment with PPIs resulted in higher healing rates than ranitidine or placebo. This evidence suggests that the first choice for gastric ulcer treatment for the greater relief of symptoms is one of the newer PPIs.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-17
PMCID: PMC117603  PMID: 12119060
8.  Cathepsin B cleavage of the trypsinogen activation peptide 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:16.
Background
Cathepsin B is thought to play a central role in intrapancreatic trypsinogen activation and the onset of pancreatitis. A recent investigation of the cathepsin B mediated activability of wildtype trypsinogen and their mutations N29I, N29T and R122H, which are associated to hereditary pancreatitis, revealed no differences. This action seems to be restricted to the K23-I24 peptide bond, which is the trypsinogen activation bond. Here we investigated the influence of the mutations D22G and K23R of the trypsinogen activation peptide on the cleavability by cathepsin B.
Methods
To investigate the functional impact of the TAP mutations on cathepsin B mediated cleavage of the trypsinogen activating K23-I24 bond, the corresponding peptides pWT, APFDDDDKIVGG; pD22G, APFDDDGKIVGG; and pK23R, APFDDDDRIVGG were digested with cathepsin B for 30 min at pH 3.8 and 5.0, and the fragments were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography.
Results
Without cathepsin B, less than 1 % of the peptides were hydrolysed. After a 30-minute digestion with cathepsin B at pH 5, 96% of pWT, 48% of pK23R, but only 2.4% of pD22G were hydrolysed. At pH 3.8, the cathepsin B cleavage of pWT and pK23R was less than at pH 5, whereas the cleavage of pD22G was completely inhibited
Conclusions
Cathepsin B mediated trypsinogen activation seems not to be a crucial pathogenic step in hereditary pancreatitis patients with the trypsinogen mutations D22G and K23R.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-16
PMCID: PMC117221  PMID: 12102727
9.  Bouveret's syndrome complicated by distal gallstone ileus after laser lithotropsy using Holmium: YAG laser 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:15.
Background
Bouveret's syndrome is an unusual presentation of duodenal obstruction caused by the passage of a large gallstone through a cholecystoduodenal fistula. Endoscopic therapy has been used as first-line treatment, especially in patients with high surgical risk.
Case presentation
We report a 67-year-old woman who underwent an endoscopic attempt to fragment and retrieve a duodenal stone using a Holmium: Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet Laser (Ho:YAG) which resulted in small bowel obstruction. The patient successfully underwent enterolithotomy without cholecystectomy or closure of the fistula.
Conclusion
We conclude that, distal gallstone obstruction, due to migration of partially fragmented stones, can occur as a possible complication of laser lithotripsy treatment of Bouveret's syndrome and might require urgent enterolithotomy.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-15
PMCID: PMC117132  PMID: 12086587
10.  Bacterial cholangitis causing secondary sclerosing cholangitis: A case report 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:14.
Background
Although bacterial cholangitis is frequently mentioned as a cause of secondary sclerosing cholangitis, it appears to be extremely rare, with only one documented case ever reported.
Case presentation
A 48-year-old woman presented with an episode of acute biliary pancreatitis that was complicated by pancreatic abcess formation. After 3 months she had an episode of severe pyogenic (E. Coli) cholangitis that recurred over the subsequent 7 months on a further two occasions. Initially, cholangiography suggested the presence of extra-biliary intrahepatic abcesses while repeated investigations demonstrated development of multiple segmental biliary duct strictures. After maintenance antibiotic treatment was started, no episodes of cholangitis occurred over a 14-month period.
Conclusions
Sclerosing cholangitis can rapidly develop after an episode of bacterial cholangitis. Extra-biliary involvement of the hepatic parenchyma with abcess formation may be a risk factor for developing this rare but particularly severe complication.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-14
PMCID: PMC116430  PMID: 12057011
11.  The plasma membrane carbonic anhydrase in murine hepatocytes identified as isozyme XIV 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:13.
Background
Biochemical and histochemical studies have both previously indicated plasma membrane-associated carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity in hepatocytes which has been assumed to be CA IV. However, immunohistochemical data did not support this assignment. Recent northern blotting results indicated the presence of mRNA for the most recently discovered membrane-bound CA isozyme, CA XIV, in the liver. The present study was designed to examine whether CA XIV could contribute to the CA activity described in the hepatocytes.
Methods
Tissue samples from mouse liver were subjected to immunohistochemical staining using the antibodies raised against recombinant mouse CA XIV and CA IV. RT-PCR and western blotting were also performed for CA XIV.
Results
A strong immunofluorescent signal was observed in the plasma membrane of mouse hepatocytes. Although CA XIV was expressed on both the apical and basolateral surfaces, the staining was more prominent at the apical (canalicular) membrane domain. The expression of CA XIV in the liver was confirmed by RT-PCR and western blotting.
Conclusions
The presence of CA XIV in the hepatocyte plasma membrane places this novel enzyme at a strategic site to control pH regulation and ion transport between the hepatocytes, sinusoids and bile canaliculi.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-13
PMCID: PMC115862  PMID: 12033992
12.  13C-Urea breath test threshold calculation and evaluation for the detection of Helicobacter pylori infection in children 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:12.
Background
The 13C-urea breath test (UBT) is performed in adults and children with epigastric pain for non-invasively diagnosing a suspected H. pylori infection. Criteria for UBT interpretation have not been generally agreed on and test reliability has not been established in children of different ages. This study aimed at identifying reliable UBT thresholds in children by using 251 UBTs in conjunction with reference histology and by analyzing 1232 UBTs.
Methods
At baseline and 30 and 60 minutes after the administration of 75 mg 13C-urea to children and adolescents (0.25 to 18 years of age), the differences (Δ) of 13CO2/12CO2 ratio in exhaled air (δ) were determined by mass spectrometry. UBT Δδ value thresholds were calculated in random subgroups and evaluated in complementary subgroups using logistic regressions on reference histology or bimodal distribution analyses of Δδ values from UBTs alone.
Results
Δδ values were higher (median, 15.4‰) in positive (133/251, 53 %) than in negative histology (2.4‰). At 30 minutes, the calculated cut-off was 5.3‰ (mean regression determination R2 = 0.91), and sensitivity (0.95), specificity (0.97), positive (0.97) and negative predictive values (0.95) were higher than at 60 minutes (threshold 6.8‰, R2 = 0.85). Similar thresholds resulted from UBTs analysis (5.8‰ and 6.2‰) when sensitivity and specificity were maximized (concordance probabilities, 0.99 and 0.99). There was no systematic age effect.
Conclusions
In children, 13C UBT cut-offs were obtained and specially validated, entailing high accuracy of non-invasively testing for gastric H. pylori infection.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-12
PMCID: PMC115843  PMID: 12014996
13.  Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection in Greece: the changing prevalence during a ten-year period and its antigenic profile 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:11.
Background
To evaluate changes in H pylori infection prevalence in Greece during a ten-year period, and to examine its antigenic profile.
Methods
Three groups of patients were studied. Group O-87: Banked serum samples of 200 consecutive adult outpatients, from the Hepato-Gastroenterology clinic of a teaching hospital at Athens, collected in 1987. Group O-97: Serum samples of 201 similarly selected outpatients from the same Unit, collected in 1997. Group BD-97: Serum samples of 120 consecutive blood donors from the same hospital, collected in 1997. H pylori IgG antibody seroprevalence was studied by a quantitative ELISA. Antigenic profile was studied by western-blot IgG assay, in 62 IgG positive patients of O-97 and BD-97. Results were analyzed by conventional statistics and multivariate regression analysis.
Results
The H pylori seroprevalence increased with age in the three tested groups. In O-97, seroprevalence did not differ from that, in BD-97. On the contrary, there was a significant decrease in seropositivity between O-87 and O-97 (59.5% vs 49.2%, p = 0.039). Multiple regression analysis showed that age over 35 years (OR:3.45, 95% CI:1.59–7.49, p = 0.002) and year of patients' selection – that is 1987 or 1997 – (OR:1.73, 95% CI:1.14–2.65 for 1987, p = 0.010), were independent risk factors of H pylori infection. The seroprevalence of CagA+ and VacA+ strains was 77.4% and 58.5%, respectively, and type I(CagA+/VacA+) strains were significantly more common than type II(CagA-/VacA-) strains (59.7% vs 22.6%, p < 0.001).
Conclusions
During a ten-year period, we found a significant decrease of H pylori infection in Greece and our data support the birth cohort phenomenon as an explanation for the age-dependent increase of H pylori infection. The prevalence of CagA and/or VacA positive strains is relatively high, in a country with low incidence of gastric cancer.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-11
PMCID: PMC115842  PMID: 12014991
14.  Colonic tuberculosis mimicking Crohn's disease: case report 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:10.
Background
Intestinal tuberculosis is a rare disease in western countries, affecting mainly immigrants and immunocompromised patients. Intestinal tuberculosis is a diagnostic challenge, especially when active pulmonary infection is absent. It may mimic many other abdominal diseases.
Case presentation
Here, we report a case of isolated colonic tuberculosis where the initial diagnostic workup was suggestive of Crohn's disease. Computed tomography findings however, raised the possibility of colonic tuberculosis and the detection of acid-fast bacilli in biopsy specimens confirmed the diagnosis.
Conclusions
In conclusion, this case highlights the need for awareness of intestinal tuberculosis in the differential diagnosis of chronic intestinal disease
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-10
PMCID: PMC115203  PMID: 12019037
15.  Melatonin reduces TNF-a induced expression of MAdCAM-1 via inhibition of NF-kB. 
Background
Endothelial MAdCAM-1 (mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule-1) expression is associated with the oxidant-dependent induction and progress of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Melatonin, a relatively safe, potent antioxidant, has shown efficacy in several chronic injury models may limit MAdCAM-1 expression and therefore have a therapeutic use in IBD.
Methods
We examined how different doses of melatonin reduced endothelial MAdCAM-1 induced by TNF-a in an in vitro model of lymphatic endothelium. Endothelial monolayers were pretreated with melatonin prior to, and during an exposure, to TNF-a (1 ng/ml, 24 h), and MAdCAM-1 expression measured by immunoblotting.
Results
MAdCAM-1 was induced by TNF-a. Melatonin at concentrations over 100 μm (10-4 M) significantly attenuated MAdCAM-1 expression and was maximal at 1 mM.
Conclusions
Our data indicate that melatonin may exert therapeutic activity in IBD through its ability to inhibit NF-kB dependent induction of MAdCAM-1.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-9
PMCID: PMC111062  PMID: 12003644
16.  2, 4-Diamino-6- hydroxy pyrimidine inhibits NSAIDs induced nitrosyl-complex EPR signals and ulcer in rat jejunum 
Background
It has been suggested that one aspect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs induced intestinal damage is due to either uncoupling of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation or inhibition of electron transport. We investigated the latter possibility using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy.
Results
Electron paramagnetic studies of NSAIDS on sub-mitochondrial particles revealed that indomethacin, but not with nabumetone, bound to a site near to Complex I and ubiquinone to generate a radical species. Normal rats exhibited prominent [3Fe-4S]ox signals (g ~ 2.01) at 20 K. One hour after indomethacin there was a prominent, intense and broad absorption pattern at (g ~2.07) suggesting, appearance of radical species overlapping [3Fe-4S]ox and was unaffected by pretreatment with 2,4 diamino -6-hydroxy pyrimidine. At 24 hrs, when macroscopic ulcers were seen, there was a new signal due to a nitric oxide radical (NO•). In contrast, nabumetone and 2,4 diamino-6-hydroxy pyrimidine pre-treated animals receiving indomethacin exhibited electron paramagnetic resonance spectra identical to those of controls at 24 hrs and neither was associated with small intestinal ulcers. Indomethacin and 2,4 diamino hydroxy pyrimidine pre-treated rats, but not nabumetone, had increased intestinal permeability.
Conclusion
The results suggest that the in vivo effects of indomethacin modulate the mitochondrial respiratory chain directly at 1 h and 24 h through formation of nitric oxide. NO• appears to play an important role in the late pathogenic stages of NSAID enteropathy and may be the site for targeted treatment to reduce their toxicity.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-8
PMCID: PMC103670  PMID: 11960558
17.  Effect of Interlukin-1β on proliferation of gastric epithelial cells in culture 
Background
Helicobacter pylori is the main risk factor for the development of non-cardia gastric cancer. Increased proliferation of the gastric mucosa is a feature of H. pylori infection. Mucosal interkeukin-1β production is increased in H. pylori infection and IL-1β genotypes associated with increased pro-inflammatory activity are risk factors for the development of gastric cancer. The effect of IL-1β on gastric epithelial cell proliferation has been examined in this study.
Methods
AGS cells were cultured with IL-1β. DNA synthesis was assed by [3H]thymidine incorporation and total viable cell numbers by MTT assay.
Results
IL-1β dose dependently increased DNA synthesis and cell numbers. The enhanced proliferation was blocked by interleukin-1 receptor antagonist. Addition of neutralising antibody to GM-CSF reduced IL-1β-stimulated proliferation by 31 ± 4 %. GM-CSF alone significantly stimulated proliferation. Addition or neutralisation of IL-8 had no effect on basal or IL-1β-stimulated proliferation. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein completely blocked IL-1β-stimulated proliferation and inhibition of the extracellular signal related kinase pathway with PD 98059 inhibited IL-1β stimulated proliferation by 58 ± 5 %.
Conclusions
IL-1β stimulates proliferation in gastric epithelial cells. Autocrine stimulation by GM-CSF contributes to this proliferative response. Signalling via tyrosine kinase activity is essential to the mitogenic response to IL-1β. The extracellular signal related kinase pathway is involved in, but not essential to downstream signalling. IL-1β may contribute to the hyperproliferation seen in H. pylori- infected gastric mucosa, and be involved in the carcinogenic process.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-7
PMCID: PMC103665  PMID: 11936957
18.  Primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune cholangitis are not associated with coeliac disease in Crete 
Background
An increased prevalence of coeliac disease in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis has been recently reported. However, in other studies the association has not been confirmed. There have been no formal attempts to systematically evaluate patients with autoimmune cholangitis for coeliac disease.
Methods
Sera from 62 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, 17 with autoimmune cholangitis and 100 blood donors were screened for anti-gliadin, anti-endomysial, anti-reticulin, and IgA class antibodies to guinea pig liver-derived tissue transglutaminase. Eighteen untreated coeliacs served as methodological controls. Analyses were performed by using the χ2 and Fischer's exact tests.
Results
Anti-gliadin antibodies were detected in 21% of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, 35% of patients with autoimmune cholangitis, and 3% of controls (p < 0.001). IgA class gliadin antibodies positivity was more pronounced in patients with Scheuer's stage III-IV disease (p < 0.05). Anti-transglutaminase antibodies were detected in 10% and in 18% of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune cholangitis respectively (p < 0.001). Anti-reticulin and anti-endomysial antibodies were negative in all patients. Duodenal biopsies were performed in 59% and 71% of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune cholangitis respectively, tested positive for at least one antibody class. No histological features of coeliac disease were found.
Conclusions
We were unable to demonstrate an increased risk of coeliac disease in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune cholangitis. Our results confirm the previously reported high prevalence of false-positive anti-gliadin and guinea pig liver-derived anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies in patients with chronic liver disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-5
PMCID: PMC102761  PMID: 11914139
19.  Gastric adenocarcinoma in a patient re-infected with H. pylori after regression of MALT lymphoma with successful anti-H. pylori therapy and gastric resection: a case report 
Background
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) has been etiologically linked with primary gastric lymphoma (PGL) and gastric carcinoma (GC). There are a few reports of occurrence of both diseases in the same patient with H. pylori infection.
Case presentation
We report a patient with PGL in whom the tumor regressed after surgical resection combined with eradication of H. pylori infection. However, he developed GC on follow up; this was temporally associated with recrudescence / re-infection of H. pylori. This is perhaps first report of such occurrence.
Conclusions
Possible cause and effect relationship between H. pylori infection and both PGL and GC is discussed. This case also documents a unique problem in management of PGL in tropical countries where re-infection with H. pylori is supposed to be high.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-6
PMCID: PMC102757  PMID: 11914140
20.  Evidence for modulation of pericryptal sheath myofibroblasts in rat descending colon by Transforming Growth Factor β and Angiotensin II. 
Background
Absorption of water and Na+ in descending colonic crypts is dependent on the barrier function of the surrounding myofibroblastic pericryptal sheath. Here the effects of high and low Na+ diets and exposure to whole body ionising radiation on the growth and activation of the descending colonic pericryptal myofibroblasts are evaluated. In addition the effect of a post-irradiation treatment with the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor Captopril was investigated.
Methods
The levels of Angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1), ACE, collagen type IV, transforming growth factor-β type 1 receptor (TGF-βR1), OB cadherin and α-smooth muscle actin in both descending colon and caecum were evaluated, using immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy, in rats fed on high and low Na+ diets (LS). These parameters were also determined during 3 months post-irradiation with 8Gy from a 60Co source in the presence and absence of the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, Captopril.
Results
Increases in AT1 receptor (135.6% ± 18.3, P < 0.001); ACE (70.1% ± 13.1, P < 0.001); collagen type IV (49.6% ± 15.3, P < 0.001); TGF-β1 receptors (291.0% ± 26.5, P < 0.001); OB-cadherin (26.3% ± 13.8, P < 0.05) and α-smooth muscle actin (82.5% ± 12.4, P < 0.001) were observed in the pericryptal myofibroblasts of the descending colon after LS diet. There are also increases in AT1 receptor and TGF-β1 receptor, smooth muscle actin and collagen type IV after irradiation. Captopril reduced all these effects of irradiation on the pericryptal sheath and also decreased the amount of collagen and smooth muscle actin in control rats (P < 0.001).
Conclusions
These results demonstrate an activation of descending colonic myofibroblasts to trophic stimuli, or irradiation, which can be attenuated by Captopril, indicative of local trophic control by angiotensin II and TGF-β release.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-4
PMCID: PMC65696  PMID: 11872151
21.  A comparative study of gallstones from children and adults using FTIR spectroscopy and fluorescence microscopy 
Background
Cholelithiasis is the gallstone disease (GSD) where stones are formed in the gallbladder. The main function of the gallbladder is to concentrate bile by the absorption of water and sodium. GSD has high prevalence among elderly adults. There are three major types of gallstones found in patients, White, Black and Brown. The major chemical component of white stones is cholesterol. Black and brown stones contain different proportions of cholesterol and bilirubin. The pathogenesis of gallstones is not clearly understood. Analysis of the chemical composition of gallstones using various spectroscopic techniques offers clues to the pathogenesis of gallstones. Recent years has seen an increasing trend in the number of cases involving children. The focus of this study is on the analysis of the chemical composition of gallstones from child and adult patients using spectroscopic methods.
Methods
In this report, we present FTIR spectroscopic studies and fluorescence microscopic analysis of gallstones obtained from 67 adult and 21 child patients. The gallstones were removed during surgical operations at Soroka University Medical Center.
Results
Our results show that black stones from adults and children are rich in bilirubin. Brown stones are composed of varying amounts of bilirubin and cholesterol. Green stones removed from an adult, which is rare, was found to be composed mainly of cholesterol. Our results also indicated that cholesterol and bilirubin could be the risk factors for gallstone formation in adults and children respectively. Fluorescence micrographs showed that the Ca-bilirubinate was present in all stones in different quantities and however, Cu-bilirubinate was present only in the mixed and black stones.
Conclusions
Analysis based on FTIR suggest that the composition of black and brown stones from both children and adults are similar. Various layers of the brown stone from adults differ by having varying quantities of cholesterol and calcium carbonate. Ring patterns observed mainly in the green stone using fluorescence microscopy have relevance to the mechanism of the stone formation. Our preliminary study suggests that bilirubin and cholesterol are the main risk factors of gallstone disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-3
PMCID: PMC65695  PMID: 11872150
22.  Utility of the Mayo End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score in assessing prognosis of patients with alcoholic hepatitis 
Background
Alcoholic hepatitis is characterized by acute, or acute-on-chronic hepatic failure and associated with a high mortality. Specific therapies should be considered for those at high risk of mortality. The Mayo End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score is a marker of disease severity and mortality in persons with chronic alcoholic liver disease. Our aims were to assess the utility of the MELD score as a predictor of short-term mortality in persons with alcoholic hepatitis.
Methods
We assessed the utility of the MELD score and compared it with the Discriminant Function (DF) as a predictor of mortality in 34 patients hospitalized with alcoholic hepatitis.
Results
The area under the curve of a receiver operating characteristic curve for the MELD score was 0.82 (confidence intervals 0.65–0.98), and for the DF was 0.86 (confidence intervals 0.70–1.00). However, the sensitivity and specificity in predicting 30-day mortality for a MELD score of greater than 11 was 86% and 81%, but for a DF greater than 32 was 86% and 48% respectively. The presence of ascites and bilirubin greater than 8 mg/dL were also highly predictive of mortality with a sensitivity of 71% and a specificity of 96%.
Conclusions
Alcoholic hepatitis remains associated with a high mortality in hospitalized patients. The MELD score performs as well as the DF in predicting mortality at 30 days. A MELD score of greater than 11, or the presence of both ascites and an elevated bilirubin greater than 8 mg/dL should prompt consideration of specific therapeutic interventions to reduce mortality.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-2
PMCID: PMC65516  PMID: 11835693
23.  Assessing health-related quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, in Crete, Greece 
Background
Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) is an important outcome measure in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The aim of our study was to assess HRQoL in a population of 135 Greek patients with IBD.
Methods
A cohort of 135 patients with IBD, 81 with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 54 with Crohn's disease (CD) were enrolled in our study. Demographic and disease-related data were recorded. HRQoL was assessed by a disease-specific and a generic questionnaire, IBDQ and SF-36, respectively. Disease activity was assessed by Harvey-Bradshaw Index and the Colitis Activity Index for CD and UC patients, respectively.
Results
Among all variables recorded in our study, only disease activity had a significant effect on HRQoL. Patients with active disease scored significantly lower on both IBDQ and SF-36 when compared to those in remission. Only two among the four IBDQ dimensions, bowel and systemic, had significant ability in distinguishing best patients in remission from those with active disease.
Conclusions
IBD has a negative impact on HRQoL. Patients with active disease are more impaired than patients in remission. In our population of patients bowel and systemic dimensions had a predominant value in patients' perception of quality of life. Patients in our study using the same instrument scored higher than previously reported.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-1
PMCID: PMC65681  PMID: 11866863

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