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Inflammation in induced sputum after aluminium oxide exposure: an experimental chamber study. - Occupational and environmental medicine
Workers in aluminium production are exposed to a complex mixture of particles and gases potentially harmful to the airways, among them aluminium oxide (Al2O3). With the use of an exposure chamber, we aimed to examine the effects of short-term controlled exposure to Al2O3 on lung function and inflammatory markers in healthy volunteers.15 men (age 19-31) were exposed in random order to clean air or Al2O3 particles (3.8-4.0â€…mg/m(3)) for 2â€…h including 30â€…min exercise (stationary bike, 75â€…W). The permissible exposure level (PEL) for Al2O3 by Occupational Safety and Health Administration, USA, is 5â€…mg/m(3) time weighted average (TWA). Sham and particle exposures were separated by at least 2â€…weeks. Spirometry was carried out, and induced sputum and blood samples were collected 48â€…h before and 4 and 24â€…h after exposure.Levels of sputum neutrophils (mean (Â±SEM)) was increased 24â€…h post-Al2O3 vs pre-Al2O3 exposure (43% (4) vs 31% (4), p=0.01) and the protein level of interleukin (IL)-8 had a 4.8 (0.9)-fold change increase 24â€…h after exposure (p<0.01). Following Al2O3 exposure, gene signatures in sputum were significantly increased related to several pathways.The present study suggests that controlled exposure to Al2O3 particles at levels below PEL (TWA) induces airway inflammation in healthy humans marked by elevated neutrophils and elevated IL-8. In addition, increased expression of genes associated with several biological processes was observed in sputum. Interestingly, inhaled Al2O3-induced effects were localised to the airways and not systemic.Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/
Prior hospital admission predicts thirty-day hospital readmission for heart failure patients. - Cardiology journal
Hospital readmission is a significant health burden. More than 20% of heart failure (HF) patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge leading to billions of dollars in health care expenditures. However, the role of prior hospital admissions to predict 30-day readmission for heart failure (HF) patients is not fully understood.We retrospectively analyzed HF hospitalization data for 4 years at a single medical center. Association between prior admission and 30-day readmission after HF hospitalization was assessed using multivariate logistic regression model.A total of 1999 patients with index HF hospitalizations were identified, and 366 of them (18%) were readmitted within 30 days. The rate of readmission was 14%, 20%, and 33% in patients with 0, 1, â‰¥2 prior admissions. Patients with one prior admission had a 50% higher risk (CI: 1.10-2.05, p=0.011) for readmission, while those with â‰¥2 prior admission had a more than 3-fold increase in readmission (CI: 2.27-4.09, p<0.001), after adjustments for relevant clinical covariates. Prior hospital admission provided incremental value in predicting readmissions, shown by the significant improvement in the readmission predictive model (C-statistics increased from 0.57 to 0.63). However, neither the length of stay nor recency of prior admission was a significant factor in predicting readmissions.Hospital admission prior to an index heart failure hospitalization is associated with a significantly increased risk for 30-day hospital readmission and could be used to identify patients at high-risk for readmission and potentially target interventions to reduce the risk of readmission for these patients.
Shared Genetic Predisposition in Peripartum and Dilated Cardiomyopathies. - The New England journal of medicine
Background Peripartum cardiomyopathy shares some clinical features with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, a disorder caused by mutations in more than 40 genes, including TTN, which encodes the sarcomere protein titin. Methods In 172 women with peripartum cardiomyopathy, we sequenced 43 genes with variants that have been associated with dilated cardiomyopathy. We compared the prevalence of different variant types (nonsense, frameshift, and splicing) in these women with the prevalence of such variants in persons with dilated cardiomyopathy and with population controls. Results We identified 26 distinct, rare truncating variants in eight genes among women with peripartum cardiomyopathy. The prevalence of truncating variants (26 in 172 [15%]) was significantly higher than that in a reference population of 60,706 persons (4.7%, P=1.3Ã—10(-7)) but was similar to that in a cohort of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (55 of 332 patients [17%], P=0.81). Two thirds of identified truncating variants were in TTN, as seen in 10% of the patients and in 1.4% of the reference population (P=2.7Ã—10(-10)); almost all TTN variants were located in the titin A-band. Seven of the TTN truncating variants were previously reported in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. In a clinically well-characterized cohort of 83 women with peripartum cardiomyopathy, the presence of TTN truncating variants was significantly correlated with a lower ejection fraction at 1-year follow-up (P=0.005). Conclusions The distribution of truncating variants in a large series of women with peripartum cardiomyopathy was remarkably similar to that found in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. TTN truncating variants were the most prevalent genetic predisposition in each disorder.
Self-Renewal and High Proliferative Colony Forming Capacity of Late-Outgrowth Endothelial Progenitors is Regulated by Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitors Driven by Notch Signaling. - Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)
Since the discovery of endothelial colony forming cells (ECFC), there has been significant interest in their therapeutic potential to treat vascular injuries. ECFC cultures display significant heterogeneity and a hierarchy among cells able to give rise to high proliferative versus low proliferative colonies. Here we aimed to define molecularly this in vitro hierarchy. Based on flow cytometry, CD34 expression levels distinguished two populations. Only CD34â€‰+â€‰ECFC had the capacity to reproduce high proliferative potential (HPP) colonies on replating, whereas CD34- ECFCs formed only small clusters. CD34â€‰+â€‰ECFCs were the only ones to self-renew in stringent single-cell cultures and gave rise to both CD34â€‰+â€‰and CD34- cells. Upon replating, CD34â€‰+â€‰ECFCs were always found at the centre of HPP colonies and were more likely in G0/1 phase of cell cycling. Functionally, CD34â€‰+â€‰ECFC were superior at restoring perfusion and better engrafted when injected into ischemic hind limbs. Transcriptomic analysis identified cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) cell cycle inhibiting genes (p16, p21, and p57), the Notch signaling pathway (dll1, dll4, hes1, and hey1), and the endothelial cytokine il33 as highly expressed in CD34â€‰+â€‰ECFC. Blocking the Notch pathway using a Î³-secretase inhibitor (DAPT) led to reduced expression of cell cycle inhibitors, increased cell proliferation followed by a loss of self-renewal, and HPP colony formation capacity reflecting progenitor exhaustion. Similarly shRNA knockdown of p57 strongly affected self-renewal of ECFC colonies. ECFC hierarchy is defined by Notch signalling driving cell cycle regulators, progenitor quiescence and self-renewal potential. Stem Cells 2016.Â© 2016 AlphaMed Press.
Primary Hepatic Small Cell Carcinoma: Two Case Reports, Molecular Characterization and Pooled Analysis of Known Clinical Data. - Anticancer research
Primary hepatic small cell carcinoma (HSCC) is a rare malignancy that has previously been described in only few case reports. The clinicopathological course, natural history, molecular markers and ideal treatment strategy for this tumor have not been fully elucidated. Herein, we report on two cases of spontaneously arising, metastatic primary HSCC that were treated at our Institution. Both patients succumbed to their disease within two months of initial presentation. Both cases underwent postmortem examination and no evidence of a pulmonary or other non-hepatic small cell primary was found. Unlike pulmonary small cell tumors, these two hepatic primaries showed only locoregional spread and very few distant metastases. Formalin-fixed samples were obtained at autopsy and sequenced using single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays and whole-genome sequencing. Four mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene known to be associated with response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) were detected in one of the two HSCC samples. A systematic review and pooled analysis of all previously reported cases of primary HSCCs was conducted. The median overall survival was estimated at 4 months. Surgical resection was significantly associated with longer overall survival (hazard ratio =0.13, 95% confidence interval=0.03-0.69). Although several case reports of primary HSCC have been reported prior to this publication, to our knowledge this is the first time that molecular and systematic analysis has been conducted in order to more fully characterize this rare disease. Our results indicate that surgical resection, when feasible, may be a valid option in primary HSCC, and that some tumors may respond to TKIs against EGFR.CopyrightÂ© 2016 International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. John G. Delinassios), All rights reserved.
Estrogenic activity of isoflavonoids from the stem bark of the tropical tree Amphimas pterocarpoides, a source of traditional medicines. - The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology
Various preparations of the African tree Amphimas pterocarpoides Harms are traditionally used to treat endocrine- related adverse health conditions. In the ovariectomized rat, the enriched in phenolics fraction of the methanol extract of stem bark of A. pterocarpoides acted as vaginotrophic agent of considerably weaker uterotrophic activity compared to estradiol. Evaluation of the fraction and 11 isoflavonoids isolated therefrom using Ishikawa cells and estrogen receptor (ER) isotype-specific reporter cells suggested that the estrogenic activity of the fraction could be attributed primarily to daidzein and dihydroglycitein and secondarily to glycitein. The potency-based selectivity of daidzein, dihydroglycitein and glycitein for gene expression through ERÎ² versus ERÎ±, expressed relative to estradiol, was 37, 27 and 20, respectively. However, the rank order of relative-to-estradiol potencies of induction of alkaline phosphatase in Ishikawa cells, a reliable marker of estrogenic activity, was daidzein>dihydroglycitein>glycitein. The considerably higher estrogenic activity of dihydroglycitein compared to glycitein could be attributed to the partial agonist/antagonist activity of dihydroglycitein through ERÎ². Calculation of theoretical free energies of binding predicted the partial agonism/antagonism of dihydroglycitein through ERÎ². The fraction and the isolated isoflavonoids promoted lactogenic differentiation of HC11 mammary epithelial cells at least as effectively as premenopausal levels of estradiol. This data suggests that the estrogenic activity of the fraction likely depends on the metabolism of glycitein to dihydroglycitein; that the fraction could exert vaginotrophic activity likely without challenging endocrine cancer risk more than estrogen-alone supplementation; and that the fraction's safety for the reproductive track warrants a more detailed evaluation.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Meta-analysis of RNA-seq expression data across species, tissues and studies. - Genome biology
Differences in gene expression drive phenotypic differences between species, yet major organs and tissues generally have conserved gene expression programs. Several comparative transcriptomic studies have observed greater similarity in gene expression between homologous tissues from different vertebrate species than between diverse tissues of the same species. However, a recent study by Lin and colleagues reached the opposite conclusion. These studies differed in the species and tissues analyzed, and in technical details of library preparation, sequencing, read mapping, normalization, gene sets, and clustering methods.To better understand gene expression evolution we reanalyzed data from four studies, including that of Lin, encompassing 6-13 tissues each from 11 vertebrate species using standardized mapping, normalization, and clustering methods. An analysis of independent data showed that the set of tissues chosen by Lin et al. were more similar to each other than those analyzed by previous studies. Comparing expression in five common tissues from the four studies, we observed that samples clustered exclusively by tissue rather than by species or study, supporting conservation of organ physiology in mammals. Furthermore, inter-study distances between homologous tissues were generally less than intra-study distances among different tissues, enabling informative meta-analyses. Notably, when comparing expression divergence of tissues over time to expression variation across 51 human GTEx tissues, we could accurately predict the clustering of expression for arbitrary pairs of tissues and species.These results provide a framework for the design of future evolutionary studies of gene expression and demonstrate the utility of comparing RNA-seq data across studies.
Advancing Cancer Control Through Research and Cancer Registry Collaborations in the Caribbean. - Cancer control : journal of the Moffitt Cancer Center
Few national registries exist in the Caribbean, resulting in limited cancer statistics being available for the region. Therefore, estimates are frequently based on the extrapolation of mortality data submitted to the World Health Organization. Thus, regional cancer surveillance and research need promoting, and their synergy must be strengthened. However, differences between countries outweigh similarities, hampering registration and availability of data.The African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium (AC3) is a broad-based resource for education, training, and research on all aspects of cancer in populations of African descent. The AC3 focuses on capacity building in cancer registration in the Caribbean through special topics, training sessions, and biannual meetings. We review the results from selected AC3 workshops, including an inventory of established cancer registries in the Caribbean region, current cancer surveillance statistics, and a review of data quality. We then describe the potential for cancer research surveillance activities and the role of policymakers.Twelve of 30 Caribbean nations have cancer registries. Four of these nations provide high-quality incidence data, thus covering 14.4% of the population; therefore, regional estimates are challenging. Existing research and registry collaborations must pave the way and are facilitated by organizations like the AC3.Improved coverage for cancer registrations could help advance health policy through targeted research. Capacity building, resource optimization, collaboration, and communication between cancer surveillance and research teams are key to obtaining robust and complete data in the Caribbean.
Diastolic function improvement is associated with favourable outcomes in patients with acute non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy: insights from the multicentre IMAC-2 trialâ€ . - European heart journal cardiovascular Imaging
Patients with recent onset non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy have a variable clinical course with respect to recovery of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). The aim of this study was to understand whether temporal changes in diastolic function (DF) are associated with clinical outcomes independent of LVEF recovery.The Intervention in Myocarditis and Acute Cardiomyopathy (IMAC)-2 study was a prospective, multicentre trial investigating myocardial recovery in subjects with symptoms onset of <6 months and LVEF â‰¤40% of non-ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy related to idiopathic cardiomyopathy or myocarditis. LVEF and DF were measured at presentation and at 6-month follow-up. Of 147 patients (mean age 46 Â± 14 years, 40% female), baseline LVEF was 23 Â± 8%. At 6 months, LVEF improved to 41 Â± 12%, with 71% increasing by at least 10% ejection fraction units. DF improved in 58%, was unchanged in 28%, and worsened in 14%. Over a mean follow-up of 1.8 Â± 1.2 years, there were 18 events: 11 heart failure (HF) hospitalizations, 3 deaths, and 4 heart transplants. LVEF (HR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.91-0.98, P = 0.002) and DF improvements at 6 months (HR = 0.32, 95% CI 0.11-0.92, P = 0.03) were independently associated with lower likelihood for the combined end point of death, transplantation, and HF hospitalization. Diastolic functional improvement at 6-month follow-up was as prognostically important as LVEF recovery for these patients, and provided incremental prognostic value to the risk stratification (X(2) increased from 12.6 to 18, P = 0.02).In patients with recent onset non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy, DF recovery was associated with favourable outcomes independent of LVEF improvement, adding incremental prognostic value to these patients.Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. Â© The Author 2015. For permissions please email: email@example.com.
Diesel exhaust augments allergen-induced lower airway inflammation in allergic individuals: a controlled human exposure study. - Thorax
Traffic-related air pollution has been shown to augment allergy and airway disease. However, the enhancement of allergenic effects by diesel exhaust in particular is unproven in vivo in the human lung, and underlying details of this apparent synergy are poorly understood.To test the hypothesis that a 2â€…h inhalation of diesel exhaust augments lower airway inflammation and immune cell activation following segmental allergen challenge in atopic subjects.18 blinded atopic volunteers were exposed to filtered air or 300â€…Âµg PM2.5/m(3) of diesel exhaust in random fashion. 1â€…h post-exposure, diluent-controlled segmental allergen challenge was performed; 2â€…days later, samples from the challenged segments were obtained by bronchoscopic lavage. Samples were analysed for markers and modifiers of allergic inflammation (eosinophils, Th2 cytokines) and adaptive immune cell activation. Mixed effects models with ordinal contrasts compared effects of single and combined exposures on these end points.Diesel exhaust augmented the allergen-induced increase in airway eosinophils, interleukin 5 (IL-5) and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and the GSTT1 null genotype was significantly associated with the augmented IL-5 response. Diesel exhaust alone also augmented markers of non-allergic inflammation and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1 and suppressed activity of macrophages and myeloid dendritic cells.Inhalation of diesel exhaust at environmentally relevant concentrations augments allergen-induced allergic inflammation in the lower airways of atopic individuals and the GSTT1 genotype enhances this response. Allergic individuals are a susceptible population to the deleterious airway effects of diesel exhaust.NCT01792232.Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/
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