In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (200)

Articles by Christopher Paul Reardon in JoVE

Other articles by Christopher Paul Reardon on PubMed

Expansion of 2B4+ Natural Killer (NK) Cells and Decrease in NKp46+ NK Cells in Response to Influenza

Immunology. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21214542

Several studies have highlighted the importance of murine natural killer (NK) cells in the control of influenza virus infection, notably through the natural cytotoxicity receptor NKp46. However, little is known about the involvement of NK cells in human influenza infection. Here, we show that upon in vitro exposure to influenza, NKp46 expression on NK cells decreases, whereas expression of 2B4, an activating receptor that can enhance natural cytotoxicity in synergy with NKp46, is up-regulated. Consistent with these observations, NKp46(dull) and 2B4(bright) NK cells had a higher functional activity in response to influenza than NK cells expressing high levels of NKp46 or low levels of 2B4, respectively. Importantly, we assessed whether the expression of these receptors was also modified in vivo in response to influenza antigens and showed that an increase in 2B4-expressing NK cells and a decrease in NKp46(+) NK cells occurred following intramuscular influenza vaccination. Altogether, our results further suggest that NKp46 may play an important role in the innate immune response to human influenza and reveal that exposure to influenza antigens is associated with a previously unrecognized increase in 2B4 expression that can impact NK cell activity against the virus.

Predicted Effector Molecules in the Salivary Secretome of the Pea Aphid (Acyrthosiphon Pisum): a Dual Transcriptomic/proteomic Approach

Journal of Proteome Research. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21226539

The relationship between aphids and their host plants is thought to be functionally analogous to plant-pathogen interactions. Although virulence effector proteins that mediate plant defenses are well-characterized for pathogens such as bacteria, oomycetes, and nematodes, equivalent molecules in aphids and other phloem-feeders are poorly understood. A dual transcriptomic-proteomic approach was adopted to generate a catalog of candidate effector proteins from the salivary glands of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Of the 1557 transcript supported and 925 mass spectrometry identified proteins, over 300 proteins were identified with secretion signals, including proteins that had previously been identified directly from the secreted saliva. Almost half of the identified proteins have no homologue outside aphids and are of unknown function. Many of the genes encoding the putative effector proteins appear to be evolving at a faster rate than homologues in other insects, and there is strong evidence that genes with multiple copies in the genome are under positive selection. Many of the candidate aphid effector proteins were previously characterized in typical phytopathogenic organisms (e.g., nematodes and fungi) and our results highlight remarkable similarities in the saliva from plant-feeding nematodes and aphids that may indicate the evolution of common solutions to the plant-parasitic lifestyle.

A Novel Potent Synthetic Steroidal Liver X Receptor Agonist Lowers Plasma Cholesterol and Triglycerides and Reduces Atherosclerosis in LDLR(-/-) Mice

British Journal of Pharmacology. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21232031

Potent synthetic nonsteroidal liver X receptor (LXR) agonists like T0901317 induce triglyceridaemia and fatty liver, effects not observed with some natural and synthetic steroidal, relatively weak agonists of LXR. To determine if potency is responsible for the lack of side effects with some steroidal agonists, we investigated the in vivo effects of a novel steroidal LXR agonist, ATI-111, that is more potent than T0901317.

The ABC Transporters and the Thickening Cholesterol Plot

Current Opinion in Lipidology. Feb, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21233623

Experiences of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in the Military Among OEF/OIF Veterans: Implications for Health Care Providers

Social Work in Health Care. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21240770

Given the frequent occurrence and significant health impact of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military, it is important that for health care providers working with Veterans to have at least some basic knowledge in this area. Targeting providers addressing mental health and psychosocial issues, but also applicable to clinicians working with survivors in a variety of capacities, this article provides an overview of clinical care with survivors of sexual trauma in the military, particularly those who are OEF/OIF Veterans. We cover basic background information, focusing primarily on the impact of sexual trauma in the military, how survivor's reactions are shaped by various aspects of the military context, and general principles to assist clinicians in working effectively with survivors, whatever their role.

Hybrid Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair Via Right Anterior Minithoracotomy

The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21281945

Hybrid thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) has expanded the surgical management of complex thoracic aneurysms. Aortic arch debranching generally requires a sternotomy. We describe our experience performing a right anterior minithoracotomy for hybrid TEVAR.

A Phase II Study Evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of AMG 102 (rilotumumab) in Patients with Recurrent Glioblastoma

Neuro-oncology. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21297127

This phase II study evaluated the efficacy and safety of AMG 102 (rilotumumab), a fully human monoclonal antibody against hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF), in patients with recurrent glioblastoma (GBM). Patients with histologically confirmed, measurable recurrent GBM or gliosarcoma (World Health Organization grade 4) and ≤3 relapses or prior systemic therapies received AMG 102 (10 or 20 mg/kg) by infusion every 2 weeks. The primary endpoint was best confirmed objective response rate (central assessment) per Macdonald criteria. Of the 61 patients who enrolled, 60 received AMG 102. Twenty-nine patients (48%) had previously received bevacizumab. There were no objective responses per central assessment, but 1 patient had an objective response per investigator assessment. Median overall survival (95% CI) in the 10- and 20-mg/kg cohorts was 6.5 months (4.1-9.8) and 5.4 months (3.4-11.4), respectively, and progression-free survival (PFS) per central assessment was 4.1 weeks (4.0-4.1) and 4.3 weeks (4.1-8.1), respectively. PFS was similar among patients who had previously received bevacizumab compared with bevacizumab-naive patients. The most common adverse events were fatigue (38%), headache (33%), and peripheral edema (23%). AMG 102 serum concentrations increased approximately dose-proportionally with 2-fold accumulation at steady state. Plasma total HGF/SF and soluble c-Met concentrations increased 12.05- and 1.12-fold, respectively, from baseline during AMG 102 treatment. AMG 102 monotherapy at doses up to 20 mg/kg was not associated with significant antitumor activity in heavily pretreated patients with recurrent GBM.

A Novel Method for Volumetric MRI Response Assessment of Enhancing Brain Tumors

PloS One. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21298088

Current radiographic response criteria for brain tumors have difficulty describing changes surrounding postoperative resection cavities. Volumetric techniques may offer improved assessment, however usually are time-consuming, subjective and require expert opinion and specialized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences. We describe the application of a novel volumetric software algorithm that is nearly fully automated and uses standard T1 pre- and post-contrast MRI sequences. T1-weighted pre- and post-contrast images are automatically fused and normalized. The tumor region of interest is grossly outlined by the user. An atlas of the nasal mucosa is automatically detected and used to normalize levels of enhancement. The volume of enhancing tumor is then automatically calculated. We tested the ability of our method to calculate enhancing tumor volume with resection cavity collapse and when the enhancing tumor is obscured by subacute blood in a resection cavity. To determine variability in results, we compared narrowly-defined tumor regions with tumor regions that include adjacent meningeal enhancement and also compared different contrast enhancement threshold levels used for the automatic calculation of enhancing tumor volume. Our method quantified enhancing tumor volume despite resection cavity collapse. It detected tumor volume increase in the midst of blood products that incorrectly caused decreased measurements by other techniques. Similar trends in volume changes across scans were seen with inclusion or exclusion of meningeal enhancement and despite different automated thresholds for tissue enhancement. Our approach appears to overcome many of the challenges with response assessment of enhancing brain tumors and warrants further examination and validation.

Clinical Trial End Points for High-grade Glioma: the Evolving Landscape

Neuro-oncology. Mar, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21310734

To review the strengths and weaknesses of primary and auxiliary end points for clinical trials among patients with high-grade glioma (HGG). Recent advances in outcome for patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent HGG, coupled with the development of multiple promising therapeutics with myriad antitumor actions, have led to significant growth in the number of clinical trials for patients with HGG. Appropriate clinical trial design and the incorporation of optimal end points are imperative to efficiently and effectively evaluate such agents and continue to advance outcome. Growing recognition of limitations weakening the reliability of traditional clinical trial primary end points has generated increasing uncertainty of how best to evaluate promising therapeutics for patients with HGG. The phenomena of pseudoprogression and pseudoresponse have made imaging-based end points, including overall radiographic response and progression-free survival, problematic. Although overall survival is considered the "gold-standard" end point, recently identified active salvage therapies such as bevacizumab may diminish the association between presalvage therapy and overall survival. Finally, advances in imaging as well as the assessment of patient function and well being have strengthened interest in auxiliary end points assessing these aspects of patient care and outcome. Better appreciation of the strengths and limitations of primary end points will lead to more effective clinical trial strategies. Technical advances in imaging as well as improved survival for patients with HGG support the further development of auxiliary end points evaluating novel imaging approaches as well as measures of patient function and well being.

Culturing and Investigation of Stress-induced Lipid Accumulation in Microalgae Using a Microfluidic Device

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21311874

There is increasing interest in using microalgae as a lipid feedstock for the production of biofuels. Lipids used for these purposes are triacylglycerols that can be converted to fatty acid methyl esters (biodiesel) or decarboxylated to "green diesel." Lipid accumulation in most microalgal species is dependent on environmental stress and culturing conditions, and these conditions are currently optimized using slow, labor-intensive screening processes. Increasing the screening throughput would help reduce the development cost and time to commercial production. Here, we demonstrated an initial step towards this goal in the development of a glass/poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) microfluidic device capable of screening microalgal culturing and stress conditions. The device contained power-free valves to isolate microalgae in a microfluidic growth chamber for culturing and stress experiments. Initial experiments involved determining the biocompatibility and culturing capability of the device using the microalga Tetraselmis chuii. With this device, T. chuii could be successfully cultured for up to 3 weeks on-chip. Following these experiments, the device was used to investigate lipid accumulation in the microalga Neochloris oleabundans. It was shown that this microalga could be stressed to accumulate cytosolic lipids in a microfluidic environment, as evidenced with fluorescence lipid staining. This work represents the first example of microalgal culturing in a microfluidic device and signifies an important expansion of microfluidics into the biofuels research arena.

Outcomes After Right-side Heart Sarcoma Resection

The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Mar, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21352995

In patients with primary cardiac sarcoma, the tumor's location is more important than cell type in determining patient presentation, therapy options, and outcomes. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the outcomes after right-side heart sarcoma resection.

Hybrid Imaging to Facilitate Accurate Placement of a Thoracic Endovascular Aneurysm Repair Before Completion Esophagectomy

Journal of Vascular Surgery. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21354762

Knee Deep in the Nerve

Survey of Ophthalmology. Jul-Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21371729

A 62-year-old man presented with a 3-week history of a progressive right vision loss. His right optic disk showed some mild elevation. Automated perimetry revealed a junctional scotoma. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed enlargement and enhancement of the right optic nerve, chiasm, and proximal optic tract. A chiasmal biopsy revealed a lesion consistent with malignant optic glioma of adulthood.

Gulf Oil Spill. Ten Months After Deepwater Horizon, Picking Up the Remnants of Health Data

Science (New York, N.Y.). Mar, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21393519

Cilengitide: an RGD Pentapeptide ανβ3 and ανβ5 Integrin Inhibitor in Development for Glioblastoma and Other Malignancies

Future Oncology (London, England). Mar, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21417900

Cilengitide, a cyclicized arginine-glycine-aspartic acid-containing pentapeptide, potently blocks ανβ3 and ανβ5 integrin activation. Integrins are upregulated in many malignancies and mediate a wide variety of tumor-stroma interactions. Cilengitide and other integrin-targeting therapeutics have preclinical activity against many cancer subtypes including glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and deadliest CNS tumor. Cilengitide is active against orthotopic GBM xenografts and can augment radiotherapy and chemotherapy in these models. In Phase I and II GBM trials, cilengitide and the combination of cilengitide with standard temozolomide and radiation demonstrate consistent antitumor activity and a favorable safety profile. Cilengitide is currently under evaluation in a pivotal, randomized Phase III study (Cilengitide in Combination With Temozolomide and Radiotherapy in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Phase III Randomized Clinical Trial [CENTRIC]) for newly diagnosed GBM. In addition, randomized controlled Phase II studies with cilengitide are ongoing for non-small-cell lung cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Cilengitide is the first integrin inhibitor in clinical Phase III development for oncology.

Colocalization of Gadolinium-diethylene Triamine Pentaacetic Acid with High-molecular-weight Molecules After Intracerebral Convection-enhanced Delivery in Humans

Neurosurgery. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21430586

Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) permits site-specific therapeutic drug delivery within interstitial spaces at increased dosages through circumvention of the blood-brain barrier. CED is currently limited by suboptimal methodologies for monitoring the delivery of therapeutic agents that would permit technical optimization and enhanced therapeutic efficacy.

A Review of VEGF/VEGFR-targeted Therapeutics for Recurrent Glioblastoma

Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : JNCCN. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21464146

Glioblastoma, the most common primary malignant brain tumor among adults, is a highly angiogenic and deadly tumor. Angiogenesis in glioblastoma, driven by hypoxia-dependent and independent mechanisms, is primarily mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and generates blood vessels with distinctive features. The outcome for patients with recurrent glioblastoma is poor because of ineffective therapies. However, recent encouraging rates of radiographic response and progression-free survival, and adequate safety, led the FDA to grant accelerated approval of bevacizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against VEGF, for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma in May 2009. These results have triggered significant interest in additional antiangiogenic agents and therapeutic strategies for patients with both recurrent and newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Given the potent antipermeability effect of VEGF inhibitors, the Radiologic Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) criteria were recently implemented to better assess response among patients with glioblastoma. Although bevacizumab improves survival and quality of life, eventual tumor progression is the norm. Better understanding of resistance mechanisms to VEGF inhibitors and identification of effective therapy after bevacizumab progression are currently a critical need for patients with glioblastoma.

Response Assessment in Neuro-oncology (a Report of the RANO Group): Assessment of Outcome in Trials of Diffuse Low-grade Gliomas

The Lancet Oncology. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21474379

Although low-grade gliomas (LGG) have a less aggressive course than do high-grade gliomas, the outcome of these tumours is ultimately fatal in most patients. Both the tumour and its treatment can cause disabling morbidity, particularly of cognitive functions. Because many patients present with seizures only, with no other signs and symptoms, maintenance of quality of life and function constitutes a particular challenge in LGG. The slow growth pattern of most LGG, and the rare radiological true responses despite a favourable clinical response to treatment, interferes with the use of progression-free survival as the primary endpoint in trials. Overall survival as an endpoint brings logistical challenges, and is sensitive to other non-investigational salvage therapies. Clinical trials for LGG need to consider other measures of patient benefit such as cognition, symptom burden, and seizure activity, to establish whether improved survival is reflected in prolonged wellbeing. This Review investigates clinical and imaging endpoints in trials of LGG, and provides response assessment in neuro-oncology (RANO) criteria for non-enhancing tumours. Additionally, other measures for patients with brain tumours that assess outcome are described. Similar considerations are relevant for trials of high-grade gliomas, although for these tumours survival is shorter and survival endpoints generally have more value than they do for LGG.

Initial Clinical Experience of Total Cardiac Replacement with Dual HeartMate-II Axial Flow Pumps for Severe Biventricular Heart Failure

Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. Jan-Mar, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21490553

TAVI: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation

Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. Jan-Mar, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21490555

Radioecology. Fukushima Radiation Creates Unique Test of Marine Life's Hardiness

Science (New York, N.Y.). Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21493831

Invited Commentary

The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. May, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21524452

The Addition of Bevacizumab to Standard Radiation Therapy and Temozolomide Followed by Bevacizumab, Temozolomide, and Irinotecan for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

Clinical Cancer Research : an Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21531816

To determine if the addition of bevacizumab to radiation therapy and temozolomide, followed by bevacizumab, temozolomide, and irinotecan, for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients is safe and effective.

Clinicopathologic and Immunohistochemical Characteristics of Adult Primary Cardiac Angiosarcomas: Analysis of 10 Cases

Annals of Diagnostic Pathology. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21546292

Primary cardiac angiosarcoma is a rare but the most common malignant neoplasm of the heart in adults. The objective of this study is to analyze the clinicopathologic characteristics of primary cardiac angiosarcoma. Ten cases of primary cardiac angiosarcoma treated in a single institution were analyzed for their clinical, pathologic, and immunohistochemical features. There were 6 men and 4 women, with a mean age of 40 years (range, 20-61 years). The patients commonly presented with dyspnea and distant metastasis. All tumors were located in the right atrium, with a mean tumor size of 6.8 cm. Tumors were hemorrhagic, with variegated tan-brown solid areas. Histologically, they exhibited high-grade morphology with mixed solid growth and anatomizing channels. Frequent mitoses and tumor necrosis were common. The tumors were strongly positive for CD31, CD34, FLI-1, and WT-1 but negative for AE1/3, D2-40, human herpesvirus 8, and epidermal growth factor receptor. The tumor cells were focally reactive to p53, with a high rate of Ki-67 expression. A complete tumor resection was not possible in any of the patients because of the size or extensive local invasion of the tumor. Overall survival ranged from 1 to 81 months (mean, 26.6 months) after initial histologic diagnosis. Primary cardiac angiosarcomas are rare tumors that commonly arise in the right atrium. The mean age is much younger than that of soft tissue angiosarcoma. Regional tumor extension and distant metastasis are extremely common at the time of diagnosis. Surgical resection with adjuvant chemotherapy is currently the preferred treatment, and survival time appears to be inversely correlated with the tumor size and degree of regional tumor extension at the time of surgery.

Accuracy of the Holladay 2 Intraocular Lens Formula for Pediatric Eyes in the Absence of Preoperative Refraction

Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21549558

To evaluate the prediction error in pediatric eyes using the Holladay 2 formula in the absence of preoperative refraction and to compare it with the prediction error using the Holladay 1, Hoffer Q, and SRK/T formulas.

Biotechnology. EPA Proposal Would Exempt Some GMOs from Registry

Science (New York, N.Y.). May, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21551040

Gain-of-function Mutations of ARHGAP31, a Cdc42/Rac1 GTPase Regulator, Cause Syndromic Cutis Aplasia and Limb Anomalies

American Journal of Human Genetics. May, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21565291

Regulation of cell proliferation and motility is essential for normal development. The Rho family of GTPases plays a critical role in the control of cell polarity and migration by effecting the cytoskeleton, membrane trafficking, and cell adhesion. We investigated a recognized developmental disorder, Adams-Oliver syndrome (AOS), characterized by the combination of aplasia cutis congenita (ACC) and terminal transverse limb defects (TTLD). Through a genome-wide linkage analysis, we detected a locus for autosomal-dominant ACC-TTLD on 3q generating a maximum LOD score of 4.93 at marker rs1464311. Candidate-gene- and exome-based sequencing led to the identification of independent premature truncating mutations in the terminal exon of the Rho GTPase-activating protein 31 gene, ARHGAP31, which encodes a Cdc42/Rac1 regulatory protein. Mutant transcripts are stable and increase ARHGAP31 activity in vitro through a gain-of-function mechanism. Constitutively active ARHGAP31 mutations result in a loss of available active Cdc42 and consequently disrupt actin cytoskeletal structures. Arhgap31 expression in the mouse is substantially restricted to the terminal limb buds and craniofacial processes during early development; these locations closely mirror the sites of impaired organogenesis that characterize this syndrome. These data identify the requirement for regulated Cdc42 and/or Rac1 signaling processes during early human development.

Phase 2 Study of Carboplatin, Irinotecan, and Bevacizumab for Recurrent Glioblastoma After Progression on Bevacizumab Therapy

Cancer. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21590689

The efficacy of carboplatin, irinotecan, and bevacizumab among recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) patients after prior progression on bevacizumab therapy in a phase 2, open-label, single-arm trial was evaluated.

History of Science. The Alchemical Revolution

Science (New York, N.Y.). May, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21596973

Structure of a Bacterial Cell Surface Decaheme Electron Conduit

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21606337

Some bacterial species are able to utilize extracellular mineral forms of iron and manganese as respiratory electron acceptors. In Shewanella oneidensis this involves decaheme cytochromes that are located on the bacterial cell surface at the termini of trans-outer-membrane electron transfer conduits. The cell surface cytochromes can potentially play multiple roles in mediating electron transfer directly to insoluble electron sinks, catalyzing electron exchange with flavin electron shuttles or participating in extracellular intercytochrome electron exchange along "nanowire" appendages. We present a 3.2-Å crystal structure of one of these decaheme cytochromes, MtrF, that allows the spatial organization of the 10 hemes to be visualized for the first time. The hemes are organized across four domains in a unique crossed conformation, in which a staggered 65-Å octaheme chain transects the length of the protein and is bisected by a planar 45-Å tetraheme chain that connects two extended Greek key split β-barrel domains. The structure provides molecular insight into how reduction of insoluble substrate (e.g., minerals), soluble substrates (e.g., flavins), and cytochrome redox partners might be possible in tandem at different termini of a trifurcated electron transport chain on the cell surface.

Mutations in the N-terminal Actin-binding Domain of Filamin C Cause a Distal Myopathy

American Journal of Human Genetics. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21620354

Linkage analysis of the dominant distal myopathy we previously identified in a large Australian family demonstrated one significant linkage region located on chromosome 7 and encompassing 18.6 Mbp and 151 genes. The strongest candidate gene was FLNC because filamin C, the encoded protein, is muscle-specific and associated with myofibrillar myopathy. Sequencing of FLNC cDNA identified a c.752T>C (p.Met251Thr) mutation in the N-terminal actin-binding domain (ABD); this mutation segregated with the disease and was absent in 200 controls. We identified an Italian family with the same phenotype and found a c.577G>A (p.Ala193Thr) filamin C ABD mutation that segregated with the disease. Filamin C ABD mutations have not been described, although filamin A and filamin B ABD mutations cause multiple musculoskeletal disorders. The distal myopathy phenotype and muscle pathology in the two families differ from myofibrillar myopathies caused by filamin C rod and dimerization domain mutations because of the distinct involvement of hand muscles and lack of pathological protein aggregation. Thus, like the position of FLNA and B mutations, the position of the FLNC mutation determines disease phenotype. The two filamin C ABD mutations increase actin-binding affinity in a manner similar to filamin A and filamin B ABD mutations. Cell-culture expression of the c.752T>C (p.Met251)Thr mutant filamin C ABD demonstrated reduced nuclear localization as did mutant filamin A and filamin B ABDs. Expression of both filamin C ABD mutants as full-length proteins induced increased aggregation of filamin. We conclude filamin C ABD mutations cause a recognizable distal myopathy, most likely through increased actin affinity, similar to the pathological mechanism of filamin A and filamin B ABD mutations.

Agriculture. Research Principles for Developing Country Food Value Chains

Science (New York, N.Y.). Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21636760

Expression of Industrially Relevant Laccases: Prokaryotic Style

Trends in Biotechnology. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21640417

Laccases are a class of multi-copper oxidases (MCOs) that catalyze the one-electron oxidation of four equivalents of a reducing substrate, with the concomitant four-electron reduction of dioxygen to water. They can catalyze a multitude of reactions, including the degradation of polymers and oxidative coupling of phenolic compounds, positioning them as significant industrial enzymes. Although fungal laccases are well known and well characterized, only recently has in silico biology led to rapid advances in the discovery, characterization and engineered expression of prokaryotic laccases. We describe the recent burgeoning of prokaryotic laccases, their catalytic properties, structural features and molecular evolution, vis-à-vis fungal laccases where possible. Special focus is given to the application of laccases to the emerging cellulosic biofuel industry.

Income Inequality and Income Segregation

AJS; American Journal of Sociology. Jan, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21648248

This article investigates how the growth in income inequality from 1970 to 2000 affected patterns of income segregation along three dimensions: the spatial segregation of poverty and affluence, race-specific patterns of income segregation, and the geographic scale of income segregation. The evidence reveals a robust relationship between income inequality and income segregation, an effect that is larger for black families than for white families. In addition, income inequality affects income segregation primarily through its effect on the large-scale spatial segregation of affluence rather than by affecting the spatial segregation of poverty or by altering small-scale patterns of income segregation.

Hypoxia and Male Behaviour in an African Cichlid Pseudocrenilabrus Multicolor Victoriae

Journal of Fish Biology. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21651553

This study tested the prediction that hypoxia may reduce the frequency of energetically expensive behaviours by quantifying male mating and aggressive displays in the cichlid Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae after long-term acclimation (5 months) to either high dissolved oxygen (DO) or low DO. Regardless of DO treatment, males engaged in more aggressive displays than mating displays; however, males acclimated to low DO reduced their total number of displays compared to high DO-acclimated males.

Antibiosis Activity of Pantoea Agglomerans Biocontrol Strain E325 Against Erwinia Amylovora on Apple Flower Stigmas

Phytopathology. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21679036

Pantoea agglomerans E325, the active ingredient in a commercial product for fire blight control, was previously shown in vitro to produce a unique alkaline- and phosphate-sensitive antibiotic specific to Erwinia amylovora. Antibiosis was evaluated as a mode of antagonism on flower stigmas using two antibiosis-deficient mutants. On King's medium B, mutants E325ad1 and E325ad2 have stable smooth-butyrous or hypermucoid colony morphologies, respectively, and the parental strain E325 exhibits phenotypic plasticity with predominantly hypermucoid colonies accompanied by slower-growing, smooth-butyrous colonies. Mutants were tested against E. amylovora on stigmas of detached flowers of crab apple (Malus mandshurica) in growth chambers and apple (Malus domestica) in the orchard. Epiphytic fitness of the antibiosis-negative mutants was similar or greater than the parental strain as determined by relative area under the population curve (RAUPC). In laboratory and orchard trials, both mutants had significantly lower inhibitory activity against the pathogen (i.e., less reduction of E. amylovora RAUPC) compared with the parental strain. E325 and the mutants caused similar decreases in pH in a broth medium, indicating that acidification, which was previously reported as a possible mechanism of pathogen inhibition on stigmas, is not directly related to antibiosis. In this study we provide the first evidence for E325 antibiosis involved in E. amylovora growth suppression on apple flower stigmas.

Meta-analysis of Supplemental Treatment for Depressive and Anxiety Disorders in Patients Being Treated for Alcohol Dependence

The American Journal on Addictions / American Academy of Psychiatrists in Alcoholism and Addictions. Jul-Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21679263

Approximately half of those receiving treatment for an alcohol use disorder (AUD) also suffer with an anxiety or depressive (internalizing) disorder. Because all internalizing disorders mark a poor alcohol treatment outcome, it seems reasonable to supplement AUD treatment with a psychiatric intervention when these disorders co-occur with AUD. However, this conclusion may be faulty given that the various possible interrelationships between AUD and internalizing disorders do not uniformly imply a high therapeutic yield from this approach. Unfortunately, the studies conducted to date have been too few and too small to resolve this important clinical issue with confidence. Therefore, we used a meta-analytic method to synthesize the effects from published randomized controlled trials examining the impact of supplementing AUD treatment with a psychiatric treatment for co-occurring internalizing disorder (N = 15). We found a pooled effect size (d) of .32 for internalizing outcomes and .22 for a composite of alcohol outcomes; however, the alcohol outcomes effect sizes were greater than this for some specific outcome domains. Subgroups that differed in terms of internalizing outcomes included treatment type (medication vs. cognitive behavioral therapy) and treatment focus (anxiety vs. depression). There was also a trend for the studies with better internalizing disorder outcomes to have better alcohol outcomes. These results indicate that clinical outcomes (both psychiatric and alcohol-related) could be somewhat improved by supplementing AUD treatment with psychiatric treatment for co-occurring internalizing disorder.

Genotypic Variation Among Douglas-fir Tussock Moth Nucleopolyhedrovirus (OpNPV) Isolates in the Western United States

Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21684287

Periodic outbreaks of the Douglas-fir tussock moth (Orgyia pseudotsugata) in forests of western North America generally end with a sudden collapse due primarily to an epizootic caused by a nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) that occurs naturally within O. pseudotsugata populations. We genotypically characterized NPV populations from Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, New Mexico and California for the first time. Of 159 infected tussock moth samples, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis showed that 125 (78.6%) contained single nucleopolyhedrovirus (OpSNPV), 28 (17.6%) contained multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (OpMNPV), and six (3.8%) contained both OpSNPV and OpMNPV. In comparison, our previous studies in the southern interior of British Columbia showed that all 298 samples examined were infected with OpMNPV, and none were infected with OpSNPV. More than half of the Washington OpSNPV samples shared the same genotype, but most OpSNPV genotypes were rare or unique: across the five states, 31 of the 43 different OpSNPV genotypes were each only found in a single sample. In contrast, only four different OpMNPV genotypes were found, and 29 of the 34 OpMNPV samples shared the same genotype, designated genotype AA. This strain of OpMNPV has been developed, registered and used in both Canada and the United States to control outbreaks of the Douglas-fir tussock moth. It is also the most common genotype in southern British Columbia. The estimated degree of genetic divergence ranged from 0% to 4.19% for the various OpSNPV genotypes and from 0% to 3.16% for the OpMNPV genotypes (based on number of shared bands). This is the first description of the genotypic diversity in a population of OpSNPV, and the first genotypic characterization of NPVs infecting O. pseudotsugata in the USA.

Exercise Behavior, Functional Capacity, and Survival in Adults with Malignant Recurrent Glioma

Journal of Clinical Oncology : Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21690470

Identifying strong markers of prognosis are critical to optimize treatment and survival outcomes in patients with malignant recurrent glioma. We investigated the prognostic significance of exercise behavior and functional capacity in this population.

Two Autonomous Structural Modules in the Fimbrial Shaft Adhesin FimA Mediate Actinomyces Interactions with Streptococci and Host Cells During Oral Biofilm Development

Molecular Microbiology. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21696465

By combining X-ray crystallography and modelling, we describe here the atomic structure of distinct adhesive moieties of FimA, the shaft fimbrillin of Actinomyces type 2 fimbriae, which uniquely mediates the receptor-dependent intercellular interactions between Actinomyces and oral streptococci as well as host cells during the development of oral biofilms. The FimA adhesin is built with three IgG-like domains, each of which harbours an intramolecular isopeptide bond, previously described in several Gram-positive pilins. Genetic and biochemical studies demonstrate that although these isopeptide bonds are dispensable for fimbrial assembly, cell-cell interactions and biofilm formation, they contribute significantly to the proteolytic stability of FimA. Remarkably, FimA harbours two autonomous adhesive modules, which structurally resemble the Staphylococcus aureus Cna B domain. Each isolated module can bind the plasma glycoprotein asialofetuin as well as the polysaccharide receptors present on the surface of oral streptococci and epithelial cells. Thus, FimA should serve as an excellent paradigm for the development of therapeutic strategies and elucidating the precise molecular mechanisms underlying the interactions between cellular receptors and Gram-positive fimbriae.

Intraprocedural Cortisol Levels in the Evaluation of Proper Catheter Placement in Adrenal Venous Sampling

Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology : JVIR. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21700477

Adrenal venous sampling (AVS) is limited by technical failures that result from incorrect catheter placement or failure to catheterize the right adrenal vein. The existence of an inadequate sample may not be recognized at the time of the procedure, which can lead to nondiagnostic results. Rapid assay of serum cortisol levels allows for intraprocedural evaluation of the ratio of adrenal and peripheral cortisol concentrations and confirmation of adequate sampling.

Living Well with Multiple Sclerosis

The American Journal of Nursing. Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21709481

OVERVIEW: Improvements in magnetic resonance imaging and the advent of disease-modifying therapies in the past 15 years have changed the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system. Accordingly, the nursing role has become more complex, involving advocacy, education, research, counseling, and medication administration. This article reviews the pathophysiology of the disorder, the available therapies to treat it, and the challenges patients face when making treatment decisions at various stages in the course of the disease.

Balanced into Array: Genome-wide Array Analysis in 54 Patients with an Apparently Balanced De Novo Chromosome Rearrangement and a Meta-analysis

European Journal of Human Genetics : EJHG. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21712853

High-resolution genome-wide array analysis enables detailed screening for cryptic and submicroscopic imbalances of microscopically balanced de novo rearrangements in patients with developmental delay and/or congenital abnormalities. In this report, we added the results of genome-wide array analysis in 54 patients to data on 117 patients from seven other studies. A chromosome imbalance was detected in 37% of all patients with two-breakpoint rearrangements. In 49% of these patients, the imbalances were located in one or both breakpoint regions. Imbalances were more frequently (90%) found in complex rearrangements, with the majority (81%) having deletions in the breakpoint regions. The size of our own cohort enabled us to relate the presence of an imbalance to the clinical features of the patients by using a scoring system, the De Vries criteria, that indicates the complexity of the phenotype. The median De Vries score was significantly higher (P=0.002) in those patients with an imbalance (5, range 1-9) than in patients with a normal array result (3, range 0-7). This study provides accurate percentages of cryptic imbalances that can be detected by genome-wide array analysis in simple and complex de novo microscopically balanced chromosome rearrangements and confirms that these imbalances are more likely to occur in patients with a complex phenotype.

Social Psychology. Antismoking Drive Tries Cigarette Ads, in Reverse

Science (New York, N.Y.). Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21719652

Primary Cardiac Tumors

Texas Heart Institute Journal / from the Texas Heart Institute of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21720466

Resection of Left Ventricular Fibroma with Subacute Papillary Muscle Rupture

Texas Heart Institute Journal / from the Texas Heart Institute of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21720472

Cardiac fibroma is a rare, benign tumor that occurs chiefly in children and rarely in adults. Most fibromas occur in the ventricles and may reach a very large size that complicates surgical removal. Herein, we report the case of a 38-year-old woman who presented with shortness of breath, fatigue, and lightheadedness and was found to have a 6 × 8-cm fibroma of the left ventricle. Surgical resection was successful, but 7 days later she developed sudden-onset severe mitral regurgitation due to partial disruption of the posterolateral papillary muscle. Mitral valve replacement with a 27-mm mechanical valve was performed. Five years later, the patient remained well, without evident tumor recurrence or cardiac dysfunction.Mitral valve dysfunction with regurgitation has been reported to occur before, immediately after, and late after the resection of left ventricular fibromas. To our knowledge, this is the 1st report of subacute papillary muscle rupture after the resection of a left ventricular fibroma. This case highlights the need to evaluate mitral valve function by carefully inspecting the resection margins after surgery and interpreting the echocardiographic results during the acute, subacute, and late time frames.

Primary Pulmonary Artery Sarcoma Extending Retrograde into the Superior Vena Cava

Texas Heart Institute Journal / from the Texas Heart Institute of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21720488

A Phase I Trial of the Farnesyl Transferase Inhibitor, SCH 66336, with Temozolomide for Patients with Malignant Glioma

Journal of Neuro-oncology. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21735117

We conducted a phase I clinical trial of the combination of SCH 66336 with temozolomide administered on the standard 5-day dosing schedule. The primary objective was to determine the maximum tolerated dose and dose limiting toxicity (DLT) of twice daily SCH 66336 when administered with temozolomide to adults with malignant glioma previously treated with radiation therapy. Patients were enrolled to two strata: stratum A, patients not on enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs (EIAEDs); stratum B, patients receiving EIAEDs. Temozolomide was administered at a dose of 150 mg/m(2) daily for five days for the first 28-day cycle and escalated to 200 mg/m(2), during subsequent cycles. SCH 66336 was administered twice daily on a continuous daily dosing schedule. The starting dose of SCH 66336 was 75 mg twice daily for stratum A and 125 mg twice daily for stratum B. Cohorts of 3-6 patients were treated per dose level until DLT was observed. Thirty six patients were enrolled on study, including 21 patients on stratum A and 15 on stratum B. All DLTs were grade 3 events and included hepatic, gastrointestinal, renal, thrombotic and constitutional events. No grade 4 or 5 toxicities were observed. The phase II dose of SCH 66336 when combined with temozolomide is 150 mg twice daily for patients not on EIAEDs and 175 mg twice daily for patients on EIAEDs.

Testosterone-mineralizing Culture Enriched from Swine Manure: Characterization of Degradation Pathways and Microbial Community Composition

Environmental Science & Technology. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21740029

Environmental releases and fate of steroid sex hormones from livestock and wastewater treatment plants are of increasing regulatory concern. Despite the detection of these hormones in manures, biosolids, and the environment, little attention has been paid to characterization of fecal bacteria capable of hormone degradation. The enrichments of (swine) manure-borne bacteria capable of aerobic testosterone degradation were prepared and the testosterone mineralization pathway was elucidated. Six DNA sequences of bacteria from the Proteobacteria phylum distributed among the genera Acinetobacter, Brevundimonas, Comamonas, Sphingomonas, Stenotrophomonas, and Rhodobacter were identified in a testosterone-degrading enriched culture with testosterone as the sole carbon source. Three degradation products of testosterone were identified as androstenedione, androstadienedione, and dehydrotestosterone using commercially available reference standards, liquid chromatography-UV diode array detection, and liquid chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-TOF/MS). Three additional degradation products of testosterone were tentatively identified as 9α-hydroxytestosterone, 9α-hydroxyandrostadienedione or 3-hydroxy-9,10-secoandrosta-1,3,5(10)-triene-9,17-dione, and 9α-hydroxydehydrotestosterone or 9α-hydroxyandrostenedione using LC-TOF/MS. When (14)C-testosterone was introduced to the enriched culture, 49-68% of the added (14)C-testosterone was mineralized to (14)CO(2) within 8 days of incubation. The mineralization of (14)C-testosterone followed pseudo-first-order reaction kinetics in the enriched culture with half-lives (t(1/2)) of 10-143 h. This work suggests that Proteobacteria play an important environmental role in degradation of steroid sex hormones and that androgens have the potential to be mineralized during aerobic manure treatment or after land application to agricultural fields by manure-borne bacteria.

Phase I Study of Sunitinib and Irinotecan for Patients with Recurrent Malignant Glioma

Journal of Neuro-oncology. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21744079

We determined the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) of the oral vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibitor, sunitinib, when administered with irinotecan among recurrent malignant glioma (MG) patients. For each 42-day cycle, sunitinib was administered once a day for four consecutive weeks followed by a 2 week rest. Irinotecan was administered intravenously every other week. Each agent was alternatively escalated among cohorts of 3-6 patients enrolled at each dose level. Patients on CYP3A-inducing anti-epileptic drugs were not eligible. Twenty-five patients with recurrent MG were enrolled, including 15 (60%) with glioblastoma (GBM) and 10 (40%) with grade 3 MG. Five patients progressed previously on bevacizumab and two had received prior VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. The MTD was 50 mg of sunitinib combined with 75 mg/m(2) of irinotecan. DLT were primarily hematologic and included grade 4 neutropenia in 3 patients and one patient with grade 4 thrombocytopenia. Non-hematologic DLT included grade 3 mucositis (n = 1) and grade 3 dehydration (n = 1). Progression-free survival (PFS)-6 was 24% and only one patient achieved a radiographic response. The combination of sunitinib and irinotecan was associated with moderate toxicity and limited anti-tumor activity. Further studies with this regimen using the dosing schedules evaluated in this study are not warranted.

The Role of Presurgical Expectancies in Predicting Pain and Function One Year Following Total Knee Arthroplasty

Pain. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21764515

The present study examined the prospective value of response expectancies (ie, pain, sleep) and behavioral outcome expectancies (ie, return to function) in the prediction of pain severity and functional limitations 12 months after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The study sample consisted of 120 individuals (73 women, 47 men) with osteoarthritis of the knee who were scheduled for TKA. Measures of expectancies, pain severity, pain catastrophizing, pain-related fears of movement, and depression were completed prior to surgery. Participants also completed measures of pain severity and functional limitations 12 months following surgery. Analyses revealed that behavioral outcome expectancies were stronger predictors of follow-up pain and functional limitations than response expectancies. Consistent with previous research, analyses also revealed that pain catastrophizing, pain-related fear of movement, and depression predicted follow-up pain and function. In a multivariate analysis, only pain catastrophizing contributed significant unique variance to the prediction of follow-up pain and function. Behavioral outcome expectancies partially mediated the relation between catastrophizing and follow-up pain and function. The relation between catastrophizing and follow-up pain severity and functional limitations remained significant even when controlling for behavioral outcome expectancies. The results suggest that interventions designed to specifically target behavioral outcome expectancies and catastrophizing might improve post-surgical outcomes.

Monoclonal Antibody Blockade of IL-2 Receptor α During Lymphopenia Selectively Depletes Regulatory T Cells in Mice and Humans

Blood. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21768296

Lymphodepletion augments adoptive cell transfer during antitumor immunotherapy, producing dramatic clinical responses in patients with malignant melanoma. We report that the lymphopenia induced by the chemotherapeutic agent temozolomide (TMZ) enhances vaccine-driven immune responses and significantly reduces malignant growth in an established model of murine tumorigenesis. Unexpectedly, despite the improved antitumor efficacy engendered by TMZ-induced lymphopenia, there was a treatment related increase in the frequency of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (T(Regs); P = .0006). Monoclonal antibody (mAb)-mediated inhibition of the high-affinity IL-2 receptor α (IL-2Rα/CD25) during immunotherapy in normal mice depleted T(Regs) (73% reduction; P = .0154) but also abolished vaccine-induced immune responses. However, during lymphodepletion, IL-2Rα blockade decreased T(Regs) (93% reduction; P = .0001) without impairing effector T-cell responses, to augment therapeutic antitumor efficacy (66% reduction in tumor growth; P = .0024). Of clinical relevance, we also demonstrate that anti-IL-2Rα mAb administration during recovery from lymphodepletive TMZ in patients with glioblastoma reduced T(Reg) frequency (48% reduction; P = .0061) while permitting vaccine-stimulated antitumor effector cell expansion. To our knowledge, this is the first report of systemic antibody-mediated T(Reg) depletion during lymphopenia and the consequent synergistic enhancement of vaccine-driven cellular responses, as well as the first demonstration that anti-IL-2Rα mAbs function differentially in nonlymphopenic versus lymphopenic contexts.

It is Time to Include Patients with Brain Tumors in Phase I Trials in Oncology

Journal of Clinical Oncology : Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21768451

Pakistan. Decrying CIA Vaccination Sham, Health Workers Brace for Backlash

Science (New York, N.Y.). Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21778372

A World of Chronic Disease

Science (New York, N.Y.). Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21798933

Everolimus Tablets for Patients with Subependymal Giant Cell Astrocytoma

Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21806479

INTRODUCTION: Better understanding of aberrantly active molecular pathways in tumors offers potential to develop more specific and less toxic therapies. Abnormal mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex signaling and defects in TSC1 and TSC2 have been associated with the development of subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs) in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) patients. Recently, mTOR inhibitors such as everolimus have shown encouraging benefit for patients with SEGAs. AREAS COVERED: The authors discuss a molecular genetic pathway linked with TSC, specifically the role of two proteins whose functional absence is responsible for most SEGA tumors that arise in TSC patients. The authors also examine the rationale for targeted agents against this pathway therapeutically and describe the clinical evidence underlying the FDA approval of everolimus for patients with inoperable SEGAs. EXPERT OPINION: Everolimus (Afinitor) selectively targets a molecular defect of SEGAs in TSC patients. Although surgery is effective, most SEGAs recur. An agent that inhibits an underlying molecular abnormality represents a particularly attractive therapeutic option for patients with inoperable or recurrent tumors. Studies are also underway to assess everolimus in treating other sequelae of TSC, and other gliomas. Finally, additional research aimed at better understanding aberrant cell signaling pathways may lead to the development of more effective therapeutics.

Science Education. Climate Change Sparks Battles in Classroom

Science (New York, N.Y.). Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21817028

Thymic Stromal Lymphopoetin-induced Expression of the Endogenous Inhibitory Enzyme SLPI Mediates Recovery from Colonic Inflammation

Immunity. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21820333

Thymic stromal lymphopoetin (TSLP) influences numerous immune functions, including those in the colonic mucosa. Here we report that TSLP-deficient (Tslp(-/-)) mice did not exhibit increased inflammation during dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis but failed to recover from disease, resulting in death. Increased localized neutrophil elastase (NE) activity during overt inflammation was observed in Tslp(-/-) mice and was paralleled by reduced expression of an endogenous inhibitor, secretory leukocyte peptidase inhibitor (SLPI). Pharmacological inhibition of NE or treatment with rSLPI reduced DSS-induced mortality in Tslp(-/-) mice. Signaling through TSLPR on nonhematopoietic cells was sufficient for recovery from DSS-induced colitis. Expression of the receptor occurred on intestinal epithelial cells (IEC), with stimulation inducing SLPI expression. Therefore, TSLP is critical in mediating mucosal healing after insult and functions in a nonredundant capacity that is independent of restraining T helper 1 (Th1) and Th17 cell cytokine production.

Genome-wide Analysis of Müller Glial Differentiation Reveals a Requirement for Notch Signaling in Postmitotic Cells to Maintain the Glial Fate

PloS One. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21829655

Previous studies have shown that Müller glia are closely related to retinal progenitors; these two cell types express many of the same genes and after damage to the retina, Müller glia can serve as a source for new neurons, particularly in non-mammalian vertebrates. We investigated the period of postnatal retinal development when progenitors are differentiating into Müller glia to better understand this transition. FACS purified retinal progenitors and Müller glia from various ages of Hes5-GFP mice were analyzed by Affymetrix cDNA microarrays. We found that genes known to be enriched/expressed by Müller glia steadily increase over the first three postnatal weeks, while genes associated with the mitotic cell cycle are rapidly downregulated from P0 to P7. Interestingly, progenitor genes not directly associated with the mitotic cell cycle, like the proneural genes Ascl1 and Neurog2, decline more slowly over the first 10-14 days of postnatal development, and there is a peak in Notch signaling several days after the presumptive Müller glia have been generated. To confirm that Notch signaling continues in the postmitotic Müller glia, we performed in situ hybridization, immunolocalization for the active form of Notch, and immunofluorescence for BrdU. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we found that sustained Notch signaling in the postmitotic Müller glia is necessary for their maturation and the stabilization of the glial identity for almost a week after the cells have exited the mitotic cell cycle.

Pierpont Syndrome: a Collaborative Study

American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21834056

Pierpont syndrome is a multiple congenital anomaly syndrome with learning disability first described in 1998. There are only three patients with Pierpont syndrome who have previously been published in the literature. Details of a series of patients with features of this condition were therefore obtained retrospectively to better characterize its key features. These patients were noted to have distinctive shared facial characteristics, in addition to plantar fat pads and other limb abnormalities. Further individuals with equally striking hand and foot findings were identified whose facies were less characteristic, and hence we considered them unlikely to be affected with the same condition. Despite several patients with possible Pierpont syndrome having had high-resolution array CGH or SNP array, the etiology of this phenotype remains unknown. Whilst it is as yet unclear whether it is a single entity, there appears to be a group of patients in whom Pierpont syndrome may be a recognizable condition, with typical facies, particularly when smiling, and characteristic hand and foot findings.

Rurality and Other Factors Associated with Adherence to Immunosuppressant Medications in Community-dwelling Solid-organ Transplant Recipients

Research in Social & Administrative Pharmacy : RSAP. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21856247

BACKGROUND: Data on immunosuppressant adherence of community-dwelling adult solid-organ transplant recipients (SOTRs) from rural populations in the United States are limited. Therefore, understanding the association of rurality and other factors of immunosuppressant adherence will help providers design and deliver patient-centered adherence enhancing interventions. OBJECTIVES: The objective was to examine factors associated with a previously validated 4-item Immunosuppressant Therapy Adherence Scale (ITAS) score in community-dwelling adult SOTRs who received a transplant from an academic center in the Midwestern United States. METHODS: For this observational study, cross-sectional survey data (patient demographic, medical condition, immunosuppressant therapy, and self-reported ITAS) received from adult SOTRs aged 19 years or older with other data from an academic transplant center's database were merged. Using multivariate logistic regression, significant SOTR characteristics associated with being adherent (ITAS score=12) versus nonadherent (ITAS score <12) were examined. RESULTS: The survey response rate was 30% (n=556/1827). Those SOTRs responding (n=556) had a kidney (48%), liver (47%), or other (4.5%) transplant. They were more likely to be 50- to 64-year olds (52%), men (55%), white (90%), metroresident (59%), with an annual income less than $55,000. The SOTRs were living with a transplant for 6.3 years (median), reported excellent-to-good health status (77%), and received different immunosuppressant regimens. More than half of the SOTRs (58%) were adherent. In multivariate analyses, compared with patients aged 65 years or older, younger patients, nonmetro rural- versus metroresident, and those having more (≥6) versus less (<6) comorbidities were significantly less likely to report adherence. SOTRs receiving tacrolimus-based combination immunosuppressant versus tacrolimus alone were more likely to report adherence. CONCLUSIONS: When designing and delivering patient care-centered interventions including those that use technology to increase immunosuppressant adherence, providers need to consider rural residence besides other well-established patient factors (younger age, immunosuppressant drug, and comorbidities) of nonadherence.

Nucleotide Oligomerization Domain-containing Proteins Instruct T Cell Helper Type 2 Immunity Through Stromal Activation

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21856952

Although a number of studies have examined the development of T-helper cell type 2 (Th2) immunity in different settings, the mechanisms underlying the initiation of this arm of adaptive immunity are not well understood. We exploited the fact that immunization with antigen plus either nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing proteins 1 (Nod1) or 2 (Nod2) agonists drives Th2 induction to understand how these pattern-recognition receptors mediate the development of systemic Th2 immune responses. Here, we show in bone-marrow chimeric mice that Nod1 and Nod2 expression within the stromal compartment is necessary for priming of effector CD4(+) Th2 responses and specific IgG1 antibodies. In contrast, sensing of these ligands by dendritic cells was not sufficient to induce Th2 immunity, although these cells contribute to the response. Moreover, we determined that CD11c(+) cells were the critical antigen-presenting cells, whereas basophils and B cells did not affect the capacity of Nod ligands to induce CD4(+) Th2 effector function. Finally, we found that full Th2 induction upon Nod1 and Nod2 activation was dependent on both thymic stromal lymphopoietin production by the stromal cells and the up-regulation of the costimulatory molecule, OX40 ligand, on dendritic cells. This study provides in vivo evidence of how systemic Th2 immunity is induced in the context of Nod stimulation. Such understanding will influence the rational design of therapeutics that could reprogram the immune system during an active Th1-mediated disease, such as Crohn's disease.

Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy and Gastric Bypass for Achalasia After Vertical Banded Gastroplasty

Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases : Official Journal of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Sep-Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21865095

Visions of Synthetic Biology

Science (New York, N.Y.). Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21885771

Bevacizumab-induced Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome and Successful Retreatment in a Patient with Glioblastoma

Journal of Clinical Oncology : Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21900098

Cubbing in Proapolipoprotein Maturation

Journal of Lipid Research. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21900175

Concomitant Reconstruction of Infrarenal Aorta and Inferior Vena Cava After En Bloc Resection of Retroperitoneal Rhabdomyosarcoma

Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21914678

Adult paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma (PRMS) with invasion of the retroperitoneum and involvement of the infrarenal aorta and inferior vena cava (IVC) is rare. We describe a 23-year-old male diagnosed with PRMS in 2008, previously treated with right orchiectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation, who presented with new onset of lower back pain. Computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a 4.8 × 4.2 cm mass involving both the infrarenal aorta and the IVC. We resected the tumor en bloc with in situ reconstruction of the aorta utilizing a Dacron graft and the IVC with a bovine pericardium roll graft. His postoperative period was uneventful, and he was discharged on postoperative day 6 in stable condition. At 2-month follow-up, the patient recovered well from the surgery, patent grafts on CT scan with no clinical signs of lower extremity ischemia or edema, and he continues to receive cycles of chemotherapy.

Acetylcholine-synthesizing T Cells Relay Neural Signals in a Vagus Nerve Circuit

Science (New York, N.Y.). Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21921156

Neural circuits regulate cytokine production to prevent potentially damaging inflammation. A prototypical vagus nerve circuit, the inflammatory reflex, inhibits tumor necrosis factor-α production in spleen by a mechanism requiring acetylcholine signaling through the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expressed on cytokine-producing macrophages. Nerve fibers in spleen lack the enzymatic machinery necessary for acetylcholine production; therefore, how does this neural circuit terminate in cholinergic signaling? We identified an acetylcholine-producing, memory phenotype T cell population in mice that is integral to the inflammatory reflex. These acetylcholine-producing T cells are required for inhibition of cytokine production by vagus nerve stimulation. Thus, action potentials originating in the vagus nerve regulate T cells, which in turn produce the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, required to control innate immune responses.

U. N. Summit on Noncommunicable Diseases. Meeting Brings Attention but Little Action on Chronic Diseases

Science (New York, N.Y.). Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21921168

Continuous Combined Fenton's Oxidation and Biodegradation for the Treatment of Pentachlorophenol-contaminated Water

Water Research. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21924453

Pentachlorophenol (PCP) was studied as a model recalcitrant compound for a sequential chemical oxidation and biodegradation treatment, in a continuous laboratory-scale system that combined a Fenton's chemical reactor and a packed-bed bioreactor. PCP degradation and dechlorination were observed in the Fenton's reactor at a residence time of 1.5 h, although no reduction of total organic carbon (TOC) was observed. Both PCP degradation and dechlorination were strongly dependent on the H(2)O(2) dose to the chemical reactor. The PCP degradation intermediates tetrachlorohydroquinone and dichloromaleic acid were identified in this reactor. Further treatment of the Fenton's reactor effluent with a packed-bed bioreactor (operating at a residence time of 5.5 h) resulted in partial biodegradation of PCP degradation intermediates and reduction in TOC, although no further reduction of PCP or dechlorination was achieved in the bioreactor. Increased residence time in the bioreactor had no significant impact on degradation of TOC. Recycle of the effluent from the bioreactor to the chemical reactor increased the TOC degradation, but not the extent of the PCP degradation or dechlorination. A mathematical model of the combined Fenton's oxidation and biodegradation system supported the experimental results. While the model over-predicted the PCP and TOC degradation in the combined system, it adequately predicted the sensitivity of these parameters to different H(2)O(2) doses and recycle rates. The model indicated that high recycle rates would improve TOC degradation.

Cardiac Sarcomas: Therapeutic Options?

Future Cardiology. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21929338

Natural Killer T Cells in Lipoprotein Metabolism and Atherosclerosis

Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21946866

Cells of both the innate and adaptive immune system participate in the development of atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disorder of medium and large arteries. Natural killer T (NKT) cells express surface markers characteristic of natural killer cells and conventional T cells and bridge the innate and adaptive immune systems. The development and activation of NKT cells is dependent upon CD1d, a MHC-class I-type molecule that presents lipids, especially glycolipids to the T cell receptors on NKT cells. There are two classes of NKT cells; invariant NKT cells that express a semi-invariant T cell receptor and variant NKT cells. This review summarises studies in murine models in which the effect of the activation, overexpression or deletion of NKT cells or only invariant NKT cells on atherosclerosis has been examined.

Delayed Aortic Rupture After Aortic Endograft Placement in Patient with Spinal Hardware

The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21958807

Aortic injuries presenting in a delayed fashion after attempted repair of an acute injury are uncommon. We report a case of a patient presenting with an initial aortic injury associated with thoracic spinal hardware placement, which was repaired with an open and endovascular approach, and 5 months later presented with hemoptysis. The cause of hemoptysis was erosion of the descending thoracic aorta between the spinal hardware and the thoracic endograft. The patient underwent descending aorta replacement with a Dacron tube graft, removal of the hardware, and coverage with a pedicled omental flap. This is a unique presentation of erosion of the aorta between the spinal hardware and the earlier placed endovascular stent-graft.

Public Health. Experts Debate Polypill: a Single Pill for Global Health

Science (New York, N.Y.). Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21960602

Neuroscience. Playing by Ear

Science (New York, N.Y.). Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21960604

Changes in Cytokine Levels and NK Cell Activation Associated with Influenza

PloS One. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21966414

Several studies have highlighted the important role played by murine natural killer (NK) cells in the control of influenza infection. However, human NK cell responses in acute influenza infection, including infection with the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, are poorly documented. Here, we examined changes in NK cell phenotype and function and plasma cytokine levels associated with influenza infection and vaccination. We show that absolute numbers of peripheral blood NK cells, and particularly those of CD56(bright) NK cells, decreased upon acute influenza infection while this NK cell subset expanded following intramuscular influenza vaccination. NK cells exposed to influenza antigens were activated, with higher proportions of NK cells expressing CD69 in study subjects infected with seasonal influenza strains. Vaccination led to increased levels of CD25+ NK cells, and notably CD56(bright) CD25+ NK cells, whereas decreased amounts of this subset were present in the peripheral blood of influenza infected individuals, and predominantly in study subjects infected with the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus. Finally, acute influenza infection was associated with low plasma concentrations of inflammatory cytokines, including IFN-γ, MIP-1β, IL-2 and IL-15, and high levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10 and IL-1ra. Altogether, these data suggest a role for the CD56(bright) NK cell subset in the response to influenza, potentially involving their recruitment to infected tissues and a local production and/or uptake of inflammatory cytokines.

Endovascular Repair of Ruptured Abdominal and Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms

Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. Jul-Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21979121

Management of acute pathology remains one of the most challenging clinical entities, with a persistently high mortality rate both prior to and upon arrival to a hospital. Responding to the distinct advantages of endovascular approaches to aortic disease, many high-volume cardiovascular centers have focused on endovascular therapies for managing patients with ruptured or leaking aortic aneurysms and other acute aortic syndromes. Nonetheless, similar to outcomes for other surgical emergencies, time and efficiency are critical in managing these conditions. Early diagnosis, transport to an appropriate acute care facility, rapid institution of optimal medical management, availability of cardiovascular anesthesia and intensive care, and appropriate and timely surgical intervention continue to be the keys to success. This article discusses the endovascular approach to ruptured abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms.

Changing Paradigm in Endovascular Treatment of Descending Thoracic Aortic Dissections

Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. Jul-Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21979122

Descending thoracic dissections originating distal to the origin of the left subclavian artery carry a significant mortality if left untreated. Past thinking advocated avoiding surgical treatment of acute Stanford type B or DeBakey type III dissections, reserving therapy for chronic dissections over 14 days to a month after presentation. The current evolution of endovascular devices for the treatment of thoracic aneurysms has proven helpful in treating this pathology in a less invasive manner when compared to open surgical repair. The paradigm for treatment has evolved beyond the nature of the timing of the dissection: the current trend for treatment considers clinical findings and the development of complications. Complicated dissections include those that have developed aneurysmal dilatation >5.5 or 6 cm, organ or distal limb malperfusion, aortic rupture, uncontrolled hypertension even after adequate medical therapy, and persistent pain including rapid expansion of the affected aorta, among others (Table 1). This article reports on the current paradigm involving thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) of Stanford type B or DeBakey type III dissections.

Aortic Arch Debranching: Advanced and Hybrid Techniques

Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. Jul-Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21979127

Aortic arch procedures have traditionally involved complex surgery with increased risk of mortality and morbidity. Throughout the last decade, however, novel and safe surgical approaches aimed at debranching the great vessels with definitive aortic arch repair have been developed. Currently, hybrid arch procedures allow for open or minimally invasive aortic access to be complemented by endovascular stent-graft techniques, which may eliminate the need for prolonged hypothermic circulatory arrest and its associated complications. Hybrid thoracic aortic and arch repairs have become the preferred approach, with open procedures performed only if hybrid approaches are not possible for technical reasons. In the future, aortic pathology may also benefit from the development of branched and fenestrated endografts that would be deployed in a modular fashion. This article describes the rationale, procedural steps, and recent outcomes data of novel aortic arch procedures.

The Polypyrimidine Tract Binding Protein Regulates Desaturase Alternative Splicing and PUFA Composition

Journal of Lipid Research. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21980057

The Δ6 desaturase, encoded by FADS2, plays a crucial role in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid synthesis. These fatty acids are essential components of the central nervous system, and they act as precursors for eicosanoid signaling molecules and as direct modulators of gene expression. The polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB or hnRNP I) is a splicing factor that regulates alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Here, PTB is shown to bind an exonic splicing silencer element and repress alternative splicing of FADS2 into FADS2 AT1. PTB and FADS2AT1 were inversely correlated in neonatal baboon tissues, implicating PTB as a major regulator of tissue-specific FADS2 splicing. In HepG2 cells, PTB knockdown modulated alternative splicing of FADS2, as well as FADS3, a putative desaturase of unknown function. Omega-3 fatty acids decreased by nearly one half relative to omega-6 fatty acids in PTB knockdown cells compared with controls, with a particularly strong decrease in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) concentration and its ratio to arachidonic acid (ARA). This is a rare demonstration of a mechanism specifically altering the cellular omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio without any change in diet/media. These findings reveal a novel role for PTB, regulating availability of membrane components and eicosanoid precursors for cell signaling.

Human Oxidation-specific Antibodies Reduce Foam Cell Formation and Atherosclerosis Progression

Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21982317

We sought to assess the in vivo importance of scavenger receptor (SR)-mediated uptake of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL) in atherogenesis and to test the efficacy of human antibody IK17-Fab or IK17 single-chain Fv fragment (IK17-scFv), which lacks immunologic properties of intact antibodies other than the ability to inhibit uptake of OxLDL by macrophages, to inhibit atherosclerosis.

Objective Assessment of Compliance and Persistence Among Patients Treated for Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension: a Systematic Review

Patient Preference and Adherence. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22003282

This study summarizes findings from objective assessments of compliance (or adherence) and persistence with ocular hypotensive agents in patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

Apolipoprotein A-I and A-I Mimetic Peptides: a Role in Atherosclerosis

Journal of Inflammation Research. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22096372

Cardiovascular disease remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the westernized world. Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of most cardiovascular diseases. Atherosclerosis is a slowly evolving chronic inflammatory disorder involving the intima of large and medium sized arteries that is initiated in response to high plasma lipid levels, especially LDL. Cells of both the innate and adaptive immunity are involved in this chronic inflammation. Although high plasma LDL levels are a major contributor to most stages of the evolution of atherosclerosis, HDL and its major protein apoA-I possess properties that attenuate and may even reverse atherosclerosis. Two major functions are the ability to induce the efflux of cholesterol from cells, particularly lipid-loaded macrophages, in the artery wall for transfer to the liver, a process referred to as reverse cholesterol transport, and the ability to attenuate the pro-inflammatory properties of LDL. The removal of cellular cholesterol from lipid-loaded macrophages may also be anti-inflammatory. One of the most promising therapies to enhance the anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory properties of HDL is apoA-I mimetic peptides. Several of these peptides have been shown to promote cellular cholesterol efflux, attenuate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by macrophages, and to attenuate the pro-inflammatory properties of LDL. This latter effect may be related to their high affinity for oxidized lipids present in LDL. This review discusses the functional properties of the peptides and their effect on experimental atherosclerosis and the results of initial clinical studies in humans.

Atherosclerosis: Beyond Cholesterol

Current Opinion in Lipidology. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22101562

Rare but Real--the Effects of Sodium Valproate in Pregnancy

Irish Medical Journal. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22111389

Energetic Constraints on Electric Signalling in Wave-type Weakly Electric Fishes

The Journal of Experimental Biology. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22116756

Gymnotiform weakly electric fishes generate electric organ discharges (EODs) and sense perturbations of the resulting electric field for purposes of orientation, prey detection and communication. Some species produce oscillatory ('wave-type') EODs at very high frequencies (up to 2 kHz) that have been proposed to be energetically expensive. If high-frequency EODs are expensive, then fish may modulate their EOD frequency and/or amplitude in response to low-oxygen (hypoxic) stress and/or compensate for costs of signalling through other adaptations that maximize oxygen uptake efficiency. To test for evidence of an energetic cost of signalling, we recorded EOD in conjunction with metabolic rates, critical oxygen tension and aquatic surface respiration (ASR(90)) thresholds in Apteronotus leptorhynchus, a species found in high-oxygen habitats, and Eigenmannia virescens, a species more typically found in low-oxygen waters. Eigenmannia virescens had a lower mean ASR(90) threshold and critical oxygen tension compared with A. leptorhynchus, consistent with field distributions. Within each species, there was no evidence for a relationship between metabolic rate and either EOD frequency or amplitude under normoxia, suggesting that there is no significant direct metabolic cost associated with producing a higher frequency EOD. However, when exposed to progressive hypoxia, fish generally responded by reducing EOD amplitude, which may reduce energetic costs. The threshold at which fish reduced EOD amplitude tended to be lower in E. virescens, a pattern consistent with higher tolerance to hypoxic stress. The results of this study suggest that wave-type fish reduce their EOD amplitude to reduce direct energetic costs without reducing metabolic rate under hypoxia.

Archaeology. Archaeologists Race Against Sea Change in Orkney

Science (New York, N.Y.). Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22116860

Metastatic Melanoma to the Intracavitary Left Ventricle Treated Using Cardiac Autotransplantation Technique for Resection

Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. Oct-Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22143478

Melanoma has a known propensity for cardiac metastasis. Most cases are associated with widespread metastatic disease and multiple sites of cardiac involvement and are not appropriate for surgical resection. When there is an isolated metastasis to the heart, the melanoma tends to involve the right heart. Rarely does melanoma metastasize only to the left ventricle. We present an unusual case of isolated metastasis of melanoma to the intracavitary left ventricle. This tumor was poorly responsive to chemotherapy, and a cardiac autotransplantation technique was used to achieve complete resection with pathologically negative margins.

Scientific Funding. Is €80 Billion on the Horizon for European Research?

Science (New York, N.Y.). Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22158789

Advances in Malignant Glioma Drug Discovery

Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery. Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22650980

Introduction: Outcome for patients with glioblastoma (GBM), the most common malignant primary brain tumor among adults, remains poor. However, two key treatment options have recently generated meaningful improvements in outcome for GBM patients. The addition of temozolomide (a methylating chemotherapeutic agent) to surgical resection and radiation therapy increases survival and is the first evidence that systemic chemotherapy can benefit GBM patients. Also, bevacizumab (a humanized mAb against VEGF) has significant antitumor activity among recurrent GBM patients. Additional areas of ongoing research are generating more therapeutic options that offer exciting potential to build on these results and further improve the outcome for malignant glioma patients. Areas covered: This review describes three foci of advanced clinical research aimed at improving the outcome of GBM patients: protracted temozolomide dosing, VEGF-inhibiting agents and integrin inhibitors. This review also discusses potential clinical trial strategies to evaluate irreversible EGFR inhibitors as well as therapeutics targeting PI3K and the hedgehog signaling pathway. Expert opinion: Several factors limit the efficacy of therapeutics targeting GBM. However, significant advances from basic science laboratories have recently generated important insights into the pathophysiology and molecular genetic abnormalities of these tumors. Efforts to translate these findings into innovative treatment strategies offer substantial promise to overcome therapeutic hurdles and treat individual patients more effectively. Improved understanding of malignant glioma biology and factors associated with treatment response will probably lead to improved therapeutic options and a better patient outcome.

Cilengitide: a Prototypic Integrin Inhibitor for the Treatment of Glioblastoma and Other Malignancies

Genes & Cancer. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22866207

Integrins are critical intermediaries in a wide spectrum of cancer cell activities and thus represent a highly attractive target in oncology therapy. Nonetheless, successful exploitation of anti-integrin therapeutics has proven challenging to date for cancer patients. In this review, we will focus on cilengitide, an RGD pentapeptide inhibitor of α V integrins. Although several integrin inhibitors are under clinical evaluation, cilengitide is the most clinically advanced and is emerging as a prototype for this class of anticancer therapy. A foundation of encouraging preclinical studies led to a well-designed clinical development plan that culminated in a pivotal phase III study of cilengitide in combination with radiation therapy and temozolomide chemotherapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients. Accrual to this study recently completed, while phase II studies of cilengitide are ongoing for head and neck cancer as well as lung cancer. Important future considerations for cilengitide and other integrin-targeting agents will likely include the identification of optimal combinatorial regimens and the delineation of biomarkers associated with efficacy.

Identification of Portal Venous Air with Bedside Ultrasound in the Emergency Department

The Journal of Emergency Medicine. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21296530

Safety and Efficacy of Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Adjuvant Bevacizumab in Patients with Recurrent Malignant Gliomas

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21489708

Patients with recurrent malignant gliomas treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and multiagent systemic therapies were reviewed to determine the effects of patient- and treatment-related factors on survival and toxicity.

Personality-based Latent Classes of Posttraumatic Psychopathology: Personality Disorders and the Internalizing/externalizing Model

Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21574669

Prior research using the Brief Form of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ-BF; Patrick, Curtin, & Tellegen, 2002) has shown evidence of 3 temperament-based subtypes--termed internalizing, externalizing, and simple PTSD--among individuals with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Miller, Greif, & Smith, 2003). This study sought to replicate and extend research in this area by conducting a latent profile analysis of higher order temperament scales from the MPQ-BF using a new sample of 208 veterans with symptoms of PTSD. Results suggest that a 3-class solution reflecting internalizing, externalizing, and simple subtypes of posttraumatic psychopathology provided the best fit to the data. The externalizing subtype was characterized by features of antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders on the International Personality Disorder Examination (Loranger, 1999) as well as low levels of constraint and high levels of negative emotionality on the MPQ-BF. In contrast, individuals in the internalizing class exhibited features of schizoid and avoidant personality disorders, low levels of positive emotionality, and high levels of negative emotionality. The simple subtype was defined by low levels of comorbid personality disorder features and relatively normal personality profiles. Findings support the reliability of this typology and support the relevance of the internalizing and externalizing model to the structure of personality disorders.

Single-site Laparoscopic (SSL) Cholecystectomy in Human Cadavers Using a Novel Percutaneous Instrument Platform and a Magnetic Anchoring and Guidance System (MAGS): Reestablishing the "critical View"

Surgical Endoscopy. Jan, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21789639

SSL introduces ergonomic challenges while establishing the critical view during dissection of the Triangle of Calot (TOC). This study investigates the use of a novel percutaneous instrument platform and MAGS in performing SSL cholecystectomy with a technique that closely mimics four-port cholecystectomy.

Bevacizumab and Daily Temozolomide for Recurrent Glioblastoma

Cancer. Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21792866

The authors performed a phase 2 trial of combined protracted daily temozolomide and biweekly bevacizumab for patients with recurrent glioblastoma who had previously received radiation therapy and temozolomide.

Parental Insertional Balanced Translocations Are an Important Cause of Apparently De Novo CNVs in Patients with Developmental Anomalies

European Journal of Human Genetics : EJHG. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21915152

In several laboratories, genome-wide array analysis has been implemented as the first tier diagnostic test for the identification of copy number changes in patients with mental retardation and/or congenital anomalies. The identification of a pathogenic copy number variant (CNV) is not only important to make a proper diagnosis but also to enable the accurate estimation of the recurrence risk to family members. Upon the identification of a de novo interstitial loss or gain, the risk recurrence is considered very low. However, this risk is 50% if one of the parents is carrier of a balanced insertional translocation (IT). The apparently de novo imbalance in a patient is then the consequence of the unbalanced transmission of a derivative chromosome involved in an IT. To determine the frequency with which insertional balanced translocations would be the origin of submicroscopic imbalances, we investigated the potential presence of an IT in a consecutive series of 477 interstitial CNVs, in which the parental origin has been tested by FISH, among 14,293 patients with developmental abnormalities referred for array. We demonstrate that ITs underlie ~2.1% of the apparently de novo, interstitial CNVs, indicating that submicroscopic ITs are at least sixfold more frequent than cytogenetically visible ITs. This risk estimate should be taken into account during counseling, and warrant parental and proband FISH testing wherever possible in patients with an apparently de novo, interstitial aberration.

Phase II Study of Gleevec® Plus Hydroxyurea (HU) in Adults with Progressive or Recurrent Meningioma

Journal of Neuro-oncology. Jan, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21938530

We prospectively evaluated the efficacy and safety of imatinib plus hydroxyurea in patients with progressive/recurrent meningioma. A total of 21 patients with progressive/recurrent meningioma were enrolled in this dual center, single-arm, phase II trial. All patients received 500 mg of hydroxyurea twice a day. Imatinib was administered at 400 mg/day for patients not on CYP3A enzyme inducing anti-epileptic drugs (EIAEDs) and at 500 mg twice a day for patients on EIAEDs. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival at 6 months (PFS-6) and secondary endpoints were safety, radiographic response rate, and overall survival (OS). Best radiographic response was stable disease and was observed in 14 patients (67%). PFS-6 for all patients, those with grade I tumors (n = 8) and those with grade II or III tumors (n = 13) was 61.9, 87.5 and 46.2%, respectively. Patients with grade II or III tumors had poorer PFS and OS than those with grade I tumors, (P = 0.025 and P = 0.018) respectively. The only grade 3 or greater adverse event occurring in ≥ 10% of patients was anemia (10%). Imatinib plus hydroxyurea is well tolerated among patients with meningioma but has modest anti-tumor activity for this indication.

Pharmacokinetic Drug Interaction Between AEE788 and RAD001 Causing Thrombocytopenia in Patients with Glioblastoma

Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. Jan, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21984222

Treating glioblastoma through the simultaneous inhibition of multiple transduction pathways may prove more effective than single-pathway inhibition. We evaluated the safety, biologic activity, and pharmacokinetic profile of oral AEE788, a selective inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), plus oral RAD001, a mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor, in glioblastoma patients.

Phase II Study of Carboplatin, Irinotecan, and Bevacizumab for Bevacizumab Naïve, Recurrent Glioblastoma

Journal of Neuro-oncology. Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21986722

We evaluated the efficacy of carboplatin, irinotecan, and bevacizumab among bevacizumab-naïve, recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) patients in a phase 2, open-label, single arm trial. Forty eligible patients received carboplatin (area under the plasma curve [AUC] 4 mg/ml-min) on day one, while bevacizumab (10 mg/kg) and irinotecan (340 mg/m(2) for patients on CYP3A-enzyme-inducing anti-epileptics [EIAEDs] and 125 mg/m(2) for patients not on EIAEDs) were administered on days 1 and 14 of every 28-day cycle. Patients were evaluated after each of the first two cycles and then after every other cycle. Treatment continued until progressive disease, unacceptable toxicity, non-compliance, or voluntary withdrawal. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival at 6 months (PFS-6) and secondary endpoints included safety and median overall survival (OS). All patients had progression after standard therapy. The median age was 51 years. Sixteen patients (40%) had a KPS of 90-100, while 27 (68%) were at first progression. The median time from original diagnosis was 11.4 months. The PFS-6 rate was 46.5% (95% CI: 30.4, 61.0%) and the median OS was 8.3 months [95% confidence interval (CI): 5.9, and 10.7 months]. Grade 4 events were primarily hematologic and included neutropenia and thrombocytopenia in 20 and 10%, respectively. The most common grade 3 events were neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, fatigue, and infection in 25, 20, 13, and 10%, respectively. Eleven patients (28%) discontinued study therapy due to toxicity and 17 patients (43%) required dose modification. One patient died due to treatment-related intestinal perforation. The addition of carboplatin and irinotecan to bevacizumab significantly increases toxicity but does not improve anti-tumor activity to that achieved historically with single-agent bevacizumab among bevacizumab-naïve, recurrent GBM patients. ( number NCT00953121).

Outcome After Bevacizumab Clinical Trial Therapy Among Recurrent Grade III Malignant Glioma Patients

Journal of Neuro-oncology. Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21997879

Although outcome following bevacizumab among recurrent grade IV malignant glioma patients is documented as poor by several analyses, outcome for recurrent grade III patients following bevacizumab therapy has not been specifically evaluated. We performed a pooled analysis of 96 recurrent grade III malignant glioma patients enrolled on three consecutive phase II bevacizumab salvage trials to evaluate overall outcome following bevacizumab trial discontinuation. Outcome on the three bevacizumab trials, which included similar eligibility, treatment and assessment criteria, was comparable. Forty-nine patients who progressed on bevacizumab trial therapy and remained alive for at least 30 days elected to receive additional therapy. These patients achieved a median PFS-6 and OS of 30.6% (95% CI: 18.4, 43.6) and 10.3 months (95% CI: 5.2, 11.7), respectively. Among patients who continued bevacizumab therapy (n = 23) after study progression, PFS-6 and median OS were 39.1% (95% CI: 19.9, 58.0) and 9.2 months (95% CI: 5.2, 13.6), respectively, compared to 23.1% (95% CI: 9.4, 40.3; P = 0.51) and 10.3 months (95% CI: 2.5, 14.4; P = 0.91) for patients who initiated non-bevacizumab containing therapy (n = 26). Outcome after discontinuation of bevacizumab therapy for recurrent grade III malignant glioma patients is associated with improved outcome compared to historical data for recurrent grade IV malignant glioma patients. Salvage therapies following bevacizumab failure have modest activity for grade III malignant glioma patients that is independent of further bevacizumab continuation.

Ridaforolimus for Patients with Progressive or Recurrent Malignant Glioma: a Perisurgical, Sequential, Ascending-dose Trial

Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22037923

This perisurgical phase 1 study evaluated the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and safety of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor ridaforolimus in patients (N = 10) with progressive or recurrent primary grade IV malignant glioma, who failed standard therapy. The primary objective of the study was to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of ridaforolimus.

Perrault Syndrome: Further Evidence for Genetic Heterogeneity

Journal of Neurology. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22037954

Mesh Fixation with a Barbed Anchor Suture Results in Significantly Less Strangulation of the Abdominal Wall

Surgical Endoscopy. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22083327

Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair using an underlay mesh frequently requires suture fixation across the abdominal wall, which results in significant postoperative pain. This study investigates the utility of a novel mesh fixation technique to reduce the strangulation force on the abdominal wall.

How Genetically Heterogeneous is Kabuki Syndrome?: MLL2 Testing in 116 Patients, Review and Analyses of Mutation and Phenotypic Spectrum

European Journal of Human Genetics : EJHG. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22126750

MLL2 mutations are detected in 55 to 80% of patients with Kabuki syndrome (KS). In 20 to 45% patients with KS, the genetic basis remains unknown, suggesting possible genetic heterogeneity. Here, we present the largest yet reported cohort of 116 patients with KS. We identified MLL2 variants in 74 patients, of which 47 are novel and a majority are truncating. We show that pathogenic missense mutations were commonly located in exon 48. We undertook a systematic facial KS morphology study of patients with KS at our regional dysmorphology meeting. Our data suggest that nearly all patients with typical KS facial features have pathogenic MLL2 mutations, although KS can be phenotypically variable. Furthermore, we show that MLL2 mutation-positive KS patients are more likely to have feeding problems, kidney anomalies, early breast bud development, joint dislocations and palatal malformations in comparison with MLL2 mutation-negative patients. Our work expands the mutation spectrum of MLL2 that may help in better understanding of this molecule, which is important in gene expression, epigenetic control of active chromatin states, embryonic development and cancer. Our analyses of the phenotype indicates that MLL2 mutation-positive and -negative patients differ systematically, and genetic heterogeneity of KS is not as extensive as previously suggested. Moreover, phenotypic variability of KS suggests that MLL2 testing should be considered even in atypical patients.

Preferential Interactions Between ApoE-containing Lipoproteins and Aβ Revealed by a Detection Method That Combines Size Exclusion Chromatography with Non-reducing Gel-shift

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22138302

The association between apolipoprotein E (apoE) and amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) may significantly impact the function of both proteins, thus affecting the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, apoE/Aβ interactions remain fundamentally defined by the stringency of the detection method. Here we use size exclusion chromatography (SEC) as a non-stringent approach to the detection of apoE/Aβ interactions in solution, specifically apoE and both endogenous and exogenous Aβ from plasma, CSF and astrocyte conditioned media. By SEC analysis, Aβ association with plasma and CNS lipoproteins is apoE-dependent. While endogenous Aβ elutes to specific human plasma lipoproteins distinct from those containing apoE, it is the apoE-containing lipoproteins that absorb excess amounts of exogenous Aβ40. In human CSF, apoE, endogenous Aβ and phospholipid elute in an almost identical profile, as do apoE, exogenous Aβ and phospholipid from astrocyte conditioned media. Combining SEC fractionation with subsequent analysis for SDS-stable apoE/Aβ complex reveals that apoE-containing astrocyte lipoproteins exhibit the most robust interactions with Aβ. Thus, standardization of the methods for detecting apoE/Aβ complex is necessary to determine its functional significance in the neuropathology characteristic of AD. Importantly, a systematic understanding of the role of apoE-containing plasma and CNS lipoproteins in Aβ homeostasis could potentially contribute to identifying a plasma biomarker currently over-looked because it has multiple components.

In-cell NMR Spectroscopy in Escherichia Coli

Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22167679

A living cell is a complex system that contains many biological macromolecules and small molecules necessary for survival, in a relatively small volume. It is within this crowded and complex cellular environment that proteins function making in-cell studies of protein structure and binding interactions an exciting and important area of study. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a particularly attractive method for in-cell studies of proteins since it provides atomic-level data noninvasively in solution. In addition, NMR has recently undergone significant advances in instrumentation to increase sensitivity and in methods development to reduce data acquisition times for multidimensional experiments. Thus, NMR spectroscopy lends itself to studying proteins within a living cell, and recently "in-cell NMR" studies have been reported from several laboratories. To date, this technique has been successfully applied in Escherichia coli (E. coli), Xenopus laevis (X. laevis) oocytes, and HeLa host cells. Demonstrated applications include protein assignment as well as de novo 3D protein structure determination. The most common use, however, is to probe binding interactions and structural modifications directly from proton nitrogen correlation spectra. E. coli is the most extensively used cell type thus far and this chapter is largely confined to reviewing recent literature and describing methods and detailed protocols for in-cell NMR studies in this bacterial cell.

A Novel Microdeletion Syndrome at 3q13.31 Characterised by Developmental Delay, Postnatal Overgrowth, Hypoplastic Male Genitals, and Characteristic Facial Features

Journal of Medical Genetics. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22180640

Congenital deletions affecting 3q11q23 have rarely been reported and only five cases have been molecularly characterised. Genotype-phenotype correlation has been hampered by the variable sizes and breakpoints of the deletions. In this study, 14 novel patients with deletions in 3q11q23 were investigated and compared with 13 previously reported patients.

BFGF-containing Electrospun Gelatin Scaffolds with Controlled Nano-architectural Features for Directed Angiogenesis

Acta Biomaterialia. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22200610

Current therapeutic angiogenesis strategies are focused on the development of biologically responsive scaffolds that can deliver multiple angiogenic cytokines and/or cells in ischemic regions. Herein, we report on a novel electrospinning approach to fabricate cytokine-containing nanofibrous scaffolds with tunable architecture to promote angiogenesis. Fiber diameter and uniformity were controlled by varying the concentration of the polymeric (i.e. gelatin) solution, the feed rate, needle to collector distance, and electric field potential between the collector plate and injection needle. Scaffold fiber orientation (random vs. aligned) was achieved by alternating the polarity of two parallel electrodes placed on the collector plate thus dictating fiber deposition patterns. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was physically immobilized within the gelatin scaffolds at variable concentrations and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were seeded on the top of the scaffolds. Cell proliferation and migration was assessed as a function of growth factor loading and scaffold architecture. HUVECs successfully adhered onto gelatin B scaffolds and cell proliferation was directly proportional to the loading concentrations of the growth factor (0-100 bFGF ng/mL). Fiber orientation had a pronounced effect on cell morphology and orientation. Cells were spread along the fibers of the electrospun scaffolds with the aligned orientation and developed a spindle-like morphology parallel to the scaffold's fibers. In contrast, cells seeded onto the scaffolds with random fiber orientation, did not demonstrate any directionality and appeared to have a rounder shape. Capillary formation (i.e. sprouts length and number of sprouts per bead), assessed in a 3-D in vitro angiogenesis assay, was a function of bFGF loading concentration (0 ng, 50 ng and 100 ng per scaffold) for both types of electrospun scaffolds (i.e. with aligned or random fiber orientation).

De Novo Mutations of the Gene Encoding the Histone Acetyltransferase KAT6B Cause Genitopatellar Syndrome

American Journal of Human Genetics. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22265017

Genitopatellar syndrome (GPS) is a rare disorder in which patellar aplasia or hypoplasia is associated with external genital anomalies and severe intellectual disability. Using an exome-sequencing approach, we identified de novo mutations of KAT6B in five individuals with GPS; a single nonsense variant and three frameshift indels, including a 4 bp deletion observed in two cases. All identified mutations are located within the terminal exon of the gene and are predicted to generate a truncated protein product lacking evolutionarily conserved domains. KAT6B encodes a member of the MYST family of histone acetyltranferases. We demonstrate a reduced level of both histone H3 and H4 acetylation in patient-derived cells suggesting that dysregulation of histone acetylation is a direct functional consequence of GPS alleles. These findings define the genetic basis of GPS and illustrate the complex role of the regulation of histone acetylation during development.

CETP-mediated Cholesteryl Ester Enrichment of ApoB Subclasses in Type 1 Diabetes

European Journal of Clinical Investigation. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22288873

  Accelerated cholesteryl ester transfer (CET) in patients with types 1 (T1D) and 2 diabetes enhances the atherogenicity of the apoB-containing CE acceptor lipoproteins. The study of lipoprotein density fractions cannot identify which of the five immunologically distinct apoB subclasses function as CE acceptors because they are heterogeneous and present in very low-, intermediate- and low density lipoproteins (VLDL, IDL and LDL, respectively). In order to design lipid-modifying therapies that specifically target these CE-enriched lipoprotein particles, it is necessary to first characterize their CE acceptor function.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder Comorbidity in a Sample of Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Comprehensive Psychiatry. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22305866

This study examined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) comorbidity in military veterans with a high prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and evaluated the relationships between the 2 disorders and exposure to traumatic events. The sample included 222 male and female military veterans who were administered structured clinical interviews based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Results show that 54.5% met the criteria for current PTSD, 11.5% of whom also met the criteria for current adult ADHD. Level of trauma exposure and ADHD severity were significant predictors of current PTSD severity. Evaluation of the underlying structure of symptoms of PTSD and ADHD using confirmatory factor analysis yielded a best-fitting measurement model that comprised 4 PTSD factors and 3 ADHD factors. Standardized estimates of the correlations among PTSD and ADHD factors suggested that the largest proportion of shared variance underlying PTSD-ADHD comorbidity is related to problems with modulating arousal levels that are common to both disorders (ie, hyperarousal and hypoarousal).

Meier-Gorlin Syndrome Genotype-phenotype Studies: 35 Individuals with Pre-replication Complex Gene Mutations and 10 Without Molecular Diagnosis

European Journal of Human Genetics : EJHG. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22333897

Meier-Gorlin syndrome (MGS) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by microtia, patellar aplasia/hypoplasia, and short stature. Recently, mutations in five genes from the pre-replication complex (ORC1, ORC4, ORC6, CDT1, and CDC6), crucial in cell-cycle progression and growth, were identified in individuals with MGS. Here, we report on genotype-phenotype studies in 45 individuals with MGS (27 females, 18 males; age 3 months-47 years). Thirty-five individuals had biallelic mutations in one of the five causative pre-replication genes. No homozygous or compound heterozygous null mutations were detected. In 10 individuals, no definitive molecular diagnosis was made. The triad of microtia, absent/hypoplastic patellae, and short stature was observed in 82% of individuals with MGS. Additional frequent clinical features were mammary hypoplasia (100%) and abnormal genitalia (42%; predominantly cryptorchidism and hypoplastic labia minora/majora). One individual with ORC1 mutations only had short stature, emphasizing the highly variable clinical spectrum of MGS. Individuals with ORC1 mutations had significantly shorter stature and smaller head circumferences than individuals from other gene categories. Furthermore, compared with homozygous missense mutations, compound heterozygous mutations appeared to have a more severe effect on phenotype, causing more severe growth retardation in ORC4 and more frequently pulmonary emphysema in CDT1. A lethal phenotype was seen in four individuals with compound heterozygous ORC1 and CDT1 mutations. No other clear genotype-phenotype association was observed. Growth hormone and estrogen treatment may be of some benefit, respectively, to growth retardation and breast hypoplasia, though further studies in this patient group are needed.

Role of Outer Membrane C-type Cytochromes MtrC and OmcA in Shewanella Oneidensis MR-1 Cell Production, Accumulation, and Detachment During Respiration on Hematite

Geobiology. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22360295

The iron-reducing bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 has the capacity to contribute to iron cycling over the long term by respiring on crystalline iron oxides such as hematite when poorly crystalline phases are depleted. The ability of outer membrane cytochromes OmcA and MtrC of MR-1 to bind to and transfer electrons to hematite has led to the suggestion that they function as terminal reductases when this mineral is used as a respiratory substrate. Differences in their redox behavior and hematite-binding properties, however, indicate that they play different roles in the electron transfer reaction. Here, we investigated how these differences in cytochrome behavior with respect to hematite affected biofilm development when the mineral served as terminal electron acceptor (TEA). Upon attachment to hematite, cells of the wild-type (WT) strain as well as those of a ΔomcA mutant but not those of a ΔmtrC mutant replicated and accumulated on the mineral surface. The results indicate that MtrC but not OmcA is required for growth when this mineral serves as TEA. While an OmcA deficiency did not impede cell replication and accumulation on hematite prior to achievement of a maximum surface cell density comparable to that established by WT cells, OmcA was required for efficient electron transfer and cell attachment to hematite once maximum surface cell density was achieved. OmcA may therefore play a role in overcoming barriers to electron transfer and cell attachment to hematite imposed by reductive dissolution of the mineral surface from cell respiration associated with achievement of high surface cell densities.

Regulation of Plasma Cholesterol Esterification by Sphingomyelin: Effect of Physiological Variations of Plasma Sphingomyelin on Lecithin-cholesterol Acyltransferase Activity

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22370449

Although sphingomyelin (SM) is the most abundant phospholipid in the plasma, next to phosphatidylcholine (PC), its physiological function in plasma is unclear. Here we employed plasma from various genetic models of mice which naturally differ in their plasma SM/PC ratios, to study the role of SM as a modulator of LCAT, the enzyme responsible for HDL maturation and the synthesis of cholesteryl esters (CE) in normal plasma. Serine palmitoyltransferase deficient mice, and SM synthase deficient mice, both of which have below normal SM/PC ratios, showed significantly elevated LCAT activities when assayed with the endogenous substrates. On the other hand, LDL receptor knockout mice, and apo E knockout mice, both of which have high SM/PC ratios, had markedly reduced (-80%) LCAT activities. The LCAT levels in plasma, as assayed with an exogenous substrate, were similar in all groups, except for a 45% decrease in apo E knockout mice. Plasma samples with high SM/PC ratios had lower percentage of 20:4, 22:5, and 22:6 CE all of which are formed by LCAT, and a higher percentage of the atherogenic 18:1 CE which is mainly derived from the action of liver ACAT, showing that in vivo, the contribution of LCAT to plasma CE is reduced while that of liver ACAT is increased. These results show that SM is a physiological modulator of LCAT activity as well as plasma CE composition, and this may contribute to the previously reported pro-atherogenic effect of high plasma SM levels.

Phase II Study of Gleevec Plus Hydroxyurea in Adults with Progressive or Recurrent Low-grade Glioma

Cancer. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22371319

We evaluated the efficacy of imatinib plus hydroxyurea in patients with progressive/recurrent low-grade glioma.

Risk Factors for Superficial Digital Flexor Tendinopathy in Thoroughbred Racehorses in Hurdle Starts in the UK (2001-2009)

Equine Veterinary Journal. Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22372389

Superficial digital flexor (SDF) tendinopathy is a common injury in Thoroughbred horses racing over hurdles. Identification of risk factors may allow the introduction of measures to minimise the incidence of this injury.

CDH1 is Essential for Endometrial Differentiation, Gland Development, and Adult Function in the Mouse Uterus

Biology of Reproduction. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22378759

CDH1 is a cell-cell adhesion molecule expressed in the epithelium to coordinate key morphogenetic processes, establish cell polarity, and regulate epithelial differentiation and proliferation. To determine the role of CDH1 in the mouse uterus, Cdh1 was conditionally ablated by crossing Pgr-Cre and Cdh1-flox mice, and the phenotype was characterized. We found that loss of Cdh1 results in a disorganized cellular structure of the epithelium and ablation of endometrial glands in the neonatal uterus. Cdh1(d/d) mice lost adherens junctions (CTNNB1 and CTNNA1) and tight junctions (claudin, occludin, and ZO-1 proteins) in the neonatal uterus, leading to loss of epithelial cell-cell interaction. Ablation of Cdh1 induced abnormal epithelial proliferation and massive apoptosis, and disrupted Wnt and Hox gene expression in the neonatal uterus. Although the uteri of Cdh1(d/d) mice did not show any myometrial defects, ablation of Cdh1 inhibited expression of epithelial (cytokeratin 8) and stromal (CD10) markers. Cdh1(d/d) mice were infertile because of defects during implantation and decidualization. Furthermore, we showed in the model of conditional ablation of both Cdh1 and Trp53 in the uterus that interrupting cell cycle regulation through the loss of Cdh1 leads to abnormal uterine development. The uteri of Cdh1(d/d) Trp53(d/d) mice exhibited histological features of endometrial carcinomas with myometrial invasion. Collectively, these findings suggest that CDH1 has an important role in structural and functional development of the uterus as well as adult uterine function. CDH1 has a capacity to control cell fate by altering directional cell proliferation and apoptosis.

Use of Cone Beam Computed Tomography in Implant Dentistry: the International Congress of Oral Implantologists Consensus Report

Implant Dentistry. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22382748

The International Congress of Oral Implantologists has supported the development of this consensus report involving the use of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) in implant dentistry with the intent of providing scientifically based guidance to clinicians regarding its use as an adjunct to traditional imaging modalities.

Animal Models of Atherosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22383700

Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that is the underlying cause of most cardiovascular disease. Both cells of the vessel wall and cells of the immune system participate in atherogenesis. This process is heavily influenced by plasma lipoproteins, genetics, and the hemodynamics of the blood flow in the artery. A variety of small and large animal models have been used to study the atherogenic process. No model is ideal as each has its own advantages and limitations with respect to manipulation of the atherogenic process and modeling human atherosclerosis or lipoprotein profile. Useful large animal models include pigs, rabbits, and nonhuman primates. Due in large part to the relative ease of genetic manipulation and the relatively short time frame for the development of atherosclerosis, murine models are currently the most extensively used. Although not all aspects of murine atherosclerosis are identical to humans, studies using murine models have suggested potential biological processes and interactions that underlie this process. As it becomes clear that different factors may influence different stages of lesion development, the use of mouse models with the ability to turn on or delete proteins or cells in tissue specific and temporal manner will be very valuable.

Abortion, Mental Health and Charges of Guilt by Association

The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science. Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22383770

A Pilot Study of IL-2Rα Blockade During Lymphopenia Depletes Regulatory T-cells and Correlates with Enhanced Immunity in Patients with Glioblastoma

PloS One. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22383993

Preclinical studies in mice have demonstrated that the prophylactic depletion of immunosuppressive regulatory T-cells (T(Regs)) through targeting the high affinity interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor (IL-2Rα/CD25) can enhance anti-tumor immunotherapy. However, therapeutic approaches are complicated by the inadvertent inhibition of IL-2Rα expressing anti-tumor effector T-cells.

Phase I Study of AEE788, a Novel Multitarget Inhibitor of ErbB- and VEGF-receptor-family Tyrosine Kinases, in Recurrent Glioblastoma Patients

Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22392572

Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) play a significant role in glioblastoma angiogenesis and proliferation, making tyrosine kinase (TK) receptors logical targets for treatment. We evaluated AEE788, a reversible TK inhibitor that inhibits EGFR and VEGFR, in recurrent glioblastoma patients.

Dietary Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Upregulate Expression of FADS3 Transcripts

Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids. Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22398025

The fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene family at 11q12-13.1 includes FADS1 and FADS2, both known to mediate biosynthesis of omega-3 and omega-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA). FADS3 is a putative desaturase due to its sequence similarity with FADS1 and FADS2, but its function is unknown. We have previously described 7 FADS3 alternative transcripts (AT) and 1 FADS2 AT conserved across multiple species. This study examined the effect of dietary LCPUFA levels on liver FADS gene expression in vivo and in vitro, evaluated by qRT-PCR. Fourteen baboon neonates were randomized to three diet groups for their first 12 weeks of life, C: Control, no LCPUFA, L: 0.33% docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)/0.67% arachidonic acid (ARA) (w/w); and L3: 1.00% DHA/0.67% ARA (w/w). Liver FADS1 and both FADS2 transcripts were downregulated by at least 50% in the L3 group compared to controls. In contrast, FADS3 AT were upregulated (L3>C), with four transcripts significantly upregulated by 40% or more. However, there was no evidence for a shift in liver fatty acids to coincide with increased FADS3 expression. Significant upregulation of FADS3 AT was also observed in human liver-derived HepG2 cells after DHA or ARA treatment. The PPARγ antagonist GW9662 prevented FADS3 upregulation, while downregulation of FADS1 and FADS2 was unaffected. Thus, FADS3 AT were directly upregulated by LCPUFA by a PPARγ-dependent mechanism unrelated to regulation of other desaturases. This opposing pattern and mechanism of regulation suggests a dissimilar function for FADS3 AT compared to other FADS gene products.

Naturally Occurring Variant of Mouse Apolipoprotein A-I Alters the Lipid and HDL Association Properties of the Protein

Journal of Lipid Research. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22402133

Plasma HDL levels are inversely associated with atherosclerosis. Inbred mouse strains differ in plasma HDL levels and susceptibility to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis-susceptible C57BL/6J mice possess plasma HDL levels 2-fold lower than atherosclerosis-resistant FVB/NJ mice. Polymorphisms have been previously identified between the two mouse strains in the major HDL apolipoproteins, ApoA-I and ApoA-II, which may affect their function on HDL. To begin to understand the HDL differences, we here report on a detailed comparison of the lipid-associated functions of the two mouse ApoA-I proteins. We demonstrate that these polymorphisms significantly alter the protein self-association properties, the ability of the proteins to clear lipid micelles from solution, and their binding affinity for mature mouse HDL. The changes in lipid binding do not appear to alter the ability of the protein to promote cholesterol efflux from cells or the formation of nascent HDL from primary hepatocytes. These apolipoprotein polymorphisms do not change the rate at which HDL protein or cholesterol are catabolized in vivo. Although the presence of the polymorphisms in ApoA-I alters important factors in HDL formation, the basis for the differences in the HDL plasma levels observed in the various mouse strains is more complex and requires additional investigation.

Phase 1 Trial of Dasatinib Plus Erlotinib in Adults with Recurrent Malignant Glioma

Journal of Neuro-oncology. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22407177

To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) of dasatinib, an inhibitor of the Src family kinase proteins, with erlotinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, among recurrent malignant glioma patients. Once daily dasatinib was escalated in successive cohorts while erlotinib was administered daily at established doses based on concurrent CYP3A-inducing anticonvulsant (EIAEDS) use. Dasatinib pharmacokinetic analyzes were performed. Forty-seven patients enrolled including 37 (79 %) with grade IV and 10 (21 %) with grade III malignant glioma. Thirty patients (64 %) were at ≥second recurrence, while 27 (57 %) had received prior bevacizumab. The dasatinib MTD was 180 mg when combined with either 150 mg of erlotinib for patients not on EIAEDs, or 450 mg of erlotinib for patients on EIAEDs. The most common DLTs were diarrhea and fatigue, while most adverse events were grade 2. Pharmacokinetic data suggests that dasatinib exposure increased with increased dasatinib dose and concurrent erlotinib administration, while concurrent EIAED use diminished dasatinib exposure. No radiographic responses were observed, and only one patient (2 %) remained progression-free at 6 months. We demonstrate that dasatinib plus erlotinib can be safely co-administered on a continuous, daily dosing schedule with erlotinib, and established the recommended dose level of this combination.

Structural Determinants of Actinomyces Sortase SrtC2 Required for Membrane Localization and Assembly of Type 2 Fimbriae for Interbacterial Coaggregation and Oral Biofilm Formation

Journal of Bacteriology. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22447896

As a pioneer colonizer of the oral cavity, Actinomyces oris expresses proteinaceous pili (also called fimbriae) to mediate the following two key events in biofilm formation: adherence to saliva deposits on enamel and interbacterial associations. Assembly of type 2 fimbriae that directly facilitate coaggregation with oral streptococci and Actinomyces biofilm development requires the class C sortase SrtC2. Although the general sortase-associated mechanisms have been elucidated, several structural attributes unique to the class C sortases require functional investigation. Mutational studies reported here suggest that the N-terminal transmembrane (TM) region of SrtC2, predicted to contain a signal peptide sequence, is cleaved off the mature protein and that this processing is critical for the proper integration of the enzyme at the cytoplasmic membrane, which is mediated by the extended hydrophobic C terminus containing a TM domain and a cytoplasmic tail. Deletion of this putative TM or the entire cytoplasmic domain abolished the enzyme localization and functionality. Alanine substitution of the conserved catalytic Cys-His dyad abrogated the SrtC2 enzymatic activity. In contrast, mutations designed to alter a "lid" domain that covers the catalytic pocket of a class C sortase showed no effect on enzyme activity. Finally, each of the deleterious mutations that affected SrtC2 activity or membrane localization also eliminated Actinomyces species biofilm development and bacterial coaggregation with streptococci. We conclude that the N terminus of SrtC2, which contains the signal sequence, is required for proper protein translocation and maturation, while the extended C-terminal hydrophobic region serves as a stable membrane anchor for proper enzyme functionality.

A Novel Treatment for Glioblastoma: Integrin Inhibition

Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22449214

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain tumor, which despite combined modality treatment, recurs and is invariably fatal. New therapies for GBM represent an unmet need in neuro-oncology. This review provides an overview of the epidemiology and molecular biology of GBM and focuses, in particular, on integrins, which are heterodimeric transmembrane surface proteins that, when activated, signal through several GBM-relevant pathways, including proliferation, motility, cytoskeleton organization, survival and angiogenesis pathways. Consequently, the potential effects of anti-integrin strategies in anti-GBM therapeutics are threefold: antiangiogenesis; anti-invasion; and anti-tumor. Trials of anti-integrins are most mature in GBM, and this review summarizes the completed and future trials of integrin inhibitors in the treatment of both newly diagnosed and recurrent GBM.

Pathways of Ca²⁺ Entry and Cytoskeletal Damage Following Eccentric Contractions in Mouse Skeletal Muscle

Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22461447

Muscles that are stretched during contraction (eccentric contractions) show deficits in force production and a variety of structural changes, including loss of antibody staining of cytoskeletal proteins. Extracellular Ca(2+) entry and activation of calpains have been proposed as mechanisms involved in these changes. The present study used isolated mouse extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles subjected to 10 eccentric contractions and monitored force production, immunostaining of cytoskeletal proteins, and resting stiffness. Possible pathways for Ca(2+) entry were tested with streptomycin (200 μM), a blocker of stretch-activated channels, and with muscles from mice deficient in the transient receptor potential canonical 1 gene (TRPC1 KO), a candidate gene for stretch-activated channels. At 30 min after the eccentric contractions, the isometric force was decreased to 75 ± 3% of initial control and this force loss was reduced by streptomycin but not in the TRPC1 KO. Desmin, titin, and dystrophin all showed patchy loss of immunostaining 30 min after the eccentric contractions, which was substantially reduced by streptomycin and in the TRPC1 KO muscles. Muscles showed a reduction of resting stiffness following eccentric contractions, and this reduction was eliminated by streptomycin and absent in the TRPC1 KO muscles. Calpain activation was determined by the appearance of a lower molecular weight autolysis product and μ-calpain was activated at 30 min, whereas the muscle-specific calpain-3 was not. To test whether the loss of stiffness was caused by titin cleavage, protein gels were used but no significant titin cleavage was detected. These results suggest that Ca(2+) entry following eccentric contractions is through a stretch-activated channel that is blocked by streptomycin and encoded or modulated by TRPC1.

The Opioid Manager: a Point-of-care Tool to Facilitate the Use of the Canadian Opioid Guideline

Journal of Opioid Management. Jan-Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22479886

The Opioid Manager is designed to be used as a point-of-care tool for providers prescribing opioids for chronic noncancer pain. It condenses the key elements from the Canadian Opioid Guideline and can be used as a chart insert. The Opioid Manager has been validated and is available for download from the Guideline's Web site The Opioid Manager is divided into the following four parts: A) before you write the first script, B) initiation trial, C) maintenance and monitoring, and D) when is it time to decrease the dose or stop the opioid completely? The Opioid Manager has been downloaded by 1,432 users: 47 percent family physicians, 18 percent pharmacists, 13 percent other physicians, and 22 percent miscellaneous. To show how to use the Opioid Manager, the authors created a 10-minute video that is available on the Internet. The Opioid Manager is being translated to French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Farsi.

Use of Warfarin in Long-term Care: a Systematic Review

BMC Geriatrics. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22480376

The use of warfarin in older patients requires special consideration because of concerns with comorbidities, interacting medications, and the risk of bleeding. Several studies have suggested that warfarin may be underused or inconsistently prescribed in long-term care (LTC); no published systematic review has evaluated warfarin use for stroke prevention in this setting. This review was conducted to summarize the body of published original research regarding the use of warfarin in the LTC population.

Personality and the Latent Structure of PTSD Comorbidity

Journal of Anxiety Disorders. Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22480716

This study examined the structure of PTSD comorbidity and its relationship to personality in a sample of 214 veterans using data from diagnostic interviews and the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-Brief Form (MPQ-BF; Patrick, Curtin, & Tellegen, 2002). Confirmatory factor analyses supported a three factor model composed of Externalizing, Fear and Distress factors. Analyses that examined the location of borderline personality disorder revealed significant cross-loadings for this disorder on both Externalizing and Distress. Structural equation models showed trait negative emotionality to be significantly related to all three comorbidity factors whereas positive emotionality and constraint evidenced specific associations with Distress and Externalizing, respectively. These results shed new light on the location of borderline personality disorder within the internalizing/externalizing model and clarify the relative influence of broad dimensions of personality on patterns of comorbidity.

Fatal and Near-fatal Asthma in Children: the Critical Care Perspective

The Journal of Pediatrics. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22494876

To characterize the clinical course, therapies, and outcomes of children with fatal and near-fatal asthma admitted to pediatric intensive care units (PICUs).

Hybrid Approach for Removal of an Errant Intra-vascular Pedicle Spinal Fixation Screw in the Thoracic Aorta

Journal of Vascular Surgery. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22503180

Late presentation of aortic injuries secondary to internal fixation hardware is uncommon and generally associated with pseudoaneurysm formation. We herein present a case of transmural migration of a pedicle screw into the descending thoracic aorta, which was revealed incidentally by computed tomography scan after almost 4 years of hardware implantation. Approximately 75% of the pedicle screw was exposed to the bloodstream, and was successfully removed using endovascular segmental exclusion to avoid aortic cross-clamping and an open approach via left thoracotomy. This case illustrates the successful repair of an iatrogenic aortic injury using a hybrid technique.

Concentration-dependent Effects of the Soy Phytoestrogen Genistein on the Proteome of Cultured Cardiomyocytes

Journal of Proteomics. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22521270

The soy-derived phytoestrogen genistein (GEN) has received attention for its potential benefits on the cardiovascular system by providing direct protection to cardiomyocytes against pathophysiological stresses. Here, we employed a proteomic approach to study the concentration-dependent effects of GEN treatments on cardiomyocytes. Cultured HL-1 cardiomyocytes were treated with low (1μM) and high (50μM) concentrations of GEN. Proteins were pre-fractionated by sequential hydrophilic/hydrophobic extraction and both protein fractions from each treatment group were separated by 2D gel electrophoresis (2DE). Overall, approximately 2,700 spots were visualized on the 2D gels. Thirty-nine and 99 spots changed in volume relative to controls (p<0.05) following the low- and high-concentration GEN treatments, respectively. From these spots, 25 and 62 protein species were identified by ESI-MS/MS and Mascot database searching, respectively. Identified proteins were further categorized according to their functions and possible links to cardioprotection were discussed. MetaCore gene ontology analysis suggested that 1μM GEN significantly impacted the anti-apoptosis process, and that both the low and high concentrations of GEN influenced the glucose catabolic process and regulation of ATPase activity. This proteomics study provides the first global insight into the molecular events triggered by GEN treatment in cardiomyocytes.

Endovascular Salvage of a Right Brachial Artery-right Atrium Hemodialysis Graft Using a Covered Endoprosthesis

The Journal of Vascular Access. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22522413

Creation of a functional hemodialysis access in patients with exhausted peripheral access sites and concomitant central venous occlusive disease (CVOD) is a multifaceted challenge; often requiring complex, innovative solutions, not without their own complications. We present a 57-year-old hemodialysis patient with a history of hypercoagulable disorder and multiple failed arteriovenous accesses. Because of inadequate peripheral access sites and chronic occlusions in superior vena cava, brachiocephalic veins and inferior vena cava, in addition to multiple transhepatic catheter related issues; we decided to perform a right brachial artery to right atrium (RA) hemodialysis graft. The access was used without complications for 18 months at which point he had his first episode of thrombosis; open thrombectomy and percutaneous balloon angioplasty (PTA) at the atrial anastomosis were done with success. The following three months, he endured two more thrombectomies and PTAs. During the last intervention we performed an intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) through the atrial anastomosis, which demonstrated stenosis; and the decision was made to extend the outflow anastomosis with a covered stent into the atrium. Therefore a 10 cm x 10 mm Viabahn stent-graft (W. L. Gore and Associates, Flagstaff, Ariz.) was deployed and post dilated with 8 mm balloon within the graft component. Repeat injection and Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) demonstrated significant improvement and free outflow. The brachial-RA hemodialysis graft could be use immediately and at 5 months has remained fully functional and no reinterventions have been necessary.

Neurology Didactic Curricula for Psychiatry Residents: a Review of the Literature and a Survey of Program Directors

Academic Psychiatry : the Journal of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the Association for Academic Psychiatry. Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22532199

Minimal literature exists on neurology didactic instruction offered to psychiatry residents, and there is no model neurology didactic curriculum offered for psychiatry residency programs. The authors sought to describe the current state of neurology didactic training in psychiatry residencies.

Bevacizumab Therapy for Adults with Recurrent/progressive Meningioma: a Retrospective Series

Journal of Neuro-oncology. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22535433

Intracranial meningiomas are often indolent tumors which typically grow over years to decades. Nonetheless, meningiomas that progress after maximum safe resection and radiation therapy pose a significant therapeutic challenge and effective therapies have yet to be identified. Preclinical studies implicate angiogenesis in the pathophysiology of more aggressive meningiomas, suggesting that anti-angiogenic therapies may be of utility in this setting. We performed a retrospective review of fourteen patients with recurrent meningioma treated at Duke University Medical Center with bevacizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor, administered either alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Most patients were heavily pre-treated. Progression-free survival at 6 months was 86 % and was comparable regardless of meningioma grade and whether bevacizumab was administered as monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy. Most toxicities were mild however single patients developed CNS hemorrhage (grade 1) and intestinal perforation (grade 4), respectively. Bevacizumab can be administered safely to patients with meningioma and appears to be associated with encouraging anti-tumor effect when administered as either a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy. Phase II trials investigating bevacizumab in patients with progressive/recurrent meningioma are warranted.

Contemporary Surgical Management of Cardiac Paragangliomas

The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22537533

Cardiac paragangliomas are an extremely rare subset of chromaffin cell tumors that develop from neural crest cells.

Phase 2 Trial Design in Neuro-oncology Revisited: a Report from the RANO Group

The Lancet Oncology. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22554547

Advances in the management of gliomas, including the approval of agents such as temozolomide and bevacizumab, have created an evolving therapeutic landscape in glioma treatment, thus affecting our ability to reliably use historical controls to comparatively assess the activity of new therapies. Furthermore, the increasing availability of novel, targeted agents--which are competing for a small patient population, in view of the low incidence of primary brain tumours--draws attention to the need to improve the efficiency of phase 2 clinical testing in neuro-oncology to expeditiously transition the most promising of these drugs or combinations to potentially practice-changing phase 3 trials. In this report from the Response Assessment in Neurooncology (RANO) group, we review phase 2 trial designs that can address these challenges and capitalise on scientific and clinical advances in brain tumour treatment in neuro-oncology to accelerate and optimise the selection of drugs deserving further testing in phase 3 trials. Although there is still a small role for single-arm and non-comparative phase 2 designs, emphasis is placed on the potential role that comparative randomised phase 2 designs--such as screening designs, selection designs, discontinuation designs, and adaptive designs, including seamless phase 2/3 designs--can have. The rational incorporation of these designs, as determined by the specific clinical setting and the trial's endpoints or goals, has the potential to substantially advance new drug development in neuro-oncology.

Mechanism of Release and Fate of Excised Oligonucleotides During Nucleotide Excision Repair

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22573372

A wide range of environmental and carcinogenic agents form bulky lesions on DNA that are removed from the human genome in the form of short, ∼30-nucleotide oligonucleotides by the process of nucleotide excision repair. Although significant insights have been made regarding the mechanisms of damage recognition, dual incisions, and repair resynthesis during nucleotide excision repair, the fate of the dual incision/excision product is unknown. Using excision assays with both mammalian cell-free extract and purified proteins, we unexpectedly discovered that lesion-containing oligonucleotides are released from duplex DNA in complex with the general transcription and repair factor, Transcription Factor IIH (TFIIH). Release of excision products from TFIIH requires ATP but not ATP hydrolysis, and release occurs slowly, with a t(1/2) of 3.3 h. Excised oligonucleotides released from TFIIH then become bound by the single-stranded binding protein Replication Protein A or are targeted by cellular nucleases. These results provide a mechanism for release and an understanding of the initial fate of excised oligonucleotides during nucleotide excision repair.

Prevalence of Atrial Fibrillation in US Nursing Homes: Results from the National Nursing Home Survey, 1985-2004

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22575773

To evaluate the prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AFib) in US nursing homes from 1985 to 2004 and to project the prevalence of AFib to 2030.

Treatment of Elderly Patients with Glioblastoma

The Lancet Oncology. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22578792

Effect of Bioaugmentation and Biostimulation on Sulfate-reducing Column Startup Captured by Functional Gene Profiling

FEMS Microbiology Ecology. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22587594

Sulfate-reducing permeable reactive zones (SR-PRZs) depend upon a complex microbial community to utilize a lignocellulosic substrate and produce sulfides, which remediate mine drainage by binding heavy metals. To gain insight into the impact of the microbial community composition on the startup time and pseudo-steady-state performance, functional genes corresponding to cellulose-degrading (CD), fermentative, sulfate-reducing, and methanogenic microorganisms were characterized in columns simulating SR-PRZs using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Duplicate columns were bioaugmented with sulfate-reducing or CD bacteria or biostimulated with ethanol or carboxymethyl cellulose and compared with baseline dairy manure inoculum and uninoculated controls. Sulfate removal began after ~ 15 days for all columns and pseudo-steady state was achieved by Day 30. Despite similar performance, DGGE profiles of 16S rRNA gene and functional genes at pseudo-steady state were distinct among the column treatments, suggesting the potential to control ultimate microbial community composition via bioaugmentation and biostimulation. qPCR revealed enrichment of functional genes in all columns between the initial and pseudo-steady-state time points. This is the first functional gene-based study of CD, fermentative and sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanogenic archaea in a lignocellulose-based environment and provides new qualitative and quantitative insight into startup of a complex microbial system.

Effectiveness of Brief Interventions As Part of the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Model for Reducing the Non-medical Use of Psychoactive Substances: a Systematic Review Protocol

Systematic Reviews. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22587894

There is a significant public health burden associated with substance use in Canada. The early detection and/or treatment of risky substance use has the potential to dramatically improve outcomes for those who experience harms from the non-medical use of psychoactive substances, particularly adolescents whose brains are still undergoing development. The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment model is a comprehensive, integrated approach for the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for individuals experiencing substance use-related harms, as well as those who are at risk of experiencing such harm.

Differential Sensitivity of Glioma- Versus Lung Cancer-specific EGFR Mutations to EGFR Kinase Inhibitors

Cancer Discovery. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22588883

Activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in glioblastoma (GBM) occurs through mutations or deletions in the extracellular (EC) domain. Unlike lung cancers with EGFR kinase domain (KD) mutations, GBMs respond poorly to the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib. Using RNAi, we show that GBM cells carrying EGFR EC mutations display EGFR addiction. In contrast to KD mutants found in lung cancer, glioma-specific EGFR EC mutants are poorly inhibited by EGFR inhibitors that target the active kinase conformation (e.g., erlotinib). Inhibitors that bind to the inactive EGFR conformation, however, potently inhibit EGFR EC mutants and induce cell death in EGFR-mutant GBM cells. Our results provide first evidence for single kinase addiction in GBM and suggest that the disappointing clinical activity of first-generation EGFR inhibitors in GBM versus lung cancer may be attributed to the different conformational requirements of mutant EGFR in these 2 cancer types. SIGNIFICANCE: Approximately 40% of human glioblastomas harbor oncogenic EGFR alterations, but attempts to therapeutically target EGFR with first-generation EGFR kinase inhibitors have failed. Here, we demonstrate selective sensitivity of glioma-specific EGFR mutants to ATP-site competitive EGFR kinase inhibitors that target the inactive conformation of the catalytic domain.

Lack of Pregnancy Loss History Mars Depression Study

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22616564

A Novel FADS1 Isoform Potentiates FADS2-mediated Production of Eicosanoid Precursor Fatty Acids

Journal of Lipid Research. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22619218

The fatty acid desaturase (FADS) genes code for the rate-limiting enzymes required for the biosynthesis of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA). Here we report discovery and function of a novel FADS1 splice variant. FADS1 alternative transcript 1 (FADS1AT1) enhances desaturation of FADS2, leading to increased production of eicosanoid precursors, the first case of an isoform modulating the enzymatic activity encoded by another gene. Multiple protein isoforms were detected in primate liver, thymus, and brain. In human neuronal cells, their expression patterns are modulated by differentiation and result in alteration of cellular fatty acids. FADS1, but not FADS1AT1, localizes to endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. Ribosomal footprinting demonstrates that all three FADS genes are translated at similar levels. The noncatalytic regulation of FADS2 desaturation by FADS1AT1 is a novel, plausible mechanism by which several phylogenetically conserved FADS isoforms may regulate LCPUFA biosynthesis in a manner specific to tissue, organelle, and developmental stage.

Current Clinical Development of PI3K Pathway Inhibitors in Glioblastoma

Neuro-oncology. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22619466

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and lethal primary malignant tumor of the central nervous system, and effective therapeutic options are lacking. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is frequently dysregulated in many human cancers, including GBM. Agents inhibiting PI3K and its effectors have demonstrated preliminary activity in various tumor types and have the potential to change the clinical treatment landscape of patients with solid tumors. In this review, we describe the activation of the PI3K pathway in GBM, explore why inhibition of this pathway may be a compelling therapeutic target for this disease, and provide an update of the data on PI3K inhibitors in clinical trials and from earlier investigation.

Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection Breaks Tolerance and Drives Polyclonal Expansion of Autoreactive B Cells

Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22623650

Chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been linked with B cell lymphoproliferative disorders and several autoimmune-related diseases. The mechanisms of how chronic viral infection affects B cell development and predisposes the patients to autoimmune manifestations are poorly understood. In this study, we established an experimental system to probe the B cell responses and characterize the antibodies from chronic-HCV-infected individuals. We identified an unusual polyclonal expansion of the IgM memory B cell subset in some patients. This B cell subset is known to be tightly regulated, and autoreactive cells are eliminated by tolerance mechanisms. Genetic analysis of the immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy chain variable gene (V(H)) sequences of the expanded cell population showed that the levels of somatic hypermutation (SHM) correlate with the extent of cell expansion in the patients and that the V(H) genes exhibit signs of antigen-mediated selection. Functional analysis of the cloned B cell receptors demonstrated autoreactivity in some of the expanded IgM memory B cells in the patients which is not found in healthy donors. In summary, this study demonstrated that, in some patients, chronic HCV infection disrupts the tolerance mechanism that normally deletes autoreactive B cells, therefore increasing the risk of developing autoimmune antibodies. Long-term follow-up of this expanded B cell subset within the infected individuals will help determine whether these cells are predictors of more-serious clinical manifestations.

Vitamin D Receptor Signaling Inhibits Atherosclerosis in Mice

Molecular Endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.). Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22638071

Although vitamin D has been implicated in cardiovascular protection, few studies have addressed the role of vitamin D receptor (VDR) in atherosclerosis. Here we investigate the effect of inactivation of the VDR signaling on atherogenesis and the antiatherosclerotic mechanism of vitamin D. Low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR)(-/-)/VDR(-/-) mice exhibited site-specific accelerated atherogenesis, accompanied by increases in adhesion molecules and proinflammatory cytokines in the aorta and cholesterol influx in macrophages. Macrophages showed marked renin up-regulation in the absence of VDR, and inhibition of renin by aliskiren reduced atherosclerosis in LDLR(-/-)/VDR(-/-) mice, suggesting that the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) promotes atherosclerosis in the absence of VDR. LDLR(-/-) mice receiving LDLR(-/-)/VDR(-/-) BMT developed larger lesions than LDLR(-/-) BMT controls. Moreover, LDLR(-/-) mice receiving Rag-1(-/-)/VDR(-/-) BMT, which were unable to generate functional T and B lymphocytes, still had more severe atherosclerosis than Rag-1(-/-) BMT controls, suggesting a critical role of macrophage VDR signaling in atherosclerotic suppression. Aliskiren treatment eliminated the difference in lesions between Rag-1(-/-)/VDR(-/-) BMT and Rag-1(-/-) BMT recipients, indicating that local RAS activation in macrophages contributes to the enhanced atherogenesis seen in Rag-1(-/-)/VDR(-/-) BMT mice. Taken together, these observations provide evidence that macrophage VDR signaling, in part by suppressing the local RAS, inhibits atherosclerosis in mice.

Multi-Lorentzian Representation of Deuterium Spectrum to Study Water Spin Magnetization Exchange in MCM-41

Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. Jul-Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22647224

Water behavior on the pore surface of nano-silica MCM-41, at a hydration level corresponding to one water molecule per OH group, is studied using (2)H NMR spectra in the temperature range 213 to 313 K. In an earlier study [J. Hassan, E. Reardon, H. Peemoeller, Microporous Mesoporous Materials, 122 (2009) 121-127] it was shown that at this hydration level, deuterons of water at single OH sites exhibit a Lorentzian line shape and deuterons of water at hydrogen-bonded OH sites exhibit a powder pattern. Here it is shown that magnetization exchange occurs between these two deuteron spin groups. This exchange cannot be described using the common, two-site exchange model, involving two Lorentzians. We successfully apply a multi-Lorentzian exchange model, prompted by Woessner's work [D. E. Woessner, Mol. Phys. 34, 4, (1977) 899-920] on the effects of motion on the shape of water spin resonance lines exhibiting doublet splitting. For this low hydration sample the rate of magnetization exchange out of the hydration site, where the water deuterons exhibit a Lorentzian line in the (2)H spectra, is 1.3 ms(-1) and the activation energy for the exchange is found to be 3.4±0.1 kcal/mole.

Multicenter Phase II Study of Rituximab and Temozolomide in Recurrent Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma

Leukemia & Lymphoma. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22656234

We initiated a prospective multicenter phase II trial using rituximab and temozolomide in immunocompetent patients with progressive or recurrent primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) based on activity observed in retrospective studies. Treatment consisted of an induction phase with rituximab (750 mg/m(2)) on days 1, 8, 15 and 22 and temozolomide (150 mg/m(2)) days 1-7 and 15-21, followed by six cycles of consolidation temozolomide (150-200 mg/m(2) × 5/28 days), followed by maintenance with methylprednisolone (1 g IV every 28 days) until progression. Sixteen patients were enrolled, and a complete response was seen in 2/14 (14%) evaluable patients. The median progression-free survival was 7 weeks and median overall survival was not reached (median follow-up: 37 months). Treatment was well tolerated, but due to slow accrual and preliminary analysis suggesting futility, the trial was closed early. Given the overall modest activity, this regimen should be reserved for patients who are not candidates for other, more aggressive salvage treatments.

Update on Kleefstra Syndrome

Molecular Syndromology. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22670141

Kleefstra syndrome is characterized by the core phenotype of developmental delay/intellectual disability, (childhood) hypotonia and distinct facial features. The syndrome can be either caused by a microdeletion in chromosomal region 9q34.3 or by a mutation in the euchromatin histone methyltransferase 1 (EHMT1) gene. Since the early 1990s, 85 patients have been described, of which the majority had a 9q34.3 microdeletion (>85%). So far, no clear genotype-phenotype correlation could be observed by studying the clinical and molecular features of both 9q34.3 microdeletion patients and patients with an intragenic EHMT1 mutation. Thus, to further expand the genotypic and phenotypic knowledge about the syndrome, we here report 29 newly diagnosed patients, including 16 patients with a 9q34.3 microdeletion and 13 patients with an EHMT1 mutation, and review previous literature. The present findings are comparable to previous reports. In addition to our former findings and recommendations, we suggest cardiac screening during follow-up, because of the possible occurrence of cardiac arrhythmias. In addition, clinicians and caretakers should be aware of the regressive behavioral phenotype that might develop at adolescent/adult age and seems to have no clear neurological substrate, but is rather a so far unexplained neuropsychiatric feature.

Phosphoproteomics and Molecular Cardiology: Techniques, Applications and Challenges

Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22691689

Protein phosphorylation has been widely documented as a key regulatory and signaling mechanism associated with many cardiac diseases. Recent advances in phosphoproteomic technologies such as phosphopeptide enrichment, novel mass spectrometry applications, and bioinformatic tools have resulted in high-throughput identification and quantitation of protein phosphorylation in a global manner. This review summarizes mainstream phosphoproteomic workflows and highlights the most recent applications of phosphoproteomics used in a range of molecular cardiology research.

Managing Psychiatric Issues in Elite Athletes

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22697190

Providing psychiatric consultation to elite athletes presents unique and complex issues. These patients present with multifaceted medical, psychological, and performance concerns. We provide the first report of professional and ethical quandaries that arise in treating elite athletes and ways to address them.

Middle and Inner Ear Malformations in Mutation-proven Branchio-oculo-facial (BOF) Syndrome: Case Series and Review of the Literature

American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22711382

Hearing impairment is common in individuals with branchio-oculo-facial (BOF) syndrome. The majority of described individuals have conductive hearing impairment due to malformed ossicles and/or external canal stenosis or atresia, although a sensorineural component to the hearing impairment in BOF syndrome is increasingly being reported. Sophisticated computed tomography (CT) of the temporal bone has revealed middle and inner ear malformations in three previous reports. We present middle and inner ear abnormalities in three additional individuals with mutation-proven BOF syndrome. We suggest that temporal bone CT imaging be included in the medical workup of a child with BOF syndrome, in order to guide management.

A Field Evaluation of the Physiological Demands of Miners in Canada's Deep Mechanized Mines

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22715930

This study was conducted to evaluate the physical/mechanical characteristics of typical selected mining tasks and the energy expenditure required for their performance. The study comprised two phases designed to monitor and record the typical activities that miners perform and to measure the metabolic energy expenditure and thermal responses during the performance of these activities under a non-heat stress environmental condition (ambient air temperature of 25.8°C and 61% relative humidity with a wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) of 22.0°C). Six common mining jobs were evaluated in 36 miners: (1) production drilling (jumbo drill) (n = 3), (2) production ore transportation (load-haul dump vehicle) (n = 4), (3) manual bolting (n = 9), (4) manual shotcrete (wet/dry) (n = 3), (5) general services (n = 8) and, (6) conventional mining (long-hole drill) (n = 9). The time/motion analysis involved the on-site monitoring, video recording, and mechanical characterization of the different jobs. During the second trial, continuous measurement of oxygen consumption was performed with a portable metabolic system. Core (ingestible capsule) and skin temperatures (dermal patches) were recorded continuously using a wireless integrated physiological monitoring system. We found that general services and manual bolting demonstrated the highest mean energy expenditure (331 ± 98 and 290 ± 95 W, respectively) as well as the highest peak work rates (513 and 529 W, respectively). In contrast, the lowest mean rate of energy expenditure was measured in conventional mining (221 ± 44 W) and manual shotcrete (187 ± 77 W) with a corresponding peak rate of 295 and 276 W, respectively. The low rate of energy expenditure recorded for manual shotcrete was paralleled by the lowest work to rest ratio (1.8:1). While we found that production drilling had a moderate rate of energy expenditure (271 ± 11 W), it was associated with the highest work to rest ratio (6.7:1) Despite the large inter-variability in energy expenditure and work intervals among jobs, only small differences in average core temperature (average ranged between 37.20 ± 0.22 to 37.42 ± 0.18°C) were measured. We found a high level of variability in the duration and intensity of tasks performed within each mining job. This was paralleled by a large variation in the work to rest allocation and mean energy expenditure over the course of the work shift.

Videos in Clinical Medicine. Ultrasound-guided Peripheral I.v. Placement

The New England Journal of Medicine. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22716992

The Sell Effect: Involuntary Medication Treatment Is a "Clear and Convincing" Success

Law and Human Behavior. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22746284

The Supreme Court ruling Sell v. United States in 2003 (539 U.S. 166) set a new precedent by mandating federal judges function as decision makers on the issue of whether "nondangerous" incompetent defendants charged with federal crimes can be involuntarily medicated to restore their competency to stand trial. To provide data to inform future opinions by mental health professionals and decisions for judges involved in these matters, a retrospective record review of all incompetent defendants in the entire U.S. federal court system (N = 132) involuntarily treated under Sell over a 6-year period was conducted. Results indicated the majority (79%) of treated defendants suffering from a psychotic related illness were sufficiently improved to be rendered competent to stand trial, surpassing the "clear and convincing" standard established by federal appellate courts. High rates of treatment responsiveness were found across all diagnoses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

Insertion-deletions in a FADS2 Intron 1 Conserved Regulatory Locus Control Expression of Fatty Acid Desaturases 1 and 2 and Modulate Response to Simvastatin

Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22748975

The fatty acid desaturase genes (FADS1 and FADS2) code for enzymes required for synthesis of omega-3 and omega-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) important in the central nervous system, inflammatory response, and cardiovascular health. SNPs in these genes are associated with numerous health outcomes, but it is unclear how genetic variation affects enzyme function. Here, lymphoblasts obtained from Japanese participants in the International HapMap Project were evaluated for association of expression microarray results with SNPs in the FADS gene cluster. Six SNPs in the first intron of the FADS2 gene were associated with FADS1 expression. A 10-SNP haplotype in FADS2 (rs2727270 to rs2851682) present in 24% of the population was associated with lower expression of FADS1. A highly conserved region coinciding with the most significant SNPs contained predicted binding sites for SREBP and PPARγ. Lymphoblasts homozygous for either the major or minor haplotype were treated with agonists for these transcription factors and expression of FADS1 and FADS2 determined. Simvastatin and the LXR agonist GW3965 both upregulated expression of FADS1 and FADS2; no response was found for PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone. The minor haplotype homozygotes had 20-40% higher induction of FADS1 and FADS2 after simvastatin or GW3965 treatment. A 22 bp polymorphic insertion-deletion (INDEL) was found 137 bp downstream from the putative sterol response element, as well as a 3 or 1 bp INDEL 81-83 bp downstream. All carriers of the minor haplotype had deletions while all carriers of the major haplotype had insertions. Individuals carrying the minor haplotype may be vulnerable to alterations in diet that reduce LCPUFA intake, and especially responsive to statin or marine oil therapy.

A Latent Class Analysis of Dissociation and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Evidence for a Dissociative Subtype

Archives of General Psychiatry. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22752235

The nature of the relationship of dissociation to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is controversial and of considerable clinical and nosologic importance.

A Novel Technique for a Difficult Breech Delivery

The Journal of Emergency Medicine. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22766405

Breech presentation and delivery are important complications of labor and delivery, which, although dealt with by the emergency physician infrequently, can represent major morbidity and mortality to both the mother and fetus if techniques are not performed correctly.

P53 is Required for the Developmental Restriction in Müller Glial Proliferation in Mouse Retina

Glia. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22777914

Müller glia are normally mitotically quiescent cells, but in certain pathological states they can re-enter the mitotic cell cycle. While several cell cycle regulators have been shown to be important in this process, a role for the tumor suppressor, p53, has not been demonstrated. Here, we investigated a role for p53 in limiting the ability of Müller glia to proliferate in the mature mouse retina. Our data demonstrate that Müller glia undergo a developmental restriction in their potential to proliferate. Retinal explants or dissociated cultures treated with EGF become mitotically quiescent by the end of the second postnatal week. In contrast, Müller glia from adult trp53-/+ or trp53-/- mice displayed a greater ability to proliferate in response to EGF stimulation in vitro. The enhanced proliferative ability of trp53 deficient mice correlates with a decreased expression of the mitotic inhibitor Cdkn1a/p21(cip) and an increase in c-myc, a transcription factor that promotes cell cycle progression. These data show that p53 plays an essential role in limiting the potential of Müller glia to re-enter the mitotic cycle as the retina matures during postnatal development.

A Retrospective Comparison of Acute Rhinosinusitis Outcomes in Patients Prescribed Antibiotics, Mometasone Furoate Nasal Spray, or Both

American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. Jul-Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22801020

Antibiotics are frequently used to treat acute rhinosinusitis (ARS; acute sinusitis), although many episodes are viral. Because of community resistance concerns, current evidence provides limited support for the use of antibiotics in ARS. We conducted a retrospective comparative effectiveness outcomes assessment of the nasal steroid mometasone furoate nasal spray (MFNS) versus antibiotics among ARS patients in clinical practice.

Antiemetic Control with Palonosetron in Patients with Gastrointestinal Cancer Receiving a Fluoropyrimidine-based Regimen in Addition to Either Irinotecan or Oxaliplatin: a Retrospective Study

Oncology. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22814309

For moderately emetogenic chemotherapy, palonosetron (PALO) is reported to provide complete control of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in 69% of patients. Prior to August 2009, our gastrointestinal (GI) cancer patients receiving the moderately emetogenic compounds oxaliplatin or irinotecan plus a fluoropyrimidine regimen received ondansetron and dexamethasone orally on day 1 of chemotherapy for CINV prevention. Beginning in August of 2009, ondansetron was replaced by PALO 0.25 mg (intravenous push).

Risk Factors for Superficial Digital Flexor Tendinopathy in Thoroughbred Racehorses in Steeplechase Starts in the United Kingdom (2001-2009)

Veterinary Journal (London, England : 1997). Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22840205

The objective of this study was to identify risk factors for superficial digital flexor (SDF) tendinopathy in Thoroughbred horses in steeplechase races in the United Kingdom. Potential risk factors for SDF tendinopathy were studied between 1st January 2001 and 31st December 2009 using a cohort study design with 648 injuries sustained in 102,894 starts. Potential risk factors were screened using univariable logistic regression prior to multivariable model building. In the final multivariable model, 12 statistically significant risk factors were identified. Variables that increased the odds of SDF tendinopathy included firmer going, increased horse age, and racing in the summer compared to other seasons. Variables that decreased the odds included having a higher official rating and the number of starts in the preceding days. Fewer and different risk factors were identified than in an equivalent model of SDF tendinopathy in hurdle racing, highlighting potential differences between these disciplines. Further collection of training and racecourse information would be beneficial and may help to explain further some of the associations identified in this study. The results will facilitate the development of strategies to improve overall safety of horses in UK steeplechase racing.

Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) Deficiency Presenting As a Rash

American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A. Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22848014

We report on the case of a 2-year-old girl recently diagnosed with Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency who originally presented in the neonatal period with a distinctive rash. At 11 weeks of age she developed seizures, she had acquired microcephaly and developmental delay. The rash deteriorated dramatically following commencement of phenobarbitone; both rash and seizures abated following empiric introduction of pyridoxine and folinic acid as treatment of possible vitamin responsive seizures. We postulate that phenobarbitone in combination with MTHFR deficiency may have caused her rash to deteriorate and subsequent folinic acid was helpful in treating the rash and preventing further acute neurological decline as commonly associated with this condition.

First Report of a Toxic Nodularia Spumigena (Nostocales/ Cyanobacteria) Bloom in Sub-tropical Australia. I. Phycological and Public Health Investigations

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22851951

Cyanobacterial blooms represent one of the most conspicuous and widespread waterborne microbial hazards to human and ecosystem health. Investigation of a cyanobacterial bloom in a shallow brackish water recreational cable ski lake in south-eastern Queensland, Australia revealed the dominance of the toxigenic species Nodularia spumigena. The bloom spanned three months, during which time cell concentrations exceeded human guideline thresholds for recreational risk, and concentrations of the hepatotoxic cyanotoxin nodularin exceeded 200 µg L(-1). Cyanotoxin origin and identification was confirmed by amplification of the ndaF-specific PCR product and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. From the limited data available leading up to, and throughout the bloom, it was not possible to establish the set of causative factors responsible for its occurrence. However a combination of factors including salinity, hydraulic retention time and nutrient status associated with an extended period of drought are likely to have contributed. This was the first known occurrence of this species in bloom proportions from sub-tropical Australia and as such represents a hitherto uncharacterized risk to human and ecosystem health. It highlights the need for adaptive monitoring regimes to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the potentially toxic cyanobacteria likely to inhabit any given region. Such monitoring needs to recognize that cyanobacteria have a significant capacity for range expansion that has been facilitated by recent changes in global climate.

Usefulness of Serum Brain Natriuretic Peptide to Predict Adverse Events in Patients with the Eisenmenger Syndrome

The American Journal of Cardiology. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22863176

The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in outpatients with the Eisenmenger syndrome (ES). BNP is often elevated in patients with cyanotic congenital heart disease. The clinical utility of BNP in patients with cyanotic congenital heart disease and the ES has not been clearly delineated. Records of adults with ES who had undergone serum BNP measurement were reviewed. The primary end point was death or heart failure admission. Fifty-three patients were included, with 15 patients (28%) meeting the primary end point (death in 7, heart failure hospitalization in 8). Mean and median baseline BNP in patients meeting the primary end point were 322 ± 346 and 179 pg/ml, compared to 100 ± 157 and 41 pg/ml in those not meeting the primary end point (p = 0.0029). A Cox proportional-hazards model using baseline BNP between the 2 groups yielded a hazard ratio of 1.84 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.19 to 2.85, p = 0.006). The relative risk for baseline BNP level >140 pg/ml was 4.62 (95% CI 1.80 to 11.3, p = 0.008). Patients who met the primary end point increased their BNP levels by 42.5 pg/ml per year (95% CI 12.09 to 72.95, p = 0.006) compared to 7.2 pg/ml per year (95% CI 2.01 to 12.47, p = 0.007) in patients who did not meet the primary end point. In conclusion, elevated BNP levels are predictive of death or heart failure admission in patients with the ES. A serum BNP level >140 pg/ml is a useful tool in identifying high-risk patients.

A Genome-wide Association Study of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Identifies the Retinoid-related Orphan Receptor Alpha (RORA) Gene As a Significant Risk Locus

Molecular Psychiatry. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22869035

We describe the results of the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) performed using trauma-exposed white non-Hispanic participants from a cohort of veterans and their intimate partners (295 cases and 196 controls). Several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) yielded evidence of association. One SNP (rs8042149), located in the retinoid-related orphan receptor alpha gene (RORA), reached genome-wide significance. Nominally significant associations were observed for other RORA SNPs in two African-American replication samples-one from the veteran cohort (43 cases and 41 controls) and another independent cohort (100 cases and 421 controls). However, only the associated SNP from the veteran African-American replication sample survived gene-level multiple-testing correction. RORA has been implicated in prior GWAS studies of psychiatric disorders and is known to have an important role in neuroprotection and other behaviorally relevant processes. This study represents an important step toward identifying the genetic underpinnings of PTSD.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 7 August 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.113.

Nucleation Products of Ligated Nanoclusters Unaffected by Temperature and Reducing Agent

Nanoscale. Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22878460

Atomically uniform nucleation products of ligated metal nanoclusters are observed irrespective of reduction conditions for metal-bidentate ligand systems. Monodentate ligands are not reported to wield similar control, indicating steric contributions of complexing ligands may be as important as their electronic structure for synthesizing small nanoclusters.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR): Access Planning and Strategies

Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. Apr-Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22891124

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has proven to be a viable tool for the high-surgical-risk population with severe aortic valve stenosis. Vascular access complications are not uncommon with TAVR and may increase early and late mortality. Avoiding these serious complications is the goal. With experience and careful screening, we are now able to risk-stratify patients who may be at increased risk of vascular complications. While the traditional iliofemoral access site remains the most common for TAVR, alternate access sites that have proven to be viable and safe alternatives include the transapical, direct-aortic, and subclavian techniques. TAVR teams should be familiar and comfortable with these approaches as each of them has its own advantages and weaknesses. The best option is usually one in which the procedure is tailored to the patient. The present review examines our current access planning and strategies for TAVR.

Cost-effectiveness Analysis of TAVR

Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. Apr-Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22891125

Transcather aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has rapidly gained worldwide acceptance for treating very high-risk patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis. Two valve systems are currently in common use worldwide and under trial in the United States. The Edwards SAPIEN valve has completed its PARTNER trial and has been approved for use in nonoperative patients. The Medtronic CoreValve is currently completing its US pivotal trial. Both plan studies of intermediate-risk patients. The use of TAVR in Europe has grown rapidly and is now about 23% of the total aortic valve replacements done in which a tissue valve is chosen (generally patients over 60 to 65 years of age). This technology is used in a patient population that was either not receiving any surgical therapy due to extreme risk or was considered very high risk for conventional surgery. The procedure requires a highly trained TAVR team, advanced imaging, and the devices themselves, which are expensive. Medical device trials are generally designed to establish if the device works as planned. For TAVR in today's world of rising health care costs, the additional question of cost effectiveness is important to address. Fortunately, the PARTNER trial addressed this and the CoreValve trial has built this into the trial design as well. This article examines what is currently known about the cost-effectiveness of TAVR.

Translocation of Sickle Cell Erythrocyte MicroRNAs into Plasmodium Falciparum Inhibits Parasite Translation and Contributes to Malaria Resistance

Cell Host & Microbe. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22901539

Erythrocytes carrying a variant hemoglobin allele (HbS), which causes sickle cell disease and resists infection by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The molecular basis of this resistance, which has long been recognized as multifactorial, remains incompletely understood. Here we show that the dysregulated microRNA (miRNA) composition, of either heterozygous HbAS or homozygous HbSS erythrocytes, contributes to resistance against P. falciparum. During the intraerythrocytic life cycle of P. falciparum, a subset of erythrocyte miRNAs translocate into the parasite. Two miRNAs, miR-451 and let-7i, were highly enriched in HbAS and HbSS erythrocytes, and these miRNAs, along with miR-223, negatively regulated parasite growth. Surprisingly, we found that miR-451 and let-7i integrated into essential parasite messenger RNAs and, via impaired ribosomal loading, resulted in translational inhibition. Hence, sickle cell erythrocytes exhibit cell-intrinsic resistance to malaria in part through an atypical miRNA activity, which may represent a unique host defense strategy against complex eukaryotic pathogens.

Effect of Circadian Clock Mutations on DNA Damage Response in Mammalian Cells

Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22918252

The circadian clock is a global regulatory mechanism that confers daily rhythmicity on many biochemical and physiological functions, including DNA excision repair in mammalian organisms. Here, we investigated the effect of the circadian clock on the major DNA damage response pathways by using mouse cell lines mutated in genes encoding proteins in the positive (Bmal1, CLOCK) or negative (Cry 1/2, Per 1/2) arms of the transcription-translation feedback loop that generates the circadian clock. We find that cells mutated in these genes are indistinguishable from wild-type in their response to UV, ionizing radiation and mitomycin C. We conclude that either the majority of DNA damage response reactions are not controlled by the circadian clock or that, even if such a control exists at the organism level, it is supplanted by homeostatic control mechanisms at the cellular level in tissue culture. We suggest that caution must be exercised in extrapolating from experiments in tissue culture to whole animals with respect to the effect of the circadian clock on cellular response to DNA damaging agents.

A Dose Escalation Trial for the Combination of Erlotinib and Sirolimus for Recurrent Malignant Gliomas

Journal of Neuro-oncology. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22918789

In order to achieve higher dosages than previously used in clinical trials, we conducted a phase I trial to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) for the combination of erlotinib and sirolimus for the treatments of recurrent malignant gliomas. Patients with pathologically proven World Health Organization (WHO) grade III glioma and grade IV glioblastoma and radiographically proven tumor recurrence were eligible for this study. Treatments included once daily erlotinib, which was given alone for the first 7 days of treatments, then in combination with once daily sirolimus. Sirolimus was given with a loading dose on day 8 followed by a maintenance dose starting on day 9. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was determined over the first 28 days of treatments, and the MTD was determined in a 3 + 3 classic study design. 19 patients were enrolled, and 13 patients were eligible for MTD determination. The MTD was determined to be 150 mg daily for erlotinib and 5 mg daily (after a 15 mg loading dose) for sirolimus. The DLTs included rash and mucositis (despite maximal medical managements), hypophosphatemia, altered mental status, and neutropenia. The combination of erlotinib and sirolimus is difficult to tolerate at dosages higher than previously reported in phase II trials.

Prenatal Exposure to Pesticide Ingredient Piperonyl Butoxide and Childhood Cough in an Urban Cohort

Environment International. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22935766

Previously we reported that airborne concentrations of cis-permethrin, but not trans-permethrin, measured during pregnancy in an inner city pediatric cohort was associated with cough by age 5. However, the effect of subsequent exposures to both permethrins during early childhood, and to piperonyl butoxide (PBO, a synergist for residential pyrethroid insecticides) remains to be elucidated. We hypothesized that prenatal and age 5-6 year measures of PBO and permethrins would be associated with cough at age 5-6 years in this cohort. Further, we explored the associations between these pesticide measures and wheeze, asthma, seroatopy, and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO).

Short and Long Term Mortality Rates Associated with First Pregnancy Outcome: Population Register Based Study for Denmark 1980-2004

Medical Science Monitor : International Medical Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research. Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22936199

There is a growing interest in examining death rates associated with different pregnancy outcomes for time periods beyond one year. Previous population studies, however, have failed to control for complete reproductive histories. In this study we seek to eliminate the potential confounding effect of unknown prior pregnancy history by examining mortality rates associated specifically with first pregnancy outcome alone. We also examine differences in mortality rates associated with early abortion and late abortions (after 12 weeks).

Oleic Acid Attenuates Trans-10,cis-12 Conjugated Linoleic Acid-Mediated Inflammatory Gene Expression in Human Adipocytes

Lipids. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22941440

The weight loss supplement conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) consists of an equal mixture of trans-10,cis-12 (10,12) and cis-9,trans-11 (9,11) isomers. However, high levels of mixed CLA isomers, or the 10,12 isomer, causes chronic inflammation, lipodystrophy, or insulin resistance. We previously demonstrated that 10,12 CLA decreases de novo lipid synthesis along with the abundance and activity of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD)-1, a δ-9 desaturase essential for the synthesis of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Thus, we hypothesized that the 10,12 CLA-mediated decrease in SCD-1, with the subsequent decrease in MUFA, was responsible for the observed effects. To test this hypothesis, 10,12 CLA-treated human adipocytes were supplemented with oleic acid for 12 h to 7 days, and inflammatory gene expression, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, and lipid content were measured. Oleic acid reduced inflammatory gene expression in a dose-dependent manner, and restored the lipid content of 10,12 CLA-treated adipocytes without improving insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. In contrast, supplementation with stearic acid, a substrate for SCD-1, or 9,11 CLA did not prevent inflammatory gene expression by 10,12 CLA. Notably, 10,12 CLA impacted the expression of several G-protein coupled receptors that was attenuated by oleic acid. Collectively, these data show that oleic acid attenuates 10,12 CLA-induced inflammatory gene expression and lipid content, possibly by alleviating cell stress caused by the inhibition of MUFA needed for phospholipid and neutral lipid synthesis.

In Vitro Analysis of the Role of Replication Protein A (RPA) and RPA Phosphorylation in ATR-mediated Checkpoint Signaling

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22948311

Replication protein A (RPA) plays essential roles in DNA metabolism, including replication, checkpoint, and repair. Recently, we described an in vitro system in which the phosphorylation of human Chk1 kinase by ATR (ataxia telangiectasia mutated and Rad3-related) is dependent on RPA bound to single-stranded DNA. Here, we report that phosphorylation of other ATR targets, p53 and Rad17, has the same requirements and that RPA is also phosphorylated in this system. At high p53 or Rad17 concentrations, RPA phosphorylation is inhibited and, in this system, RPA with phosphomimetic mutations cannot support ATR kinase function, whereas a non-phosphorylatable RPA mutant exhibits full activity. Phosphorylation of these ATR substrates depends on the recruitment of ATR and the substrates by RPA to the RPA-ssDNA complex. Finally, mutant RPAs lacking checkpoint function exhibit essentially normal activity in nucleotide excision repair, revealing RPA separation of function for checkpoint and excision repair.

Surgical Repair of Right Atrial Wall Rupture After Blunt Chest Trauma

Texas Heart Institute Journal / from the Texas Heart Institute of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22949784

Right atrial wall rupture after blunt chest trauma is a catastrophic event associated with high mortality rates. We report the case of a 24-year-old woman who was ejected 40 feet during a motor vehicle accident. Upon presentation, she was awake and alert, with a systolic blood pressure of 100 mmHg. Chest computed tomography disclosed a large pericardial effusion; transthoracic echocardiography confirmed this finding and also found right ventricular diastolic collapse. A diagnosis of cardiac tamponade with probable cardiac injury was made; the patient was taken to the operating room, where median sternotomy revealed a 1-cm laceration of the right atrial appendage. This lesion was directly repaired with 4-0 polypropylene suture. Her postoperative course was uneventful, and she continued to recover from injuries to the musculoskeletal system. This case highlights the need for a high degree of suspicion of cardiac injuries after blunt chest trauma. An algorithm is proposed for rapid recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of these lesions.

Reproductive History Patterns and Long-term Mortality Rates: a Danish, Population-based Record Linkage Study

European Journal of Public Health. Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22954474

BACKGROUND: Inconsistent definitions and incomplete data have left society largely in the dark regarding mortality risks generally associated with pregnancy and with particular outcomes, immediately after resolution and over the long-term. Population-based record-linkage studies provide an accurate means for deriving maternal mortality rate data. METHOD: In this Danish population-based study, records of women born between 1962 and 1993 (n = 1 001 266) were examined to identify associations between patterns of pregnancy resolution and mortality rates across 25 years. RESULTS: With statistical controls for number of pregnancies, birth year and age at last pregnancy, the combination of induced abortion(s) and natural loss(es) was associated with more than three times higher mortality rate than only birth(s). Moderate risks were identified with only induced abortion, only natural loss and having experienced all outcomes compared with only birth(s). Risk of death was more than six times greater among women who had never been pregnant compared with those who only had birth(s). Increased risks of death were 45%, 114% and 191% for 1, 2 and 3 abortions, respectively, compared with no abortions after controlling for other reproductive outcomes and last pregnancy age. Increased risks of death were equal to 44%, 86% and 150% for 1, 2 and 3 natural losses, respectively, compared with none after including statistical controls. Finally, decreased mortality risks were observed for women who had experienced two and three or more births compared with no births. CONCLUSION: This study offers a broad perspective on reproductive history and mortality rates, with the results indicating a need for further research on possible underlying mechanisms.

The Prevalence and Recognition of Chronic Kidney Disease and Anemia in Long-term Care Residents

The Consultant Pharmacist : the Journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22982747

To evaluate the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and anemia in the long-term care facility, the rate of recognition of these conditions, and the specific interventions used to treat anemia.

Dexamethasone Promotes Tolerance in Vivo by Enriching CD11c(lo) CD40(lo) Tolerogenic Macrophages

European Journal of Immunology. Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23001956

We previously showed that antigen immunization in the presence of the immunosuppressant dexamethasone (a strategy we termed "suppressed immunization") could tolerize established recall responses of T cells. However, the mechanism by which dexamethasone acts as a tolerogenic adjuvant has remained unclear. In the present study, we show that dexamethasone enriches CD11c(lo) CD40(lo) macrophages in a dose-dependent manner in the spleen and peripheral lymph nodes of mice by depleting all other CD11c(+) CD40(+) cells including dendritic cells. The enriched macrophages display a distinct MHC class II (MHC II)(lo) CD86(hi) phenotype. Upon activation by antigen in vivo, CD11c(lo) CD40(lo) macrophages upregulate IL-10, a classic marker for tolerogenic antigen-presenting cells, and elicit a serum IL-10 response. When presenting antigen in vivo, these cells do not elicit recall responses from memory T cells, but rather stimulate the expansion of antigen-specific regulatory T cells. Moreover, the depletion of CD11c(lo) CD40(lo) macrophages during suppressed immunization diminishes the tolerogenic efficacy of the treatment. These results indicate that dexamethasone acts as a tolerogenic adjuvant partly by enriching the CD11c(lo) CD40(lo) tolerogenic macrophages.

Hyaluronan Turnover and Hypoxic Brown Adipocytic Differentiation Are Co-localized with Ossification in Calcified Human Aortic Valves

Pathology, Research and Practice. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23017666

The calcification process in aortic stenosis has garnered considerable interest but only limited investigation into selected signaling pathways. This study investigated mechanisms related to hypoxia, hyaluronan homeostasis, brown adipocytic differentiation, and ossification within calcified valves. Surgically explanted calcified aortic valves (n=14) were immunostained for markers relevant to these mechanisms and evaluated in the center (NodCtr) and edge (NodEdge) of the calcified nodule (NodCtr), tissue directly surrounding nodule (NodSurr); center and tissue surrounding small "prenodules" (PreNod, PreNodSurr); and normal fibrosa layer (CollFibr). Pearson correlations were determined between staining intensities of markers within regions. Ossification markers primarily localized to NodCtr and NodEdge, along with markers related to hyaluronan turnover and hypoxia. Markers of brown adipocytic differentiation were frequently co-localized with markers of hypoxia. In NodCtr and NodSurr, brown fat and ossification markers correlated with hyaluronidase-1, whereas these markers, as well as hypoxia, correlated with hyaluronan synthases in NodEdge. The protein product of tumor necrosis factor-α stimulated gene-6 strongly correlated with ossification markers and hyaluronidase in the regions surrounding the nodules (NodSurr, PreNodSurr). In conclusion, this study suggests roles for hyaluronan homeostasis and the promotion of hypoxia by cells demonstrating brown fat markers in calcific aortic valve disease.

Meier-Gorlin Syndrome: Growth and Secondary Sexual Development of a Microcephalic Primordial Dwarfism Disorder

American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23023959

Meier-Gorlin syndrome (MGS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by primordial dwarfism, microtia, and patellar aplasia/hypoplasia. Recently, mutations in the ORC1, ORC4, ORC6, CDT1, and CDC6 genes, encoding components of the pre-replication complex, have been identified. This complex is essential for DNA replication and therefore mutations are expected to impair cell proliferation and consequently could globally reduce growth. However, detailed growth characteristics of MGS patients have not been reported, and so this is addressed here through study of 45 MGS patients, the largest cohort worldwide. Here, we report that growth velocity (length) is impaired in MGS during pregnancy and first year of life, but, thereafter, height increases in paralleled normal reference centiles, resulting in a mean adult height of -4.5 standard deviations (SD). Height is dependent on ethnic background and underlying molecular cause, with ORC1 and ORC4 mutations causing more severe short stature and microcephaly. Growth hormone therapy (n = 9) was generally ineffective, though in two patients with significantly reduced IGF1 levels, growth was substantially improved by GH treatment, with 2SD and 3.8 SD improvement in height. Growth parameters for monitoring growth in future MGS patients are provided and as well we highlight that growth is disproportionately affected in certain structures, with growth related minor genital abnormalities (42%) and mammary hypoplasia (100%) frequently present, in addition to established effects on ears and patellar growth. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Rising Tide

CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal = Journal De L'Association Medicale Canadienne. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23027908

Bevacizumab Continuation Beyond Initial Bevacizumab Progression Among Recurrent Glioblastoma Patients

British Journal of Cancer. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23037712

Background:Bevacizumab improves outcome for most recurrent glioblastoma patients, but the duration of benefit is limited and survival after initial bevacizumab progression is poor. We evaluated bevacizumab continuation beyond initial progression among recurrent glioblastoma patients as it is a common, yet unsupported practice in some countries.Methods:We analysed outcome among all patients (n=99) who received subsequent therapy after progression on one of five consecutive, single-arm, phase II clinical trials evaluating bevacizumab regimens for recurrent glioblastoma. Of note, the five trials contained similar eligibility, treatment and assessment criteria, and achieved comparable outcome.Results:The median overall survival (OS) and OS at 6 months for patients who continued bevacizumab therapy (n=55) were 5.9 months (95% confidence interval (CI): 4.4, 7.6) and 49.2% (95% CI: 35.2, 61.8), compared with 4.0 months (95% CI: 2.1, 5.4) and 29.5% (95% CI: 17.0, 43.2) for patients treated with a non-bevacizumab regimen (n=44; P=0.014). Bevacizumab continuation was an independent predictor of improved OS (hazard ratio=0.64; P=0.04).Conclusion:The results of our retrospective pooled analysis suggest that bevacizumab continuation beyond initial progression modestly improves survival compared with available non-bevacizumab therapy for recurrent glioblastoma patients require evaluation in an appropriately randomised, prospective trial.

Apolipoprotein E Mimetic is More Effective Than Apolipoprotein A-I Mimetic in Reducing Lesion Formation in Older Female Apo E Null Mice: A Commentary

Atherosclerosis. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23040866

Falls in Nursing Home Residents Receiving Pharmacotherapy for Anemia

Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23055706

Falls are common among nursing home residents and have potentially severe consequences, including fracture and other trauma. Recent evidence suggests anemia may be independently related to these falls. This study explores the relationship between the use of anemia-related pharmacotherapies and falls among nursing home residents.

Patterns of Literacy Among U.S. Students

The Future of Children / Center for the Future of Children, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23057129

How well do U.S. students read? In this article, Sean Reardon, Rachel Valentino, and Kenneth Shores rely on studies using data from national and international literacy assessments to answer this question. In part, the answer depends on the specific literacy skills assessed. The authors show that almost all U.S. students can "read" by third grade, if reading is defined as proficiency in basic procedural word-reading skills. But reading for comprehension--integrating background knowledge and contextual information to make sense of a text--requires a set of knowledge-based competencies in addition to word-reading skills. By the standards used in various large-scale literacy assessments, only about a third of U.S. students in middle school possess the knowledge-based competencies to "read" in this more comprehensive sense. This low level of literacy proficiency does not appear to be a result of declining performance over time. Literacy skills of nine-year-olds in the United States have increased modestly over the past forty years, while the skills of thirteen- and seventeen-year-olds have remained relatively flat. Literacy skills vary considerably among students, however. For example, the literacy skills of roughly 10 percent of seventeen-year-olds are at the level of the typical nine-year-old. This variation is patterned in part by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. Black and Hispanic students enter high school with average literacy skills three years behind those of white and Asian students; students from low-income families enter high school with average literacy skills five years behind those of high-income students. These are gaps that no amount of remedial instruction in high school is likely to eliminate. And while the racial and ethnic disparities are smaller than they were forty to fifty years ago, socioeconomic disparities in literacy skills are growing. Nor is the low level of literacy skills particularly a U.S. phenomenon. On international comparisons, American students perform modestly above average compared with those in other developed countries (and well above average among a larger set of countries). Moreover, there is no evidence that U.S. students lose ground relative to those in other countries during the middle school years. Thus, although literacy skills in the United States are lower than needed to meet the demands of modern society, the same is true in most other developed countries.

Apo E Derived from Adipose Tissue Does Not Suppress Atherosclerosis or Correct Hyperlipidemia in EKO Mice

Journal of Lipid Research. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23071294

The synthesis of apolipoprotein E (apoE) by adipocytes has profound effects on adipose tissue lipid flux and gene expression. Using adipose tissue transplantation from wild-type (WT) to apoE knockout (EKO) mice we show that adipose tissue also contributes to circulating apoE. Different from circulating apoE produced by bone marrow transplant (BMT), however, adipose tissue-derived apoE does not correct hyperlipidemia or suppress atherosclerosis. ApoE secreted by macrophages has a more acidic isoform distribution, and increases binding of reconstituted VLDL particles to hepatocytes and fibroblasts more effectively than apoE secreted by adipocytes. The incremental binding can be entirely accounted for by binding to the LDL receptor. After BMT into EKO hosts plasma cholesterol and macrophage-derived apo E is largely within IDL/LDL and HDL size particles. After adipose tissue transplant most cholesterol and adipocyte apo E remain in VLDL. After BMT circulating apoE no longer demonstrates predominance of acidic isoforms compared to that circulating after fat transplant. In conclusion, fat transplant provides circulating apoE levels similar to those provided by bone marrow transplant but does not suppress hyperlipidemia or atherosclerosis. A potential mechanism contributing to this difference is differential binding to cell surface lipoprotein receptors.

Association of Anemia with Worsened Activities of Daily Living and Health-related Quality of Life Scores Derived from the Minimum Data Set in Long-term Care Residents

Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23083314

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Among long-term care (LTC) residents, we explored the association between anemia status and hemoglobin (Hb) level with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) functioning and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). METHODS: Data were derived from the Analyticare database, containing laboratory and Minimum Data Set (MDS) reports for 27 LTC facilities in Colorado. Study timeframe was 1/1/07-9/15/08. Patients were selected based on: residence in LTC >90 days, Hb and serum creatinine value within 90 days of the earliest non-admission (index) MDS. From the index MDS, the method of 1) Carpenter et al. [BMC Geriatrics 6:7(2006)] was used to derive a summary measure of ADL performance (the MDS-ADL score) and 2) Wodchis et al. [IJTAHC 19:3(2003)] was used to assign HRQOL scores (MDS items were mapped to the HUI2 scoring function to create the MDS-HSI score). Anemia was defined as Hb <12 g/dL females and <13 g/dL males. Adjusted linear regression was used to evaluate the independent association of anemia and hemoglobin level on MDS-ADL and MDS-HSI scores. RESULTS: 838 residents met all inclusion criteria; 46% of residents were anemic. Mean (SD) MDS-ADL score was 14.9 (7.5) [0--28 scale, where higher score indicates worse functioning]. In the adjusted model, anemia was associated with a significantly worse MDS-ADL score (+1.62 points, P=.001). Residents with Hb levels 10 to <11 g/dL had significantly worse ADL score (+2.06 points, P=.005) than the >13 g/dL reference. The mean MDS-HSI score was 0.431 (0.169) [range, where 0=dead to 1=perfect health]. Compared with non-anemic residents, in this adjusted model, residents with anemia had significantly worse MDS-HSI scores (-0.034 points, P=.005). Residents with hemoglobin levels <10 g/dL had significantly worse MDS-HSI scores (-0.058 points, P=.016) than the >13 g/dL reference. Each significant finding for MDS-ADL and MDS-HSI exceeded minimal clinically-important thresholds. CONCLUSIONS: After adjusting for several covariates, LTC residents with anemia, and many of those with moderate to severe declines in Hb level, had significantly poorer outcomes in both ADL functioning and HRQOL. The association between Hb level and the HRQOL measure of MDS-HSI appears to be largely explained by the mobility domain of the HRQOL measure.

Mibefradil, a Novel Therapy for Glioblastoma Multiforme: Cell Cycle Synchronization and Interlaced Therapy in a Murine Model

Journal of Neuro-oncology. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23086436

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a devastating disease with a dismal prognosis and a very limited response to treatment. The current standard of care for GBM usually consists of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy with the alkylating agent temozolomide, although resistance to this drug is common. The predominant mechanism of action of temozolomide is methylation of guanine residues although this can be reversed by methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT) as well as other DNA repair systems. The presence of methylguanine causes abortive DNA synthesis with subsequent apoptosis. This suggests that the closer a particular cell is to S phase when it is exposed to temozolomide the more likely it is to die since repair enzymes will have had less time to reverse the damage. T type calcium channel inhibitors can stop the entry of extracellular calcium that is necessary for transit past the G1/S boundary. As a result, T type calcium channel blockers can slow the growth of cancer cells, but do not generally kill them. Though slowing the growth of cancer cells is important in its own right, it also provides a therapeutic strategy in which a T type channel blocker is administered then withdrawn followed by the administration of temozolomide. We show here that imposing this cell cycle restriction increases the efficacy of subsequently administered temozolomide in immunodeficient mice bearing various human GBM xenograft lines. We also present data that MGMT expressing GBM tumors, which are temozolomide resistant, may be rendered more sensitive by this strategy.

More About the Future of Psychiatry Education

Academic Medicine : Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23111249

The NF-κB Regulator MALT1 Determines the Encephalitogenic Potential of Th17 Cells

The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23114599

Effector functions of inflammatory IL-17-producing Th (Th17) cells have been linked to autoimmune diseases such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, what determines Th17 cell encephalitogenicity is still unresolved. Here, we show that after EAE induction, mice deficient for the NF-κB regulator MALT1 (Malt1-/- mice) exhibit strong lymphocytic infiltration in the CNS, but do not develop any clinical signs of EAE. Loss of Malt1 interfered with expression of the Th17 effector cytokines IL-17 and GM-CSF both in vitro and in vivo. In line with their impaired GM-CSF secretion, Malt1-/- Th cells failed to recruit myeloid cells to the CNS to sustain neuroinflammation, whereas autoreactive WT Th cells successfully induced EAE in Malt1-/- hosts. In contrast, Malt1 deficiency did not affect Th1 cells. Despite their significantly decreased secretion of Th17 effector cytokines, Malt1-/- Th17 cells showed normal expression of lineage-specific transcription factors. Malt1-/- Th cells failed to cleave RelB, a suppressor of canonical NF-κB, and exhibited altered cellular localization of this protein. Our results indicate that MALT1 is a central, cell-intrinsic factor that determines the encephalitogenic potential of inflammatory Th17 cells in vivo.

Hypoxia and Lost Gills: Respiratory Ecology of a Temperate Larval Damselfly

Journal of Insect Physiology. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23154069

Damselfly larvae, important predators and prey in many freshwater communities, may be particularly sensitive to hypoxia because their caudal lamellae (external gills) are frequently lost. In this study, we address how lost lamellae interact with low oxygen to affect respiration and behavior of the widespread North American damselfly Ischnura posita. Results showed no effect of lost lamellae on resting metabolic rate or critical oxygen tension. Ventilation behaviors increased only when dissolved oxygen (DO) was at or below 25% saturation and these behaviors were not affected by the number of lamellae. Use of the oxygen-rich surface layer occurred almost exclusively at the lowest dissolved oxygen level tested (10% saturation, 2.0kPa). Damselflies that were missing lamellae spent more time at the surface than individuals with intact lamellae. The negative relationship between body size and time at the surface, and the negative relationship between body mass and critical oxygen tension suggest that larger I. posita may be more hypoxia tolerant than smaller individuals. Overall, I. posita was minimally affected by missing lamellae and seems well adapted to low DO habitats. Average critical oxygen tension was very low (0.48kPa, 2.4% saturation), suggesting that individuals can maintain their metabolic rate across a broad range of DO, and behaviors changed only at DO levels below the hypoxia tolerance thresholds of many other aquatic organisms.

Hydrogen Peroxide Increases Nerve-evoked Contractions in Mouse Tail Artery by an Endothelium-dependent Mechanism

European Journal of Pharmacology. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23159347

Reactive oxygen species contribute to regulating the excitability of vascular smooth muscle. This study investigated the actions of the relatively stable reactive oxygen species, H(2)O(2), on nerve-evoked contractions of mouse distal tail artery. H(2)O(2) (10-100μM) increased nerve-evoked contractions of isometrically mounted segments of tail artery. Endothelium denudation increased nerve-evoked contractions and abolished the facilitatory effect of H(2)O(2). Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase with l-nitroarginine methyl ester (0.1mM) also increased nerve-evoked contractions and reduced the late phase of H(2)O(2)-induced facilitation. H(2)O(2)-induced facilitation of nerve-evoked contractions depended, in part, on synthesis of prostanoids and was reduced by the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin (1μM) and the thromboxane A(2) receptor antagonist SQ 29548 (1μM). H(2)O(2) increased sensitivity of nerve-evoked contractions to the α(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist idazoxan (0.1μM) but not to the α(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist prazosin (10nM). Idazoxan and the α(2C)-adrenoceptor antagonist JP 1302 (0.5-1μM) reduced H(2)O(2)-induced facilitation. H(2)O(2) induced facilitation of nerve-evoked contractions was abolished by the non-selective cation channel blocker SKF-96365 (10μM), suggesting it depends on Ca(2+) influx. In conclusion, H(2)O(2)-induced increases in nerve-evoked contractions depended on an intact endothelium and were mediated by activating thromboxane A(2) receptors and by increasing the contribution of α(2)-adrenoceptors to these responses.

Pertuzumab for the Treatment of Patients with Previously Untreated HER2-positive Metastatic Breast Cancer

Drugs of Today (Barcelona, Spain : 1998). Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23170307

Pertuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody directed at the dimerization domain of the receptor tyrosine-protein kinase erbB-2 (HER2) receptor. It possesses a unique and complimentary mechanism of action compared to trastuzumab, which has historically been the cornerstone of therapy for HER2-amplified breast cancer. Clinical trials demonstrate improved outcomes, with minimal increases in toxicity with the addition of pertuzumab to trastuzumab in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, indicating the advantage of dual HER2 receptor blockade. Pertuzumab is approved as first-line therapy in combination with trastuzumab and docetaxel for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, with future opportunities to investigate its efficacy in other stages of breast cancer, as well as in the treatment of other malignancies.

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