PubMed Central

    Reduction of Postprandial Glycemic Excursions in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes: A Novel Human Insulin Formulation versus a Rapid-Acting Insulin Analog and Regular Human Insulin

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    BACKGROUND: Evaluation of postprandial glycemic excursions in patients with type 1 diabetes with three prandial insulins: VIAject™ (Linjeta™), an ultra-fast insulin (UFI); insulin lispro (LIS); and regular human insulin (RHI). METHODS: After stabilization of preprandial glycemia, 18 patients received a subcutaneous injection with an individualized insulin dose prior to a meal. RESULTS: Injection of UFI resulted in a more rapid insulin absorption than with either LIS or RHI (time to half-maximal insulin levels: 13.1 ± 5.2 vs 25.4 ± 7.6 and 38.4 ± 19.5 min; p = .001 vs LIS and p < .001 vs RHI, LIS vs. RHI p < .001). Maximal postprandial glycemia was lower with UFI (0–180 min; 157 ± 30 mg/dl; p = .002 vs RHI) and LIS (170 ± 42 mg/dl; p = .668 vs RHI) than after RHI (191 ± 46 mg/dl; RHI vs LIS p = .008). The difference between maximum and minimum glycemia was smaller with UFI (70 ± 17 mg/dl) than with either RHI (91 ± 33 mg/dl; p = .007 vs UFI) or LIS (89 ± 18 mg/dl; p = .011 vs UFI). Also, the area under the blood glucose profile was lower with UFI than with RHI (0–180 min; 21.8 ± 5.8 vs 28.4 ± 7.6 g·min/dl; p < .001). CONCLUSIONS: The rapid absorption of UFI results in a reduction of postprandial glycemic excursions

    Identification of MACC1 as a novel prognostic marker in hepatocellular carcinoma

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    BACKGROUND: Metastasis-associated in colon cancer-1 (MACC1) is a newly identified gene that plays a role in colon cancer metastasis through upregulation of c-MET proto-oncogene (c-MET). However, the value of MACC1 as a potential biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unknown. METHODS: MACC1 mRNA expression in 128 HCC tissues was examined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. To show the potential correlation of MACC1 and c-MET, c-MET was also analysed. RESULTS: MACC1 was more highly expressed in HCC than in non-HCC tissues (P = 0.009). High MACC1 expression was significantly increased in cases with high alpha fetoprotein (AFP) (P = 0.025). A positive correlation was found between MACC1 and c-MET mRNAs (r = 0.235, P = 0.009). Both univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that MACC1 expression was associated with overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). Moreover, stratified analysis showed that tumour-node-metastasis (TNM) stage I patients with high MACC1 levels had shorter OS and DFS than those with low MACC1. CONCLUSIONS: MACC1 may identify low- and high-risk individuals with HCC and be a valuable indicator for stratifying the prognosis of TNM stage I patients. MACC1 may serve as a novel biomarker for HCC

    A trial of a job-specific workers' health surveillance program for construction workers: study protocol

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    BACKGROUND: Dutch construction workers are offered periodic health examinations. This care can be improved by tailoring this workers health surveillance (WHS) to the demands of the job and adjust the preventive actions to the specific health risks of a worker in a particular job. To improve the quality of the WHS for construction workers and stimulate relevant job-specific preventive actions by the occupational physician, we have developed a job-specific WHS. The job-specific WHS consists of modules assessing both physical and psychological requirements. The selected measurement instruments chosen, are based on their appropriateness to measure the workers' capacity and health requirements. They include a questionnaire and biometrical tests, and physical performance tests that measure physical functional capabilities. Furthermore, our job-specific WHS provides occupational physicians with a protocol to increase the worker-behavioural effectiveness of their counselling and to stimulate job-specific preventive actions. The objective of this paper is to describe and clarify our study to evaluate the behavioural effects of this job-specific WHS on workers and occupational physicians. METHODS/DESIGN: The ongoing study of bricklayers and supervisors is a nonrandomised trial to compare the outcome of an intervention (job-specific WHS) group (n = 206) with that of a control (WHS) group (n = 206). The study includes a three-month follow-up. The primary outcome measure is the proportion of participants who have undertaken one or more of the preventive actions advised by their occupational physician in the three months after attending the WHS. A process evaluation will be carried out to determine context, reach, dose delivered, dose received, fidelity, and satisfaction. The present study is in accordance with the TREND Statement. DISCUSSION: This study will allow an evaluation of the behaviour of both the workers and occupational physician regarding the preventive actions undertaken by them within the scope of a job-specific WHS. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NTR301

    Anatomical Differences Determine Distribution of Adenovirus after Convection-Enhanced Delivery to the Rat Brain

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    BACKGROUND: Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) of adenoviruses offers the potential of widespread virus distribution in the brain. In CED, the volume of distribution (Vd) should be related to the volume of infusion (Vi) and not to dose, but when using adenoviruses contrasting results have been reported. As the characteristics of the infused tissue can affect convective delivery, this study was performed to determine the effects of the gray and white matter on CED of adenoviruses and similar sized super paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We convected AdGFP, an adenovirus vector expressing Green Fluorescent Protein, a virus sized SPIO or trypan blue in the gray and white matter of the striatum and external capsule of Wistar rats and towards orthotopic infiltrative brain tumors. The resulting Vds were compared to Vi and transgene expression to SPIO distribution. Results show that in the striatum Vd is not determined by the Vi but by the infused virus dose, suggesting diffusion, active transport or receptor saturation rather than convection. Distribution of virus and SPIO in the white matter is partly volume dependent, which is probably caused by preferential fluid pathways from the external capsule to the surrounding gray matter, as demonstrated by co-infusing trypan blue. Distant tumors were reached using the white matter tracts but tumor penetration was limited. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: CED of adenoviruses in the rat brain and towards infiltrative tumors is feasible when regional anatomical differences are taken into account while SPIO infusion could be considered to validate proper catheter positioning and predict adenoviral distribution

    Adaptation of High-Growth Influenza H5N1 Vaccine Virus in Vero Cells: Implications for Pandemic Preparedness

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    Current egg-based influenza vaccine production technology can't promptly meet the global demand during an influenza pandemic as shown in the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Moreover, its manufacturing capacity would be vulnerable during pandemics caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses. Therefore, vaccine production using mammalian cell technology is becoming attractive. Current influenza H5N1 vaccine strain (NIBRG-14), a reassortant virus between A/Vietnam/1194/2004 (H5N1) virus and egg-adapted high-growth A/PR/8/1934 virus, could grow efficiently in eggs and MDCK cells but not Vero cells which is the most popular cell line for manufacturing human vaccines. After serial passages and plaque purifications of the NIBRG-14 vaccine virus in Vero cells, one high-growth virus strain (Vero-15) was generated and can grow over 10(8) TCID(50)/ml. In conclusion, one high-growth H5N1 vaccine virus was generated in Vero cells, which can be used to manufacture influenza H5N1 vaccines and prepare reassortant vaccine viruses for other influenza A subtypes

    The "Alzheimer's disease signature": potential perspectives for novel biomarkers

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    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and neurodegenerative disorder which involves multiple molecular mechanisms. Intense research during the last years has accumulated a large body of data and the search for sensitive and specific biomarkers has undergone a rapid evolution. However, the diagnosis remains problematic and the current tests do not accurately detect the process leading to neurodegeneration. Biomarkers discovery and validation are considered the key aspects to support clinical diagnosis and provide discriminatory power between different stages of the disorder. A considerable challenge is to integrate different types of data from new potent approach to reach a common interpretation and replicate the findings across studies and populations. Furthermore, long-term clinical follow-up and combined analysis of several biomarkers are among the most promising perspectives to diagnose and manage the disease. The present review will focus on the recent published data providing an updated overview of the main achievements in the genetic and biochemical research of the Alzheimer's disease. We also discuss the latest and most significant results that will help to define a specific disease signature whose validity might be clinically relevant for future AD diagnosis

    Nasopharyngeal Bacterial Colonization and Gene Polymorphisms of Mannose-Binding Lectin and Toll-Like Receptors 2 and 4 in Infants

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    BACKGROUND: Human nasopharynx is often colonized by potentially pathogenic bacteria. Gene polymorphisms in mannose-binding lectin (MBL), toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4 have been reported. The present study aimed to investigate possible association between nasopharyngeal bacterial colonization and gene polymorphisms of MBL, TLR2 and TLR4 in healthy infants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: From August 2008 to June 2010, 489 nasopharyngeal swabs and 412 blood samples were taken from 3-month-old healthy Finnish infants. Semi-quantitative culture was performed and pyrosequencing was used for detection of polymorphisms in MBL structural gene at codons 52, 54, and 57, TLR2 Arg753Gln and TLR4 Asp299Gly. Fifty-nine percent of subjects were culture positive for at least one of the four species: 11% for Streptococcus pneumoniae, 23% for Moraxella catarrhalis, 1% for Haemophilus influenzae and 25% for Staphylococcus aureus. Thirty-two percent of subjects had variant types in MBL, 5% had polymorphism of TLR2, and 18% had polymorphism of TLR4. Colonization rates of S. pneumoniae and S. aureus were significantly higher in infants with variant types of MBL than those with wild type (p = .011 and p = .024). Colonization rates of S. aureus and M. catarrhalis were significantly higher in infants with polymorphisms of TLR2 and of TLR4 than those without (p = .027 and p = .002). CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that there is an association between nasopharyngeal bacterial colonization and genetic variation of MBL, TLR2 and TLR4 in young infants. This finding supports a role for these genetic variations in susceptibility of children to respiratory infections

    Stretching Actin Filaments within Cells Enhances their Affinity for the Myosin II Motor Domain

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    To test the hypothesis that the myosin II motor domain (S1) preferentially binds to specific subsets of actin filaments in vivo, we expressed GFP-fused S1 with mutations that enhanced its affinity for actin in Dictyostelium cells. Consistent with the hypothesis, the GFP-S1 mutants were localized along specific portions of the cell cortex. Comparison with rhodamine-phalloidin staining in fixed cells demonstrated that the GFP-S1 probes preferentially bound to actin filaments in the rear cortex and cleavage furrows, where actin filaments are stretched by interaction with endogenous myosin II filaments. The GFP-S1 probes were similarly enriched in the cortex stretched passively by traction forces in the absence of myosin II or by external forces using a microcapillary. The preferential binding of GFP-S1 mutants to stretched actin filaments did not depend on cortexillin I or PTEN, two proteins previously implicated in the recruitment of myosin II filaments to stretched cortex. These results suggested that it is the stretching of the actin filaments itself that increases their affinity for the myosin II motor domain. In contrast, the GFP-fused myosin I motor domain did not localize to stretched actin filaments, which suggests different preferences of the motor domains for different structures of actin filaments play a role in distinct intracellular localizations of myosin I and II. We propose a scheme in which the stretching of actin filaments, the preferential binding of myosin II filaments to stretched actin filaments, and myosin II-dependent contraction form a positive feedback loop that contributes to the stabilization of cell polarity and to the responsiveness of the cells to external mechanical stimuli

    Cytokine Response Patterns in Severe Pandemic 2009 H1N1 and Seasonal Influenza among Hospitalized Adults

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    BACKGROUND: Studying cytokine/chemokine responses in severe influenza infections caused by different virus subtypes may improve understanding on pathogenesis. METHODS: Adults hospitalized for laboratory-confirmed seasonal and pandemic 2009 A/H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza were studied. Plasma concentrations of 13 cytokines/chemokines were measured at presentation and then serially, using cytometric-bead-array with flow-cytometry and ELISA. PBMCs from influenza patients were studied for cytokine/chemokine expression using ex-vivo culture (Whole Blood Assay,±PHA/LPS stimulation). Clinical variables were prospectively recorded and analyzed. RESULTS: 63 pH1N1 and 53 seasonal influenza patients were studied. pH1N1 patients were younger (mean±S.D. 42.8±19.2 vs 70.5±16.7 years), and fewer had comorbidities. Respiratory/cardiovascular complications were common in both groups (71.4% vs 81.1%), although severe pneumonia with hypoxemia (54.0% vs 28.3%) and ICU admissions (25.4% vs 1.9%) were more frequent with pH1N1. Hyperactivation of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, CXCL8/IL-8, CCL2/MCP-1 and sTNFR-1 was found in pH1N1 pneumonia (2–15 times normal) and in complicated seasonal influenza, but not in milder pH1N1 infections. The adaptive-immunity (Th1/Th17)-related CXCL10/IP-10, CXCL9/MIG and IL-17A however, were markedly suppressed in severe pH1N1 pneumonia (2–27 times lower than seasonal influenza; P−values<0.01). This pattern was further confirmed with serial measurements. Hypercytokinemia tended to be sustained in pH1N1 pneumonia, associated with a slower viral clearance [PCR-negativity: day 3–4, 55% vs 85%; day 6–7, 67% vs 100%]. Elevated proinflammatory cytokines, particularly IL-6, predicted ICU admission (adjusted OR 12.6, 95%CI 2.6–61.5, per log(10)unit increase; P = 0.002), and correlated with fever, tachypnoea, deoxygenation, and length-of-stay (Spearman's rho, P-values<0.01) in influenza infections. PBMCs in seasonal influenza patients were activated and expressed cytokines ex vivo (e.g. IL-6, CXCL8/IL-8, CCL2/MCP-1, CXCL10/IP-10, CXCL9/MIG); their ‘responsiveness’ to stimuli was shown to change dynamically during the illness course. CONCLUSIONS: A hyperactivated proinflammatory, but suppressed adaptive-immunity (Th1/Th17)-related cytokine response pattern was found in severe pH1N1 pneumonia, different from seasonal influenza. Cytokine/immune-dysregulation may be important in its pathogenesis

    Isolation and Genetic Characterization of Mother-of-Snow-White, a Maternal Effect Allele Affecting Laterality and Lateralized Behaviors in Zebrafish

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    In the present work we report evidence compatible with a maternal effect allele affecting left-right development and functional lateralization in vertebrates. Our study demonstrates that the increased frequency of reversed brain asymmetries in a zebrafish line isolated through a behavioral assay is due to selection of mother-of-snow-white (msw), a maternal effect allele involved in early stages of left-right development in zebrafish. msw homozygous females could be identified by screening of their progeny for the position of the parapineal organ because in about 50% of their offspring we found an altered, either bilateral or right-sided, expression of lefty1 and spaw. Deeper investigations at earlier stages of development revealed that msw is involved in the specification and differentiation of precursors of the Kupffer's vesicle, a structure homologous to the mammalian node. To test the hypothesis that msw, by controlling Kupffer's vesicle morphogenesis, controls lateralized behaviors related to diencephalic asymmetries, we analyzed left- and right-parapineal offspring in a “viewing test”. As a result, left- and right-parapineal individuals showed opposite and complementary eye preference when scrutinizing a model predator, and a different degree of lateralization when scrutinizing a virtual companion. As maternal effect genes are expected to evolve more rapidly when compared to zygotic ones, our results highlight the driving force of maternal effect alleles in the evolution of vertebrates behaviors
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