518 research outputs found

    Transsulfuration pathway thiols and methylated arginines: the hunter community study

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    Background: Serum homocysteine, when studied singly, has been reported to be positively associated both with the endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitor asymmetric dimethylarginine [ADMA, via inhibition of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) activity] and with symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA). We investigated combined associations between transsulfuration pathway thiols, including homocysteine, and serum ADMA and SDMA concentrations at population level. Methods: Data on clinical and demographic characteristics, medication exposure, C-reactive protein, serum ADMA and SDMA (LC-MS/MS), and thiols (homocysteine, cysteine, taurine, glutamylcysteine, total glutathione, and cysteinylglycine; capillary electrophoresis) were collected from a sample of the Hunter Community Study on human ageing [n = 498, median age (IQR) = 64 (60–70) years]. Results: Regression analysis showed that: a) age (P = 0.001), gender (P = 0.03), lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, P = 0.08), body mass index (P = 0.008), treatment with beta-blockers (P = 0.03), homocysteine (P = 0.02), and glutamylcysteine (P = 0.003) were independently associated with higher ADMA concentrations; and b) age (P = 0.001), absence of diabetes (P = 0.001), lower body mass index (P = 0.01), lower eGFR (P&lt;0.001), cysteine (P = 0.007), and glutamylcysteine (P&lt;0.001) were independently associated with higher SDMA concentrations. No significant associations were observed between methylated arginines and either glutathione or taurine concentrations. Conclusions: After adjusting for clinical, demographic, biochemical, and pharmacological confounders the combined assessment of transsulfuration pathway thiols shows that glutamylcysteine has the strongest and positive independent associations with ADMA and SDMA. Whether this reflects a direct effect of glutamylcysteine on DDAH activity (for ADMA) and/or cationic amino acid transport requires further investigations.</br

    Clinical and biochemical correlates of serum L-ergothioneine concentrations in community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults

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    Background: Despite the increasing interest towards the biological role of L-ergothioneine, little is known about the serum concentrations of this unusual aminothiol in older adults. We addressed this issue in a representative sample of communitydwelling middle-aged and older adults. Methods: Body mass index, estimated glomerular filtration rate, serum concentrations of L-ergothioneine, taurine, homocysteine, cysteine, glutathione, cysteinylglycine, and glutamylcysteine were evaluated in 439 subjects (age 55–85 years) randomly selected from the Hunter Community Study. Results: Median L-ergothioneine concentration in the entire cohort was 1.01 IQR 0.78–1.33 mmol/L. Concentrations were not affected by gender (P = 0.41) or by presence of chronic medical conditions (P = 0.15). By considering only healthy subjects, we defined a reference interval for L-ergothioneine serum concentrations from 0.36 (90% CI 0.31–0.44) to 3.08 (90% CI 2.45–3.76) mmol/L. Using stepwise multiple linear regression analysis L-ergothioneine was negatively correlated with age (rpartial =20.15; P = 0.0018) and with glutamylcysteine concentrations (rpartial =20.13; P = 0.0063). Conclusions: A thorough analysis of serum L-ergothioneine concentrations was performed in a large group of communitydwelling middle-aged and older adults. Reference intervals were established. Age and glutamylcysteine were independently negatively associated with L-ergothioneine serum concentration.</br

    Evaluation of subcutaneous proleukin (Interleukin-2) in a randomized international trial (ESPRIT): Geographical and gender differences in the baseline characteristics of participants

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    Background: ESPRIT, is a phase III, open-label, randomized, international clinical trial evaluating the effects of subcutaneous recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2) plus antiretroviral therapy (ART) versus ART alone on HIV-disease progression and death in HIV-1-infected individuals with CD4+ T-cells ≥300 cells/μL. Objectives: To describe the baseline characteristics of participants randomized to ESPRIT overall and by geographic location. Method: Baseline characteristics of randomized participants were summarized by region. Results: 4,150 patients were enrolled in ESPRIT from 254 sites in 25 countries. 41%, 27%, 16%, 11%, and 5% were enrolled in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australia, respectively. The median age was 40 years, 81% were men, and 76%, 11%, and 9% were Caucasian, Asian, and African American or African, respectively. 44% of women enrolled (n = 769) were enrolled in Thailand and Argentina. Overall, 55% and 38% of the cohort acquired HIV through male homosexual and heterosexual contact, respectively. 25% had a prior history of AIDS-defining illness; Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, M. tuberculosis, and esophageal candida were most commonly reported. Median nadir and baseline CD4+ T-cell counts were 199 and 458 cells/μL, respectively. 6% and 13% were hepatitis B or C virus coinfected, respectively. Median duration of antiretroviral therapy (ART) was 4.2 years; the longest median duration was in Australia (5.2 years) and the shortest was in Asia (2.3 years). 17%, 13%, and 69% of participants began ART before 1995, between 1996 and 1997, and from 1998 onward, respectively. 86% used ART from two or more ART classes, with 49% using a protease inhibitor-based regimen and 46% using a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based regimen. 78% had plasma HIV RNA below detection (<500 cp/mL). Conclusion: ESPRIT has enrolled a diverse population of HIV-infected individuals including large populations of women and patients of African-American/African and Asian ethnicity often underrepresented in HIV research. As a consequence, the results of the study may have wide global applicability

    Preliminary evaluation of the utility of optical coherence tomography in detecting structural changes during photobiomodulation treatment in patients with atrophic-erosive oral lichen planus

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    INTRODUCTION: Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a common oral inflammatory condition. Against symptomatic atrophic-erosive OLP, topical steroids, or photobiomodulation (PBM) are deployed. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides a real-time, non-invasive, tissue investigation. Aim of this study was to evaluate modifications of OCT pattern in patients with painful atrophic-erosive OLP, before and after treatment with PBM, comparing those results with patients treated with topical steroid. METHODS: Two groups of 20 OLP patients were evaluated. Group A underwent two daily application of 0.05% clobetasol propionate for 8 weeks; group B was treated with eight weekly PBM sessions using a 980/645 nm diode laser. OCT scans were performed before and after treatment, and six months after end of the proposed protocol. Changes of width of stratified epithelium (EP) and lamina propria (LP) were quantified. RESULTS: After 8-weeks, both groups experienced a significant increase of EP width (p  0.05). After six months, significant increase of EP width remained only in group B (p = 0.01), with no significant decrease of LP mean width in both groups (p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Increase of EP and decrease of LP might be explained as consequence of clobetasol and PBM ability to promote epithelial healing, and to reduce interface inflammation. When investigated with OCT, clobetasol appears to provide more significant short-term structural changes, whereas PBM might guarantee long-term alterations

    The focal attention window size explains letter substitution errors in reading

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    Acquired Neglect Dyslexia is often associated with right-hemisphere brain damage and is mainly characterized by omissions and substitutions in reading single words. Martelli et al. proposed in 2011 that these two types of error are due to different mechanisms. Omissions should depend on neglect plus an oculomotor deficit, whilst substitutions on the difficulty with which the letters are perceptually segregated from each other (i.e., crowding phenomenon). In this study, we hypothesized that a deficit of focal attention could determine a pathological crowding effect, leading to imprecise letter identification and consequently substitution errors. In Experiment 1, three brain-damaged patients, suffering from peripheral dyslexia, mainly characterized by substitutions, underwent an assessment of error distribution in reading pseudowords and a T detection task as a function of cue size and timing, in order to measure focal attention. Each patient, when compared to a control group, showed a deficit in adjusting the attentional focus. In Experiment 2, a group of 17 right-brain-damaged patients were asked to perform the focal attention task and to read single words and pseudowords as a function of inter-letter spacing. The results allowed us to confirm a more general association between substitution-type reading errors and the performance in the focal attention task
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