1,141 research outputs found

    Failure to achieve lupus low disease activity state (LLDAS) six months after diagnosis is associated with early damage accrual in Caucasian patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

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    Background: The aim was to assess the attainability and outcome of the lupus low disease activity state (LLDAS) in the early stages of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods: LLDAS prevalence was evaluated at 6 (T1) and 18 (T2) months after diagnosis and treatment initiation (T0) in a monocentric cohort of 107 (median disease duration 9.7 months) prospectively followed Caucasian patients with SLE. Reasons for failure to achieve LLDAS were also investigated. Multivariate models were built to identify factors associated with lack of LLDAS achievement and to investigate the relationship between LLDAS and Systemic Lupus International Collaboration Clinics (SLICC)/Damage Index (SDI) accrual. Results: There were 47 (43.9%) patients in LLDAS at T1 and 48 (44.9%) at T2. The most frequent unmet LLDAS criterion was prednisolone dose >7.5 mg/day (83% of patients with no LLDAS at T1). Disease manifestations with the lowest remission rate during follow up were increased anti-double-stranded DNA (persistently present in 85.7% and 67.5% of cases at T1 and T2, respectively), low serum complement fractions (73.2% and 66.3%) and renal abnormalities (46.4% and 28.6%). Renal involvement at T0 was significantly associated with failure to achieve LLDAS both at T1 (OR 7.8, 95% CI 1.4-43.4; p = 0.019) and T2 (OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.4-10.6; p = 0.008). Presence of any organ damage (SDI â\u89¥1) at T2 was significantly associated with lack of LLDAS at T1 (OR 5.0, 95% CI 1.5-16.6; p = 0.009) and older age at diagnosis (OR 1.05 per year, 95% CI 1.01-1.09; p = 0.020). Conclusion: LLDAS is a promising treatment target in the early stages of SLE, being attainable and negatively associated with damage accrual, but it fit poorly to patients with renal involvement

    La necropoli di Mitza Salida - Masullas - Oristano (OR)

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    The necropolis of Mitza Salida lies near the little country of Masullas, 35 km distant from the city of Oristano, in Sardinia. This necropolis had a frequency of 2 centuries, from the first to the third d.C., in a full Roman imperial period

    Severe neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus successfully treated with rituximab: An alternative to standard of care

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    Demyelinating syndrome secondary to systemic lupus erythematosus (DS-SLE) is a rare encephalomyelitis burden with a high risk of disability and death. We report on a 49-year-old Caucasian woman with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) complicated by severe cognitive dysfunction, brainstem disease, cranial nerve palsies, weakness and numbness in limbs and multiple discrete magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) areas of damage within the white matter of semioval centers, temporal lobe, external capsule, claustrum, subinsular regions and midbrain. She also had multiple mononeuritis diagnosed through sensory and motor nerve conduction study. She was diagnosed with severe DS-SLE prominently involving the brain and was treated with 500 mg methylprednisolone (PRE) pulses for 3 consecutive days, followed by one single pulse of 500 mg cyclophosphamide, and 1 g rituximab, which was then repeated 14 days later. PRE 25 mg/day, rapidly tapered to 7.5 mg/day in 6 months, and mycophenolate mofetil 1 g/day were prescribed as maintenance therapy. She had progressive and sustained improvement in neurological symptoms with almost complete resolution of brain MRI lesions after 1 year. B-cell depleting therapy could be considered as a possible alternative to standard of care in the management of severe inflammatory neuropsychiatric SLE but it should be associated with a conventional immunosuppressant as maintenance treatment to reduce the risk of flare and reduce corticosteroids dose

    Dissecting the dynamics of dysregulation of cellular processes in mouse mammary gland tumor

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Elucidating the sequence of molecular events underlying breast cancer formation is of enormous value for understanding this disease and for design of an effective treatment. Gene expression measurements have enabled the study of transcriptome-wide changes involved in tumorigenesis. This usually occurs through identification of differentially expressed genes or pathways.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We propose a novel approach that is able to delineate new cancer-related cellular processes and the nature of their involvement in tumorigenesis. First, we define modules as densely interconnected and functionally enriched areas of a Protein Interaction Network. Second, 'differential expression' and 'differential co-expression' analyses are applied to the genes in these network modules, allowing for identification of processes that are up- or down-regulated, as well as processes disrupted (low co-expression) or invoked (high co-expression) in different tumor stages. Finally, we propose a strategy to identify regulatory miRNAs potentially responsible for the observed changes in module activities. We demonstrate the potential of this analysis on expression data from a mouse model of mammary gland tumor, monitored over three stages of tumorigenesis. Network modules enriched in adhesion and metabolic processes were found to be inactivated in tumor cells through the combination of dysregulation and down-regulation, whereas the activation of the integrin complex and immune system response modules is achieved through increased co-regulation and up-regulation. Additionally, we confirmed a known miRNA involved in mammary gland tumorigenesis, and present several new candidates for this function.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Understanding complex diseases requires studying them by integrative approaches that combine data sources and different analysis methods. The integration of methods and data sources proposed here yields a sensitive tool, able to pinpoint new processes with a role in cancer, dissect modulation of their activity and detect the varying assignments of genes to functional modules over the course of a disease.</p

    Agonistic interactions between the honeybee (<i>Apis mellifera ligustica</i>) and the European wasp (<i>Vespula germanica</i>) reveal context-dependent defense strategies

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    Predator–prey relationships between sympatric species allow the evolution of defense behaviors, such as honeybee colonies defending their nests against predatory wasps. We investigated the predator–prey relationship between the honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) and the European wasp (Vespula germanica) by evaluating the effectiveness of attack and defense behaviors, which have coevolved in these sympatric species, as well as the actual damage and disturbance caused to the colonies under attack. Attack and defense behaviors were recorded in front of the hive to observe attacks at the hive entrance (68 attacks in 279 h) and at ground level on isolated and weakened honeybees close to the hive (465 attacks in 32 h). We found that V. germanica attacked the hive entrance infrequently due to the low success rate of this strategy and instead preferred a specialized attack method targeting adult honeybees at ground level, demonstrating opportunistic scavenger behavior. Individual honeybees usually responded effectively to an attack by recruiting an average of two nestmates, causing the wasp to flee, whereas collective balling behavior was only observed on four occasions. V. germanica does not appear to disrupt the foraging activity of the colonies under attack. We found that agonistic events supported by other nestmates were typically the most intense ones, involving physical combat and prolonged attacks at the entrance to the hive. These observations support the hypothesis that A. mellifera ligustica can adapt its behavior to match the severity of the threat and the context of the attack

    MwoI and SmaI RFLPs polymorphisms of porcine obese gene and their association with carcass and meat characteristics of heavy pigs

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    The obese gene encodes leptin, a 16-kDa protein involved in the regulation of fat deposition and energy consumption.Backfat is one of the peculiar characteristics of Italian ham, and represents a fundamental quality factor. Therefore, theobese gene can be considered as a candidate marker for determining economically important production traits such asbackfat thickness, feed intake, and growth rate in swine. The aim was to investigate the relationship between obese genepolymorphisms and carcass and meat characteristics of pigs reared for ham production. In the present research, the analysesof three new RFLPs are reported. An MwoI polymorphism occurs at nucleotide 1792, within the intron. Pigs heterozygousat this position have heavier thighs with a thinner layer of fat. Two SmaI polymorphisms occur at nucleotides5018 and 5410 within the 3’ UTR of the obese gene. Animals heterozygous at position 5410 have characteristics suitablefor the production of San Daniele ham: lower backfat thickness and heavier thighs with a thinner fat layer, relative toother genotypes


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    Thaumastocoris peregrinusis a eucalyptus pest native to Australia. It is currently the only species belonging to theThaumastocoridae family in Europe. In Italy, it was reported for the first time in Latium in 2011, whereas in Sardinia itwas detected in January 2015 on a Eucalyptus camaldulensis plantation located in the south of the island. Our researchteam carried out a monitoring program for two-years in order to verify its geographical distribution, the main periods ofinfestation, the flight peaks of the adults and to also detect the presence of unhatched eggs on leaves. During the firstyear, the occurrence of adults of T. peregrinuswas verified by yellow sticky traps placed in twelve areas distributedthroughout the island where Eucalyptus plantations were located. In the second year, the population dynamics and theoccurrence of eggs on leaves were evaluated only in three representative study areas, already included in the previousmonitoring program, located in the north, centre and south of the island, respectively. Field surveys showed thepresence of T. peregrinusin all the monitored locations. The highest adult population was observed from late summer toinitial autumn, with a significant increase in adults caught by yellow sticky traps from August, which reached its peakin September and gradually decreased in the following months. The presence of eggs of T. peregrinuson leaves fromJune to December also indicates that the insect is currently well established in the region
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