78 research outputs found

    Evaluation of automated calibration and quality control processes using the Aptio total laboratory automation system

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    Background The objective of this study was to determine whether manually performed calibration and quality control (QC) processes could be replaced with an automated laboratory system when installed analyzers fail to provide automated calibration and QC functions. Methods Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), total cholesterol (TC), creatinine (Cr), direct bilirubin (DB), and lipase (Lip) items were used as analytes. We prepared pooled serum samples at 10 levels for each test item and divided them into two groups; five for the analytical measurement range (AMR) group and five for the medical decision point (MDP) group. Calibration and QC processes were performed for five consecutive days, and ALT, TC, Cr, DB, and Lip levels were measured in the two groups using automated and manual methods. Precision and the mean difference between the calibration and QC methods were evaluated using the reported values of the test items in each group. Results Repeatability and within-laboratory coefficients of variation (CVs) between the automated system and the conventional manual system in the AMR group were similar. However, the mean reported values for test items were significantly different between the two systems. In the MDP group, repeatability and within-laboratory CVs were better with the automation system. All calibration and QC processes were successfully implemented with the Aptio total laboratory automation system. Conclusion The Aptio total laboratory automation system could be applied to routine practice to improve precision and efficiency

    Fifteen new nucleotide substitutions in variants of human papillomavirus 18 in Korea

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    High-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is an essential factor for the development of cervical cancer. HPV18 is the second most common carcinogenic HPV type following HPV16, but the lineages of HPV18 have been less well studied than those of HPV 16. The purpose of this study was to analyze the nucleotide variants in the E6, E7, and L1 genes of HPV18, to assess the prevalence of HPV18 variants in Korea and to explore the relationship between HPV18 genetic variants and the risk for cervical cancer. A total of 170 DNA samples from HPV18-positive cervical specimens were collected from women admitted to a secondary referral hospital located in Seoul. Among them, the lineages of the 97 samples could be successfully determined by historical nomenclature. All the studied HPV 18 variants were lineage A. Sublineages A1 and A4 comprised 91.7% (89/97) and 1.0% (1/97), respectively. Sublineages other than A1 or A4 comprised 7.2% (7/97). We identified 15 new nucleotide substitutions among 44 nucleotide substitutions: C158T, T317G, T443G, A560G, A5467G, A5560C, A5678C, A6155G, G6462A, T6650G, G6701A, T6809C, A6823G, T6941C and T6953C. Among them, 6 substitutions at positions 317, 443, 5467, 5560, 6462, and 6823 resulted in amino acid changes (E6: F71L and N113K; L1: H13R, H44P, A345T, and N465S, respectively). The pathologic results were classified as normal in 25.8% (25/97) of the women, atypical squamous cells of undermined significance (ASCUS) in 7.2% (7/97), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 1 in 36.1% (35/97), CIN2/3 in 19.6% (18/97), and carcinoma in 12.4% (12/97). There was no significant association between the HPV18 sublineages and the severity of pathologic lesion or the disease progression. This study is the first to analyze the distribution of HPV18 variants in Korean and to associate the results with pathologic findings. Although the HPV18 variants had no significant effect on the degree and progression of the disease, the newly discovered nonsynonymous mutation in L1 might serve as a database to determine vaccine efficacy in Korean women

    Pimecrolimus interferes the therapeutic efficacy of human mesenchymal stem cells in atopic dermatitis by regulating NFAT-COX2 signaling

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    Abstract Background Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) therapy has recently been considered a promising treatment for atopic dermatitis (AD) due to their immunomodulation and tissue regeneration ability. In our previous studies, we demonstrated that hMSCs alleviate allergic inflammation in murine AD model by inhibiting the activation of mast cells and B cells. Also our phase I/IIa clinical trial showed clinical efficacy and safety of hMSCs in moderate-to-severe adult AD patients. However, hMSCs therapy against atopic dermatitis have had poor results in clinical field. Therefore, we investigated the reason behind this result. We hypothesized that drug–cell interaction could interfere with the therapeutic efficacy of stem cells, and investigated whether coadministration with pimecrolimus, one of the topical calcineurin inhibitors, could influence the therapeutic potential of human umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) in AD. Methods hUCB-MSCs were subcutaneously injected to AD-induced mice with or without pimecrolimus topical application. To examine whether pimecrolimus influenced the immunomodulatory activity of hUCB-MSCs, hUCB-MSCs were treated with pimecrolimus. Results Pimecrolimus disturbed the therapeutic effect of hUCB-MSCs when they were co-administered in murine AD model. Moreover, the inhibitory functions of hUCB-MSCs against type 2 helper T (Th2) cell differentiation and mast cell activation were also deteriorated by pimecrolimus treatment. Interestingly, we found that pimecrolimus decreased the production of PGE2, one of the most critical immunomodulatory factors in hUCB-MSCs. And we demonstrated that pimecrolimus downregulated COX2-PGE2 axis by inhibiting nuclear translocation of NFAT3. Conclusions Coadministration of pimecrolimus with hMSCs could interfere with the therapeutic efficacy of hMSCs in atopic dermatitis, and this is the first study that figured out the interaction of hMSCs with other drugs in cell therapy of atopic dermatitis. Therefore, this study might give rise to improvement of the clinical application of hMSCs therapy and facilitate the widespread application of hMSCs in clinical field

    Candida haemulonii and Closely Related Species at 5 University Hospitals in Korea: Identification, Antifungal Susceptibility, and Clinical Features

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    Background. Candida haemulonii, a yeast species that often exhibits antifungal resistance, rarely causes human infection. During 2004-2006, unusual yeast isolates with phenotypic similarity to C. haemulonii were recovered from 23 patients (8 patients with fungemia and 15 patients with chronic otitis media) in 5 hospitals in Korea. Methods. Isolates were characterized using D1/D2 domain and ITS gene sequencing, and the susceptibility of the isolates to 6 antifungal agents was tested in vitro. Results. Gene sequencing of the blood isolates confirmed C. haemulonii group I (in 1 patient) and Candida pseudohaemulonii (in 7 patients), whereas all isolates recovered from the ear were a novel species of which C. haemulonii is its closest relative. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranges of amphotericin B, fluconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole for all isolates were 0.5-32 mu g/mL (MIC(50), 1 mu g/mL), 2-128 mu g/mL (MIC(50), 4 mu g/mL), 0.125-4 mu g/mL (MIC(50), 0.25 mu g/mL), and 0.03-2 mu g/mL (MIC(50), 0.06 mu g/mL), respectively. All isolates were susceptible to caspofungin (MIC, 0.125-0.25 mu g/mL) and micafungin (MIC, 0.03-0.06 mu g/mL). All cases of fungemia occurred in patients with severe underlying diseases who had central venous catheters. Three patients developed breakthrough fungemia while receiving antifungal therapy, and amphotericin B therapeutic failure, which was associated with a high MIC of amphotericin B (32 mu g/mL), was observed in 2 patients. Conclusions. Candida species that are closely related to C. haemulonii are emerging sources of infection in Korea. These species show variable patterns of susceptibility to amphotericin B and azole antifungal agents.Shin JH, 2007, J CLIN MICROBIOL, V45, P2385, DOI 10.1128/JCM.00381-07Khan ZU, 2007, J CLIN MICROBIOL, V45, P2025, DOI 10.1128/JCM.00222-07Lee JS, 2007, J CLIN MICROBIOL, V45, P1005, DOI 10.1128/JCM.02264-06Pfaller MA, 2006, J CLIN MICROBIOL, V44, P819, DOI 10.1128/JCM.44.3.819-826.2006Sugita T, 2006, MICROBIOL IMMUNOL, V50, P469Clancy CJ, 2005, ANTIMICROB AGENTS CH, V49, P3171, DOI 10.1128/AAC.49.8.3171-3177.2005Odds FC, 2004, J CLIN MICROBIOL, V42, P3475, DOI 10.1128/JCM.42.8.3475-3482.2004Rodero L, 2002, J CLIN MICROBIOL, V40, P2266, DOI 10.1128/JCM.40.6.2266-2269.2002*CLSI, 2002, M27A2 CLSISugita T, 1999, J CLIN MICROBIOL, V37, P1985Pfaller MA, 1998, DIAGN MICR INFEC DIS, V32, P223Nguyen MH, 1998, J INFECT DIS, V177, P425Kurtzman CP, 1997, J CLIN MICROBIOL, V35, P1216LEHMANN PF, 1993, J CLIN MICROBIOL, V31, P1683GARGEYA IB, 1991, J MED VET MYCOL, V29, P335

    The Korean Women's Trade Union: Mobilizing women workers

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    On behalf of the Korean Women's Trade Union (KWTU) Namhee Park describes the achievements of the KWTU in mobilizing women workers. She describes the nine-year experience of KWTU as an important model to organize and empower the temporary women workers. Through the activities and struggles of KWTU, women workers, who were separate, scattered, easily replaced, lacking confidence to change bad working conditions, are now raising their voices, and exercising the collective influence to change their situation. Development (2009) 52, 246–250. doi:10.1057/dev.2009.12

    Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Kidney Tubular Epithelial Cells Induced by Globotriaosylsphingosine and Globotriaosylceramide.

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    Fabry disease is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of alpha-galactosidase A (α-gal A), which results in the deposition of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) in the vascular endothelium. Globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb3), a deacylated Gb3, is also increased in the plasma of patients with Fabry disease. Renal fibrosis is a key feature of advanced Fabry disease patients. Therefore, we evaluated the association of Gb3 and lyso-Gb3 accumulation and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) on tubular epithelial cells of the kidney. In HK2 cells, exogenous treatments of Gb3 and lyso-Gb3 increased the expression of TGF-β, EMT markers (N-cadherin and α-SMA), and phosphorylation of PI3K/AKT, and decreased the expression of E-cadherin. Lyso-Gb3, rather than Gb3, strongly induced EMT in HK2 cells. In the mouse renal mesangial cell line, SV40 MES 13 cells, Gb3 strongly induced phenotype changes. The EMT induced by Gb3 was inhibited by enzyme α-gal A treatment, but EMT induced by lyso-Gb3 was not abrogated by enzyme treatment. However, TGF-β receptor inhibitor (TRI, SB525334) inhibited the activation of TGF-β and EMT markers in HK2 cells with Gb3 and lyso-Gb3 treatments. This study suggested that increased plasma lyso-Gb3 has a crucial role in the development of renal fibrosis through the cell-specific induction of the EMT in Fabry disease, and that TRI treatment, alongside enzyme replacement therapy, could be a potential therapeutic option for patients with Fabry disease

    Functional Diversification of Motor Neuron-specific <i>Isl1</i> Enhancers during Evolution

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    <div><p>Functional diversification of motor neurons has occurred in order to selectively control the movements of different body parts including head, trunk and limbs. Here we report that transcription of <i>Isl1</i>, a major gene necessary for motor neuron identity, is controlled by two enhancers, CREST1 (E1) and CREST2 (E2) that allow selective gene expression of <i>Isl1</i> in motor neurons. Introduction of GFP reporters into the chick neural tube revealed that E1 is active in hindbrain motor neurons and spinal cord motor neurons, whereas E2 is active in the lateral motor column (LMC) of the spinal cord, which controls the limb muscles. Genome-wide ChIP-Seq analysis combined with reporter assays showed that Phox2 and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex bind to E1 and drive hindbrain and spinal cord-specific expression of <i>Isl1</i>, respectively. Interestingly, Lhx3 alone was sufficient to activate E1, and this may contribute to the initiation of <i>Isl1</i> expression when progenitors have just developed into motor neurons. E2 was induced by onecut 1 (OC-1) factor that permits <i>Isl1</i> expression in LMCm neurons. Interestingly, the core region of E1 has been conserved in evolution, even in the lamprey, a jawless vertebrate with primitive motor neurons. All E1 sequences from lamprey to mouse responded equally well to Phox2a and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex. Conversely, E2, the enhancer for limb-innervating motor neurons, was only found in tetrapod animals. This suggests that evolutionarily-conserved enhancers permit the diversification of motor neurons.</p></div

    Differentiation of Motor Neuron-Like Cells from Tonsil-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Their Possible Application to Neuromuscular Junction Formation

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    Human tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells (T-MSCs) are newly identified MSCs and present typical features of MSCs, including having the differentiation capacity into the three germ layers and excellent proliferation capacity. They are easily sourced and are useful for stem cell therapy in various disease states. We previously reported that T-MSCs could be differentiated into skeletal myocytes and Schwann-like cells; therefore, they are a promising candidate for cell therapies for neuromuscular disease. Motor neurons (MNs), which regulate spontaneous behavior, are affected by a wide range of MN diseases (MNDs) for which there are no effective remedies. We investigated the differentiation potential of MN-like cells derived from T-MSCs (T-MSC-MNCs) for application to therapy of MNDs. After the process of MN differentiation, the expression of MN-related markers, including Islet 1, HB9/HLXB9 (HB9), and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), was increased when compared with undifferentiated T-MSCs. The secretion of acetylcholine to the conditioned medium was significantly increased after MN differentiation. We cocultured T-MSC-MNCs and human skeletal muscle cells, and confirmed the presence of the acetylcholine receptor clusters, which demonstrated the formation of neuromuscular junctions. The potential functional improvements afforded by these T-MSC-MNCs could be useful in the treatment of MNDs caused by genetic mutation, viral infection, or environmental problems

    Surgical Results of the Superior Vena Cava Intimal Layer-Only Suture Technique in Heart Transplantation

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    Background: Superior vena cava (SVC) stenosis during follow-up is a major concern after heart transplantation, and many technical modifications have been introduced. We analyzed the surgical results of the SVC intima layer-only suture technique in heart transplantation. Methods: We performed SVC anastomosis with sutures placed only in the intima during heart transplantation. We measured the area of the SVC at 3 different points (above the anastomosis, at the anastomosis, and below the anastomosis) in an axial view by freely drawing regions of interest, and then evaluated the degree of stenosis. Patients who underwent cardiac computed tomography (CT) at 2 years postoperatively between June 2017 and May 2020 were included in this study. Results: We performed heart transplantation in 41 patients. Among them, 24 patients (16 males and 8 females) underwent follow-up cardiac CT at 2 years postoperatively. The mean age at operation was 49.4±4.9 years. The diagnoses at time of operation were dilated cardiomyopathy (n=12), ischemic heart disease (n=8), valvular heart disease (n=2), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (n=1), and congenital heart disease (n=1). No cases of postoperative bleeding requiring intervention occurred. The mean CT follow-up duration was 1.9±0.7 years. At follow-up, the mean areas at the 3 key points were 2.7±0.8 cm2, 2.7±0.8 cm2, and 2.7±1.0 cm2 (p=0.996). There were no SVC stenosis-related symptoms during follow-up. Conclusion: The suture technique using only the SVC intimal layer is a safe and effective method for use in heart transplantation

    Lhx3 and the Isl1-Lhx3 complex activate the E1 enhancer in somatic motor neurons, and this is repressed by Sox1 and Chx10.

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    <p>(A-B”‘) Activity of the E1::nGFP enhancer and expression of Olig2, Lhx3 or Isl1 in HH stage 23 and 26 chick embryos. Dotted lines mark the border of pMN domain and arrowheads mark migrating motor neurons that weakly express Isl1 (> 16 sections in 6 embryos in each group). (C) Summary diagram of transcription factors present in pMN and p2 progenitors and neurons. (D-H’) Co-electroporation of GFP reporters with Isl1, Lhx3, Isl1 and Lhx3 (Isl1+Lhx3), or ddI1L3 in chick neural tubes. Expression of Isl1 and Lhx3 and their activity to induce ectopic MNR2<sup>+</sup> motor neurons or Chx10<sup>+</sup> V2a interneurons were assessed by triple labeling of sections with markers indicated. Lower panels (D’-H’) show identical sections without GFP overlay. The E1 reporter is activated by Lhx3, Isl1+Lhx3 or ddI1L3 (brackets), which overlapped with Chx10 (open arrowheads, E, G) or MNR2 (arrowheads, F-H). (I-L) Ectopic Isl1 expression in the Isl2+Lhx3 group but not in the Lhx3-electroporated group. Overexpression of Isl2 and Lhx3 were confirmed as indicated. (M-U) Co-electroporation of GFP reporters with Lhx3, Olig2, Sox1 or Chx10 as indicated. Overexpression of Olig2, Sox1, Lhx3 and Chx10 were confirmed as indicated. The E1 reporter driven by Lhx3 was repressed in both dorsal and ventral spinal cords in the presence of Olig2, Sox1 and Chx10 (dotted brackets, N, Q, T). (V) GFP intensity in dorsal spinal cord of electroporated groups. Error bars represent SEM. ***<i>p</i> < 0.001 vs. vector; #<i>p</i> < 0.05, ##<i>p</i> < 0.01, ###<i>p</i> < 0.001 vs. Lhx3; Kruskal-Wallis test (> 14 sections in 6 embryos in each group). (W) Induction of the E1 luciferase reporter by various transcription factors. Error bars represent SEM. ***<i>p</i> < 0.001; unpaired Student’s t-test (n = 3). Scale bars: in A””, 20 μm for A-A”‘; in B”‘, 50 μm for B-B”‘; in U, 50 μm for D-U.</p
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