365 research outputs found

    Efficacy of adalimumab in young children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and chronic uveitis: A case series

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    Background: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a relatively common chronic disease of childhood, and is associated with persistent morbidity and extra-articular complications, one of the most common being uveitis. The introduction of biologic therapies, particularly those blocking the inflammatory mediator tumor necrosis factor-α, provided a new treatment option for juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients who were refractory to standard therapy such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids and/or methotrexate. Case presentations. The first case was a 2-year-old girl with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and uveitis who failed to respond to treatment with anti-inflammatories, low-dose corticosteroids and methotrexate, and had growth retardation. Adalimumab 24 mg/m2 every 2 weeks and prednisone 0.5 mg/kg/day were added to methotrexate therapy; steroid tapering and withdrawal started after 1 month. After 2 months the patient showed good control of articular and ocular manifestations, and she remained in remission for 1 year, receiving adalimumab and methotrexate with no side effects, and showing significant improvement in growth. Case 2 was a 9-year-old boy with an 8-year history of juvenile idiopathic arthritis and uveitis that initially responded to infliximab, but relapse occurred after 2 years off therapy. After switching to adalimumab, and adjusting doses of both adalimumab and methotrexate based on body surface area, the patient showed good response and corticosteroids were tapered and withdrawn after 6 months; the patient remained in remission taking adalimumab and methotrexate. The final case was a 5-year-old girl with juvenile idiopathic arthritis for whom adalimumab was added to methotrexate therapy after three flares of uveitis. The patient had two subsequent episodes of uveitis that responded well to local therapy, but was then free of both juvenile idiopathic arthritis and uveitis symptoms, allowing methotrexate and then adalimumab to be stopped; the patient remained in drug-free remission. Conclusion: This report includes the first published case of the use of adalimumab in a child aged <3 years. Our clinical experience further supports the use of biologic therapy for the management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis and uveitis in children as young as two years of age. © 2014 La Torre et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd

    Influence of Indomethacin on Steroid Metabolism: Endocrine Disruption and Confounding Effects in Urinary Steroid Profiling of Anti-Doping Analyses

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    Anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) are prohibited as doping substances in sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Concentrations and concentration ratios of endogenous AAS (steroid profile markers) in urine samples collected from athletes are used to detect their administration. Certain (non-prohibited) drugs have been shown to influence the steroid profile and thereby sophisticate anti-doping analysis. It was shown in vitro that the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) indomethacin inhibits selected steroid-biotransformations catalyzed by the aldo-keto reductase (AKR) 1C3, which plays a key role in the endogenous steroid metabolism. Kinetic parameters for the indomethacin-mediated inhibition of the AKR1C3 catalyzed reduction in etiocholanolone were determined in vitro using two comparing methods. As NSAIDs are very frequently used (not only) by athletes, the inhibitory impact of indomethacin intake on the steroid metabolism was evaluated, and steroid profile alterations were detected in vivo (one male and one female volunteer). Significant differences between samples collected before, during or after the intake of indomethacin for selected steroid profile markers were observed. The presented results are of relevance for the interpretation of results from doping control analysis. Additionally, the administration of NSAIDs should be carefully reconsidered due to their potential as endocrine disruptors

    Advancing Green Purchasing in Italian Municipalities

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    Italy was the first European country to create a full mandatory plan known as the National Action Plan on Green Public Procurement. This plan established a framework through which green purchasing polices can diffuse throughout Italian municipalities. A primary reason for this action is that green purchasing policies have the potential to significantly reduce carbon impacts across the globe and can help Italy achieve its carbon emissions goals. However, at the local level, many municipal governments have struggled to implement green purchasing policies. Consequently, green purchasing has not reached its full potential to help municipalities mitigate their environmental impacts. These are significant concerns that the United Nations Environmental Programme, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC), and others suggest must be resolved if Italy is to move toward an environmentally sustainable economy. Researchers at Sant’ Anna School of Advance Studies’ Institute of Management and Arizona State University’s (ASU’s) Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative have sought to address these issues. Our three broad objectives are to: 1) Determine the facilitators and barriers to adoption and implementation of green purchasing policies in Italian municipalities 2) Recommend actions for advancing green purchasing practices more effectively 3) Encourage Italian municipalities that lack green purchasing policies to adopt and implement them within their jurisdictions. To accomplish these objectives, we conducted a national survey of finance, environmental, and municipal engineering directors in Italian municipalities. The survey generated 152 individual responses from 395 municipalities with 25,000 residents or more. These municipalities were representative based on their population size, income, and geographic dispersion by prefecture

    Neoadjuvant Treatments for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: Where We Are and Where We Are Going

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    Background: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) represents a challenging disease for the surgeon, oncologist, and radiation oncologist in both diagnostic and therapeutic settings. Surgery is currently the gold standard treatment, but the role of neoadjuvant treatment (NAD) is constantly evolving and gaining importance in resectable PDACs. The aim of this narrative review is to report the state of the art and future perspectives of neoadjuvant therapy in patients with PDAC. Methods: A PubMed database search of articles published up to September 2022 was carried out. Results: Many studies showed that FOLFIRINOX or Gemcitabine-nab- paclitaxel in a neoadjuvant setting had a relevant impact on overall survival (OS) for patients with locally advanced and borderline resectable PDAC without increasing post-operative complications. To date, there have not been many published multicentre randomised trials comparing upfront surgery with NAD in resectable PDAC patients, but the results obtained are promising. NAD in resectable PDAC showed long-term effective benefits in terms of median OS (5-year OS rate 20.5% in NAD group vs. 6.5% in upfront surgery). NAD could play a role in the treatment of micro- metastatic disease and lymph nodal involvement. In this scenario, given the low sensitivity and specificity for lymph-node metastases of radiological investigations, CA 19-9 could be an additional tool in the decision-making process. Conclusions: The future challenge could be to identify only selected patients who will really benefit from upfront surgery despite a combination of NAD and surgery

    Phenotyping of chondrocytes from human osteoarthritic cartilage: chondrocyte expression of beta integrins and correlation with anatomic injury

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    Chondrocyte-ECM (extracellular matrix) interactions are believed to play a pivotal role in the development and metabolic homeostasis of articular cartilage. Cell surface adhesion molecules have been reported to modulate chondrocyte binding to ECM (collagen, fibronectin, laminin) and they also act as transducers of critical signals in many biological processes such as growth, differentiation, migration and matrix synthesis. Recently, it has been shown that normal human articular chondrocytes strongly express beta1 integrins, which are constituted by a common chain (beta1) and a variable alphachain, but the behaviour of these molecules in human osteoarthritic cartilage has not been extensively investigated. We studied the expression of beta integrins (beta1-5, alpha1-6, av chains), LFA-1, ICAM-1 and CD44, on freshly isolated chondrocytes obtained from 10 osteoarthritic patients undergoing surgical knee replacement. Chondrocytes were isolated by enzymatic digestion from three zones of each articular cartilage with a differing degree of macroscopic and microscopic damage. Integrin expression and cell cycle analysis were carried out by flowcytometry. Chondrocytes from costal cartilages of 5 human foetuses were also studied. Chondrocytes from osteoarthritic cartilage expressed high levels of beta1 integrin and, at different percentages, all the alphachains. The alphachain most frequently expressed was alpha1, foilowed by alpha3, alpha5, alpha2, alphav. Integrin expression decreased from the least to the most damaged zone of articular cartilage and cell cycle analysis showed that proliferating chondrocytes (S phase) were prevalent on the latter zone. beta2, beta3, beta2, beta5, CD44, LFA-1/ICAM-1 complex were very low expressed. Fetal chondrocytes strongly expressed beta1 and beta5 chains. These data provide evidence to show that integrin expression on human chondrocytes changes in osteoarthritis and suggest that perturbations of chondrocyte-ECM signalling occur in the development of the disease. The different pattern of expression of beta1 and beta5 chains on adult and fetal chondrocytes leads to speculate that integrins play a key role in control of cartilage morphogenesis and differentiation

    Group V Secreted Phospholipase A2 Induces the Release of Proangiogenic and Antiangiogenic Factors by Human Neutrophils

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    Secreted phospholipases A2 (sPLA2s) are extracellular enzymes that catalyze the release of free fatty acids and lysophospholipids from membrane phospholipids and also bind to different receptors (e.g., PLA2R1 or integrins). To date, 12 mammalian sPLA2s have been identified, which play a critical role in pathophysiological processes including inflammation and cancer. sPLA2s activate immune cells such as human neutrophils (PMNs) by enzymatic activity- or receptor-mediated mechanisms. In addition, human PMNs synthesize and store human group V (hGV) and human group X (hGX) sPLA2s in their granules, but only the former is released upon cellular activation. We investigated the effects of sPLA2s on the release of proangiogenic and antiangiogenic factors by PMNs. We found that exogenous hGV and hGX sPLA2s induce the release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, angiopoietin 1 (Ang1), and CXCL8/IL-8. Only hGV induces the secretion of the antiangiogenic isoform of VEGF-A, namely, VEGF-A165b. While the release of VEGF-A, Ang1, and CXCL8/IL-8 was likely mediated by hGV enzymatic activity and/or binding to PLA2R1 and heparan sulfate proteoglycans, the release of VEGF-A165b requires the interaction with αVβ3 and α4β1 integrins. We also provide evidence that endogenous hGV released by N-formyl-met-leu-phe (fMLF)-activated PMNs is involved in the release of angiogenic factors. The translational relevance of these data is supported by our findings that hGV expression is increased in human samples of lung cancer which are infiltrated by PMNs. Overall, our results suggest that the hGV-neutrophil axis may play a relevant role in the modulation of cancer-related inflammation and angiogenesis

    New Insights into the Metabolism of Methyltestosterone and Metandienone: Detection of Novel A-Ring Reduced Metabolites

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    Metandienone and methyltestosterone are orally active anabolic-androgenic steroids with a 17α-methyl structure that are prohibited in sports but are frequently detected in anti-doping analysis. Following the previously reported detection of long-term metabolites with a 17ξ-hydroxymethyl-17ξ-methyl-18-nor-5ξ-androst-13-en-3ξ-ol structure in the chlorinated metandienone analog dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (“oral turinabol”), in this study we investigated the formation of similar metabolites of metandienone and 17α-methyltestosterone with a rearranged D-ring and a fully reduced A-ring. Using a semi-targeted approach including the synthesis of reference compounds, two diastereomeric substances, viz. 17α-hydroxymethyl-17β-methyl-18-nor-5β-androst-13-en-3α-ol and its 5α-analog, were identified following an administration of methyltestosterone. In post-administration urines of metandienone, only the 5β-metabolite was detected. Additionally, 3α,5β-tetrahydro-epi-methyltestosterone was identified in the urines of both administrations besides the classical metabolites included in the screening procedures. Besides their applicability for anti-doping analysis, the results provide new insights into the metabolism of 17α-methyl steroids with respect to the order of reductions in the A-ring, the participation of different enzymes, and alterations to the D-ring
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