(1/12738) Quantitative aspects in the assessment of liver injury.

Liver function data are usually difficult to use in their original form when one wishes to compare the hepatotoxic properties of several chemical substances. However, procedures are available for the conversion of liver function data into quantal responses. These permit the elaboration of dose-response lines for the substances in question, the calculation of median effective doses and the statistical analysis of differences in liver-damaging potency. These same procedures can be utilized for estimating the relative hazard involved if one compares the liver-damaging potency to the median effective dose for some other pharmacologie parameter. Alterations in hepatic triglycerides, lipid peroxidation, and the activities of various hepatic enzymes can also be quantitiated in a dose-related manner. This permits the selection of equitoxic doses required for certain comparative studies and the selection of doses in chemical interaction studies. The quantitative problems involved in low-frequency adverse reactions and the difficulty these present in the detection of liver injury in laboratory animals are discussed.  (+info)

(2/12738) Serum triglyceride: a possible risk factor for ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.

BACKGROUND: We aimed to determine the relationship between ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and serum concentrations of lipids and apolipoproteins. METHODS: A cohort of 21 520 men, aged 35-64 years, was recruited from men attending the British United Provident Association (BUPA) clinic in London for a routine medical examination in 1975-1982. Smoking habits, weight, height and blood pressure were recorded at entry. Lipids and apolipoproteins were measured in stored serum samples from the 30 men who subsequently died of ruptured AAA and 150 matched controls. RESULTS: Triglyceride was strongly related to risk of ruptured AAA. In univariate analyses the risk in men on the 90th centile of the distribution relative to the risk in men on the 10th (RO10-90) was 12 (95% confidence interval [CI] : 3.8-37) for triglyceride, 5.5 (95% CI: 1.8-17) for apolipoprotein B (apoB) (the protein component of low density lipoprotein [LDL]), 0.15 (95% CI : 0.04-0.56) for apo A1 (the protein component of high density lipoprotein [HDL]), 3.7 (95% CI: 1.4-9.4) for body mass index and 3.0 (95% CI: 1.1-8.5) for systolic blood pressure. Lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) was not a significant risk factor (RO10-90 = 1.6, 95% CI: 0.6-3.0). In multivariate analysis triglyceride retained its strong association. CONCLUSION: Triglyceride appears to be a strong risk factor for ruptured AAA, although further studies are required to clarify this. If this and other associations are cause and effect, then changing the distribution of risk factors in the population (by many people stopping smoking and adopting a lower saturated fat diet and by lowering blood pressure) could achieve an important reduction in mortality from ruptured AAA.  (+info)

(3/12738) Allyl-containing sulfides in garlic increase uncoupling protein content in brown adipose tissue, and noradrenaline and adrenaline secretion in rats.

The effects of garlic supplementation on triglyceride metabolism were investigated by measurements of the degree of thermogenesis in interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT), and noradrenaline and adrenaline secretion in rats fed two types of dietary fat. In Experiment 1, rats were given isoenergetic high-fat diets containing either shortening or lard with or without garlic powder supplementation (8 g/kg of diet). After 28 d feeding, body weight, plasma triglyceride levels and the weights of perirenal adipose tissue and epididymal fat pad were significantly lower in rats fed diets supplemented with garlic powder than in those fed diets without garlic powder. The content of mitochondrial protein and uncoupling protein (UCP) in IBAT, and urinary noradrenaline and adrenaline excretion were significantly greater in rats fed a lard diet with garlic powder than in those fed the same diet without garlic. Other than adrenaline secretion, differences due to garlic were significant in rats fed shortening, also. In Experiment 2, the effects of various allyl-containing sulfides present in garlic on noradrenaline and adrenaline secretion were evaluated. Administration of diallyldisulfide, diallyltrisulfide and alliin, organosulfur compounds present in garlic, significantly increased plasma noradrenaline and adrenaline concentrations, whereas the administration of disulfides without allyl residues, diallylmonosulfide and S-allyl-L-cysteine did not increase adrenaline secretion. These results suggest that in rats, allyl-containing sulfides in garlic enhance thermogenesis by increasing UCP content in IBAT, and noradrenaline and adrenaline secretion.  (+info)

(4/12738) The food matrix of spinach is a limiting factor in determining the bioavailability of beta-carotene and to a lesser extent of lutein in humans.

Carotenoid bioavailability depends, amongst other factors, on the food matrix and on the type and extent of processing. To examine the effect of variously processed spinach products and of dietary fiber on serum carotenoid concentrations, subjects received, over a 3-wk period, a control diet (n = 10) or a control diet supplemented with carotenoids or one of four spinach products (n = 12 per group): whole leaf spinach with an almost intact food matrix, minced spinach with the matrix partially disrupted, enzymatically liquefied spinach in which the matrix was further disrupted and the liquefied spinach to which dietary fiber (10 g/kg wet weight) was added. Consumption of spinach significantly increased serum concentrations of all-trans-beta-carotene, cis-beta-carotene, (and consequently total beta-carotene), lutein, alpha-carotene and retinol and decreased the serum concentration of lycopene. Serum total beta-carotene responses (changes in serum concentrations from the start to the end of the intervention period) differed significantly between the whole leaf and liquefied spinach groups and between the minced and liquefied spinach groups. The lutein response did not differ among spinach groups. Addition of dietary fiber to the liquefied spinach had no effect on serum carotenoid responses. The relative bioavailability as compared to bioavailability of the carotenoid supplement for whole leaf, minced, liquefied and liquefied spinach plus added dietary fiber for beta-carotene was 5.1, 6.4, 9.5 and 9.3%, respectively, and for lutein 45, 52, 55 and 54%, respectively. We conclude that the bioavailability of lutein from spinach was higher than that of beta-carotene and that enzymatic disruption of the matrix (cell wall structure) enhanced the bioavailability of beta-carotene from whole leaf and minced spinach, but had no effect on lutein bioavailability.  (+info)

(5/12738) Improvement of factor VII clotting activity following long-term NCPAP treatment in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.

Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) is a very common disorder. Patients with OSAS are at an increased risk for cardiovascular events. It has also been reported that a 25% rise in factor VII clotting activity (FVIIc) is associated with a 55% increase in ischaemic heart disease death during the first 5 years. We examined the effects of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) treatment on FVIIc in patients with OSAS. FVIIc was investigated prospectively in 15 patients with OSAS before (mean +/- SEM apnoea and hypopnoea index (AHI) 61.5 +/- 4.2 and after (AHI 3.0 +/- 0.9) NCPAP treatment for immediate relief, at 1 month after treatment and at over 6 months. FVIIc levels gradually decreased after NCPAP treatment. After 6 months of NCPAP treatment, FVIIc levels had decreased significantly (before 141.1 +/- 11.7% vs. after 6 months 110.7 +/- 6.2%; p < 0.01). Six of the seven patients whose FVIIc levels were over 140% before the NCPAP treatment had FVIIc levels below 130% after 6 months or 1 year of NCPAP treatment. This decrease in FVIIc after long-term NCPAP treatment could improve mortality in OSAS patients. If patients, especially obese ones, present with high FVIIc of unknown origin, it would be prudent to check for OSAS.  (+info)

(6/12738) Chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori, Chlamydia pneumoniae, or cytomegalovirus: population based study of coronary heart disease.

OBJECTIVE: To study possible associations between coronary heart disease and serological evidence of persistent infection with Helicobacter pylori, Chlamydia pneumoniae, or cytomegalovirus. DESIGN: Population based, case-control study, nested within a randomised trial. SETTING: Five general practices in Bedfordshire, UK. INDIVIDUALS: 288 patients with incident or prevalent coronary heart disease and 704 age and sex matched controls. RESULTS: High concentrations of serum IgG antibodies to H pylori were present in 54% of cases v 46% of controls, with corresponding results for C pneumoniae seropositivity (33% v 33%), and cytomegalovirus seropositivity (40% v 31%). After adjustments for age, sex, smoking, indicators of socioeconomic status, and standard risk factors, the odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for coronary heart disease of seropositivity to these agents were: 1.28 (0.93 to 1.75) for H pylori, 0.95 (0.66 to 1.36) for C pneumoniae, and 1.40 (0.96 to 2. 05) for cytomegalovirus. CONCLUSIONS: There is no good evidence of strong associations between coronary heart disease and serological markers of persistent infection with H pylori, C pneumoniae, or cytomegalovirus. To determine the existence of moderate associations between these agents and disease, however, larger scale studies will be needed that can keep residual confounders to a minimum.  (+info)

(7/12738) Dietary control of triglyceride and phospholipid synthesis in rat liver slices.

1. The effect of dietary manipulation on the synthesis of triglycerides and phospholipids was investigated by determining the incorporation of labeled long-chain fatty acid or glycerol into these lipids in liver slices derived from normally fed, fasted, and fat-free refed rats. 2. Triglyceride synthesis was affected markedly by the dietary regime of the animal; the lowest rates were measured with fasted rats, and the highest ones with fat-free refed rats. 3. In contrast to triglyceride synthesis, phospholipid synthesis occured at virtually constant rates regardless of the dietary conditions. 4. Addition of large amounts of fatty acid to the incubation mixture resulted in a marked stimulation of triglyceride synthesis, whereas phospholipid synthesis was affected to a much smaller extent. 5. These results indicate that the synthesis of triglycerides and that of phospholipids are controlled independently, and that the availability of fatty acid in the cell contributes to the control of triglyceride synthesis.  (+info)

(8/12738) Extremely low values of serum leptin in children with congenital generalized lipoatrophy.

Congenital generalized lipoatrophy (CGL) is a syndrome with multiple clinical manifestations and complete atrophy of adipose tissue. The exact mechanism of this disease remains unknown. One hypothesis presupposes an abnormal development of adipocytes. Leptin, the adipocyte-specific product of the ob gene, acts as a regulatory factor of body weight. In children, as in adults, leptin levels are correlated with body mass index (BMI) and body fat mass. Some authors have demonstrated that adults with congenital or acquired generalized lipoatrophy have decreased leptin concentrations. In order to study serum leptin profile during childhood in this disease, we measured serum leptin concentrations in six children aged 5.5-11 years suffering from CGL, and investigated the relationship between metabolic parameters and the variations in leptin levels. Serum leptin concentrations (1.19+/-0.32 ng/ml (+/- S.D.)) were extremely low compared with those observed in normal children. No significant correlation was found with BMI, which is known to be one of the major determinants of serum leptin. Serum leptin values were significantly correlated with fasting insulin levels (r=0.83, P=0.024). In conclusion, extremely low leptin values measured in children with CGL could be regarded as one among other diagnostic parameters. However, the detectable levels observed in all of these children support the evidence that a small amount of body fat is likely to be present in these patients, despite complete subcutaneous lipoatrophy. Our data suggest that this small amount of adipose tissue could be metabolically active and, at least in part, sensitive to insulin. Further investigations are required to uncover the pathophysiological mechanisms of this syndrome, known to be commonly associated with insulin resistance.  (+info)