The existence of tropical sprue in Africa is controversial. In this paper we present 31 cases seen in Rhodesia over a 15 month period. They have the clinical features, small intestinal morphology, malabsorption pattern, and treatment response of tropical sprue. Other causes of malabsorption, and primary malnutrition, have been excluded. The severity of the clinical state and intestinal malabsorption distinguish these patients from those we have described with tropical enteropathy. The previous work on tropical sprue in Africa is reviewed and it is apparent that, when it has been adequately looked for, it has been found. It is clear that the question of tropical sprue in Africa must be re-examined and that it existence may have hitherto been concealed by the assumption that primary malnutrition is responsible for the high prevalence of deficiency states. (+info)
Defective high-affinity thiamine transporter leads to cell death in thiamine-responsive megaloblastic anemia syndrome fibroblasts.
We have investigated the cellular pathology of the syndrome called thiamine-responsive megaloblastic anemia (TRMA) with diabetes and deafness. Cultured diploid fibroblasts were grown in thiamine-free medium and dialyzed serum. Normal fibroblasts survived indefinitely without supplemental thiamine, whereas patient cells died in 5-14 days (mean 9.5 days), and heterozygous cells survived for more than 30 days. TRMA fibroblasts were rescued from death with 10-30 nM thiamine (in the range of normal plasma thiamine concentrations). Positive terminal deoxynucleotide transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) staining suggested that cell death was due to apoptosis. We assessed cellular uptake of [3H]thiamine at submicromolar concentrations. Normal fibroblasts exhibited saturable, high-affinity thiamine uptake (Km 400-550 nM; Vmax 11 pmol/min/10(6) cells) in addition to a low-affinity unsaturable component. Mutant cells lacked detectable high-affinity uptake. At 30 nM thiamine, the rate of uptake of thiamine by TRMA fibroblasts was 10-fold less than that of wild-type, and cells from obligate heterozygotes had an intermediate phenotype. Transfection of TRMA fibroblasts with the yeast thiamine transporter gene THI10 prevented cell death when cells were grown in the absence of supplemental thiamine. We therefore propose that the primary abnormality in TRMA is absence of a high-affinity thiamine transporter and that low intracellular thiamine concentrations in the mutant cells cause biochemical abnormalities that lead to apoptotic cell death. (+info)
Molecular basis for methionine synthase reductase deficiency in patients belonging to the cblE complementation group of disorders in folate/cobalamin metabolism.
Methionine synthase reductase (MSR) deficiency is an autosomal recessive disorder of folate/cobalamin metabolism leading to hyperhomocysteinemia, hypo- methioninemia and megaloblastic anemia. Deficiency in MSR activity occurs as the result of a defect in the MSR enzyme, which is required for the reductive activation of methionine synthase (MS). MS itself is responsible for the folate/cobalamin-dependent conversion of homo- cysteine to methionine. We have recently cloned the cDNA corresponding to the MSR protein, a novel member of the ferredoxin-NADP(+)reductase (FNR) family of electron transferases. We have used RT-PCR, heteroduplex, single-strand conformation poly- morphism (SSCP) and DNA sequence analyses to reveal 11 mutations in eight patients from seven families belonging to the cblE complementation group of patients of cobalamin metabolism that is defective in the MSR protein. The mutations include splicing defects leading to large insertions or deletions, as well as a number of smaller deletions and point mutations. Apart from an intronic substitution found in two unrelated patients, the mutations appear singular among individuals. Of the eleven, three are nonsense mutations, allowing for the identification of two patients for whom little if any MSR protein should be produced. The remaining eight involve point mutations or in-frame disruptions of the coding sequence and are distributed throughout the coding region, including proposed FMN, FAD and NADPH binding sites. These data demonstrate a unique requirement for MSR in the reductive activation of MS. (+info)
The pattern of severe protein-calorie malnutrition in Sudanese children attending a large hospital in The Sudan.
One hundred fifty patients suffering from severe protein-calorie malnutrition, admitted in 1 month to the Pediatric wards of Wad Medani Hospital, Sudan, were classified according to the Wellcome classification. Marasmus was the prevailing type. It was common in the 2nd year of life, while kwashiorkor occurred mainly under the age of 12 months. Anthropometric measurements showed that kwashiorkor was an acute disease while marasmus and marasmic kwashiorkor were more chronic. The triceps skinfold was unexpectedly low in kwashiorkor. Of the simple measurements and ratios used for assessing the nutritional status, the head/chest ratio applied ot children over 1 year was not found to be reliable and the weight for head circumference correlated poorly with deficits in other variables. Non of the major clinical features was found to be pathognomonic of any type of severe protein-calorie malnutrition. Megaloblastic anemia was common. (+info)
Cubilin P1297L mutation associated with hereditary megaloblastic anemia 1 causes impaired recognition of intrinsic factor-vitamin B(12) by cubilin.
Megaloblastic anemia 1 (MGA1) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by the selective intestinal malabsorption of intrinsic factor (IF) and vitamin B(12)/cobalamin (Cbl) in complex. Most Finnish patients with MGA1 carry the disease-specific P1297L mutation (FM1) in the IF-B(12) receptor, cubilin. By site-directed mutagenesis, mammalian expression, and functional comparison of the purified wild-type and FM1 mutant forms of the IF-Cbl-binding cubilin region (CUB domains 5-8, amino acid 928-1386), we have investigated the functional implications of the P1297L mutation. Surface plasmon resonance analysis revealed that the P1297L substitution specifically increases the K(d) for IF-Cbl binding several-fold, largely by decreasing the association rate constant. In agreement with the binding data, the wild-type protein, but not the FM1 mutant protein, potently inhibits 37 degrees C uptake of iodine 125-IF-Cbl in cubilin-expressing epithelial cells. In conclusion, the data presented show a substantial loss in affinity of the FM1 mutant form of the IF-Cbl binding region of cubilin. This now explains the malabsorption of Cbl and Cbl-dependent anemia in MGA1 patients with the FM1 mutation. (Blood. 2000;96:405-409) (+info)
Oral contraceptive hormones, folate metabolism, and the cervical epithelium.
The currently available evidence concerning disorders of folate metabolism in women taking oral contraceptives has been reviewed. A disturbance in folate balance serious enough to cause symptoms (i.e., megaloblastic anemia) occurs very rarely. In some series, but not in others, serum and/or red cell folate concentrations have been reduced in oral contraceptive users. It is doubtful whether sex steroids affect polyglutamate folate absorption. About 20 percent of women taking contraceptive hormones manifest mild megaloblastic changes on Papanicolaou smears of the cervicovaginal epithelium which disappear after folic acid therapy. The current evidence, however, would not indicate that any significant benefit would ensue from routine folate supplementation in women on oral contraceptives. (+info)
A novel mutation in the thiamine responsive megaloblastic anaemia gene SLC19A2 in a patient with deficiency of respiratory chain complex I.
The thiamine transporter gene SLC19A2 was recently found to be mutated in thiamine responsive megaloblastic anaemia with diabetes and deafness (TRMA, Rogers syndrome), an early onset autosomal recessive disorder. We now report a novel G1074A transition mutation in exon 4 of the SLC19A2 gene, predicting a Trp358 to ter change, in a girl with consanguineous parents. In addition to the typical triad of Rogers syndrome, the girl presented with short stature, hepatosplenomegaly, retinal degeneration, and a brain MRI lesion. Both muscle and skin biopsies were obtained before high dose thiamine supplementation. While no mitochondrial abnormalities were seen on morphological examination of muscle, biochemical analysis showed a severe deficiency of pyruvate dehydrogenase and complex I of the respiratory chain. In the patient's fibroblasts, the supplementation with high doses of thiamine resulted in restoration of complex I activity. In conclusion, we provide evidence that thiamine deficiency affects complex I activity. The clinical features of TRMA, resembling in part those found in typical mitochondrial disorders with complex I deficiency, may be caused by a secondary defect in mitochondrial energy production. (+info)
Apoptosis in megaloblastic anemia occurs during DNA synthesis by a p53-independent, nucleoside-reversible mechanism.
Deficiency of folate or vitamin B(12) (cobalamin) causes megaloblastic anemia, a disease characterized by pancytopenia due to the excessive apoptosis of hematopoietic progenitor cells. Clinical and experimental studies of megaloblastic anemia have demonstrated an impairment of DNA synthesis and repair in hematopoietic cells that is manifested by an increased percentage of cells in the DNA synthesis phase (S phase) of the cell cycle, compared with normal hematopoietic cells. Both folate and cobalamin are required for normal de novo synthesis of thymidylate and purines. However, previous studies of impaired DNA synthesis and repair in megaloblastic anemia have concerned mainly the decreased intracellular levels of thymidylate and its effects on nucleotide pools and misincorporation of uracil into DNA. An in vitro model of folate-deficient erythropoiesis was used to study the relationship between the S-phase accumulation and apoptosis in megaloblastic anemia. The results indicate that folate-deficient erythroblasts accumulate in and undergo apoptosis in the S phase when compared with control erythroblasts. Both the S-phase accumulation and the apoptosis were induced by folate deficiency in erythroblasts from p53 null mice. The complete reversal of the S-phase accumulation and apoptosis in folate-deficient erythroblasts required the exogenous provision of specific purines or purine nucleosides as well as thymidine. These results indicate that decreased de novo synthesis of purines plays as important a role as decreased de novo synthesis of thymidylate in the pathogenesis of megaloblastic anemia. (+info)