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(1/39254) Thyroid hormone effects on Krox-24 transcription in the post-natal mouse brain are developmentally regulated but are not correlated with mitosis.

Krox-24 (NGFI-A, Egr-1) is an immediate-early gene encoding a zinc finger transcription factor. As Krox-24 is expressed in brain areas showing post-natal neurogenesis during a thyroid hormone (T3)-sensitive period, we followed T3 effects on Krox-24 expression in newborn mice. We analysed whether regulation was associated with changes in mitotic activity in the subventricular zone and the cerebellum. In vivo T3-dependent Krox-24 transcription was studied by polyethylenimine-based gene transfer. T3 increased transcription from the Krox-24 promoter in both areas studied at post-natal day 2, but was without effect at day 6. An intact thyroid hormone response element (TRE) in the Krox-24 promoter was necessary for these inductions. These stage-dependent effects were also seen in endogenous Krox-24 mRNA levels: activation at day 2 and no effect at day 6. Moreover, similar results were obtained by examining beta-galactosidase expression in heterozygous mice in which one allele of the Krox-24 gene was disrupted with an inframe Lac-Z insertion. However, bromodeoxyuridine incorporation showed mitosis to continue through to day 6. We conclude first, that T3 activates Krox-24 transcription during early post-natal mitosis but that this effect is extinguished as development proceeds and second, loss of T3-dependent Krox-24 expression is not correlated with loss of mitotic activity.  (+info)

(2/39254) 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)

(3/39254) Constitutional, biochemical and lifestyle correlates of fibrinogen and factor VII activity in Polish urban and rural populations.

BACKGROUND: Fibrinogen and factor VII activity are known to be related to atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, but population differences in clotting factors and modifiable characteristics that influence their levels have not been widely explored. METHODS: This paper examines correlates of plasma fibrinogen concentration and factor VII activity in 2443 men and women aged 35-64 in random samples selected from the residents in two districts in urban Warsaw (618 men and 651 women) and from rural Tarnobrzeg Province (556 men and 618 women) screened in 1987-1988, and assesses which characteristics might explain urban-rural differences. Fibrinogen and factor VII activity were determined using coagulation methods. RESULTS: Fibrinogen was 12.9 mg/dl higher in men and 14.1 mg/dl higher in women in Tarnobrzeg compared to Warsaw. Factor VII activity was higher in Warsaw (9.2% in men and 15.3% in women). After adjustment for selected characteristics, fibrinogen was higher in smokers compared to non-smokers by 28 mg/dl in men and 22 mg/dl in women. In women, a 15 mg/dl increase in HDL-cholesterol was associated with a 10 mg/dl decrease in fibrinogen (P < 0.01). After adjustment for other variables, a higher factor VII activity in Warsaw remained significant (a difference of 9.4% in men and 14.8% in women). Lower fibrinogen in Warsaw remained significant only in women (15.4 mg/dl difference). CONCLUSIONS: The study confirmed that sex, age, BMI, smoking and blood lipids are related to clotting factors. However, with the exception of gender differences and smoking, associations between clotting factors and other variables were small and of questionable practical importance.  (+info)

(4/39254) Hepatitis B--are surgeons putting patients at risk?

The 1993 Department of Health guidelines permit a surgeon who is hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive but e-antigen (HBeAg) negative to perform exposure prone procedures, unless demonstrated to have infected patients. However, there is increasing evidence of transmission of hepatitis B to patients from health care workers in this supposedly low infectivity category. The Occupational Physician must decide whether existing guidelines represent an adequate risk assessment and indeed whether this is an acceptable risk for patients. If an NHS Trust continues to follow these guidelines it may be in breach of its duty of care to patients. Yet refusing to allow such carriers to operate without testing for additional serological markers may be unlawful discrimination. Further research is clearly needed as well as an urgent review of the guidelines.  (+info)

(5/39254) Measurement of serum TSH in the investigation of patients presenting with thyroid enlargement.

In otherwise euthyroid patients presenting with thyroid enlargement, reduction in serum thyrotrophin (TSH) concentrations measured in a sensitive assay may be a marker of thyroid autonomy and may therefore indicate a benign underlying pathology. We investigated prospectively a cohort of 467 subjects presenting consecutively to our thyroid clinic with nodular or diffuse enlargement of the thyroid. Subjects were divided into those with normal (0.4-5.5 mU/l), low but detectable (0.1-0.39 mU/l) or undetectable (< 0.1 mU/l) serum TSH concentrations. The final pathological diagnosis was defined by fine-needle aspiration cytology and clinical follow-up of at least 2 years or by fine-needle aspiration cytology and histology following surgical treatment. Serum TSH concentrations below normal were found in 75 patients (16.1%), those with low serum TSH results having higher mean free T4 concentrations, were older and were more likely to be female. In those with undetectable serum TSH, no patient had a diagnosis of thyroid neoplasia and in those with low but detectable TSH, thyroid neoplasms were diagnosed in two patients (3.4%). In those with normal serum TSH, 12.0% had a final diagnosis of thyroid neoplasm (p = 0.013). Overall, thyroid malignancy was found in one patient (1.3%) of those with a serum TSH measurement below the normal range and 6.9% of those with normal serum TSH (p < 0.06). Reduction in serum TSH at presentation may identify a group which requires less intensive investigation and follow-up than those without biochemical evidence of thyroid autonomy.  (+info)

(6/39254) Endocrine biomarkers of early fetal loss in cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) following exposure to dioxin.

This study examines the endocrine alterations associated with early fetal loss (EFL) induced by an environmental toxin, TCDD (2,3,7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin), in the cynomolgus macaque, a well-documented reproductive/developmental model for humans. Females were administered single doses of 1, 2, and 4 microgram/kg TCDD (n = 4 per dose group) on gestational day (GD) 12. Urinary estrogen metabolites (estrone conjugates) were monitored to establish the day of ovulation, and serum hormones (estradiol, progesterone, chorionic gonadotropin, relaxin) were measured to assess ovarian and placental endocrine status before and after treatment. EFL occurred between GDs 22 and 32 in 10 of the 12 animals treated with TCDD. The primary endocrine alterations associated with TCDD treatment were significant decreases in serum estradiol and bioactive chorionic gonadotropin concentrations (p < 0.02). Less pronounced decreases in serum progesterone (p = 0.10) and relaxin (p < 0.08) also followed TCDD treatment. In contrast, immunoreactive chorionic gonadotropin concentrations were not reduced by TCDD exposure at any level, indicating that TCDD targets specific components of the chorionic gonadotropin synthesis machinery within the trophoblast to alter the functional capacity of the hormone. These data demonstrate the value of endocrine biomarkers in identifying a toxic exposure to primate pregnancy many days before direct signs of reproductive toxicity were apparent. The increased EFL that occurred after exposure to TCDD might reflect a toxic response initially mediated via endocrine imbalance, leading to placental insufficiency, compromised embryonic circulation, and subsequent EFL.  (+info)

(7/39254) Oesophageal epithelial innervation in health and reflux oesophagitis.

BACKGROUND: The response of the oesophagus to refluxed gastric contents is likely to depend on intact neural mechanisms in the oesophageal mucosa. The epithelial innervation has not been systematically evaluated in health or reflux disease. AIMS: To study oesophageal epithelial innervation in controls, and also inflamed and non-inflamed mucosa in patients with reflux oesophagitis and healed oesophagitis. PATIENTS: Ten controls, nine patients with reflux oesophagitis, and five patients with healed oesophagitis. METHODS: Oesophageal epithelial biopsy specimens were obtained at endoscopy. The distribution of the neuronal marker protein gene product 9.5 (PGP), and the neuropeptides calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), substance P (SP), and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) were investigated by immunohistochemistry. Density of innervation was assessed by the proportion of papillae in each oesophageal epithelial biopsy specimen containing immunoreactive fibres (found in the subepithelium and epithelial papillae, but not penetrating the epithelium). RESULTS: The proportion of papillae positive for PGP immunoreactive nerve fibres was significantly increased in inflamed tissue when compared with controls, and non-inflamed and healed tissue. There was also a significant increase in VIP immunoreactive fibres within epithelial papillae. Other neuropeptides showed no proportional changes in inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: Epithelial biopsy specimens can be used to assess innervation in the oesophagus. The innervation of the oesophageal mucosa is not altered in non-inflamed tissue of patients with oesophagitis but alters in response to inflammation, where there is a selective increase (about three- to fourfold) in VIP containing nerves.  (+info)

(8/39254) Elevated carboxy terminal cross linked telopeptide of type I collagen in alcoholic cirrhosis: relation to liver and kidney function and bone metabolism.

BACKGROUND: The carboxy terminal cross linked telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) has been put forward as a marker of bone resorption. Patients with alcoholic liver disease may have osteodystrophy. AIMS: To assess circulating and regional concentrations of ICTP in relation to liver dysfunction, bone metabolism, and fibrosis. METHODS: In 15 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis and 20 controls, hepatic venous, renal venous, and femoral arterial concentrations of ICTP, and bone mass and metabolism were measured. RESULTS: Circulating ICTP was higher in patients with cirrhosis than in controls. No overall significant hepatic disposal or production was found in the patient or control groups but slightly increased production was found in a subset of patients with advanced disease. Significant renal extraction was observed in the controls, whereas only a borderline significant extraction was observed in the patients. Measurements of bone mass and metabolism indicated only a mild degree of osteodystrophy in the patients with cirrhosis. ICTP correlated significantly in the cirrhotic patients with hepatic and renal dysfunction and fibrosis, but not with measurements of bone mass or metabolism. CONCLUSIONS: ICTP is highly elevated in patients with cirrhosis, with no detectable hepatic net production or disposal. No relation between ICTP and markers of bone metabolism was identified, but there was a relation to indicators of liver dysfunction and fibrosis. As the cirrhotic patients conceivably only had mild osteopenia, the elevated ICTP in cirrhosis may therefore primarily reflect liver failure and hepatic fibrosis.  (+info)