(1/5107) GM-CSF-deficient mice are susceptible to pulmonary group B streptococcal infection.

Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) gene-targeted mice (GM-/-) cleared group B streptococcus (GBS) from the lungs more slowly than wild-type mice. Expression of GM-CSF in the respiratory epithelium of GM-/- mice improved bacterial clearance to levels greater than that in wild-type GM+/+ mice. Acute aerosolization of GM-CSF to GM+/+ mice significantly enhanced clearance of GBS at 24 hours. GBS infection was associated with increased neutrophilic infiltration in lungs of GM-/- mice, while macrophage infiltrates predominated in wild-type mice, suggesting an abnormality in macrophage clearance of bacteria in the absence of GM-CSF. While phagocytosis of GBS was unaltered, production of superoxide radicals and hydrogen peroxide was markedly deficient in macrophages from GM-/- mice. Lipid peroxidation, assessed by measuring the isoprostane 8-iso-PGF2alpha, was decreased in the lungs of GM-/- mice. GM-CSF plays an important role in GBS clearance in vivo, mediated in part by its role in enhancing superoxide and hydrogen peroxide production and bacterial killing by alveolar macrophages.  (+info)

(2/5107) Natural sporting ability and predisposition to cardiovascular disorders.

We tested the hypothesis that people with a natural ability in 'power sports' (a presumed marker for predominance of type 2, glycolytic muscle fibres) might have increased risks of coronary heart disease (CHD) compared to those with a natural ability in 'endurance sports' (as a marker for predominance of type 1, oxidative muscle fibres). We examined subsequent cardiovascular disorders retrospectively in 231 male former soldiers, aged 34-87 years, who had undergone a course in physical training in the Army School of Physical Training, Aldershot, UK, who assessed themselves as having natural ability in either power (n = 107) or endurance (n = 124) sports. The proportion with CHD, defined as angina and/or coronary angioplasty and/or coronary artery bypass graft and/or heart attack was 18.7% in the 'power group' vs. 9.7% in the 'endurance group' (difference: chi 2 = 3.9, p = 0.05). The proportions with CHD and/or risk factors rose to 39.3% in the 'power group' vs. 25.8% in the 'endurance group' (difference: chi 2 = 4.8, p = 0.03). Under logistic regression analysis, compared to the 'endurance group', the 'power group' had 2.2 (95% CI: 1.00-4.63) the risk of developing CHD, and 1.86 (95% confidence interval: 1.06 to 3.25) the risk of developing CHD and/or risk factors. Men with a natural ability in 'power sports' are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disorders, compared to men with a natural ability in 'endurance sports'. A predominance of type 2, glycolytic muscle fibres, presumably of genetic origin, may predispose to cardiovascular disorders.  (+info)

(3/5107) Differential expression of Hsp27 in normal oesophagus, Barrett's metaplasia and oesophageal adenocarcinomas.

The protein expression patterns of normal, metaplastic and malignant oesophageal tissues were analysed by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) to identify changes associated with Barrett's metaplasia and transformation to oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Heat-shock protein 27 (Hsp27), a small heat-shock protein which is protective against cytotoxic stresses, was abundant in normal oesophagus. However, Hsp27 expression was markedly lower in Barrett's metaplasia and oesophageal adenocarcinomas. This was confirmed by immunohistochemical analysis. Hsp27 protein was most highly expressed in the upper layers of squamous epithelium and exhibited a pattern of expression that corresponded with the degree of squamous maturation. Northern and Southern analysis demonstrated Hsp27 to be regulated at the level of mRNA transcription or abundance. Normal oesophageal tissues were examined for gender differences in Hsp27 expression. Women expressed fourfold higher levels of Hsp27 mRNA, however, this difference was not appreciable in protein expression. Hsp27 protein was inducible by heat shock in Barrett's adenocarcinoma cell lines and an immortalized oesophageal epithelial cell line (HET-1A), but not by oestradiol. These results demonstrate abundant constitutive expression of the stress-response protein Hsp27 in the normal oesophagus, and suggest that low-level expression in Barrett's metaplasia may be one factor which may influence susceptibility to oesophageal adenocarcinoma development.  (+info)

(4/5107) Ovine MHC class II DRB1 alleles associated with resistance or susceptibility to development of bovine leukemia virus-induced ovine lymphoma.

For the further characterization of bovine leukemia virus (BLV)-induced leukemogenesis, we investigated the association between polymorphism of ovine leukocyte antigen (OLA)-DRB1 gene and tumor development after infection of sheep with BLV. We infected 28 sheep with BLV and cloned exon 2 of the OLA-DRB1 gene from asymptomatic animals and from animals with lymphoma Sequence analysis revealed that, among 12 healthy sheep without any evidence of tumor, ten (83.3%) carried DRB1 alleles encoding Arg-Lys (RK) at positions beta70/71 as compared with only 6 (37.5%) of the 16 sheep with lymphoma, which suggested that alleles encoding the RK motif might protect against development of tumors after infection by BLV. By contrast, alleles encoding Ser-Arg (SR) at positions beta70/71 were present at a significantly elevated frequency in sheep with lymphoma as compared with the healthy carriers, which indicated that OLA-DRB1 alleles encoding the SR motif might be positively related to susceptibility to tumor development. The two amino acids in these motifs line a pocket that accommodates the side chain of a bound peptide according to a model of the crystal structure of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR1. To analyze immunoreactions of sheep with alleles that encoded RK or SR at beta70/71, we selected sheep with either the RK/SR genotypes or the SR/SR genotypes and immunized them with a mixture of multiple synthetic antigenic peptides that corresponded to T-helper, T-cytotoxic, and B-cell epitopes of the BLV envelope glycoprotein gp51. Two weeks after the last immunization, all of the sheep were challenged with BLV. Sheep with the RK/SR genotype produced neutralizing antibodies against BLV; they eliminated BLV completely within 28 weeks of the BLV challenge, and they gave strong lymphocyte-proliferative responses to the peptides used for immunization. Moreover, such animals did not develop lymphoma. By contrast, sheep with the SR/SR genotype continued to produce BLV throughout the experimental period and developed terminal disease. Our results indicate that the differences in immunoresponse were due to differences in major histocompatibility complex class II alleles and reflected the risk of BLV-induced leukemogenesis. In addition, it appears that susceptibility to tumor development may be determined to some extent by polymorphic residues binding to antigenic peptides directly within the binding cleft of the OLA-DR molecule.  (+info)

(5/5107) Dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency impairs cellular immunity.

Norepinephrine, released from sympathetic neurons, and epinephrine, released from the adrenal medulla, participate in a number of physiological processes including those that facilitate adaptation to stressful conditions. The thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes are richly innervated by the sympathetic nervous system, and catecholamines are thought to modulate the immune response. However, the importance of this modulatory role in vivo remains uncertain. We addressed this question genetically by using mice that lack dopamine beta-hydroxylase (dbh-/- mice). dbh-/- mice cannot produce norepinephrine or epinephrine, but produce dopamine instead. When housed in specific pathogen-free conditions, dbh-/- mice had normal numbers of blood leukocytes, and normal T and B cell development and in vitro function. However, when challenged in vivo by infection with the intracellular pathogens Listeria monocytogenes or Mycobacterium tuberculosis, dbh-/- mice were more susceptible to infection, exhibited extreme thymic involution, and had impaired T cell function, including Th1 cytokine production. When immunized with trinitrophenyl-keyhole limpet hemocyanin, dbh-/- mice produced less Th1 cytokine-dependent-IgG2a antitrinitrophenyl antibody. These results indicate that physiological catecholamine production is not required for normal development of the immune system, but plays an important role in the modulation of T cell-mediated immunity to infection and immunization.  (+info)

(6/5107) A new model rat with acute bronchiolitis and its application to research on the toxicology of inhaled particulate matter.

The aim of the present study was to establish a useful animal model that simulates humans sensitive to inhaled particulate matter (PM). We have developed a new rat model of acute bronchiolitis (Br) by exposing animals to NiCl2 (Ni) aerosols for five days. Three days following the Ni exposure, the animals developed signs of tachypnea, mucous hypersecretion, and bronchiolar inflammation which seemed to progress quickly during the fourth to fifth day. They recovered from lesions after four weeks in clean air. To assess the sensitivity of the Br rats to inhaled particles, two kinds of PM of respirable size were tested with doses similar to or a little higher to the recommended threshold limit values (TLVs) for the working environment in Japan. Titanium dioxide (TiO2 = Ti) was chosen as an inert and insoluble particles and vanadium pentoxide (V2O5 = V), as a representative soluble and toxic airborne material. The Br rats exposed to either Ti or V were compared the pathological changes in the lungs and the clearance of particles to those in normal control or Br rats kept in clean air. The following significant differences were observed in Br rats: 1. delayed recovery from pre-existing lesions or exacerbated inflammation, 2. reductions in deposition and clearance rate of inhaled particles with the progress of lesions. The present results suggest that Br rats are more susceptible to inhaled particles than control rats. Therefore, concentrations of particulate matter lower than the TLVs for Japan, which have no harmful effects on normal lungs, may not always be safe in the case of pre-existing lung inflammation.  (+info)

(7/5107) Identifying families with likely genetic protective factors against Alzheimer disease.

Elderly individuals who lived beyond the age of 90 years without dementia were hypothesized to have increased concentrations of genetic protective factors against Alzheimer disease (AD), conferring a reduced liability for this disease relative to less-aged nondemented elderly. However, testing this hypothesis is complicated by having to distinguish such a group from those who may lack genetic risk factors for AD, have had protective environmental exposures, or have escaped dementia for other reasons. Probands carrying genetic protective factors, however, should have relatives with lower illness rates not only for earlier-onset disease, when genetic risk factors are a strong contributing factor to the incidence of AD, but also for later-onset disease, when the role of these factors appears to be markedly diminished. AD dementia was assessed through family informants in 6,660 first-degree relatives of 1,049 nondemented probands aged 60-102 years. The probands were grouped by age (60-74, 75-89, and 90-102 years), and the cumulative survival from AD and 10-year-age-interval hazard rates of AD were calculated in their first-degree relatives. Cumulative survival from AD was significantly greater in the relatives of the oldest proband group (aged 90-102 years) than it was in the two younger groups. In addition, the reduction in the rate of illness for this group was relatively constant across the entire late life span. The results suggest that genetic factors conferring a lifelong reduced liability of AD may be more highly concentrated among nondemented probands aged >/=90 years and their relatives. Efforts to identify protective allele-bearing genes that are associated with very late-onset AD should target the families of nonagenarians and centenarians.  (+info)

(8/5107) Sex differences in susceptibility of ICR mice to oral infection with Corynebacterium kutscheri.

Sex difference in susceptibility to oral infection with Corynebacterium (C.) kutscheri was experimentally studied in ICR mice. Immature (4-week-old) and adult (14-week-old) mice were inoculated with two infecting doses of C. kutscheri, and necropsied for bacteriological and serological survey 4 weeks after the bacterial infection. No macroscopic lesions at necropsy were demonstrated, except for one adult male given 10(9) bacteria. In immature mice, C. Kutscheri isolated from the oral cavity and cecum with FNC agar, were recovered in only 40.0% of female mice but in 90.0% of male mice given 10(6) bacteria (p < 0.05), and in only 55.6% of female mice but in 80.0% male mice given 10(8) bacteria. In adult mice given 10(9) bacteria, the organism were recovered in only 45.5% of female mice but in 90.9% of male mice (p < 0.05), furthermore, the mean number of organisms in the cecum of male mice harboring the organism was significantly higher than that in females (p < 0.01). Castration caused an increase in host resistance in adult male mice. These results indicated that ICR male mice were more susceptible than females, in terms of bacterial colonization in the cecum and the oral cavity, to oral infection with C. kutscheri.  (+info)