Pitfalls when determining tissue distributions of organophosphorus chemicals: sodium fluoride accelerates chemical degradation. (41/4528)

This paper describes the tissue distributions of dichlorvos, an organophosphate, and chlorpyrifos-methyl, an organophosphorothioate, in a male individual who died after ingesting an insecticidal preparation containing these chemicals and the results of an in vitro stability study on dichlorvos and chlorpyrifos-methyl in blood and buffers. Tiny amounts of dichlorvos, 0.067 and 0.027 mg/L, were detected in the vitreous humor and cerebrospinal fluid, respectively. Although dichlorvos (0.082-8.99 mg/L or mg/kg) was detected in the thoracic aortic blood, thoracic inferior vena caval blood, pericardial fluid, bile, and spleen, it was strongly suggested that it had diffused postmortem from the stomach, which contained 879 mg, because no dichlorvos was detected in the other blood samples and tissues tested. Substantial amounts (0.615-4.15 mg/L) of chlorpyrifos-methyl were detected in all blood samples, and the order of its concentrations was as follows: pulmonary vessel blood > thoracic inferior vena caval blood > blood in the right cardiac chambers > blood in the left cardiac chambers approximately thoracic aortic blood > right femoral venous blood. The total amount of chlorpyrifos-methyl in the stomach was 612 mg. However, it was strongly suggested that virtually no chlorpyrifos-methyl diffused from the stomach into surrounding fluids and tissues postmortem because no chlorpyrifos-methyl was detected in the bile and little was found in the pericardial fluids. Neither compound was detected in the urine. In vitro experiments showed that dichlorvos (10 mg/L) almost disappeared from fresh (pH 7.4) and acidified (pH 6.2) blood samples within 24 and 72 h, respectively. However, 53 and 77% of the original amount of dichlorvos in 0.05M phosphate buffers at pH 7.4 and 6.2 were detected 72 h later. Chlorpyrifos-methyl (1 mg/L) was very stable in blood samples, regardless of the pH, during the 72-h study period, but in the pH 7.4 and 6.2 phosphate buffers, approximately 80% of the original amount had degraded after 72 h. These results indicate that organophosphates are degraded more rapidly by esterase activities than by chemical mechanisms and that organophosphorothioates are hydrolyzed chemically in aqueous solutions but are very stable in biological specimens and not metabolized by esterases. When sodium fluoride was added to blood samples, dichlorvos degraded completely within 15 min, and chlorpyrifos-methyl became very unstable. Thus, when analyzing samples to detect organophosphorus chemicals, this common preservative should not be added to fluid specimens.  (+info)

Factor V Leiden and thermolabile methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene variants in an East Anglian preeclampsia cohort. (42/4528)

Preeclampsia is a heritable condition that develops as a result of widespread vascular endothelial dysfunction. The thrombotic tendency in this condition has suggested a number of candidate genes, and there have been recent reports of positive association with the Leiden variant of factor V and the thermolabile variant of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. We attempted to reproduce these results in a large cohort of well-characterized women with preeclampsia, recruited prospectively within the East Anglian region of the United Kingdom. Women in the preeclampsia cohort (n=283) were genotyped for both the Leiden variant (G1691A) of factor V and the thermolabile variant (C677T) of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. Genotype and allele frequencies were compared with those of 2 control groups, one consisting of women recruited prospectively (n=100) from the same maternity hospital as the subjects and another consisting of normotensive women (n=100) from East Anglia. No significant differences were detected. Specifically, the carrier rate for the Leiden variant was 5.3% in the preeclampsia group and 5. 5% in the combined control group. T677 homozygotes for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase were 11% and 11.5% in the 2 groups, respectively. We conclude that there is no evidence of association of preeclampsia with either of these 2 polymorphisms in our study population.  (+info)

Homocamptothecin, an E-ring modified camptothecin with enhanced lactone stability, retains topoisomerase I-targeted activity and antitumor properties. (43/4528)

Homocamptothecin (hCPT) is a semisynthetic analogue of camptothecin (CPT) with a seven-membered beta-hydroxylactone resulting from the insertion of a methylene spacer between the alcohol moiety and the carboxyl function of the naturally occurring six-membered alpha-hydroxylactone of CPT. This E-ring modification provides a less reactive lactone with enhanced stability and decreased protein binding in human plasma. Biological testing against CPT revealed that, instead of being detrimental, the modified lactone of hCPT has a positive impact on topoisomerase I (Topo I) poisoning properties. In vitro tests showed hCPT to fully conserve the ability to stabilize Topo I-DNA cleavage complexes and to stimulate a higher level of DNA cleavage than CPT. A similar trend toward improvement was also observed in antiproliferative assays with human tumor cell lines (including cells overexpressing P-glycoprotein). In two distinct in vivo models, using L1210 murine leukemia or human colon carcinoma HT29, hCPT was found to be more efficacious than CPT. The slow, but irreversible, hydrolysis of hCPT, instead of the fast equilibrium of CPT, may account for its good in vivo activity. Overall, these results provide evidence that a highly reactive lactone is not a requisite for the Topo I-mediated antitumor activity of CPT analogues, and that hCPT is an interesting pharmacological tool with improved solution behavior as well as a promising new template for the preparation of more efficacious Topo I poisons.  (+info)

Clustering of non-polar contacts in proteins. (44/4528)

MOTIVATION: Hydrophobic or non-polar contacts in proteins are important for protein folding, protein stability and protein-protein interactions. In particular, in the interior of a protein, in the hydrophobic core, a large number of such contacts are found. The residues involved in these contacts often form a tightly packed cluster of atoms. It is useful for the understanding of protein structure to be able to identify and analyse such clusters. RESULTS: Tools for hierarchical cluster analysis of non-polar contacts in proteins are described. These tools allow for efficient identification of clusters of non-polar interactions in proteins, both internal clusters and clusters involved in protein-protein contacts. The non-polar contacts are represented by a dendrogram structure, which is a simple approach for flexible identification of clusters by visual inspection. The tools are demonstrated on the structure of crambin, the structure of the complex between human growth hormone and the human growth hormone binding protein, and a pair of lipase/esterase structures. AVAILABILITY: On request from the author.  (+info)

Photoinduced covalent binding of frusemide and frusemide glucuronide to human serum albumin. (45/4528)

AIMS: To study reaction of photoactivated frusemide (F) and F glucuronide (Fgnd metabolite) with human serum albumin in order to find a clue to clarify a mechanism of phototoxic blisters from high frusemide dosage. METHODS: F was exposed to light in the presence of human serum albumin (HSA). HSA treated with this method (TR-HSA) was characterized by fluorescence spectroscopic experiment, alkali treatment and reversible binding experiment. RESULTS: Less 4-hydroxyl-N-furfuryl-5-sulphamoylanthranilic acid (4HFSA, a photodegradation product of F) was formed in the presence of HSA than in the absence of HSA. A new fluorescence spectrum excited at 320 nm was observed for TR-HSA. Alkali treatment of TR-HSA released 4HFSA. Quenching of the fluorescence due to the lone tryptophan near the warfarin-binding site of HSA was observed in TR-HSA. The reversible binding of F or naproxen to the warfarin-binding site of TR-HSA was less than to that of native HSA. These results indicate the photoactivated F was covalently bound to the warfarin-binding site of HSA. The covalent binding of Fgnd, which is also reversibly bound to the warfarin-binding site of HSA, was also induced by exposure to sunlight. Fgnd was more photoactive than F, indicating that F could be activated by glucuronidation to become a more photoactive compound. CONCLUSIONS: The reactivity of photoactivated F and Fgnd to HSA and/or to other endogenous compounds may cause the phototoxic blisters that result at high F dosage.  (+info)

Live confocal microscopy of oligonucleotide uptake by keratinocytes in human skin grafts on nude mice. (46/4528)

Anti-sense oligonucleotide uptake by keratinocytes in human skin grafts on athymic mice was examined using live confocal microscopy. Fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled 15-mer C-5 propyne modified phosphorothioate anti-sense oligonucleotide (10-50 microM) was intradermally injected into normal human skin grafts on athymic mice, and the localization of the anti-sense oligonucleotide was assessed after 1-24 h postinjection. Anti-sense oligonucleotide was found to localize in the nuclei of basal and suprabasal keratinocytes after 1-2 h, and this localization was still observed after 24 h. This live in vivo observation of anti-sense oligonucleotide uptake in basal keratinocytes was confirmed using conventional fluorescence microscopy of fixed sections of skin grafts. Neither single nucleotides which were fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled nor fluorescein isothiocyanate alone was able to penetrate into the nuclei of human skin graft keratinocytes after intradermal injection, and hence it is likely that the anti-sense oligonucleotide was not degraded prior to intracellular localization. Topical administration of anti-sense oligonucleotide and anti-sense oligonucleotide-liposome complexes resulted primarily in localization in the stratum corneum of human skin grafts. When grafts were tape stripped prior to anti-sense oligonucleotide administration, however, as little as 5 microM anti-sense oligonucleotide was required to observe nuclear anti-sense oligonucleotide accumulation. These results suggest that cutaneous anti-sense strategies can be tested using delivery via intradermal anti-sense oligonucleotide injection in human skin grafts on athymic mice, and that agents providing penetration of anti-sense oligonucleotide across the stratum corneum are likely to be required for successful topical therapies.  (+info)

A simple saliva-based test for detecting antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus. (47/4528)

This study was performed to determine the feasibility of using saliva as a diagnostic medium for the detection of antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and HIV-2 under nonlaboratory conditions and to evaluate the performance characteristics of such a test. We developed for this purpose a self-contained kit (Saliva. Strip [ST]), which combines the collection and processing, as well as the analysis, of the specimen. The kit's performance was evaluated in a blinded study. Saliva collection was facilitated with a specially designed device that contains a sample adequacy indicator, and immunochromatography test strips were used for the analysis. A total of 1,336 matched serum and saliva specimens (684 reactive and 652 nonreactive specimens) were tested. We tested sera using an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and a rapid strip test. Sera reactive in one of the assays were also analyzed by Western blotting. Sensitivity and specificity were 99.4 and 99.4%, respectively, for ST, 100 and 99.1%, respectively, for EIA, and 99.7 and 100%, respectively, for the serum strip test. The saliva test performed well when HIV-2-positive sera or a low-titer performance panel (HIV-1) of serum or plasma specimens were diluted (1:2,000) in nonreactive saliva. Because the methodology we present here uses a noninvasively obtained medium, the methodology may be suitable for use in the field where laboratory support and personnel are limited, such as community outreach programs, doctors' offices, surveillance studies, and community hospitals.  (+info)

Presence of a soluble inhibitor of thyroid iodination in primary cultures of thyroid cells. (48/4528)

Monolayer cultures of thyroid cells lose their iodide organification capacity a few days before the disappearance of thyroid peroxidase (TPO) activity. The present studies were performed in order to clarify this point. The above mentioned difference was due to the presence of an inhibitor in the monolayer thyroid cells culture, given that total homogenate prepared from confluent cells caused a significant inhibition of activity of TPO from fresh tissue. The inhibitor was localized in the 105000g supernatant of the homogenate of the cell culture, but not in a similar preparation obtained from fresh thyroid. It is thermostable, dialyzable and has a molecular weight of less than 2 kDa. Addition of the inhibitor at the end of the reaction of tyrosine iodination failed to alter the results. This fact suggests that the compound does not destroy the iodinated product. The presence of the cytosolic inhibitor was observed in monolayer thyroid cell cultures of different species (bovine, porcine, rat and human) but not in free follicles cultures.  (+info)