(1/4600) Post-traumatic epilepsy: its complications and impact on occupational rehabilitation--an epidemiological study from India.
The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of seizure disorder, neuropsychiatric disorders and reproductive outcome of employees with post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) and their effect on occupational rehabilitation. A case-comparison group study design was used to compare 30 subjects with PTE with (1) 129 non-PTE and (2) 55 non-PTE matched control employees. The 55 non-PTE matched controls were selected from the 129 non-PTE employees on the basis of age, age at onset of seizure, age at marriage and length of employment. The PTE group had a lower fertility rate than the controls and more neuropsychiatric disorders and seizure disability. PTE employees were more occupationally rehabilitated than non-PTE employees (p = 0.033). Of the 30 PTE subjects, thirteen who were rehabilitated by placement had more seizure disability (p = 0.007) and a higher fertility rate (p = 0.018). High prevalence of seizure disability and increased fertility rate among the placed PTE employees suggested that there might be some association between severity of seizures and increased production of live offspring and work placement. Work suitability or placement should not be judged on clinical assessment only but psychosocial seizure assessment, disability evaluation and other psychometric tests which are of equal importance. (+info)
(2/4600) Molecular control of the implantation window.
Human endometrium is the end organ of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Therefore, endometrium is susceptible to changes in the cases of infertility that originate from disturbances in the normal functioning of this axis. In addition, some cases of unexplained infertility may be due to altered endometrial function. This disturbed endometrial function may originate from lesions in the molecular repertoire that are crucial to implantation. Human endometrium becomes receptive to implantation by the blastocyst within a defined period during the menstrual cycle. The duration of this so-called 'endometrial receptivity' or 'implantation' period seems to span from few days after ovulation to several days prior to menstruation. Successful implantation results from a co-ordinated series of events that would allow establishment of a timely dialogue between a receptive endometrium and an intrusive blastocyst. The members of the molecular repertoire that make endometrium receptive to implantation are gradually being recognized. Among these are the cytokines, integrins, heat shock proteins, tastin and trophinin. In addition, the expression of a second set of genes including tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and ebaf, may be the appropriate signal for the closure of the 'implantation window', for making the endometrium refractory to implantation and for preparing it for the menstrual shedding. (+info)
(3/4600) Changes in basement membrane thickness in the human endometrium during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
We have examined aspects of the fine structure of the basal laminae associated with the luminal and glandular epithelium and small blood vessels in the human endometrium. Four short studies are presented and reviewed. Study 1 examined biopsies from 20 fertile women taken on days after the luteinizing hormone surge (LH): LH +2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. The basal lamina (both lamina densa and lucida) increased in thickness over the period studied. Study 2 again studied the glandular epithelium and examined the effect of RU486 (a progesterone receptor blocker) administered on day LH +3 and biopsied on day LH +6. The basal laminae were found to be the same as LH +2 control group but thinner than LH +6 control. Study 3 documented increased thickness of the basal laminae between LH +6, 8 and 13 in the luminal epithelium. The within-group coefficient of variation was 16% and 27% for LH +6 and LH +13 groups but only 2 % for LH +8. Study 4 demonstrated an increase in basal lamina thickness associated with small blood vessels between LH +6 and LH +10 in normal fertile women. The basal lamina provides the interface between epithelial and mesenchymal environments; changes in its structure can alter the phenotypic expression of the epithelia. It is one of the maternal barriers that must be transgressed by the trophoblast during implantation. Together, these combined studies provide quantitative baseline structural information on the electron microscopical appearance of the basal lamina during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. (+info)
(4/4600) Endometrial oestrogen and progesterone receptors and their relationship to sonographic appearance of the endometrium.
The rapid development of ultrasonographic equipment now permits instantaneous assessment of follicles and endometrium. The sonographic appearance of the endometrium has been discussed in relation to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. However, a generally agreed view of the relationship of the sonographic appearance to fecundity in IVF cycles has not emerged. We have studied the relationship between steroid receptors and the sonographic appearance of the preovulatory endometrium in natural cycles and ovulation induction cycles. Preovulatory endometrial thickness was not found to be indicative of fecundity, although a preovulatory endometrial thickness of <9 mm related to an elevated miscarriage rate. The preovulatory endometrial echo pattern did not predict fecundity. No relationships were found among endometrial appearance, endometrial steroid receptors and steroid hormone concentrations in serum. Oestrogen or progesterone receptor concentrations were not related to endometrial thickness or to concentrations of serum oestradiol, the only significant correlation being found between the endometrial concentrations of oestrogen and progesterone receptors. The ratio of progesterone:oestrogen receptor concentration was somewhat less in echo pattern B (not triple line) endometrium compared with pattern A (triple line) endometrium. Oestrogen and progesterone receptor concentrations appeared stable on gonadotrophin induction, though fewer numbers were found during clomiphene cycles than in natural cycles. With regard to the distribution of receptor concentration between clomiphene and natural cycles, most women using clomiphene had very low oestrogen receptor populations. Pregnancy rates were low, in spite of high ovulatory rates during clomiphene treatment and were mainly related to low oestrogen receptor concentrations in preovulatory endometrium. (+info)
(5/4600) Germ cell development in the XXY mouse: evidence that X chromosome reactivation is independent of sexual differentiation.
Prior to entry into meiosis, XX germ cells in the fetal ovary undergo X chromosome reactivation. The signal for reactivation is thought to emanate from the genital ridge, but it is unclear whether it is specific to the developing ovary. To determine whether the signals are present in the developing testis as well as the ovary, we examined the expression of X-linked genes in germ cells from XXY male mice. To facilitate this analysis, we generated XXY and XX fetuses carrying X chromosomes that were differentially marked and subject to nonrandom inactivation. This pattern of nonrandom inactivation was maintained in somatic cells but, in XX as well as XXY fetuses, both parental alleles were expressed in germ cell-enriched cell populations. Because testis differentiation is temporally and morphologically normal in the XXY testis and because all germ cells embark upon a male pathway of development, these results provide compelling evidence that X chromosome reactivation in fetal germ cells is independent of the somatic events of sexual differentiation. Proper X chromosome dosage is essential for the normal fertility of male mammals, and abnormalities in germ cell development are apparent in the XXY testis within several days of X reactivation. Studies of exceptional germ cells that survive in the postnatal XXY testis demonstrated that surviving germ cells are exclusively XY and result from rare nondisjunctional events that give rise to clones of XY cells. (+info)
(6/4600) Genetic analysis of viable Hsp90 alleles reveals a critical role in Drosophila spermatogenesis.
The Hsp90 chaperone protein maintains the activities of a remarkable variety of signal transducers, but its most critical functions in the context of the whole organism are unknown. Point mutations of Hsp83 (the Drosophila Hsp90 gene) obtained in two different screens are lethal as homozygotes. We report that eight transheterozygous mutant combinations produce viable adults. All exhibit the same developmental defects: sterile males and sterile or weakly fertile females. We also report that scratch, a previously identified male-sterile mutation, is an allele of Hsp82 with a P-element insertion in the intron that reduces expression. Thus, it is a simple reduction in Hsp90 function, rather than possible altered functions in the point mutants, that leads to male sterility. As shown by light and electron microscopy, all stages of spermatogenesis involving microtubule function are affected, from early mitotic divisions to later stages of sperm maturation, individualization, and motility. Aberrant microtubules are prominent in yeast cells carrying mutations in HSP82 (the yeast Hsp90 gene), confirming that Hsp90 function is connected to microtubule dynamics and that this connection is highly conserved. A small fraction of Hsp90 copurifies with taxol-stabilized microtubule proteins in Drosophila embryo extracts, but Hsp90 does not remain associated with microtubules through repeated temperature-induced assembly and disassembly reactions. If the spermatogenesis phenotypes are due to defects in microtubule dynamics, we suggest these are indirect, reflecting a role for Hsp90 in maintaining critical signal transduction pathways and microtubule effectors, rather than a direct role in the assembly and disassembly of microtubules themselves. (+info)
(7/4600) The Parkes Lecture. Heat and the testis.
The evidence for the lower temperature of the testes of many mammals is summarized, and the reasons suggested for the descent of the testes into a scrotum are discussed. Descriptions are given of the various techniques used for studying the effects of heat on the testis, whole body heating, local heating of the testes (by inducing cryptorchidism, scrotal insulation or immersion of the scrotum in a water bath), and heating of tissue or cell preparations in vitro. The effects of heat are discussed, effects on the testis (weight, histology, physiology, biochemistry and endocrinology), on the numbers and motility of spermatozoa in rete testis fluid and semen, on fertilizing ability of spermatozoa and on the subsequent development of the embryos produced when spermatozoa from heated testes are used to fertilize normal ova. The possible mechanisms for the damaging effects of heat are discussed, as well as the importance of heat-induced abnormalities in male reproduction in domestic animals and humans. (+info)
(8/4600) Impact of market value on human mate choice decisions.
Mate choice strategies are a process of negotiation in which individuals make bids that are constrained by their status in the market place. Humans provide an unusual perspective on this because we can measure their explicitly expressed preferences before they are forced to make any choices. We use advertisements placed in newspaper personal columns to examine, first, the extent to which evolutionary considerations affect the level of competition (or market value) during the reproductively active period of people's lives and, second, the extent to which market value influences individual's willingness to make strong demands of prospective mates. We show that female market value is determined principally by women's fecundity (and, to a lesser extent, reproductive value), while male market value is determined by men's earning potential and the risk of future pairbond termination (the conjoint probability that the male will either die or divorce his partner during the next 20 years). We then show that these selection preferences strongly influence the levels of demands that men and women make of prospective partners (although older males tend to overestimate their market value). (+info)