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(1/4377) Cocaine metabolite kinetics in the newborn.

The study goal was to determine the half-life elimination of cocaine and benzoylecgonine (BZE) in the newborn. Three 0.3-mL blood samples were collected during the first day of life. Urine was collected once daily. Cocaine and BZE concentrations were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. An extraction method was developed for measuring low concentrations of cocaine and BZE in small (0.1 mL) blood samples. Cocaine had a half-life of 11.6 h in one subject. The half-life of BZE during the first day of life, based on blood data in 13 subjects, was 16 h (95% confidence interval [CI], 12.8 to 21.4 h). The half-life of BZE during the first week of life, based on urine data in 16 subjects, was 11.2 h (95% CI, 10.1 to 11.8 h). The novel extraction method for small blood sample volumes should be applicable to other basic drugs.  (+info)

(2/4377) Cortisol in fetal fluids and the fetal adrenal at parturition in the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).

Glucocorticoid hormones may play a critical role in initiating parturition in tammar wallabies. In this study, we investigated the concentration of cortisol in fetal fluids and cortisol production by fetal adrenals over the last 3 days of the 26-day pregnancy and within 24 h postpartum. The fetal adrenals almost doubled in size between Days 24 and 26 of pregnancy, and their cortisol content increased over 10-fold during this period, from 10 pg to over 100 pg per adrenal pair. After birth, neonatal adrenals continued to grow, but cortisol content fell dramatically to 20 pg. The prepartum increase in adrenal cortisol was reflected by a substantial rise in cortisol concentrations in yolk sac fluid, allantoic fluid, and fetal blood, which were below 10 ng/ml on Day 24 and rose to over 40 ng/ml by Day 26. Cortisol concentrations in neonatal blood decreased postpartum, mirroring decreased cortisol content in neonatal adrenals. Cortisol production by the fetal adrenal was stimulated in vitro by ACTH and prostaglandin E2, suggesting that the in vivo increase may be stimulated by release of ACTH from the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary axis and prostaglandin E2 from the placenta. These results indicate that increasing cortisol production by the fetal adrenal is a characteristic of late pregnancy in the tammar wallaby and support the suggestion that fetal cortisol may trigger the initiation of parturition in this marsupial species.  (+info)

(3/4377) Delay of preterm delivery in sheep by omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturates.

A positive correlation has been shown between dietary intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in late pregnancy and gestation length in pregnant women and experimental animals. To determine whether omega-3 fatty acids have an effect on preterm labor in sheep, a fish oil concentrate emulsion was continuously infused to six pregnant ewes from 124 days gestational age. At 125 days, betamethasone was administered to the fetus to produce preterm labor. Both the onset of labor and the time of delivery were delayed by the fish oil emulsion. Two of the omega-3-infused ewes reverted from contractions to nonlabor, an effect never previously observed for experimental glucocorticoid-induced preterm labor in sheep. Maternal plasma estradiol and maternal and fetal prostaglandin E2 rose in control ewes but not in those infused with omega-3 fatty acid. The ability of omega-3 fatty acids to delay premature delivery in sheep indicates their possible use as tocolytics in humans. Premature labor is the major cause of neonatal death and long-term disability, and these studies present information that may lead to a novel therapeutic regimen for the prevention of preterm delivery in human pregnancy.  (+info)

(4/4377) Phenotypic and functional evidence for the expression of CXCR4 receptor during megakaryocytopoiesis.

The identification of stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1alpha as a chemoattractant for human progenitor cells suggests that this chemokine and its receptor might represent critical determinants for the homing, retention, and exit of precursor cells from hematopoietic organs. In this study, we investigated the expression profile of CXCR4 receptor and the biological activity of SDF-1alpha during megakaryocytopoiesis. CD34(+) cells from bone marrow and cord blood were purified and induced to differentiate toward the megakaryocyte lineage by a combination of stem-cell factor (SCF) and recombinant human pegylated megakaryocyte growth and development factor (PEG-rhuMGDF). After 6 days of culture, a time where mature and immature megakaryocytes were present, CD41(+) cells were immunopurified and CXCR4mRNA expression was studied. High transcript levels were detected by a RNase protection assay in cultured megakaryocytes derived from cord blood CD34(+) cells as well as in peripheral blood platelets. The transcript levels were about equivalent to that found in activated T cells. By flow cytometry, a large fraction (ranging from 30% to 100%) of CD41(+) cells showed high levels of CXCR4 antigen on their surface, its expression increasing in parallel with the CD41 antigen during megakaryocytic differentiation. CXCR4 protein was also detected on peripheral blood platelets. SDF-1alpha acts on megakaryocytes by inducing intracellular calcium mobilization and actin polymerization. In addition, in in vitro transmigration experiments, a significant proportion of megakaryocytes was observed to respond to this chemokine. This cell migration was inhibited by pertussis toxin, indicating coupling of this signal to heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide binding proteins. Although a close correlation between CD41a and CXCR4 expession was observed, cell surface markers as well as morphological criteria indicate a preferential attraction of immature megakaryocytes (low level of CD41a and CD42a), suggesting that SDF-1alpha is a potent attractant for immature megakaryocytic cells but is less active on fully mature megakaryocytes. This hypothesis was further supported by the observation that SDF-1alpha induced the migration of colony forming unit-megakaryocyte progenitors (CFU-MK) and the expression of activation-dependent P-selectin (CD62P) surface antigen on early megakaryocytes, although no effect was observed on mature megakaryocytes and platelets. These results indicate that CXCR4 is expressed by human megakaryocytes and platelets. Furthermore, based on the lower responses of mature megakaryocytes and platelets to SDF-1alpha as compared with early precursors, these data suggest a role for this chemokine in the maintenance and homing during early stages of megakaryocyte development. Moreover, because megakaryocytes are also reported to express CD4, it becomes important to reevaluate the role of direct infection of these cells by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 in HIV-1-related thrombocytopenia.  (+info)

(5/4377) Detection of antibody to bovine syncytial virus and respiratory syncytial virus in bovine fetal serum.

Batches of commercial fetal bovine serum, described by the suppliers as antibody-free, all contained antibody to bovine syncytial virus (BSV) when tested by indirect immunofluorescence. Antibody to bovine respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was not detected in these sera. Twenty-four percent of individual fetal bovine sera contained antibody to BSV, and 14% contained antibody to RSV when tested by indirect immunofluorescence. BSV antibody titers in fetal sera from dams with high BSV antibody levels were variable but always higher than RSV antibody titers. Radial immunodiffusion studies with BSV-positive sera revealed the presence of immunoglobulin M (IgM), IgG, and IgA, but the quantity of these immunoglobulins was not directly related to the BSV antibody titers. The evidence suggests that the antibody present in fetal sera arose as the result of infection rather than from maternal transfer across the placenta.  (+info)

(6/4377) Early ontogeny of monocytes and macrophages in the pig.

Prenatal development of cord blood monocytes and tissue macrophages was studied in pig foetuses by immunophenotyping and functional assays. The function of peripheral blood monocytes was compared in germ-free and conventional piglets. First macrophages were identified by electron microscopy in foetal liver on the 25th day of gestation. Monoclonal antibodies against porcine CD45 and SWC3 antigens were used for flow cytometric identification of myelomonocytic cells in cell suspensions prepared from the yolk sac, foetal liver, spleen and cord blood. Leukocytes expressing the common myelomonocytic antigen SWC3 were found in all organs studied since the earliest stages of development. Opsonized zymosan ingestion assay was used to determine the phagocytic capacity of foetal mononuclear phagocytes isolated from cord blood, liver and spleen. In the foetal liver, avid phagocytosis of apoptic cells had been found to occur before cells were able to ingest zymosan in vitro. The first cells capable of ingesting zymosan particles were found on the 40th day of gestation in umbilical blood and 17 days later in foetal spleen and liver. Their relative proportion increased with age. Cord blood monocytes and peripheral blood monocytes in germ-free piglets had low oxidatory burst activity as shown by iodonitrophenyl tetrazolium reduction assay. A remarkable increase of oxidatory burst activity was observed in conventional piglets, probably due to activation of immune mechanisms by the microflora colonizing gastrointestinal tract.  (+info)

(7/4377) Laboratory assay reproducibility of serum estrogens in umbilical cord blood samples.

We evaluated the reproducibility of laboratory assays for umbilical cord blood estrogen levels and its implications on sample size estimation. Specifically, we examined correlation between duplicate measurements of the same blood samples and estimated the relative contribution of variability due to study subject and assay batch to the overall variation in measured hormone levels. Cord blood was collected from a total of 25 female babies (15 Caucasian and 10 Chinese-American) from full-term deliveries at two study sites between March and December 1997. Two serum aliquots per blood sample were assayed, either at the same time or 4 months apart, for estrone, total estradiol, weakly bound estradiol, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Correlation coefficients (Pearson's r) between duplicate measurements were calculated. We also estimated the components of variance for each hormone or protein associated with variation among subjects and variation between assay batches. Pearson's correlation coefficients were >0.90 for all of the compounds except for total estradiol when all of the subjects were included. The intraclass correlation coefficient, defined as a proportion of the total variance due to between-subject variation, for estrone, total estradiol, weakly bound estradiol, and SHBG were 92, 80, 85, and 97%, respectively. The magnitude of measurement error found in this study would increase the sample size required for detecting a difference between two populations for total estradiol and SHBG by 25 and 3%, respectively.  (+info)

(8/4377) Long-term fetal microchimerism in peripheral blood mononuclear cell subsets in healthy women and women with scleroderma.

Fetal CD34(+) CD38(+) cells have recently been found to persist in maternal peripheral blood for many years after pregnancy. CD34(+) CD38(+) cells are progenitor cells that can differentiate into mature immune-competent cells. We asked whether long-term fetal microchimerism occurs in T lymphocyte, B lymphocyte, monocyte, and natural-killer cell populations of previously pregnant women. We targeted women with sons and used polymerase chain reaction for a Y-chromosome-specific sequence to test DNA extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and from CD3, CD19, CD14, and CD56/16 sorted subsets. We also asked whether persistent microchimerism might contribute to subsequent autoimmune disease in the mother and included women with the autoimmune disease scleroderma. Scleroderma has a peak incidence in women after childbearing years and has clinical similarities to chronic graft-versus-host disease that occurs after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation, known to involve chimerism. Sixty-eight parous women were studied for male DNA in PBMC and 20 for PBMC subsets. Microchimerism was found in PBMC from 33% (16 of 48) of healthy women and 60% (12 of 20) women with scleroderma, P =.046. Microchimerism was found in some women in CD3, CD19, CD14, and CD56/16 subsets including up to 38 years after pregnancy. Microchimerism in PBMC subsets was not appreciably more frequent in scleroderma patients than in healthy controls. Overall, microchimerism was found in CD3, CD19, and CD14 subsets in approximately one third of women and in CD56/16 in one half of women. HLA typing of mothers and sons indicated that HLA compatibility was not a requirement for persistent microchimerism in PBMC subsets. Fetal microchimerism in the face of HLA disparity implies that specific maternal immunoregulatory pathways exist that permit persistence but prevent effector function of these cells in normal women. Although microchimerism in PBMC was more frequent in women with scleroderma than healthy controls additional studies will be necessary to determine whether microchimerism plays a role in the pathogenesis of this or other autoimmune diseases.  (+info)