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(1/27100) Phenotype of mice and macrophages deficient in both phagocyte oxidase and inducible nitric oxide synthase.

The two genetically established antimicrobial mechanisms of macrophages are production of reactive oxygen intermediates by phagocyte oxidase (phox) and reactive nitrogen intermediates by inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2). Mice doubly deficient in both enzymes (gp91(phox-/-)/NOS2(-/-)) formed massive abscesses containing commensal organisms, mostly enteric bacteria, even when reared under specific pathogen-free conditions with antibiotics. Neither parental strain showed such infections. Thus, phox and NOS2 appear to compensate for each other's deficiency in providing resistance to indigenous bacteria, and no other pathway does so fully. Macrophages from gp91(phox-/-)/NOS2(-/-) mice could not kill virulent Listeria. Their killing of S. typhimurium, E. coli, and attenuated Listeria was markedly diminished but demonstrable, establishing the existence of a mechanism of macrophage antibacterial activity independent of phox and NOS2.  (+info)

(2/27100) Enhanced Th1 activity and development of chronic enterocolitis in mice devoid of Stat3 in macrophages and neutrophils.

We have generated mice with a cell type-specific disruption of the Stat3 gene in macrophages and neutrophils. The mutant mice are highly susceptible to endotoxin shock with increased production of inflammatory cytokines such as TNF alpha, IL-1, IFN gamma, and IL-6. Endotoxin-induced production of inflammatory cytokines is augmented because the suppressive effects of IL-10 on inflammatory cytokine production from macrophages and neutrophils are completely abolished. The mice show a polarized immune response toward the Th1 type and develop chronic enterocolitis with age. Taken together, Stat3 plays a critical role in deactivation of macrophages and neutrophils mainly exerted by IL-10.  (+info)

(3/27100) Constitutional genetic variation at the human aromatase gene (Cyp19) and breast cancer risk.

The activity of the aromatase enzyme, which converts androgens into oestrogens and has a major role in regulating oestrogen levels in the breast, is thought to be a contributing factor in the development of breast cancer. We undertook this study to assess the role of constitutional genetic variation in the human aromatase gene (Cyp19) in the development of this disease. Our genotyping of 348 cases with breast cancer and 145 controls (all Caucasian women) for a published tetranucleotide repeat polymorphism at intron 4 of the Cyp19 gene revealed the presence of six common and two rare alleles. Contingency table analysis revealed a significant difference in allelic distribution between cases and controls (chi2 5df = 13.52, P = 0.019). The allele measuring 171 bp was over-represented in cases; of 14 individuals homozygous for this allele, 13 were cases. These individuals had a higher incidence of cancer in family members and an earlier age at diagnosis than other cases. In sequencing Cyp19's coding exons and regulatory regions, we discovered a perfect association between a silent polymorphism (G-->A at Val80) and the high-risk genotype. Our conclusion is that constitutional genetic variation at the Cyp19 locus is associated with the risk of developing breast cancer, with the 171-bp allele serving as the high-risk allele.  (+info)

(4/27100) The impact of genetic counselling about breast cancer risk on women's risk perceptions and levels of distress.

Women referred to a familial breast cancer clinic completed questionnaires before and after counselling and at annual follow-up to assess their risk estimate and psychological characteristics. The aims were to determine whether those who attended the clinic overestimated their risk or were highly anxious and whether counselling influenced risk estimates and levels of distress. Women (n = 450) at this clinic were more likely to underestimate (39%) than overestimate (14%) their risk. Mean trait anxiety scores were higher than general population data (t = 4.9, n = 1059, P<0.001) but not significantly different from published data from other screening samples. Overestimators (z = 5.69, P<0.0001) and underestimators (z = -8.01, P<0.0001) reported significantly different risk estimates (i.e. increased accuracy) after counselling, but significant inaccuracies persisted. Over- (n = 12) and underestimators (n = 60) were still inaccurate in their risk estimates by a factor of 2 after counselling. Thirty per cent of the sample scored above the cut-off (5/6) for case identification on a screening measure for psychological distress, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). GHQ scores were significantly lower after counselling (t = 3.6, d.f. = 384, P = 0.0004) with no evidence of increasing risk estimate causing increased distress. The risk of distress after counselling was greater for younger women and those who were more distressed at first presentation. The counselling offered was effective in increasing the accuracy of risk perceptions without causing distress to those who initially underestimated their risk. It is worrying that inaccuracies persisted, particularly as the demand for service has since reduced the consultation time offered in this clinic. Further work is needed to evaluate alternative models of service delivery using more sophisticated methods of assessing understanding of risk.  (+info)

(5/27100) Cancer risk in close relatives of women with early-onset breast cancer--a population-based incidence study.

Inherited susceptibility to breast cancer is associated with an early onset and bilateral disease. The extent of familial risks has not, however, been fully assessed in population-based incidence studies. The purpose of the study was to quantify the risks for cancers of the breast, ovary and other sites of close relatives of women in whom breast cancer was diagnosed at an early age. Records collected between 1943 and 1990 at the Danish Cancer Registry were searched, and 2860 women were found in whom breast cancer was diagnosed before age 40. Population registers and parish records were used to identify 14 973 parents, siblings and offspring of these women. Cancer occurrence through to 31 December 1993 was determined within the Cancer Registry's files and compared with national incidence rates. Women with early-onset breast cancer were at a nearly fourfold increased risk of developing a new cancer later in life (268 observed vs. 68.9 expected). The excess risk was most evident for second cancer of the breast (181 vs. 24.5) and for ovarian cancer (20 vs. 3.3). For mothers and sisters, risks for cancers of the breast and ovary were significantly increased by two- to threefold. Bilateral breast cancer and breast-ovarian cancer were very strong predictors of familial risks, with one in four female relatives predicted to develop breast and/or ovarian cancer by age 75. Mothers had a slightly increased risk of colon cancer, but not endometrial cancer. The risk for breast cancer was also increased among fathers (standardized incidence ratio 2.5; 95% CI 0.5-7.4) and especially brothers (29; 7.7-74), although based on small numbers. The risk for prostatic cancer was unremarkable. In this large population-based survey, the first-degree relatives of women who developed breast cancer before age 40 were prone to ovarian cancer as well as male and female breast cancer, but not other tumours that may share susceptibility genes with breast cancer.  (+info)

(6/27100) Susceptibility to childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: influence of CYP1A1, CYP2D6, GSTM1, and GSTT1 genetic polymorphisms.

Although acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer, factors governing susceptibility to this disease have not yet been identified. As such, ALL offers a useful opportunity to examine the glutathione S-transferase and cytochrome P450 genes in determining susceptibility to pediatric cancers. Both enzymes are involved in carcinogen metabolism and have been shown to influence the risk a variety of solid tumors in adults. To determine whether these genes played a similar role in childhood leukemogenesis, we compared the allele frequencies of 177 childhood ALL patients and 304 controls for the CYP1A1, CYP2D6, GSTM1, and GSTT1 genes. We chose the French population of Quebec as our study population because of its relative genetic homogeneity. The GSTM1 null and CYP1A1*2A genotypes were both found to be significant predictors of ALL risk (odds ratio [OR] = 1.8). Those possessing both genotypes were at an even greater risk of developing the disease (OR = 3.3). None of the other alleles tested for proved to be significant indicators of ALL risk. Unexpectedly, girls carrying the CYP1A1*4 were significantly underrepresented in the ALL group (OR = 0.2), suggesting that a gender-specific protective role exists for this allele. These results suggest that the risk of ALL may indeed be associated with xenobiotics-metabolism, and thus with environmental exposures. Our findings may also explain, in part, why ALL is more prevalent among males than females.  (+info)

(7/27100) Cytochrome P450 CYP1B1 determines susceptibility to 7, 12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced lymphomas.

CYP1B1-null mice, created by targeted gene disruption in embryonic stem cells, were born at the expected frequency from heterozygous matings with no observable phenotype, thus establishing that CYP1B1 is not required for mouse development. CYP1B1 was not detectable in cultured embryonic fibroblast (EF) or in different tissues, such as lung, of the CYP1B1-null mouse treated with the aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin whereas the equivalent wild-type EF cells express basal and substantial inducible CYP1B1 and lung expresses inducible CYP1B1. CYP1A1 is induced to far higher levels than CYP1B1 in liver, kidney, and lung in wild-type mice and is induced to a similar extent in CYP1B1-null mice. 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) was toxic in wild-type EFs that express CYP1B1 but not CYP1A1. These cells effectively metabolized DMBA, consistent with CYP1B1 involvement in producing the procarcinogenic 3,4-dihydrodiol as a major metabolite, whereas CYP1B1-null EF showed no significant metabolism and were resistant to DMBA-mediated toxicity. When wild-type mice were administered high levels of DMBA intragastrically, 70% developed highly malignant lymphomas whereas only 7.5% of CYP1B1-null mice had lymphomas. Skin hyperplasia and tumors were also more frequent in wild-type mice. These results establish that CYP1B1, located exclusively at extrahepatic sites, mediates the carcinogenicity of DMBA. Surprisingly, CYP1A1, which has a high rate of DMBA metabolism in vitro, is not sufficient for this carcinogenesis, which demonstrates the importance of extrahepatic P450s in determining susceptibility to chemical carcinogens and validates the search for associations between P450 expression and cancer risk in humans.  (+info)

(8/27100) Type 2 diabetes: evidence for linkage on chromosome 20 in 716 Finnish affected sib pairs.

We are conducting a genome scan at an average resolution of 10 centimorgans (cM) for type 2 diabetes susceptibility genes in 716 affected sib pairs from 477 Finnish families. To date, our best evidence for linkage is on chromosome 20 with potentially separable peaks located on both the long and short arms. The unweighted multipoint maximum logarithm of odds score (MLS) was 3.08 on 20p (location, chi = 19.5 cM) under an additive model, whereas the weighted MLS was 2.06 on 20q (chi = 57 cM, recurrence risk,lambda(s) = 1. 25, P = 0.009). Weighted logarithm of odds scores of 2.00 (chi = 69.5 cM, P = 0.010) and 1.92 (chi = 18.5 cM, P = 0.013) were also observed. Ordered subset analyses based on sibships with extreme mean values of diabetes-related quantitative traits yielded sets of families who contributed disproportionately to the peaks. Two-hour glucose levels in offspring of diabetic individuals gave a MLS of 2. 12 (P = 0.0018) at 9.5 cM. Evidence from this and other studies suggests at least two diabetes-susceptibility genes on chromosome 20. We have also screened the gene for maturity-onset diabetes of the young 1, hepatic nuclear factor 4-a (HNF-4alpha) in 64 affected sibships with evidence for high chromosomal sharing at its location on chromosome 20q. We found no evidence that sequence changes in this gene accounted for the linkage results we observed.  (+info)