Human immunodeficiency virus antibody testing by enzyme-linked fluorescent and western blot assays using serum, gingival-crevicular transudate, and urine samples. (33/12862)

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible utilization of saliva and urine as alternative samples to serum for the diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. A total of 302 individuals participated in the study: 187 HIV-infected individuals (106 had Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] stage II infection, 19 had CDC stage III infection, and 62 had CDC stage IV infection) and 115 noninfected persons (46 of the noninfected persons were blood donors and 69 belonged to a group at high risk of HIV infection). Paired saliva and urine samples were taken from each of the participants in the study. The presence of HIV-specific antibodies was detected by an enzyme-linked fluorescent assay (ELFA), and the result was confirmed by Western blot analysis (WB). The ELFA with saliva gave maximum sensitivity and specificity values, while ELFA had lower sensitivity (95.2%) and specificity (97. 4%) values for detection of HIV antibody in urine samples. WB with all saliva samples fulfilled the World Health Organization criterion for positivity, while only 96.8% of the urine samples were confirmed to be positive by WB. Among the four reactivity patterns found by WB of these alternative samples, the most frequent included bands against three groups of HIV structural proteins (was ENV, POL, and GAG). The reactivity bands most frequently observed were those for the proteins gp160 and gp120. The least common reactivity band was the band for protein p17. The detection of HIV antibodies in saliva samples by means of ELFA with the possibility of later confirmation by WB makes saliva an alternative to serum for possible use in the diagnosis of infection. In contrast, HIV antibody detection in urine samples by the same methodology (ELFA) could be taken into consideration for use in epidemiological studies.  (+info)

Production of specific monoclonal antibodies to Aspergillus species and their use in immunohistochemical identification of aspergillosis. (34/12862)

Two anti-Aspergillus murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), designated 164G and 611F, have been produced; both specifically recognize cytoplasmic antigens of A. fumigatus, A. flavus, and A. niger by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The MAbs can identify Aspergillus spp. both in frozen sections by immunofluorescence and in paraffin-embedded clinical specimens by immunofluorescence and immunoperoxidase staining.  (+info)

Direct detection of Helicobacter pylori resistance to macrolides by a polymerase chain reaction/DNA enzyme immunoassay in gastric biopsy specimens. (35/12862)

BACKGROUND: The increasing use of macrolides especially in the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection has led to an increase in resistant strains. The resistance of H pylori to macrolides, especially clarithromycin, is one of the major causes of eradication failure. In H pylori, clarithromycin resistance is due to point mutations localised in domain V of 23S rRNA. AIM: To develop a molecular technique based on amplification of a relevant fragment of the 23S rRNA and colorimetric hybridisation in liquid phase to detect directly in biopsy specimens the type of mutation associated with resistance of H pylori to clarithromycin. METHODS: Gastric biopsy samples from 61 patients were submitted to this test. The results were compared with standard methods (determination of minimal inhibition concentration, polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism, and/or DNA sequencing) in order to evaluate the test and to define the cut off values, specificity, and sensitivity. RESULTS: The 14 biopsy samples in which H pylori was not detected did not give a positive result in any assay, and the 14 samples harbouring strains susceptible to clarithromycin gave a positive result with the wild type probe as expected. The 33 biopsy specimens containing resistant strains always gave a positive signal with one of the probes detecting resistant organisms, but in eight cases they also reacted with the wild type probe, indicating that a mixture of resistant and susceptible organisms was present. CONCLUSION: The importance of this new assay is that it allows the detection of multiple genotypes corresponding to either heterogeneous genotypes or mixed infections. Moreover, it allows in a single step not only the detection of H pylori but also the determination of its susceptibility to clarithromycin directly in biopsy specimens without the need for culture.  (+info)

Pancreatic stellate cells are activated by proinflammatory cytokines: implications for pancreatic fibrogenesis. (36/12862)

BACKGROUND: The pathogenesis of pancreatic fibrosis is unknown. In the liver, stellate cells play a major role in fibrogenesis by synthesising increased amounts of collagen and other extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins when activated by profibrogenic mediators such as cytokines and oxidant stress. AIMS: To determine whether cultured rat pancreatic stellate cells produce collagen and other ECM proteins, and exhibit signs of activation when exposed to the cytokines platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) or transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta). METHODS: Cultured pancreatic stellate cells were immunostained for the ECM proteins procollagen III, collagen I, laminin, and fibronectin using specific polyclonal antibodies. For cytokine studies, triplicate wells of cells were incubated with increasing concentrations of PDGF or TGF-beta. RESULTS: Cultured pancreatic stellate cells stained strongly positive for all ECM proteins tested. Incubation of cells with 1, 5, and 10 ng/ml PDGF led to a significant dose related increase in cell counts as well as in the incorporation of 3H-thymidine into DNA. Stellate cells exposed to 0.25, 0.5, and 1 ng/ml TGF-beta showed a dose dependent increase in alpha smooth muscle actin expression and increased collagen synthesis. In addition, TGF-beta increased the expression of PDGF receptors on stellate cells. CONCLUSIONS: Pancreatic stellate cells produce collagen and other extracellular matrix proteins, and respond to the cytokines PDGF and TGF-beta by increased proliferation and increased collagen synthesis. These results suggest an important role for stellate cells in pancreatic fibrogenesis.  (+info)

Immunoreactive pancreatic Reg protein in sera from cystic fibrosis patients with and without pancreatic insufficiency. (37/12862)

BACKGROUND: The biological function of the Reg protein, a non-enzymic protein produced in fairly large amounts by pancreatic acinar cells, remains elusive. Its susceptibility to proteolysis leading to precipitation of the proteolysis product at neutral pH suggests that it could contribute to the protein plugging observed in cystic fibrosis (CF). AIMS: To study its behaviour in the serum of CF patients with or without pancreatic insufficiency and to compare it with that of other pancreatic secretory proteins. PATIENTS: 170 patients (93 with CF, 55 controls, and 22 with chronic pancreatitis) were studied. METHODS: Reg protein was measured using a specific enzyme immunoassay and its molecular form in CF sera was characterised by gel filtration. Molecular gene expression was investigated by dot-blot hybridisation. RESULTS: Reg protein was present in all CF sera studied from patients with or without pancreatic insufficiency, and in all cases the level was significantly higher than in controls. Its chromatographic behaviour in CF sera was identical with that of the protein present in normal serum. No correlation was found between the levels of Reg protein and trypsin(ogen) (or lipase) in CF, nor in control sera or normal pancreatic juice. Molecular gene expression of the corresponding proteins investigated in pancreatic tissues showed an absence of correlation between the mRNA levels. CONCLUSIONS: Reg protein may not be a secretory exocrine protein like the digestive enzymes but rather a hormone-like secretory substance with an endocrine or paracrine function.  (+info)

Tenascin-C is expressed in macrophage-rich human coronary atherosclerotic plaque. (38/12862)

BACKGROUND: Tenascin is a large extracellular matrix glycoprotein generally found in adult tissues undergoing active remodeling such as healing wounds and tumors. To determine the potential role of tenascin-C (TN-C) in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, we investigated the pattern of expression of TN-C in human coronary atherosclerotic plaques. METHODS AND RESULTS: Immunohistochemical staining and in situ hybridization demonstrated minimal and random expression of TN-C in fibrotic but lipid-poor atherosclerotic plaques. In contrast, all plaques with an organized lipid core or ruptured intimal surface strongly expressed TN-C, which was preferentially concentrated around the lipid core, shoulder regions, and ruptured area of the plaques but not in the fibrous cap. TN-C was not detected in normal arterial tissue. To identify the cellular source of TN-C, the plaques were stained with smooth muscle cell- and macrophage-specific antibodies. TN-C expression correlated with the infiltration of macrophages. Northern blot and immunoprecipitation analysis showed that macrophages expressed 7. 0-kb TN-C mRNA and 220-kDa protein. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction of total RNA derived from macrophages showed that they express the small isoform of TN-C. Zymogram analysis revealed that macrophages markedly increased MMP-9 expression. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that the level of TN-C expression correlates with the degree of inflammation present, not with plaque size. In addition, cultured macrophages have the capacity to express the TN-C gene. These findings suggest the significance of macrophages in the remodeling of atherosclerotic plaque matrix composition.  (+info)

Down-regulation of HLA class I antigen-processing molecules in malignant melanoma: association with disease progression. (39/12862)

Expression of the proteasome subunits LMP2 and LMP7, the MHC-encoded transporter subunits TAP1 and TAP2, and HLA Class I antigens was examined by immunoperoxidase staining in 10 nevi and 98 melanoma lesions (60 primary and 38 metastatic), because these molecules play an important role in the presentation of melanoma-associated peptide antigens to cytotoxic T cells. LMP2 was less frequently expressed than LMP7 in primary and metastatic melanoma lesions. TAP1, TAP2, and HLA Class I antigen expression was more frequently (P < 0.05) down-regulated in metastatic than in primary melanoma lesions and in nevi. A synchronous TAP1, TAP2, and HLA Class I antigen down-regulation was observed in 58% of primary and 52% of metastatic lesions. TAP and HLA Class I antigen down-regulation in primary lesions was significantly associated with lesion thickness, stage of disease, reduced time to disease progression, and reduced survival. These results suggest that TAP down-regulation plays a role in the clinical course of malignant melanoma, probably by providing melanoma cells with a mechanism to escape from cytotoxic T lymphocyte recognition during disease progression.  (+info)

Simultaneous alterations of retinoblastoma and p53 protein expression in astrocytic tumors. (40/12862)

The genetic alterations frequently involved in glial malignancies are in the tumor suppressor genes, Rb and p53. An altered Rb expression or p53 overexpression is thought to indicate defective tumor suppression and subsequently more aggressive tumors. Therefore, to assess the alterations in the conjoint expression of Rb and p53 proteins in formalin fixed paraffin embedded sections, 64 astrocytic tumors were studied (16 astrocytomas,7 gemistocytic astrocytomas, 19 anaplastic astrocytomas and 22 glioblastomas) using the avidin biotin immunoperoxidase technique. Fifty two cases (81.25%) were found to be positive for p53 protein. Seventeen of these showed aberrant heterogenous staining for pRb, of which 7 were glioblastomas. Only one case of astrocytoma showed aberrant expression of both p53 and Rb. Thus, of the 64 tumors, simultaneous aberrant expression of both p53 and Rb was seen in 21.9% of cases. This was more commonly observed among glioblastoma cases (7/22). No statistical difference was found between the survival rate of heterogenous pRb and p53 positivity in different grades of tumors. In glioblastomas, the survival rate appeared to be less in patients expressing heterogenous pRb, but this was not statistically significant. These results lead us to suspect that p53 and pRb pathways are inactivated, either through mutation or as part of the neoplastic process in astrocytic tumors.  (+info)