Comparison of three different plasma homocysteine assays with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. (73/12862)

BACKGROUND: Various methods are available to measure plasma total homocyst(e)ine (tHcy) concentrations, but whether plasma tHcy assays may be used interchangeably is not known. METHODS: Results from three different methods [HPLC with fluorescence detection, enzyme immunoassay (EIA), and fluorescence polarization immunoassay (FPIA)] to determine fasting (n = 163) and post-methionine load (n = 80) plasma tHcy concentrations were compared with those obtained by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Difference plots on non-transformed and log-transformed data were used to assess the agreement between HPLC and GC-MS, EIA and GC-MS, and FPIA and GC-MS. RESULTS: The closest agreement between methods was observed between GC-MS and FPIA for fasting tHcy concentrations, with 95% of the FPIA values between 19% above and 24% below the corresponding GC-MS results. Post-methionine load tHcy concentrations measured by EIA showed the least agreement with GC-MS, with 95% of values measured by EIA ranging between 52% above and 16% below the GC-MS values. With respect to GC-MS, the above-mentioned methods showed a negative bias for fasting tHcy concentrations, but a positive bias for both immunoassays for post-methionine load tHcy concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: The agreement among methods is insufficient to allow them to be used interchangeably. The intermethod differences emphasize the need for standardization of plasma tHcy assays.  (+info)

Relationship of beta-catenin and Bcl-2 expression to sulindac-induced regression of intestinal tumors in Min mice. (74/12862)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause regression of early intestinal tumors and although this is believed to involve cyclooxygenase-2 and apoptosis, the molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Cytoplasmic and nuclear beta-catenin are overexpressed in many of these lesions and Bcl-2, which inhibits apoptosis, may also be elevated during the course of intestinal tumorigenesis. We recently showed that sulindac causes regression of 70-80% of small intestinal tumors in Min/+ mice within 4 days, but does not have the same impact on colonic lesions; after 20 days of treatment the tumor load stabilizes at 10-20% of that in untreated animals. The aim of this study was to determine if NSAID-induced regression of intestinal adenomas might be associated with changes in beta-catenin or Bcl-2 expression. Intestinal tumors from Min/+ mice were harvested after treatment with sulindac for 2, 4 or 20 days and evaluated for expression of beta-catenin and Bcl-2 using immunohistochemistry. There was a > or = 50% decrease in beta-catenin (P = 0.001) and diminishing Bcl-2 (P = 0.019) in small intestinal tumors harvested between 2 and 4 days of treatment when compared with untreated controls. In contrast, small intestinal tumors from animals treated for 20 days were not significantly different from untreated controls. Colonic tumors expressed higher levels of Bcl-2 than those from the small intestine and did not show any significant changes in either Bcl-2 or beta-catenin expression after treatment. Results suggest that modulation of aberrant beta-catenin expression occurs during NSAID-induced regression of intestinal adenomas and that Bcl-2 may confer resistance to these effects.  (+info)

High water intake ameliorates tubulointerstitial injury in rats with subtotal nephrectomy: possible role of TGF-beta. (75/12862)

BACKGROUND: It has been shown that tubulointerstitial injury correlates well with a decline of renal function. In this study, we investigated the effect of high water intake (HWI) on functional and structural parameters in rats with subtotal nephrectomy. METHODS: Two weeks after the ablative procedure, rats were divided into two groups. One group received the treatment with HWI (3% sucrose added to drinking water) for eight weeks. Functional parameters were compared with sham-operated control (CONT) or nephrectomized rats without treatment (NX). Remnant kidneys were then assessed histologically for evidence of interstitial fibrosis and glomerulosclerosis. RESULTS: Creatinine clearance was significantly improved in HWI rats compared with NX rats. Simultaneously, urinary protein was also significantly reduced in HWI rats. HWI predominantly ameliorated interstitial lesions and, to a lesser extent, glomerular lesions. Northern blot analysis demonstrated that transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) mRNA expression was significantly suppressed in HWI rats. In situ hybridization revealed that HWI suppressed TGF-beta mRNA expression mainly in the outer medulla. Fibronectin mRNA was also reduced by the HWI treatment. The changes in TGF-beta and fibronectin mRNA were in parallel with Na+/myo-inositol cotransporter (SMIT) mRNA, which is regulated by extracellular osmolarity. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that protein expression of TGF-beta and fibronectin coincided with the mRNA expression. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that HWI reduces TGF-beta mRNA expression in medullary interstitium and ameliorates tubulointerstitial injury in rats with reduced renal mass.  (+info)

Chronic rejection of mouse kidney allografts. (76/12862)

BACKGROUND: Chronic renal allograft rejection is the leading cause of late graft failure. However, its pathogenesis has not been defined. METHODS: To explore the pathogenesis of chronic rejection, we studied a mouse model of kidney transplantation and examined the effects of altering the expression of donor major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens on the development of chronic rejection. RESULTS: We found that long-surviving mouse kidney allografts develop pathological abnormalities that resemble chronic rejection in humans. Furthermore, the absence of MHC class I or class II antigens did not prevent the loss of graft function nor alter the pathological characteristics of chronic rejection. Expression of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), a pleiotropic cytokine suggested to play a role in chronic rejection, was markedly enhanced in control allografts compared with isografts. However, TGF-beta up-regulation was significantly blunted in MHC-deficient grafts. Nonetheless, these differences in TGF-beta expression did not affect the character of chronic rejection, including intrarenal accumulation of collagens. CONCLUSIONS: Reduced expression of either class I or II direct allorecognition pathways is insufficient to prevent the development of chronic rejection, despite a reduction in the levels of TGF-beta expressed in the allograft. This suggests that the severity of chronic rejection is independent of the level of MHC disparity between donor and recipient and the level of TGF-beta expression within the allograft.  (+info)

Dynamics of eicosanoids in peripheral blood cells during bronchial provocation in aspirin-intolerant asthmatics. (77/12862)

The underlying mechanisms of bronchoconstriction in aspirin-intolerant asthmatics (AIAs) are still unknown, but the hypothesis of an altered metabolism of arachidonic acid is generally accepted. So far, no in vitro test for aspirin intolerance is available. The hypothesis that the profile of eicosanoid mediators is changed in AIA-even before aspirin challenge was tested. The release of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), peptidoleukotrienes and histamine was measured using competitive enzyme immunoassays in 10 asthmatics with a history of aspirin intolerance, 10 controls and eight aspirin-tolerant asthmatics (ATAs) before and after bronchial provocation with lysine-aspirin. Comparing basal release of eicosanoids before challenge, peptidoleukotrienes were significantly elevated and PGE2 was vastly reduced in AIAs, whereas ATAs had elevated basal peptidoleukotrienes but only slightly reduced basal PGE2. The decrease in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was not associated with changes in histamine release. After aspirin challenge, there was a massive increase of already elevated peptidoleukotrienes in AIAs, but not in ATAs. Arachidonic acid-induced PGE2 release in AIAs was not significantly changed, whereas it was significantly reduced in ATAs and healthy controls. Histamine release was unaffected by aspirin challenge in all three groups. There is a typically altered profile of eicosanoids in aspirin-intolerant asthmatics which could make in vitro diagnosis of aspirin intolerance possible.  (+info)

Effect of CD8+ T-cell depletion on bronchial hyper-responsiveness and inflammation in sensitized and allergen-exposed Brown-Norway rats. (78/12862)

We examined the role of CD8+ T cells in a Brown-Norway rat model of asthma, using a monoclonal antibody to deplete CD8+ T cells. Ovalbumin (OA)-sensitized animals were given anti-CD8 antibody (0.5 mg/rat) intravenously 1 week prior to exposure to 1% OA aerosol and were studied 18-24 hr after aerosol exposure. Following administration of anti-CD8 antibody, CD8+ cells were reduced to <1% of total lymphocytes in whole blood and in spleen. In sensitized animals, OA exposure induced bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR), accumulation of eosinophils, lymphocytes and neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and also an increase in tissue eosinophils and CD2+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in airways. Anti-CD8 antibody caused a further increase in allergen-induced BHR (P<0.03, compared with sham-treated animals), together with a significant increase in eosinophil number in BAL fluid (P<0.05). While CD2+ and CD4+ T cells in airways were not affected by anti-CD8 treatment, the level of CD8+ T cells was significantly reduced in sensitized, saline-exposed animals (P<0.04, compared with sham-treated rats), and sensitized and OA-challenged rats (P<0.002, compared with sham-treated rats). Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, an increase of T helper (Th)2 cytokine [interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5], and also of Th1 cytokine [interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and IL-2], mRNA in the lung of sensitized and OA-exposed animals was found; after CD8+ T-cell depletion, Th1 cytokine expression was significantly reduced (P<0.02), while Th2 cytokine expression was unchanged. CD8+ T cells have a protective role in allergen-induced BHR and eosinophilic inflammation, probably through activation of the Th1 cytokine response.  (+info)

Direct Ni2+ antigen formation on cultured human dendritic cells. (79/12862)

The possible direct antigen formation of Ni2+ on antigen-presenting cells (APCs) was studied with cultured human dendritic cells (DCs) obtained from 10 subjects contact allergic to Ni2+ and six non-allergic control individuals. All contact allergic subjects showed a significantly increased peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) response in vitro to Ni2+. DCs were expanded from the plastic-adherent cell fraction of PBMCs by culturing with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) for 7 days to obtain immature DCs, and with the addition of monocyte-conditioned medium for another 4 days, for DC maturation. The DCs were pulsed for 20 min with Ni2+ (50 micrometers) in protein-free Hank's balanced salt solution (HBSS) and added to freshly prepared autologous responder PBMCs. With five allergic subjects, immature DCs pulsed with Ni2+ demonstrated a significant capacity to activate Ni2+-reactive lymphocytes. With the remaining five patients and the six controls no difference in lymphocyte proliferation was observed between Ni2+-pulsed and non-pulsed immature DCs. In contrast, with mature Ni2+-pulsed DCs from both 'positive responder' (n=4) and 'non-responder' (n=4) patients, there was a significantly stimulated PBMC proliferation, whereas with the controls (n=4) still no activation was observed. Our results indicate that direct formation of the antigenic determinant of Ni2+ on APCs is possible and that Ni2+ uptake and processing mechanisms may not play a major role. Differences in the ease of activation of Ni2+-reactive lymphocytes are discussed in terms of a possible heterogeneity in the availability of Ni2+-reactive groups presented on endogenous peptides bound in the antigen binding groove of human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class-II molecules.  (+info)

Immunocytochemical localization of the major polypeptides of the nuclear pore complex-lamina fraction. Interphase and mitotic distribution. (80/12862)

This laboratory has previously isolated a fraction from rat liver nuclei consisting of nuclear pore complexes associated with the proteinaceous lamina which underlies the inner nuclear membrane. Using protein eluted from sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) gels, we have prepared antibodies in chickens to each of the three predominant pore complex-lamina bands. Ouchterlony double diffusion analysis shows that each of these individual bands cross-reacts strongly with all three antisera. In immunofluorescence localization performed on tissue culture cells with these antibodies, we obtain a pattern of intense staining at the periphery of the interphase nucleus, with little or no cytoplasmic reaction. Electron microscope immunoperoxidase staining of rat liver nuclei with these antibodies labels exclusively the nuclear periphery. Furthermore, reaction occurs in areas which contain the lamina, but not at the pore complexes. While our isolation procedure extracts the internal contents of nuclei completely, semiquantitative Ouchterlony analysis shows that it releases negligible amounts of these lamina antigens. Considered together, our results indicate that these three bands represent major components of a peripheral nuclear lamina, and are not structural elements of an internal "nuclear protein matrix." Fluorescence microscopy shows that the perinuclear interphase localization of these lamina proteins undergoes dramatic changes during mitosis. Concomitant with nuclear envelope disassembly in prophase, these antigens assume a diffuse localization throughout the cell. This distribution persists until telophase, when the antigens become progressively and completely localized at the surface of the daughter chromosome masses. We propose that the lamina is a biological polymer which can undergo reversible disassembly during mitosis.  (+info)