Tropical enteropathy in Rhodesia. (1/2147)

Tropical enteropathy, which may be related to tropical sprue, has been described in many developing countries including parts of Africa. The jejunal changes of enteropathy are seen in Rhodesians of all social and racial categories. Xylose excretion, however, is related to socioeconomic status, but not race. Upper socioeconomic Africans and Europeans excrete significantly more xylose than lower socioeconomic Africans. Vitamin B12 and fat absorption are normal, suggesting predominant involvement of the proximal small intestine. Tropical enteropathy in Rhodesia is similar to that seen in Nigeria but is associated with less malabsorption than is found in the Caribbean, the Indian subcontinent, and South East Asia. The possible aetiological factors are discussed. It is postulated that the lighter exposure of upper class Africans and Europeans to repeated gastrointestinal infections may accound for their superior xylose absorption compared with Africans of low socioeconomic circumstances. It is further suggested that the milder enteropathy seen in Africa may be explained by a lower prevalence of acute gastroenteritis than in experienced elsewhere in the tropics.  (+info)

Thiamine deficiency is prevalent in a selected group of urban Indonesian elderly people. (2/2147)

This cross-sectional study involved 204 elderly individuals (93 males and 111 females). Subjects were randomly recruited using a list on which all 60-75 y-old-people living in seven sub-villages in Jakarta were included. The usual food intake was estimated using semiquantitative food frequency questionnaires. Hemoglobin, plasma retinol, vitamin B-12, red blood cell folate and the percentage stimulation of erythrocyte transketolase (ETK), as an indicator of thiamine status, were analyzed. Median energy intake was below the assessed requirement. More than 75% of the subjects had iron and thiamine intakes of approximately 2/3 of the recommended daily intake, and 20.2% of the study population had folate intake of approximately 2/3 of the recommended daily intake. Intakes of vitamins A and B-12 were adequate. Biochemical assessments demonstrated that 36.6% of the subjects had low thiamine levels (ETK stimulation > 25%). The elderly men tended to have lower thiamine levels than the elderly women. The overall prevalence of anemia was 28.9%, and the elderly women were affected more than the elderly men. Low biochemical status of vitamins A, B-12 and RBC folate was found in 5.4%, 8.8 % and 2.9% of the subjects, respectively. Dietary intakes of thiamine and folate were associated with ETK stimulation and plasma vitamin B-12 concentration (r = 0.176, P = 0.012 and r = 0.77, P = 0.001), respectively. Results of this study suggest that anemia, thiamine and possibly vitamin B-12 deficiency are prevalent in the elderly living in Indonesia. Clearly, micronutrient supplementation may be beneficial for the Indonesian elderly population living in underprivileged areas.  (+info)

Autoantibodies to gastrin in patients with pernicious anaemia--a novel antibody. (3/2147)

Autoantibodies arise when there is a breakdown in immunological tolerance. Autoantibodies to parietal cells and intrinsic factor are found in autoimmune atrophic gastritis (AAG) and are associated with elevated plasma gastrin. Endogenous gastrin autoantibodies have not been described to date. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of autoantibodies to gastrin. Plasma from 50,000 patients, including more than 2000 with AAG, was tested. Gastrin was measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) in whole plasma and the presence of autoantibody determined by using a control which omitted assay antibody. The quantity and affinity of gastrin autoantibodies was assessed. Three patients had autoantibodies to gastrin. All three had AAG and pernicious anaemia (PA). The antibodies were of low titre and relatively high affinity. Free circulating plasma gastrin levels were within the normal range, but total gastrin levels were elevated. This is the first description of autoantibodies to endogenous gastrin. The incidence of antibodies to gastrin is low, they are found in association with PA, and they may lead to falsely low measurements of plasma gastrin.  (+info)

Plasma total homocysteine and cysteine in relation to glomerular filtration rate in diabetes mellitus. (4/2147)

BACKGROUND: The plasma concentrations of total homocysteine (tHcy) and total cysteine (tCys) are determined by intracellular metabolism and by renal plasma clearance, and we hypothesized that glomerular filtration is a major determinant of plasma tHcy and tCys. We studied the relationships between the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and plasma tHcy and tCys in populations of diabetic patients with particularly wide ranges of GFR. METHODS: We measured GFR, urine albumin excretion rate (UAER), plasma tHcy, tCys, methionine, vitamin B12, folate, C-peptide, and routine parameters in 50 insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and 30 non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) patients. All patients underwent intensive insulin treatment and had a serum creatinine concentration below 115 micromol/liter. RESULTS: Mean plasma tHcy in diabetic patients (0.1 micromol/liter) was lower than in normal persons (11.1 micromol/liter, P = 0.0014). Mean plasma tCys in diabetic patients (266.1 micromol/liter) was also lower than in normal persons (281.9 micromol/liter, P = 0.0005). Seventy-three percent of the diabetic patients had relative hyperfiltration. Plasma tHcy and tCys were closely and independently associated with GFR, serum folate, and serum B12. However, plasma tHcy was not independently associated with any of the 22 other variables tested, including age, serum creatinine concentration, UAER, total daily insulin dose, and glycemic control. CONCLUSIONS: Glomerular filtration rate is an independent determinant of plasma tHcy and tCys concentrations, and GFR is rate limiting for renal clearance of both homocysteine and cysteine in diabetic patients without overt nephropathy. Declining GFR explains the age-related increase in plasma tHcy, and hyperfiltration explains the lower than normal mean plasma tHcy and tCys concentrations in populations of diabetic patients.  (+info)

Effect of MTHFR 677C>T on plasma total homocysteine levels in renal graft recipients. (5/2147)

BACKGROUND: Hyperhomocysteinemia is an established, independent risk factor for vascular disease morbidity and mortality. The 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphism C677T has been shown to result in increased total homocysteine concentrations on the basis of low folate levels caused by a decreased enzyme activity. The effect of this polymorphism on total homocysteine and folate plasma levels in renal transplant patients is unknown. METHODS: We screened 636 kidney graft recipients for the presence of the MTHFR C677T gene polymorphism. The major determinants of total homocysteine and folate plasma concentrations of 63 patients, who were identified to be homozygous for this gene polymorphism compared with heterozygotes (N = 63), and patients with wild-type alleles (N = 63), who were matched for sex, age, glomerular filtration rate (GFR), and body mass index, were identified by analysis of covariance. The variables included sex, age, GFR, body mass index, time since transplantation, folate and vitamin B12 levels, the use of azathioprine, and the MTHFR genotype. To investigate the impact of the kidney donor MTHFR genotype on total homocysteine and folate plasma concentrations, a similar model was applied in 111 kidney graft recipients with stable graft function, in whom the kidney donor C677T MTHFR gene polymorphism was determined. RESULTS: The allele frequency of the C677T polymorphism in the MTHFR gene was 0.313 in the whole study population [wild-type (CC), 301; heterozygous (CT), 272; and homozygous mutant (TT), 63 patients, respectively] and showed no difference in the patient subgroups with various renal diseases. The MTHFR C677T gene polymorphism significantly influenced total homocysteine and folate plasma concentrations in renal transplant recipients (P = 0.0009 and P = 0.0002, respectively). Furthermore, a significant influence of the GFR (P = 0.0001), folate levels (P = 0.0001), age (P = 0.0001), body mass index (P = 0.0001), gender (P = 0.0005), and vitamin B12 levels (P = 0.004) on total homocysteine concentrations was observed. The donor MTHFR gene polymorphism had no influence on total homocysteine and folate levels. Geometric mean total homocysteine levels in patients homozygous for the mutant MTHFR allele were 18.6 micromol/liter compared with 14.6 micromol/liter and 14.9 micromol/liter in patients heterozygous for the MTHFR gene polymorphism and those with wild-type alleles (P < 0.05 for TT vs. CT and CC). Geometric mean folate levels were lower in CT and TT patients (11.2 and 10.2 nmol/liter) compared with CC patients (13.6 nmol/liter, P < 0.05 vs. CT and TT). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that homozygosity for the C677T polymorphism in the MTHFR gene significantly increases total homocysteine concentrations and lowers folate levels in kidney graft recipients, even in patients with excellent renal function (GFR more than median). These findings have important implications for risk evaluation and vitamin intervention therapy in these patients who carry an increased risk for the development of cardiovascular disease.  (+info)

The intrinsic factor-vitamin B12 receptor, cubilin, is assembled into trimers via a coiled-coil alpha-helix. (6/2147)

A large protein was purified from bovine kidney, using selective extraction with EDTA to solubilize proteins anchored by divalent cation-dependent interactions. An antiserum raised against the purified protein labeled the apical cell surface of the epithelial cells in proximal tubules and the luminal surface of small intestine. Ten peptide sequences, derived from the protein, all matched the recently published sequences for rat (Moestrup, S. K., Kozyraki, R., Kristiansen, M., Kaysen, J. H., Holm Rasmussen, H., Brault, D., Pontillon, F., Goda, F. O., Christensen, E. I., Hammond, T. G., and Verroust, P. J. (1998) J. Biol. Chem. 273, 5235-5242) and human cubilin, a receptor for intrinsic factor-vitamin B12 complexes, identifying the protein as bovine cubilin. In electron microscopy, a three-armed structure was seen, indicating an oligomerization of three identical subunits. This model was supported by the Mr values of about 1,500,000 for the intact protein and 440,000 for its subunits obtained by analytical ultracentrifugation. In a search for a potential assembly domain, we identified a region of heptad repeats in the N-terminal part of the cubilin sequence. Computer-assisted analysis supported the presence of a coiled-coil alpha-helix between amino acids 103 and 132 of the human cubilin sequence and predicted the formation of a triple coiled-coil. We therefore conclude that cubilin forms a noncovalent trimer of identical subunits connected by an N-terminal coiled-coil alpha-helix.  (+info)

The role of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Met1p and Met8p in sirohaem and cobalamin biosynthesis. (7/2147)

MET1 and MET8 mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be complemented by Salmonella typhimurium cysG, indicating that the genes are involved in the transformation of uroporphyrinogen III into sirohaem. In the present study, we have demonstrated complementation of defined cysG mutants of Sal. typhimurium and Escherichia coli, with either MET1 or MET8 cloned in tandem with Pseudomonas denitrificans cobA. The conclusion drawn from these experiments is that MET1 encodes the S-adenosyl-l-methionine uroporphyrinogen III transmethylase activity, and MET8 encodes the dehydrogenase and chelatase activities (all three functions are encoded by Sal. typhimurium and E. coli cysG). MET8 was further cloned into pET14b to allow expression of the protein with an N-terminal His-tag. After purification, the functions of the His-tagged Met8p were studied in vitro by assay with precorrin-2 in the presence of NAD+ and Co2+. The results demonstrated that Met8p acts as a dehydrogenase and chelatase in the biosynthesis of sirohaem. Moreover, despite the fact that S. cerevisiae does not make cobalamins de novo, we have shown also that MET8 is able to complement cobalamin cobaltochelatase mutants and have revealed a subtle difference in the early stages of the anaerobic cobalamin biosynthetic pathways between Sal. typhimurium and Bacillus megaterium.  (+info)

Binding of Cob(II)alamin to the adenosylcobalamin-dependent ribonucleotide reductase from Lactobacillus leichmannii. Identification of dimethylbenzimidazole as the axial ligand. (8/2147)

The ribonucleoside triphosphate reductase (RTPR) from Lactobacillus leichmannii catalyzes the reduction of nucleoside 5'-triphosphates to 2'-deoxynucleoside 5'-triphosphates and uses coenzyme B12, adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), as a cofactor. Use of a mechanism-based inhibitor, 2'-deoxy-2'-methylenecytidine 5'-triphosphate, and isotopically labeled RTPR and AdoCbl in conjunction with EPR spectroscopy has allowed identification of the lower axial ligand of cob(II)alamin when bound to RTPR. In common with the AdoCbl-dependent enzymes catalyzing irreversible heteroatom migrations and in contrast to the enzymes catalyzing reversible carbon skeleton rearrangements, the dimethylbenzimidazole moiety of the cofactor is not displaced by a protein histidine upon binding to RTPR.  (+info)