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  • Lehto, Juho (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Infection is a major cause of mortality and morbidity after thoracic organ transplantation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the infectious complications after lung and heart transplantation, with a special emphasis on the usefulness of bronchoscopy and the demonstration of cytomegalovirus (CMV), human herpes virus (HHV)-6, and HHV-7. We reviewed all the consecutive bronchoscopies performed on heart transplant recipients (HTRs) from May 1988 to December 2001 (n = 44) and lung transplant recipients (LTRs) from February 1994 to November 2002 (n = 472). To compare different assays in the detection of CMV, a total of 21 thoracic organ transplant recipients were prospectively monitored by CMV pp65-antigenemia, DNAemia (PCR), and mRNAemia (NASBA) tests. The antigenemia test was the reference assay for therapeutic intervention. In addition to CMV antigenemia, 22 LTRs were monitored for HHV-6 and HHV-7 antigenemia. The diagnostic yield of the clinically indicated bronchoscopies was 41 % in the HTRs and 61 % in the LTRs. The utility of the bronchoscopy was highest from one to six months after transplantation. In contrast, the findings from the surveillance bronchoscopies performed on LTRs led to a change in the previous treatment in only 6 % of the cases. Pneumocystis carinii and CMV were the most commonly detected pathogens. Furthermore, 15 (65 %) of the P. carinii infections in the LTRs were detected during chemoprophylaxis. None of the complications of the bronchoscopies were fatal. Antigenemia, DNAemia, and mRNAemia were present in 98 %, 72 %, and 43 % of the CMV infections, respectively. The optimal DNAemia cut-off levels (sensitivity/specificity) were 400 (75.9/92.7 %), 850 (91.3/91.3 %), and 1250 (100/91.5 %) copies/ml for the antigenemia of 2, 5, and 10 pp65-positive leukocytes/50 000 leukocytes, respectively. The sensitivities of the NASBA were 25.9, 43.5, and 56.3 % in detecting the same cut-off levels. CMV DNAemia was detected in 93 % and mRNAemia in 61 % of the CMV antigenemias requiring antiviral therapy. HHV-6, HHV-7, and CMV antigenemia was detected in 20 (91 %), 11 (50 %), and 12 (55 %) of the 22 LTRs (median 16, 31, and 165 days), respectively. HHV-6 appeared in 15 (79 %), HHV-7 in seven (37 %), and CMV in one (7 %) of these patients during ganciclovir or valganciclovir prophylaxis. One case of pneumonitis and another of encephalitis were associated with HHV-6. In conclusion, bronchoscopy is a safe and useful diagnostic tool in LTRs and HTRs with a suspected respiratory infection, but the role of surveillance bronchoscopy in LTRs remains controversial. The PCR assay acts comparably with the antigenemia test in guiding the pre-emptive therapy against CMV when threshold levels of over 5 pp65-antigen positive leukocytes are used. In contrast, the low sensitivity of NASBA limits its usefulness. HHV-6 and HHV-7 activation is common after lung transplantation despite ganciclovir or valganciclovir prophylaxis, but clinical manifestations are infrequently linked to them.
  • Tulamo, Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Intracranial artery aneurysms (IAs) are estimated to be present in 2.3% of the population. A rupture of an IA causes subarachnoid hemorrhage, with up to 50% mortality. The annual low rupture risk of an IA indicates that most IAs never rupture. The current treatment options are invasive and somewhat risky. Thus rupture-prone IAs should be identified and this requires a better understanding of the IA wall pathobiology. Inflammatory cell infiltrations have been found to precede IA rupture, indicating the role of inflammation in IA wall degeneration and rupture. The complement system is a key mediator of inflammation and house-hold processing of injured tissue. This study aimed at identifying the role of complement activation in IA wall degeneration and the complement activators involved and determining how the complement system is regulated in the IA wall. In immunostainings, the end-product of complement activation, the terminal complement complex (TCC), was located mainly in the outer part of the IA wall, in areas that had also sustained loss of cells. In electron microscopy, the area of maximum TCC accumulation contained cellular debris and evidence of both apoptotic and necrotic cell death. Complement activation correlated with IA wall degeneration and rupture, de-endothelialization, and T-cell and CD163-positive macrophage infiltration. The complement system was found to become activated in all IAs by the classical pathway, with recruitment of alternative pathway amplification. Of the potential activators immunoglobulins G and M and oxidatively modified lipids were found in large areas. Lipid accumulation was observed to clearly colocalize with TCC and C-reactive protein. In the luminal parts of the IA wall, complement activation was limited by cellular expression of protectin (CD59) and extracellular matrix-bound inhibitors, C4b binding protein and factor H whereas the outer part of the wall lacked cells expressing protectin as well as matrix-bound factor H. In single nucleotide polymorphism-analysis, age-related macular degeneration-associated factor H Y402H polymorphism did not associate with the presence of IAs or their rupture The data suggest that complement activation and TCC formation are involved in IA wall degeneration and rupture. Complement seems to become activated by more than one specific activator. The association of complement with de-endothelialization and expression of several complement activators indicate a possible role of endothelial dysfunction and/or impaired clearance mechanisms. Impaired complement regulation seems to be associated with increased complement activation in IA walls. These results stress the role of chronic inflammation in IA wall pathobiology and the regulatory role of complement within this process. Imaging inflammation would possibly enhance the diagnostics of rupture-prone IAs, and targeting IA treatment to prevent chronic inflammation might improve IA treatment in the future.
  • Lindy, Otso (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The principal aim of this study was to examine diseases characterized by inflammatory injury, especially human arthritides and periodontitis, with specific interest to final effector enzymes of tissue destruction and address the possible future tools to prevent permanent tissue loss. We used biochemical and immunological methods applied to synovial tissue samples, samples of synovial fluid, and samples of peripheral blood. In Study IV, we used established clinical inflammatory injury indicator probing pocket depth and used it to derive a new clinical measure of systemic burden, periodontal inflammatory burden index. In study I, we showed a difference in the effector enzymes of peripheral blood leukocytes and leukocytes from inflamed synovial fluid of rheumatoid arthritis and reactive arthritis patients. The effector enzyme activities were higher in synovial fluid than in peripheral blood. In study II, we showed the presence of collagenase-3 in rheumatoid synovial tissue samples, relative resistance of the enzyme to inhibition in vitro and developed an electrophoretic method for detection of collagenase-3 in presence of collagenase-1. In study III, we carried out an open label study of doxycycline treatment of 12 RA patients. During the treatment period, we observed an improvement in several of the biochemical and psychosocial variables used to assess the status of the patients. In study IV, we showed a clearly lower level of periodontal inflammatory injury in chronic periodontitis patients referred for periodontal treatment. In this cross-sectional pilot study, we showed lower levels of inflammatory injury in periodontitis patients using statin than in those not receiving statin treatment. The difference was of same magnitude in patients using simvastatin or atorvastatin. The weighted index of inflammatory burden, PIBI, which emphasizes the burden imposed by the deepest pathological pockets on the system showed values consistent with a wider scale to ease future studies on the inflammatory burden associated with periodontitis.
  • Tuomainen, Anita (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Cardiovascular diseases, which presently are considered inflammatory diseases, affect millions of people worldwide. Chronic infections may contribute to the systemic inflammation suggested to increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Such chronic infections are periodontitis and Chlamydia pneumoniae infection. They are highly prevalent as approximately 10% of adult population and 30% of people over 50 years old are affected by severe periodontitis and 70-80% of elderly people are seropositive for C. pneumoniae. Our general aim was to investigate the role of infection and inflammation in atherosclerosis both in animal and human studies. We aimed to determine how the two pathogens alter the atherosclerosis-associated parameters, and how they affect the liver inflammation and lipid composition. Furthermore, we evaluated the association between matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8), a proteinase playing a major role in inflammation, and the future cardiovascular diseases (CVD) events in a population-based cohort. For the animal experiments, we used atherosclerosis-susceptible apolipoprotein E deficient (apoE-/-) mice. They were kept in germ free conditions and fed with a normal chow diet. The bacteria were administered either intravenously (A. actinomycetemcomitans) or intranasally (C. pneumoniae). Several factors were determined from serum as well as from aortic and hepatic tissues. We also determined how cholesterol efflux, a major event in the removal of excess cholesterol from the tissues, and endothelial function were affected by these pathogens. In the human study, serum MMP-8 and its tissue inhibitor (TIMP-1) concentrations were measured and their associations during the follow-up time of 10 years with CVD events were determined. An infection with A. actinomycetemcomitans increased concentrations of inflammatory mediators, MMP production, and cholesterol deposit in macrophages, decreased lipoprotein particle size, and induced liver inflammation. C. pneumoniae infection also elicited an inflammatory response and endothelial dysfunction, as well as induced liver inflammation, microvesicular appearance and altered fatty acid profile. In the population-based cohort, men with increased serum MMP-8 concentration together with subclinical atherosclerosis (carotid artery intima media thickness > 1mm) had a three-fold increased risk for CVD death during the follow-up. The results show that infections with A. actinomycetemcomitans and C. pneumoniae induce proatherogenic changes, as well as affect the liver. These data therefore support the concept that common infections have systemic effects and could be considered as cardiovascular risk factors. Furthermore, our data indicate that, as an independent predictor of fatal CVD event, serum MMP-8 could have a clinical significance in diagnosing cardiovascular diseases.
  • Lindström, Outi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Acute pancreatitis (AP), a common cause of acute abdominal pain, is usually a mild, self-limited disease. However, some 20-30% of patients develop a severe disease manifested by pancreatic necrosis, abscesses or pseudocysts, and/or extrapancreatic complications, such as vital organ failure (OF). Patients with AP develop systemic inflammation, which is considered to play a role in the pathogenesis of multiple organ failure (MOF). OF mimics the condition seen in patients with sepsis, which is characterized by an overwhelming production of inflammatory mediators, activation of the complement system and systemic activation of coagulation, as well as the development of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) syndrome. Vital OF is the major cause of mortality in AP, along with infectious complications. About half of the deaths occur within the first week of hospitalization and thus, early identification of patients likely to develop OF is important. The aim of the present study was to investigate inflammatory and coagulation disturbances in AP and to find inflammatory and coagulation markers for predicting severe AP, and development of OF and fatal outcome. This clinical study consists of four parts. All of patients studied had AP when admitted to Helsinki University Central Hospital. In the first study, 31 patients with severe AP were investigated. Their plasma levels of protein C (PC) and activated protein C (APC), and monocyte HLA-DR expression were studied during the treatment period in the intensive care unit; 13 of these patients developed OF. In the second study, the serum levels of complement regulator protein CD59 were studied in 39 patients during the first week of hospitalization; 12 of them developed OF. In the third study, 165 patients were investigated; their plasma levels of soluble form of the receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE) and high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein were studied during the first 12 days of hos-pitalization; 38 developed OF. In the fourth study, 33 patients were studied on admission to hospital for plasma levels of prothrombin fragment F1+2 and tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), and thrombin formation capacity by calibrated automated thrombogram (CAT); 9 of them developed OF. Our results showed significant PC deficiency and decreased APC generation in patients with severe AP. The PC pathway defects seemed to be associated with the development of OF. In patients who developed OF, the levels of serum CD59 and plasma sRAGE, but not of HMGB1, were significantly higher than in patients who recovered without OF. The high CD59 levels on admission to the hospital seemed to be predictive for severe AP and OF. The median of the highest sRAGE levels was significantly higher in non-survivors than in survivors. No significant difference between the patient groups was found in the F1+2 levels. The thrombograms of all patients were disturbed in their shape, and in 11 patients the exogenous tissue factor did not trigger thrombin generation at all ( flat curve ). All of the patients that died displayed a flat curve. Free TFPI levels and free/total TFPI ratios were significantly higher in patients with a flat curve than in the others, and these levels were also significantly higher in non-survivors than in survivors. The flat curve in combination with free TFPI seemed to be predictive for a fatal outcome in AP.
  • Jussila, Airi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), Crohn´s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are characterized by chronic mucosal inflammation and subsequent lesions in the colon or even throughout the gastrointestinal tract with involvement of other organs. They are chronic inflammatory conditions with long-term morbidity and often requiring expensive healthcare. The aetiology of IBD has remained obscure and is thought to be multifactorial. Over the past few years IBD has become a global disease. Western European and North American countries have been traditionally high incidence and prevalence areas. During the last decade, increasing incidence rates has also been observed in Eastern Europe and Asia. It has been suggested that the incidence of IBD has stabilized or slightly increased in Western countries with even decreasing incidence rates for UC in some Western countries. However, new epidemiological data suggest that the incidence and prevalence of the diseases are still increasing in most countries, including Western countries. A North-South gradient has been identifiedfor IBD. In Europe, higher incidence rates have been found in Northern countries. In several countries including the USA, UK and France, North-South gradients have also been reported. Patients with long-lasting IBD, both UC and CD colitis, have been at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) and CD patients are at increased risk of small intestine cancer. In most recent studies the risk of CRC has decreased and in some studies no increased risk of CRC has been seen in IBD overall. Male sex, young age at diagnosis, extensive colitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) have been shown to increase the risk. Chronic colonic inflammation in UC or CD results in an increased risk of cell proliferation and colon carcinogenesis. Studies have supported the severity of microscopic inflammation as an independent risk factor for dysplasia and CRC in patients with long-standing UC. Patients with CD are at elevated risk of developing extra-intestinal cancers compared to UC patients, whose risk seems to be similar to that of general population. CD patients are at increased risk of developing cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract, lung, urinary bladder and skin. Patients with UC have a significantly increased risk of liver-biliary cancer, but a decreased risk of lung cancer. Recent studies have shown an increased risk of non‐melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) in IBD patients, especially in those taking thiopurines. An increased risk of lymphoma has also been observed among IBD patients taking thiopurines. IBD can cause increased mortality. The research on overall and cause-specific mortality in IBD is to some extent contradictory. Earlier studies have documented a slightly increased overall mortality for UC patients compared with general population but most studies have reported no increased mortality risk. In contrast to UC, overall mortality for patients with CD has been increased according to most studies. Among patients with UC mortality from CRCs, gastrointestinal, respiratory and nonalcoholic liver diseases has been increased. The increased mortality among CD patients has been attributed an excess of mortality in gastrointestinal, respiratory, genitourinary, infectious and nonalcoholic liver disease. This thesis aims to evaluate overall burden of IBD in Finland by estimating the nationwide incidence of IBD during the period 2000 2007 and the nationwide prevalence of IBD and changes in the prevalence from 1993 to 2008 by analysing the unique, comprehensive Finnish reimbursement database. Our aim was also to test the North-South gradient hypothesis. We moreover had an opportunity to study vitamin D levels in Finland in the Health 2000 Survey. Our aim was also to assess the long-term risks of malignant diseases and the overall and cause-specific mortality among patients with IBD in a nationwide study in Finland. Finally, our aim was to assess whether the degree of microscopic inflammation is a risk factor for developing dysplasia or CRC in IBD, and to specify the risk for developing dysplasia in patients with no inflammation to better target surveillance in IBD.
  • Denisova, Oxana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Influenza viruses cause pandemics and annual epidemics which have serious consequences for public health and global economy. The severity of infections with influenza viruses can vary from asymptomatic to life-threatening viral pneumonias. Currently, four licensed anti-influenza drugs are available for the prevention and treatment of influenza virus infections. However, resistance to the licensed antivirals develops rapidly. Therefore, there is a need for next-generation antiviral agents to combat influenza virus infections. Recent advances in understanding influenza virus-host interactions have revealed a number of host targets for potential antiviral interventions. In particular, basic cellular functions, metabolic and biosynthesis pathways, as well as the signaling cascades could be modulated by small-molecule inhibitors to block virus infection. Moreover, temporal inhibition of these host functions will be less likely to induce viral drug resistance. In addition, many of the inhibitors of cellular functions are already approved or in clinical development for other diseases. Drug repurposing will facilitate their introduction for treatment of viral infections, since the pharmacokinetics and toxicity profile of these drugs are already known. In this work, a library of small-molecule inhibitors targeting host factors and potentially interfering with influenza virus infection was built and screened. Inhibitors of vacuolar proton-ATPase (v-ATPase), Akt kinase, ribonucleotide reductase and the anti-apoptotic B-cell lymphoma-2 family proteins showed antiviral activity in vitro. Saliphenylhalamide, an inhibitor of v-ATPase, was the most potent antiviral agent and it was effective against a broad range of influenza viruses and some other RNA viruses in vitro, and against a mouse adapted influenza strain in vivo. In order to overcome the low water solubility and high toxicity of saliphenylhalamide, bioavailability was optimized using a porous silicon particle-based delivery system for the putative clinical trials. The results presented in this study expand the understanding of influenza virus-host interactions, and provide a novel perspective for ways to adopt a rational approach in the discovery of new antiviral agents.
  • Karjalainen, Marjo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) is one of the major metabolizing enzymes. The muscle relaxant tizanidine is a selective substrate of CYP1A2, and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) rofecoxib was thought to modestly in-hibit it. Cases suggesting an interaction between tizanidine and rofecoxib had been reported, but the mechanism was unknown. Also other NSAIDs are often used in combination with muscle relaxants. The aims of this study were to investigate the effect of rofecoxib, several other NSAIDs and female sex steroids on CYP1A2 ac-tivity in vitro and in vivo, and to evaluate the predictability of in vivo inhibition based on in vitro data. In vitro, the effect of several NSAIDs, female sex steroids and model inhibitors on CYP1A2 activity was studied in human liver microsomes, without and with preincubation. In placebo controlled, cross-over studies healthy volunteers ingested a single dose of tizanidine after a pretreament with the inhibitor (rofecoxib, tolfenamic acid or celecoxib) or placebo. Plasma (and urine) concentrations of tizanidine and its metabolites were measured, and the pharmacodynamic effects were recorded. A caffeine test was also performed. In vitro, fluvoxamine, tolfenamic acid, mefenamic acid and rofecoxib potently in-hibited CYP1A2. Ethinylestradiol, celecoxib, desogestrel and zolmitriptan were moderate, and etodolac, ciprofloxacin, etoricoxib and gestodene were weak inhibi-tors of CYP1A2. At 100 µM, other tested NSAIDs and steroids inhibited CYP1A2 less than 35%. Rofecoxib was found to be a mechanism-based inhibitor of CYP1A2. In vivo, rofecoxib greatly increased the plasma concentrations (over ten-fold) and the pharmacodynamic effects of tizanidine. Also the metabolism of caf-feine was impaired by rofecoxib. Despite the relatively strong in vitro CYP1A2 inhibitory effects, tolfenamic acid and celecoxib did not have a significant effect on tizanidine and caffeine concentrations in humans. Competitive inhibition model and the free plasma concentration of the inhibitor predicted well the effect of fluvoxam-ine and the lack of effect of tolfenamic acid and celecoxib on tizanidine concentra-tions in humans, and mechanism-based inhibition model explained the effects of rofecoxib. However, the effects of ciprofloxacin and oral contraceptives were un-derestimated from the in vitro data. Rofecoxib is a potent mechanism-based inhibitor of CYP1A2 in vitro and in vivo. This mechanism may be involved in the adverse cardiovascular effects of rofecoxib. Tolfenamic acid and celecoxib seem to be safe in combination with tizanidine, but mefenamic acid might have some effect on tizanidine concentrations in vivo. Con-sidering the mechanism of inhibition, and using the free plasma concentration of the inhibitor, many but not all CYP1A2 interactions can be predicted from in vitro data.
  • Jormalainen, Mikko (2009)
    Cardiac surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) induces activation of inflammation and coagulation systems and is associated with ischemia-reperfusion injury (I/R injury)in various organs including the myocardium, lungs, and intestine. I/R injury is manifested as organ dysfunction. Thrombin, the key enzyme of coagulation , plays a cenral role also in inflammation and contributes to regulation of apoptosis as well. The general aim of this thesis was to evaluate the potential of thrombin inhibition in reducing the adverse effects of I/R injury in myocardium, lungs, and intestine associated with the use of CPB and cardiac surgery. Forty five pigs were used for the studies. Two randomized blinded studies were performed. Animals underwent 75 min of normothermic CPB, 60 min of aortic clamping, and 120 min of reperfusion period. Twenty animals received iv. recombinant hirudin, a selective and effective inbitor of thrombin, or placebo. In a similar setting, twenty animals received an iv-bolus (250 IU/kg) of antithrombin (AT) or placebo. An additional group of 5 animals received 500 IU/kg in an open label setting to test dose response. Generation of thrombin (TAT), coagulation status (ACT), and hemodynamics were measured. Intramucosal pH and pCO2 were measured from the luminal surface of ileum using tonometry simultaneusly with arterial gas analysis. In addition, myocardial, lung, and intestinal biopsies were taken to quantitate leukocyte infiltration (MPO), for histological evaluation, and detection of apoptosis (TUNEL, caspase 3). In conclusion, our data suggest that r-hirudin may be an effective inhibitor of reperfusion induced thrombin generation in addition to being a direct inhibitor of preformed thrombin. Overall, the results suggest that inhibition of thrombin, beyond what is needed for efficient anticoagulation by heparin, has beneficial effects on myocardial I/R injury and hemodynamics during cardiac surgery and CPB. We showed that infusion of the thrombin inhibitor r-hirudin during reperfusion was associated with attenuated post ischemia left ventricular dysfunction and decreased systemic vascular resistance. Consequently microvascular flow was improved during ischemia-reperfusion injury. Improved recovery of myocardium during the post-ischemic reperfusion period was associated with significantly less cardiomyocyte apoptosis and with a trend in anti-inflammatory effects. Thus, inhibition of reperfusion induced thrombin may offer beneficial effects by mechanisms other than direct anticoagulant effects. AT, in doses with a significant anticoagulant effect, did not alleviate myocardial I/R injury in terms of myocardial recovery, histological inflammatory changes or post-ischemic troponin T release. Instead, AT attenuated reperfusion induced increase in pulmonary pressure after CPB. Taken the clinical significance of postoperative pulmonary hemodynamics in patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass, the potential positive regulatory role of AT and clinical implications needs to be studied further. Inflammatory response in the gut wall proved to be poorly associated with perturbed mucosal perfusion and the animals with the least neutrophil tissue sequestration and I/R related histological alterations tended to have the most progressive mucosal hypoperfusion. Thus, mechanisms of low-flow reperfusion injury during CPB can differ from the mechanisms seen in total ischemia reperfusion injury.
  • Reijonen, Petri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The purpose of this dissertation was to study the applicability of minced autologous fascia graft for injection laryngoplasty of unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP). Permanence of augmentation and host versus graft tissue reactions were of special interest. The topic deals with phonosurgery, which is a subdivision of the Ear, Nose and Throat-speciality of medicine. UVFP results from an injury to the recurrent or the vagal nerve. The main symptom is a hoarse and weak voice. Surgery is warranted for patients in whom spontaneous reinnervation and a course of voice therapy fails to improve the voice. Injection laryngoplasty is a widespread surgical technique which aims to restore glottic closure by augmenting the atrophied vocal muscle, and also by turning the paralyzed vocal fold towards midline. Currently, there exists a great diversity of synthetic, xenologous, homologous, and autologous substances available for injection. An autologous graft is perfect in terms of biocompatibility. Free fascia grafts have been successfully used in the head and neck surgery for decades, but fascia had not been previously applied into the vocal fold. The fascia is harvested from the lateral thigh under local anesthesia and minced into paste by scissors. Injection of the vocal fold is performed in laryngomicroscopy under general anesthesia. Three series of clinical trials of injection laryngoplasty with autologous fascia (ILAF) for patients with UVFP were conducted at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology of the Helsinki University Central Hospital. The follow-up ranged from a few months to ten years. The aim was to document the vocal results and possible morbidity related to graft harvesting and vocal fold injection. To address the tissue reactions and the degree of reabsoprtion of the graft, an animal study with a follow-up ranging from 3 days to 12 months was performed at the National Laboratory Animal Center, University of Kuopio. Harvesting of the graft and injection was met with minor morbidity. Histological analysis of the vocal fold tissue showed that fascia was well tolerated. Although some resorption or compaction of the graft during the first months is evident, graft volume is maintained well. When injected deep and laterally into the vocalis muscle, the fascia graft allows normal vibration of the vocal fold mucosa to occur during phonation. Improvement of voice quality was seen in all series by multiple objective parameters of voice evaluation. However, the vocal results were poor in cases where the nerve trauma was severe, such as UVFP after chest surgery. ILAF is most suitable for correction of mild to moderate glottic gaps related to less severe nerve damage. Our results indicate that autologous fascia is a feasible and safe new injection material with good and stable vocal results. It offers a practical solution for surgeons who treat this complex issue.
  • Amdahl, Hanne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The environment is dominated by bacteria and every day our body has to defend itself against microbes. Since our immune system is very effective only the minority of microbes is able to enter and survive within the body. The complement system is the first line of innate immunity. It is able to recognize and distinguish between the host s own cells and non-host, such as microbes, via activation of three pathways: classical, lectin, and alternative pathway. All the pathways lead to C3b deposition onto target cell surfaces and eventually elimination of the target. To avoid destruction of host cells complement has to be strictly regulated and the main regulator of the alternative pathway is the elongated protein composed of twenty domains, factor H. Several microbes acquire host factor H via domains 5-7 and 19-20 onto their surfaces to protect themselves against complement attack. There is an increasing number of microbes with resistance against several antimicrobial agents. Therefore a detailed knowledge of host-pathogen interactions on structural and functional levels is important for the development of novel mechanisms to fight microbial infections. In this work we found that Bordetella pertussis and the closely related B. parapertussis utilized host factor H to protect themselves against complement attack. Furthermore, we revealed that pathogens representing Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and a yeast, bound factor H via a conserved binding site on the domain 20. By utilizing the specific binding site the microbial proteins enhanced the interaction between C3b and factor H. This resulted in a more efficient inactivation of C3b and subsequently enhanced evasion of complement mediated damage. While the number of pathogens reported to bind factor H is increasing, it is known that some pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus do not bind factor H but instead bind C3b via secreted molecules, i.e. extracellular complement binding protein (Ecb). We showed that factor H deposition on the surface of S. aureus could be induced by the formation of tripartite complexes between Ecb, C3b, and factor H. The results revealed that S. aureus is able to utilize host factor H in three ways - to promote the tripartite complex formation so that the C3 convertase cannot be formed, to prevent complement receptor 1 -binding leading to impaired opsonophagocytosis, and to prevent degradation of C3b to iC3b thereby preventing recognition of S. aureus by phagocytic receptors. The results presented in this thesis provide detailed understanding on host- or pathogen interactions on structural and functional basis that contribute to the development of new vaccines and antimicrobial compounds.
  • Kerminen, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Innate immunity and host defence are rapidly evoked by structurally invariant molecular motifs common to microbial world, called pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). In addition to PAMPs, endogenous molecules released in response to inflammation and tissue damage, danger associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), are required for eliciting the response. The most important PAMPs of viruses are viral nucleic acids, their genome or its replication intermediates, whereas the identity and characteristics of virus infection-induced DAMPs are poorly defined. PAMPs and DAMPs engage a limited set of germ-line encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in immune and non-immune cells. Membrane-bound Toll-like receptors (TLRs), cytoplasmic retinoic acid inducible gene-I (RIG-I)-like receptors (RLRs) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor (NLRs) are important PRRs involved in the recognition of the molecular signatures of viral infection, such as double-stranded ribonucleic acids (dsRNAs). Engagement of PRRs results in local and systemic innate immune responses which, when activated against viruses, evoke secretion of antiviral and pro-inflammatory cytokines, and programmed cell death i.e., apoptosis of the virus-infected cell. Macrophages are the central effector cells of innate immunity. They produce significant amounts of antiviral cytokines, called interferons (IFNs), and pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. IL-1β and IL-18 are synthesized as inactive precursors, pro-IL-1β and pro-IL-18, that are processed by caspase-1 in a cytoplasmic multiprotein complex, called the inflammasome. After processing, these cytokines are biologically active and will be secreted. The signals and secretory routes that activate inflammasomes and the secretion of IL-1β and IL-18 during virus infections are poorly characterized. The main goal of this thesis was to characterize influenza A virus-induced innate immune responses and host-virus interactions in human primary macrophages during an infection. Methodologically, various techniques of cellular and molecular biology, as well as proteomic tools combined with bioinformatics, were utilized. Overall, the thesis provides interesting insights into inflammatory and antiviral innate immune responses, and has characterized host-virus interactions during influenza A virus-infection in human primary macrophages.
  • Saraheimo, Markku (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Introduction: The pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy remains a matter of debate, although strong evidence suggests that it results from the interaction between susceptibility genes and the diabetic milieu. The true pathogenetic mechanism remains unknown, but a common denominator of micro- and macrovascular complications may exist. Some have suggested that low-grade inflammation and activation of the innate immune system might play a synergistic role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. Aims of the study: The present studies were undertaken to investigate whether low-grade inflammation, mannan-binding lectin (MBL) and α-defensin play a role, together with adiponectin, in patients with type 1 diabetes and diabetic nephropathy. Subjects and methods: This study is part of the ongoing Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy Study (FinnDiane). The first four cross-sectional substudies of this thesis comprised 194 patients with type 1 diabetes divided into three groups (normo-, micro-, and macroalbuminuria) according to their albumin excretion rate (AER). The fifth substudy aimed to determine whether baseline serum adiponectin plays a role in the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy. This follow-up study included 1330 patients with type 1 diabetes and a mean follow-up period of five years. The patients were divided into three groups depending on their AER at baseline. As a measure of low-grade inflammation, highly sensitive CRP (hsCRP) and α-defensin were measured with radio-immunoassay, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) with high- sensitivity enzyme immuno-assay. Mannan-binding lectin and adiponectin were determined with time-resolved immunofluorometric assays. The progression of albuminuria from one stage to the other served as a measure of the progression of diabetic nephropathy. Results: Low-grade inflammatory markers, MBL, adiponectin, and α-defensin were all associated with diabetic nephropathy, whereas MBL, adiponectin, and α-defensin per se were unassociated with low-grade inflammatory markers. AER was the only clinical variable independently associated with hsCRP. AER, HDL-cholesterol and the duration of diabetes were independently associated with IL-6. HbA1c was the only variable independently associated with MBL. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), AER, and waist-to-hip ratio were independently associated with adiponectin. Systolic blood pressure, HDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, age, and eGFR were all independently associated with α-defensin. In patients with macroalbuminuria, progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) was associated with higher baseline adiponectin concentrations. Discussion and conclusions: Low-grade inflammation, MBL, adiponectin, and defensin were all associated with diabetic nephropathy in these cross-sectional studies. In contrast however, MBL, adiponectin, and defensin were not associated with low-grade inflammatory markers per se. Nor was defensin associated with MBL, which may suggest that these different players function in a coordinated fashion during the deleterious process of diabetic nephropathy. The question of what causes low-grade inflammation in patients with type 1 diabetes and diabetic nephropathy, however, remains unanswered. We could observe in our study that glycemic control, an atherosclerotic lipid profile, and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were associated with low-grade inflammation in the univariate analysis, although in the multivariate analysis, only AER, HDL-cholesterol, and the duration of diabetes, as a measure of glycemic load, proved to be independently associated with inflammation. Notably, all these factors are modifiable with changes in lifestyle and/or with a targeted medication. In the follow-up study, elevated serum adiponectin levels at baseline predicted the progression from macroalbuminuria to ESRD independently of renal function at baseline. This observation does not preclude adiponectin as a favorable factor during the process of diabetic nephropathy, since the rise in serum adiponectin concentrations may remain a mechanism by which the body compensates for the demands created by the diabetic milieu.
  • Akkanen, Juho (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Background. In Finland, the incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is the highest in the world, and it continues to increase steadily. No effective preventative interventions exist either for individuals at high risk or for the population as a whole. In addition to problems with daily lifelong insulin replacement therapy, T1DM patients with long-lasting disease suffer from various diabetes related complications. The complications can lead to severe impairments and reductions in functional capacity and quality of life and in the worst case they can be fatal. Longitudinal studies on the costs of T1DM are extremely rare, especially in Finland. Typically, in these studies, distinctions between the various types of diabetes have not been made, and costs have not been calculated separately for the sexes. Aims. The aim of this study was to describe inpatient hospital care and costs of inpatient care in a cohort of 5,166 T1DM patients by sex during 1973-1998 in Finland. Inpatient care and costs of care due to T1DM without complications, due to T1DM with complications and due to other causes were calculated separately. Material and Methods. The study population consisted of all Finnish T1DM patients diagnosed before the age of 18 years between January 1st in 1965 and December 31st in 1979 and derived from the Finnish population based T1DM register (N=5,120 in 1979 and N=4,701 in 1997). Data on hospitalisations were obtained from the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register. Results. In the early stages of T1DM, the majority of the use of inpatient care was due to the treatment of T1DM without complications. There were enormous increases in the use of inpatient care for certain complications when T1DM lasted longer (from 9.5 years to 16.5 years). For women, the yearly number of bed-days for renal complications increased 4.8-fold, for peripheral vascular disease 4.3-fold and for ophthalmic complications 2.5-fold. For men, the corresponding increases were as follows: 5-fold, 6.9-fold and 2.5-fold. The yearly bed-days for glaucoma increased 8-fold, nephropathy 7-fold and microangiopathy 6-fold in the total population. During these 7 years, the yearly numbers of bed-days for T1DM without complications dropped dramatically. The length of stay in inpatient care decreased notably, but hospital visits became more frequent when the length of duration of T1DM increased from 9.5 years to 16.5 years. The costs of treatments due to complications increased when T1DM lasted longer. Costs due to inpatient care of complications in the cohort 2.5-folded as duration of T1DM increased from 9.5 years to 16.5 years, while the total costs of inpatient care in the cohort dropped by 22% due to an 80% decrease in the costs of care of T1DM without complications. Treating complications of female patients was more expensive than treating complications of men when T1DM had lasted 9.5 years; the mean annual costs for inpatient care of a female diabetic (any cause) were 1,642 , and the yearly costs of care of complications were 237 . The corresponding yearly mean costs for a male patient were 1,198 and 167 . Treating complications of female patients was more expensive than that of male patients also when the duration of diabetes was 16.5 years, although the difference in average annual costs between sexes was somewhat smaller. Conclusions. In the early phases of T1DM, the treatment of T1DM without complications causes a considerable amount of hospital bed-days. The use of inpatient care due to complications of T1DM strongly increases with ageing of patients. The economic burden of inpatient care of T1DM is substantial.
  • Koskinen, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, is triggered by dietary glutens in genetically susceptible individuals and it affects approximately 1% of the Caucasian population. The best known genetic risk factors for celiac disease are HLA DQ2 and DQ8 heterodimers, which are necessary for the development of the disease. However, they alone are not sufficient for disease induction, other risk factors are required. This thesis investigated genetic factors for celiac disease, concentrating on susceptibility loci on chromosomes 5q31-q33, 19p13 and 2q12 previously reported in genome-wide linkage and association studies. In addition, a novel genotyping method for the detection of HLA DQ2 and DQ8 coding haplotypes was validated. This study was conducted using Finnish and Hungarian family materials, and Finnish, Hungarian and Italian case-control materials. Genetic linkage and association were analysed in these materials using candidate gene and fine-mapping approaches. The results confirmed linkage to celiac disease on the chromosomal regions 5q31-q33 and 19p13. Fine-mapping on chromosome 5q31-q33 revealed several modest associations in the region, and highlighted the need for further investigations to locate the causal risk variants. The MYO9B gene on chromosome 19p13 showed evidence for linkage and association particularly with dermatitis herpetiformis, the skin manifestation of celiac disease. This implies a potential difference in the genetic background of the intestinal and skin forms of the disease, although studies on larger samplesets are required. The IL18RAP locus on chromosome 2q12, shown to be associated with celiac disease in a previous genome-wide association study and a subsequent follow-up, showed association in the Hungarian population in this study. The expression of IL18RAP was further investigated in small intestinal tissue and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The results showed that IL18RAP is expressed in the relevant tissues. Two putative isoforms of IL18RAP were detected by Western blot analysis, and the results suggested that the ratios and total levels of these isoforms may contribute to the aetiology of celiac disease. A novel genotyping method for celiac disease-associated HLA haplotypes was also validated in this thesis. The method utilises single-nucleotide polymorphisms tagging these HLA haplotypes with high sensitivity and specificity. Our results suggest that this method is transferable between populations, and it is suitable for large-scale analysis. In conclusion, this doctorate study provides an insight into the roles of the 5q31-q33, MYO9B, IL18RAP and HLA loci in the susceptibility to celiac disease in the Finnish, Hungarian and Italian populations, highlighting the need for further studies at these genetic loci and examination of the function of the candidate genes.
  • Tyrkkö, Elli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Drug analysis in forensic and clinical toxicology has traditionally relied on the use of primary reference standards (PRSs). However, the availability of PRSs for new drugs, new psychoactive substances (NPSs), and their metabolites is often limited. Full metabolite data of pharmaceutical drugs can be unpublished, and the metabolism of NPSs is often unknown. Knowledge of drug metabolism is highly important for toxicological risk assessment, analytical method development and forensic or clinical interpretation. Accurate mass measurement using liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry allows determination of the compound s elemental composition, which facilitates structural elucidation. Computer systems, i.e. simulation in silico, are available to speed up and assist with the interpretation of analytical data. In this thesis, current in silico systems were evaluated for their usefulness within accurate mass based toxicological drug screening. The aim was to produce supportive information for tentative compound identification without the necessity of possessing PRSs. Meteor software (Lhasa Limited) was employed to predict human metabolism of the antipsychotic drug quetiapine and four NPSs: 2-desoxypipradrol (2-DPMP), 3,4-dimethylmethcathinone (3,4-DMMC), α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP), and methiopropamine (MPA). The in vivo human metabolites were identified in urine samples. The metabolism of the NPSs was also studied in vitro in human liver microsomes. Two software tools for in silico mass fragmentation - ACD/MS Fragmenter (ACD/Labs) and SmartFormula3D (Bruker Daltonik) - were used for the structural elucidation of the compounds studied. The retention time prediction software ACD/ChromGenius (ACD/Labs) was used to calculate chromatographic retention times for a large set of compounds included in a target database for toxicological drug screening. The software systems proved to be useful in analytical toxicology procedures, especially with accurate mass data. In silico tools predicted most of the known metabolites of the compounds studied, and aided in the identification of new metabolites as well. The fragment assignment software facilitated the structural elucidation of unknown compounds, and they aided in the differentiation of structural isomers, which cannot be accomplished by accurate molecular mass alone. In silico retention time calculation offered information to be used with data from other software systems and accurate mass data. The in silico systems assist preliminary compound identification in cases where no respective PRS is obtainable. The present thesis demonstrates how in silico data can be applied to toxicological drug screening in support of compound identification from authentic urine samples.