Articles from BioMed Central


Recent Submissions

  • Loponen, Tiina; Lallukka, Tea; Holstila, Ansku; Lahti, Jouni (BioMed Central, 2015)
    Abstract Background Physical activity level and overweight have shown associations with mental health problems but it is not known whether the risk of mental health problems due to overweight varies by physical activity. We examined joint association of physical activity and overweight with subsequent psychotropic medication among 40–60-year-old employees. Methods The questionnaire survey data were derived from Helsinki Health Study baseline postal questionnaires in 2000–02 among employees of the City of Helsinki aged 40–60 years (n = 8960, response rate 67 %). Baseline survey data were linked with prospective register data on prescribed psychotropic medication (ATC-codes N05 and N06, except N06D) among those with written consent (74 %) for such linkage. The analyses included 6169 responders (78 % women, corresponding to the target population). We divided participants into six groups according to their baseline self-reported body mass index and leisure-time physical activity using physically highly active normal-weight participants as a reference group. We used Cox regression analysis adjusted for age, gender, psychotropic medication prior to baseline, and socioeconomic position, marital status, working conditions, limiting long-standing illness, alcohol use, and smoking. Results At baseline, 49 % were overweight and 23 % were physically inactive. After adjusting for age and gender, inactive normal-weight (hazard ratio (HR) 1.3, 95 % CI 1.1–1.5), moderately active overweight (HR 1.3, 95 % CI 1.1–1.5) and inactive overweight (HR 1.4, 95 % CI 1.2–1.6) had higher risk for any psychotropic medication compared with group of highly active normal-weight. After adjusting for prior medication, only the inactive overweight group had higher risk (HR 1.4, 95 % CI 1.2–1.6). Other covariates made but a minor contribution to the examined associations. For antidepressants the associations were somewhat stronger than for sedatives. Conclusions Both normal-weight and physical activity help prevent psychotropic medication but physical activity dominates the association over normal-weight.
  • Tenorio-Laranga, Jofre; Montoliu, Carmina; Urios, Amparo; Hernandez-Rabaza, Vicente; Ahabrach, Hanan; García-Horsman, J. A; Felipo, Vicente (BioMed Central, 2015)
    Abstract Background Liver failure in experimental animals or in human cirrhosis elicits neuroinflammation. Prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) has been implicated in neuroinflammatory events in neurodegenerative diseases: PREP protein levels are increased in brain glial cells upon neuroinflammatory insults, but the circulating PREP activity levels are decreased in multiple sclerosis patients in a process probably mediated by bioactive peptides. In this work, we studied the variation of PREP levels upon liver failure and correlated it with several inflammatory markers to conclude on the relation of PREP with systemic and/or neuroinflammation. Methods PREP enzymatic activity and protein levels measured with immunological techniques were determined in the brain and plasma of rats with portacaval shunt (PCS) and after treatment with ibuprofen. Those results were compared with the levels of PREP measured in plasma from cirrhotic patients with or without minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE). Levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines and those of NO/cGMP homeostasis metabolites were measured in PCS rats and cirrhotic patients to conclude on the role of PREP in inflammation. Results In PCA rats, we found that PREP levels are significantly increased in the hippocampus, striatum and cerebellum, that in the cerebellum the PREP increase was significantly found in the extracellular space and that the levels were restored to those measured in control rats after administration of an anti-inflammatory agent, ibuprofen. In cirrhotic patients, circulatory PREP activity was found to correlate to systemic and neuroinflammatory markers and had a negative correlation with the severity of the disease, although no clear relation to MHE. Conclusions These results support the idea that PREP levels could be used as indicators of cirrhosis severity in humans, and using other markers, it might contribute to assessing the level of neuroinflammation in those patients. This work reports, for the first time, that PREP is secreted to the extracellular space in the cerebellum most probably due to glial activation and supports the role of the peptidase in the inflammatory response.
  • Tabassum, Rubina; Sivadas, Ambily; Agrawal, Vartika; Tian, Haozheng; Arafat, Dalia; Gibson, Greg (BioMed Central, 2015)
    Abstract Background Personalized medicine is predicated on the notion that individual biochemical and genomic profiles are relatively constant in times of good health and to some extent predictive of disease or therapeutic response. We report a pilot study quantifying gene expression and methylation profile consistency over time, addressing the reasons for individual uniqueness, and its relation to N = 1 phenotypes. Methods Whole blood samples from four African American women, four Caucasian women, and four Caucasian men drawn from the Atlanta Center for Health Discovery and Well Being study at three successive 6-month intervals were profiled by RNA-Seq, miRNA-Seq, and Illumina Methylation 450 K arrays. Standard regression approaches were used to evaluate the proportion of variance for each type of omic measure among individuals, and to quantify correlations among measures and with clinical attributes related to wellness. Results Longitudinal omic profiles were in general highly consistent over time, with an average of 67 % variance in transcript abundance, 42 % in CpG methylation level (but 88 % for the most differentiated CpG per gene), and 50 % in miRNA abundance among individuals, which are all comparable to 74 % variance among individuals for 74 clinical traits. One third of the variance could be attributed to differential blood cell type abundance, which was also fairly stable over time, and a lesser amount to expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) effects. Seven conserved axes of covariance that capture diverse aspects of immune function explained over half of the variance. These axes also explained a considerable proportion of individually extreme transcript abundance, namely approximately 100 genes that were significantly up-regulated or down-regulated in each person and were in some cases enriched for relevant gene activities that plausibly associate with clinical attributes. A similar fraction of genes had individually divergent methylation levels, but these did not overlap with the transcripts, and fewer than 20 % of genes had significantly correlated methylation and gene expression. Conclusions People express an “omic personality” consisting of peripheral blood transcriptional and epigenetic profiles that are constant over the course of a year and reflect various types of immune activity. Baseline genomic profiles can provide a window into the molecular basis of traits that might be useful for explaining medical conditions or guiding personalized health decisions.
  • Korhonen, Rami K; Koistinen, Arto; Konttinen, Yrjö T; Santavirta, Seppo S; Lappalainen, Reijo (BioMed Central, 2005)
    Abstract Background Contact pressure of UHMWPE acetabular cup has been shown to correlate with wear in total hip replacement (THR). The aim of the present study was to test the hypotheses that the cup geometry, abduction angle, thickness and clearance can modify the stresses in cemented polyethylene cups. Methods Acetabular cups with different geometries (Link®: IP and Lubinus eccentric) were tested cyclically in a simulator at 45° and 60° abduction angles. Finite element (FE) meshes were generated and two additional designs were reconstructed to test the effects of the cup clearance and thickness. Contact pressures at cup-head and cup-cement interfaces were calculated as a function of loading force at 45°, 60° and 80° abduction angles. Results At the cup-head interface, IP experienced lower contact pressures than the Lubinus eccentric at low loading forces. However, at higher loading forces, much higher contact pressures were produced on the surface of IP cup. An increase in the abduction angle increased contact pressure in the IP model, but this did not occur to any major extent with the Lubinus eccentric model. At the cup-cement interface, IP experienced lower contact pressures. Increased clearance between cup and head increased contact pressure both at cup-head and cup-cement interfaces, whereas a decreased thickness of polyethylene layer increased contact pressure only at the cup-cement interface. FE results were consistent with experimental tests and acetabular cup deformations. Conclusion FE analyses showed that geometrical design, thickness and abduction angle of the acetabular cup, as well as the clearance between the cup and head do change significantly the mechanical stresses experienced by a cemented UHMWPE acetabular cup. These factors should be taken into account in future development of THR prostheses. FE technique is a useful tool with which to address these issues.
  • Hanifeh, Mohsen; Heilmann, Romy M; Sankari, Satu; Rajamäki, Minna M; Mäkitalo, Laura; Syrjä, Pernilla; Kilpinen, Susanne; Suchodolski, Jan S; Steiner, Jörg M; Spillmann, Thomas (BioMed Central, 2015)
    Abstract Background Relatively few laboratory markers have been evaluated for the detection or monitoring of intestinal inflammation in canine chronic enteropathies, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Previous research found that the intestinal mucosal levels of S100A12 and myeloperoxidase (MPO), as biomarkers of gut inflammation, were elevated in human patients with IBD. To date, the S100A12 and MPO levels in intestinal mucosal samples from either healthy dogs or from dogs suffering from IBD remain unreported. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the mucosal S100A12 and MPO levels in four different parts of the intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum and colon) in 12 healthy laboratory Beagle dogs using the ELISA and spectrophotometric methods, respectively. Results Based on histological examinations, the recorded findings for all the samples were considered normal. The mucosal concentration of S100A12 in the ileum was significantly higher than in all other segments of the intestine (p < 0.05). MPO activity was significantly higher in the ileal, jejunal and duodenal than in colonic mucosal samples (p < 0.05). Moreover, its concentration was higher in the jejunum than in the duodenum. Conclusions This study showed that S100A12 and MPO are reliably detectable in canine intestinal mucosa. The assays used appeared to be sufficient to further evaluate the role of S100A12 and MPO in the pathogenesis of canine chronic enteropathies, including IBD. These biomarkers may play a role in the initial detection of gut inflammation suggesting the need for further investigations to confirm IBD or to differentiate between IBD subtypes. Understanding the role of S100A12 and MPO in the pathogenesis of chronic intestinal inflammation in future may result in an improved understanding of canine chronic intestinal inflammation.
  • Hynönen, Ulla; Kant, Ravi; Lähteinen, Tanja; Pietilä, Taija E; Beganović, Jasna; Smidt, Hauke; Uroić, Ksenija; Åvall-Jääskeläinen, Silja; Palva, Airi (BioMed Central, 2014)
    Abstract Background Adhesiveness to intestinal epithelium, beneficial immunomodulating effects and the production of pathogen-inhibitory compounds are generally considered as beneficial characteristics of probiotic organisms. We showed the potential health-promoting properties and the mechanisms of probiotic action of seven swine intestinal Lactobacillus amylovorus isolates plus the type strain (DSM 20531T) by investigating their adherence to porcine intestinal epithelial cells (IPEC-1) and mucus as well as the capacities of the strains to i) inhibit the adherence of Escherichia coli to IPEC-1 cells, ii) to produce soluble inhibitors against intestinal pathogens and iii) to induce immune signaling in dendritic cells (DCs). Moreover, the role of the L. amylovorus surface (S) –layers - symmetric, porous arrays of identical protein subunits present as the outermost layer of the cell envelope - in adherence to IPEC-1 cells was assessed using a novel approach which utilized purified cell wall fragments of the strains as carriers for the recombinantly produced S-layer proteins. Results Three of the L. amylovorus strains studied adhered to IPEC-1 cells, while four strains inhibited the adherence of E. coli, indicating additional mechanisms other than competition for binding sites being involved in the inhibition. None of the strains bound to porcine mucus. The culture supernatants of all of the strains exerted inhibitory effects on the growth of E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria and Yersinia, and a variable, strain-dependent induction was observed of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in human DCs. L. amylovorus DSM 16698 was shown to carry two S-layer-like proteins on its surface in addition to the major S-layer protein SlpA. In contrast to expectations, none of the major S-layer proteins of the IPEC-1 -adhering strains mediated bacterial adherence. Conclusions We demonstrated adhesive and significant pathogen inhibitory efficacies among the swine intestinal L. amylovorus strains studied, pointing to their potential use as probiotic feed supplements, but no independent role could be demonstrated for the major S-layer proteins in adherence to epithelial cells. The results indicate that many intestinal bacteria may coexist with and confer benefits to the host by mechanisms not attributable to adhesion to epithelial cells or mucus.
  • Valtonen, Mia; Palo, Jukka U; Aspi, Jouni; Ruokonen, Minna; Kunnasranta, Mervi; Nyman, Tommi (BioMed Central, 2014)
    Abstract Background Small, genetically uniform populations may face an elevated risk of extinction due to reduced environmental adaptability and individual fitness. Fragmentation can intensify these genetic adversities and, therefore, dispersal and gene flow among subpopulations within an isolated population is often essential for maintaining its viability. Using microsatellite and mtDNA data, we examined genetic diversity, spatial differentiation, interregional gene flow, and effective population sizes in the critically endangered Saimaa ringed seal (Phoca hispida saimensis), which is endemic to the large but highly fragmented Lake Saimaa in southeastern Finland. Results Microsatellite diversity within the subspecies (H E = 0.36) ranks among the lowest thus far recorded within the order Pinnipedia, with signs of ongoing loss of individual heterozygosity, reflecting very low effective subpopulation sizes. Bayesian assignment analyses of the microsatellite data revealed clear genetic differentiation among the main breeding areas, but interregional structuring was substantially weaker in biparentally inherited microsatellites (F ST = 0.107) than in maternally inherited mtDNA (F ST = 0.444), indicating a sevenfold difference in the gene flow mediated by males versus females. Conclusions Genetic structuring in the population appears to arise from the joint effects of multiple factors, including small effective subpopulation sizes, a fragmented lacustrine habitat, and behavioural dispersal limitation. The fine-scale differentiation found in the landlocked Saimaa ringed seal is especially surprising when contrasted with marine ringed seals, which often exhibit near-panmixia among subpopulations separated by hundreds or even thousands of kilometres. Our results demonstrate that population structures of endangered animals cannot be predicted based on data on even closely related species or subspecies.
  • Castrén, Eeva; Sillat, Tarvo; Oja, Sofia; Noro, Ariel; Laitinen, Anita; Konttinen, Yrjö T; Lehenkari, Petri; Hukkanen, Mika; Korhonen, Matti (BioMed Central, 2015)
    Abstract Introduction Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have been intensely studied for the purpose of developing solutions for clinical tissue engineering. Autologous MSCs can potentially be used to replace tissue defects, but the procedure also carries risks such as immunization and xenogeneic infection. Replacement of the commonly used fetal calf serum (FCS) with human platelet lysate and plasma (PLP) to support cell growth may reduce some of these risks. Altered media could, however, influence stem cell differentiation and we address this experimentally. Methods We examined human MSC differentiation into the osteoblast lineage using in vitro two- and three-dimensional cultures with PLP or FCS as cell culture medium supplements. Differentiation was followed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and alkaline phosphatase activity, matrix formation and matrix calcium content were quantified. Results Three-dimensional culture, where human MSCs were grown on collagen sponges, markedly stimulated osteoblast differentiation; a fourfold increase in calcium deposition could be observed in both PLP and FCS groups. PLP-grown cells showed robust osteogenic differentiation both in two- and three-dimensional MSC cultures. The calcium content of the matrix in the two-dimensional PLP group at day 14 was 2.2-fold higher in comparison to the FCS group (p < 0.0001), and at day 21 it was still 1.3-fold higher (p < 0.001), suggesting earlier calcium accumulation to the matrix in the PLP group. This was supported by stronger Alizarin Red staining in the PLP group at day 14. In two-dimesional PLP cultures, cellular proliferation appeared to decrease during later stages of differentiation, while in the FCS group the number of cells increased throughout the experiment. In three-dimensional experiments, the PLP and FCS groups behaved more congruently, except for the alkaline phosphatase activity and mRNA levels which were markedly increased by PLP. Conclusions Human PLP was at least equal to FCS in supporting osteogenic differentiation of human MSCs in two- and three-dimensional conditions; however, proliferation was inferior. As PLP is free of animal components, and thus represents reduced risk for xenogeneic infection, its use for human MSC-induced bone repair in the clinic by the three-dimensional live implants presented here appears a promising therapy option.
  • Ito, Akira; Okamoto, Munehiro; Li, Tiaoying; Wandra, Toni; Dharmawan, Nyoman S; Swastika, Kadek I; Dekumyoy, Paron; Kusolsuk, Teera; Davvajav, Abmed; Davaasuren, Anu; Dorjsuren, Temuulen; Mekonnen, Sissay M; Negasi, Zerihun H; Yanagida, Tetsuya; Sako, Yasuhito; Nakao, Minoru; Nakaya, Kazuhiro; Lavikainen, Antti J; Nkouawa, Agathe; Mohammadzadeh, Tahereh (BioMed Central, 2011)
    Abstract The first workshop towards the control of cestode zoonoses in Asia and Africa was held in Asahikawa Medical University, Japan on 15 and 16 Feb 2011. This meeting was fully supported by the Asian Science and Technology Strategic Cooperation Promotion Programs sponsored by the Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education Japan (MEXT) for 3 years from 2010 to Akira Ito. A total of 24 researchers from 9 countries joined together and discussed the present situation and problems towards the control of cestode zoonoses. As the meeting was simultaneously for the establishment of joint international, either bilateral or multilateral collaboration projects, the main purposes were directed to 1) how to detect taeniasis/cysticercosis infected patients, 2) how to differentiate Taenia solium from two other human Taenia species, T. saginata and T. asiatica, 3) how to evaluate T. asiatica based on the evidence of hybrid and hybrid-derived adult tapeworms from Thailand and China, 4) how to evaluate T. solium and T. hyaenae and other Taenia species from the wild animals in Ethiopia, and 5) how to detect echinococcosis patients and 6) how to differentiate Echinococcus species worldwide. Such important topics are summarized in this meeting report.
  • Bien, Justyna; Näreaho, Anu; Varmanen, Pekka; Gozdzik, Katarzyna; Moskwa, Bozena; Cabaj, Wladyslaw; Nyman, Tuula A; Savijoki, Kirsi (BioMed Central, 2012)
    Abstract Background Trichinellosis is a zoonotic disease in humans caused by Trichinella spp. The present study was undertaken to discover excretory-secretory (E-S) proteins from T. spiralis and T. britovi muscle larvae (ML) that hold promise for species-specific diagnostics. To that end, the purified E-S proteins were analyzed by fluorescent two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) coupled with protein identification by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). To search for immunoreactive proteins that are specifically recognized by host antibodies the E-S proteins were subjected to two-dimensional (2-DE) immunoblotting with antisera derived from pigs experimentally infected with T. spiralis or T. britovi. Results According to 2-D DIGE analysis, a total of twenty-two proteins including potentially immunogenic proteins and proteins produced only by one of the two Trichinella species were subjected to LC-MS/MS for protein identification. From these proteins seventeen could be identified, of which many were identified in multiple spots, suggesting that they have undergone post-translational modification, possibly involving glycosylation and/or proteolysis. These proteins included 5'-nucleotidase, serine-type protease/proteinase, and p43 glycoprotein (gp43) as well as 49 kDa E-S protein (p49). Our findings also suggest that some of the commonly identified proteins were post-translationally modified to different extents, which in certain cases seemed to result in species-specific modification. Both commonly and specifically recognized immunoreactive proteins were identified by 2-DE immunoblotting; shared antigens were identified as gp43 and different protease variants, whereas those specific to T. britovi included multiple isoforms of the 5'-nucleotidase. Conclusions Both 2-D DIGE and 2-DE immunoblotting approaches indicate that T. spiralis and T. britovi produce somewhat distinctive antigen profiles, which contain E-S antigens with potential as species-specific diagnostic markers for Trichinella. Our results also demonstrate the value of 2-D DIGE as a versatile tool to compare secretomes of different Trichinella species for pinpointing factors contributing to the interaction with the host.
  • Koli, Raika; Köhler, Klaus; Tonteri, Elina; Peltonen, Juha; Tikkanen, Heikki; Fogelholm, Mikael (BioMed Central, 2015)
    Abstract Background Several studies have shown that cocoa and cocoa-containing foods have the potential to lower blood pressure and improve endothelial function. Most of the studies reporting the beneficial effects of dark chocolate on blood pressure have been short (≤ 4 weeks). The aim of the present 8-wks (weeks) study was to assess the effects of regular consumption of dark chocolate during a reduced snack consumption intervention on blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors in mildly hypertensive individuals. Design This was a randomized, controlled, cross-over trial involving 22 adults (8 women, 14 men), aged 33–64 y, BMI 27.7 ± 3.7 kg/m2 with mild hypertension. During the intervention period (8-wks) the participants reduced the intake of habitual snacks and replaced them with dark chocolate (49 g/day). In the control period, they only reduced the snacks without any added chocolate. Data (blood lipid profile, glucose, insulin, 24 h blood pressure) was collected in the beginning and end of both periods (intervention and control), and some variables also in the run-in and run-out periods (weight, body fat percentage, blood pressure, arterial stiffness index, diet and physical activity). Results Daily consumption of dark chocolate had no effects on 24 h blood pressure, resting blood pressure (mean ± SD, pre 142 ± 11.5/89 ± 8.4 mmHg vs. post 142 ± 14.2/88 ± 9.4 mmHg in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively) or arterial stiffness (mean ± SD, pre 7.68 ± 0.88 vs. post 7.76 ± 0.89). Weight was reduced by 1.0 ± 2.2 kg during the control (reduced snack only) period, but was unchanged while eating chocolate (p < 0.027 between the treatments). Conclusion The data collected in this study indicates that inclusion of dark chocolate daily in the diet had no significant effects on blood pressure or other cardiovascular risk factors during a reduced snack period. Trial registration identifier NCT02130141
  • Antonios, Gregory; Saiepour, Nasrin; Bouter, Yvonne; Richard, Bernhard C; Paetau, Anders; Verkkoniemi-Ahola, Auli; Lannfelt, Lars; Ingelsson, Martin; Kovacs, Gabor G; Pillot, Thierry; Wirths, Oliver; Bayer, Thomas A (BioMed Central, 2013)
    Abstract Background The amyloid hypothesis in Alzheimer disease (AD) considers amyloid β peptide (Aβ) deposition causative in triggering down-stream events like neurofibrillary tangles, cell loss, vascular damage and memory decline. In the past years N-truncated Aβ peptides especially N-truncated pyroglutamate AβpE3-42 have been extensively studied. Together with full-length Aβ1–42 and Aβ1–40, N-truncated AβpE3-42 and Aβ4–42 are major variants in AD brain. Although Aβ4–42 has been known for a much longer time, there is a lack of studies addressing the question whether AβpE3-42 or Aβ4–42 may precede the other in Alzheimer’s disease pathology. Results Using different Aβ antibodies specific for the different N-termini of N-truncated Aβ, we discovered that Aβ4-x preceded AβpE3-x intraneuronal accumulation in a transgenic mouse model for AD prior to plaque formation. The novel Aβ4-x immunoreactive antibody NT4X-167 detected high molecular weight aggregates derived from N-truncated Aβ species. While NT4X-167 significantly rescued Aβ4–42 toxicity in vitro no beneficial effect was observed against Aβ1–42 or AβpE3-42 toxicity. Phenylalanine at position four of Aβ was imperative for antibody binding, because its replacement with alanine or proline completely prevented binding. Although amyloid plaques were observed using NT4X-167 in 5XFAD transgenic mice, it barely reacted with plaques in the brain of sporadic AD patients and familial cases with the Arctic, Swedish and the presenilin-1 PS1Δ9 mutation. A consistent staining was observed in blood vessels in all AD cases with cerebral amyloid angiopathy. There was no cross-reactivity with other aggregates typical for other common neurodegenerative diseases showing that NT4X-167 staining is specific for AD. Conclusions Aβ4-x precedes AβpE3-x in the well accepted 5XFAD AD mouse model underlining the significance of N-truncated species in AD pathology. NT4X-167 therefore is the first antibody reacting with Aβ4-x and represents a novel tool in Alzheimer research.
  • Syrjänen, Leo; Valanne, Susanna; Kuuslahti, Marianne; Tuomela, Tea; Sriram, Ashwin; Sanz, Alberto; Jacobs, Howard T; Rämet, Mika; Parkkila, Seppo (BioMed Central, 2015)
    Abstract Background Carbonic anhydrases (CAs, EC are ubiquitous enzymes that catalyze the reversible hydration reaction of carbon dioxide. CAs are present as six structurally divergent enzyme families: α, β, γ, δ, ζ and η. β-CAs have a wide distribution across different species including invertebrates. Previously, we showed that Drosophila melanogaster β-CA is a highly active mitochondrial enzyme. In this study, we investigated the function of Drosophila β-CA by silencing the expression of the β-CA gene using UAS/GAL4-based RNA interference (RNAi) in Drosophila in vivo. Results Crossing β-CA RNAi lines over ubiquitous Actin driver flies did not produce any viable progeny, indicating that β-CA expression is required for fly development. RNAi silencing of β-CA ubiquitously in adult flies did not affect their survival rate or function of mitochondrial electron transport chain. Importantly, β-CA RNAi led to impaired reproduction. All β-CA knockdown females were sterile, and produced few or no eggs. Whole ovaries of knockdown females looked normal but upon cadherin staining, there was an apparent functional defect in migration of border cells, which are considered essential for normal fertilization. Conclusions These results indicate that although Drosophila β-CA is dispensable for survival of adult flies, it is essential for female fertility.
  • Lee, Jamie; Prokopec, Stephenie D; Watson, John D; Sun, Ren X; Pohjanvirta, Raimo; Boutros, Paul C (BioMed Central, 2015)
    Abstract Background 2,3,7,8–tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dixion (TCDD) is the most potent of the dioxin congeners, capable of causing a wide range of toxic effects across numerous animal models. Previous studies have demonstrated that males and females of the same species can display divergent sensitivity phenotypes to TCDD toxicities. Although it is now clear that most TCDD-induced toxic outcomes are mediated by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), the mechanism of differential responses to TCDD exposure between sexes remains largely unknown. To investigate the differential sensitivities in male and female mice, we profiled the hepatic transcriptomic responses 4 days following exposure to various amounts of TCDD (125, 250, 500 or 1000 μg/kg) in adult male and female C57BL/6Kuo mice. Results Several key findings were revealed by our study. 1) Hepatic transcriptomes varied significantly between the sexes at all doses examined. 2) The liver transcriptome of males was more dysregulated by TCDD than that of females. 3) The alteration of “AHR-core” genes was consistent in magnitude, regardless of sex. 4) A subset of genes demonstrated sex-dependent TCDD-induced transcriptional changes, including Fmo3 and Nr1i3, which were significantly induced in livers of male mice only. In addition, a meta-analysis was performed to contrast transcriptomic profiles of various organisms and tissues following exposure to equitoxic doses of TCDD. Minimal overlap was observed in the differences between TCDD-sensitive or TCDD-resistant models. Conclusions Sex-dependent sensitivities to TCDD exposure are associated with a set of sex-specific TCDD-responsive genes. In addition, complex interactions between the aryl hydrocarbon and sex hormone receptors may affect the observable differences in sensitivity phenotypes between the sexes. Further work is necessary to better understand the roles of those genes altered by TCDD in a sex-dependent manner, and their association with changes to sex hormones and receptors.
  • Kaunisto, Jaana; Kelloniemi, K.; Sutinen, E.; Hodgson, U.; Piilonen, A.; Kaarteenaho, R.; Mäkitaro, R.; Purokivi, M.; Lappi-Blanco, E.; Saarelainen, S.; Kankaanranta, H.; Mursu, A.; Kanervisto, M.; Salomaa, E-R.; Myllärniemi, M. (BioMed Central, 2015)
    Abstract Background The FinnishIPF registry is a prospective, longitudinal national registry study on the epidemiology of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). It was designed to describe the characteristics, management and prognosis of prevalent and incident IPF patients. The study was initiated in 2012. Methods We present here results limited to five university hospitals. Patients with IPF were screened from hospital registries using ICD-10 diagnosis codes J84.1 and J84.9. All patients who gave informed consent were included and evaluated using novel diagnostic criteria. Point prevalence on the 31st of December in 2012 was calculated using the reported population in each university hospital city as the denominator. Results Patients with ICD-10 codes J84.1 and J84.9 yielded a heterogeneous group – on the basis of patient records assessed by pulmonologists only 20–30 % of the cases were IPF. After clinical, radiological and histological re-evaluation 111 of 123 (90 %) of patients fulfilled the clinical criteria of IPF. The estimated prevalence of IPF was 8.6 cases/100 000. 60.4 % were men. Forty four percent of the patients were never-smokers. At diagnosis, the patients’ mean age was 73.5 years and mean FVC was 80.4 % and DLCO 57.3 % of predicted. Conclusions Our results suggest that hospital registries are inaccurate for epidemiological studies unless patients are carefully re-evaluated. IPF is diagnosed in Finland at a stage when lung function is still quite well preserved. Smoking in patients with IPF was less common than in previous reports.