Luis Kutner and the development of the advance directive (living will)
- It is well known that Luis Kutner (1908-1993) played an important role in the development of the living will (advance directive, Patientenverfügung). But it is not clear when he developed his concept. We have screened the Luis Kutner Papers,deposited at the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University to answer this question. We found out that in the second half of 1967, Kutner dealt intensively with the issue of euthanasia. On December 7, 1967, he delivered a speech at the annual meeting of the Euthanasia Society in New York and presented the concept of the living will to the audience. So Kutner surely was a pioneer in this field, but further research is necessary to clarify, if he (or maybe Elsa W. Simon or Abraham L. Wolbarst) was the "originator" of the living will concept in the sense of passive euthanasia.
ND3, ND1 and 39kDa subunits are more exposed in the de-active form of bovine mitochondrial complex I
Catherine H. Botting
- An intriguing feature of mitochondrial complex I from several species is the so-called A/D transition, whereby the idle enzyme spontaneously converts from the active (A) form to the de-active (D) form. The A/D transition plays an important role in tissue response to the lack of oxygen and hypoxic deactivation of the enzyme is one of the key regulatory events that occur in mitochondria during ischaemia. We demonstrate for the first time that the A/D conformational change of complex I does not affect the macromolecular organisation of supercomplexes in vitro as revealed by two types of native electrophoresis. Cysteine 39 of the mitochondrially-encoded ND3 subunit is known to become exposed upon de-activation. Here we show that even if complex I is a constituent of the I+III2+IV (S1) supercomplex, cysteine 39 is accessible for chemical modification in only the D-form. Using lysine-specific fluorescent labelling and a DIGE-like approach we further identified two new subunits involved in structural rearrangements during the A/D transition: ND1 (MT-ND1) and 39kDa (NDUFA9). These results clearly show that structural rearrangements during de-activation of complex I include several subunits located at the junction between hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains, in the region of the quinone binding site. De-activation of mitochondrial complex I results in concerted structural rearrangement of membrane subunits which leads to the disruption of the sealed quinone chamber required for catalytic turnover.
Memory Concerns, Memory Performance and Risk of Dementia in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment
Friedel M. Reischies
- Background: Concerns about worsening memory (“memory concerns”; MC) and impairment in memory performance are both predictors of Alzheimer's dementia (AD). The relationship of both in dementia prediction at the pre-dementia disease stage, however, is not well explored. Refined understanding of the contribution of both MC and memory performance in dementia prediction is crucial for defining at-risk populations. We examined the risk of incident AD by MC and memory performance in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Methods: We analyzed data of 417 MCI patients from a longitudinal multicenter observational study. Patients were classified based on presence (n = 305) vs. absence (n = 112) of MC. Risk of incident AD was estimated with Cox Proportional-Hazards regression models.
Results: Risk of incident AD was increased by MC (HR = 2.55, 95%CI: 1.33–4.89), lower memory performance (HR = 0.63, 95%CI: 0.56–0.71) and ApoE4-genotype (HR = 1.89, 95%CI: 1.18–3.02). An interaction effect between MC and memory performance was observed. The predictive power of MC was greatest for patients with very mild memory impairment and decreased with increasing memory impairment.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that the power of MC as a predictor of future dementia at the MCI stage varies with the patients' level of cognitive impairment. While MC are predictive at early stage MCI, their predictive value at more advanced stages of MCI is reduced. This suggests that loss of insight related to AD may occur at the late stage of MCI.
Sustained release of triamcinolone acetonide from an intratympanically applied hydrogel designed for the delivery of high glucocorticoid doses
- The pharmacokinetic properties and tolerability of a triamcinolone acetonide poloxamer 407 hydrogel for intratympanic application were investigated in a guinea pig model. Evaluation of in vivo release kinetics showed very high initial perilymph drug levels, with clinically relevant levels present for a minimum of 10 days. Assessment of auditory brainstem response thresholds showed a minimal, delayed and transient threshold shift, which was apparent on day 3 and resolved by day 10. No relevant histological changes of the middle and inner ear structures were noted, and hair cell counts showed no significant differences between treated and untreated ears. Thus, the triamcinolone-acetonide-loaded poloxamer 407 hydrogel is an effective vehicle for sustained high-dose inner ear glucocorticoid delivery.
kurz und kn@pp news : Nr. 30
kurz und kn@pp news : Nr. 31
Propensity matched analysis of longterm outcomes following transcatheter based aortic valve implantation versus classic aortic valve replacement in patients with previous cardiac surgery
Christian F. Weber
- Background: The aim of this study was to compare outcome of patients with previous cardiac surgery undergoing transapical aortic valve implantation (Redo-TAVI) to those undergoing classic aortic valve replacement (Redo-AVR) by using propensity analysis.
Methods: From January 2005 through May 2012, 52 high-risk patients underwent Redo-TAVI using a pericardial xenograft fixed within a stainless steel, balloon-expandable stent (Edwards SAPIEN™). During the same period of time 167 patients underwent classic Redo-AVR. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify covariates among 11 baseline patient variables including the type of initial surgery. Using the significant regression coefficients, each patient’s propensity score was calculated, allowing selectively matched subgroups of 40 patients each. Initial surgery included coronary artery bypass grafting in 30 patients, aortic valve replacement in 7 patients and mitral valve reconstruction in 3 patients in each group. Follow-up was 4 ± 2 years and was 100% complete.
Results: Postoperative chest tube drainage (163 ± 214 vs. 562 ± 332 ml/24 h, p = 0.02) and incidence of early permanent neurologic deficit (0 vs. 13%, p = 0.04) was lower in patients with Redo-TAVI and there was a trend towards improved 30-day survival (p = 0.06). Also we detected a decreased ventilation time (p = 0.04) and lower transfusion rate of allogenic blood products (p ≤ 0.05) in the Redo-TAVI group. At late follow up differences regarding incidence of major adverse events, including death and permanent neurologic deficits (25% vs. 43%, p = 0.01) statistically supported early postoperative findings.
Conclusion: The encouraging results regarding early and long-term outcomes following TAVI in patients with previous cardiac surgery show, that this evolving approach may be particularly beneficial in this patient cohort.
The role of RNA interference in the developmental separation of blood and lymphatic vasculature
- Background: Dicer is an RNase III enzyme that cleaves double stranded RNA and generates functional interfering RNAs that act as important regulators of gene and protein expression. Dicer plays an essential role during mouse development because the deletion of the dicer gene leads to embryonic death. In addition, dicer-dependent interfering RNAs regulate postnatal angiogenesis. However, the role of dicer is not yet fully elucidated during vascular development.
Methods: In order to explore the functional roles of the RNA interference in vascular biology, we developed a new constitutive Cre/loxP-mediated inactivation of dicer in tie2 expressing cells.
Results: We show that cell-specific inactivation of dicer in Tie2 expressing cells does not perturb early blood vessel development and patterning. Tie2-Cre; dicerfl/fl mutant embryos do not show any blood vascular defects until embryonic day (E)12.5, a time at which hemorrhages and edema appear. Then, midgestational lethality occurs at E14.5 in mutant embryos. The developing lymphatic vessels of dicer-mutant embryos are filled with circulating red blood cells, revealing an impaired separation of blood and lymphatic vasculature.
Conclusion: Thus, these results show that RNA interference perturbs neither vasculogenesis and developmental angiogenesis, nor lymphatic specification from venous endothelial cells but actually provides evidence for an epigenetic control of separation of blood and lymphatic vasculature.
Profile of ocriplasmin and its potential in the treatment of vitreomacular adhesion
Francisco R. Stefanini
Amir H. Kashani
Mark S. Humayun
Michael J. Koss
- The recent approval by the US Food and Drug Administration of ocriplasmin for the treatment of symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion (VMA), often associated with vitreomacular traction (VMT) and macular hole (MH), has brought new attention to the field of pharmacologic vitreolysis. The need for an enzyme to split the vitreomacular interface, which is formed by a strong adhesive interaction between the posterior vitreous cortex and the internal limiting membrane, historically stems from pediatric eye surgery. This review summarizes the different anatomic classifications of posterior vitreous detachment or anomalous posterior vitreous detachment and puts these in the context of clinical pathologies commonly observed in clinical practice of the vitreoretinal specialist, such as MH, VMT, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic macular edema. We revisit the outcome of the Phase II studies that indicated ocriplasmin was a safe and effective treatment for selected cases of symptomatic VMA and MH. Release of VMA at day 28 was achieved by 26.5% of patients in the ocriplasmin group versus 10.1% in the placebo group (P<0.001). Interestingly, for MHs, the numbers were more remarkable. Predictive factors for successful ocriplasmin treatment were identified for VMT (VMA diameter smaller than 1,500 µm) and MH (smaller than 250 µm). In comparison with the highly predictable outcome after vitrectomy, the general success rate of ocriplasmin not under clinical trial conditions has not fully met expectations and needs to be proven in real-world clinical settings. The ocriplasmin data will be compared in the future with observational data on spontaneous VMA release, will help retina specialists make more accurate predictions, and will improve outcome rates.
Sestrin-2, a repressor of PDGFRβ signalling, promotes cigarette-smoke-induced pulmonary emphysema in mice and is upregulated in individuals with COPD
K. C. Kent Lloyd
Harald von Melchner
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. COPD is caused by chronic exposure to cigarette smoke and/or other environmental pollutants that are believed to induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) that gradually disrupt signalling pathways responsible for maintaining lung integrity. Here we identify the antioxidant protein sestrin-2 (SESN2) as a repressor of PDGFRβ signalling, and PDGFRβ signalling as an upstream regulator of alveolar maintenance programmes. In mice, the mutational inactivation of Sesn2 prevents the development of cigarette-smoke-induced pulmonary emphysema by upregulating PDGFRβ expression via a selective accumulation of intracellular superoxide anions (O2−). We also show that SESN2 is overexpressed and PDGFRβ downregulated in the emphysematous lungs of individuals with COPD and to a lesser extent in human lungs of habitual smokers without COPD, implicating a negative SESN2-PDGFRβ interrelationship in the pathogenesis of COPD. Taken together, our results imply that SESN2 could serve as both a biomarker and as a drug target in the clinical management of COPD.