Quantification of isoprenoids in brain tissue - cerebral regulation of FPP and GGPP in Alzheimer's Disease and aging
Gero P. Hooff
- Over the last years there has been an increasing interest in the involvement of the MVA-pathway and of members of the small GTPases, in the development and progression of AD. Earlier investigations mainly focused on the role of cholesterol in disease pathology. This research was supported by retrospective cohort studies, initially showing beneficial effects of the long-term intake of cholesterol lowering statins, on the incidence of the development of sporadic AD. However, in more recent literature increasing attention has been paid to the isoprenoids, FPP and GGPP, due to their crucial role in the post-translational modifications of members of the superfamily of small GTPases. In AD, these proteins were amongst others shown to be involved in mechanisms affecting APP processing, ROS generation and synaptic plasticity. A major factor impeding the clarification of the role of the MVA-pathway intermediates in these mechanisms was the lack of a sensitive and accurate method to determine FPP and GGPP levels in brain tissue. Hence, a state of the art HPLC-FLD method for the quantification of the isoprenoids FPP and GGPP in brain tissue was successfully developed. After the introduction of a double clean-up step from complex brain matrix samples and the synthesis of an appropriate IS (DNP), the method was fully validated according to the latest FDA guideline for bioanalytical method validation. Furthermore, this method was transferred to a faster and more sensitive, state of the art UHPLC-MS/MS application. Additionally, the method was shown to be applicable for mouse brain tissue and data was generated from an in vivo mouse simvastatin study and for different mouse models. According to the aims of the thesis, the current work describes for the first time absolute isoprenoid concentrations in human frontal cortex white and grey matter. Furthermore, this is the first report of isoprenoid levels in the frontal cortex of human AD brains. Further results were shown from mouse brains originating from different mouse models, including the Thy-1 APP mouse model mimicking AD pathology in terms of Aβ formation or C57Bl/6 mice at different ages. AD prevalence can be clearly correlated with increasing age. Therefore, three different generations of mice were investigated. The study demonstrated constant isoprenoid and cholesterol levels in the first half of their life followed by a significant increase of FPP and GGPP in the second half (between 12 and 24 month of age). Cholesterol levels were also elevated in the aged group, but again the effect was less pronounced than shown for the isoprenoids. These results lead to the tentative conclusion that cerebral isoprenoid levels are elevated during aging and that this accumulation is amplified during AD leading to accelerated neuronal dysfunction. In a different mouse study, using the C57Bl/6 mice, in vivo drug intervention with the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor simvastatin revealed strong inhibition of the rate limiting step of the mevalonate/isoprenoid/cholesterol pathway and resulted in the first report of significantly reduced FPP and GGPP levels in brain tissue of statin treated mice. These results open for the first time the possibility to monitor drug effects on cerebral isoprenoid levels and correlate these data with a modulation of APP processing, which was shown by our group in previous studies. Interestingly, apart from the isoprenoid reduction following statin treatment the reduction of brain cholesterol was also significant but to a lesser extent. These findings support the notion that isoprenoid levels are more susceptible to statin treatment than cholesterol levels. Furthermore, this suggests a strong cellular dependence on FPP and GGPP, as the pool seems to be easily depleted, which finally could lead to cell death. The first investigations of farnesylated Ras and geranylgeranylated Rac protein levels by means of immuno-blotting, substantiated the notion of a decreased abundance of prenylated small GTPases under statin influence as a consequence of reduced isoprenoid levels. These findings demonstrate for the first time a correlation of FPP and GGPP levels with the abundance of small GTPases. These findings together with the results from the AD study prove that isoprenoid levels are not strictly subject to the same regulation as cholesterol levels. To further understand the physiological regulation in the cell, in vitro experiments with different inhibitors of the mevalonate/isoprenoid/cholesterol pathway were conducted. These results confirmed the isoprenoid and cholesterol reducing effects of statin treatment as observed in the aforementioned in vivo mouse study. Interestingly, cholesterol synthesis inhibition targeted after FPP as the branch point, led to significantly elevated FPP levels. FTase inhibition led to significantly reduced FPP levels, whereas inhibition of the GGTase I did not show a significant change of either isoprenoid levels.
TK.007: a novel, optimized HSVtk-variant for suicide gene therapy
- Suicide genes have been broadly used in gene therapy. They can serve as safety tools for conditional elimination of infused cells or for directed tumor therapy. To date, the Herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ ganciclovir (HSVtk/GCV) system is the most prominent and the most widely used suicidegene/prodrug combination. Despite its promising performance, the system displays limitations, which include relatively slow killing kinetics and toxicity of the prodrug GCV. Consequently, several groups have either developed new suicide-gene/prodrug combinations or attempted to improve the established HSVtk/GCV suicide system. The present study also aimed towards optimization of the HSVtk/GCV system. To do so, a novel, codon-optimized point mutant (A168H) of HSVtk was developed. The novel mutant was named TK.007. It was extensively tested for its efficiency in two relevant settings: (1) control of severe graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) after adoptive immunotherapy with Tlymphocytes, and (2) direct elimination of targeted tumor cells. TK.007 was compared to the broadly used wild-type, splice-corrected scHSVtk and to a codon-optimized HSVtk (coHSVtk) not bearing the above point mutation. (1) For experiments related to the adoptive immunotherapy approach, HSVtkvariants were expressed from a γ-retroviral MP71 vector as a fusion construct with the selection and marker gene tCD34. Expression levels for TK.007 in transduced lymphoid and myeloid cell lines were significantly higher at initial transduction and over a 12 week period compared to the commonly used scHSVtk and coHSVtk indicating reduced toxicity of TK.007. Killing kinetics of transduced cell lines (PM1 and K562) and primary human T cells were significantly faster for TK.007 in comparison to scHSVtk and coHSVtk in vitro. In vivo-functionality of TK.007 was assessed in an allogeneic transplantation model. T cells derived from C57BL/6J.Ly5.1 donor mice were transduced with MP71 vectors expressing scHSVtk or TK.007. Transduced cells were selected and transplanted into Balb/c Rag2-/- γ-/- immune-deficient recipient mice. Acute, severe GvHD occurred and was effectively abrogated in all mice transplanted with TK.007- transduced T cells, and in five out of six mice transplanted with scHSVtk-transduced cells. In a slightly modified quantitative allogeneic transplantation mouse model, significantly faster and more efficient in vivo killing was demonstrated for TK.007 as compared to scHSVtk, especially at low doses of GCV. (2) In order to assess TK.007 functionality in cells derived from solid tumors, HSVtk-variants were expressed from lentiviral gene ontology (LeGO) vectors in combination with an eGFP/neo-opt selection cassette. Transduced and selected tumor cell lines that derived from several tissues were eliminated at significantly lower GCV doses and to higher extents when transduced with TK.007 compared to scHSVtk. Moreover, a significantly stronger bystander effect of TK.007 was demonstrated. The superior in vitro efficiency of TK.007 was confirmed in an in vivo subcutaneous xenograft mouse model for glioblastoma in NOD/SCID mice. Mice transplanted with TK.007 transduced cells stayed tumor-free after treatment with different GCV-doses. On the contrary, mice of the scHSVtk group either demonstrated only transiently reduced tumor growth in the low-dose GCV group (10 mg/kg) compared to the control groups or suffered from relatively fast relapses after initial tumor shrinking in the standarddose (50 mg/kg) GCV group. As a result, all mice in the scHSVtk group died from vigorous tumor growth. In summary, in two different applications for suicide gene therapy the present study has demonstrated superior functional performance of the novel suicide gene TK.007 as compared to the broadly used wild-type scHSVtk. Differences became particularly pronounced at low doses of GCV. It can be concluded that the new TK.007-gene represents a promising alternative to the commonly used scHSVtk for gene therapeutic applications.
Can biorelevant media be simplified by using SLS and tween 80 to replace bile compounds?
- In the scientific literature, the use of a surfactant is recommended for both designing quality control tests for water insoluble or sparingly water soluble drugs and for predicting the bioavailability of drugs from various types of formulations. Since the number of poorly soluble drugs is increasing, the selection of adequate dissolution test for these becomes more and more important. The aim of the present study was to develop predictive and discriminatory test methods based on surfactants that are recommended in the literature. Particular respect was given to the use of sodium lauryl sulfate and Tween 80, the two most commonly used surfactants for this purpose. Tamoxifen was used as a model drug. Dissolution experiments were performed using various concentrations of the two surfactants in buffer media typically used to prepare biorelevant test media. Results were then compared with those deriving from the same test formulations in biorelevant and simplified “biorelevant” media. Results from this study indicate that the concentration of surfactant has a huge impact on both the rate and extent of drug release from the formulation and also on the discriminatory power of the test. However, they also indicate that a well designed and validated test medium containing SLS or Tween 80 can be useful in terms of establishing a discriminatory test medium that possibly could also be used to assure batch to batch bioequivalence. Therefore, the approach described in the present paper might be very helpful for developing predictive and discriminatory methods in early formulation development for poorly soluble drugs and which could also be adopted for QC.
Ordnung des Fachbereichs Biochemie, Chemie, Pharmazie der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität für den Bachelorstudiengang Biochemie mit dem Abschluss "Bachelor of Science" (B. Sc.) vom 07.06.2010 : vorläufig genehmigt vom Präsidium der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am 27.07.2010
Evaluation der Adhärenz, Compliance und Persistenz bei Patienten unter antihypertensiver Therapie
- Bei chronischen Erkrankungen ist eine regelmäßige Arzneimitteleinnahme eine der Vo-raussetzungen für den Therapieerfolg. Trotzdem nehmen viele Patienten ihre Arzneimit-tel nicht wie vorgeschrieben ein. Dies kann im Rahmen von kardiovaskulären Erkrankun-gen (z. B. Hypertonie) schwerwiegende Folgen wie Herzinfarkt oder Schlaganfall haben. Es ist bekannt, dass die Therapietreue (Adhärenz bzw. Compliance und Persistenz) bei Hypertonikern nur bei 30 – 55 % liegt. Daher ist es von größter Wichtigkeit, die Therapie-treue und die Gründe für mangelnde Adhärenz zu erfassen, um danach gezielte Interven-tionen zur Verbesserung dieser entwickeln zu können. Allerdings liegen aus Deutschland zu dieser Thematik nur wenige Untersuchungen aus Feldstudien in Apotheken oder Ana-lysen aus Verordnungsdatenbanken vor.
Um die zur Verfügung stehenden Möglichkeiten zur Ermittlung der Therapietreue großflä-chig abzudecken, wurden unterschiedliche Erfassungswege genutzt. Zum einen wurde eine Patientenbefragung in öffentlichen Apotheken zur Erfassung der Adhärenz und Ein-nahmegewohnheiten unter medikamentöser Therapie mit Antihypertensiva durchge-führt. Zum anderen diente die Analyse von Verordnungsdaten der DAPI-Datenbank dazu, die Persistenz und Compliance von Patienten unter antihypertensiver Therapie zu be-stimmen. Als Spezialfall wurde weiterhin betrachtet, ob die Umstellung von einem Origi-nal- auf ein generisches Ramipril-Präparat nach dessen Patentauslauf mit einer vermin-derten Compliance einhergeht.
Die Patientenbefragung wurde sowohl von Patienten wie auch von den 24 teilnehmenden Apotheken gut angenommen. Dies zeigen die Rücklaufquoten der ausgegebenen Frage-bögen (46,8 % für die Befragung per zugesandtem Fragebogen (KF; kurze Form des Frage-bogens) und 32,8 % für das Interview in der Apotheke (LF; lange Form des Fragebogens)) Gemessen anhand des eingesetzten Adhärenz-Scores beschrieben sich 71,9 % der Patien-ten im LF und 58,2 % im KF selbst als adhärent. Der Bedarf für strukturierte, einfach durchführbare Adhärenz-Erfassungsinstrumente für die öffentliche Apotheke wurde sehr deutlich, wie u. a. der Abschlussbericht, welcher von den Apotheken nach Abschluss der Befragung ausgefüllt wurde, zeigte. Demnach hielten die Apotheken die Befragung von Umfang und Verständlichkeit für angemessen. Die Patienten waren bereit, detaillierte
Kapitel V Zusammenfassung V
Dissertation Miriam Ude
Evaluation der Adhärenz, Compliance und Persistenz bei Patienten unter antihypertensiver Therapie 160
Auskünfte über ihre Erkrankung zu geben. Dies zeigten auch die vielen in den Bogen ein-getragenen Anmerkungen seitens der Patienten und Apothekern, in denen individuelle Probleme dokumentiert wurden.
Bei der Analyse von Persistenz und Compliance im Substanzklassenvergleich wurde ein-drücklich gezeigt, dass die Therapietreue unter den First-line-Antihypertensiva (AHT) sub-optimal ist. Patienten unter der Therapie mit β-Blockern (77,3 %) weisen den geringsten non-persistenten Anteil auf, gefolgt von Patienten mit Verordnungen über ACE-Hemmer (78,7 %), AT1-Antagonisten (79,0 %), Calcium-Kanal-Blocker (81,4 %) und Diuretika (83,0 %). Hinsichtlich der Compliance findet sich in der Gruppe der mit AT1-Antagonisten be-handelten Patienten der niedrigste Anteil mit Non-Compliance (52,1 %), gefolgt von ACE-Hemmern (54,1 %), β-Blockern (54,7 %), Calcium-Kanal-Blockern (58,5 %) und Diuretika (63,6 %).
Die primäre Hypothese, dass die Compliance nach Umstellung von einem Ramipril-Original-Präparat nach dessen Patentauslauf auf ein Generikum signifikant abnimmt, konnte nicht bestätigt werden. Die Ergebnisse wurden für Patienten ermittelt, welche mit Ramipril-Monopräparaten, nur mit Fixkombinationen aus Ramipril mit einem Diuretikum, oder mit beidem (duale Therapie) behandelt wurden.
Die Ergebnisse der im Rahmen dieser Dissertation untersuchten Projekte zeigen, dass die medikamentöse Therapietreue bei Patienten unter antihypertensiver Therapie in Deutschland verbesserungswürdig ist, und dass die Ermittlung der Adhärenz, Compliance und Persistenz von immenser Wichtigkeit ist. Trotz der unterschiedlichen gewählten An-sätze kongruieren die Ergebnisse sehr gut. Patienten benötigen Unterstützung in der Durchführung ihrer medikamentösen Therapie mit AHT, um gesteckte Therapieziele zu erreichen, welche dazu beitragen können, Morbidität und Mortalität zu verringern bzw. die Lebensqualität zu verbessern. Ein erster Schritt dazu ist das zielgerichtete Erkennen therapiebezogener Probleme. Da es hierfür in Deutschland bisher keine strukturierten Instrumente gibt, welche flächendeckend in den Apothekenalltag implementiert wurden, könnte das neu entwickelte und auf Machbarkeit getestete Befragungsinstrument ein Ansatz sein, die Patienten gezielt und zeitsparend nach ihren Problemen mit der Arznei-mitteleinnahme zu befragen und frühestmöglich intervenieren zu können.
Development of lentiviral vectors for the gene therapy of HIV infection
- Drug toxicity and viral resistance limit long-term efficacy of antiviral drug treatment for HIV
infection. Thus, alternative therapies need to be explored. Previously, group of “Prof. von Laer”
tested the infusion of T lymphocytes transduced with a retroviral vector (M87o) that expresses an
HIV entry inhibitory peptide (maC46). Gene-modified autologous T cells were infused into 10
HIV-infected patients with advanced disease and multidrug resistant virus during antiretroviral
combination therapy. T cell infusions were tolerated well with no severe side effects. A
significant increase of CD4 counts was observed post infusion. At the end of the one-year
follow-up, the CD4 counts of all patients were still around or above baseline. Gene-modified
cells could be detected in peripheral blood, lymph nodes and bone marrow throughout the oneyear
follow-up, whereby marking levels correlated with the cell dose. No significant changes of
viral load were observed during the first four months. Four of the seven patients that changed
their antiviral drug regimen thereafter responded with a significant decline in plasma viral load.
In conclusion, the transfer of gene-modified cells was safe, led to sustained levels of gene
marking and may improve immune competence in HIV-infected patients with advanced disease
and multidrug resistant virus. However, the low level of gene marking and the lack of substantial
long-term in vivo accumulation of gene-protected cells observed in this trial clearly demonstrate
the requirement for new vectors with new strategy.
In this thesis self‐inactivating lentiviral vectors harboring internal promoters and RNA elements
were therefore evaluated for their potential use in a clinical gene‐therapy trial. The results from
this work provide the basis for the selection of a suitable candidate vector for extensive
preclinical testing. Apart from being capable of transducing non‐dividing cells, lentiviral vectors
incorporate a number of additional features that are of potential value for gene therapeutic
applications. These include a larger packaging capacity, higher titers than γ‐retroviral vectors
and, most importantly, a reduced risk of deregulating cellular genes due to its natural integration
profile. The use of internal promoters to drive expression of the therapeutic transgene maC46
should further improve the safety profile of these new‐generation vectors, while an additional
artificial splice acceptor (SA) into the 5‟UTR of the transgene over all elevate transgene
expression. The rationale for this is that hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells will be
protected from enhancer‐mediated transactivation effects and also from potential side effects due
to the aberrant expression of maC46 while at the same time the full clinical benefit for the
patients is maintained.
In order to find a suitable candidate for preclinical studies, two candidate therapeutic vectors
harboring different regulatory elements were selected based on results from pilot experiments.
The internal promoters used to drive expression of codon optimized maC46 were the PGK
promoter and MPSV promoter. This work focuses on the transgene expression levels in
lymphoid cells and antiviral activity. The issues of long term expression, propensity to
methylation mediated silencing of the promoters, and genotoxicity were also touched. In a first
step the performance of different vectors was evaluated in the human T cell lines. Based on
promising data from ex vivo human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, the vector carrying the
MPSV promoter along with intron were selected for in vivo transplantation experiments.
In summary, the ex vivo data suggested the long term survival of lentiviral gene modified cells,
along with maintained expression of introduced genes. It was observed that the expression of
these constructs depends strongly on the activation and differentiation status of the targeted T
cells. This regulation was not linked to any specific promotor. In vivo study shows that maC46
can be introduced into murine multiple hematopoietic lineages via lentiviral vector and expressed
at high levels in their mulilineage progeny, without altering the hematopoiesis. There was no
sign of any kind of hematopoietic or lymphoid malignancies. Although gene-modified
lymphocytes persisted in-vivo, the downregulation of transgene expression was consistent with
the ex-vivo observation. In contrast to that the T cells transplanted group showed delayed
engraftment of donor cells and there was no expression of C46 in blood and lymphatic organs. .
In conclusion, when considering HIV gene therapy focusing CD4+ T cells, potential problems of
T cell activation status as related to the desired clinical effect must be addressed. These results
might open the way for a gene therapy targeting mainly or exclusively activated T cells and
could be exploited for immunostimulatory as well as suppressive approaches.
T cell receptor diversity prevents T cell leukemia, lymphoma development / von Nabil Saleh Ahmed Al-Ghaili
Nabil al- Ghaili
- Gene therapy is a promising therapeutic strategy that emerged from the attractive idea of targeting therapy at the molecular level. For many patients who suffer from genetic and acquired diseases that cannot be effectively treated by conventional treatment approaches gene therapy remains a huge hope of cure in spite of the hurdles regarding efficacy and safety that need to be overcome. The development of efficient gene transfer vehicles, mainly retroviral vectors, led to the first successful gene therapy trial, to treat patients suffering from X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (X-SCID) using gene modified stem cells (Hacein-Bey-Abina, Le Deist et al. 2002). Despite the success of this trial, it revealed the danger of retroviral insertional mutagenesis as a major adverse event of gene therapy using gene-modified stem cells (Hacein-Bey-Abina, von Kalle et al. 2003). In contrast to stem cells, T cells are relatively resistant to insertional mutagenesis and transformation even after transduction with potent oncogenes using retroviral vectors (Newrzela, Cornils et al. 2008). However, mature T cells can self-renew, proliferate and survive for long periods. These criteria are supposed to render T cells prone to transformation. Therefore, the questions of mature T cells transformability and the control mechanism limiting their transformation are still elusive.
Wound healing in mice with high-fat diet- or ob gene-induced diabetes-obesity syndromes: a comparative study
Josef Martin Pfeilschifter
- In the past, the genetically diabetic-obese diabetes/diabetes (db/db) and obese/obese (ob/ob) mouse strains were used to investigate mechanisms of diabetes-impaired wound healing. Here we determined patterns of skin repair in genetically normal C57Bl/6J mice that were fed using a high fat diet (HFD) to induce a diabetes-obesity syndrome. Wound closure was markedly delayed in HFD-fed mice compared to mice which had received a standard chow diet (CD). Impaired wound tissue of HFD mice showed a marked prolongation of wound inflammation. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was delayed and associated with the disturbed formation of wound margin epithelia and an impaired angiogenesis in the reduced granulation tissue. Normal wound contraction was retarded and disordered. Wound disorders in obese C57Bl/6J mice were paralleled by a prominent degradation of the inhibitor of NFκB (IκB-α) in the absence of an Akt activation. By contrast to impaired wound conditions in ob/ob mice, late wounds of HFD mice did not develop a chronic inflammatory state and were epithelialized after 11 days of repair. Thus, only genetically obese and diabetic ob/ob mice finally developed chronic wounds and therefore represent a better suited experimental model to investigate diabetes-induced wound healing disorders.
Complement factor H-related proteins CFHR2 and CFHR5 represent novel ligands for the infection-associated CRASP proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi
Peter F. Zipfel
- Background: One virulence property of Borrelia burgdorferi is its resistance to innate immunity, in particular to complement-mediated killing. Serum-resistant B. burgdorferi express up to five distinct complement regulator-acquiring surface proteins (CRASP) which interact with complement regulator factor H (CFH) and factor H-like protein 1 (FHL1) or factor H-related protein 1 (CFHR1). In the present study we elucidate the role of the infection-associated CRASP-3 and CRASP-5 protein to serve as ligands for additional complement regulatory proteins as well as for complement resistance of B. burgdorferi. Methodology/Principal Findings: To elucidate whether CRASP-5 and CRASP-3 interact with various human proteins, both borrelial proteins were immobilized on magnetic beads. Following incubation with human serum, bound proteins were eluted and separated by Glycine-SDS-PAGE. In addition to CFH and CFHR1, complement regulators CFHR2 and CFHR5 were identified as novel ligands for both borrelial proteins by employing MALDI-TOF. To further assess the contributions of CRASP-3 and CRASP-5 to complement resistance, a serum-sensitive B. garinii strain G1 which lacks all CFH-binding proteins was used as a valuable model for functional analyses. Both CRASPs expressed on the B. garinii outer surface bound CFH as well as CFHR1 and CFHR2 in ELISA. In contrast, live B. garinii bound CFHR1, CFHR2, and CFHR5 and only miniscute amounts of CFH as demonstrated by serum adsorption assays and FACS analyses. Further functional analysis revealed that upon NHS incubation, CRASP-3 or CRASP-5 expressing borreliae were killed by complement. Conclusions/Significance: In the absence of CFH and the presence of CFHR1, CFHR2 and CFHR5, assembly and integration of the membrane attack complex was not efficiently inhibited indicating that CFH in co-operation with CFHR1, CFHR2 and CFHR5 supports complement evasion of B. burgdorferi.
Quick discrimination of A delta and C fiber mediated pain based on three verbal descriptors
Bruno Georg Oertel
- Background: A delta and C fibers are the major pain-conducting nerve fibers, activate only partly the same brain areas, and are differently involved in pain syndromes. Whether a stimulus excites predominantly A delta or C fibers is a commonly asked question in basic pain research but a quick test was lacking so far. Methodology/Principal Findings: Of 77 verbal descriptors of pain sensations, "pricking", "dull" and "pressing" distinguished best (95% cases correctly) between A delta fiber mediated (punctate pressure produced by means of von Frey hairs) and C fiber mediated (blunt pressure) pain, applied to healthy volunteers in experiment 1. The sensation was assigned to A delta fibers when "pricking" but neither "dull" nor "pressing" were chosen, and to C fibers when the sum of the selections of "dull" or "pressing" was greater than that of the selection of "pricking". In experiment 2, with an independent cohort, the three-descriptor questionnaire achieved sensitivity and specificity above 0.95 for distinguishing fiber preferential non-mechanical induced pain (laser heat, exciting A delta fibers, and 5-Hz electric stimulation, exciting C fibers). Conclusion: A three-item verbal rating test using the words "pricking", "dull", and "pressing" may provide sufficient information to characterize a pain sensation evoked by a physical stimulus as transmitted via A delta or via C fibers. It meets the criteria of a screening test by being easy to administer, taking little time, being comfortable in handling, and inexpensive while providing high specificity for relevant information.