Visual Processing of Biological Motion in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: An Event Related Potential-Study
Christine M. Freitag
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often accompanied by problems in social behaviour, which are sometimes similar to some symptoms of autism-spectrum disorders (ASD). However, neuronal mechanisms of ASD-like deficits in ADHD have rarely been studied. The processing of biological motion–recently discussed as a marker of social cognition–was found to be disrupted in ASD in several studies. Thus in the present study we tested if biological motion processing is disrupted in ADHD. We used 64-channel EEG and spatio-temporal source analysis to assess event-related potentials associated with human motion processing in 21 children and adolescents with ADHD and 21 matched typically developing controls. On the behavioural level, all subjects were able to differentiate between human and scrambled motion. But in response to both scrambled and biological motion, the N200 amplitude was decreased in subjects with ADHD. After a spatio-temporal dipole analysis, a human motion specific activation was observable in occipital-temporal regions with a reduced and more diffuse activation in ADHD subjects. These results point towards neuronal determined alterations in the processing of biological motion in ADHD.
Safety Evaluation of a Bioglass–Polylactic Acid Composite Scaffold Seeded with Progenitor Cells in a Rat Skull Critical-Size Bone Defect
Abeer M. El-Kady
Mahmoud S. Arbid
Bothaina M. Abd El-Hady
- Treating large bone defects represents a major challenge in traumatic and orthopedic surgery. Bone tissue engineering provides a promising therapeutic option to improve the local bone healing response. In the present study tissue biocompatibility, systemic toxicity and tumorigenicity of a newly developed composite material consisting of polylactic acid (PLA) and 20% or 40% bioglass (BG20 and BG40), respectively, were analyzed. These materials were seeded with mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) and tested in a rat calvarial critical size defect model for 3 months and compared to a scaffold consisting only of PLA. Serum was analyzed for organ damage markers such as GOT and creatinine. Leukocyte count, temperature and free radical indicators were measured to determine the degree of systemic inflammation. Possible tumor occurrence was assessed macroscopically and histologically in slides of liver, kidney and spleen. Furthermore, the concentrations of serum malondialdehyde (MDA) and sodium oxide dismutase (SOD) were assessed as indicators of tumor progression. Qualitative tissue response towards the implants and new bone mass formation was histologically investigated. BG20 and BG40, with or without progenitor cells, did not cause organ damage, long-term systemic inflammatory reactions or tumor formation. BG20 and BG40 supported bone formation, which was further enhanced in the presence of EPCs and MSCs.
This investigation reflects good biocompatibility of the biomaterials BG20 and BG40 and provides evidence that additionally seeding EPCs and MSCs onto the scaffold does not induce tumor formation.
Reliability, validity and responsiveness of the EQ-5D in assessing and valuing health status in patients with social phobia
Manfred E. Beutel
- OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to analyse the psychometric properties of the EQ-5D in patients with social phobia.
METHODS: We used a sample of 445 patients with social phobia with five measurement points over a 30 month period. The discriminative ability of the EQ-5D was analysed by comparing the patients' responses with the general population and between different disease severity levels. For test-retest reliability we assessed the level of agreement in patients' responses over time, when there was no change in the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS). Construct validity was analysed by identifying correlations of the EQ-5D with more specific instruments. For responsiveness we compared the means of EQ VAS/EQ-5D index anchored on improved (deteriorated) health status and computed effect sizes as well as a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve.
RESULTS: Compared to the general population, patients with social phobia reported more problems in the dimensions "usual activities", "pain/discomfort", and "anxiety/depression" and less problems in "mobility" and "self-care". The EQ-5D was able to distinguish between different disease severity levels. The test-retest reliability was moderate (intraclass correlation coefficient > 0.6). Correlations between the EQ-5D and other instruments were mostly small except for correlations with Beck Depression Inventory. The EQ-5D index seemed to be more responsive than the EQ VAS, but with only medium effect sizes (0.5 < effect size < 0.8) in the British EQ-5D index and only significant in patients with improved health status. The ROC analysis revealed no significant results.
CONCLUSIONS: The EQ-5D was moderately reliable and responsive in patients with improved health status. Construct validity was limited.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current controlled trials ISRCTN53517394.
Prevention of Intestinal Allergy in Mice by rflaA:Ova Is Associated with Enforced Antigen Processing and TLR5-Dependent IL-10 Secretion by mDC
- Conjugated vaccines consisting of flagellin and antigen activate TLR5 and induce strong innate and adaptive immune responses. Objective of the present study was to gain further insight into the mechanisms by which flagellin fusion proteins mediate their immune modulating effects. In a mouse model of Ova-induced intestinal allergy a fusion protein of flagellin and Ova (rflaA:Ova) was used for intranasal and intraperitoneal vaccination. Aggregation status of flaA, Ova and flaA:Ova were compared by light scattering, uptake of fluorescence labeled proteins into mDC was analyzed, processing was investigated by microsomal digestion experiments. Mechanism of DC-activation was investigated using proteasome and inflammasome inhibitors. Immune responses of wildtype, IL-10−/−, TLR5−/− mDCs and Ova-transgenic T cells were investigated. Mucosal and i.p.-application of rflaA:Ova were able to prevent allergic sensitization, suppress disease-related symptoms, prevent body weight loss and reduction in food uptake. Intranasal vaccination resulted in strongest suppression of Ova-specific IgE production. These protective effects were associated with increased aggregation of rflaA:Ova and accompanied by tenfold higher uptake rates into mDC compared to the mixture of both proteins. Microsomal digestion showed that stimulation with rflaA:Ova resulted in faster degradation and the generation of different peptides compared to rOva. rflaA:Ova-mediated activation of mDC could be suppressed in a dose-dependent manner by the application of both inflammasome and proteasome inhibitors. Using TLR5−/− mDC the rflaA:Ova induced IL-10 secretion was shown to be TLR5 dependent. In co-cultures of IL-10−/− mDC with DO11.10 T cells the lack of rflaA:Ova-mediated IL-10 secretion resulted in enhanced levels of both TH2 (IL-4, IL-5) and TH1 (IL-2 and IFN-y) cytokines. In summary, mucosal vaccination with flaA:Ova showed strongest preventive effect. Stimulation with rflaA:Ova results in strong immune modulation mediated by enhanced uptake of the aggregated fusion protein, likely resulting in a different processing by DC as well as stronger TLR5 mediated cell activation.
Vitamin D Levels Vary during Antiviral Treatment but Are Unable to Predict Treatment Outcome in HCV Genotype 1 Infected Patients
Boecher Wulf O.
- Background: Different parameters have been determined for prediction of treatment outcome in hepatitis c virus genotype 1 infected patients undergoing pegylated interferon, ribavirin combination therapy. Results on the importance of vitamin D levels are conflicting. In the present study, a comprehensive analysis of vitamin D levels before and during therapy together with single nucleotide polymorphisms involved in vitamin D metabolism in the context of other known treatment predictors has been performed.
Methods: In a well characterized prospective cohort of 398 genotype 1 infected patients treated with pegylated interferon-α and ribavirin for 24–72 weeks (INDIV-2 study) 25-OH-vitamin D levels and different single nucleotide polymorphisms were analyzed together with known biochemical parameters for a correlation with virologic treatment outcome.
Results: Fluctuations of more than 5 (10) ng/ml in 25-OH-vitamin D-levels have been observed in 66 (39) % of patients during the course of antiviral therapy and neither pretreatment nor under treatment 25-OH-vitamin D-levels were associated with treatment outcome. The DHCR7-TT-polymorphism within the 7-dehydrocholesterol-reductase showed a significant association (P = 0.031) to sustained viral response in univariate analysis. Among numerous further parameters analyzed we found that age (OR = 1.028, CI = 1.002–1.056, P = 0.035), cholesterol (OR = 0.983, CI = 0.975–0.991, P<0.001), ferritin (OR = 1.002, CI = 1.000–1.004, P = 0.033), gGT (OR = 1.467, CI = 1.073–2.006, P = 0.016) and IL28B-genotype (OR = 2.442, CI = 1.271–4.695, P = 0.007) constituted the strongest predictors of treatment response.
Conclusions: While 25-OH-vitamin D-levels levels show considerable variations during the long-lasting course of antiviral therapy they do not show any significant association to treatment outcome in genotype 1 infected patients.
miRNA let-7e targeting MMP9 is involved in adipose-derived stem cell differentiation toward epithelia
Jose Luis Viñas
- miRNA let-7e is involved in stem cell differentiation, and metalloproteinases are among its potential target genes. We hypothesized that the inhibitory action of let-7e on regulation of MMP9 expression could represent a crucial mechanism during differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs). ASCs were differentiated with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) to promote differentiation, and the effect of let-7 silencing during differentiation was tested. Results indicate that ASCs cultured with ATRA differentiated into cells of the epithelial lineage. We found that ASCs cultured with ATRA or transfected with miRNA let-7e expressed epithelial markers such as cytokeratin-18 and early renal organogenesis markers such as Pax2, Wt1, Wnt4 and megalin. Conversely, the specific knockdown of miRNA let-7e in ASCs significantly decreased the expression of these genes, indicating its vital role during the differentiation process. Using luciferase reporter assays, we also showed that MMP9 is a direct target of miRNA let-7e. Thus, our results suggest that miRNA let-7e acts as a matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) inhibitor and differentiation inducer in ASCs.
Inhalation of the BKCa-Opener NS1619 Attenuates Right Ventricular Pressure and Improves Oxygenation in the Rat Monocrotaline Model of Pulmonary Hypertension
Ralf Peter Louis Brandes
- Background: Right heart failure is a fatal consequence of chronic pulmonary hypertension (PH). The development of PH is characterized by increased proliferation of vascular cells, in particular pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) and pulmonary artery endothelial cells. In the course of PH, an escalated right ventricular (RV) afterload occurs, which leads to increased perioperative morbidity and mortality. BKCa channels are ubiquitously expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells and their opening induces cell membrane hyperpolarization followed by vasodilation. Moreover, BK activation induces anti-proliferative effects in a multitude of cell types. On this basis, we hypothesized that treatment with the nebulized BK channel opener NS1619 might be a therapy option for pulmonary hypertension and tested this in rats.
Methods: (1) Rats received monocrotaline injection for PH induction. Twenty-four days later, rats were anesthetized and NS1619 or the solvent was administered by inhalation. Systemic hemodynamic parameters, RV hemodynamic parameters, and blood gas analyses were measured before as well as 30 and 120 minutes after inhalation. (2) Rat PASMCs were stimulated with PDGF-BB in the presence and absence of NS1619. AKT, ERK1 and ERK2 activation were investigated by western blot analyses, and relative cell number was determined 48 hours after stimulation.
Results: Inhalation of a 12 µM and 100 µM NS1619 solution significantly reduced RV pressure without affecting systemic arterial pressure. Blood gas analyses demonstrated significantly reduced carbon dioxide and improved oxygenation in NS1619-treated animals pointing towards a considerable pulmonary shunt-reducing effect. In PASMC’s, NS1619 (100 µM) significantly attenuated PASMC proliferation by a pathway independent of AKT and ERK1/2 activation.
Conclusion: NS1619 inhalation reduces RV pressure and improves oxygen supply and its application inhibits PASMC proliferation in vitro. Hence, BK opening might be a novel option for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.
EMBO Molecular Medicine: Fast Forward
- These are exciting times for translational medicine as the convergence between fundamental and clinical research comes of age. The new EMBO Press publishing platform reinforces the standing of EMBO Molecular Medicine as the journal that matches high quality, novel research with rigorous editorial and ethical standards. It will also cement the journal's global reach and relevance - whether in highly active fields or explorative forays into emerging areas.
Comparison of the TruView infant EVO2 PCD™ and C-MAC video laryngoscopes with direct Macintosh laryngoscopy for routine tracheal intubation in infants with normal airways
- OBJECTIVE: Videolaryngoscopy has mainly been developed to facilitate difficult airway intubation. However, there is a lack of studies demonstrating this method's efficacy in pediatric patients. The aim of the present study was to compare the TruView infant EVO2 and the C-MAC videolaryngoscope with conventional direct Macintosh laryngoscopy in children with a bodyweight ≤10 kg in terms of intubation conditions and the time to intubation.
METHODS: In total, 65 children with a bodyweight ≤10 kg (0-22 months) who had undergone elective surgery requiring endotracheal intubation were retrospectively analyzed. Our database was screened for intubations with the TruView infant EVO2, the C-MAC videolaryngoscope, and conventional direct Macintosh laryngoscopy. The intubation conditions, the time to intubation, and the oxygen saturation before and after intubation were monitored, and demographic data were recorded. Only children with a bodyweight ≤10 kg were included in the analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 23 children were intubated using the C-MAC videolaryngoscope, and 22 children were intubated using the TruView EVO2. Additionally, 20 children were intubated using a standard Macintosh blade. The time required for tracheal intubation was significantly longer using the TruView EVO2 (52 sec vs. 28 sec for C-MAC vs. 26 sec for direct LG). However, no significant difference in oxygen saturation was found after intubation.
CONCLUSION: All devices allowed excellent visualization of the vocal cords, but the time to intubation was prolonged when the TruView EVO2 was used. The absence of a decline in oxygen saturation may be due to apneic oxygenation via the TruView scope and may provide a margin of safety. In sum, the use of the TruView by a well-trained anesthetist may be an alternative for difficult airway management in pediatric patients.
Certolizumab pegol in rheumatoid arthritis patients with low to moderate activity: the CERTAIN double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial
Josef S. Smolen
Owen R. Davies
- This 52-week, randomised, double-blind phase IIIb study assessed efficacy and safety of certolizumab pegol (CZP) as add-on therapy to non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with low to moderate disease activity, and stopping therapy in patients in sustained remission.
METHODS:Patients were randomised 1:1 to CZP (400 mg at weeks 0, 2 and 4, then 200 mg every 2 weeks) or placebo (every 2 weeks) plus current non-biologic DMARDs. At week 24, patients who achieved the primary endpoint of Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) remission at both weeks 20 and 24 stopped study treatment and continued in the study until week 52.
RESULTS: Of 194 patients (CZP=96; placebo=98), >90% had moderate disease activity at baseline. Significantly more CZP patients met the primary endpoint than placebo patients (week 20 and 24 CDAI remission rates: 18.8% vs 6.1%; p≤0.05). At week 24, 63.0% vs 29.7% of CZP versus placebo patients (p<0.001) achieved LDA. Disease activity score (ESR) based on 28-joint count and Simplified Disease Activity Index remission rates were also significantly higher with CZP versus placebo (19.8% vs 3.1%; p≤0.01 and 14.6% vs 4.1%; p≤0.05). CZP patients reported improvements in physical function versus placebo (mean Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability-Index change from baseline: CZP, -0.25 vs placebo, -0.03; p≤0.01). During the period following withdrawal of CZP or placebo, only 3/17 prior CZP patients and 2/6 prior placebo patients maintained CDAI remission until week 52, but CZP reinstitution allowed renewed improvement. Adverse and serious adverse event rates were comparable between CZP and placebo groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Addition of CZP to non-biologic DMARDs is an effective treatment in RA patients with predominantly moderate disease activity, allowing low-disease activity or remission to be reached in a majority of the patients. However, the data suggest that CZP cannot be withdrawn in patients achieving remission.