Comparison of ELF, FibroTest and FibroScan for the non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis
- Background: FibroTest (FT) is the most frequently used serum fibrosis marker and consists of an algorithm of five fibrosis markers (alfa2-macroglobulin, apolipoproteinA1, haptoglobin, GGT, bilirubin). The Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF) test consists of an algorithm of three fibrosis markers (hyaluronic acid, amino-terminal propeptide-of-type-III-collagen, tissue-inhibitor of matrix-metaloproteinase-1). While a systematic review has shown comparable results for both individual markers, there has been no direct comparison of both markers. Methods: In the present study, the ELF-test was analyzed retrospectively in patients with chronic liver disease, who received a liver biopsy, transient elastography (TE) and the FibroTest using histology as the reference method. Histology was classified according to METAVIR and the Ludwig's classification (F0-F4) for patients with chronic hepatitis C and B virus (HCV, HBV) infection and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), respectively. Results: Seventy-four patients were analysed: 36 with HCV, 10 with HBV, and 28 with PBC. The accuracy (AUROC) for the diagnosis of significant fibrosis (F[greater than or equal to]2) for ELF and FibroTest was 0.78 (95%CI:0.67-0.89) and 0.69 (95%-CI:0.57-0.82), respectively (difference not statistically significant, n.s.). The AUROC for the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis was 0.92 (95%CI:0.83-1,00), and 0.91 (95%CI:0.83-0.99), respectively (n.s.). For 66 patients with reliable TE measurements the AUROC for the diagnosis of significant fibrosis (cirrhosis) for TE, ELF and FT were 0.80 (0.94), 0.76 (0.92), and 0.67 (0.91), respectively (n.s.). Conclusion: FibroTest and ELF can be performed with comparable diagnostic accuracy for the non-invasive staging of liver fibrosis. Serum tests are informative in a higher proportion of patients than transient elastography.
First remote sensing measurements of ClOOCl along with ClO and ClONO2 in activated and deactivated Arctic vortex conditions using new ClOOCl IR absorption cross sections
- Active chlorine species play a dominant role in the catalytic destruction of stratospheric ozone in the polar vortices during the late winter and early spring seasons. Recently, the correct understanding of the ClO dimer cycle was challenged by the release of new laboratory absorption cross sections (Pope et al., 2007) yielding significant model underestimates of observed ClO and ozone loss (von Hobe et al., 2007). Under this aspect, nocturnal Arctic stratospheric limb emission measurements carried out by the balloon version of the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS-B) from Kiruna (Sweden) on 11 January 2001 and 20/21 March 2003 have been reanalyzed with regard to the chlorine reservoir species ClONO2 and the active species, ClO and ClOOCl (Cl2O2). New laboratory measurements of IR absorption cross sections of ClOOCl for various temperatures and pressures allowed for the first time the retrieval of ClOOCl mixing ratios from remote sensing measurements. High values of active chlorine (ClOx) of roughly 2.3 ppbv at 20 km were observed by MIPAS-B in the cold mid-winter Arctic vortex on 11 January 2001. While nighttime ClOOCl shows enhanced values of nearly 1.1 ppbv at 20 km, ClONO2 mixing ratios are less than 0.1 ppbv at this altitude. In contrast, high ClONO2 mixing ratios of nearly 2.4 ppbv at 20 km have been observed in the late winter Arctic vortex on 20 March 2003. No significant ClOx amounts are detectable on this date since most of the active chlorine has already recovered to its main reservoir species ClONO2. The observed values of ClOx and ClONO2 are in line with the established polar chlorine chemistry. The thermal equilibrium constants between the dimer formation and its dissociation, as derived from the balloon measurements, are on the lower side of reported data and in good agreement with values recommended by von Hobe et al. (2007). Calculations with the ECHAM/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry model (EMAC) using established kinetics show similar chlorine activation and deactivation, compared to the measurements in January 2001 and March 2003, respectively.
The global SF6 source inferred from long-term high precision atmospheric measurements and its comparison with emission inventories
Ray L. Langenfelds
Christoph von Rohden
L. Paul Steele
Douglas E. W Worthy
Sergej A. Zimov
- Emissions of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), one of the strongest greenhouse gases on a per molecule basis, are targeted to be collectively reduced under the Kyoto Protocol. Because of its long atmospheric lifetime (estimated as 800 to 3200 years), the accumulation of SF6 in the atmosphere is a direct measure of its global emissions. Examination of our extended data set of globally distributed high-precision SF6 observations shows an increase in SF6 abundance from near zero in the 1970s to a global mean of 6.7 ppt by the end of 2008. In-depth evaluation of our long-term data records shows that the global source of SF6 decreased after 1995, most likely due to SF6 emission reductions in industrialised countries, but increased again after 1998. By subtracting those emissions reported by Annex I countries to the United Nations Framework Convention of Climatic Change (UNFCCC) from our observation-inferred SF6 source leaves a surprisingly large gap of more than 70–80% of non-reported SF6 emissions in the last decade. This suggests a strong under-estimation of emissions in Annex I countries and underlines the urgent need for independent atmospheric verification of greenhouse gases emissions accounting.
Inhibition of the soluble epoxide hydrolase promotes albuminuria in mice with progressive renal disease
Rainer U. Pliquett
Sung H. Hwang
Bruce D. Hammock
Ralf Peter Louis Brandes
- Epoxyeicotrienoic acids (EETs) are cytochrome P450-dependent anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory derivatives of arachidonic acid, which are highly abundant in the kidney and considered reno-protective. EETs are degraded by the enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) and sEH inhibitors are considered treatment for chronic renal failure (CRF). We determined whether sEH inhibition attenuates the progression of CRF in the 5/6-nephrectomy model (5/6-Nx) in mice. 5/6-Nx mice were treated with a placebo, an ACE-inhibitor (Ramipril, 40 mg/kg), the sEH-inhibitor cAUCB or the CYP-inhibitor fenbendazole for 8 weeks. 5/6-Nx induced hypertension, albuminuria, glomerulosclerosis and tubulo-interstitial damage and these effects were attenuated by Ramipril. In contrast, cAUCB failed to lower the blood pressure and albuminuria was more severe as compared to placebo. Plasma EET-levels were doubled in 5/6 Nx-mice as compared to sham mice receiving placebo. Renal sEH expression was attenuated in 5/6-Nx mice but cAUCB in these animals still further increased the EET-level. cAUCB also increased 5-HETE and 15-HETE, which derive from peroxidation or lipoxygenases. Similar to cAUCB, CYP450 inhibition increased HETEs and promoted albuminuria. Thus, sEH-inhibition failed to elicit protective effects in the 5/6-Nx model and showed a tendency to aggravate the disease. These effects might be consequence of a shift of arachidonic acid metabolism into the lipoxygenase pathway.
Transcriptomic evidence that longevity of acquired plastids in the photosynthetic slugs Elysia timida and Plakobrachus ocellatus does not entail lateral transfer of algal nuclear genes
Sven B. Gould
- Sacoglossan sea slugs are unique in the animal kingdom in that they sequester and maintain active plastids that they acquire from the siphonaceous algae upon which they feed, making the animals photosynthetic. While most sacoglossan species digest their freshly ingested plastids within hours, four species from the family Plakobranchidae retain their stolen plastids (kleptoplasts) in a photosynthetically active state on time scales of weeks to months. The molecular basis of plastid maintenance within the cytosol of digestive gland cells in these photosynthetic metazoans is yet unknown, but is widely thought to involve gene transfer from the algal food source to the slugs based upon previous investigations of single genes. Indeed, normal plastid development requires hundreds of nuclear-encoded proteins, with protein turnover in photosystem II in particular known to be rapid under various conditions. Moreover, only algal plastids, not the algal nuclei, are sequestered by the animals during feeding. If algal nuclear genes are transferred to the animal either during feeding or in the germ line, and if they are expressed, then they should be readily detectable with deep-sequencing methods. We have sequenced expressed mRNAs from actively photosynthesizing, starved individuals of two photosynthetic sea slug species, Plakobranchus ocellatus Van Hasselt, 1824 and Elysia timida Risso, 1818. We find that nuclear-encoded, algal-derived genes specific to photosynthetic function are expressed neither in P. ocellatus nor in E. timida. Despite their dramatic plastid longevity, these photosynthetic sacoglossan slugs do not express genes acquired from algal nuclei in order to maintain plastid function.
Selenocysteine, pyrrolysine and the unique energy metabolism of methanogenic archaea
Joseph A. Krzycki
- Methanogenic archaea are a group of strictly anaerobic microorganisms characterized by their strict dependence on the process of methanogenesis for energy conservation. Among the archaea, they are also the only known group synthesizing proteins containing selenocysteine or pyrrolysine. All but one of the known archaeal pyrrolysine-containing and all but two of the confirmed archaeal selenocysteine-containing protein are involved in methanogenesis. Synthesis of these proteins proceeds through suppression of translational stop codons but otherwise the two systems are fundamentally different. This paper highlights these differences and summarizes the recent developments in selenocysteine- and pyrrolysine-related research on archaea and aims to put this knowledge into the context of their unique energy metabolism.
Avian magnetoreception: elaborate iron mineral containing dendrites in the upper beak seem to be a common feature of birds
- The magnetic field sensors enabling birds to extract orientational information from the Earth’s magnetic field have remained enigmatic. Our previously published results from homing pigeons have made us suggest that the iron containing sensory dendrites in the inner dermal lining of the upper beak are a candidate structure for such an avian magnetometer system. Here we show that similar structures occur in two species of migratory birds (garden warbler, Sylvia borin and European robin, Erithacus rubecula) and a non-migratory bird, the domestic chicken (Gallus gallus). In all these bird species, histological data have revealed dendrites of similar shape and size, all containing iron minerals within distinct subcellular compartments of nervous terminals of the median branch of the Nervus ophthalmicus. We also used microscopic X-ray absorption spectroscopy analyses to identify the involved iron minerals to be almost completely Fe III-oxides. Magnetite (Fe II/III) may also occur in these structures, but not as a major Fe constituent. Our data suggest that this complex dendritic system in the beak is a common feature of birds, and that it may form an essential sensory basis for the evolution of at least certain types of magnetic field guided behavior.
MHC I stabilizing potential of computer-designed octapeptides
Joanna M. Wisniewska
Florian O. Losch
Jan A. Hiss
- Experimental results are presented for 180 in silico designed octapeptide sequences and their stabilizing effects on the major histocompatibility class I molecule H-2Kb. Peptide sequence design was accomplished by a combination of an ant colony optimization algorithm with artificial neural network classifiers. Experimental tests yielded nine H-2Kb stabilizing and 171 nonstabilizing peptides. 28 among the nonstabilizing octapeptides contain canonical motif residues known to be favorable for MHC I stabilization. For characterization of the area covered by stabilizing and non-stabilizing octapeptides in sequence space, we visualized the distribution of 100,603 octapeptides using a self-organizing map. The experimental results present evidence that the canonical sequence motives of the SYFPEITHI database on their own are insufficient for predicting MHC I protein stabilization.
Clio-online Guide Afrika
- Die Region Afrika nimmt im disziplinären Bereich der Geschichtswissenschaft eine Randposition ein. Daran hat auch die steigende Bedeutung im Kontext von "Global History" und Diaspora-Studien noch nichts geändert. Trotz der überschaubaren Infrastruktur gibt es interessante junge Projekte, die dem Bereich der digitalen Medien neue Impulse gegeben haben. Der Guide stellt neben den klassischen Literatur- und Volltextdatenbanken u.a. Bildarchive, Volltext-Harvester, Podcasts, Wikis und reine Open Access-Zeitschriften jeweils mit einem Schwerpunkt auf das sub-saharische Afrika vor.
Entzündungsreaktionen und Vernetzung von Nervenzellen : Paul Ehrlich-Preis für Charles Dinarello ; Nachwuchspreis für Amparo Acker-Palmer
- Der Mediziner Prof. Charles Dinarello, 66, von der University of Colorado erhielt den mit 100 000 Euro dotierten Paul Ehrlich- und Ludwig Darmstaedter-Preis 2010. Der mit 60 000 Euro dotierte Paul Ehrlich-Nachwuchspreis ging an die Frankfurter Biologin Prof. Amparo Acker-Palmer, 41, vom Exzellenzcluster »Makromolekulare Komplexe« Frankfurt.