Stirb an einem anderen Tag : Virus versus Immunsystem
- Jeder Mensch kämpft täglich erfolgreich mit Krankheitserregern, ohne dass er sich der komplexen molekularen Vorgänge dabei bewusst wäre. Wie in einem Hollywood-Streifen geht es rasant zur Sache. Ist das Immunsystem angeschlagen oder trifft es auf starke Gegner, kann eine Infektion binnen weniger Tage außer Kontrolle geraten und lebensbedrohliche Reaktionen hervorrufen. Der menschliche Organismus benötigt eine effiziente Verteidigungsstrategie gegen die Eindringlinge und muss, ebenso wie der britische Geheimdienst im Bond-Film, in die Ausbildung geübter Agenten investieren, Agenten mit Doppel-Null-Status. Agenten wie James Bond.
Endocrine disruptors in bottled mineral water : total estrogenic burden and migration from plastic bottles
- Background, aim, and scope Food consumption is an important route of human exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. So far, this has been demonstrated by exposure modeling or analytical identification of single substances in foodstuff (e.g., phthalates) and human body fluids (e.g., urine and blood). Since the research in this field is focused on few chemicals (and thus missing mixture effects), the overall contamination of edibles with xenohormones is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the integrated estrogenic burden of bottled mineral water as model foodstuff and to characterize the potential sources of the estrogenic contamination. Materials, methods, and results In the present study, we analyzed commercially available mineral water in an in vitro system with the human estrogen receptor alpha and detected estrogenic contamination in 60% of all samples with a maximum activity equivalent to 75.2 ng/l of the natural sex hormone 17beta-estradiol. Furthermore, breeding of the molluskan model Potamopyrgus antipodarum in water bottles made of glass and plastic [polyethylene terephthalate (PET)] resulted in an increased reproductive output of snails cultured in PET bottles. This provides first evidence that substances leaching from plastic food packaging materials act as functional estrogens in vivo. Discussion and conclusions Our results demonstrate a widespread contamination of mineral water with xenoestrogens that partly originates from compounds leaching from the plastic packaging material. These substances possess potent estrogenic activity in vivo in a molluskan sentinel. Overall, the results indicate that a broader range of foodstuff may be contaminated with endocrine disruptors when packed in plastics. Keywords Endocrine disrupting chemicals - Estradiol equivalents - Human exposure - In vitro effects - In vivo effects - Mineral water - Plastic bottles - Plastic packaging - Polyethylene terephthalate - Potamopyrgus antipodarum - Yeast estrogen screen - Xenoestrogens
Dystrophic (senescent) rather than activated microglial cells are associated with tau pathology and likely precede neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease
Wolfgang J. Streit
- The role of microglial cells in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) neurodegeneration is unknown. Although several works suggest that chronic neuroinflammation caused by activated microglia contributes to neurofibrillary degeneration, anti-inflammatory drugs do not prevent or reverse neuronal tau pathology. This raises the question if indeed microglial activation occurs in the human brain at sites of neurofibrillary degeneration. In view of the recent work demonstrating presence of dystrophic (senescent) microglia in aged human brain, the purpose of this study was to investigate microglial cells in situ and at high resolution in the immediate vicinity of tau-positive structures in order to determine conclusively whether degenerating neuronal structures are associated with activated or with dystrophic microglia. We used a newly optimized immunohistochemical method for visualizing microglial cells in human archival brain together with Braak staging of neurofibrillary pathology to ascertain the morphology of microglia in the vicinity of tau-positive structures. We now report histopathological findings from 19 humans covering the spectrum from none to severe AD pathology, including patients with Down’s syndrome, showing that degenerating neuronal structures positive for tau (neuropil threads, neurofibrillary tangles, neuritic plaques) are invariably colocalized with severely dystrophic (fragmented) rather than with activated microglial cells. Using Braak staging of Alzheimer neuropathology we demonstrate that microglial dystrophy precedes the spread of tau pathology. Deposits of amyloid-beta protein (A beta) devoid of tau-positive structures were found to be colocalized with non-activated, ramified microglia, suggesting that A beta does not trigger microglial activation. Our findings also indicate that when microglial activation does occur in the absence of an identifiable acute central nervous system insult, it is likely to be the result of systemic infectious disease. The findings reported here strongly argue against the hypothesis that neuroinflammatory changes contribute to AD dementia. Instead, they offer an alternative hypothesis of AD pathogenesis that takes into consideration: (1) the notion that microglia are neuron-supporting cells and neuroprotective; (2) the fact that development of non-familial, sporadic AD is inextricably linked to aging. They support the idea that progressive, aging-related microglial degeneration and loss of microglial neuroprotection rather than induction of microglial activation contributes to the onset of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. The results have far-reaching implications in terms of reevaluating current treatment approaches towards AD.
Brief report: the level and nature of autistic intelligence revisited
- Owing to higher performance on the Raven’s Progressive Matrices (RPM) than on the Wechsler Intelligence Scales (WIS), it has recently been argued that intelligence is underestimated in autism. This study examined RPM and WIS IQs in 48 individuals with autism, a mixed clinical (n = 28) and a neurotypical (n = 25) control group. Average RPM IQ was higher than WIS IQ only in the autism group, albeit to a much lesser degree than previously reported and only for individuals with WIS IQs <85. Consequently, and given the importance of reliable multidimensional IQ estimates in autism, the WIS are recommended as first choice IQ measure in high functioning individuals. Additional testing with the RPM might be required in the lower end of the spectrum.
Visual geographies : an editorial
Genetic variation in Fc gamma receptor IIa and risk of coronary heart disease : negative results from two large independent populations
Michael Marcus Hoffmann
Bernhard Rudolf Winkelmann
Bernhard O. Böhm
- Background The role of the Fcgamma receptor IIa (FcgammaRIIa), a receptor for C-reactive protein (CRP), the classical acute phase protein, in atherosclerosis is not yet clear. We sought to investigate the association of FcgammaRIIa genotype with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in two large population-based samples. Methods FcgammaRIIa-R/H131 polymorphisms were determined in a population of 527 patients with a history of myocardial infarction and 527 age and gender matched controls drawn from a population-based MONICA- Augsburg survey. In the LURIC population, 2227 patients with angiographically proven CHD, defined as having at least one stenosis [greater than or equal to]50%, were compared with 1032 individuals with stenosis <50%. Results In both populations genotype frequencies of the FcgammaRIIa gene did not show a significant departure from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. FcgammaRIIa R(-131)->H genotype was not independently associated with lower risk of CHD after multivariable adjustments, neither in the MONICA population (odds ratio (OR) 1.08; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81 to 1.44), nor in LURIC (OR 0.96; 95% CI 0.81 to 1.14). Conclusion Our results do not confirm an independent relationship between FcgammaRIIa genotypes and risk of CHD in these populations.
Combining the receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor AEE788 and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor RAD001 strongly inhibits adhesion and growth of renal cell carcinoma cells
Roman A. Blaheta
- Background Treatment options for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) are limited due to resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy. The development of small-molecule multikinase inhibitors have now opened novel treatment options. The influence of the receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor AEE788, applied alone or combined with the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor RAD001, on RCC cell adhesion and proliferation in vitro has been evaluated. Methods RCC cell lines Caki-1, KTC-26 or A498 were treated with various concentrations of RAD001 or AEE788 and tumor cell proliferation, tumor cell adhesion to vascular endothelial cells or to immobilized extracellular matrix proteins (laminin, collagen, fibronectin) evaluated. The anti-tumoral potential of RAD001 combined with AEE788 was also investigated. Both, asynchronous and synchronized cell cultures were used to subsequently analyze drug induced cell cycle manipulation. Analysis of cell cycle regulating proteins was done by western blotting. Results RAD001 or AEE788 reduced adhesion of RCC cell lines to vascular endothelium and diminished RCC cell binding to immobilized laminin or collagen. Both drugs blocked RCC cell growth, impaired cell cycle progression and altered the expression level of the cell cycle regulating proteins cdk2, cdk4, cyclin D1, cyclin E and p27. The combination of AEE788 and RAD001 resulted in more pronounced RCC growth inhibition, greater rates of G0/G1 cells and lower rates of S-phase cells than either agent alone. Cell cycle proteins were much more strongly altered when both drugs were used in combination than with single drug application. The synergistic effects were observed in an asynchronous cell culture model, but were more pronounced in synchronous RCC cell cultures. Conclusions Potent anti-tumoral activitites of the multikinase inhibitors AEE788 or RAD001 have been demonstrated. Most importantly, the simultaneous use of both AEE788 and RAD001 offered a distinct combinatorial benefit and thus may provide a therapeutic advantage over either agent employed as a monotherapy for RCC treatment.
Subsampling effects in neuronal avalanche distributions recorded in vivo
Matthias Hans Joachim Munk
- Background Many systems in nature are characterized by complex behaviour where large cascades of events, or avalanches, unpredictably alternate with periods of little activity. Snow avalanches are an example. Often the size distribution f(s) of a system's avalanches follows a power law, and the branching parameter sigma, the average number of events triggered by a single preceding event, is unity. A power law for f(s), and sigma=1, are hallmark features of self-organized critical (SOC) systems, and both have been found for neuronal activity in vitro. Therefore, and since SOC systems and neuronal activity both show large variability, long-term stability and memory capabilities, SOC has been proposed to govern neuronal dynamics in vivo. Testing this hypothesis is difficult because neuronal activity is spatially or temporally subsampled, while theories of SOC systems assume full sampling. To close this gap, we investigated how subsampling affects f(s) and sigma by imposing subsampling on three different SOC models. We then compared f(s) and sigma of the subsampled models with those of multielectrode local field potential (LFP) activity recorded in three macaque monkeys performing a short term memory task. Results Neither the LFP nor the subsampled SOC models showed a power law for f(s). Both, f(s) and sigma, depended sensitively on the subsampling geometry and the dynamics of the model. Only one of the SOC models, the Abelian Sandpile Model, exhibited f(s) and sigma similar to those calculated from LFP activity. Conclusions Since subsampling can prevent the observation of the characteristic power law and sigma in SOC systems, misclassifications of critical systems as sub- or supercritical are possible. Nevertheless, the system specific scaling of f(s) and sigma under subsampling conditions may prove useful to select physiologically motivated models of brain function. Models that better reproduce f(s) and sigma calculated from the physiological recordings may be selected over alternatives.
The systematic guideline review : method, rationale, and test on chronic heart failure
Ferdinand M. Gerlach
- Background Evidence-based guidelines potentially improve healthcare. However, their de-novo-development requires substantial resources - especially for complex conditions, and adaptation may be biased by contextually influenced recommendations in source guidelines. In this paper we describe a new approach to guideline development - the systematic guideline review method (SGR), and its application in the development of an evidence-based guideline for family physicians on chronic heart failure (CHF). Methods A systematic search for guidelines was carried out. Evidence-based guidelines on CHF management in adults in ambulatory care published in English or German between the years 2000 and 2004 were included. Guidelines on acute or right heart failure were excluded. Eligibility was assessed by two reviewers, methodological quality of selected guidelines was appraised using the AGREE-instrument, and a framework of relevant clinical questions for diagnostics and treatment was derived. Data were extracted into evidence tables, systematically compared by means of a consistency analysis and synthesized in a preliminary draft. Most relevant primary sources were re-assessed to verify the cited evidence. Evidence and recommendations were summarized in a draft guideline. Results Of 16 included guidelines five were of good quality. A total of 35 recommendations were systematically compared: 25/35 were consistent, 9/35 inconsistent, and 1/35 unratable (derived from a single guideline). Of the 25 consistencies, 14 based on consensus, seven on evidence and four differed in grading. Major inconsistencies were found in 3/9 of the inconsistent recommendations. We re-evaluated the evidence for 17 recommendations (evidence-based, differing evidence levels and minor inconsistencies) the majority was congruent. Incongruencies were found, where the stated evidence could not be verified in the cited primary sources, or where the evaluation in the source guidelines focused on treatment benefits and underestimated the risks. The draft guideline was completed in 8.5 man-months. The main limitation to this study was the lack of a second reviewer. Conclusions The systematic guideline review including framework development, consistency analysis and validation is an effective, valid, and resource saving-approach to the development of evidence-based guidelines.
Fritz Ernst Drevermann
- Unter diesem Titel sollen kleinere Beobachtungen an paläozoischen Fossilien beschrieben werden. Hauptsächlich werden es Stücke des Senckenbergischen Museums sein, jedoch sollen auch Exemplare anderer Sammlungen gelegentlich in Betracht gezogen werden. Die ersten vier der hier beschriebenen Versteinerungen stammen aus den Oberkoblenzschichten von Prüm in der Eifel, wo der Verfasser im Sommer 1905 größere Aufsammlungen machen konnte.