Year of publication
- Breaking tolerance to the natural human liver autoantigen cytochrome P450 2D6 by virus infection (2008)
- Autoimmune liver diseases, such as autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and primary biliary cirrhosis, often have severe consequences for the patient. Because of a lack of appropriate animal models, not much is known about their potential viral etiology. Infection by liver-tropic viruses is one possibility for the breakdown of self-tolerance. Therefore, we infected mice with adenovirus Ad5 expressing human cytochrome P450 2D6 (Ad-2D6). Ad-2D6–infected mice developed persistent autoimmune liver disease, apparent by cellular infiltration, hepatic fibrosis, “fused” liver lobules, and necrosis. Similar to type 2 AIH patients, Ad-2D6–infected mice generated type 1 liver kidney microsomal–like antibodies recognizing the immunodominant epitope WDPAQPPRD of cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6). Interestingly, Ad-2D6–infected wild-type FVB/N mice displayed exacerbated liver damage when compared with transgenic mice expressing the identical human CYP2D6 protein in the liver, indicating the presence of a stronger immunological tolerance in CYP2D6 mice. We demonstrate for the first time that infection with a virus expressing a natural human autoantigen breaks tolerance, resulting in a chronic form of severe, autoimmune liver damage. Our novel model system should be instrumental for studying mechanisms involved in the initiation, propagation, and precipitation of virus-induced autoimmune liver diseases.
- Contrasting disease patterns in seropositive and seronegative neuromyelitis optica: A multicentre study of 175 patients (2012)
- BACKGROUND: The diagnostic and pathophysiological relevance of antibodies to aquaporin-4 (AQP4-Ab) in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) has been intensively studied. However, little is known so far about the clinical impact of AQP4-Ab seropositivity. OBJECTIVE: To analyse systematically the clinical and paraclinical features associated with NMO spectrum disorders in Caucasians in a stratified fashion according to the patients' AQP4-Ab serostatus. METHODS: Retrospective study of 175 Caucasian patients (AQP4-Ab positive in 78.3%). RESULTS: Seropositive patients were found to be predominantly female (p < 0.0003), to more often have signs of co-existing autoimmunity (p < 0.00001), and to experience more severe clinical attacks. A visual acuity of ≤ 0.1 during acute optic neuritis (ON) attacks was more frequent among seropositives (p < 0.002). Similarly, motor symptoms were more common in seropositive patients, the median Medical Research Council scale (MRC) grade worse, and MRC grades ≤ 2 more frequent, in particular if patients met the 2006 revised criteria (p < 0.005, p < 0.006 and p < 0.01, respectively), the total spinal cord lesion load was higher (p < 0.006), and lesions ≥ 6 vertebral segments as well as entire spinal cord involvement more frequent (p < 0.003 and p < 0.043). By contrast, bilateral ON at onset was more common in seronegatives (p < 0.007), as was simultaneous ON and myelitis (p < 0.001); accordingly, the time to diagnosis of NMO was shorter in the seronegative group (p < 0.029). The course of disease was more often monophasic in seronegatives (p < 0.008). Seropositives and seronegatives did not differ significantly with regard to age at onset, time to relapse, annualized relapse rates, outcome from relapse (complete, partial, no recovery), annualized EDSS increase, mortality rate, supratentorial brain lesions, brainstem lesions, history of carcinoma, frequency of preceding infections, oligoclonal bands, or CSF pleocytosis. Both the time to relapse and the time to diagnosis was longer if the disease started with ON (p < 0.002 and p < 0.013). Motor symptoms or tetraparesis at first myelitis and > 1 myelitis attacks in the first year were identified as possible predictors of a worse outcome. CONCLUSION: This study provides an overview of the clinical and paraclinical features of NMOSD in Caucasians and demonstrates a number of distinct disease characteristics in seropositive and seronegative patients
- Correlation of inflammatory and proangiogenic cytokines from undiluted vitreous samples with spectral domain OCT scans, in untreated branch retinal vein occlusion (2013)
- Purpose: To assess the levels of inflammatory and angiogenic cytokines in undiluted vitreous from treatment-naïve patients with macular edema secondary to nonischemic branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), with flow cytometric bead array (CBA) and to correlate the results with subjective and multiple spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) parameters. Methods: A total of 43 eyes from 43 patients (mean age 69.7 years, 23 male) were divided into groups of new, "fresh" (n = 28; mean duration after onset 4.1 months) and older BRVO (n = 15; 11.6 months). Because of macular edema, these patients underwent an intravitreal therapy combining a single-site 23 g core vitrectomy with bevacizumab and dexamethasone. Undiluted vitreous was then analyzed for interleukin-6 (IL-6), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor isoform A (VEGF-A) levels with CBA and correlated with visual acuity (VA), clinical parameters of BRVO (type and perfusion status), and morphologic parameters, such as central macular thickness, central retinal thickness, thickness of the neurosensory retina, thickness of the serous retinal detachment, and the disruption of the ellipsoid line (photoreceptor inner and outer segments) and the external limiting membrane, as measured with SD-OCT. Twenty-eight undiluted vitreous samples from patients with idiopathic, nonuveitis vitreous floaters served as the controls. Results: The mean IL-6 was 23.2 pg/mL (standard deviation, ±48.8), MCP-1 was 602.6 (±490.3), and VEGF-A was 161.8 (±314.3), and this was higher than in the control group, which had a mean IL-6 of 6.2 ± 3.4 pg/mL (P = 0.17), MCP-1 of 253.2 ± 73.5 (P < 0.0000001), and VEGF-A of 7.0 ± 4.9 (P < 0.003). In all BRVO samples, IL-6 correlated positively with MCP-1 and VEGF-A (correlation coefficient r = 0.79 and r = 0.46, respectively). VEGF-A was the only cytokine to correlate significantly with SD-OCT parameters (thickness of the neurosensory retina r = 0.31; disruption of the ellipsoid line r = 0.33). In the older BRVO group, there was a positive correlation between cytokines (IL-6 with MCP-1, r = 0.77; Il-6 with VEGF-A, r = 0.68; MCP-1 and VEGF-A, r = 0.68), whereas only IL-6 correlated with MCP-1 in the fresh group (r = 0.8). Conclusion: The inflammatory markers and VEGF-A were elevated in the vitreous fluid of patients with BRVO, and these correlated with one another. VEGF-A was more often correlated with the morphologic changes assessed by SD-OCT, whereas the inflammatory markers had no significant influence on SD-OCT changes.
- Development of a primary care-based complex care management intervention for chronically ill patients at high risk for hospitalization: a study protocol (2010)
- Background: Complex care management is seen as an approach to face the challenges of an ageing society with increasing numbers of patients with complex care needs. The Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom has proposed a framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions that will be used to develop and evaluate a primary care-based complex care management program for chronically ill patients at high risk for future hospitalization in Germany. Methods and design: We present a multi-method procedure to develop a complex care management program to implement interventions aimed at reducing potentially avoidable hospitalizations for primary care patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or chronic heart failure and a high likelihood of hospitalization. The procedure will start with reflection about underlying precipitating factors of hospitalizations and how they may be targeted by the planned intervention (pre-clinical phase). An intervention model will then be developed (phase I) based on theory, literature, and exploratory studies (phase II). Exploratory studies are planned that entail the recruitment of 200 patients from 10 general practices. Eligible patients will be identified using two ways of 'case finding': software based predictive modelling and physicians' proposal of patients based on clinical experience. The resulting subpopulations will be compared regarding healthcare utilization, care needs and resources using insurance claims data, a patient survey, and chart review. Qualitative studies with healthcare professionals and patients will be undertaken to identify potential barriers and enablers for optimal performance of the complex care management program. Discussion: This multi-method procedure will support the development of a primary care-based care management program enabling the implementation of interventions that will potentially reduce avoidable hospitalizations.
- Evolution of particle composition in CLOUD nucleation experiments (2012)
- Sulphuric acid, ammonia, amines, and oxidised organics play a crucial role in nanoparticle formation in the atmosphere. In this study, we investigate the composition of nucleated nanoparticles formed from these compounds in the CLOUD chamber experiments at CERN. The investigation is carried out via analysis of the particle hygroscopicity, ethanol affinity, oxidation state, and ion composition. Hygroscopicity was studied by a hygroscopic tandem differential mobility analyser and a cloud condensation nuclei counter, ethanol affinity by an organic differential mobility analyser and particle oxidation level by a high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer. The ion composition was studied by an atmospheric pressure interface time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The volume fraction of the organics in the particles during their growth from sizes of a few nanometers to tens of nanometers was derived from measured hygroscopicity assuming the Zdanovski-Stokes-Robinson relationship, and compared to values gained from the spectrometers. The ZSR-relationship was also applied to obtain the measured ethanol affinities during the particle growth, which were used to derive the volume fractions of sulphuric acid and the other inorganics (e.g. ammonium salts). In the presence of sulphuric acid and ammonia, particles with a mobility diameter of 150 nm were chemically neutralised to ammonium sulphate. In the presence of oxidation products of pinanediol, the organic volume fraction of freshly nucleated particles increased from 0.4 to ∼0.9, with an increase in diameter from 2 to 63 nm. Conversely, the sulphuric acid volume fraction decreased from 0.6 to 0.1 when the particle diameter increased from 2 to 50 nm. The results provide information on the composition of nucleated aerosol particles during their growth in the presence of various combinations of sulphuric acid, ammonia, dimethylamine and organic oxidation products.
- Genome sequence of the necrotrophic plant pathogen Pythium ultimum reveals original pathogenicity mechanisms and effector repertoire (2010)
- Background: Pythium ultimum (P. ultimum) is a ubiquitous oomycete plant pathogen responsible for a variety of diseases on a broad range of crop and ornamental species. Results: The P. ultimum genome (42.8 Mb) encodes 15,290 genes and has extensive sequence similarity and synteny with related Phytophthora species, including the potato blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Whole transcriptome sequencing revealed expression of 86% of genes, with detectable differential expression of suites of genes under abiotic stress and in the presence of a host. The predicted proteome includes a large repertoire of proteins involved in plant pathogen interactions although surprisingly, the P. ultimum genome does not encode any classical RXLR effectors and relatively few Crinkler genes in comparison to related phytopathogenic oomycetes. A lower number of enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism were present compared to Phytophthora species, with the notable absence of cutinases, suggesting a significant difference in virulence mechanisms between P. ultimum and more host specific oomycete species. Although we observed a high degree of orthology with Phytophthora genomes, there were novel features of the P. ultimum proteome including an expansion of genes involved in proteolysis and genes unique to Pythium. We identified a small gene family of cadherins, proteins involved in cell adhesion, the first report in a genome outside the metazoans. Conclusions: Access to the P. ultimum genome has revealed not only core pathogenic mechanisms within the oomycetes but also lineage specific genes associated with the alternative virulence and lifestyles found within the pythiaceous lineages compared to the Peronosporaceae.
- Inhibition of neutrophil activity improves cardiac function after cardiopulmonary bypass (2007)
- Background The arterial in line application of the leukocyte inhibition module (LIM) in the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) limits overshooting leukocyte activity during cardiac surgery. We now studied in a porcine model whether LIM may have beneficial effects on cardiac function after CPB. Methods German landrace pigs underwent CPB (60 min myocardial ischemia; 30 min reperfusion)without (group I; n=6) or with LIM (group II; n=6). The cardiac indices (CI) and cardiac function were analyzed pre and post CPB with a Swan-Ganz catheter and the cardiac function analyzer. Neutrophil labeling with technetium, scintigraphy, and histological analyses were done to track activated neutrophils within the organs. Results LIM prevented CPB-associated increase of neutrophil counts in peripheral blood. In group I, the CI significantly declined post CPB (post: 3.26 +/- 0.31; pre: 4.05 +/- 0.45 l/min/m2; p<0.01). In group II, the CI was only slightly reduced (post: 3.86 +/- 0.49; pre 4.21 +/- 1.32 l/min/m2; p=0.23). Post CPB, the intergroup difference showed significantly higher CI values in the LIM group (p<0.05) which was in conjunction with higher pre-load independent endsystolic pressure volume relationship (ESPVR) values (group I: 1.57 +/- 0.18; group II: 1.93 +/- 0.16; p<0.001). Moreover, the systemic vascular resistance and pulmonary vascular resistance were lower in the LIM group. LIM appeared to accelerate the sequestration of hyperactivated neutrophils in the spleen and to reduce neutrophil infiltration of heart and lung. Conclusions Our data provide strong evidence that LIM improves perioperative hemodynamics and cardiac function after CPB by limiting neutrophil activity and inducing accelerated sequestration of neutrophils in the spleen.
- Long term outcome of high-risk neuroblastoma patients after immunotherapy with antibody ch14.18 or oral metronomic chemotherapy (2011)
- Background: The treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma patients consists of multimodal induction therapy to achieve remission followed by consolidation therapy to prevent relapses. However, the type of consolidation therapy is still discussed controversial. We applied metronomic chemotherapy in the prospective NB90 trial and monoclonal anti-GD2-antibody (MAB) ch14.18 in the NB97 trial. Here, we present the long term outcome data of the patient cohort. Methods: A total of 334 stage 4 neuroblastoma patients one year or older were included. All patients successfully completed the induction therapy. In the NB90 trial, 99 patients received at least one cycle of the oral maintenance chemotherapy (NB90 MT, 12 alternating cycles of oral melphalan/etoposide and vincristine/cyclophosphamide). In the NB97 trial, 166 patients commenced the MAB ch14.18 consolidation therapy (six cycles over 12 months). Patients who received no maintenance therapy according to the NB90 protocol or by refusal in NB97 (n = 69) served as controls. Results: The median observation time was 11.11 years. The nine-year event-free survival rates were 41 ± 4%, 31 ± 5%, and 32 ± 6% for MAB ch14.18, NB90 MT, and no consolidation, respectively (p = 0.098). In contrast to earlier reports, MAB ch14.18 treatment improved the long-term outcome compared to no additional therapy (p = 0.038). The overall survival was better in the MAB ch14.18-treated group (9-y-OS 46 ± 4%) compared to NB90 MT (34 ± 5%, p = 0.026) and to no consolidation (35 ± 6%, p = 0.019). Multivariable Cox regression analysis revealed ch14.18 consolidation to improve outcome compared to no consolidation, however, no difference between NB90 MT and MAB ch14.18-treated patients was found. Conclusions: Follow-up analysis of the patient cohort indicated that immunotherapy with MAB ch14.18 may prevent late relapses. Finally, metronomic oral maintenance chemotherapy also appeared effective.
- Methodik (2002)
- Die vegetationskundliche und strukturelle Zuordnung der Lebensraumtypen erfolgt nach der vorrangig von Braun-Blanquet entwickelten Vegetationsklassifizierung, einer hierarchischen Gliederung der Vegetationstypen (Syntaxonomie), die die Ebenen der Assoziation, des Verbandes, der Ordnung und der Klasse umfasst. Hierbei ist die Assoziation die grundlegende Einheit, in der die Pflanzengesellschaften zusammengefasst werden, die sich durch gleiche charakteristische Arten(gruppen)kombinationen auszeichnen. Der Verband vereinigt ähnliche Assoziationen. Das sind bereits umfassendere, jedoch standörtlich noch recht einheitliche Vegetationseinheiten. In Ordnungen werden ähnliche Verbände zusammengefasst. Die Klasse vereinigt ähnliche Ordnungen.
- Molecular understanding of sulphuric acid–amine particle nucleation in the atmosphere (2013)
- Nucleation of aerosol particles from trace atmospheric vapours is thought to provide up to half of global cloud condensation nuclei1. Aerosols can cause a net cooling of climate by scattering sunlight and by leading to smaller but more numerous cloud droplets, which makes clouds brighter and extends their lifetimes2. Atmospheric aerosols derived from human activities are thought to have compensated for a large fraction of the warming caused by greenhouse gases2. However, despite its importance for climate, atmospheric nucleation is poorly understood. Recently, it has been shown that sulphuric acid and ammonia cannot explain particle formation rates observed in the lower atmosphere3. It is thought that amines may enhance nucleation4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, but until now there has been no direct evidence for amine ternary nucleation under atmospheric conditions. Here we use the CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets) chamber at CERN and find that dimethylamine above three parts per trillion by volume can enhance particle formation rates more than 1,000-fold compared with ammonia, sufficient to account for the particle formation rates observed in the atmosphere. Molecular analysis of the clusters reveals that the faster nucleation is explained by a base-stabilization mechanism involving acid–amine pairs, which strongly decrease evaporation. The ion-induced contribution is generally small, reflecting the high stability of sulphuric acid–dimethylamine clusters and indicating that galactic cosmic rays exert only a small influence on their formation, except at low overall formation rates. Our experimental measurements are well reproduced by a dynamical model based on quantum chemical calculations of binding energies of molecular clusters, without any fitted parameters. These results show that, in regions of the atmosphere near amine sources, both amines and sulphur dioxide should be considered when assessing the impact of anthropogenic activities on particle formation.