Evaluating frequency, diagnostic quality, and cost of Lyme borreliosis testing in Germany: a retrospective model analysis
Michael H. Freitag
Douglas E. Norris
- Background. Data on the economic impact of Lyme borreliosis (LB) on European health care systems is scarce. This project focused on the epidemiology and costs for laboratory testing in LB patients in Germany. Materials and Methods. We performed a sentinel analysis of epidemiological and medicoeconomic data for 2007 and 2008. Data was provided by a German statutory health insurance (DAK) company covering approx. 6.04 million members. In addition, the quality of diagnostic testing for LB in Germany was studied. Results. In 2007 and 2008, the incident diagnosis LB was coded on average for 15,742 out of 6.04 million insured members (0.26%). 20,986 EIAs and 12,558 immunoblots were ordered annually for these patients. For all insured members in the outpatient sector, a total of 174,820 EIAs and 52,280 immunoblots were reimbursed annually to health care providers (cost: 2,600,850€). For Germany, the overall expected cost is estimated at 51,215,105€. However, proficiency testing data questioned test quality and standardization of diagnostic assays used. Conclusion. Findings from this study suggest ongoing issues related to care for LB and may help to improve future LB disease management.
Inflammatory and angiogenic protein detection in the human vitreous: cytometric bead assay
Michael Janusz Koss
Frank H. Koch
- Introduction. To evaluate clinical feasibility and reproducibility of cytometric bead assay (CBA) in nondiluted vitreous samples of patients with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), and central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). Methods. Twelve patients from a single clinics day qualified for intravitreal injections (ARMD n = 6, DME n = 3, CRVO n = 3) and underwent a combination treatment including a single-site 23 gauge core vitrectomy which yielded a volume of 0.6 mL undiluted vitreous per patient. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), vascular endothelial growth factor isoform A (VEGF-A), and monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were assessed directly from 0.3 mL at the same day (fresh samples). To assess the reproducibility 0.3 ml were frozen for 60 days at -80°, on which the CBA was repeated (frozen samples). Results. In the fresh samples IL-6 was highest in CRVO (median IL-6 55.8 pg/mL) > DME (50.6) > ARMD (3.1). Highest VEGF was measured in CRVO (447.4) > DME (3.9) > ARMD (2.0). MCP-1 was highest in CRVO (595.7) > AMD (530.8) > DME (178). The CBA reproducibility after frozen storage was examined to be most accurate for MCP1 (P = 0.91) > VEGF (P = 0.68) > IL-6 (P = 0.49). Conclusions. CBA is an innovative, fast determining, and reliable technology to analyze proteins in fluids, like the undiluted vitreous, which is important to better understand ocular pathophysiology and pharmacology. There is no influence of intermittent storage at -80° for the reproducibility of the CBA.
Reduced inclination of cervical spine in a novel notebook screen system - implications for rehabilitation
Michael Florian Spallek
Jan David Alexander Groneberg
- BACKGROUND: Professional working at computer notebooks is associated with high requirements on the body posture in the seated position. By the high continuous static muscle stress resulting from this position at notebooks, professionals frequently working at notebooks for long hours are exposed to an increased risk of musculoskeletal complaints. Especially in subjects with back pain, new notebooks should be evaluated with a focus on rehabilitative issues.
METHODS: In a field study a new notebook design with adjustable screen was analyzed and compared to standard notebook position.
RESULTS: There are highly significant differences in the visual axis of individuals who are seated in the novel notebook position in comparison to the standard position. Also, differences are present between further alternative notebook positions. Testing of gender and glasses did not reveal influences.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that notebooks with adjustable screen may be used to improve the posture. Future studies may focus on patients with musculoskeletal diseases.
Mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK): a potential cancer drug target
Claire T. Friel
- The inability to faithfully segregate chromosomes in mitosis results in chromosome instability, a hallmark of solid tumors. Disruption of microtubule dynamics contributes highly to mitotic chromosome instability. The kinesin-13 family is critical in the regulation of microtubule dynamics and the best characterized member of the family, the mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK), has recently been attracting enormous attention. MCAK regulates microtubule dynamics as a potent depolymerizer of microtubules by removing tubulin subunits from the polymer end. This depolymerizing activity plays pivotal roles in spindle formation, in correcting erroneous attachments of microtubule-kinetochore and in chromosome movement. Thus, the accurate regulation of MCAK is important for ensuring the faithful segregation of chromosomes in mitosis and for safeguarding chromosome stability. In this review we summarize recent data concerning the regulation of MCAK by mitotic kinases, Aurora A/B, Polo-like kinase 1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 1. We propose a molecular model of the regulation of MCAK by these mitotic kinases and relevant phosphatases throughout mitosis. An ever-increasing quantity of data indicates that MCAK is aberrantly regulated in cancer cells. This deregulation is linked to increased malignance, invasiveness, metastasis and drug resistance, most probably due to increased chromosomal instability and remodeling of the microtubule cytoskeleton in cancer cells. Most interestingly, recent observations suggest that MCAK could be a novel molecular target for cancer therapy, as a new cancer antigen or as a mitotic regulator. This collection of new data indicates that MCAK could be a new star in the cancer research sky due to its critical roles in the control of genome stability and the cytoskeleton. Further investigations are required to dissect the fine details of the regulation of MCAK throughout mitosis and its involvements in oncogenesis.
SKAP1 protein PH domain determines RapL membrane localization and Rap1 protein complex formation for T cell receptor (TCR) activation of LFA-1
Christopher E. Rudd
- Although essential for T cell function, the identity of the T cell receptor (TCR) “inside-out” pathway for the activation of lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) is unclear. SKAP1 (SKAP-55) is the upstream regulator needed for TCR-induced RapL-Rap1 complex formation and LFA-1 activation. In this paper, we show that SKAP1 is needed for RapL binding to membranes in a manner dependent on the PH domain of SKAP1 and the PI3K pathway. A SKAP1 PH domain-inactivating mutation (i.e. R131M) markedly impaired RapL translocation to membranes for Rap1 and LFA-1 binding and the up-regulation of LFA-1-intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) binding. Further, N-terminal myr-tagged SKAP1 for membrane binding facilitated constitutive RapL membrane and Rap1 binding and effectively substituted for PI3K and TCR ligation in the activation of LFA-1 in T cells.
Antinociceptive effects of reactive oxygen species scavengers in animal models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain
- Recent data indicate that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced in the nociceptive system during persistent pain and contribute to pain sensitization. Aim of this study was to investigate potential antinociceptive effects of ROS scavengers in different animal models of pain. Intrathecal injection of ROS scavengers 1-Oxyl-2,2,6,6-tetramethyl -4-hydroxypiperidine (TEMPOL) or Phenyl-N-tert-butylnitrone (PBN) significantly inhibited formalin-induced nociceptive behavior in mice, suggesting that ROS released in the spinal cord are involved in nociceptive processing. Formalin-induced nociceptive behavior was also inhibited by intraperitoneal injection of a combination of vitamin C and vitamin E, but not of vitamin C or vitamin E alone. Moreover, the combination of vitamin C and E dose-dependently attenuated mechanical allodynia in the spared nerve injury (SNI) model of neuropathic pain. The SNI-induced mechanical allodynia was also reduced after intrathecal injection of the combination of vitamin C and E, and western blot analyses revealed that vitamin C and E treatment can ameliorate the activation of p38 MAPK in the spinal cord and in DRGs. These data suggest that a combination of vitamin C and E can inhibit the nociceptive behavior in animal models of pain, and points to a role of the spinal cord as an important area of ROS production during nociceptive processing.
Nephronectin regulates atrioventricular canal differentiation via Bmp4-Has2 signaling in zebrafish
Machteld J. van Amerongen
Felix B. Engel
- The extracellular matrix is crucial for organogenesis. It is a complex and dynamic component that regulates cell behavior by modulating the activity, bioavailability and presentation of growth factors to cell surface receptors. Here, we determined the role of the extracellular matrix protein Nephronectin (Npnt) in heart development using the zebrafish model system. The vertebrate heart is formed as a linear tube in which myocardium and endocardium are separated by a layer of extracellular matrix termed the cardiac jelly. During heart development, the cardiac jelly swells at the atrioventricular (AV) canal, which precedes valve formation. Here, we show that Npnt expression correlates with this process. Morpholino-mediated knockdown of Npnt prevents proper valve leaflet formation and trabeculation and results in greater than 85% lethality at 7 days post-fertilization. The earliest observed phenotype is an extended tube-like structure at the AV boundary. In addition, the expression of myocardial genes involved in cardiac valve formation (cspg2, fibulin 1, tbx2b, bmp4) is expanded and endocardial cells along the extended tube-like structure exhibit characteristics of AV cells (has2, notch1b and Alcam expression, cuboidal cell shape). Inhibition of has2 in npnt morphants rescues the endocardial, but not the myocardial, expansion. By contrast, reduction of BMP signaling in npnt morphants reduces the ectopic expression of myocardial and endocardial AV markers. Taken together, our results identify Npnt as a novel upstream regulator of Bmp4-Has2 signaling that plays a crucial role in AV canal differentiation.
Uni-Klinik aktuell : das Magazin des Klinikums der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main. Nr. 2011,1
Uni-Klinik aktuell : das Magazin des Klinikums der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main. Nr. 2011,2
Uni-Klinik aktuell : das Magazin des Klinikums der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main. Nr. 2011,3