［Background & Purpose］Urinary intact microal-buminuria （U-I microAlb） is a useful parameter for detecting early-stage renal damage in hypertensive and diabetic kidney diseases. Recently, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has been developed for detecting a small amount of U-I microAlb composed of immunoreactive and non-immunoreactive albumin. However, the significance of U-I microAlb in collagen diseases has not been determined. Thus, we explored the significance of U-I microAlb in patients with collagen diseases. ［Material & Methods］U-I microAlb was measured by HPLC in 146 patients with various collagen diseases without albuminuria by dip stick method. ［Results］Of the 146 patients, U-I microAlb was detected in 66 cases (45.2％) by HPLC and was associated with the presence of hypertension and diabetes mellitus. On the other hand, U-I microAlb was detected in only 22.6％ by immunoassay, suggesting that HPLC had higher sensitivity than immunoassay for detecting U-I microAlb. Of the 78 patients without hypertension and diabetes mellitus, U-I microAlb measured by HPLC was found to be positive in 30％ of those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 30％ of those with systemic lupus erythematosus. Moreover, U-I microAlb was detected more frequently in RA patients with long clinical courses. ［Discussion］There might be some pathogenetic mechanism by which non-immunoreactive microalbuminuria may develop while the patients with collagen diseases remain to be negative for albuminuria by dip stick method. ［Conclusion］In collagen disease, chronic renal damage might be present while urine albumin is negative by dip stick method. Long-term analysis for a large number of patients is required to determine whether U-I microAlb measured by HPLC is useful for identifying the early stage kidney disease in collagen diseases.
The anterior pituitary gland (adenohypophysis) is an endocrine organ which releases many hormones affecting growth, sexual development, metabolism and the system of reproduction. It consists of the anterior and the intermediate lobes. The anterior lobe is composed of five types of hormone-producing cells, S100β protein-positive cells (S100β＋ cells), endothelial cells and pericytes. S100β＋ cells have a star-like appearance and are interconnected by cytoplasmic processes and encircle hormone-producing cells or aggregate homophilically to form a central lumen in the anterior lobe. Based on these histological features, S100β＋ cells in the anterior lobe are commonly referred to as folliculo-stellate cells. They also appear to possess multifunctional properties. Considering their pleiotropic features, it is not surprising that S100β＋ cells are assumed to be heterogenous. By the observation of different markers, these cells were classified into subtypes such as stem cells, progenitor cells, epithelial cells, astrocytes and dendritic cells. Isolation and characterization of each heterogenous population is a prerequisite to clarify the functional character and origin of the cells. In this review, we described our method for separating the subtypes (dendritic cell-like type and others) of S100β＋ cells from the rat anterior lobe and summarized the results of our recent investigations.
Two-dimensional Echocardiographic imaging and Doppler data are established as noninvasive useful imaging for patients with cardiovascular disease. In addition to these standard echocardiographic modalities, advances in imaging technology over the past few years also allow more sophisticated image analysis and display, including modalities such as three-dimensional (3D) and strain by speckle-tracking imaging. Stress echocardiography is performed for detection of myocardial ischemia and viability, and it is used for patients with structure heart disease in recent years. Real-time 3D transesophagial echocardiography is allows visualization of cardiac structures such as the mitral valve, aortic valve, and atrial septum defect. In addition, echocardiography has moved beyond the diagnostic imaging laboratory into the interventional cardiology arena, where it now is an integral component of transcatheter interventions for structural heart disease.