Autoinflammatory diseases represent an expanding spectrum of genetic and non-genetic inflammatory diseases characterized by recurrent episodes of fever and systemic inflammation, affecting joints, skin and serosal surfaces. Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is the most common autosomal recessive hereditary autoinflammatory disease. Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) is an autosomal dominant hereditary autoinflammatory disease. They share some clinical manifestations such as a periodic fever and skin rash. We present here the association of FMF with TRAPS in a systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patient. A 54-year-old SLE patient with recurrent attacks of fever, arthritis, and skin rashes was referred to our hospital. She had been diagnosed with lupus nephritis at 19 years old. Her lupus nephritis was controlled by steroid treatments; however, since childhood she has suffered from recurrent episodes of periodic fever, abdominal pain, arthritis, and erythematous skin rashes. An initial diagnosis of FMF was suspected based on the genetic analysis, showing the compound heterozygous L110P/E148Q mutations in the MEFV gene that is responsible for FMF. Her symptoms responded to colchicine, but the febrile attacks were not completely resolved. Therefore, genetic testing for TRAPS was performed. The results revealed a heterozygous T61I mutation in the TNFRSF1A gene that encodes tumor necrosis factor-α receptor and is responsible for TRAPS. The patient was diagnosed with overlapping FMF and TRAPS, in addition to SLE. This is the first report of SLE associated with both FMF and TRAPS.
Falling is one of the most common complications in stroke survivors. It is therefore important to evaluate the risk of falls. In this study, we investigated the usability of the performance-oriented mobility assessment (POMA) for predicting falls in stroke patients. The POMA examines the level of balance and mobility. Data were collected on the number of falls and physical functions from 72 stroke survivors. Physical functions were measured using the POMA balance subscale, One Leg Stand test (OLS), Sit To Stand test (STS), 10-m Walk Test (10WT), Fugl-Meyer assessment (FM), and Trunk Impairment Scale (TIS). Since the accuracy of the POMA balance subscale was moderate, the cutoff value used for predicting falls was 12.5 points (sensitivity: 72%; specificity: 74%), and the area under the curve was 0.78 (95% confidence interval: 0.66-0.91, p < 0.001). When comparing the physical functions (i.e., OLS, STS, 10WT, FM, and TIS) to the cutoff value for the POMA balance subscale, the physical functions of the group over 12.5 points for the subscale were significantly higher than those in the group below 12.5 points (p < 0.05). The muscle strength shown in the STS was the most important factor affecting the performance in the POMA balance subscale (β = −0.447). For the group below 12.5 points on the POMA balance subscale, the risk of falling increased by 0.304 times more than the group over 12.5 points. The POMA balance subscale is a valid tool for assessing the physical function and fall risk of stroke survivors.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in the regulation of a variety of biological processes, such as inflammation. Dysregulation of miRNAs have been implicated in many human disease, including cardiovascular diseases. Polymorphisms in miRNA genes may affect the miRNA biogenesis and function, and thus cause changes in the expression of thousands of genes. The aim of this study was to examine whether miRNA polymorphisms (miR-146a rs2910164, miR-149 rs71428439, miR-196a2 rs11614913, miR-218 rs11134527, and miR-499 rs3746444) contribute to the risk for the development of myocardial infarction (MI). Five miRNA polymorphisms were genotyped in a total of 1808 subjects composed of 919 MI patients and 889 control individuals. The GG genotype of rs3746444 was found to be associated with a significantly increased risk of MI (recessive model, adjusted OR = 1.710, 95% CI: 1.058-2.763, P = 0.029). Although the CC genotype of rs2910164 significantly increased the risk of MI under dominant and additive models (P < 0.05), this difference disappeared after adjustment for age, sex, blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and diabetes. In addition, when rs3746444 and rs2910164 were evaluated together by the number of putative high-risk alleles, we found an increased risk of MI for subjects carrying 3-4 risk alleles (3-4 risk alleles vs. 0-1 risk allele, adjusted OR = 1.580, 95% CI: 1.069-2336, P = 0.022; 3-4 risk alleles vs. 0-2 risk allele, adjusted OR = 1.513, 95% CI: 1.031-2.219, P = 0.034). These findings indicate that miR-499 rs3746444 and miR-146a rs2910164 may represent novel markers of MI susceptibility.
Allopurinol, a widely used urate-lowering agent, is a leading cause of severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs), especially in patients with HLA-B*58:01. Despite its routine use for the prevention of tumor lysis-related hyperuricemia prior to chemotherapy, the risk of allopurinol-induced hypersensitivity has not been investigated in patients with hematologic malignancies. This retrospective cohort study was conducted to investigate the incidence and risk factors of allopurinol-induced hypersensitivity in patients at least 18 years of age with hematologic malignancies. We reviewed 463 patients who had ever taken allopurinol for the prevention of hyperuricemia prior to chemotherapy and had undergone serologic HLA typing as a pre-transplant evaluation from January 2000 to May 2010. Thirteen (2.8%) patients experienced maculopapular eruptions (MPE) and none experienced SCARs. Among subtypes of underlying hematologic malignancies, percentage of chronic myeloid leukemia was significantly higher in the allopurinol hypersensitivity group compared with the tolerant group (23.1% (3/13) vs. 5.9% (26/440), P = 0.044). According to HLA subtypes, the incidence of allopurinol-induced MPE was 4.0% in HLA-B58 (+) patients (2/50) and 2.7% in HLA-B58 (−) patients (11/403) but this difference was statistically insignificant. In contrast to HLA-B58, the frequencies of DR9 and DR14 were significantly higher in the allopurinol-induced MPE group compared with the allopurinol tolerant group (38.5% (5/13) vs. 13.6% (53/443), P = 0.019, and 38.5% (5/13) vs. 15.6% (41/440), P = 0.038, respectively). In conclusion, HLA-DR9 and DR14, but not HLA-B58, are associated with hypersensitivity reaction by allopurinol when administered in patients with hematologic malignancy prior to chemotherapy.
Sorafenib, an oral multi-kinase inhibitor, has been approved for treatment of advanced renal-cell and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, 20% of HCC patients taking sorafenib are forced to withdraw due to adverse effects within one month after administration. Orally administered sorafenib is oxidatively metabolized, predominantly by cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), in small-intestinal mucosa or liver. We aimed to characterize the CYP3A4-mediated metabolism of sorafenib in HCC patients and explore the contribution of the major metabolite sorafenib N-oxide to adverse effects and therapeutic efficacy. We have therefore developed a method for quantitative determination of sorafenib and its N-oxide in the present study. To optimize the preanalytical procedure, we initially ascertained the solubility of the analytes. Because they are lipophilic, solvents containing more than 40% acetonitrile were required for efficient recovery. The pretreatment procedure that we ultimately developed consists of acetonitrile precipitation, followed by extraction using octadecyl silyl-silica gel to eliminate water-soluble and hydrophilic components of serum. Application of this procedure before HPLC enabled accurate and reproducible quantitation of analytes in a linear range from 0.03 to 30 μg/mL. After characterizing the peaks in the HPLC-ultraviolet chromatogram obtained from a medicated patient by LC-tandem mass spectrometry, we applied this method to HCC patients taking sorafenib, showing large inter-individual differences in the pharmacokinetic profile. In conclusion, our assay system should be useful for follow-up of patients taking sorafenib and for exploring the association between the pharmacokinetics of sorafenib and its N-oxide and the adverse effects or therapeutic efficacy.
Microglia are the main immunocompetent and phagocytic cells in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Bone marrow-derived microglia have been demonstrated to be more effective in antigen presentation and phagocytosis than inherent microglia in AD. Thus, microglia have received much attention in the pathogenesis of AD. The herbal medicine Juzen-taiho-to (JTT) has been reported to reduce β-amyloid (Aβ) burden in the mouse brain of an AD model. In this study, we explored the effects of JTT on the migration and differentiation of bone marrow-derived cells in the mouse brain of acutely induced AD. To chase bone marrow-derived cells, we made a chimeric mouse line in C57BL/6 by transplanting fresh bone marrow cells, isolated from the transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein gene. The chimeric mice were orally administrated with JTT or distilled water, and were left untreated or given intrahippocampal injection of fibrillar Aβ 1-42 (fAβ42) or vehicle. In the hippocampus of the vehicle-injected mouse, JTT treatment for 37 days caused a significant increase in the number of microglial cells. In the fAβ42-injected mouse hippocampus, a larger number of bone marrow-derived cells were detected in JTT-treated mice than control mice in the non-neighboring regions of the fAβ42-injected site but not around the injected site. These results suggest that JTT might contribute to the reduction of Aβ burden and the immune surveillance in non-pathological as well as pathological brain regions. The results also implicate the therapeutic potential of JTT in AD.
The interferon gamma (IFN-γ) release assays (IGRAs) are the best method of detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. However, reports on IGRAs results obtained during and right after the treatment of tuberculosis (TB) have presented differing results. Some studies have shown declining responses, whereas other reports described persistent, fluctuating, or increasing responses. We postulated that the IGRA-positivity will decrease or revert long time after treatment of TB, and thus, evaluated the response of IGRA in subjects with a history of pulmonary TB. Seventy subjects (M:F = 51:19; age = 53.2 ± 11.8 years) underwent tuberculin skin tests (TSTs) and IGRA. The interval of time elapsed after the completion of anti-TB treatment was < 10 years for 16 subjects, 10-20 years for 13 subjects, 20-30 years for 16 subjects, and ≥ 30 years for 25 subjects. The TST was positive in 49 subjects (74%) and negative in 17 subjects (26%). The IGRA was positive in 52 subjects (74%) and negative in 18 subjects (26%). The IFN-γ level and the size of induration showed good correlation (r = 0.525, P < 0.001). However, the correlation between time elapsed after the completion of anti-TB treatment and the size of induration or that between time and the IFN-γ level was not significant. The TST and IGRA were positive in 72.7% and 68.0% of subjects ≥ 30 years after the treatment of pulmonary TB. In conclusion, majority of subjects with a history of pulmonary TB are IGRA-positive, even a few decades after the completion of anti-TB treatment.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation has been increasingly recognized in patients receiving chemotherapy and immunosuppressive therapy; however, the prevalence of HBV infection and rate of HBV screening in patients with rheumatic diseases remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to assess the prevalence of HBV infection and fulminant HBV hepatitis in patients with rheumatic diseases. We also investigated the rate of HBV screening before immunosuppressive therapy in patients with rheumatic diseases. A retrospective questionnaire survey was conducted in the North-east area (Tohoku) of Japan. Questionnaires, comprising 6 questions, were sent to 318 rheumatologists in May 2010, and responses were gathered until June 2011. In total, 71 rheumatologists (22.3%) responded to the survey. We enrolled 7,650 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 1,031 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). When limited to institutes at which almost all (≥ 90%) patients were tested for HBV serology, 1.1% (40/3,580) patients with RA and 0.3% (3/1,128) patients with SLE were positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and 25.2% (177/703) patients with RA and 13.7% (34/248) patients with SLE were positive for hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb). About one-third of rheumatologists did not check HBsAg and more than half did not check hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) or HBcAb at all before therapy. Fulminant HBV hepatitis was observed in 1 RA patient who was current HBV carrier. In conclusion, the prevalence of HBV infection is high in patients with RA and SLE. HBV screening before immunosuppressive therapy should be strictly performed.
Irisin is mainly released from skeletal muscle (myocytes) and promotes thermogenesis by browning of the white adipose tissue. Although exercise has been shown to increase irisin concentration in blood and myocytes via up-regulation peroxisome proliferator receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) expression, the influence of exercise intensity on irisin secretion remains unclear. Therefore, we determined circulating irisin responses following a single bout of running at different intensities. Six sedentary males underwent treadmill running under two different conditions: a low-intensity (40% of VO2max) exercise trial (LIE) or a high-intensity (80% of VO2max) exercise trial (HIE). The exercises in LIE and HIE were lasted for 20 and 40 min, respectively. All subjects underwent the two trials on separate days, and a randomized cross-over design was used. Blood samples were collected before (Pre) and immediately after exercise, at 3, 6, and 19 h after exercise. Energy consumption during exercise did not significantly differ between the two trials. HIE significantly increased blood lactate and serum lactate dehydrogenase levels (P < 0.05). Compared with pre-exercise levels, the irisin concentrations were elevated at 6 h (18% increase) and 19 h (23% increase) after HIE, but significantly decreased after LIE. The relative irisin concentrations (compared with pre-exercise levels) were significantly greater in HIE than in LIE immediately after exercise, and at 6 and 19 h after exercise (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that irisin secretion after acute running exercise is affected by exercise intensity, independent of energy consumption.
The process of hematopoiesis is associated with hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and the hematopoietic microenvironment. Osteoblasts, derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), are one of the most important components in the hematopoietic microenvironment. Osteoblasts secrete a variety of cytokines including interleukin-6 (IL-6) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), thereby regulating the biological activities of HSCs. It has been shown that hematopoiesis dysfunction can be induced by estrogen-deficiency through the exhaustion of HSCs. However, the effect of estrogen on the proliferation of HSCs is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of estradiol in the process of hematopoiesis, especially regarding the proliferation of HSCs in vitro. Bone marrow-derived MSCs and HSCs were isolated from 3-month-old female Sprague-Dawley rats. Mineralization ability and osteocalcin assays demonstrated that treatment with 17β-estradiol (E2) significantly enhanced the osteogenic differentiation of MSCs. HSCs and MSCs were then cocultured with or without E2 treatment. Colony forming assays demonstrated that E2 increased the number of colony forming units-granulocyte/macrophage in a dose-dependent manner when HSCs were co-cultured with MSCs in Osteogenic Medium that is suitable for the in vitro osteogenic differentiation. Further, increased concentrations of GM-CSF and IL-6 were detected by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). These results indicate that E2 induces the proliferation of HSCs, which depends on the promotion of osteogenic differentiation of MSCs, and that process is mediated by both GM-CSF and IL-6.
Recent genome-wide association studies have identified Tribbles homolog 1 (TRIB1) as one of the candidate genes associated with lipid profiles. TRIB1 is known to interact with MAP kinases, thereby regulating their activities. The single nucleotide polymorphism rs2954029 of TRIB1 is located within an intron and is associated with lipid profiles. The aim of the present study is to investigate the TRIB1 rs2954029 (A>T polymorphism) with conventional predictors of coronary artery diseases such as carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI), and with lipid profiles in general population. This study enrolled 2,581 Japanese adults, 942 men and 1,639 women with a median age of 68 years (range 29 to 94 years), who participated in a screening program for the general population living in Goto City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan from 2008 to 2010. For the determination of TRIB1 rs2954029 genotypes, the polymerase chain reaction method was used. The differences in each parameter among the TRIB1 rs2954029 genotypes were evaluated using analysis of covariance. Genotype frequencies of TRIB1 rs2954029 in all participants were 25.5% for AA, 50.4% for AT, and 24.0% for TT. In women, the AA genotype showed significantly higher log triglyceride (TG) concentrations than the AT genotype (P = 0.004) and the AT + TT genotypes (P = 0.004). On the other hand, there were no associations with CIMT and CAVI among the TRIB1 rs2954029 genotypes. In conclusion, the TRIB1 rs2954029 is associated with serum TG concentrations in Japanese community-dwelling women.