Department of Medicine faculty members published more than 3,300 peer-reviewed articles in 2016-2017.
Inactivation of the integrin beta 6 subunit gene reveals a role of epithelial integrins in regulating inflammation in the lung and skin.
The integrin alpha v beta 6 is only expressed in epithelial cells. In healthy adult epithelia, this receptor is barely detectable, but expression is rapidly induced following epithelial injury. Mice homozygous for a null mutation in the gene encoding the beta 6 subunit had juvenile baldness associated with infiltration of macrophages into the skin, and accumulated activated lymphocytes around conducting airways in the lungs. Beta 6-/- mice also demonstrated airway hyperresponsiveness to acetylcholine, a hallmark feature of asthma. These results suggest that the epithelial integrin alpha v beta 6 participates in the modulation of epithelial inflammation. Genetic or acquired alterations in this integrin could thus contribute to the development of inflammatory diseases of epithelial organs, such as the lungs and skin.View on PubMed
Human T lymphotropic virus-I infection of human T lymphocytes induces expression of the beta-galactoside-binding lectin, galectin-3.
Animal lectins play important roles in a variety of biological processes via their recognition of glycoconjugates. Galectin-3 is a beta-galactoside-binding lectin previously designated as epsilon BP (IgE-binding protein), CBP35, Mac-2, L-29, and L-34, and its expression has been associated with various physiological and pathological processes, including cell growth, tumor transformation, and metastasis. Galectin-3 is widely distributed in various tissues and cell types and is expressed in many leukocytes, with the notable exception of B and T lymphocytes. We now report that galectin-3 is abundantly expressed in a number of human T lymphotropic virus (HTLV)-I-infected human T cell lines, including F6T, HUT 102, K3T, MT-2, and SLB-I, but is not expressed in non-HTLV-I-infected T cell lines such as Jurkat, CEM, and MOLT-4. In addition, the galectin-3 level was markedly increased in human thymocytes after infection with HTLV-I as compared with uninfected thymocytes. The up-regulation of galectin-3 expression appeared to correlate well with HTLV-I gene expression, as undetectable or very low levels of galectin-3 were found in the S1T and ATL-1K cell lines, which are nonproductively infected with HTLV-I. In co-transfection experiments, the galectin-3 promoter was significantly up-regulated by expression vectors encoding the 40-kd Tax protein, a potent transactivator in HTLV-I. Analysis of various Tax mutants suggested that galectin-3 promoter induction is dependent on activation of the cyclic-AMP-responsive element binding protein/activation transcription factor family of transcription factors and, to a lesser extent, nuclear factor-kappa B/Rel induction. Transfection of human promonocytic U-937 cells with an HTLV-I Tax expression vector induced galectin-3 expression in this cell line. Functionally, galectin-3 was shown to activate interleukin-2 production in Jurkat T cells. Together, these findings raise the possibility that HTLV-I Tax production induces the transcription and subsequent synthesis and secretion of galectin-3, which in turn may further activate these T cells and contribute to the altered properties of cell growth found in adult T cell leukemia induced by HTLV-I.View on PubMed
Is having alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency necessarily bad for your liver?
A polymorphism of a platelet glycoprotein receptor as an inherited risk factor for coronary thrombosis.
Platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa is a membrane receptor for fibrinogen and von Willebrand factor, and it has an important role in platelet aggregation. It is known to be involved in the pathogenesis of acute coronary syndromes. Previously, we found a high frequency of a particular polymorphism, PlA2, of the gene encoding glycoprotein IIIa in kindreds with a high prevalence of premature myocardial infarction.
To investigate the relation between the PlA2 polymorphism and acute coronary syndromes, we conducted a case-control study of 71 case patients with myocardial infarction or unstable angina and 68 inpatient controls without known heart disease. The groups were matched for age, race, and sex. We used two methods to determine the PlA genotype: reverse dot blot hybridization and allele-specific restriction digestion.
The prevalence of PlA2 was 2.1 times higher among the case patients than among the controls (39.4 percent vs. 19.1 percent, P=0.01). In a subgroup of patients whose disease began before the age of 60 years, the prevalence of PlA2 was 50 percent, a value that was 3.6 times that among control subjects under 60 years of age (13.9 percent, P=0.002). Among subjects with the PlA2 polymorphism, the odds ratio for having a coronary event was 2.8 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.2 to 6.4). In the patients less than 60 years of age at the onset of disease, the odds ratio was 6.2 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.8 to 22.4).
We observed a strong association between the PlA2 polymorphism of the glycoprotein IIIa gene and acute coronary thrombosis, and this association was strongest in patients who had had coronary events before the age of 60 years.View on PubMed
Retroviral-mediated gene correction for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency.
Pennyroyal toxicity: measurement of toxic metabolite levels in two cases and review of the literature.
Pennyroyal is a widely available herb that has long been used as an abortifacient despite its potentially lethal hepatotoxic effects. However, quantitative data for pennyroyal constituents and their metabolites in humans have not been previously reported.
To quantify pennyroyal metabolites in human overdose, to correlate these findings with clinical variables, and to place these findings in the context of previously reported cases of pennyroyal toxicity.
Clinical case series of pennyroyal ingestions; quantification of pennyroyal metabolites by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry; qualitative detection of protein-bound adducts of the metabolites of pennyroyal constituents in human liver by Western blot assay; and review of the literature based on a search of MEDLINE, Index Medicus, and the reference citations of all available publications.
We report four cases of pennyroyal ingestion. One patient died, one received N-acetylcysteine, and two ingested minimally toxic amounts of pennyroyal and were not treated with N-acetylcysteine. In the fatal case, postmortem examination of a serum sample, which had been obtained 72 hours after the acute ingestion, identified 18 ng of pulegone per mL and 1 ng of menthofuran per mL. In a serum sample from the patient treated with N-acetylcysteine, which had been obtained 10 hours after ingestion, the menthofuran level was 40 ng/mL. Review of 18 previous case reports of pennyroyal ingestion documented moderate to severe toxicity in patients who had been exposed to at least 10 mL of pennyroyal oil.
Pennyroyal continues to be an herbal toxin of public health importance. Data on human metabolites may provide new insights into the toxic mechanisms and treatment of pennyroyal poisoning, including the potential role of N-acetylcysteine. Better understanding of the toxicity of pennyroyal may also lead to stricter control of and more restricted access to the herb.View on PubMed
The instructive role of innate immunity in the acquired immune response.
Innate immunity has been considered only to provide rapid, incomplete antimicrobial host defense until the slower, more definitive acquired immune response develops. However, innate immunity may have an additional role in determining which antigens the acquired immune system responds to and the nature of that response. Knowledge of the molecules and pathways involved may create new therapeutic options for infectious and autoimmune diseases.View on PubMed
Rifabutin therapy for disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex infection.
Cost benefits of picture archiving and communications systems.
Comparison of diagnostic studies in the pretreatment evaluation of stage Ib carcinoma of the cervix.
The results of our study highlight the need for change in the pretreatment workup of clinical stage Ib cervical cancer. The routine use of excretory urography, barium enema, cystoscopy,and sigmoidoscopy is not justified. MR evaluation is recommended in patients with lesions larger than 2 cm (the group with the greatest increase in predictive value). Although CT scanning is not recommended for the evaluation of parametrial invasion, both CT scanning and MR imaging provide similar positive and negative posttest probabilities for the evaluation of nodal disease.View on PubMed