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  • 2000-2004  (3)
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  • 1
    ISSN: 1399-3038
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Thromboxane A2 and its receptor (TBXA2R) are involved in the constriction of vascular and respiratory smooth muscles. The T924C polymorphism in the TBXA2R gene was recently found to be associated with asthma in Japanese adults but not in children. Its relationship with atopy or asthma severity in children has not been defined. To investigate this further, we first assessed the severity of asthma in Chinese children using a standardized questionnaire modified from the Disease Severity Score and spirometric evaluation. Then, peripheral blood was analyzed for serum total and aeroallergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels, and TBXA2R T924C genotypes were determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. One-hundred and fifty three asthmatic patients and 57 control children were recruited, of respective mean ages 9.9 and 11.0 years (p = 0.07). The mean logarithmic serum total IgE concentration was 2.57 and 2.09, respectively, for the asthmatic group and control group (p 〈 0.0001). Atopy was detected in 132 (86%) asthmatics and 33 (58%) controls. A significant association was observed between T924C and the diagnosis of atopic asthma (p = 0.044; odds ratio: 1.84). In addition, those asthmatics homozygous for the mutant allele in T924C had a lower forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) (p = 0.032 and 0.002, respectively). Among our asthmatic patients, the TBXA2R T924C polymorphism correlated with the concentration of cat-specific IgE in serum (p = 0.046). Nonetheless, this gene marker did not show an association with the serum total IgE concentration or any clinical indicator of asthma severity. In conclusion, our results suggest that the T924C marker in the TBXA2R gene is associated, in Chinese children, with an increased susceptibility of developing atopic asthma. This marker is also associated with the extent of allergic sensitization to cat, as well as with reduced FEV1 and FVC values.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1365-2222
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Background Interleukin (IL)-13 is an important cytokine secreted from type 2 helper T lymphocytes. It is essential for modulating IgE synthesis by human B cells. Previous studies showed that polymorphisms in the IL-13 gene were associated with serum total IgE or allergic asthma. The relationship of this marker with sensitization to individual aeroallergens has not been evaluated.Objective We tested whether a polymorphism in the coding region of the IL-13 gene is associated with asthma and atopy in asthmatic children in Hong Kong.Methods We used restriction fragment length polymorphism to detect R130Q genotype in Chinese children with asthma and control subjects. Serum total IgE was measured by microparticle immunoassay and specific IgE to common aeroallergens was measured using fluorescent enzyme immunoassay. Pulmonary function studies were performed using spirometry.Results One hundred and fifty-seven patients and 54 control children were recruited. Their mean serum total IgE concentrations were 994 kIU/L and 473 kIU/L, respectively (P 〈 0.0001). Atopy as defined by ≥ 1 positive RAST was found in 141 patients and 32 control children. The GlnGln form of the R130Q polymorphism in the IL-13 gene was associated with serum total IgE (P = 0.005) as well as specific IgE to Der p 1 (P = 0.021), mixed cockroaches (P = 0.03) and dog (P = 0.003) but not with physician-diagnosed asthma (P = 0.621). In addition, the R130Q polymorphism did not correlate with subjective or objective indicators of asthma severity in our patients.Conclusion Our results suggest that the R130Q polymorphism of the IL-13 gene is associated with elevated serum total and allergen-specific IgE but not asthma in Chinese children.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1365-2826
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: In the female rat, the integrity of the ventral noradrenergic bundle (VNAB) is necessary to carry stimuli from the uterine cervix and vagina to brain areas involved in mating-induced pseudopregnancy. Because adrenal hormones are known to alter noradrenergic function, we examined whether adrenalectomy altered mating-induced Fos expression in the A1 and A2 noradrenergic cell groups that project through the VNAB. Ovariectomized females were adrenalectomized (ADX) or sham-operated (Sham) and, 2 weeks after surgery, were given oestrogen and progesterone and mated. They received 15 intromissions, five intromissions or 15 mounts-without-intromission (mounts-only) from a male. Two hours after mating, rats were perfused and brains were collected; controls were perfused after being taken directly from their home cage. After immunocytochemical staining, Fos-immunoreactive (Fos-IR) and dopamine-β-hydroxylase-immunoreactive (DBH-IR) cells and the percentage of DBH cells that were labelled with Fos (% DBH/Fos) were counted. In the A1 area, Fos-IR and percentage DBH/Fos were not affected by adrenalectomy. Although an overall effect of mating treatment was found for both measures, no specific mating treatment increased labelled cells above home cage levels. In the caudal, middle and rostral A2, 15 intromissions induced a significant increase in Fos-IR in Sham females above all other groups and a higher percentage of DBH/Fos in the middle and rostral A2 areas. ADX females showed no rise in either Fos-IR or percentage DBH/Fos after 15 intromissions. However, in the middle and rostral A2, ADX females showed significantly increased Fos-IR and percentage DBH/Fos after mounts-only treatment above Sham mounts-only females and all other ADX groups. These results demonstrate that adrenal hormones suppress activation of A2 cells to mounts-only stimuli but contribute to A2 activation in response to intromissions from males. The latter effect may result from stress associated with receipt of vaginocervical stimulation during mating.
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