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  • 1
    Keywords: brain ; FOLLOW-UP ; magnetic resonance imaging ; ABNORMALITIES ; SCALE ; SENSORIMOTOR CORTEX ; MR-IMAGES ; VOXEL-BASED MORPHOMETRY ; DYSFUNCTION ; 1ST-EPISODE SCHIZOPHRENIA ; CEREBELLAR VOLUME ; Heidelberg scale ; Schizophrenia Neurological soft signs ; SOFT SIGNS
    Abstract: Neurological soft signs (NSS) comprise a broad range of minor motor and sensory deficits which are frequently found in schizophrenia. However, the cerebral changes underlying NSS are only partly understood. We therefore investigated the cerebral correlates of NSS by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 102 patients with first episode schizophrenia. NSS were assessed after remission of acute psychotic symptoms using the Heidelberg scale (HS), which consists of five NSS subscales ("motor coordination", "complex motor tasks", "orientation", "integrative functions", and "hard signs"). Correlations between NSS scores and cerebral changes were established by optimized voxel-based morphometry. NSS total scores were significantly associated with reduced gray matter densities in the precentral and postcentral gyri, the inferior parietal lobule and the inferior occipital gyrus. Both of the NSS subscales "motor coordination" and "complex motor tasks", referred to motor strip changes but showed differential correlations with parietal, insular, cerebellar or frontal sites, respectively. The NSS subscales "orientation" and "integrative functions" were associated with left frontal, parietal, and occipital changes or bihemispheric frontal changes, respectively. The NSS subscale "hard signs" was associated with deficits in the right cerebellum and right parastriate cortex. Repeated analyses for white matter changes revealed similar results. These findings confirm the associations between NSS and cerebral changes in areas important for motor and sensory functioning. This variety of cerebral sites corresponds to the heterogeneity of NSS and are consistent with the hypothesis that NSS reflect both a rather generalized cerebral dysfunction and localized deficits specific for particular signs.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21498055
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  • 2
    Abstract: Integrin-mediated cell adhesion and signaling is essential to vascular development and inflammatory processes. Elevated expression of integrin alpha(v)beta(3) has been detected in ischemia-reperfusion injury and rejecting heart allografts. We thus hypothesized that the inhibition of alpha(v)-associated integrins may have potent anti-inflammatory effects in acute kidney allograft rejection. We studied the effects of a peptidomimetic antagonist of alpha(v) integrins in two rat models of renal allotransplantation, differing in degree of major histocompatibility complex mismatch. Integrin alpha(v)beta(3) was up-regulated in rejecting renal allografts. Integrin antagonist reduced the histological signs of acute rejection, the intensity of the mononuclear cell infiltration, and cell proliferation in the grafted kidneys. This could be correlated to a reduced leukocyte-endothelial interaction and an improved peritubular microcirculation observed by intravital microscopy. In vitro under laminar flow conditions, the arrest of monocytes to interleukin-1 beta-activated endothelium was decreased. Furthermore, in co-culture models the proliferation and transmigration of monocytes/macrophages, endothelium, and fibroblasts induced by renal tubular epithelia was efficiently inhibited by alpha(v) integrin antagonism. These data reveal an important role of this integrin subclass in leukocyte recruitment and development and maintenance of acute rejection; blockade of alpha(v) integrins may provide a new therapeutic strategy to attenuate acute allograft rejection
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 17702892
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