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Abstracts

Inflammation: Chronic
Updated: 08/26/2004

ABSTRACTS

Influence of prophylactic use of pentoxifylline on postoperative organ function in elderly cardiac surgery patients.

Boldt J, Brosch C, Piper SN, et al.

Crit Care Med. 2001 May; 29(5):952-8.

OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of pretreatment with pentoxifylline before cardiac surgery on postoperative organ function in elderly patients (>80 yrs) undergoing cardiac surgery. DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study. SETTING: Two-day clinical investigation in an intensive care unit of a university-affiliated hospital. PATIENTS: Forty elderly patients (age >80 yrs) undergoing first-time elective aortocoronary bypass grafting. INTERVENTIONS: In 20 patients, pentoxifylline (loading bolus of 300 mg followed by a continuous infusion of 1.5 mg.kg-1.hr-1 until the second postoperative day) was given after induction of anesthesia; another 20 patients received saline solution as placebo. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Concentrations of soluble adhesion molecules (soluble E-selectin, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecules) were measured to assess endothelial function. Liver function was evaluated by monoethylglycinexylidide test and by measuring alpha-glutathione S-transferase plasma concentrations. Renal function was assessed by measuring serum creatinine and urine concentrations of alpha-1-microglobulin. Splanchnic perfusion was assessed by monitoring intramucosal pH by using continuous tonometry. All measurements were performed before pentoxifylline infusion (T0), at the end of surgery (T1), 5 hrs after surgery (T2), and at the morning of the first (T3) and second (T4) postoperative day. Postoperative concentrations of all measured soluble adhesion molecules were significantly higher in the nontreated controls than in the pentoxifylline-treated patients. Monoethylglycinexylidide serum concentrations were significantly lower and abnormal (7.35) but decreased significantly in the control group (5 hrs after surgery, intramucosal pH 7.29 +/- 0.13). CONCLUSIONS: Pretreatment of patients aged >80 yrs undergoing cardiac surgery with pentoxifylline attenuated deterioration of endothelial, renal, and liver function as seen in an untreated control group. Splanchnic perfusion also appears to be improved in the pentoxifylline-treated group. Whether pretreatment with pentoxifylline will improve outcome in this patient population remains to be elucidated

Arachidonic acid is preferentially metabolized by cyclooxygenase-2 to prostacyclin and prostaglandin E2.

Brock TG, McNish RW, Peters-Golden M.

J Biol Chem. 1999 Apr 23; 274(17):11660-6.

The two cyclooxygenase isoforms, cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2, both metabolize arachidonic acid to prostaglandin H2, which is subsequently processed by downstream enzymes to the various prostanoids. In the present study, we asked if the two isoforms differ in the profile of prostanoids that ultimately arise from their action on arachidonic acid. Resident peritoneal macrophages contained only cyclooxygenase-1 and synthesized (from either endogenous or exogenous arachidonic acid) a balance of four major prostanoids: prostacyclin, thromboxane A2, prostaglandin D2, and 12-hydroxyheptadecatrienoic acid. Prostaglandin E2 was a minor fifth product, although these cells efficiently converted exogenous prostaglandin H2 to prostaglandin E2. By contrast, induction of cyclooxygenase-2 with lipopol- ysaccharide resulted in the preferential production of prostacyclin and prostaglandin E2. This shift in product profile was accentuated if cyclooxygenase-1 was permanently inactivated with aspirin before cyclooxygenase-2 induction. The conversion of exogenous prostaglandin H2 to prostaglandin E2 was only modestly increased by lipopolysaccharide treatment. Thus, cyclooxygenase-2 induction leads to a shift in arachidonic acid metabolism from the production of several prostanoids with diverse effects as mediated by cyclooxygenase-1 to the preferential synthesis of two prostanoids, prostacyclin and prostaglandin E2, which evoke common effects at the cellular level

Unregulated inflammation shortens human functional longevity.

Brod SA.

Inflamm Res. 2000 Nov; 49(11):561-70.

Systemic inflammation, represented in large part by the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, is the response of humans to the assault of the non-self on the organism. Three distinct types of human ailments - namely autoimmunity, presenile dementia (Alzheimer's disease), or atherosclerosis - are initiated or worsened by systemic inflammation. Autoimmunity is unregulated hyperimmunity to organ-specific proteins, inducing rapid turnover of antigen-specific T cells of the acquired immune system with ultimate exhaustion and loss of acquired immunity IL-2 and IFN-gamma production and proliferative decline, conforming to the limited capacity of clonal division (Hayflick phenonmenon). In Alzheimer's disease (AD), the primary degenerative process of amyloid-beta (AJ3) protein precedes a cascade of events that ultimately leads to a local "brain inflammatory response". Unregulated systemic immune processes are secondary but important as a driving-force role in AD pathogenesis. Atherosclerosis, an underlying cause of myocardial infarction, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases, consists of focal plaques characterized by cholesterol deposition, fibrosis, and inflammation. The presence of activated T lymphocytes and macrophages indicate a local immunologic activation in the atherosclerotic plaque that may be secondary to unregulated pro-inflammatory cytokines too. The premature hyperimmunity of autoimmunity, the local "brain inflammatory response" to A/3 protein in AD, and the immune response to fatty changes in vessels in atherosclerosis all signal the critical importance of unregulated systemic inflammation to common neurological and cardiovascular disease that shortens the nominal longevity of humans

Immunohistologic demonstration of Coxiella burnetii in the valves of patients with Q fever endocarditis.

Brouqui P, Dumler JS, Raoult D.

Am J Med. 1994 Nov; 97(5):451-8.

PURPOSE: Cardiac valves that were resected from patients with Q fever endocarditis were examined by immunohistologic methods to correlate the presence of Coxiella burnetii in the valves with the histopathologic, serologic, microbiologic, and clinical findings. PATIENTS: Seventeen patients with serologic and microbiologic or clinical evidence of Q fever endocarditis who presented with cardiac failure secondary to valvular dysfunction and required valve replacement surgery were selected from the clinical records of the Unite des Rickettsies, Marseille, France. METHODS: Clinical data were collected by questionnaire. Serologic characterization was performed by indirect immunofluorescent antibody testing; shell vial cultivation of C burnetii was performed from resected valves and blood when available; and pathologic and immunohistologic testing for localization of C burnetti in resected valves were performed by standard methods using both polyclonal and monoclonal C burnetti antibodies. RESULTS: Demographic and clinical findings were typical of patients with Q fever endocarditis. Pure chronic inflammation or mixtures of acute and chronic inflammation were the most frequent inflammatory patterns present and were associated with fibrin deposition, necrosis, and fibrosis. Well-formed granulomas were not present, but the granulomatous inflammation observed in 6 of these 17 patients was associated with foreign body reactions or with valvular calcifications secondary to preexisting valvular damage and could not be directly attributed to infection. C burnetii were present nearly exclusively in macrophages in sites of inflammation and valvular injury and only in the vegetations. Immunohistologic results confirmed the valve culture results in 10 of 14 cases. CONCLUSION: The pathologic findings in the valves of patients with Q fever endocarditis are nonspecific. The presence of empty or foamy macrophages is suggestive of infection by C burnetii; however, definitive identification rests upon the demonstration of the organism in the tissue by immunohistology. Q fever endocarditis probably results from infection of previously damaged heart valves. The finding of the absence of granulomas in these cases contrasts with the pathologic findings in patients with acute, self-limited Q fever and suggests an aberrant host immune response that permits persistence of the bacterium and chronic, prolonged valvular infection and injury. The pathologic findings and distribution of C burnetii in the damaged valve tissues explain the clinical findings of valve failure and occasional embolic episodes, as well as the frequent ability to isolate C burnetii from the peripheral blood of infected patients. Immunohistology may be a valuable diagnostic tool in places where serology and culture are not available

Oral dehydroepiandrosterone in physiologic doses modulates immune function in postmenopausal women.

Casson PR, Andersen RN, Herrod HG, et al.

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Dec; 169(6):1536-9.

OBJECTIVE: This study tests the hypothesis that dehydroepiandrosterone or its metabolic products are immunomodulatory in postmenopausal women with relative adrenal androgen deficiency. STUDY DESIGN: A prospective, randomized, double-blind, crossover study of 11 subjects with 3-week treatment arms separated by a 2-week washout period was performed. Immunologic evaluation at the beginning and end of the treatment arms consisted of flow cytometry to delineate T-cell populations, in vitro T-cell mitogenic response and cytokine production, and natural killer cell cytotoxicity. Statistical analysis was based on a split-plot design with analysis of variance with repeated measures. RESULTS: Dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation decreased CD4+ (helper) T cells and increased CD8+/CD56+ (natural killer) cells. Although T-cell mitogenic and interleukin-6 responses were inhibited, natural killer cell cytotoxicity increased dramatically. CONCLUSIONS: These data provide the first in vivo evidence in human for an immunomodulatory effect of dehydroepiandrosterone. The salutary immune changes could account for clinical and experimental evidence of antioncogenic effects of this steroid. This study provides a strong rationale for further clinical studies on dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation in adrenal androgen-deficient states

Prostaglandins can modify gamma-radiation and chemical induced cytotoxicity and genetic damage in vitro and in vivo.

Das UN, Ramadevi G, Rao KP, et al.

Prostaglandins. 1989 Dec; 38(6):689-716.

The effect of prostaglandin E1, E2, and F2 alpha on gamma-radiation, benzo(a)pyrene and diphenylhydantoin-induced cytotoxicity in vivo and genotoxicity in vitro was investigated. Prostaglandin E1 prevented both cytotoxic and genotoxic actions of all the three agents, where as both PGE2 and PGF2 alpha were ineffective. In fact, it was seen that both PGE2 and PGF2 alpha are genotoxic by themselves. Gamma-linolenic acid and dihomogamma-linolenic acid, the precursor of PGE1 were also as protective as that of PGE1, where as arachidonic acid, the precursor of 2 series PGs, has genotoxic actions to human lymphocytes in vitro. These results suggest that prostaglandins and their precursors can determine the susceptibility of cells to cytotoxic and genotoxic actions of chemicals and radiation. This study is particularly interesting since, it is known that some tumor cells contain excess of PGE2 and PGF2 alpha and many carcinogens can augment the synthesis of 2 series of PGs

Beneficial effect(s) of n-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular diseases: but, why and how?

Das UN.

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000 Dec; 63(6):351-62.

Low rates of coronary heart disease was found in Greenland Eskimos and Japanese who are exposed to a diet rich in fish oil. Suggested mechanisms for this cardio-protective effect focused on the effects of n-3 fatty acids on eicosanoid metabolism, inflammation, beta oxidation, endothelial dysfunction, cytokine growth factors, and gene expression of adhesion molecules; But, none of these mechanisms could adequately explain the beneficial actions of n-3 fatty acids. One attractive suggestion is a direct cardiac effect of n-3 fatty acids on arrhythmogenesis. N-3 fatty acids can modify Na+ channels by directly binding to the channel proteins and thus, prevent ischemia-induced ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac death. Though this is an attractive explanation, there could be other actions as well. N-3 fatty acids can inhibit the synthesis and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factoralpha (TNFalpha) and interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-2 that are released during the early course of ischemic heart disease. These cytokines decrease myocardial contractility and induce myocardial damage, enhance the production of free radicals, which can also suppress myocardial function. Further, n-3 fatty acids can increase parasympathetic tone leading to an increase in heart rate variability and thus, protect the myocardium against ventricular arrhythmias. Increased parasympathetic tone and acetylcholine, the principle vagal neurotransmitter, significantly attenuate the release of TNF, IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-18. Exercise enhances parasympathetic tone, and the production of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 which may explain the beneficial action of exercise in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus. TNFalpha has neurotoxic actions, where as n-3 fatty acids are potent neuroprotectors and brain is rich in these fatty acids. Based on this, it is suggested that the principle mechanism of cardioprotective and neuroprotective action(s) of n-3 fatty acids can be due to the suppression of TNFalpha and IL synthesis and release, modulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal anti-inflammatory responses, and an increase in acetylcholine release, the vagal neurotransmitter. Thus, there appears to be a close interaction between the central nervous system, endocrine organs, cytokines, exercise, and dietary n-3 fatty acids. This may explain why these fatty acids could be of benefit in the management of conditions such as septicemia and septic shock, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, diabetes mellitus, essential hypertension and atherosclerosis

Bowel inflammation and the spondyloarthropathies.

De Keyser F, Elewaut D, De Vos M, et al.

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1998 Nov; 24(4):785-x.

The concept of spondyloarthropathies gathers together a group of chronic diseases in which not only the locomotor system is involved but also other organs, especially the gastrointestinal tract. In humans, ileocolonoscopic studies demonstrated the presence of inflammatory gut lesions in all the diseases in the spondyloarthropathy group; their presence varied in the different diseases between 20% and 70%. The inflammation could be related to specific disease features in the spondyloarthropathies. Further research supports the hypothesis of subclinical inflammatory bowel disease in some patients with spondyloarthropathy, in which the locomotor inflammation was the only clinical manifestation. The link between gut inflammation and arthropathy has also been demonstrated in animal models, notably the human leukocyte antigen B27 transgenic rats. The temporal relationship between activity and severity of colonic involvement and flares of peripheral arthritis directs treatment of choice. For all forms of enterogenic arthropathies, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs remain the acute treatment form. Caution is in order, however, because of their possible harmful effects on intestinal integrity, permeability, and even on gut inflammation

Antiplatelet effect of pentoxifylline in human whole blood.

de la Cruz JP, Romero MM, Sanchez P, et al.

Gen Pharmacol. 1993 May; 24(3):605-9.

1. Pentoxifylline inhibits platelet aggregation in whole blood more than in platelet-rich plasma. 2. An inhibition of the erythrocyte uptake of adenosine contributes to the antiaggregatory effect of pentoxifylline 1

Cross-talk between IL-1 and IL-6 signaling pathways in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts.

Deon D, Ahmed S, Tai K, et al.

J Immunol. 2001 Nov 1; 167(9):5395-403.

The balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines plays an important role in determining the severity of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Antagonism between opposing cytokines at the level of signal transduction plays an important role in many other systems. We have begun to explore the possible contribution of signal transduction cross-talk to cytokine balance in RA by examining the effects of IL-1, a proinflammatory cytokine, on the signaling and action of IL-6, a pleiotropic cytokine that has both pro- and anti-inflammatory actions, in RA synovial fibroblasts. Pretreatment with IL-1 suppressed Janus kinase-STAT signaling by IL-6, modified patterns of gene activation, and blocked IL-6 induction of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteases 1 expression. These results suggest that proinflammatory cytokines may contribute to pathogenesis by modulating or blocking signal transduction by pleiotropic or anti-inflammatory cytokines. The mechanism of inhibition did not require de novo gene activation and did not depend upon tyrosine phosphatase activity, but, instead, was dependent on the p38 stress kinase. These results identify a molecular basis for IL-1 and IL-6 cross-talk in RA synoviocytes and suggest that, in addition to levels of cytokine expression, modulation of signal transduction also plays a role in regulating cytokine balance in RA

Alpha tocopherol supplementation decreases serum C-reactive protein and monocyte interleukin-6 levels in normal volunteers and type 2 diabetic patients.

Devaraj S, Jialal I.

Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Oct 15; 29(8):790-2.

Type 2 diabetic subjects have an increased propensity to premature atherosclerosis. Alpha tocopherol (AT), a potent antioxidant, has several anti-atherogenic effects. There is scanty data on AT supplementation on inflammation in Type 2 diabetic subjects. The aim of the study was to test the effect of RRR-AT supplementation (1200 IU/d) on plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) release from activated monocyte in Type 2 diabetic patients with and without macrovascular complications compared to matched controls. The volunteers comprised Type 2 diabetic subjects with macrovascular disease (DM2-MV, n = 23), Type 2 diabetic subjects without macrovascular complications (DM2, n = 24), and matched controls (C, n = 25). Plasma high sensitive CRP (Hs-CRP) and Monocyte IL-6 were assayed at baseline, following 3 months of supplementation and following a 2 month washout phase. DM2-MV subjects have elevated HsCRP and monocyte IL-6 compared to controls. AT supplementation significantly lowered levels of C-reactive protein and monocyte interleukin-6 in all three groups. In conclusion, AT therapy decreases inflammation in diabetic patients and controls and could be an adjunctive therapy in the prevention of atherosclerosis

Upregulation of cell adhesion molecules and the presence of low grade inflammation in human chronic heart failure.

Devaux B, Scholz D, Hirche A, et al.

Eur Heart J. 1997 Mar; 18(3):470-9.

BACKGROUND: In the present study, the hypothesis was tested that cell adhesion molecules are expressed in failing human hearts and that a chronic inflammatory process contributes to chronic degeneration known to occur in cardiac incompetence. The cell adhesion molecules: ICAM-1, VCAM-1, PECAM-1, and E-selectin were studied, in addition to cellular markers of inflammation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Tissue was obtained at transplantation from patients with either myocarditis, chronic ischaemic heart disease, or dilated cardiomyopathy. Controls were taken from patients with normal ventricles. Cell adhesion molecules were qualitatively evaluated and counted using specific antibodies and confocal microscopy. Additionally, semiquantitative evaluation of the presence of the CD3 antigen (T-lymphocytes), CD68 (macrophages), CD11a/CD18 (ICAM-1 receptor) and human tumour necrosis factor-a were used as indicators of chronic inflammation. PECAM-1 stained all endothelial cells but ICAM-1 was only present in 80% of all capillaries in control tissue. The ratio ICAM-1/PECAM-1 was significantly enhanced in all groups of diseased hearts. Myocytes in myocarditic hearts expressed ICAM-ICAM. CD3 positive lymphocytes, CD68 positive macrophages and CD11a/CD18 positive cells were more abundantly present than in control. Macrophages expressing tumour necrosis factor-a were found in failing myocardium but not in control tissue. CONCLUSION: Independent of the cause of heart failure, chronic low grade inflammation is present in failing human myocardium. This may significantly contribute to the structural deterioration that is the basis of reduced cardiac function in congestive heart failure

Differences in the anti-inflammatory effects of theophylline and pentoxifylline: important for the development of asthma therapy?

Entzian P, Bitter-Suermann S, Burdon D, et al.

Allergy. 1998 Aug; 53(8):749-54.

Antiasthma drugs are now being re-evaluated for their anti-inflammatory effects. Theophylline is an immunomodulator; however, weak effects and the narrow therapeutic window make it a controversial drug. We compared the immunomodulatory potencies of theophylline with those of the xanthines pentoxifylline (POF) and A802715. Using a whole-blood, cell-culture system, we studied the effects on the release of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in six healthy subjects, and, in granulocyte suspensions, the effects on the release of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We also studied the influence of a 14-day treatment with theophylline or POF on the release of the cytokines named above in 14 asthmatics. We found that equimolar concentrations of A802715 most effectively inhibit ROS generation, followed by POF; the effects of theophylline were weakest. A802715-inhibited release of TNF-alpha was four times as potent as that of theophylline, and POF two times as potent. Inhibition of IFN-gamma by A802715 was three times as potent, and by POF two times. Neither drug influenced IL-6 release. After a 14-day treatment of asthmatics, POF proved to inhibit TNF-alpha release more effectively (by 44.3%) than theophylline (7.5%). It is concluded that study of xanthine derivatives in asthmatics might help the development of asthma therapy. POF seems to be an especially promising candidate

Dietary gamma-linolenic acid enhances mouse macrophage-derived prostaglandin E1 which inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation.

Fan YY, Ramos KS, Chapkin RS.

J Nutr. 1997 Sep; 127(9):1765-71.

We previously demonstrated that macrophages isolated from mice fed gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)-enriched diets reduce vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation in a cyclooxygenase-dependent fashion and may therefore favorably modulate the atherogenic process. The present study was conducted to elucidate the mechanism(s) by which dietary GLA influences the ability of macrophages to modulate SMC growth programs. Resident peritoneal macrophages were isolated from C57BL/6 female mice fed diets containing variable GLA compositions at 10% (wt/wt), treated with various antibodies and co-cultured with cycling naive vascular SMC isolated from nonpurified diet-fed mice. Smooth muscle cell proliferation and intracellular cAMP levels were measured after co-culture. In parallel experiments, cycling naive vascular SMC isolated from nonpurified diet-fed mice were dosed with exogenous prostaglandin E1 (PGE1 ) for various periods and challenged with cycloheximide for 4 h (8-12 h after PGE1 addition), and intracellular cAMP levels were measured at various time points. Macrophages isolated from mice fed GLA-enriched dietary oils significantly reduced SMC proliferation in co-culture compared with controls (macrophages from mice fed a corn oil diet containing no GLA). Anti-PGE1 antiserum treatment (1:50 or 1:100) blocked the ability of GLA-enriched macrophages to down-regulate SMC proliferation, a response reversed by exogenous PGE1 treatment. Macrophages isolated from mice fed GLA-enriched dietary oils elevated SMC intracellular cAMP levels in a biphasic fashion. In addition, exogenous PGE1 (1 nmol/L to 10 micromol/L) exerted a similar biphasic cAMP response in SMC, and the second phase of cAMP elevation was antagonized by cycloheximide. In conclusion, dietary GLA enhances mouse macrophage-derived prostaglandin E1, which inhibits vascular SMC proliferation

Crux medicorum ulcerated radiation-induced fibrosis - successful therapy with pentoxifylline and vitamin E.

Fischer M, Wohlrab J, Marsch W.

Eur J Dermatol. 2001 Jan; 11(1):38-40.

Case report of a 60 year-old patient with an ulcerated radiation-induced fibrosis after therapy for breast cancer. Treatment with oral administration of pentoxifylline 3 x 400 mg/day and vitamin E 2 x 200 mg/day was started. The ulcers were almost completely healed after 18 months. Sonographic examination showed a reduction in dermal thickness and in the laser Doppler fluxmetry, a regulation in the amplitude and increase in flux was found compared to the measurements made before the start of treatment. The therapy was very well tolerated without any side effects. The treatment of radiation-induced fibrosis with PTX and vitamin E is a practicable and cost-effective regimen, especially for inoperable patients. The efficacy of this treatment is probably due to a combination of blood flow stimulation and immune modulation which lead to a reduction in the fibrosis

Pentoxifylline effects on nerve conduction velocity and blood flow in diabetic rats.

Flint H, Cotter MA, Cameron NE.

Int J Exp Diabetes Res. 2000; 1(1):49-58.

Pentoxifylline has several actions that improve blood rheology and tissue perfusion and may therefore potentially be applicable to diabetic neuropathy. The aims of this study were to ascertain whether 2 weeks of treatment with pentoxifylline could correct nerve conduction velocity and blood flow deficits in 6-week streptozotocin-diabetic rats and to examine whether the effects were blocked by co-treatment with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor, flurbiprofen, or the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine. Diabetic deficits in sciatic motor and saphenous sensory nerve conduction velocity were 56.5% and 69.8% corrected, respectively, with pentoxifylline treatment. Sciatic endoneurial blood flow was approximately halved by diabetes and this deficit was 50.4% corrected by pentoxifylline. Flurbiprofen co-treatment markedly attenuated these actions of pentoxifylline on nerve conduction and blood flow whereas NG-nitro-L-arginine was without effect. Thus, pentoxifylline treatment confers neurovascular benefits in experimental diabetic neuropathy, which are linked at least in part to cyclooxygenase-mediated metabolism

Frailty in older adults: evidence for a phenotype.

Fried LP, Tangen CM, Walston J, et al.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Mar; 56(3):M146-M156.

BACKGROUND: Frailty is considered highly prevalent in old age and to confer high risk for falls, disability, hospitalization, and mortality. Frailty has been considered synonymous with disability, comorbidity, and other characteristics, but it is recognized that it may have a biologic basis and be a distinct clinical syndrome. A standardized definition has not yet been established. METHODS: To develop and operationalize a phenotype of frailty in older adults and assess concurrent and predictive validity, the study used data from the Cardiovascular Health Study. Participants were 5,317 men and women 65 years and older (4,735 from an original cohort recruited in 1989-90 and 582 from an African American cohort recruited in 1992-93). Both cohorts received almost identical baseline evaluations and 7 and 4 years of follow-up, respectively, with annual examinations and surveillance for outcomes including incident disease, hospitalization, falls, disability, and mortality. RESULTS: Frailty was defined as a clinical syndrome in which three or more of the following criteria were present: unintentional weight loss (10 lbs in past year), self-reported exhaustion, weakness (grip strength), slow walking speed, and low physical activity. The overall prevalence of frailty in this community-dwelling population was 6.9%; it increased with age and was greater in women than men. Four-year incidence was 7.2%. Frailty was associated with being African American, having lower education and income, poorer health, and having higher rates of comorbid chronic diseases and disability. There was overlap, but not concordance, in the cooccurrence of frailty, comorbidity, and disability. This frailty phenotype was independently predictive (over 3 years) of incident falls, worsening mobility or ADL disability, hospitalization, and death, with hazard ratios ranging from 1.82 to 4.46, unadjusted, and 1.29-2.24, adjusted for a number of health, disease, and social characteristics predictive of 5-year mortality. Intermediate frailty status, as indicated by the presence of one or two criteria, showed intermediate risk of these outcomes as well as increased risk of becoming frail over 3-4 years of follow-up (odds ratios for incident frailty = 4.51 unadjusted and 2.63 adjusted for covariates, compared to those with no frailty criteria at baseline). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a potential standardized definition for frailty in community-dwelling older adults and offers concurrent and predictive validity for the definition. It also finds that there is an intermediate stage identifying those at high risk of frailty. Finally, it provides evidence that frailty is not synonymous with either comorbidity or disability, but comorbidity is an etiologic risk factor for, and disability is an outcome of, frailty. This provides a potential basis for clinical assessment for those who are frail or at risk, and for future research to develop interventions for frailty based on a standardized ascertainment of frailty

[The effect of pentoxifylline and nicergoline on the systemic and cerebral hemodynamics and on the blood rheological properties in patients with an ischemic stroke and atherosclerotic lesions of the major cerebral arteries].

Gara II.

Zh Nevropatol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 1993; 93(3):28-32.

Pentoxifylline versus nicergoline therapy has been studied in 56 patients with atherosclerosis of major cerebral arteries who had ischemic apoplexy. Pentoxifylline enhances circulation primarily in the stenotic vessels, while nicergoline in the intact cerebral arteries. The former is more potent in inducing antiaggregation inhibiting spontaneous platelet and red cell aggregation and reducing blood viscosity. The results of the study suggest better response in case of pentoxifylline treatment of patients with hypo- and eukinetic circulation, while in nicergoline treatment hyperkinetic hemodynamics patients benefit more in view of the drug cardiodepressive activity

Effect of anti-platelet therapy (aspirin + pentoxiphylline) on plasma lipids in patients of ischaemic stroke.

Gaur SP, Garg RK, Kar AM, et al.

Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1993 Apr; 37(2):158-60.

Twenty-one patients of ischaemic stroke were put on prolonged administration of antiplatelet drugs (aspirin 320 mg once daily with pentoxiphylline 400 mg thrice daily). The serum lipids along with other biochemical parameters were estimated before starting the treatment and after completion of 2 months of therapy. No significant changes were observed in any of the biochemical parameters including lipid profile except in serum high density lipoprotein (HDL) which increased significantly (< 0.05) after 2 months therapy. It is concluded that 2 months antiplatelet therapy has no adverse metabolic effect in patients of ischaemic stroke and the raised serum HDL may contribute to cerebral protective effect

Antiproliferative effect of pentoxifylline on psoriatic and normal epidermis. In vitro and in vivo studies.

Gilhar A, Grossman N, Kahanovicz S, et al.

Acta Derm Venereol. 1996 Nov; 76(6):437-41.

Psoriasis is characterized by abnormal cell proliferation, inflammation and increased biosynthesis of various cytokines. The inhibitory effect of pentoxifylline on some cell functions has been reported widely. This property of pentoxifylline prompted an investigation of its possible role in controlling psoriasis. In the in vitro study normal human keratinocytes proliferation was determined and formation of cornified envelopes was assayed following treatment with pentoxifylline. The in vivo experiment consisted of nude mice grafted with psoriatic or normal skin treated with tetradecanyl phorbol 13 acetate. At the end of the treatment period, the grafts were excised and assessed for acanthosis and labelling index. The in vitro study showed that continuous exposure of normal human keratinocyte cultures to pentoxifylline resulted in a significant dose-dependent inhibition of proliferation, and in induction of cornified envelope formation. The in vivo experiments showed a significant reduction of epidermal thickness and of labeling index in psoriatic and tetradecanyl phorbol 13 acetate-treated normal skin, as compared to the initial values

Oxpentifylline in Parkinson's disease.

Godwin-Austen RB, Twomey JA, Hanks G, et al.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1980 Apr; 43(4):360-4.

The effects of oxpentifylline were assessed in a double-blind trial in 11 patients with Parkinson's disease already under treatment. No significant improvement was noted. Eight patients developed involuntary movements or a worsening of movements if already present. The significance of this unexpected finding is discussed

Pentoxifylline ameliorates cerulein-induced pancreatitis in rats: role of glutathione and nitric oxide.

Gomez-Cambronero L, Camps B, de La Asuncion JG, et al.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2000 May; 293(2):670-6.

Reactive oxygen radicals, nitric oxide, and cytokines have been implicated in the initiation of pancreatic tissue damage and impairment of the pancreatic microcirculation in acute pancreatitis. Pentoxifylline is a methylxanthine derivative with rheologic and marked anti-inflammatory properties and inhibits the production of proinflammatory cytokines. We have examined whether pentoxifylline ameliorates interstitial edema, inflammatory infiltrate, and glutathione depletion associated with cerulein-induced pancreatitis. Cotreatment of animals with pentoxifylline significantly reduced cerulein-induced pancreatic inflammation and edema and attenuated the depletion of pancreatic glutathione and the increase in serum lipase activity, nitrate, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels. Pentoxifylline also prevented both mitochondrial swelling and damage to mitochondrial cristae caused by cerulein. Our findings provide an experimental basis for using pentoxifylline to attenuate inflammatory responses within the pancreas in acute pancreatitis and as an adjuvant in the treatment of acute pancreatitis

Thiol regulation of the production of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-8 by human alveolar macrophages.

Gosset P, Wallaert B, Tonnel AB, et al.

Eur Respir J. 1999 Jul; 14(1):98-105.

Reactive oxygen intermediates exert signalling functions and modulate gene transcription, particularly for pro-inflammatory cytokines. Since exogenous as well as endogenous thiols could be potent inhibitors of the production of cytokines, the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), glutathione (GSH) and modulated GSH synthesis on the production of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 by human alveolar macrophages (AMs) was evaluated, as well as the potential role of intracellular GSH depletion on the effect of exogenous thiols. AMs were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and cytokine production was measured by evaluating messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression and protein secretion. Depletion of intracellular GSH by treatment with buthionine sulphoximine (BSO) reached 45.2% after 3 h and was nearly complete at 24 h. Whereas a 24-h preincubation of AMs with BSO significantly increased LPS-induced secretion of TNF-alpha and IL-8, a 3-h preincubation only enhanced LPS-stimulated production of IL-8 (p

Associations of elevated interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels with mortality in the elderly.

Harris TB, Ferrucci L, Tracy RP, et al.

Am J Med. 1999 May; 106(5):506-12.

PURPOSE: To investigate whether interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels predict all-cause and cause-specific mortality in a population-based sample of nondisabled older people. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A sample of 1,293 healthy, nondisabled participants in the Iowa 65+ Rural Health Study was followed prospectively for a mean of 4.6 years. Plasma interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels were measured in specimens obtained from 1987 to 1989. RESULTS: Higher interleukin-6 levels were associated with a twofold greater risk of death [relative risk (RR) for the highest quartile (> or = 3.19 pg/mL) compared with the lowest quartile of 1.9 [95% confidence interval, CI, 1.2 to 3.1]). Higher C-reactive protein levels (> or = 2.78 mg/L) were also associated with increased risk (RR = 1.6; CI, 1.0 to 2.6). Subjects with elevation of both interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels were 2.6 times more likely (CI, 1.6 to 4.3) to die during follow-up than those with low levels of both measurements. Similar results were found for cardiovascular and noncardiovascular causes of death, as well as when subjects were stratified by sex, smoking status, and prior cardiovascular disease, and for both early (

A pathological function for eotaxin and eosinophils in eosinophilic gastrointestinal inflammation.

Hogan SP, Mishra A, Brandt EB, et al.

Nat Immunol. 2001 Apr; 2(4):353-60.

Although eosinophils have been implicated in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal disorders, their function has not been established. Using a murine model of oral antigen-induced eosinophil-associated gastrointestinal disease, we report the pathological consequences of eosinophilic inflammation and the involvement of eotaxin and eosinophils. Exposure of mice to enteric-coated antigen promotes an extensive T helper 2-associated eosinophilic inflammatory response involving the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and Peyer's patches as well as the development of gastric dysmotility, gastromegaly and cachexia. Electron microscopy shows eosinophils in proximity to damaged axons, which indicated that eosinophils were mediating a pathologic response. In addition, mice deficient in eotaxin have impaired eosinophil recruitment and are protected from gastromegaly and cachexia. These results establish a critical pathological function for eotaxin and eosinophils in gastrointestinal allergic hypersensitivity

[Obesity and low-grade systemic inflammation].

Invitti C.

Minerva Endocrinol. 2002 Sep; 27(3):209-14.

The aim of this review is to deal with the significance of obesity as a promotor of a chronic low-grade inflammatory reaction favouring the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. Adipose tissue synthetizes and releases inflammatory cytokines involved in various atherothrombotic mechanisms and in glucose and lipid metabolism. A local renin-angiotensin system may partially support the obesity related hypertension. Most obese subjects had elevated plasma levels of inflammatory markers which correlate with the degree of obesity and insulin resistance and decrease after weight reduction and exercise. Some evidences suggest that long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and thiazolidinediones may be useful in preventing atherosclerosis. Obesity, by itself, has been considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The hypothesis that it is linked to the associated low-grade chronic inflammation is supported by the existence of altered indexes of chronic inflammation also in obese children who are free of other pathological conditions. Further research will be required to determine the pathophysiological meaning of the chronic inflammation associated to obesity

Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory mediator production.

James MJ, Gibson RA, Cleland LG.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jan; 71(1 Suppl):343S-8S.

Many antiinflammatory pharmaceutical products inhibit the production of certain eicosanoids and cytokines and it is here that possibilities exist for therapies that incorporate n-3 and n-9 dietary fatty acids. The proinflammatory eicosanoids prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) and leukotriene B(4) (LTB(4)) are derived from the n-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA), which is maintained at high cellular concentrations by the high n-6 and low n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content of the modern Western diet. Flaxseed oil contains the 18-carbon n-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, which can be converted after ingestion to the 20-carbon n-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Fish oils contain both 20- and 22-carbon n-3 fatty acids, EPA and docosahexaenoic acid. EPA can act as a competitive inhibitor of AA conversion to PGE(2) and LTB(4), and decreased synthesis of one or both of these eicosanoids has been observed after inclusion of flaxseed oil or fish oil in the diet. Analogous to the effect of n-3 fatty acids, inclusion of the 20-carbon n-9 fatty acid eicosatrienoic acid in the diet also results in decreased synthesis of LTB(4). Regarding the proinflammatory ctyokines, tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 1beta, studies of healthy volunteers and rheumatoid arthritis patients have shown < or = "90%" inhibition of cytokine production after dietary supplementation with fish oil. Use of flaxseed oil in domestic food preparation also reduced production of these cytokines. Novel antiinflammatory therapies can be developed that take advantage of positive interactions between the dietary fats and existing or newly developed pharmaceutical products

Docosahexaenoic acid, a component of fish oil, inhibits nitric oxide production in vitro.

Jeyarajah DR, Kielar M, Penfield J, et al.

J Surg Res. 1999 May 15; 83(2):147-50.

INTRODUCTION: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been shown to be immunosuppressive in the fetus, and fish oil diets are thought to be beneficial in autoimmune disease and transplantation. This effect may be mediated through nitric oxide (NO). Here, we investigate the effect of DHA on murine macrophages. METHODS: Peritoneal macrophages were subjected to stimulation with various concentrations of interferon gamma-(IFN-gamma) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). NO production was assessed by measuring nitrite (Greiss reaction). RESULTS: At all doses of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha, DHA was found to be inhibitory to NO production. CONCLUSIONS: DHA inhibits macrophage-stimulated NO production in response to IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha. As NO is thought to be important in several disease processes, DHA may be a useful agent in the treatment of conditions such as autoimmune disease

A fish oil diet rich in eicosapentaenoic acid reduces cyclooxygenase metabolites, and suppresses lupus in MRL-lpr mice.

Kelley VE, Ferretti A, Izui S, et al.

J Immunol. 1985 Mar; 134(3):1914-9.

Dietary supplementation of fish oil as the exclusive source of lipid suppresses autoimmune lupus in MRL-lpr mice. This marine oil diet decreases the lymphoid hyperplasia regulated by the lpr gene, prevents an increase in macrophage surface Ia expression, reduces the formation of circulating retroviral gp70 immune complexes, delays the onset of renal disease, and prolongs survival. We show that a fatty acid component uniquely present in fish oil but not in vegetable oil decreases the quantity of dienoic prostaglandin E, thromboxane B, and prostacyclin normally synthesized by multiple tissues, including kidney, lung, and macrophages, and promotes the synthesis of small amounts of trienoic prostaglandin in autoimmune mice. We suggest that this change in endogenous cyclooxygenase metabolite synthesis directly suppresses immunologic and/or inflammatory mediators of murine lupus

The effects of insulin, glucose and diabetes on prostaglandin production by rat kidney glomeruli and cultured glomerular mesangial cells.

Kreisberg JI, Patel PY.

Prostaglandins Leukot Med. 1983 Aug; 11(4):431-42.

Glomeruli isolated from streptozotocin-diabetic rats produced significantly greater amounts of immunoreactive prostaglandin (PG)E2, PGF2 alpha, and prostacyclin (PGI2) measured as the stable metabolite 6-keto-PGF1 alpha than control glomeruli. These data led to studies to determine whether the vasoactive glomerular mesangial cell exhibited alterations in arachidonic acid metabolism in diabetes. Therefore, we isolated and cultured under identical conditions, mesangial cells from normal and streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Normal mesangial cells produced predominantly PGE2 (57-72%) with PGE2 greater than PGF2 alpha greater than PGI2 after stimulation of acylhydrolase with melittin. Mesangial cells from diabetic rats produced predominantly PGI2 (55-73%) with PGI2 greater than PGE2 greater than PGF2 alpha. A similar prostaglandin profile was obtained when arginine vasopressin (AVP) was used to stimulate acylhydrolase activity. In addition, diabetic mesangial cells synthesized greater amounts of prostaglandins than normal mesangial cells cultured for the same number of passages. When cultured under high-glucose conditions (in tissue culture medium with a final glucose concentration of 550 mg/dl) to mimic the diabetic state in vitro, normal mesangial cells produced proportionately greater amounts of PGE2, PGF2 alpha and PGI2; no alteration to predominantly PGI2 production was observed. Insulin addition to the high-glucose condition tended to attenuate prostaglandin production. Diabetic mesangial cells likewise produced more prostaglandins when cultured under high-glucose conditions; however, the increases were not proportional among the 3 prostaglandins examined. PGE2 production increased to a greater degree than PGI2. With insulin present in the high-glucose condition, there was a disproportional attenuation of all prostaglandins produced, with PGI2 decreasing more than PGE2. Thus, the streptozotocin-induced diabetic state resulted in an alteration in mesangial cell arachidonic acid metabolism

n-3 fatty acid supplements in rheumatoid arthritis.

Kremer JM.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jan; 71(1 Suppl):349S-51S.

Ingestion of dietary supplements of n-3 fatty acids has been consistently shown to reduce both the number of tender joints on physical examination and the amount of morning stiffness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In these cases, supplements were consumed daily in addition to background medications and the clinical benefits of the n-3 fatty acids were not apparent until they were consumed for > or =12 wk. It appears that a minimum daily dose of 3 g eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids is necessary to derive the expected benefits. These doses of n-3 fatty acids are associated with significant reductions in the release of leukotriene B(4) from stimulated neutrophils and of interleukin 1 from monocytes. Both of these mediators of inflammation are thought to contribute to the inflammatory events that occur in the rheumatoid arthritis disease process. Several investigators have reported that rheumatoid arthritis patients consuming n-3 dietary supplements were able to lower or discontinue their background doses of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Because the methods used to determine whether patients taking n-3 supplements can discontinue taking these agents are variable, confirmatory and definitive studies are needed to settle this issue. n-3 Fatty acids have virtually no reported serious toxicity in the dose range used in rheumatoid arthritis and are generally very well tolerated

Lysophospholipid regulation of mononuclear phagocytes.

Lee H, Liao JJ, Graeler M, et al.

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 May 23; 1582(1-3):175-7.

Blood monocytes and tissue macrophages derived from monocyte differentiation in tissues are central elements of innate immunity in host defense against numerous pathogens and other challenges. These mononuclear phagocytes also participate in wound healing and normal tissue remodeling in development and growth. Pathological perversion of their physiological roles leads to participation of mononuclear phagocytes in fibrosing diseases including granulomatous disorders, chronic inflammation typical of arthritis, and atherosclerosis. Lysophospholipids, including lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), are platelet-derived lipid growth factors considered to participate in leukocyte differentiation and activation. This section summarizes our recent observations of the effects of lysophospholipids on mononuclear phagocytes

The role of inflammatory mediators in the biology of major depression: central nervous system cytokines modulate the biological substrate of depressive symptoms, regulate stress-responsive systems, and contribute to neurotoxicity and neuroprotection.

Licinio J, Wong ML.

Mol Psychiatry. 1999 Jul; 4(4):317-27.

Depression represents a major public health problem. It is estimated that 13-20% of the population has some depressive symptoms at any given time and about 5% of the population is assumed to suffer from major depression. Known pathological processes include ischemia, neoplasia, necrosis, apoptosis, infection, and inflammation. Of those, inflammation is the most compatible with the waxing and waning course of depression, and could explain the biology of this disorder that has a fluctuating course with severe episodes that can be followed by partial or complete remission. Over the years a body of evidence has been accumulated suggesting that major depression is associated with dysfunction of inflammatory mediators. Major depression commonly co-occurs with ischemic heart disease and decreased bone mineral density. Depressive symptoms are known to have a negative impact on cardiovascular prognosis, increasing the mortality rate of coronary artery disease. Several lines of evidence indicate that brain cytokines, principally interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and IL-1 receptor antagonist may have a role in the biology of major depression, and that they might additionally be involved in the pathophysiology and somatic consequences of depression as well as in the effects of antidepressant treatment. A particularly unique and novel aspect of the studies and views discussed here is their potential to lead to interventions which may reduce the morbidity and mortality risks for osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and behavioral symptoms in patients with major depression. We also discuss the emerging concept of peripheral and central cytokine compartments: their integration and differential regulation is a key element for the optimal functioning of the immune and nervous systems

Markers of myocardial damage and inflammation in relation to long-term mortality in unstable coronary artery disease. FRISC Study Group. Fragmin during Instability in Coronary Artery Disease.

Lindahl B, Toss H, Siegbahn A, et al.

N Engl J Med. 2000 Oct 19; 343(16):1139-47.

BACKGROUND: In patients with unstable coronary artery disease, there is a relation between the short-term risk of death and blood levels of troponin T (a marker of myocardial damage) and C-reactive protein and fibrinogen (markers of inflammation). Using information obtained during an extension of the follow-up period in the Fragmin during Instability in Coronary Artery Disease trial, we evaluated the usefulness of troponin T, C-reactive protein, and fibrinogen levels and other indicators of risk as predictors of the long-term risk of death from cardiac causes. METHODS: Levels of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen at enrollment and the maximal level of troponin T during the first 24 hours after enrollment were analyzed in 917 patients included in a clinical trial of low-molecular-weight heparin in unstable coronary artery disease. The patients were followed for a mean of 37.0 months (range, 1.6 to 50.6). RESULTS: During follow-up, 1.2 percent of the 173 patients with maximal blood troponin T levels of less than 0.06 microg per liter died of cardiac causes, as compared with 8.7 percent of the 367 patients with levels of 0.06 to 0.59 microg per liter and 15.4 percent of the 377 patients with levels of at least 0.60 microg per liter (P=0.007 and P=0.001, respectively). The rates of death from cardiac causes were 5.7 percent among the 314 patients with blood C-reactive protein levels of less than 2 mg per liter, 7.8 percent among the 294 with levels of 2 to 10 mg per liter, and 16.5 percent among the 309 with levels of more than 10 mg per liter (P=0.29 and P=0.001, respectively). The rates of death from cardiac causes were 5.4 percent among the 314 patients with blood fibrinogen levels of less than 3.4 g per liter, 12.0 percent among the 300 with levels of 3.4 to 3.9 g per liter, and 12.9 percent among the 303 with levels of at least 4.0 g per liter (P=0.004 and P=0.69, respectively). In a multivariate analysis, levels of troponin T and C-reactive protein were independent predictors of the risk of death from cardiac causes. CONCLUSIONS: In unstable coronary artery disease, elevated levels of troponin T and C-reactive protein are strongly related to the long-term risk of death from cardiac causes. These markers are independent risk factors, and their effects are additive with respect to each other and other clinical indicators of risk

The ACVD task force on canine atopic dermatitis (XXII): nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pharmacotherapy.

Marsella R, Olivry T.

Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2001 Sep 20; 81(3-4):331-45.

The pharmacotherapy of canine atopic dermatitis has relied primarily on the use of glucocorticoids and anti-histamines. During the last decade, other anti-inflammatory drugs have been investigated in clinical trials. This paper will review the studies using misoprostol, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, capsaicin, leukotriene inhibitors and serotonin-reuptake inhibitors for treatment of dogs with atopic dermatitis. For each drug the mechanism of action, the rationale for use in atopic dermatitis, the clinical efficacy, reported adverse effects and strength of recommendation for treatment of canine atopic dermatitis are described. At the time of this writing, there is fair evidence to support the recommendation for using cyclosporine, misoprostol and pentoxifylline for treatment of canine atopic dermatitis. This recommendation can be strengthened by the performance of additional blinded randomized controlled trials with larger number of dogs. In contrast, there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against treatment with tacrolimus, leukotriene inhibitors, serotonin-reuptake antagonists and capsaicin

Interleukin-6 as a central mediator of cardiovascular risk associated with chronic inflammation, smoking, diabetes, and visceral obesity: down-regulation with essential fatty acids, ethanol and pentoxifylline.

McCarty MF.

Med Hypotheses. 1999 May; 52(5):465-77.

Increased plasma levels of fibrinogen and C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as leukocytosis, are now established as risk factors for the thromboembolic complications of vascular disease. Chronic inflammation or infection associated with an acute-phase response--notably, periodontal disease and smoking-induced lung damage--are likewise known to increase cardiovascular risk. A common etiologic factor in these conditions may be interleukin-6 (IL-6), acting on hepatocytes to induce acute-phase reactants that increase blood viscosity and promote thrombus formation. Recent evidence that hypertrophied adipocytes release IL-6, and that hyperglycemia evokes IL-6 production by endothelium, may explain why plasma fibrinogen is increased in visceral obesity and poorly controlled diabetes. IL-6 is released by a range of tissues in response to stimulation by the monocyte-derived cytokines interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor; by suppressing production of these cytokines, fish oil, alpha-linolenic acid, and pentoxifylline can reduce IL-6 synthesis. Moderate ethanol consumption, as well as sex-hormone replacement, also appear to inhibit IL-6 production or activity. These practical protective measures may be of particular value to patients with pre-existing atheroma and elevated plasma levels of acute-phase reactants. Since IL-6 plays a crucial physiological role in osteoclast generation and activation, these measures may also aid preservation of bone density

Effect of preoperative interventions on outcome following liver resection in a rat model of cirrhosis.

Moser M, Zhang M, Gong Y, et al.

J Hepatol. 2000 Feb; 32(2):287-92.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: High morbidity and mortality rates in cirrhotic patients undergoing resections for hepatocellular malignancies underscore the need for identifying a therapy that will decrease fibrosis or enhance hepatic regenerative activity in the perioperative period. Thus, in the present study, 104 carbon tetrachloride-induced cirrhotic rats received either saline (untreated cirrhotic controls) or one of the following agents that have been reported to decrease hepatic fibrosis or increase hepatic regeneration; pentoxifylline, ciprofloxacin or a traditional Chinese herbal remedy (TCHR). Twelve additional rats served as healthy, non-cirrhotic controls. METHODS: Treatments were administered daily by gavage for 4 weeks followed by a 70% partial hepatectomy. Hepatic fibrosis was documented at the time of surgery by computer-assisted quantitation of collagen content. Liver function and hepatic regenerative activity were documented 24 h post partial hepatectomy by serum bilirubin determinations and a combination of 3[H]-Thymidine incorporation into hepatic DNA and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) quantitation, respectively. RESULTS: Compared to untreated cirrhotic controls (8.1 +/- 0.7%), fibrosis was significantly reduced in the pentoxifylline- and ciprofloxacin-treated groups (4.6 +/- 0.2%, p

Urinary protein excretion and serum tumor necrosis factor in diabetic patients with advanced renal failure: effects of pentoxifylline administration.

Navarro JF, Mora C, Rivero A, et al.

Am J Kidney Dis. 1999 Mar; 33(3):458-63.

In 24 diabetic patients with advanced renal failure (creatinine clearance [C(Cr)] < 35 mL/min), we prospectively studied serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels, the possible relationship with urinary protein excretion, and the effects of pentoxifylline (PTF) administration. PTF (400 mg daily) was administered for 6 months to 14 patients, and the results were compared with data from a control group (n = "10)." Baseline parameters were similar in both groups. At the end of the study, urinary protein excretion and serum TNF-alpha decreased in the active group from 2.7 (1.2 to 5.8) g/d and 569 +/- 285 pg/mL to 1.1 (0.3 to 4.0) g/d and 329 +/- 232 pg/mL, respectively (P < 0.001). By contrast, proteinuria and TNF-alpha did not change in the control group. Regression analysis showed a significant correlation between proteinuria and serum TNF-alpha both at basal (r = "0.55)" and at the sixth month (r = "0.57)." Furthermore, the reduction of urinary protein excretion was strongly correlated with the decrease of TNF-alpha (r = "0.72," P < 0.01). Serum Cr and C(Cr) remained stable in both groups during the study. Our findings suggest that cytokines might play a role in renal damage in diabetic nephropathy. PTF is effective in reducing proteinuria in diabetic patients with advanced renal failure. The anticytokine activity of PTF may be a further explanation for this antiproteinuric effect

Effects of pentoxifylline on the haematologic status in anaemic patients with advanced renal failure.

Navarro JF, Mora C, Garcia J, et al.

Scand J Urol Nephrol. 1999 Apr; 33(2):121-5.

OBJECTIVE: Erythropoietin (EPO) deficiency is the main cause of renal anaemia. However, inhibition of erythropoiesis by cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) may play an important role. The aim of this work was to study the effects of pentoxifylline, an agent with anti-TNF-a properties, on the haematologic status in anaemic patients with advanced renal failure. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In a prospective study, 7 anaemic patients with advanced renal disease (creatinine clearance

Pentoxifylline in vivo down-regulates the release of IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Neuner P, Klosner G, Schauer E, et al.

Immunology. 1994 Oct; 83(2):262-7.

Pentoxifylline (PTX) is a methylxanthine compound known to inhibit the production of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which is an important inflammatory mediator. There is also recent evidence that PTX may influence other inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-6. Due to the therapeutic implications, the present study addressed the in vivo effects of PTX on the release of TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-6 and IL-8 by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). When PBMC were obtained from healthy volunteers ingesting 5 x 400 mg PTX orally for 2 days, the ability of PBMC cultured for 24 hr to release TNF-alpha was significantly reduced, while secretion of IL-1 beta, IL-6 and IL-8 was not affected. However, when PBMC were obtained from the same individuals 5 days after PTX had been stopped, the release of all four cytokines was significantly suppressed. This effect appeared to be exerted at the transcriptional level, since Northern blot analysis revealed reduced cytokine transcripts. In order to gain more insight into the effect of PTX on cytokine release, PBMC were obtained from normal volunteers, either stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or left unstimulated, and subsequently incubated in vitro with PTX for 48 hr. Under these conditions, only TNF-alpha was found to be reduced by PTX, while IL-1 beta and IL-8 were not affected, IL-6 was even enhanced. However, when PBMC were incubated with PTX for 24 hr, PTX removed thereafter by medium change and cells further cultured, the production not only of TNF-alpha but also of IL-1 beta, IL-6 and IL-8 was reduced, demonstrating that PTX exerts diverse (inhibitory) effects on cytokine release by PBMC

Immunomodulatory effect of pentoxifylline during human allograft rejection: involvement of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and adhesion molecules.

Noel C, Copin MC, Hazzan M, et al.

Transplantation. 2000 Mar 27; 69(6):1102-7.

BACKGROUND: Pentoxifylline (PTX), a methylxanthine phosphodiesterase inhibitor, is poorly active as an immunosuppressant but prevents the synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines. In a randomized double-blind study comparing PTX versus placebo in 140 patients receiving cadaveric kidney grafts under cyclosporine and prednisone, we have shown that PTX weakened the consequences of rejection on graft survival. To assess the mechanism underlying the beneficial effect recorded during this trial, we analyzed the impact of PTX on tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) production and expression of cell adhesion molecules. METHODS: Plasma levels of TNF-alpha and its soluble receptors (sTNF-RI, sTNF-RII) and of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1) were monitored over the 6 months postgraft period when PTX or placebo were administered. Expression of VCAM-1 and intercellular cell adhesion molecule 1 was scored by immunohistochemical staining of biopsy specimens from patients who underwent rejection crisis. Lymphocyte subset composition was analyzed longitudinally during cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections. RESULTS: Plasma TNF-alpha levels were significantly reduced in the PTX-treated group over the 6 months of administration, and specifically during isolated rejection episodes and during CMV infections. Plasma levels of sTNFR-I, sTNFR-II, and sVCAM-1 did not differ between the two groups of patients, but a decrease in renal tubular VCAM-1 expression was observed in the PTX group. During CMV infections, CD8 lymphocytosis and expansion of CD57+ (CD28-) CD8+ T cells were similar in the two groups. CONCLUSION: The data collected during this double-blind study point to an immunomodulatory role of PTX, the beneficial effect on graft survival resulting from a restraining effect of the drug on the inflammatory conditions involved in acute graft rejection

Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 as an independent predictor of coronary heart disease. West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study Group.

Packard CJ, O'Reilly DS, Caslake MJ, et al.

N Engl J Med. 2000 Oct 19; 343(16):1148-55.

BACKGROUND: Chronic inflammation is believed to increase the risk of coronary events by making atherosclerotic plaques in coronary vessels prone to rupture. We examined blood constituents potentially affected by inflammation as predictors of risk in men with hypercholesterolemia who were enrolled in the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study, a trial that evaluated the value of pravastatin in the prevention of coronary events. METHODS: A total of 580 men who had had a coronary event (nonfatal myocardial infarction, death from coronary heart disease, or a revascularization procedure) were each matched for age and smoking status with 2 control subjects (total, 1160) from the same cohort who had not had a coronary event. Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2, C-reactive protein, and fibrinogen levels, and the white-cell count were measured at base line, along with other traditional risk factors. The association of these variables with the risk of coronary events was tested in regression models and by dividing the range of values according to quintiles. RESULTS: Levels of C-reactive protein, the white-cell count, and fibrinogen levels were strong predictors of the risk of coronary events; the risk in the highest quintile of the study cohort for each variable was approximately twice that in the lowest quintile. However, the association of these variables with risk was markedly attenuated when age, systolic blood pressure, and lipoprotein levels were included in multivariate models. Levels of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase), the expression of which is regulated by mediators of inflammation, had a strong, positive association with risk that was not confounded by other factors. It was associated with almost a doubling of the risk in the highest quintile as compared with the lowest quintile. CONCLUSIONS: Inflammatory markers are predictors of the risk of coronary events, but their predictive ability is attenuated by associations with other coronary risk factors. Elevated levels of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 appear to be a strong risk factor for coronary heart disease, a finding that has implications for atherogenesis and the assessment of risk

Pentoxifylline (Trental).

PDR.

2004;1286.

Oral pentoxifylline inhibits release of tumor necrosis factor-alpha from human peripheral blood monocytes : a potential treatment for aseptic loosening of total joint components.

Pollice PF, Rosier RN, Looney RJ, et al.

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2001 Jul; 83-A(7):1057-61.

BACKGROUND: Pentoxifylline (Trental) is a methylxanthine-derivative drug that has been used for more than twenty years in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease. Pentoxifylline is also a potent inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) secretion, both in vitro and in vivo, and has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of certain animal and human inflammatory diseases. Pentoxifylline has a potential therapeutic role in the treatment of aseptic loosening of total joint replacement components because it inhibits TNF-alpha secretion by particle-stimulated human peripheral blood monocytes. The purpose of our study was to determine whether the particle-stimulated secretion of TNF-alpha by peripheral blood monocytes was inhibited in volunteers who had received pentoxifylline orally. METHODS: Human peripheral blood monocytes were harvested from eight healthy volunteers and were exposed to three different concentrations of titanium particles or to 500 ng/mL of lipopolysaccharide as a positive control. The same volunteers were then given pentoxifylline (400 mg, five times per day) for seven days. Their peripheral blood monocytes were again isolated and exposed to experimental conditions, and the TNF-alpha levels were measured. RESULTS: The peripheral blood monocytes from all eight volunteers showed a significant reduction in TNF-alpha release following oral treatment with pentoxifylline. This reduction was observed at exposures of 10(7) and 10(6) titanium particles/mL and in the lipopolysaccharide-treated group, but not at 10(5) particles/mL. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the ability of an oral drug to decrease the release of TNF-alpha from human peripheral blood monocytes exposed ex vivo to particle debris. TNF-alpha is involved in the pathogenesis of osteolysis and subsequent loosening of total joint arthroplasty components. The ability to suppress the release of TNF-alpha in patients with a total joint replacement may help to control osteolysis and to reduce the development of aseptic loosening. This effect could increase implant longevity and decrease the need for revision arthroplasty

C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, and risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Pradhan AD, Manson JE, Rifai N, et al.

JAMA. 2001 Jul 18; 286(3):327-34.

CONTEXT: Inflammation is hypothesized to play a role in development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM); however, clinical data addressing this issue are limited. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether elevated levels of the inflammatory markers interleukin 6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with development of type 2 DM in healthy middle-aged women. DESIGN: Prospective, nested case-control study. SETTING: The Women's Health Study, an ongoing US primary prevention, randomized clinical trial initiated in 1992. PARTICIPANTS: From a nationwide cohort of 27 628 women free of diagnosed DM, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline, 188 women who developed diagnosed DM over a 4-year follow-up period were defined as cases and matched by age and fasting status with 362 disease-free controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of confirmed clinically diagnosed type 2 DM by baseline levels of IL-6 and CRP. RESULTS: Baseline levels of IL-6 (P

Modulation of cytokine production in vivo by dietary essential fatty acids in patients with colorectal cancer.

Purasiri P, Murray A, Richardson S, et al.

Clin Sci (Lond). 1994 Dec; 87(6):711-7.

1. The effects of essential fatty acids (gamma-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid), at a dose of 4.8 g/day, given in combination as dietary supplements, on cytokine production were investigated in patients with colorectal cancer. 2. Total serum cytokines--interleukin (interleukin-1 beta, 2, 4 and 6), tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma--were analysed using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique at different time intervals during the course of essential fatty acid supplementation. 3. Fatty acid uptake and patient compliance were confirmed by a significant increase in serum levels of gamma-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in all three fractions: tricylglycerol, cholesterol and phospholipid. 4. There was no significant alteration in total serum cytokine concentration/levels in the first 2 months of essential fatty acid ingestion, but the levels of serum cytokines steadily declined thereafter, reaching minimum levels after 6 months of essential fatty acid supplementation. 5. Essential fatty acids, at the dose and duration (6 months) used in this study, reduced total serum interleukin-1 beta levels by 61% (P = 0.044), interleukin-2 by 63% (P = 0.05), interleukin-4 by 69% (P = 0.025), interleukin-6 by 83% (P = 0.030), tumour necrosis factor-alpha by 73% (P = 0.040) and interferon-gamma by 67% (P = 0.050). 6. Three months after cessation of essential fatty acid intake, however, these cytokine levels returned to presupplementation values. 7. This present study has shown that long-term n-3 and n-6 EFA ingestion results in a significant reduction in circulating key cytokines. The precise mechanism of this reduction is unclear

Inflammatory markers of coronary risk.

Rader DJ.

N Engl J Med. 2000 Oct 19; 343(16):1179-82.

Interleukin 6 production by lipopolysaccharide-stimulated human fibroblasts is potently inhibited by naphthoquinone (vitamin K) compounds.

Reddi K, Henderson B, Meghji S, et al.

Cytokine. 1995 Apr; 7(3):287-90.

Naphthoquinone vitamins (vitamins K) are widely recognized for their role in the gamma-carboxylation of specific glutamyl residues in coagulation, anti-coagulation and extra-hepatic proteins. Recently, however, there have been reports that these compounds can exert actions other than those normally associated with protein gamma-carboxylation. These observations suggest that naphthoquinones may have effects on the production of inflammatory mediators including cytokines. Fibroblasts are now recognized as a rich source of cytokines and we have examined the effect of various naphthoquinones on the production of interleukin 6 (IL-6) by lipopolysaccharide-stimulated human gingival fibroblasts. Compounds examined in this study include: phylloquinone (K1), menaquinone-4 (K2), menadione (K3), 2,3-dimethoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (DMK) and a synthetic product of vitamin K catabolism, 2-methyl, 3-(2'methyl)-hexanoic acid-1,4-naphthoquinone (KCAT). All of these compounds are capable of inhibiting IL-6 production with a rank order of potency: KCAT > K3 > DMK > K2 > K1. The most potent compound, KCAT, inhibited IL-6 production with an IC50 of 3 x 10(-7)M. The mechanism of action of these naphthoquinones on fibroblast IL-6 production is unknown. Given that K3 and KCAT are inactive in the gamma-carboxylation reaction, we suggest that this activity is not essential for the inhibition of IL-6 production and that activity may be related to the redox capacity of these naphthoquinones

Inflammation, aspirin, and the risk of cardiovascular disease in apparently healthy men.

Ridker PM, Cushman M, Stampfer MJ, et al.

N Engl J Med. 1997 Apr 3; 336(14):973-9.

BACKGROUND: Inflammation may be important in the pathogenesis of atherothrombosis. We studied whether inflammation increases the risk of a first thrombotic event and whether treatment with aspirin decreases the risk. METHODS: We measured plasma C-reactive protein, a marker for systemic inflammation, in 543 apparently healthy men participating in the Physicians' Health Study in whom myocardial infarction, stroke, or venous thrombosis subsequently developed, and in 543 study participants who did not report vascular disease during a follow-up period exceeding eight years. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive aspirin or placebo at the beginning of the trial. RESULTS: Base-line plasma C-reactive protein concentrations were higher among men who went on to have myocardial infarction (1.51 vs. 1.13 mg per liter, P

Pentoxifylline decreases in vivo and in vitro tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) production in lepromatous leprosy patients with erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL).

Sampaio EP, Moraes MO, Nery JA, et al.

Clin Exp Immunol. 1998 Feb; 111(2):300-8.

Increasing evidence has implicated TNF-alpha as a pivotal molecule involved in the systemic inflammatory manifestations of ENL, an acute inflammatory complication that may occur in the chronic course of leprosy. In the present study, the mechanism of action of pentoxifylline (PTX) as an alternative therapy for management of leprosy reactions has been evaluated. The effect of PTX on TNF-alpha production was examined in leprosy patients at the protein level and at the transcriptional level as well. Treatment of ENL patients with PTX (1200 mg daily) ameliorated the systemic symptoms and favoured the evolution of reactional leprosy lesions. Serum TNF-alpha was assayed before and during treatment with PTX in 15 patients. The increased TNF-alpha levels seen in the circulation during the reaction were dramatically reduced within 3-7 days of therapy. No significant effect on serum IL-6 was noted. In vitro TNF-alpha production was assayed upon culture stimulation with Mycobacterium leprae. A reduction of inducible TNF-alpha in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was seen after 1-2 weeks of in vivo administration of PTX. Furthermore, no effect of the drug on IL-10 secretion was detected in these cultures. A kinetic analysis of the expression of TNF-alpha and IL-6 mRNA at the site of leprosy lesion was performed in six reactional patients by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The amount of TNF-alpha mRNA was increased in the tissue during ENL compared with before the reaction, and decreased thereafter following treatment for reaction (either PTX or thalidomide). These data suggest that PTX inhibits TNF-alpha production in ENL patients both in vivo and in vitro, and it may be useful in the treatment of leprosy patients undergoing ENL

Cardiac effects of chronic inflammation in dialysis patients.

Santoro A, Mancini E.

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2002; 17 Suppl 8:10-5.

Cardiovascular pathology is the major cause of death in uraemia. There is evidence that a chronic inflammation with activation of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-alpha and other cytokines is associated with vascular pathology, both in the general population and in dialysis patients. The cardiovascular system, and particularly the vascular wall, is the main target of the inflammatory process. Inflammation of the coronary arteries could be involved in the development of atherosclerosis and its related clinical syndromes. In the uraemic state, an increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines may trigger the onset and progression of atherosclerosis and favour the subsequent complications, such as plaque fissuration and rupture. However, inflammatory cytokines also have a depressant action on the myocardium, thus inducing myocardial dysfunction. Together, these conditions may ultimately enhance the risk of myocardial infarction and death. From this standpoint, cardiovascular disease should also be investigated with the traditional biochemical inflammation markers and the evaluation of the circulating cytokine level, although new reliable markers could provide further diagnostic help. New therapeutic approaches should also be considered

Pentoxifylline suppresses irritant and contact hypersensitivity reactions.

Schwarz A, Krone C, Trautinger F, et al.

J Invest Dermatol. 1993 Oct; 101(4):549-52.

Pharmacologic suppression of the effector phase of contact hypersensitivity appears to have major relevance with regard to treatment of type IV reactions like contact dermatitis. Recently, tumor necrosis factor alpha has been shown to be a critical mediator in hapten-induced irritant and contact hypersensitivity reactions, thus offering new possibilities, for therapeutic intervention. Pentoxifylline, a methylxanthine derivative used in the treatment of vascular disorders, currently has been found to suppress the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha by human and murine leukocytes. Therefore, the effect of pentoxifylline on the elicitation phase of contact hypersensitivity was studied. Intraperitoneal injection of pentoxifylline into sensitized Balb/c and C3H/HeN mice before application of the challenging hapten dose resulted in a significant reduction of the outcome of the contact hypersensitivity reaction. The suppressive effect of pentoxifylline was dose dependent and maximally pronounced upon injection 3 h before hapten application. In contrast to the effector phase of contact hypersensitivity, induction of contact hypersensitivity was not affected by pentoxifylline when injected into naive mice before performance of sensitization. In addition, irritant dermatitis induced by 1% croton oil or 5% benzalkonium chloride was suppressed by pentoxifylline as well. These data suggest a potential pharmacologic intervention, with pentoxifylline as a means to treat contact dermatitis

Suppression of experimental systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in mice via TNF inhibition by an anti-TNFalpha monoclonal antibody and by pentoxiphylline.

Segal R, Dayan M, Zinger H, et al.

Lupus. 2001; 10(1):23-31.

We have previously shown that the clinical manifestations of experimental systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) correlate with an early increased secretion of TNFalpha and IL-1. In the present study, we examined the efficacy of two therapeutic modalities which lower TNFalpha production or activity, on the clinical manifestations of the disease. Experimental SLE was induced in naive C3H.SW mice by injection of the human anti-DNA monoclonal antibody (mAb) bearing the common idiotype, 16/6 Id. Two weeks after booster injections, treatment with either an anti-TNFalpha mAb, or pentoxiphylline (PTX) was started, for a period of 6 weeks. Production of TNFalpha (by splenocytes) and IL-1 (by peritoneal macrophages) was determined 3 and 7 months after disease induction. The experimental mice were also followed for disease manifestations. Both treatment protocols, with anti-TNFalpha mAb and with PTX, reduced the production of the two pro-inflammatory cytokines. TNFalpha and IL-1, in mice with experimental SLE. Anti-DNA antibodies were significantly lower in the mice treated with either protocol. In addition, a significantly lower rate of leukopenia, proteinuria and immune complex deposition was observed in treated mice. Abrogation of TNFalpha and IL-1 production in the early stages of experimental SLE by an anti-TNFalpha mAb or by PTX improves the clinical status of mice afflicted with this autoimmune disease

[Parkinsonism or Parkinson's disease unmasked by pentoxifylline?].

Serrano-Duenas M.

Neurologia. 2001 Jan; 16(1):39-42.

Pentoxifylline is a synthetic derivative of xantine which stimulates adenosine receptors, inhibit phosphodiesterase and increases cyclic monophosphate adenosine. It is also considered a dopaminergic D1 receptor agonist. Worsening of patients with Parkinson's disease when taking this product has been reported. On the other hand, it is considered that adenosine A2A receptors antagonists have antiparkinsonian properties. Four cases of patients with a mean age of 77 years who developed a rigid akinetic syndrome following therapy with a mean dose of 1100 mg/day of pentoxifylline over a mean period of 32 days are presented. Two of these patients presented clinical characteristics of drug-induced parkinsonism and the other two showed Parkinson's disease. The possibility of pentoxifylline causing an imbalance between D1 and D2 receptor stimulation and producing pharmacologic parkinsonism, or rather, the possibility of pentoxifylline unmasking subclinical Parkinson's disease are discussed

C-reactive protein and carotid intimal medial thickness in a community population.

Sitzer M, Markus HS, Mendall MA, et al.

J Cardiovasc Risk. 2002 Apr; 9(2):97-103.

BACKGROUND: C-reactive protein (CRP) has been linked to cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis. Large-scale epidemiological studies have shown a correlation of CRP level with risk of stroke, myocardial infarction and peripheral arterial disease. Nevertheless, the question whether serum CRP itself is an independent indicator of the atherosclerotic process remains unanswered. METHODS: In a community-based sample free of advanced atherosclerotic disease (n = 1018; mean age +/- SD, 54.1 +/- 12.0 years; 49.7% women) we examined the relationship between carotid intimal medial thickness (IMT), conventional vascular risk factors (that is, smoking, obesity, elevated blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolaemia) and serum CRP. RESULTS: We found an association between increasing IMT values with increasing CRP values for all sites within the carotid system (for example, common carotid artery [CCA-] IMT, beta = 0.174, P < 0.001). The relationship was weakened after accounting for the above-mentioned conventional risk factors (linear regression), particularly body mass index, but remained significant (for example, mean CCA-IMT beta = "0.02," P = "0.042)." Including fibrinogen in the regression made the relationship no longer significant (mean CCA-IMT beta = "0.01," P = "0.277)." CONCLUSION: It is unlikely that CRP per se is a major independent cause of early arteriosclerosis. Elevations of CRP, or less specifically chronic inflammation, may mediate the effect of certain conventional risk factors on promoting atherogenesis, especially obesity

[Better AVK treatment with self monitoring. Dosage can be regulated in time].

Stigendal L, Andre U, Christenson B.

Lakartidningen. 1999 May 19; 96(20):2482, 2485-2, 2487.

As long-term anticoagulant treatment, with warfarin for instance, is associated with a risk of both thrombotic and thrombolytic complications, blood testing for dose regulation is necessary at 3-8-week intervals, which is expensive and inconvenient for patients who must take time off work and travel to and fro. A new technique, using small portable monitors designed for home use by patients, makes self-management of anticoagulant treatment possible. In Germany, over 25,000 patients had their own monitor by the end of 1998. After appropriate instruction, the German patients are able to monitor their prothrombin time and adjust their anticoagulant treatment accordingly. In case of problems they contact their GP. In a two-year pilot study conducted at the Anticoagulation Clinic of Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, in 1996-98, where 51 patients on long-term anticoagulant treatment were trained in self-management, the results of over 1,000 patient-hours of treatment showed self-management to be at least as safe as management by the clinic. The level of patient satisfaction is high, in terms of safety and freedom from regular hospital attendance during working hours, and the convenience of self-monitoring on holiday or business trips. As the patients do their testing once a week, the risk of complications is also reduced

Effect of preoperative oral immune-enhancing nutritional supplement on patients at high risk of infection after cardiac surgery: a randomised placebo-controlled trial.

Tepaske R, Velthuis H, Oudemans-van Straaten HM, et al.

Lancet. 2001 Sep 1; 358(9283):696-701.

BACKGROUND: Elderly patients and those with poor ventricular function have increased morbidity and mortality rates when undergoing surgery. We aimed to ascertain whether an oral immune-enhancing nutritional supplement could improve preoperative host defence, and subsequently lower postoperative infections and organ dysfunction in patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery who are at high risk of infection. METHODS: In this prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, we randomly assigned 50 patients who were scheduled to undergo coronary artery bypass to receive either an oral immune-enhancing nutritional supplement containing L-arginine, omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and yeast RNA (n=25), or a control (n=25) for a minimum of 5 days. Patients were included if they were aged 70 years or older, or had an ejection fraction of less than 0.4, or were scheduled to undergo mitral valve replacement. The main outcome was preoperative host defence (delayed-type hypersensitivity response to recall antigens, expression of HLA-DR epitopes on monocytes, and concentration of interleukin 6 in plasma). Analysis was per protocol. FINDINGS: Five patients (two in the treatment group) were excluded because they did not take the minimum dose. Preoperative expression of HLA-DR epitopes on monocytes was significantly higher in patients given the study treatment (109% [95% CI 92-128]) than those given the control (69% [58-82]) compared with baseline (100%) (p=0.02, repeated measures ANOVA). However, concentration of interleukin 6 was significantly lower in the treatment group (0.90 pg/L [0.69-1.18]) than in the control group (1.94 pg/L [1.45-2.59]) (p=0.032, repeated measures ANOVA). Additionally, delayed-type hypersensitivity response to recall antigens improved preoperatively and remained better until hospital discharge. INTERPRETATION: Intake of an oral immune-enhancing nutritional supplement for a minimum of 5 days before surgery can improve outlook in high-risk patients who are undergoing elective cardiac surgery

[Cytokine secretion in whole blood of healthy subjects following oral administration of Urtica dioica L. plant extract].

Teucher T, Obertreis B, Ruttkowski T, et al.

Arzneimittelforschung. 1996 Sep; 46(9):906-10.

Twenty healthy volunteers ingested for 21 days 2 capsules b.i.d. of an IDS 23/1 containing nettle leaf extract (Rheuma-Hek). Before and after 7 and 21 days the basal and the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) concentrations were measured ex vivo. In vitro the effects of IDS 23/1 on the release of these cytokines were determined. Additionally basal interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) levels were recorded. Orally taken the test drug has ex vivo no effect on basal levels of TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-4, IL-6 or IL-10 which were always below detection limits. After 7 and 21 days ingestion ex vivo a decrease of LPS stimulated TNF-alpha release of 14.6 and 24.0%, respectively, was observed. IL-1 beta was reduced for 19.2 and 39.3%. In vitro IDS 23/1 added to whole blood resulted in an exceeded inhibition of LPS stimulated TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta secretion which correlated with the duration of the drug ingestion. Using the highest tested IDS 23/1 concentration the inhibition reached 50.5 (day 0) to 79.5% (day 21) for TNF-alpha and 90.0 (day 0) to 99.2% (day 21) for IL-1 beta, respectively. IDS 23/1 induced a pronounced release of IL-6 in absence of LPS only in vitro. The detected IL-6 concentrations were comparable to those after LPS stimulation, additive effects could not be observed. The absence of detectable IL-6 concentrations in whole blood ex vivo after oral ingestion of the tested drug as well as the differences in the inhibition patterns for TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta ex vivo and ex vivo in vitro suggest that the extract contains different pharmacological effective compounds with varying bioavailabilities

Cytokines and the immune response.

van der Meide PH, Schellekens H.

Biotherapy. 1996; 8(3-4):243-9.

Cytokines participate in many physiological processes including the regulation of immune and inflammatory responses. These effector molecules are produced transiently and locally controlling the amplitude and duration of the response. A variety of experiments has shown that excessive or insufficient production may significantly contribute to the pathophysiology of a range of diseases. Particularly cytokines released by CD4+ T cells at the onset of an immune response are thought to be decisive for pathological or physiological consequences. The meeting in Budapest was focussed on cytokines known to contribute to the pathophysiology of autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and allograft rejection (e.g., IL-1, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, TNF-alpha and IFN-alpha, -beta, -gamma). A central role for IFN-gamma in autoimmunity was suggested by blocking experiments in vivo using monoclonal antibodies and soluble forms of the IFN-gamma receptor (IFN-gamma SR). These agents ameliorated disease development in a variety of experimental autoimmune diseases in rodents. In a mouse model for the human disease Myasthenia gravis, IFN-alpha was found to reduce both the incidence and progression of the disease. Treatment of R. aurantiacus-infected mice with anti-IL-4 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) was reported to interfere with the regression of granulomas in spleen and liver, most likely through inadequate IL-4-mediated suppression of IFN-gamma production. In addition, it was shown that mice with disrupted IFN-gamma R genes died rapidly after infection with the BCG strain of M. bovis, whereas normal mice survived the infection. IL-12 was found to be the main inductor of IFN-gamma during the lethal Shwartzman reaction. TNF-alpha was identified as the principal cause of mortality after the second injection with LPS. In a variety of studies examining the role of cytokines in the pathogenesis of AIDS, much attention was given to the in vitro effects of HIV-1 and/or the HIV-1 viral membrane protein gp120 on triggering cytokine production by peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs) and purified monocytes/macrophages (Mo) originating from healthy donors. Gp120 as a sole agent significantly suppressed IFN-gamma production by mitogen-stimulated PBLs and induced the production of IFN-alpha in cultures of normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). In a human macrophage cell line, TNF-alpha exerted a stimulatory effect on viral replication and programmed cell death induced by HIV-1 which was potentiated by the simultaneous incubation with IFN-gamma. Upon transfection of human PBLs and CD4+ T cells with a retroviral vector encoding human IFN-beta, a notable reduction in reverse transcriptase activity after HIV-1 challenge was observed. Gp120 was also found to induce both IL-6 and TNF-alpha expression and to induce morphological changes reminiscent for apoptosis in primary astrocytes and in a re-aggregated human brain cell model, suggesting a role for these cytokines in the neuropathology of AIDS dementia. Moreover, data were presented indicating that cytokine-induced expression of cell adhesion molecules (e.g., ICAM-1) in HIV-1 infected U 937 cells leads to high level incorporation of this molecule in the membrane of the viral progeny which may play a role in the attachment of such virions to CD4-negative cells

[Use of pentoxifylline in pediatric patients with grade IV (OMS) lupus nephropathy who have received multiple treatments].

Vazquez Garcia MJ, Vargas Camano ME, Olalde CR.

Rev Alerg Mex. 2000 May; 47(3):109-14.

AIMS: Systemic Lupus Eritematosus is an autoimmune disease, the incidence in pediatric poblation in about 5%, and until 90% develop nephropathy. MATERIAL AND METHOD: Included patients with lupic nephropathy grade IV (OMS) ages between 0 and 16 years old, multitreated, who administrated PTX. We take samples before treatment, during, and 4 month after, evaluating renal function and hepatic function. RESULTS: For female, tow male, promedium age 14.1 years old. Poteinuria get a significative p = 0.0012; hematuria was lowering its levels, While immune circulating complex, get too a significative p = 0.0050. In creatinine inverse showed an important modification of its pending. CONCLUSIONS: This results demonstrates, that PTX in nephritis lupic patients, helps to brake the habitual deterioration in renal function. Includes more patients for a long time of treatment, we'll get better results than this

Pentoxifylline influences the autocrine function of organ cultured donor corneas and enhances endothelial cell survival.

Ventura AC, Bohnke M.

Br J Ophthalmol. 2001 Sep; 85(9):1110-4.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Scientific interest in pentoxifylline has been reawakened owing to the recognised effects of this drug on immune functions, particularly its influence on cytokine production. In a previous study, the authors demonstrated that spiking of organ culture media with endotoxin elicited a marked enhancement in the release of IL-6 and IL-8 from corneal tissue and that these events coincided with degenerative changes in endothelial cells and a higher incidence of actual loss among this population. Since traces of donor derived endotoxin can be detected in up to 50% of corneal organ cultures, this substance may have a direct influence on graft viability or trigger inflammatory responses in the host. They, therefore, wished to ascertain whether supplementation of media with pentoxifylline improved endothelial cell survival in organ cultured donor corneas. METHODS: 12 fellow pairs of donor corneas were cultured for 20 days, with a change of medium on day 10: One of each pair was incubated in the absence, and the other in the presence, of pentoxifylline (25 microg/ml). Samples of medium were withdrawn at regular intervals during the course of incubation and screened for cytokines IL-6, IL-8, and prostaglandin E2 by ELISA. Endothelial cell morphology and numerical density were assessed on days 0, 10 and 20. RESULTS: Addition of pentoxifylline to organ culture media led to a significant improvement in endothelial cell survival. This drug also elicited a significant increase in the level of IL-6 and marginally suppressed that of IL-8 during the initial 10 day phase of incubation. During the second 10-20 day phase, the level of both IL-6 and IL-8 decreased significantly in the presence of pentoxifylline, the relation between these two cytokines being the inverse of that observed in the absence of the drug. No significant changes in the level of prostaglandin E2 were apparent. CONCLUSION: The addition of pentoxifylline to organ culture media leads, ultimately, to a suppression of IL-6 and IL-8 secretion by corneal tissue. The potentially damaging effects of these cytokines are thereby quelled, as evidenced by the improvement in endothelial cell survival

Risk of cardiovascular disease in relation to achieved office and ambulatory blood pressure control in treated hypertensive subjects.

Verdecchia P, Reboldi G, Porcellati C, et al.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Mar 6; 39(5):878-85.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the prognostic impact of 24-h blood pressure control in treated hypertensive subjects. BACKGROUND: There is growing evidence that ambulatory blood pressure improves risk stratification in untreated subjects with essential hypertension. Surprisingly, little is known on the prognostic value of this procedure in treated subjects. METHODS: Diagnostic procedures including 24-h noninvasive ambulatory blood pressure monitoring were undertaken in 790 subjects with essential hypertension (mean age 48 years) before therapy and after an average follow-up of 3.7 years (2,891 patient-years). RESULTS: At the follow-up visit, 26.6% of subjects achieved adequate office blood pressure control (

Circadian interleukin-6 secretion and quantity and depth of sleep.

Vgontzas AN, Papanicolaou DA, Bixler EO, et al.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Aug; 84(8):2603-7.

Patients with pathologically increased daytime sleepiness and fatigue have elevated levels of circulating interleukin-6 (IL-6). The latter is an inflammatory cytokine, which causes sickness manifestations, including somnolence and fatigue, and activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. In this study, we examined: 1) the relation between serial measurements of plasma IL-6 and quantity and depth of sleep, evaluated by polysomnography; and 2) the effects of sleep deprivation on the nyctohemeral pattern of IL-6 secretion. Eight healthy young male volunteers were sampled for 24 h twice, at the baseline state, after a normal night's sleep and after total overnight sleep deprivation. At the baseline state, IL-6 was secreted in a biphasic circadian pattern with two nadirs at 0800 and 2100 and two zeniths at 1900 and 0500 (P < 0.01). The baseline amount of sleep correlated negatively with the overall daytime secretion of the cytokine (P < 0.05). Also, depth of sleep at baseline correlated negatively with the postdeprivation increase of daytime secretion of IL-6 (P < 0.05). Sleep deprivation changed the temporal pattern of circadian IL-6 secretion but not the overall amount. Indeed, during the post-deprivation period, the mean daytime (0800-2200 h) levels of IL-6 were significantly higher (P < 0.05), whereas the nighttime (2200-0600 h) levels were lower than the predeprivation values. Thus, sleep-deprived subjects had daytime oversecretion and nighttime under-secretion of IL-6; the former might be responsible for their daylong somnolence and fatigue, the latter for the better quality (depth) of their sleep. These data suggest that a good night's sleep is associated with decreased daytime secretion of IL-6 and a good sense of well-being and that good sleep is associated with decreased exposure of tissues to the proinflammatory and potentially detrimental actions of IL-6. Sleep deprivation increases daytime IL-6 and causes somnolence and fatigue during the next day, whereas postdeprivation decreases nighttime IL-6 and is associated with deeper sleep

Chronic insomnia is associated with nyctohemeral activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: clinical implications.

Vgontzas AN, Bixler EO, Lin HM, et al.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Aug; 86(8):3787-94.

Although insomnia is, by far, the most commonly encountered sleep disorder in medical practice, our knowledge in regard to its neurobiology and medical significance is limited. Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis leads to arousal and sleeplessness in animals and humans; however, there is a paucity of data regarding the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in insomniacs. We hypothesized that chronic insomnia is associated with increased plasma levels of ACTH and cortisol. Eleven young insomniacs (6 men and 5 women) and 13 healthy controls (9 men and 4 women) without sleep disturbances, matched for age and body mass index, were monitored in the sleep laboratory for 4 consecutive nights, whereas serial 24-h plasma measures of ACTH and cortisol were obtained during the fourth day. Insomniacs, compared with controls, slept poorly (significantly higher sleep latency and wake during baseline nights). The 24-h ACTH and cortisol secretions were significantly higher in insomniacs, compared with normal controls (4.2 +/- 0.3 vs. 3.3 +/- 0.3 pM, P = 0.04; and 218.0 +/- 11.0 vs. 190.4 +/- 8.3 nM, P = 0.07). Within the 24-h period, the greatest elevations were observed in the evening and first half of the night. Also, insomniacs with a high degree of objective sleep disturbance (% sleep time < 70), compared with those with a low degree of sleep disturbance, secreted a higher amount of cortisol. Pulsatile analysis revealed a significantly higher number of peaks per 24 h in insomniacs than in controls (P < 0.05), whereas cosinor analysis showed no differences in the temporal pattern of ACTH or cortisol secretion between insomniacs and controls. We conclude that insomnia is associated with an overall increase of ACTH and cortisol secretion, which, however, retains a normal circadian pattern. These findings are consistent with a disorder of central nervous system hyperarousal rather than one of sleep loss, which is usually associated with no change or decrease in cortisol secretion or a circadian disturbance. Chronic activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in insomnia suggests that insomniacs are at risk not only for mental disorders, i.e. chronic anxiety and depression, but also for significant medical morbidity associated with such activation. The therapeutic goal in insomnia should be to decrease the overall level of physiologic and emotional arousal, and not just to improve the nighttime sleep

Inflammatory mediators are induced by dietary glycotoxins, a major risk factor for diabetic angiopathy.

Vlassara H, Cai W, Crandall J, et al.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Nov 26; 99(24):15596-601.

Diet is a major environmental source of proinflammatory AGEs (heat-generated advanced glycation end products); its impact in humans remains unclear. We explored the effects of two equivalent diets, one regular (high AGE, H-AGE) and the other with 5-fold lower AGE (L-AGE) content on inflammatory mediators of 24 diabetic subjects: 11 in a 2-week crossover and 13 in a 6-week study. After 2 weeks on H-AGE, serum AGEs increased by 64.5% (P = 0.02) and on L-AGE decreased by 30% (P = 0.02). The mononuclear cell tumor necrosis factor-alphabeta-actin mRNA ratio was 1.4 +/- 0.5 on H-AGE and 0.9 +/- 0.5 on L-AGE (P = 0.05), whereas serum vascular adhesion molecule-1 was 1,108 +/- 429 and 698 +/- 347 ngml (P = 0.01) on L- and H-AGE, respectively. After 6 weeks, peripheral blood mononuclear cell tumor necrosis factor-alpha rose by 86.3% (P = 0.006) and declined by 20% (P, not significant) on H- or L-AGE diet, respectively; C-reactive protein increased by 35% on H-AGE and decreased by 20% on L-AGE (P = 0.014), and vascular adhesion molecule-1 declined by 20% on L-AGE (P < 0.01) and increased by 4% on H-AGE. Serum AGEs were increased by 28.2% on H-AGE (P = "0.06)" and reduced by 40% on L-AGE (P = "0.02)," whereas AGE low density lipoprotein was increased by 32% on H-AGE and reduced by 33% on L-AGE diet (P < 0.05). Thus in diabetes, environmental (dietary) AGEs promote inflammatory mediators, leading to tissue injury. Restriction of dietary AGEs suppresses these effects

Cytokines, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases.

Ward PA.

Hosp Pract (Off Ed). 1995 May 15; 30(5):35-41.

The understanding of cytokines is in its infancy, but it appears that overproduction or deficiency of these intracellular mediators may contribute to inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and rheumatoid arthritis. As the complexities of cytokine actions and interactions are unraveled, therapeutic blockade or upregulation may be possible

Dietary docosahexaenoic acid but not eicosapentaenoic acid suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced interleukin-1 beta mRNA induction in mouse spleen leukocytes.

Watanabe S, Katagiri K, Onozaki K, et al.

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000 Mar; 62(3):147-52.

Mice were fed a diet supplemented either with beef tallow (BT), BT plus ethyl eicosapentaenoate (EPA) or BT plus ethyl docosahexaenoate (DHA) for 9 weeks. EPA and DHA supplementation increased the content of the respective fatty acid in spleen leukocyte lipids, which was associated with the reduction in the arachidonate content. IL-1beta mRNA induction upon lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation in spleen leukocytes in the DHA diet group was significantly lower than in the BT diet group, but the EPA diet was without any significant effect. The amount of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) released from LPS-stimulated spleen leukocytes was significantly lower in both the EPA and DHA groups than in the BT group. Thus, dietary EPA and DHA inhibited arachidonate metabolism similarly but had different effects on IL-1beta mRNA induction in mouse spleen leukocytes

Management of osteoporosis: is there a role for vitamin K?

Weber P.

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1997; 67(5):350-6.

Vitamin K is required for the biological activity of several coagulation factors, which is considered as the classical function of vitamin K. Recent research, however, suggests a role of vitamin K in bone metabolism. The metabolic role of vitamin K is to facilitate the carboxylation of glutamyl to gamma-carboxyglutamyl residues. Besides the hepatic tissue, in which the clotting factors are produced gamma-carboxyglutamyl-containing proteins are also abundantly available in bone tissue. Osteocalcin accounts for up to 80% of the total gamma-carboxyglutamyl content of mature bone. Human carboxylated osteocalcin contains 3 gamma-carboxyglutamyl residues which confer a highly specific affinity to the calcium ion of the hydroxyapatite molecule. Besides the gamma-carboxylation of osteocalcin vitamin K may also affect other parameters of bone metabolism, such as calcium hemostasis, and prostaglandin E2 and interleukin 6 production. Evidence from observational studies and first intervention trials indicate that vitamin K intakes much higher than the current recommendations improved biochemical markers of bone formation as well as bone density. In conclusion, the mechanistic data as well as the observational data and the results of the first controlled clinical trials in humans point to a beneficial effect of additional intakes of vitamin K in bone health

A new therapeutic approach to type II leprosy reaction.

Welsh O, Gomez M, Mancias C, et al.

Int J Dermatol. 1999 Dec; 38(12):931-3.

BACKGROUND: An increase in tumor necrosis factor (TNF) has been implicated in type II leprosy reaction. Thalidomide, which inhibits TNF, is an effective drug, but has severe side-effects in pregnant women. Other therapeutic drugs are required. METHODS: Clofazimine and pentoxifylline were evaluated for their efficacy against severe type II leprosy reaction in four patients (three men and one woman). RESULTS: All four patients showed a similar fast response to treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The results obtained in this study are promising; however, clofazimine and pentoxifylline must be evaluated in a larger group of patients in order to determine their value in controlling type II leprosy reaction

Home prothrombin time monitoring after the initiation of warfarin therapy. A randomized, prospective study.

White RH, McCurdy SA, von Marensdorff H, et al.

Ann Intern Med. 1989 Nov 1; 111(9):730-7.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and accuracy of monitoring prothrombin times at home. DESIGN: Randomized, prospective cohort study. SETTING: Outpatients discharged from a university hospital or a community hospital. PATIENTS: Fifty patients started on warfarin for the first time who demonstrated an ability to use the monitor and who had not achieved a stable response to warfarin in the hospital. INTERVENTION: Oral anticoagulation therapy managed using a portable prothrombin time monitor compared with specialized anticoagulation clinic care. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: In the 46 patients who completed the 8-week study, the median percentage of time that patients in the home-monitor group (n = 23) were within a range equal to the target prothrombin ratio +/- 0.3, but always above 1.25, was 93%, compared with 75% for patients in the clinic group (n = 23) (P = 0.003). There was no significant difference between groups in the percentage of time above the therapeutic range; however, the percentage of time that patients were subtherapeutic was significantly greater in the clinic group (P less than 0.001). There were no major thromboembolic or hemorrhagic complications in either group. Differences between home monitor measurements and corresponding clinical laboratory measurements using blood samples drawn within 4 hours of the home test were comparable to differences observed between measurements using two different clinical laboratory instruments. CONCLUSIONS: Use of a portable prothrombin time monitor by patients at home is feasible and provides accurate measurements. Patients doing home monitoring achieve superior anticoagulation control compared with those receiving standard anticoagulation clinic care

Pathological and biochemical consequences of acute and chronic neuroinflammation within the basal forebrain cholinergic system of rats.

Willard LB, Hauss-Wegrzyniak B, Wenk GL.

Neuroscience. 1999 Jan; 88(1):193-200.

Inflammatory processes may play a critical role in the degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic cells that underlies some of the cognitive impairments associated with Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, the proinflammagen lipopolysaccharide, from the cell wall of Gram-negative bacteria, was used to produce inflammation within the basal forebrain of rats. The effects of acute, high-dose injections of lipopolysaccharide (2, 20 or 40 microg) upon basal forebrain chemistry and neuronal integrity were compared with the effects of chronic, low-dose lipopolysaccharide infusions (0.18, 0.25, 1.8 or 5.0 microg/h) for either 14, 37, 74 or 112 days. Acute exposure to lipopolysaccharide decreased cortical choline acetyltransferase activity and the number of immunoreactive choline acetyltransferase-positive cells within a small region of the basal forebrain. Regional levels of five different neuropeptides were unchanged by acute, high-dose lipopolysaccharide injections. Chronic lipopolysaccharide infusions produced (i) a time-dependent, but not dose-dependent, decrease in cortical choline acetyltransferase activity that paralleled a decline in the number of choline acetyltransferase- and p75-immunoreactive cells within the basal forebrain, and (ii) a dense distribution of reactive astrocytes and microglia within the basal forebrain. Chronic neuroinflammation might underlie the genesis of some neuropathological changes associated with normal ageing or Alzheimer's disease

Docosahexaenoic acid and vitamin E can reduce human monocytic U937 cell apoptosis induced by tumor necrosis factor.

Yano M, Kishida E, Iwasaki M, et al.

J Nutr. 2000 May; 130(5):1095-101.

The effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced apoptosis of human monocytic U937 cells was explored to assess to what extent these nutrients could attenuate apoptosis. Preincubation of U937 cells with arachidonic acid for 24 h did not affect TNF-induced apoptosis. Eicosapentaenoic acid slightly but significantly reduced the proportion of apoptotic cells only when apoptosis was induced by TNF without cycloheximide (CHI). In contrast, preincubation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) greatly (40 approximately 70%) attenuated apoptosis induced by stimulation with either TNF or TNF + CHI for 3 h. The inhibition of apoptosis was accompanied by enrichment of DHA in membrane phospholipids, indicating that DHA probably exerted its inhibitory activity after being incorporated into the phospholipids. Vitamin E also played a role as a partial inhibitor of apoptosis 3 h after TNF addition. This vitamin could further reduce the apoptosis of DHA-treated cells, and such an additive effect was obvious when apoptosis was induced at a low frequency. Longer-range stimulation of U937 cells with TNF showed that inhibition of apoptosis by preincubating cells with either DHA or vitamin E was not significant 9 h after TNF addition, but that preincubation with both DHA and vitamin E could reduce the proportion of apoptotic cells even at this time point. Our findings suggested that ingestion of nutrients such as DHA and vitamin E might exert beneficial effects on organ dysfunction associated with various TNF-related diseases