A previously reported effect of mechanically agitated dilutions of antiserum raised against IgE was investigated using the loss of metachromatic staining properties of human basophil leukocytes as a model. A series of 24 blind experiments was performed in which we determined the number of toluidine blue-stainable basophils after incubating with vortexed or non-vortexed dilutions of anti-IgE. Tenfold serial dilutions were used, in the range 10(21) to 10(30) (6.6 x 10(-26) to 6.6 x 10(-35) M anti-IgE). We found no evidence for a different effect of strongly agitated dilutions, compared to dilutions made with minimal physical agitation. In fact, in our hands no effect of extreme dilutions was shown at all. We conclude that the effect of extreme dilutions of anti-IgE, reported by Davenas et al., needs further clarification and that in this process the reproducibility of results between experimenters should be carefully determined.
"This group suggested that high dilutions of anti-IgE were able to stimulate human basophils. Ovelgönne et al. and Hirst et al. attempted to repeat these experiments but found no evidence for any periodic or polynomial change of degranulation as a function of anti-IgE dilution  . The results did, however, contain a source of variation that could not be explained . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to demonstrate that high dilutions of histamine are able to inhibit basophil activation in a reproducible fashion, several techniques were used in different research laboratories.
The aim of the study was to investigate the action of histamine dilutions on basophil activation.
Basophil activation was assessed by alcian blue staining, measurement of histamine release and CD63 expression. Study 1 used a blinded multi-centre approach in 4 centres. Study 2, related to the confirmation of the multi-centre study by flow cytometry, was performed independently in 3 laboratories. Study 3 examined the histamine release (one laboratory) and the activity of H(2) receptor antagonists and structural analogues (two laboratories).
High dilutions of histamine (10(-30)-10(-38) M) influence the activation of human basophils measured by alcian blue staining. The degree of inhibition depends on the initial level of anti-IgE induced stimulation, with the greatest inhibitory effects seen at lower levels of stimulation. This multicentre study was confirmed in the three laboratories by using flow cytometry and in one laboratory by histamine release. Inhibition of CD63 expression by histamine high dilutions was reversed by cimetidine (effect observed in two laboratories) and not by ranitidine (one laboratory). Histidine tested in parallel with histamine showed no activity on this model.
In 3 different types of experiment, it has been shown that high dilutions of histamine may indeed exert an effect on basophil activity. This activity observed by staining basophils with alcian blue was confirmed by flow cytometry. Inhibition by histamine was reversed by anti-H2 and was not observed with histidine these results being in favour of the specificity of this effect We are however unable to explain our findings and are reporting them to encourage others to investigate this phenomenon.
Inflammation Research 06/2004; 53(5):181-8. DOI:10.1007/s00011-003-1242-0 · 2.35 Impact Factor
"The least one can say of these 'seemingly impeccable papers proving absurd claims' is that the published results usually are not confirmed in independent repetition of the experiment (Reilly et al., 1986) and are sometimes clearly contradicted by repetition by other researchers. The results by Harris et al. (1999) could not confirm Byrd, although Harris himself discovered a minute positive effect (Harris et al., 1999) and those of Davenas et al. (1988) were contradicted by Ovelgonne et al. (1992) (Davenas et al., 1988; Ovelgonne et al., 1992). Discovery of clear-cut fraud as reported by Benveniste's group (Davenas et al., 1988) gave rise to much publicity (Maddox et al., 1988). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The popularity of alternative medicine certainly also affects patients suffering from infertility. Alternative medicine started
in the seventies but there have always been unorthodox practitioners, treating infertile women and men. Some historical examples
will be described. The claims made for alternative medicine in the lay press have not been accompanied by similar reports
in the mainstream medical journals. Practitioners and advocates of alternative medicine have used several strategies to defend
their position. These were mostly of a philosophical nature, but more recently the practitioners of alternative medicine admit
that the effectiveness of their therapies should be proven in randomized trials, as is considered mandatory in regular medicine.
There are very few well-designed papers on the effectiveness of alternative medicine with the exception of one kind of paper
that is hard for editors of medical journals to resist: seemingly impeccable papers proving absurd claims, whose mechanisms
of action are, for instance, completely incomprehensible. We argue that this type of paper should be rejected for publication
and indeed offer explanations for their mere existence.
Human Reproduction 04/2002; 17(3):528-33. DOI:10.1093/humrep/17.3.528 · 4.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the recent scientific research progress on homeopathy.
Homeopathy was evaluated in terms of its clinical research; in vitro research, and physical foundations. The Medline database was the main reference source for the present research, concerning data of approximately the last 10 years. Secondary references (not available in this database) were obtained by means of direct requests to authors listed in the primary references.
Clinical studies and in vitro research indicate the inefficacy of homeopathy. Some few studies with positive results are questionable because of problems with the quality and lack of appropriate experimental controls in these studies. The most recent meta-analyses on the topic yielded negative results. One of the few previous meta-analyses with positive results had serious publication bias problems, and its results were later substantially reconsidered by the main authors. The sparse in vitro homeopathic research with positive results has not been replicated by independent researchers, had serious methodological flaws, or when replicated, did not confirm the initial positive results. A plausible mechanism for homeopathic action is still nonexistent, and its formulation, by now, seems highly unlikely.
As a result of the recent scientific research on homeopathy, it can be concluded that ample evidence exists to show that the homeopathic therapy is not scientifically justifiable.
Revista do Hospital das Clínicas 12/2002; 58(6):324-31. DOI:10.1590/S0041-87812003000600007
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