[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trace elements have been postulated to play a role in Parkinson's disease (PD). In order to elucidate whether changes in the serum levels of trace elements reflect the progression of PD, we assessed serum levels of 12 elements (Na, K, Fe, Al, Cu, Zn, Ca, Mg, Mn, Si, P and S) in early PD, severe PD and normal subjects, using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry. The concentrations in micromol/ml, the relative mole percentage distribution and inter-element relations were computed. Statistical analysis of these data showed a definite pattern of variation among certain elements in early and severe PD compared to controls. In both early and severe PD serum, Al and S concentrations were significantly decreased (p<0.05) compared to the controls. Fe (p<0.01) and Zn (p<0.05) concentrations were significantly lower in severe PD, while K, Mg, Cu (p < 0.01) and P (p < 0.05) concentrations were higher in early and severe PD compared to the controls. The data revealed an imbalance in the inter-element relations in both early and severe PD serum compared to controls, as shown by the direct and inverse correlations. These results suggest a disturbance in the element homeostasis during the progression of PD.
Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 01/2004; 18(2):163-71. · 1.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Astrocytes are abundantly present as glial cells in the brain and play an important role in the regenerative processes. The possible role of stem cell derived astrocytes in the spinal cord injuries is possible related to their influence at the synaptic junctions. Aim: The present study is focused on in vitro differentiation of cultured human CD34+ cells into astrocytes. Materials and Methods: Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor mobilized human CD34+ cells were isolated from peripheral blood using apheresis method from a donor. These cells were further purified by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and cultured in Dulbecco's modified eagle's medium. Thus, cultured cells were induced with astrocyte defined medium (ADM) and in the differentiated astrocytes serine/threonine protein kinases (STPK) and glutamine synthetase (GLUL) activities were estimated. The expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and GLUL were confirmed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results: The cultured human CD34+ cells differentiated into astrocytes after 11 h of incubation in ADM. The RT-PCR experiment showed the expression of GLUL (1.5 kb) and GFAP (2.9 kb) in differentiated astrocytes. The high enzyme activities of GLUL and STPK in differentiated astrocytes compared with cultured human CD34+ cells confirmed astrocyte formation. Conclusion: In the present study, in vitro differentiation of stem cells with retinoic acid induction may result in the formation of astrocytes.