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    ABSTRACT: The mammalian epidermis provides both an interface and a protective barrier between the organism and its environment. Lipid, processed into water-impermeable bilayers between the outermost layers of the epidermal cells, forms the major barrier that prevents water from exiting the organism, and also prevents toxins and infectious agents from entering. The secretory phospholipase 2 (sPLA2) enzymes control important processes in skin and other organs, including inflammation and differentiation. sPLA2 activity contributes to epidermal barrier formation and homeostasis by generating free fatty acids, which are required both for formation of lamellar membranes and also for acidification of the stratum corneum (SC). sPLA2 is especially important in controlling SC acidification and establishment of an optimum epidermal barrier during the first postnatal week. Several sPLA2 isoforms are present in the epidermis. We find that two of these isoforms, sPLA2 IIA and sPLA2 IIF, localize to the upper stratum granulosum and increase in response to experimental barrier perturbation. sPLA2F (-/-) mice also demonstrate a more neutral SC pH than do their normal littermates, and their initial recovery from barrier perturbation is delayed. These findings confirm that sPLA2 enzymes perform important roles in epidermal development, and suggest that the sPLA2IIF isoform may be central to SC acidification and barrier function.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
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    ABSTRACT: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a major contributor to death and disability for pregnant women and their infants. The diagnosis of preeclampsia by using blood pressure and proteinuria is of limited use because they are tertiary, downstream features of the disease. Placental growth factor (PlGF) is an angiogenic factor, a secondary marker of associated placental dysfunction in preeclampsia, with known low plasma concentrations in the disease. In a prospective multicenter study, we studied the diagnostic accuracy of low plasma PlGF concentration (<5th centile for gestation, Alere Triage assay) in women presenting with suspected preeclampsia between 20 and 35 weeks' gestation (and up to 41 weeks' gestation as a secondary analysis). The outcome was delivery for confirmed preeclampsia within 14 days. Of 625 women, 346 (55%) developed confirmed preeclampsia. In 287 women enrolled before 35 weeks' gestation, PlGF <5th centile had high sensitivity (0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.89-0.99) and negative predictive value (0.98; 0.93-0.995) for preeclampsia within 14 days; specificity was lower (0.55; 0.48-0.61). Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for low PlGF (0.87, standard error 0.03) for predicting preeclampsia within 14 days was greater than all other commonly used tests, singly or in combination (range, 0.58-0.76), in women presenting with suspected preeclampsia (P<0.001 for all comparisons). In women presenting before 35 weeks' gestation with suspected preeclampsia, low PlGF has high sensitivity and negative predictive value for preeclampsia within 14 days, is better than other currently used tests, and presents an innovative adjunct to management of such women.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Circulation

  • No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
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