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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the antigenic effect of a peptide containing two epitopes of Chlamydia pneumoniae (Cpn) on atherosclerotic lesion formation in mice infected with Cpn. Six-week-old Apob(tm2Sgy)Ldlr(tm1Her)/J mice were immunized using a repetitive immunization multiple-sites strategy with KLH-conjugated peptides derived from the major outer membrane protein and the putative outer membrane protein 5 of Cpn. Mice were fed a high-fat diet and infected with Cpn twice during the 10-week diet period. Lesions were evaluated histologically; local and systemic immune responses were analyzed by immunohistochemistry of aorta samples and cytokine measurements in plasma samples and splenocyte supernatants. Mice immunized with the combined Cpn peptide showed a greater reduction in lesion size compared to mice immunized with either epitope alone [54.7% vs 39.8% or 41.72%] and was also associated with a significant decrease in lesion area in descending aortas compared with those in controls (88.9% for combined Cpn peptide, 81.9% for MOMP peptide and 75.7% for Omp5, respectively). This effect was associated with a shift in the cellular composition of plaques towards decreased inflammatory cell and increased regulatory T-cell content. Additionally, the effect was also connected with decreased secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and increased production of anti-inflammatory cytokines demonstrated in plasma and in supernatant on stimulated spleen cells. Atherosclerotic lesion formation may be promoted by Cpn infection in the presence of a high-fat diet, and reduced by immunization with the combined Cpn peptide. The combined peptide has more potential than either epitope alone in reducing atherosclerotic lesion development through Treg expansion.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Transplantation of nonstandard or expanded criteria donor organs creates several potential ethical and legal problems in terms of consent and liability, and new challenges for research and service development; it highlights the need for a system of organ donation that responds to an evolving ethical landscape and incorporates scientific innovation to meet the needs of recipients, but which also safeguards the interests and autonomy of the donor. In this article, the use of deceased donor organs for transplants that fail to meet standard donor criteria and the legitimacy of interventions and research aimed at optimizing their successful donation are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Anesthesiology Clinics
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    ABSTRACT: ● To validate the Bladder Control Self-Assessment Questionnaire (B-SAQ), a short screener to assess LUTS / OAB in men. ● Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and overactive bladder (OAB) are highly prevalent. Case finding tools such as the B-SAQ have been developed to raise awareness of LUTS, possible bladder problems and prompt people to seek treatment. ● Prospective, single centre study, urology outpatient setting. N=211. ● All patients completed the B-SAQ and Kings Health questionnaire (KHQ) prior to consultation, and the consulting urologist made an independent assessment of LUTS and need for treatment. ● Psychometric properties of the B-SAQ were analysed. ● 98% of respondents completed all items correctly in less than 5 min. ● Mean B-SAQ scores were 12 and 3.3, respectively for cases (n=101) and controls (n=108) (p<0.00001). ● Good correlation was evident between the B-SAQ and the KHQ. ● The agreement between the individual B-SAQ items and the KHQ symptom severity scale was 86%, 85%, 84% and 79% for frequency, urgency, nocturia and urinary incontinence. ● Using a B-SAQ symptom threshold of ≥ 4 alone had a sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value of 75%, 86% and 84%, respectively, for detecting LUTS with an area under the curve of 0.88. However, in combination with a bother score threshold of ≥ 1 this changed to 92%, 46% and 86%. ● The B-SAQ is an easy and quick valid case finding tool for LUTS / OAB in men. ● The B-SAQ has the potential to raise awareness of LUTS. ● It appears to be less specific in men compared to women. ● Further validation in a community setting is required.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · BJU International
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