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- Introduction: Invertebrate neuropeptides XIII. [Editorial]
- Peptides 2013 Mar.:1.
- Is oxytocin a therapeutic factor for ischemic heart disease? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Peptides 2013 May 6.
Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is among the most important and top ranked causes of death in the world, and its preventive and interventional mechanisms are actively being investigated. Preconditioning may still be beneficial in some situations such as IHD. Development of cardioprotective agents to improve myocardial function, to decrease the incidence of arrhythmias, to delay the onset of necrosis, and to limit the total extent of infarction during IHD is of great clinical importance. In order to reduce morbidity, a new treatment modality must be developed, and oxytocin may indeed be one of the candidates. There is increasing experimental evidence indicating that oxytocin may have cardioprotective effects either by decreasing the extent of reperfusion injury or by pharmacologic preconditioning activity. This review shows that in the presence of oxytocin, the cardioprotective effects may be increased to some extent. The presented board of evidence focuses on the valuable effects of oxytocin on myocardial function and candidates it for future clinical studies in the realm of ischemic heart diseases.
- Plasma leptin level predicts hematoma growth and early neurological deterioration after acute intracerebral hemorrhage. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Peptides 2013 May 6.
Higher plasma leptin levels have been associated with poor clinical outcomes after intracerebral hemorrhage. Nevertheless, their links with hematoma growth and early neurological deterioration are unknown. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the relationship between plasma leptin levels, hematoma growth, and early neurological deterioration in patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage. We prospectively studied 102 consecutive patients with acute spontaneous basal ganglia hemorrhage presenting within 6h from symptoms onset. Significant hematoma growth was defined as hematoma enlargement >33% at 24h. Early neurological deterioration was defined as an increase of ≥4 points in National Institute of Health Stroke Scale score at 24h from symptoms onset. We measured plasma leptin levels on admission using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in a blinded fashion. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, plasma leptin level emerged as the independent predictor of hematoma growth (odds ratio, 1.182; 95% confidence interval, 1.061-2.598; P=0.008) and early neurological deterioration (odds ratio, 1.193; 95% confidence interval, 1.075-2.873; P=0.004). Using receiver operating characteristic curves, we calculated areas under the curve for hematoma growth (area under curve, 0.844; 95% confidence interval, 0.759-0.908) and early neurological deterioration (area under curve, 0.857; 95% confidence interval, 0.774-0.918). The predictive performance of leptin was similar to, but did not obviously improve that of hematoma volume. Thus, leptin may help in the prediction of hematoma growth and early neurological deterioration after intracerebral hemorrhage.
- Relationship between plasma copeptin levels and complications of community-acquired pneumonia in preschool children. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Peptides 2013 May 6.
High plasma copeptin level has been associated with clinical outcomes after acute illness. The present study was undertaken to investigate the plasma copeptin concentrations in preschool children with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and to analyze the correlations of copeptin with CAP-related complications and pleural effusion. Plasma copeptin concentrations of 100 healthy children and 165 preschool children with CAP were measured. 35 children (21.2%) presented with complicated CAP and 28 children (17.0%) presented with pleural effusion. The admission copeptin levels were significantly increased in all patients (49.7±21.4pmol/L), children with complicated CAP (73.0±16.9pmol/L), those with uncomplicated CAP (43.4±17.8pmol/L), those with pleural effusion (70.9±17.4pmol/L) and those without pleural effusion (45.3±19.5pmol/L) compared with healthy control individuals (9.0±2.7pmol/L, all P<0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that plasma copeptin levels were independently related to CAP-related complications (odds ratio 1.214, 95% confidence interval 1.104-1.872, P<0.001) and pleural effusion (odds ratio 1.226, 95% confidence interval 1.109-1.917, P<0.001). A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed plasma copeptin level better predicted CAP-related complications (area under curve 0.876, 95% confidence interval 0.815-0.922) and pleural effusion (area under curve 0.831, 95% confidence interval 0.765-0.885). Thus, plasma copeptin level may represent a novel biomarker for predicting CAP-related complications in preschool children.
- Mechanisms of glucagon degradation at alkaline pH. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Peptides 2013 May 4.
Glucagon is unstable and undergoes degradation and aggregation in aqueous solution. For this reason, its use in portable pumps for closed loop management of diabetes is limited to very short periods. In this study, we sought to identify the degradation mechanisms and the bioactivity of specific degradation products. We studied degradation in the alkaline range, a range at which aggregation is minimized. Native glucagon and analogs identical to glucagon degradation products were synthesized. To quantify biological activity in glucagon and in the degradation peptides, a protein kinase A-based bioassay was used. Aged, fresh, and modified peptides were analyzed by liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LCMS). Oxidation of glucagon at the Met residue was common but did not reduce bioactivity. Deamidation and isomerization were also common and were more prevalent at pH 10 than 9. The biological effects of deamidation and isomerization were unpredictable; deamidation at some sites did not reduce bioactivity. Deamidation of Gln 3, isomerization of Asp 9, and deamidation with isomerization at Asn 28 all caused marked potency loss. Studies with molecular-weight-cutoff membranes and LCMS revealed much greater fibrillation at pH 9 than 10. Further work is necessary to determine formulations of glucagon that minimize degradation and fibrillation.
- Comparative analysis of kisspeptin-immunoreactivity reveals genuine differences in the hypothalamic Kiss1 systems between rats and mice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Peptides 2013 May 4.
Kiss1 mRNA and its corresponding peptide products, kisspeptins, are expressed in two restricted brain areas of rodents, the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) and the arcuate nucleus (ARC). The concentration of mature kisspeptins may not directly correlate with Kiss1 mRNA levels, because mRNA translation and/or posttranslational modification, degradation, transportation and release of kisspeptins could be regulated independently of gene expression, and there may thus be differences in kisspeptin expression even in species with similar Kiss1 mRNA profiles. We measured and compared kisspeptin-immunoreactivity in both nuclei and both sexes of rats and mice and quantified kisspeptin-immunoreactive nerve fibers. We also determined Kiss1 mRNA levels and measured kisspeptin-immunoreactivity in colchicine pretreated rats. Overall, we find higher levels of kisspeptin-immunoreactivity in the mouse compared to the rat, independently of brain region and gender. In the female mouse AVPV high numbers of kisspeptin-immunoreactive neurons were present, while in the rat, the female AVPV displays a similar number of kisspeptin-immunoreactive neurons compared to the level of Kiss1 mRNA expressing cells, only after axonal transport inhibition. Interestingly, the density of kisspeptin innervation in the anterior periventricular area was higher in female compared to male in both species. Species differences in the ARC were evident, with the mouse ARC containing dense fibers, while the rat ARC contains clearly discernable cells. In addition, we show a marked sex difference in the ARC, with higher kisspeptin levels in females. These findings show that the translation of Kiss1 mRNA and/or the degradation/transportation/release of kisspeptins are different in mice and rats.
- Application of S-thanatin, an antimicrobial peptide derived from thanatin, in mouse model of Klebsiella pneumoniae infection. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Peptides 2013 May 1.
Thanatin was first discovered from the hemipteran insect Podisus maculiventris and showed a promising antimicrobial activity. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae have developed resistance to current therapies. As an attempt to resolve this problem, the efficacy of thanatin and its analogues against clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae was studied in vitro and in vivo. S-thanatin showed an improved antimicrobial activity with the tested MIC values was 2-8-fold lower than those of other thanatin analogs. Antimicrobial assay indicated a high activity of S-thanatin against K. pneumoniae in vitro with MIC between 4 and 8μg/ml. Its in vivo activity was evaluated using a K. pneumoniae-infected mice model. Adult male ICR mice were randomly grouped and given an intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of 2×10(10)colony-forming units of K. pneumoniae (CI 120204205). Afterwards, mouse groups were subjected to i.p. administration of saline or S-thanatin (5, 10, or 15mg/kg). After an inspection of 72h, the mice were finally sacrificed for analysis of in vivo bacterial growth and plasma endotoxin level. The results showed that S-thanatin administration apparently improved the survival rate and reduced the bacterial CFU from intra-abdominal fluid in mice. The plasma endotoxin level was improved as well. All above implied that S-thanatin, as an alternative, may provide a novel strategy for treating K. pneumoniae infection and other infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria.
- Role of oxytocin in energy metabolism. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Peptides 2013 Apr 26.
The basic mechanisms that lead obesity are not fully understood; however, several peptides undoubtedly play a role in regulating body weight. Obesity, a highly complex metabolic disorder, involves central mechanisms that control food intake and energy expenditure. Previous studies have shown that central or peripheral oxytocin administration induces anorexia. Recently, in an apparent discrepancy, rodents that were deficient in oxytocin or the oxytocin receptor were shown to develop late-onset obesity without changing their total food intake, which indicates the physiological importance of oxytocin to body metabolism. Oxytocin is synthesized not only within magnocellular and parvocellular neurons but also in several organs, including the ovary, uterus, placenta, testis, thymus, kidney, heart, blood vessels, and skin. The presence of oxytocin receptors in neurons, the myometrium and myoepithelial cells is well recognized; however, this receptor has also been identified in other tissues, including the pancreas and adipose tissue. The oxytocin receptor is a typical class I G protein-coupled receptor that is primarily linked to phospholipase C-β via Gq proteins but can also be coupled to other G proteins, leading to different functional effects. In this review, we summarize the present knowledge of the effects of oxytocin on controlling energy metabolism, focusing primarily on the role of oxytocin on appetite regulation, thermoregulation, and metabolic homeostasis.
- Trefoil factor 2 expression and its significance as a predictor of severity of sepsis in children. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Peptides 2013 Apr 28.
Intestinal injury significantly contributes to critical illness, sepsis and multiorgan failure. TFF2 (Trefoil Factor 2) is expressed and secreted preferentially by gastric mucous neck cells. TFF2 gene expression is promptly increased after gut injury, and its expression profile broadens to include the regenerative epithelia of virtually the entire gastrointestinal tract. The first objective of our study was an analysis of TFF2 levels dynamics in patients with Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) or septic condition during a 5-day period after admission. The second objective was to determine optimal cut-off value and quantify diagnostic characteristics of TFF2 between controls and patients with various septic states. The study included 57 children aged 0-19 years, with expected or proven SIRS and septic condition. The degree of severity was evaluated according to PELOD Score (Pediatric Logistic Organ Dysfunction). Blood samples to determine levels of TFF2 factor were taken during the time patient met the criteria of SIRS or sepsis. Control group samples to determine the serum levels of TFF2 were taken from patients undergoing elective surgery. Analysis of TFF2 levels dynamics revealed that TFF2 levels kept steady state during the 5-day period. Significantly higher levels of TFF2 were in patients with Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome (MODS). The difference was noticed also in ROC analysis.
- The molecular characterization of the kinin transcript and the physiological effects of kinins in the blood-gorging insect, Rhodnius prolixus. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Peptides 2013 Apr 26.
The dramatic feeding-related activities of the Chagas' disease vector, Rhodnius prolixus are under the neurohormonal regulation of serotonin and various neuropeptides. One such family of neuropeptides, the insect kinins, possess diuretic, digestive and myotropic activities in many insects. In this study, we have cloned and examined the spatial expression of the R. prolixus kinin (Rhopr-kinin) transcript. In addition, in situ hybridization has been used to map the distribution of neurons expressing the kinin transcript. Physiological bioassays demonstrate the myostimulatory effects of selected Rhopr-kinin peptides and also illustrate the augmented responses of hindgut contractions to co-application of Rhopr-kinin and a R. prolixus diuretic hormone. Two synthetic kinin analogs have also been examined on the hindgut. These reveal interesting properties including a relatively irreversible effect on hindgut contractions and activity at very low concentrations.