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Daily Archives for: June 16th, 2008

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Recent findings suggest a causative role of infections in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The extent of atherosclerosis and the prognosis of patients with atherosclerosis seem to be increased by the number of infections to which an individual has been exposed. In a prospective study, we evaluated the effect of 8 pathogens and the aggregate pathogen burden on the progression of carotid atherosclerosis.

The immune system works best if the lymphoid cells have a delicately balanced intermediate level of glutathione. Even moderate changes in the intracellular glutathione level have profound effects on lymphocyte functions. Certain functions, such as the DNA synthetic response, are exquisitely sensitive to reactive oxygen intermediates and, therefore, are favoured by high levels of the antioxidant glutathione.

The inflammatory response to injury and infection, although an essential part of immune function, carries the risk of severe tissue depletion and immunosuppression. These outcomes increase morbidity and delay recovery. Evidence is accumulating that single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the genes controlling pro-inflammatory cytokine production adversely influence the response. Immunonutrition provides a means of modulating the inflammatory response to injury and infection,

Aging is associated with a decline in immune function (immunosenescence), a situation known to correlate with increased incidence of cancer, infectious and degenerative diseases. Innate, cellular and humoral immunity all exhibit increased deterioration with age. A decrease in functional competence of individual natural killer (NK) cells is found with advancing age. Macrophages and granulocytes show functional decline in aging as evidenced by their diminished phagocytic activity and impairment of superoxide generation.

Aging is associated with reduced IL-2 production and T cell proliferation. Vitamin E supplementation, in aged animals and humans, increases cell division and IL-2 production by naive T cells. The immune synapse forms at the site of contact between a T cell and an APC and participates in T cell activation. We evaluated whether vitamin E affects the redistribution of signaling proteins to the immune synapse.

The oxidation–reduction (redox) state of the pool of cellular thiols plays a central role in antioxidant defence and in the regulation of a large number of signal transduction pathways and metabolic functions [1]. The tripeptide glutathione (GSH), i.e. L–glutamyl-L-cysteinyl-glycine (MW 307), represents the major low-molecular-mass thiol compound participating in cellular redox reactions and thio-ether formation.

Oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) interferes with the expression of mitochondrial-encoded subunits of the electron transport complexes of oxidative phosphorylation. MtDNA is protected by several mitochondrial antioxidant systems, but the specific importance of glutathione is unknown. We hypothesized that glutathione protects mtDNA from oxidative damage in human blood lymphocytes and that glutathione depletion increases susceptibility to mtDNA depletion,

Intracellular levels of glutathione are depleted in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in whom the risk of tuberculosis, particularly disseminated disease is many times that of healthy individuals. In this study, we examined the role of glutathione in immunity against tuberculosis infection in samples derived from healthy and human immunodeficiency virus infected subjects. Our studies confirm that glutathione levels are reduced in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and in red blood cells isolated from human immunodeficiency virus-infected subjects (CD4>400/cumm).

Background: Dietary selenium intakes in many countries, including the United Kingdom, are lower than international recommendations. No functional consequences of these lower intakes have been recognized, although experimental studies suggest that they might contribute to reduced immune function, increased cancer incidence, and increased susceptibility to viral disease.
 
Objective: The objective was to assess whether administration of small selenium supplements to otherwise healthy UK subjects leads to functional changes in immune status and the rates of clearance and mutation of a picornavirus: live attenuated polio vaccine.

MS is a chronic inflammatory and demyelinating disease of the CNS with as yet unknown etiology. A hallmark of this disease is the occurrence of oligoclonal IgG antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). To assess the specificity of these antibodies, we screened protein expression arrays containing 37,000 tagged proteins. The 2 most frequent MS-specific reactivities were further mapped to identify the underlying high-affinity epitopes.