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Open access

St.M. Iencean, Didona Ungureanu, Al. Tascu, B. Costachescu, A.St. Iencean and I. Poeata

Abstract

Several studies showed that the phosphorylated form of the neurofilament subunit NF-H (pNF-H) are related to neuronal injuries and its detection provide information about the presence and degree of neuronal loss. Neurofilaments are three subunits, namely NF-L, NF-M and NF-H. The phosphorylated neurofilament subunit NF-H (pNF-H) is present into serum and CSF in significant amounts following neuronal injury and may be detected. The pNF-H can be a biomarker of the neuronal injuries and its detection allows the monitoring neuronal pathology and may provide diagnosis and prognosis in humans.

We are interested in pNF-H as biomarker of neuronal injury in spinal cord injury and we used a pNF-H ELISA test capable of detecting the levels of phosphorylated NF-H (pNF-H) to patients with spinal cord injury. We studied the pNF-H levels in CSF in two patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and for normal values of pNF-H we determined the CSF pNF-H level from individuals without neurological damage.

The pNF-H values of CSF from the two patients with SCI were 5-10 times higher than the normal and its higher values were related to an unfavorable outcome.

In conclusion, although the number of cases is very low - only two, in the context of experimental studies in animals with SCI, we can say that pNF-H is marker in SCI in humans and its increased values are consistent with an unfavorable outcome.

Open access

Bogdan Mircea Mihai, Didona Anca Ungureanu, Antoniu Octavian Petriş and Cristina Mihaela Lăcătuşu

Abstract

Background and Aims: Prediabetes, a category of incipient hyperglycemia that includes impaired fasting glycemia (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), has an increasing incidence in the modern world. We searched for differences in anthropometric and metabolic characteristics between subjects with isolated IFG and IFG+IGT. Material

and Methods: In our cross-sectional study, 154 subjects with IFG and IFG+IGT, without any other major pathologies, were analyzed. Anthropometric data, lipid profile, uric acid, insulin resistance indexes, adiponectin, leptin and leptin-to-adiponectin ratio were compared. Results: Only 122 subjects (64 with isolated IFG and 58 with IFG+IGT), without any other identifiable major disease, were included in the final analysis. Most characteristics of the two groups were similar, only minor differences in anthropometric data, biochemical profile and insulin resistance indexes being noted. Insulin resistance indexes were stronger associated with adiponectin in the group with isolated IFG and with leptin and leptin-to-adiponectin ratio in the IFG+IGT group. Conclusions: Our data suggest a similar anthropometric and metabolic profile in subjects with isolated IFG and with IFG+IGT. In isolated IFG, insulin resistance seems to correlate better with adiponectin, while in IFG+IGT it seems to associate mostly with leptin and derived parameters

Open access

Didona Ungureanu, Ştefan Mircea Iencean, Cristina Dimitriu, Andrei Ştefan Iencean and Alexandru Tascu

Abstract

Study objective. The objective of this study was to measure the phosphorylated neurofilament subunit NF-H (pNF-H) in cerebro-spinal fluid of patients with spinal cord injury and to determine the correlation between the pNF-H levels and the severity of the injury. Materials and methods. The study included 15 subjects with acute traumatic spinal cord injury: eight patients with complete spinal cord injury (SCI) and seven patients with incomplete SCI. All patients were classified according to the American Spinal Injury Association impairment scale (ASIA) and all patients underwent surgery during the first 24 hours (decompression, stabilization). We measured daily the heavy phosphorylated neurofilament subunit (pNF-H) concentration by sandwich ELISA test in CSF in all patients and we correlated the values of pNF-H with the clinical evolution. Results. For all patients with SCI pNF-H was detectable in CSF samples and the values were different in the cases of complete SCI toward the cases of incomplete SCI and the cerebro-spinal pNF-H level was more elevated in cases of complete SCI. The level of CSF pNF-H was ten to a hundred times higher in complete SCI than the level of CSF pNF-H in cases with incomplete SCI, where the level of this biomarker was close to normal. The patients with a favorable neurological evolution after treatment had a specific pattern of daily values of pNF-H: a sudden increase up to a maximum value then a progressive decrease until normal. The maximum values were different in each case, from 10 times up to 170 times higher than the normal. Conclusion. The phosphorylated form of the high-molecular-weight neurofilament subunit NF-H (pNF-H) in cerebro-spinal fluid can be a specific biomarker for spinal cord injury and it can distinguish the severity of SCI. pNF-H is a predictive biomarker because of its values pattern can show the reducing or stopping of the secondary lesion and the favorable result.

Open access

Mihaela Grigore, Sergiu Teleman, Didona Ungureanu and Alina Mares

Abstract

Cervical cancer is one of the leading cancers in women worldwide. The detection and diagnosis of cervical carcinoma and its precursor lesions, called cervical intraepithelial lesions (CIN), represents the main goal in order to decrease the morbidity and mortality of this disease. In the majority of cases CIN resolve spontaneously. Only a minor part of the lesions develop to high-grade lesions and eventually invasive cancer and it is important to detect those CIN with potential to progress to cervical cancer. For clinical management it is important to distinguish the cervical dysplasia with regression potential in order to avoid unnecessary treatments. Many potential biomarkers have been analyzed for the characterization of cervical cancer and pre-cancer. So far, detection of HPV has been the most promising clinical application. Several new markers have been evaluated intensively and might be used in some clinical settings, mainly p16, MCM5/CDC6 and HPV RNA, integration of HPV DNA into the host genome, chromosomal imbalances. In this article, representative examples of these markers are presented in the context of improved cervical disease detection and progression.

Open access

Letiția Elena Leuștean, Cristina Dimitriu, Simona Fica, Maria-Christina Ungureanu, Cristina Preda, Voichița Mogoș, Didona Ungureanu and Carmen Vulpoi

Abstract

Background: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at high risk for the development of diabetes mellitus, hypertension and coronary heart disease. Due to the inverse correlation between serum uric acid and insulin sensitivity, the measurement of uric acid may provide a marker of insulin resistance. Objective: To establish the relationship between uric acid and markers of insulin resistance in obese and overweight women with PCOS. Methods: Serum uric acid levels were measured in 38 PCOS obese and overweight patients and 30 controls matched for age and body mass index (BMI). Anthropometric variables, plasma glucose and insulin levels were measured. Insulin resistance was evaluated by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR). Results: No statistically significant differences in uric acid levels between PCOS and non-PCOS women were found. Serum uric acid levels were positively correlated with BMI, waist circumference, insulin and HOMA. Following the use of stepwise linear regression analysis, BMI was the only parameter retained by the regression model, responsible for 42.1% of the variability of serum uric acid levels. Conclusions: In PCOS women obesity seems to be the main determinant of plasma uric acid levels. Insulin and HOMA are also involved to a lesser extent, but their role remains to be clarified by further studies.

Open access

Elena Popa, Florin Zugun-Eloae, Mihaela Zlei, Daniela Jitaru, Oana Maria Pintilie, Adorata Elena Coman, Maria Traian, Didona Anca Ungureanu and Eugen Carasevici

Abstract

Introduction. Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a cluster of distinct metabolic alterations with an increased cardiovascular risk. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor - Alpha (PPARα), member of the nuclear receptor superfamily of transcription factors, is critically involved in the management of lipid metabolism during homeostasis or inflammatory stresses in various cell types and represents one of the therapeutic targets in MS. We analysed the PPARα expression in leukocytes of pacients with MS, in order to address PPARα involvement in these group of diseases. Material and method. Our study included 57 adult patients recruited under informed voluntary consent, investigated in order to establish whether they present MS, according to International Diabetes Federation (IDF) European guidelines and grouped in 2 lots: the MS Lot (26 patients) and control group, non-MS Lot (31 subjects). Common clinical and laboratory parameters targeted in MS evaluation were determined for all the studied cases. The expression levels of 2 molecules, PPARα and CD36 were evaluated in various circulating leukocyte populations of these patients by an optimized flow cytometry method. Statistic analysis clarifying the significance of value differences for various parameters measured was performed under SPSS and simple statistical tests (Pearson, t-Student, Chi -test). Results and discussion. The fluorescence staining for PPARα were significantly dimmer when comparing the cellular expression in eosinophils (p<0.05) of MS versus the Control group of subjects. Conclusions: Our study is the first to show that circulating eosinophils display significantly reduced PPARα protein expression in MS patients. The differences in key molecule expression in circulating leukocytes (like PPAR species, CD36, and other) might be evocatory for the endothelial dysfunction and obesity and might be of use in the therapeutic decision.