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Recio E.,Hospital Universitario Of Valme | Cifuentes C.,Hospital Universitario Of Valme | MacIas J.,Hospital Universitario Of Valme | Mira J.A.,Hospital Universitario Of Valme | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2013

Background: The combination of transient elastometry with a controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) is available to evaluate hepatic steatosis (HS) along with liver stiffness. Aims: To assess the concordance of CAP measurements between two independent observers in patients infected by HIV and/or hepatitis virus, as well as to determine the concordance of classification of the grade of HS using two cut-off values. Materials and Methods: In a cross-sectional prospective study, CAP-enabled transient elastometry acquisitions were performed by two independent observers in patients with HIV or hepatitis virus infection. The interobserver concordance between the CAP examinations was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient and the concordance in the classification of patients in the grades of HS was characterized using the κ index. Results: A total of 118 patients were included. Twenty (17%) patients were HIV monoinfected, 44 (37.3%) were hepatitis C virus monoinfected, and 52 (44%) had HIV/hepatitis C virus coinfection. The median (Q1-Q3) of the absolute difference of CAP values between the two observers was 20 (10-41) dB/m. The overall intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.84 (95% confidence interval: 0.77-0.88). The corresponding figures for liver stiffness measurements were 0.9 (0.4-2.6) kPa and 0.96 (95% confidence interval: 0.94-0.97). The κ indexes for the concordance of classification for the presence of HS, cut-off of 215 dB/m, and significant HS, cut-off of 252 dB/m, were 0.53 and 0.62, respectively. Conclusion: The determination of HS by means of CAP in HIV and/or hepatitis virus infection represents an observer-independent and easily performable method. However, the use of cut-off values for the classification of patients is suboptimal. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Ferrando-Martinez S.,Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon | Ferrando-Martinez S.,Institute Investigacion Sanitaria Gregorio Maranon | Ferrando-Martinez S.,CIBER ISCIII | Ferrando-Martinez S.,Biomedicine Institute of Seville IBIS | And 11 more authors.
Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences | Year: 2015

Human thymus is completely developed in late fetal stages and its function peaks in newborns. After the first year of life, the thymus undergoes a progressive atrophy that dramatically decreases de novo T-lymphocyte maturation. Hormonal signaling and changes in the microRNA expression network are identified as underlying causes of human thymus involution. However, specific pathways involved in the age-related loss of thymic function remain unknown. In this study, we analyzed differential gene-expression profile and microRNA expression in elderly (70 years old) and young (less than 10 months old and 11 years old) human thymic samples. Our data have shown that WNT pathway deregulation through the overexpression of different inhibitors by the nonadipocytic component of the human thymus stimulates the age-related involution. These results are of particular interest because interference of WNT signaling has been demonstrated in both animal models and in vitro studies, with the three major hallmarks of thymic involution: (i) epithelial structure disruption, (ii) adipogenic process, and (iii) thymocyte development arrest. Thus, our results suggest that secreted inhibitors of the WNT pathway could be explored as a novel therapeutical target in the reversal of the age-related thymic involution. © The Author 2014.


Ferrando-Martinez S.,Biomedicine Institute of Seville IBIS | Franco J.M.,Biomedicine Institute of Seville IBIS | Franco J.M.,Centro Andaluz Of Biologia Molecular Y Medicina Regenerativa Cabimer Csic | Ruiz-Mateos E.,Biomedicine Institute of Seville IBIS | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Immunological Methods | Year: 2010

Current techniques to peripherally assess thymic function are: the signal-joint T-cell receptor excision circle (sj-TREC) level measurement and the naive T cell and CD31+ TREC-rich subset determination. However, all of them are indirect approaches and none could be considered a direct recent thymic emigrant (RTE) marker. To overcome their limitations, Dion et al. (2004) described the sj/β-TREC ratio that allows the peripheral quantification of the double negative to double positive intrathymic proliferation step. Nevertheless, the protocol described is expensive, sample and time-consuming, thus, limiting its usefulness. In this study, we describe a simplified protocol that reduces from 33 to 9 the amount of PCR reaction needed but maintaining the sensitivity and reproducibility of the original technique. In addition, we corroborated the effectiveness of our technique as an accurate thymic output-related marker by correlating the peripheral sj/β-TREC ratio with a direct measurement of thymic function as the percentage of double positive thymocytes (r = 0.601, p < 0.001). © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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