Las Rozas de Madrid, Spain
Las Rozas de Madrid, Spain

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Rodriguez-Artalejo F.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Rodriguez-Artalejo F.,Astrazeneca | Guallar E.,Welch Center for Prevention | Guallar E.,National Center for Cardiovascular Research | And 10 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2010

Background. The EURIKA study aims to assess the status of primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) across Europe. Specifically, it will determine the degree of control of cardiovascular risk factors in current clinical practice in relation to the European guidelines on cardiovascular prevention. It will also assess physicians' knowledge and attitudes about CVD prevention as well as the barriers impeding effective risk factor management in clinical practice. Methods/Design. Cross-sectional study conducted simultaneously in 12 countries across Europe. The study has two components: firstly at the physician level, assessing eight hundred and nine primary care and specialist physicians with a daily practice in CVD prevention. A physician specific questionnaire captures information regarding physician demographics, practice settings, cardiovascular prevention beliefs and management. Secondly at the patient level, including 7641 patients aged 50 years or older, free of clinical CVD and with at least one classical risk factor, enrolled by the participating physicians. A patient-specific questionnaire captures information from clinical records and patient interview regarding sociodemographic data, CVD risk factors, and current medications. Finally, each patient provides a fasting blood sample, which is sent to a central laboratory for measuring serum lipids, apolipoproteins, hemoglobin-A1c, and inflammatory biomarkers. Discussion. Primary prevention of CVD is an extremely important clinical issue, with preventable circulatory diseases remaining the leading cause of major disease burden. The EURIKA study will provide key information to assess effectiveness of and attitudes toward primary prevention of CVD in Europe. A transnational study creates opportunities for benchmarking good clinical practice across countries and improving outcomes. © 2010 Rodríguez-Artalejo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Carrion J.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Folgueira C.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Soto M.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Fresno M.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Requena J.M.,University Autanoma Of Madrid
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2011

Background: Visceral leishmaniasis is the most severe form of leishmaniasis and no effective vaccine exists. The use of live attenuated vaccines is emerging as a promising vaccination strategy. Results: In this study, we tested the ability of a Leishmania infantum deletion mutant, lacking both HSP70-II alleles (HSP70-II), to provide protection against Leishmania infection in the L. major-BALB/c infection model. Administration of the mutant line by either intraperitoneal, intravenous or subcutaneous route invariably leads to the production of high levels of NO and the development in mice of type 1 immune responses, as determined by analysis of anti-Leishmania IgG subclasses. In addition, we have shown that HSP70-II would be a safe live vaccine as immunodeficient SCID mice, and hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), infected with mutant parasites did not develop any sign of pathology. Conclusions: The results suggest that the HSP70-II mutant is a promising and safe vaccine, but further studies in more appropriate animal models (hamsters and dogs) are needed to appraise whether this attenuate mutant would be useful as vaccine against visceral leishmaniasis. © 2011 Carrián et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Gavilan M.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Ascasibar Y.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Molla M.,CIEMAT | Diaz A.I.,University Autanoma Of Madrid
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

We argue that isolated gas-rich dwarf galaxies - in particular, dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxies - do not necessarily undergo significant gas loss. Our aim is to investigate whether the observed properties of isolated, gas-rich dwarf galaxies, not affected by external environmental processes, can be reproduced by self-consistent chemophotometric infall models with continuous star formation histories and no mass or metal loss. Themodel is characterized by the total mass of primordial gas available to the object, its characteristic collapse time-scale, and a constant star formation efficiency. A grid of 144 such models has been computed by varying these parameters, and their predictions (elemental abundances, stellar and gas masses, photometric colours) have been compared with a set of observations of dIrr galaxies obtained from the literature. It is found that the models with moderate to low efficiency are able to reproduce most of the observational data, including the relative abundances of nitrogen and oxygen. © 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Villarroel J.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Burgos H.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Garcia-Cabanes A.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Carrascosa M.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | And 2 more authors.
Optics Express | Year: 2011

The operation of photovoltaic (PV) tweezers, using the evanescent light-induced PV fields to trap and pattern nano-and micrometer particles on a LiNbO3 crystal surface, is discussed. The case of a periodic light pattern is addressed in detail, including the role of particle shape and the modulation index of the light pattern. The use of a single Gaussian light beam is also considered. Illustrative experiments for the two situations are presented. The performance of such PV tweezers in comparison to the best established case of optical tweezers, using optical forces, is considered. Differential features between the two trapping approaches are remarked. © 2011 Optical Society of America.


Ramirez C.A.,Laboratorio Of Parasitologia Molecular | Ramirez C.A.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Requena J.M.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Puerta C.J.,Laboratorio Of Parasitologia Molecular
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2011

Background: The heat stress suffered by Leishmania sp during its digenetic life-cycle is a key trigger for its stage differentiation. In Leishmania subgenera two classes of HSP70 genes differing in their 3' UTR were described. Although the presence of HSP70-I genes was previously suggested in Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, HSP70-II genes had been reluctant to be uncovered. Results: Here, we report the existence of two types of HSP70 genes in L. braziliensis and the genomic organization of the HSP70 locus. RT-PCR experiments were used to map the untranslated regions (UTR) of both types of genes. The 3' UTR-II has a low sequence identity (55-57%) when compared with this region in other Leishmania species. In contrast, the 5' UTR, common to both types of genes, and the 3' UTR-I were found to be highly conserved among all Leishmania species (77-81%). Southern blot assays suggested that L. braziliensis HSP70 gene cluster may contain around 6 tandemly-repeated HSP70-I genes followed by one HSP70-II gene, located at chromosome 28. Northern blot analysis indicated that levels of both types of mRNAs are not affected by heat shock. Conclusions: This study has led to establishing the composition and structure of the HSP70 locus of L. braziliensis, complementing the information available in the GeneDB genome database for this species. L. braziliensis HSP70 gene regulation does not seem to operate by mRNA stabilization as occurs in other Leishmania species. © 2011 Ramírez et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Ocana A.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Gomez-Asensio C.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Arranz-Gutierrez E.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Torres C.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | And 2 more authors.
Lipids in Health and Disease | Year: 2010

Background. Adipocytes contribute to inflammation and the innate immune response through expression of inflammatory mediators. High levels of these mediators have been related to chronic inflammation state and insulin resistance, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes type 2, among other disorders. 3-octadecylglycerol (batyl alcohol) has been described as an inflammatory agent, whereas Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is considered effective against obesity. In this study we examined the anti-inflammatory activity and mechanisms of modified alkoxyglycerols. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) activated mature adipocytes were used as cellular model of inflammation. Secreted levels and gene expressions of some inflammatory mediators, such as the adipokines, interleukin (IL)-β1, IL-6 and IL-10; and the levels of leptin and adiponectin hormones were quantified in presence and absence of alkoxyglycerols and when human adipocyte cells were or not activated by TNF-α. The aim of this study is to describe the effects of nonesterified alkoxyglycerols, CLA and diesterified alkoxyglycerols with CLA (DEA-CLA) and check if they present beneficial properties using an in vitro model of some chronic diseases related to the inflammatory process, such as obesity, using human mature adipocytes activated with TNF-α. Results. Our data suggest that DEA-CLA, product of the esterification between the CLA and batyl alcohol, present beneficial effects on adipocytes close to observed and described for CLA (i.e. decrease of IL-1β) and no adverse effects as observed for batyl alcohol (i.e. decrease of IL-β10). In addition, DEA-CLA presented similar activity to CLA showing a trend to increase the secreted levels of adiponectin and decreasing the secreted levels of leptin. Conclusions. CLA and DEA-CLA modify adipocyte inflammatory mediators and also could play a role on energy homeostasis through depletion of leptin levels. © 2010 Ocaña et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Haier R.J.,University of California at Irvine | Schroeder D.H.,Johnson oConnor Research Foundation | Tang C.,Mt Sinai Medical Center | Head K.,University of California at Irvine | Colom R.,University Autanoma Of Madrid
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2010

Background. Individual differences in cognitive abilities provide information that is valuable for vocational guidance, but there is an ongoing debate about the role of ability factors, including general intelligence (g), compared to individual tests. Neuroimaging can help identify brain parameters that may account for individual differences in both factors and tests. Here we investigate how eight tests used in vocational guidance correlate to regional gray matter. We compare brain networks identified by using scores for ability factors (general and specific) to those identified by using individual tests to determine whether these relatively broad and narrow approaches yield similar results. Findings. Using MRI and voxel-based morphometry (VBM), we correlated gray matter with independent ability factors (general intelligence, speed of reasoning, numerical, spatial, memory) and individual test scores from a battery of cognitive tests completed by 40 individuals seeking vocational guidance. Patterns of gray matter correlations differed between group ability factors and individual tests. Moreover, tests within the same factor showed qualitatively different brain correlates to some degree. Conclusions. The psychometric factor structure of cognitive tests can help identify brain networks related to cognitive abilities beyond a general intelligence factor (g). Correlates of individual ability tests with gray matter, however, appear to have some differences from the correlates for group factors. © 2010 Haier et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Folgueira C.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Martinez-Bonet M.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Requena J.M.,University Autanoma Of Madrid
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2010

Background. RNA-binding proteins of the PUF family share a conserved domain consisting of tandemly repeated 36-40 amino acid motifs (typically eight) known as Puf repeats. Proteins containing tandem repeats are often dominant targets of humoral responses during infectious diseases. Thus, we considered of interest to analyze whether Leishmania PUF proteins result antigenic during visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Findings. Here, employing whole-genome databases, we report the composition, and structural features, of the PUF family in Leishmania infantum. Additionally, the 10 genes of the L. infantum PUF family were cloned and used to express the Leishmania PUFs in bacteria as recombinant proteins. Finally, the antigenicity of these PUF proteins was evaluated by determining levels of specific antibodies in sera from experimentally infected hamsters. The Leishmania PUFs were all recognized by the sera, even though with different degree of reactivity and/or frequency of recognition. The reactivity of hamster sera against recombinant LiPUF1 and LiPUF2 was particularly prominent, and these proteins were subsequently assayed against sera from human patients. High antibody responses against rLiPUF1 and rLiPUF2 were found in sera from VL patients, but these proteins resulted also recognized by sera from Chagas' disease patients. Conclusion. Our results suggest that Leishmania PUFs are targets of the humoral response during L. infantum infection and may represent candidates for serodiagnosis and/or vaccine reagents; however, it should be kept in mind the cross-reactivity of LiPUFs with antibodies induced against other trypanosomatids such as Trypanosoma cruzi. © 2010 Requena et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Rejas J.,Pfizer | Ruiz M.A.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Pardo A.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Soto J.,Pfizer
BMC Medical Research Methodology | Year: 2011

Background: A previous study has documented the reliability and validity of the Treatment Satisfaction with Medicines Questionnaire (SATMED-Q) in exploring patient satisfaction with medicines for chronic health conditions in routine medical practice, but the minimally important difference (MID) of this tool is as yet unknown. The objective of this research was to estimate the MID for the SATMED-Q total score and six constituent domains. Methods. The sample of patients (456 subjects, mean age 59 years, 53% male) used for testing psychometric properties was also used to assess MID. Item #14 of the Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication (TSQM) was used as an anchor reference since it directly explores satisfaction with medicine on a 7-point ordinal scale (from extremely satisfied to extremely dissatisfied, with a neutral category). Patients were classified into four categories according to responses to this item (extremely satisfied/dissatisfied, very satisfied/dissatisfied, satisfied/dissatisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied (neutral), and calculations were made for the total score and each domain of the SATMED-Q using standardised scores. The mean absolute differences in total score (and domains) between the neutral category and the satisfied/dissatisfied category were considered to be the MID. Effect sizes (ES) were also computed. Results: The MID for the total score was 13.4 (ES = 0.91), while the domain values ranged from 10.3 (medical care domain, ES = 0.43) to 20.6 (impact on daily living, ES = 0.85). Mean differences in satisfaction (as measured by the total SATMED-Q score and domain scores) using the levels of satisfaction established by item #14 were significantly different, with F values ranging from 12.2 to 88.8 (p < 0.001 in all cases). Conclusion: The SATMED-Q was demonstrated to be responsive to different levels of patient satisfaction with therapy in chronically ill subjects. The MID obtained was 13.4 points for the overall normalised scoring scale, and between 10.3 and 20.6 points for domains. © 2011 Rejas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Torres-Quesada O.,Grupo de Ecologia Genetica de la Rizosfera | Oruezabal R.I.,University Autanoma Of Madrid | Peregrina A.,Grupo de Ecologia Genetica de la Rizosfera | Jofre E.,National University of Rio Cuarto | And 4 more authors.
BMC Microbiology | Year: 2010

Background. The bacterial Hfq protein is able to interact with diverse RNA molecules, including regulatory small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs), and thus it is recognized as a global post-transcriptional regulator of gene expression. Loss of Hfq has an extensive impact in bacterial physiology which in several animal pathogens influences virulence. Sinorhizobium meliloti is a model soil bacterium known for its ability to establish a beneficial nitrogen-fixing intracellular symbiosis with alfalfa. Despite the predicted general involvement of Hfq in the establishment of successful bacteria-eukaryote interactions, its function in S. meliloti has remained unexplored. Results. Two independent S. meliloti mutants, 2011-3.4 and 1021hfq, were obtained by disruption and deletion of the hfq gene in the wild-type strains 2011 and 1021, respectively, both exhibiting similar growth defects as free-living bacteria. Transcriptomic profiling of 1021hfq revealed a general down-regulation of genes of sugar transporters and some enzymes of the central carbon metabolism, whereas transcripts specifying the uptake and metabolism of nitrogen sources (mainly amino acids) were more abundant than in the wild-type strain. Proteomic analysis of the 2011-3.4 mutant independently confirmed these observations. Symbiotic tests showed that lack of Hfq led to a delayed nodulation, severely compromised bacterial competitiveness on alfalfa roots and impaired normal plant growth. Furthermore, a large proportion of nodules (55%-64%) elicited by the 1021hfq mutant were non-fixing, with scarce content in bacteroids and signs of premature senescence of endosymbiotic bacteria. RT-PCR experiments on RNA from bacteria grown under aerobic and microoxic conditions revealed that Hfq contributes to regulation of nifA and fixK1/K2, the genes controlling nitrogen fixation, although the Hfq-mediated regulation of fixK is only aerobiosis dependent. Finally, we found that some of the recently identified S. meliloti sRNAs co-inmunoprecipitate with a FLAG-epitope tagged Hfq protein. Conclusions. Our results support that the S. meliloti RNA chaperone Hfq contributes to the control of central metabolic pathways in free-living bacteria and influences rhizospheric competence, survival of the microsymbiont within the nodule cells and nitrogen fixation during the symbiotic interaction with its legume host alfalfa. The identified S. meliloti Hfq-binding sRNAs are predicted to participate in the Hfq regulatory network. © 2010 Torres-Quesada et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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