Publications by authors named "Azza M Hassan"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Iron supplementation ameliorates aloin-induced iron deficiency anemia in rats.

Exp Mol Pathol 2022 02 5;124:104740. Epub 2022 Jan 5.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. Electronic address:

Aloin, an anthraquinone glycoside, is one of other C-glycosides found in the leaf exudate of Aloe plant. Aloin possesses several biologic activities, including antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo. However, aloin treatment has shown iron deficiency anemia and erythropoiesis in vivo. The present study was undertaken to verify if iron supplementation could alleviate these perturbations, compared to doxorubicin, an anthracycline analog. Oral iron supplementation (20.56 mg elemental Fe/kg bw) to aloin-treated rats normalized red blood corpuscles count, hemoglobin concentration, and serum levels of total iron binding capacity and saturated transferrin, as well as hepatic iron content, hepcidin level, and mRNA expression of ferritin heavy chain (Ferr-H) and transferrin receptor-1 (TfR-1) genes. Although, serum hyperferremia, and leukocytosis were maintained, yet the spleen iron overload was substantially modulated. However, combined aloin and iron treatment increased iron storage levels in the heart and bone marrow, compared to aloin treatment per se. On other hand, oral iron supplementation to rats treated with doxorubicin (15 mg/kg bw) lessened the increase in the spleen iron content concomitantly with hepatic hepcidin level, rebound hepatic iron content to normal level, and by contrast augmented serum levels of iron and transferrin saturation. Also, activated Ferr-H mRNA expression and repressed TfR-1 mRNA expression were recorded, compared to doxorubicin treatment per se. Histopathological examination of the major body iron stores in rats supplemented with iron along with aloin or doxorubicin showed an increase in extramedullary hematopoiesis. In conclusion, iron supplementation restores the disturbances in iron homeostasis and erythropoiesis induced by aloin treatment.
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February 2022

Estrogenic activity of Sage (Salvia officinalis L.) aerial parts and its isolated ferulic acid in immature ovariectomized female rats.

J Ethnopharmacol 2022 Jan 6;282:114579. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy Cairo University, Cairo, 11562, Egypt.

Etnopharmacological Relevance: Common sage (Salvia officinalis L., Lamiaceae), a medicinal plant of Mediterranean origin, has been traditionally applied in cases of excessive sweating, and in menopausal complaints, including hot flushes.

Aim Of The Study: This study aims to study the possible estrogenic effect of the aerial parts of S. officinalis ethanolic extract in immature ovariectomized female rats.

Materials And Methods: The ethanolic extract was subjected to qualitative and quantitative HPLC analysis and phytochemical isolation. The estrogenic activity of S. officinalis ethanolic extract at oral doses of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg b.wt. and its isolated ferulic acid at a dose of 50 mg/kg b.wt. for a week, was assessed on ovariectomized immature Wistar rats. The experiment was confirmed by luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) serum levels determination, a histopathological examination and a histomorphometrical study.

Results: HPLC/PDA analysis revealed fourteen phenolic compounds the major constituents were methyl rosmarinate (24.86 mg/100 g) and ferulic acid (6.06 mg/100 g) together with five flavonoids where the major constituents were rutin, naringenin and quercetin. Two compounds were isolated from the polar fraction and identified as methyl rosmarinate (1) and ferulic acid (2). Oral administration of sage ethanolic extract and ferulic acid revealed a significant increase in the uterine weight compared to ovariectomized control rats. Moreover, S. officinalis and ferulic acid showed different phases of estrus cycle denoting estrogenic activity, and significantly decreased the serum levels of FSH and LH.

Conclusion: From these results it could be concluded that S. officinalis ethanolic extract and its content of ferulic acid could be useful as a safe natural source for estrogenic activity, supporting its traditional use to improve postmenopausal symptoms.
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January 2022

Needle-stick and sharps injuries: awareness, prevalence and risk factors of a global problem in healthcare workers at Tanta University Hospitals, Egypt.

Int J Occup Saf Ergon 2021 Apr 13:1-11. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University.

. This study aimed to assess the level of awareness, prevalence and risk factors of needle-stick and sharps injuries (NSSIs) in Tanta University Hospitals, Egypt to develop a well-established preventive strategy. A total of 662 healthcare workers (HCWs), including nurses and physicians, who attended work during the last 6 months of 2019 were included. Data were collected on a structured questionnaire distributed during their working time. . Of 662 participating HCWs, 486 were nurses and 176 were physicians. Good awareness (86.1 and 83.1%) of the participants about safe injection policy and sharp disposal after use was observed. Nurses showed a significantly higher percentage of poor awareness score (79.1%) than physicians (20.9%). NSSIs in our hospitals reached 60.4%. Nurses (67.9%) had higher risk of NSSIs than physicians (39.8%; < 0.001). NSSIs were significantly less likely to occur for HCWs who were aware of safe injection and sharp disposal policies. NSSIs were frequent with specimen collection (16.4%), injections (15.5%) and sharp disposal (14.6%). Only 110 (27.5%) have reported their injuries. . A comprehensive program that addresses institutional, behavioral and device-related factors that contribute to the occurrence of NSSIs and reporting systems is needed.
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April 2021

Neuropathological and Cognitive Effects Induced by CuO-NPs in Rats and Trials for Prevention Using Pomegranate Juice.

Neurochem Res 2021 May 11;46(5):1264-1279. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy Department, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.

Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NPs) are extensively utilized in several industries and in pharmaceutical production. This excess exposure elevates the concern about its expected poisonous impacts on humans and animals. Pomegranate juice (PJ) is a natural source of polyphenols and exhibits potent antioxidant activities. Our experiment intended to explore the neurobehavioral and toxicopathological impacts of CuO-NPs and to explain the mechanistic role of PJ to reduce their toxicity. Thirty Wistar albino rats received the subsequent materials through oral gavage, every day for 28d: (1) normal saline, (2) 3 mL/kg bwt PJ, (3) 6 mL/kg bwt PJ, (4) 300 mg/kg bwt CuO-NPs, (5) CuO-NPs + 3 mL/kg bwt PJ, (6) CuO-NPs + 6 mL/kg bwt PJ. Continuous exposure to CuO-NPs caused a significant elevation of MDA levels and reduction of total antioxidant capacity associated with remarkable pathological alterations in all brain regions including cerebrum, hippocampus and cerebellum. Progressive decline of memory along with cognitive and psychiatric disturbances were observed in rats exposed to CuO-NPs not in PJ co-treated rats. Continuous exposure to CuO-NPs caused over expression of the immunohistochemical markers of caspase-3, iNOS and GFAP altogether with DAN fragmentation and down-regulation of HO-1 and Nrf2 gene in the whole brain tissues. Conversely, rats co-treated with PJ showed dose dependent improvements in the entire toxicological, behavioral, and pathological parameters. We showed that PJ had the ability to reduce the oxidative stress damage via up-regulation of HO-1 and Nrf2 genes in the brain. So that PJ had the ability to protect the brain and DNA from further damage.
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May 2021

Pomegranate Juice Diminishes The Mitochondria-Dependent Cell Death And NF-kB Signaling Pathway Induced By Copper Oxide Nanoparticles On Liver And Kidneys Of Rats.

Int J Nanomedicine 2019 15;14:8905-8922. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Pathology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.

Background: Pomegranate ( L) has been used since ancient times in the traditional medicine of several cultures, particularly in the Middle East. It is an essential commercial crop full of bioactive compounds with several medical applications. Pomegranate is very popular for its biological effects exerted by phenolic compounds via free radical scavenging abilities. It has revealed high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and is beneficial for the amelioration of liver and kidney diseases.

Purpose: To elucidate the potential efficacy of pomegranate juice (PJ) against copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NPs)-induced apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress damage.

Study Design: 37 nm sized CuO-NPs were prepared by precipitation method and characterized by using X-ray diffractometer (XRD), Zetasizer nano-and high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HR-TEM). 30 Wistar rats were partitioned into 6 equal groups as follows: Group 1 (negative control), groups 2 & 3 (PJ control groups), group 4 (CuO-NPs group), groups 5 & 6 (CuO-NPs + PJ groups). Methods: Hepato-renal protective effect of PJ was evaluated by measuring levels of serum marker enzymes (ALT, AST,blood urea nitrogen and creatinine). Cu NPs bioaccumulation in liver and kidneys was determined by using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The oxidative stress markers, Rt-PCR analysis, histopathological and immunohistochemical studies were carried out in the liver and kidneys to support the above parameters.

Results: Rats injected with CuO-NPs showed higher levels of the above serum marker enzymes, alteration of oxidant-antioxidant balance together with severe pathological alterations in liver and kidney tissues and overexpression of both caspase-3 and nuclear factor kappa B protein (NF-ĸB) associated with upregulation of Bax gene and downregulation of Bcl2 gene in these organs. PJ ameliorated all of the above toxicological parameters.

Conclusion: PJ was proved to be a potential hepato-renal protective agent against liver and kidney damage induced by CuO-NPs via its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic effects.
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February 2020

Regulation of PKB/Akt-pathway in the chemopreventive effect of lactoferrin against diethylnitrosamine-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in rats.

Pharmacol Rep 2019 Oct 26;71(5):879-891. Epub 2019 Apr 26.

Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.

Background: Abnormal activation of protein kinase B (PKB) is associated with many cancers. This makes inhibition of PKB signaling pathway a promising strategy for cancer therapy. Lactoferrin (Lf) has been reported for its inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis, however, the mechanism is not completely understood. Its anti-hepatocarcinogenic activity has not taken the deserved recognition despite the additional advantages of Lf as an antiviral against hepatitis C virus, the main cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and as a targeting ligand for delivering chemotherapeutics to hepatoma cells.

Methods: This study evaluated the anti-hepatocarcinogenic effect of Lf, and the role of PKB in this effect using diethylnitrosamine (DENA)-induced HCC rat model, and a primary cell culture prepared from the induced hepatic lesions (DENA-HCC cell culture).

Results: Up-regulation of activated PKB in the hepatocytes of rats with DENA-induced HCC was observed, as measured biochemically in the liver homogenate, and localized immunohistochemically. This was accompanied by increment of hepatocytes proliferation, and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Involvement of PKB in DENA-induced HCC was confirmed by the observed decrease in cell proliferation in DENA-HCC cell culture that was treated with PKB inhibitor. In Lf-treated rats, a dose-dependent chemopreventive effect was observed, with decreased expression and activation of PKB, amelioration of the other DENA-induced alterations, and stimulation of apoptosis. In vitro, Lf blocked PKB activator-induced cell proliferation.

Conclusion: These findings support the chemopreventive activity of Lf against HCC, and suggest regulation of PKB-pathway as a potential mechanism underlying this effect.
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October 2019

Evaluation of pelvic inflammatory disease potential in cholinesterase inhibitor pesticide-exposed females.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2018 Nov 11;25(31):30818-30825. Epub 2017 May 11.

Department Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt.

Cholinesterase inhibitor pesticides, mainly organophosphates and carbamates, are commonly used in Egypt. Chronic exposure of males and females working in agriculture is expected. The study aimed to relate exposure to cholinesterase inhibitor pesticides to the development of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This is a case-control study that was conducted among 84 females. Seventy patients complained of pelvic inflammatory disease visited the outpatient Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinic. Fourteen females were not suffering from PID and were chosen as a control group. Red blood cells' cholinesterase activity was measured in blood. Cervical swaps were collected, and cultures were submitted for microbiological examination. The results showed that cholinesterase activities were significantly depressed in exposed females (6.36 ± 0.8 μmoles/min/ml red cells) when compared to non-exposed (7.5 ± 1.2 μmoles/min/ml red cells), and both were significantly depressed when compared with healthy females (9.17 ± 0.7 μmoles/min/ml red cells). The correlation coefficient (r) between previous exposure and the laboratory confirmed cervical infection was 0.31, with a P value of 0.009. The study concluded that exposure to cholinesterase inhibitor pesticides could increase the occurrence of pelvic inflammatory disease.
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November 2018

Validation of prognostic indices in Egyptian Budd-Chiari syndrome patients: A single-center study.

World J Gastroenterol 2017 Jan;23(4):629-637

Mohammad Sakr, Sara M Abdelhakam, Soheir A Elsayed, Enas H Allam, Amir M Farid, Waleed Abdelmoaty, Department of Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11341, Egypt.

Aim: To compare predictive ability of Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) prognostic indices (PIs) for one-year survival and Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) patency.

Methods: This retrospective study enrolled 194 Egyptian patients with primary BCS who presented to the Budd-Chiari Study Group of Ain Shams University Hospital. Calculation of the available PIs was performed using Child-Pugh and model for end-stage liver disease scores, BCS-specific PIs (Clichy, New Clichy and Rotterdam) for all patients, and BCS-TIPS PI only for patients who underwent TIPS. The overall one-year survival rate and the one-year shunt patency rate for TIPS were reported.

Results: The overall one-year survival rate was 69.6%, and the New Clichy PI revealed the best validity for its prediction at a cut-off value of 3.75, with sensitivity and specificity of 78% and 73.3%, respectively [area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) = 0.806]. The one-year survival rate post-TIPS was 89.7%, and the BCS-TIPS score demonstrated validity for its prediction at a cut-off value of 3.92 (sensitivity and specificity were 71.4% and 64.5%, respectively) (AUC = 0.715). Logistic regression analysis revealed that the New Clichy PI ( = 0.030), high serum total bilirubin ( = 0.047) and low albumin ( < 0.001) were independent factors for predicting mortality within one year. The one-year shunt patency rate in TIPS was 80.2%, and none of the PIs exhibited significant validity for its prediction.

Conclusion: The New Clichy score could independently predict the one-year survival in Egyptian BCS patients.
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January 2017

Reversibility of minimal hepatic encephalopathy following liver transplantation in Egyptian cirrhotic patients.

World J Hepatol 2016 Oct;8(30):1279-1286

Mahmoud A Osman, Moataz M Sayed, Khaled A Mansour, Shereen A Saleh, Wesam A Ibrahim, Wael A Yousry, Hosam S Elbaz, Reginia N Mikhail, Department of Internal Medicine, Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11341, Egypt.

Aim: To evaluate the reversibility of minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) following liver transplantation (LT) in Egyptian cirrhotic patients.

Methods: This prospective study included twenty patients with biopsy-proven liver cirrhosis listed for LT and twenty age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects. All underwent neuro-psychiatric examination, laboratory investigations, radiological studies and psychometric tests including trail making test A (TMT A), TMT B, digit symbol test and serial dotting test. The psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score (PHES) was calculated for patients to diagnose MHE. Psychometric tests were repeated six months following LT in the cirrhotic patient group.

Results: Before LT, psychometric tests showed highly significant deficits in cirrhotic patients in comparison to controls ( < 0.001). There was a statistically significant improvement in test values in the patient group after LT; however, their values were still significantly worse than those of the controls ( < 0.001). The PHES detected MHE in 16 patients (80%) before LT with a median value of -7 ± 3.5. The median PHES value was significantly improved following LT, reaching -4.5 ± 5 ( < 0.001), and the number of patients with MHE decreased to 11 (55%). The pre-transplant model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score ≥ 15 was significantly related to the presence of post-transplant MHE ( = 0.005). More patients in whom reversal of MHE was observed had a pre-transplant MELD score < 15.

Conclusion: Reversal of MHE in cirrhotic patients could be achieved by LT, especially in those with a MELD score < 15.
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October 2016

Tetanus vaccination status and its associated factors among women attending a primary healthcare center in Cairo governorate, Egypt.

J Egypt Public Health Assoc 2016 Sep;91(3):127-134

Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.

Background: Maintaining maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) elimination status in Egypt requires continued strengthening of routine tetanus toxoid (TT) immunization services for pregnant women.

Objectives: To measure the frequency rate of TT vaccination among women attending the well-baby clinic at the El-Darb El-Ahmar primary healthcare center in Cairo governorate and to identify different associated factors.

Participants And Methods: This was a cross sectional study that targeted 277 mothers who attended the well-baby clinic at the El-Darb El-Ahmar primary healthcare center. Mothers were interviewed by a questionnaire inquiring about their sociodemographic characteristics, obstetric history, details of the last pregnancy, TT vaccination status and knowledge of the TT vaccine, and MNT disease.

Results: The results showed that 60.6% had taken all required doses of TT vaccine and 42.6% of the mothers studied were fully protected against MNT in their last birth. The rate of vaccination was found to be affected by mothers' socioeconomic level, education level, place of receiving antenatal care, health education about importance of TT vaccine, knowledge of mothers about NT disease and TT vaccine and the source of this knowledge.
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September 2016

Serum level of receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand in patients with psoriasis.

Int J Dermatol 2016 May 29;55(5):e227-33. Epub 2015 Dec 29.

Departments of Dermatology, Microbiology and Physical medicine, Tanta University Hospitals, Tanta, Egypt.

Background: Psoriasis usually precedes the onset of psoriatic arthritis by an average of 10 years in about 70% of patients. Receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) is a natural and necessary surface-bound molecule, which is a ligand for osteoprotegrin and functions as a key factor for osteoclast differentiation and activation.

Objective: Evaluation of the serum level of RANKL in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and its correlation with severity of the disease as a trial to predict the occurrence of psoriatic arthritis in such patients.

Method: This study included 80 subjects; 40 patients had chronic plaque psoriasis, 20 patients had chronic plaque psoriasis with psoriatic arthritis, and 20 were healthy controls. Patients with psoriasis were divided into three subgroups according to psoriasis area severity index score: mild, moderate, and severe. Serum RANKL levels were estimated for all subjects using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Serum RANKL level in psoriatic arthritis was significantly higher compared to both patients with plaque psoriasis and control groups. Serum RANKL level significantly correlated to the severity of psoriasis, with a very high correlation coefficient in groups I and II. The diagnostic performance of serum RANKL level for the early prediction of psoriatic arthritis in patients with psoriasis was >170 pg/ml.

Conclusion: Serum RANKL level could be considered as a useful diagnostic marker for the early prediction of psoriatic arthritis in patients with moderate and severe psoriasis. Assessment of soluble RANKL in psoriasis could identify those at increased risk for psoriatic arthritis, and anti-RANKL agents may be effective in decreasing incidence of psoriatic arthritis.
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May 2016

Significance of autotaxin activity and overexpression in comparison to soluble intercellular adhesion molecule in thyroid cancer.

Int J Biol Markers 2013 Apr 23;28(1):84-91. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tanta University Hospitals, Tanta Faculty of Medicine, Tanta, Egypt.

Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of autotaxin (ATX) activity and gene expression compared to soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) in thyroid carcinoma.

Patients And Methods: Sixty-five patients with thyroid swelling were included. There were 20 cases of simple multinodular goiter (group I), 15 cases of follicular adenoma (group II) and 30 cases of thyroid cancer (group III). Group III was further subdivided into negative and positive lymph nodes (group IIIa and IIIb; 22 and 8 cases, respectively). sICAM-1 concentration and ATX activity were measured using colorimetric enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), while ATX gene expression was detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Results: sICAM-1 level, ATX activity and gene expression were significantly elevated in patients with thyroid carcinoma compared to other groups. The ATX activity showed significantly higher sensitivity and specificity than sICAM-1 (100% and 97.1% vs 93.3% and 88.6%, respectively). Both sICAM-1 and ATX values were significantly higher in patients with positive lymph nodes compared to those without lymph node involvement (p<0.001). Higher levels of ATX activity and gene expression were significantly correlated with larger tumor size and undifferentiated pathological subtype in thyroid carcinoma. In this respect, ATX was superior to sICAM-1.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that ATX activity and gene expression are reliable diagnostic and prognostic tools in thyroid carcinoma compared to sICAM-1.
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April 2013

Taurine is more effective than melatonin on cytochrome P450 2E1 and some oxidative stress markers in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

J Agric Food Chem 2011 May 22;59(9):4995-5000. Epub 2011 Mar 22.

Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt.

Melatonin and taurine have alleviative effects in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into nondiabetic, diabetic, diabetic melatonin supplemented and diabetic taurine supplemented groups. At the end of the study, both blood and liver were collected for determination of some oxidative stress parameters, and hepatic cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) enzyme activity and gene expression. An increased CYP2E1 activity and expression level with a concomitant significant change in oxidative stress parameters were found in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Taurine or melatonin supplementation to the diabetic rats alleviated these experimental parameters with a more significant effect for taurine than that of melatonin. Suppression of β-hydroxybutyrate (β-HB) production by taurine can be one of the mechanisms of a reduction in CYP2E1. Taurine was effective more than melatonin in reducing CYP2E1 activity and expression; therefore antioxidants might prove beneficial in type 1 diabetes associated with manifestations of liver injury.
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May 2011

Evaluation of natural killer cells as diagnostic markers of early onset neonatal sepsis: comparison with C-reactive protein and interleukin-8.

Egypt J Immunol 2004 ;11(1):91-102

Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medecine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.

This study was conducted on thirty-seven neonates and healthy neonates (sixteen full term and fourteen preterm). The study aimed at revealing the role played by the NK cells in neonatal sepsis and evaluating the sensitivity of NK cell number and cytotoxicity as diagnostic markers in infants with suspected early neonatal sepsis compared with the circulating cytokine IL-8 and CRP levels. All samples of peripheral blood lymphocytes were subjected to determination of CD16 and CD56 positive cells using flow cytometry and NK cytotoxicity using the standard 4h 51Cr release assay. Sera were separated to measure IL-8 using ELISA. Determination of CRP, using turbdimetric assay, as well as blood cultures were done for patient's group only. Out of the 37 cases of suspected early neonatal sepsis, 16 were given final diagnosis of sepsis. Seven infants (43.8%) in the sepsis group had culture-proven diagnosis, one of which had meningitis. The median CRP value was significantly higher in sepsis group (88 mg/L; range: 17-159 mg/L) compared with that in non-septic group (15.4 mg/L; range: 7.6-23.2 mg/L, p < 0.001) only 12-60 h after admission. On the other hand, newborns in the sepsis group had significantly higher serum levels of IL-8 (median 310 pg/mL; range: 37-583 pg/ml) at study entry than that in the non septic group (median 63 pg/mL; range: 32-94 pg/ml, P < 0.001). On admission, the NK activity, rather than the number of CD16 and CD56 positive cells was much affected where NK cytotoxicity was significantly lower in sepsis group (3.4 +/- 2.1%, range 0.9-7%) than that of the nonseptic group (18.3 +/- 6.7%: range 10.7- 25.3%, p < 0.01) and healthy neonates (23.8 +/- 4.7%: range 12.2-32.3%, p < 0.001). We may conclude that defective NK cell activity rather than NK cell number plays an important role in susceptibility to early onset neonatal sepsis. Evaluation of NK cytotoxicity as a marker in early diagnosis of neonatal sepsis reveals that the sensitivity, specificity and predictive values of reduced NK cytotoxicity (10% killing) was higher than both of CRP and IL-8, either individually or in combination. Additionally, reduced NK cytotoxicity showed high correlation with the severity and outcome of neonatal sepsis. Our data raise the possibility that the addition of NK cell activity to the standard work-up of critically ill patients with suspected sepsis could increase diagnostic certainty and generate an improved patient management.
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April 2005

Prevention of fumonisin-induced maternal and developmental toxicity in rats by certain plant extracts.

J Appl Toxicol 2004 Nov-Dec;24(6):469-74

Food Toxicology and Contaminants Department, National Research Centre, Dokki, Egypt.

In earlier work we have reported that garlic and cabbage extracts can protect laboratory animals from the toxic effects of different mycotoxins. Previous research demonstrated that fumonisin (FB) induced developmental effects in mice, rats and hamsters. The objectives of the present study were to utilize the pregnant rat as an in vivo model to compare the potential of garlic and cabbage seed extracts to prevent the developmental toxicity of FB and the effects of these extracts on sphingolipid metabolism in dam and foetus livers. Six treatment groups included a control group, a group fed on an FB-containing diet (150 mg kg(-1) feed) and groups treated orally with garlic or cabbage extracts (5 mg kg(-1) body wt.) with or without FB during gestation days 6-15. Evaluations of toxicity were performed on day 20. These include: maternal (mortality, body weight, feed intake and litter weight), developmental (embryonic resorption, foetal body weight, foetal soft-tissue anomalies and foetal skeletal examinations) and maternal and foetal sphingolipid metabolism. Fumonisin alone resulted in significant decreases in feed intake, body weight gain, litter weight, number of live foetuses and foetal body weight, whereas it increased significantly the number of resorbed foetuses and the number of skeletal malformations (30.4% for skull and 26.08% for sternebrae) and also increased the sphinganine/sphingosine (Sa/So) ratio in dam but not fetus livers. Garlic alone or plus FB was comparable to the control regarding all the tested parameters. On the other hand, cabbage seed extract alone or plus FB resulted in 10% maternal mortality and a decrease in maternal body weight and litter weight. It resulted in 4.65% skull malformations in foetuses but it was comparable to the control with regard to the other tested parameters. It could be concluded that both garlic and cabbage seed extracts have protective effects in pregnant rats. Moreover, garlic extract was found to have a greater protective effect than cabbage seed extract.
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February 2005