; 2Department of Hospital and Health Care Administration, Chia Na

; 2Department of Hospital and Health Care Administration, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan, Taiwan; 3Departments of Anesthesiology, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan.; 4Departments of Nephrology, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan.; 5Department of Health Care Management, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taiwan Introduction: We explored the relationship between

hospital/surgeon volume and postoperative severe sepsis/graft-failure and mortality. Methods: The Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database claims data for all patients with end-stage renal disease patients who underwent kidney transplantation between see more January 1, 1999, and December 31, 2007, were reviewed. Surgeons and hospitals were categorized

into two groups based on their patient volume. The two primary outcomes were severe sepsis and graft failure/mortality. The unconditional logistical regressions were done to compute Selleck GSK126 the odds ratios (OR) of outcomes after adjusting for possible confounding factors. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to calculate the cumulative survival rates of graft failure/death after kidney transplantation during follow-up (1999–2008). Results: The risk of developing severe sepsis in a hospital in which surgeons do few renal transplantations was significant (odds ratio [OR]; p = 0.0115): 1.65 times higher than for a hospital in which surgeons do many. The same trend was true for hospitals with a low volume of renal transplantations (OR = 2.39; p < 0.0001). The likelihood of a graft failure within one year for the low-volume surgeon group was 3.1 times higher than for the high-volume surgeon group (p < 0.0001); the trends were similar for hospital

volume as well. Female patients had a lower risk than did male patients, and patients 55 years old or older, as well as those with a higher Charlson comorbidity index score, had a higher risk of severe sepsis. Conclusion: We conclude that the likelihood of severe sepsis and graft failure/mortality is higher for patients treated in hospitals and by surgeons with a low volume of renal transplantations. Therefore, C-X-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CXCR-7) we hypothesize that defining and exporting best practices through educational outreach, and, if necessary, regulation, must be part of the health policy. AGARWAL LALIT KUMAR Dr Lalit Kumar Agarwal Introduction: BK virus (BKV) is one of the most common viral pathogens affecting kidney allografts. Indian data indicates an incidence of ∼9% for BKV infection. BKV nephropathy (BKVN) is an important complication of renal transplantation with a reported incidence between 1% and 10% in different parts of the world. To determine associated factors, and outcome of BKV in our kidney transplant population in order to improve identification and management. Methods: Kidney transplants from 2008 to 2012 were retrospectively reviewed.

TP53 missense mutations were detected in three of the p53 overexp

TP53 missense mutations were detected in three of the p53 overexpressed oligodendroglial tumors studied. Our results suggest that 1p loss is almost specific to oligodendroglial tumors. Although the prediction of 1p status based solely on the morphologic features seems to be difficult, the immunohistochemistry for p53 is a useful tool in that p53 overexpression is closely related to the 1p-intact status in oligodendroglial tumors. “
“Autophagy is a dynamic process of protein degradation.

Induction of autophagy by temozolomide (TMZ) has been noted in glioma cell lines. Twenty-eight specimens, obtained from 14 patients before and after TMZ treatment, were analyzed to investigate whether induction of autophagy could be detected selleck chemicals llc in surgical specimens by immunohistochemical analysis. Macroautophagy was monitored by immunohistochemical analysis employing anti-light chain 3 isoform B (LC3B) and anti-lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1) antibodies; chaperone-mediated autophagy was monitored by anti-LAMP2A antibody immunostaining. Furthermore, detection of LC3B protein by Western blotting was performed on six specimens obtained from the preserved

frozen tissues of three patients. All specimens showed dot-like staining for each immunostain in the cytoplasm of glioma cells, indicating induction of autophagy. LC3B, LAMP1 and LAMP2A immunostains were semiquantitatively scored from 1 to 3 points. Combination Opaganib price of the three scores after TMZ treatment (6.4 ± 1.2) showed a significant increase (P = 0.020) compared to pre-treatment scores (5.2 ± 1.5). Western blotting for LC3B showed increased LC3B-I and LC3B-II expression after TMZ treatment. The present study proved that autophagy monitoring by immunohistochemical

staining of surgical specimens was feasible. These results suggest that autophagy is induced Florfenicol by TMZ. “
“J. Attems, K. Jellinger, D. R. Thal and W. Van Nostrand (2011) Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology37, 75–93 Sporadic cerebral amyloid angiopathy Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) may result from focal to widespread amyloid-β protein (Aβ) deposition within leptomeningeal and intracortical cerebral blood vessels. In addition, pericapillary Aβ refers to Aβ depositions in the glia limitans and adjacent neuropil, whereas in capillary CAA Aβ depositions are present in the capillary wall. CAA may cause lobar intracerebral haemorrhages and microbleeds. Hypoperfusion and reduced vascular autoregulation due to CAA might cause infarcts and white matter lesions. CAA thus causes vascular lesions that potentially lead to (vascular) dementia and may further contribute to dementia by impeding the clearance of solutes out of the brain and transport of nutrients across the blood brain barrier. Severe CAA is an independent risk factor for cognitive decline. The clinical diagnosis of CAA is based on the assessment of associated cerebrovascular lesions.

For example, they express

For example, they express

learn more high levels of IGF-1, which provides signals for repair and stimulates re-epithelialization; fibronectin (FN)-1, which mediates ECM deposition; and the TGF-β matrix associated protein MP78/70 (βIG-H3) that promotes fibrogenesis.99–101 Recent studies have demonstrated that MSC interact with macrophages and have the potential to promote M2 polarization.102–106 The in vitro co-culture of human MSC and macrophages resulted in an alternatively activated macrophage phenotype described as mannose receptor (MR)high, IL-10high, IL-6high, TNF-αlow and IL-12low with enhanced phagocytic activity.102,106 In addition, it has been shown that MSC-conditioned medium can promote macrophages to adapt a regulatory-like M2 phenotype characterized by a significantly reduced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and an enhanced production of IL-10 and phagocytic function.103 The in vivo treatment of wounds with BM-MSC conditioned medium has been reported to

enhance wound healing, a process associated with an increased infiltration of macrophages.107 Following the systemic administration of human gingiva-derived MSC (GMSC) to mice with an excisional skin www.selleckchem.com/products/nu7441.html wound, GMSC homed to the wound site and were found in close propinquity with macrophages. Subsequent analysis of this macrophage phenotype revealed an increased expression of the M2 macrophage markers Fizz1 and arginase-1, highlighting the ability of MSC to interact with macrophages and promote M2 polarization.106 In a mouse model of transient global ischemia, the administration of BM-MSC resulted in neuroprotection. Further investigation

demonstrated an upregulation of the M2 markers Ym-1, IGF-1, galactin-3 and MHCII in the microglia/macrophages.105 Moreover, Nemeth et al.104 showed that MSC administered to mice with cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis homed to the lung where they were found surrounded by macrophages. To further support second the argument for the importance of macrophages in the MSC reparative response, when MSC were administered to mice with CLP-induced sepsis following macrophage depletion, injury protection was lost.104 Since the initial excitement surrounding the multilineage potential and self-renewal properties of MSC, their therapeutic potential to elicit tissue regeneration has now been exploited both experimentally and in a wide range of potential clinical applications. MSC can home to damaged tissue where they exert potent immunosuppressive effects and secrete soluble factors that modify the pro-inflammatory cascade to promote tissue remodelling and cellular replacement, which subsequently protects the kidney from further injury. The interaction of MSC with macrophages may play a vital role in their downstream anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects.

Therefore, the plasma kynurenine/tryptophan ratio (KTR) is

Therefore, the plasma kynurenine/tryptophan ratio (KTR) is www.selleckchem.com/products/ABT-263.html influenced by the activities of both IDO and TDO, while plasma neopterin reflects only IFN-γ activity [4]. More than 90% of Trp is metabolized through the kynurenine pathway to compounds collectively named kynurenines [3]. After the

rate-limiting conversion of Trp to Kyn, Kyn is metabolized further to anthranilic acid (AA), kynurenic acid (KA) or 3-hydroxykynurenine (HK), which is converted to either 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid (HAA) or xanthurenic acid (XA) (Fig. 1). Both neopterin [5] and KTR [6] have been found to be associated with chronic diseases. A number of kynurenines, such as Kyn, HK, HAA and KA, have been reported to play a role selleck inhibitor in immune regulation [7]. Additionally, several kynurenines have been associated with autoimmune diseases [6], infection [6], cancer [6], neuroendocrine disorders [8] and metabolic syndrome [8]. In studies examining the relation of these markers and metabolites to disease outcomes, it is important to be aware of their potential determinants in order to account for possible confounding. Data on variations in neopterin, KTR and kynurenines according to age [9-13], gender [12-15], renal function [16-18], overweight/obesity [19-23] and smoking [9, 15] are sparse or fragmentary, while data on the potential effects of physical activity are lacking. A thorough investigation

of the importance of such factors is motivated by the considerable renal clearance of kynurenines [17], the increased IFN-γ activity accompanying obesity [4], the anti-inflammatory effect of physical activity [24] and the known immunomodulatory effects of smoking [25]. We therefore

investigated age, gender, renal function, body mass index (BMI), smoking and physical activity as determinants of neopterin, KTR and kynurenines in a large community-based cohort of middle-aged and elderly men and women. The source population consisted of subjects born in 1925–27 or 1950–51 and residing in the city of Bergen (Norway) or the neighbouring suburban municipalities (n = 9187) who participated in the Hordaland Health Study (HUSK) during 1997–99. The overall attendance rate was 77%, providing Epothilone B (EPO906, Patupilone) a sample of 7052 participants in the age groups 46–47 years (2062 women and 1661 men) and 70–72 years of age (1860 women and 1469 men). HUSK is a collaboration between the National Health Screening Service, University of Bergen, University of Oslo and local health services in the Bergen area. The study protocol was approved by the Western Norway Regional Committee for Medical Research Ethics and by the Norwegian Data Inspectorate. All participants gave written informed consent. Non-fasting blood samples were collected into tubes containing ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) and stored at 4–5°C within 15–30 min.

These mice developed a progressive inflammatory

These mice developed a progressive inflammatory Barasertib concentration encephalopathy with neuropathological features closely recapitulating those observed in AGS. Considering these data, although not proven beyond doubt, we predict that limiting the exposure of the infant brain to an AGS-related type I interferon immune response will attenuate the disease-associated brain damage. AGS is a genetically heterogeneous disease resulting

from mutations in any one of the genes encoding (i) the 3-prime repair exonuclease TREX1 [16] with preferential activity on single-stranded (ss) DNA; (ii) the three non-allelic components of the RNASEH2 endonuclease complex [17] acting on ribonucleotides in RNA : DNA hybrids; (iii) the Sam domain and HD domain containing protein (SAMHD1) [18], which functions as a deoxynucleoside triphosphate triphosphohydrolase; and (iv) adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR1) [19], which catalyses the hydrolytic deamination of adenosine to inosine in double-stranded (ds) RNA (Table 1). It is possible that at least one further genetic subtype of AGS is yet to be defined. Although most cases of AGS demonstrate an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance, rare examples due to de-novo dominant TREX1 mutations have been

reported [20-23]. Moreover, the same heterozygous D18N mutation in TREX1 has been TSA HDAC concentration seen to cause both (dominant) AGS and familial chilblain lupus (effectively, ‘non-neurological

either AGS’), thus highlighting the role of unknown, modifying factors (which might be genetic or environmental) and/or stochastic mechanisms. The proteins defective in AGS are all associated with nucleic acid metabolism. The finding of mutations in TREX1 and the genes encoding the RNASEH2 complex in 2006, in the context of a clinical phenotype mimicking congenital infection, led us to hypothesize that (i) these proteins might be involved in clearing cellular nucleic acid ‘debris’; and (ii) that a failure of such waste removal could result in immune activation, specifically triggering an innate immune response more normally induced by viral nucleic acid [24] (Fig. 2). At least with regard to TREX1, cogent evidence has emerged in support of this hypothesis. Thus, Yang et al. [25] demonstrated that TREX1 deficiency results in the intracellular accumulation of abnormal ssDNA species. This finding was confirmed by Stetson and colleagues [26], who showed that in Trex1-null mice, ssDNA activation of a Toll-like receptor (TLR)-independent cytosolic pathway involving IRF3, TBK1 and STING results in the induction of a type I interferon response, and a recruitment of the adaptive immune system requiring functional lymphocytes.

This steady state was maintained for 45 minutes before starting t

This steady state was maintained for 45 minutes before starting the evaluation phase. The mean time of hot ischemia was 18 ± 4 minutes and the mean time of cold ischemia was 117 ± 20 minutes. During the evaluation phase, gas exchange parameters (PaO2/FiO2, PaCO2, ETCO2), pulmonary hemodynamics, and several markers of lung injury were measured. PAP was continually monitored through a computer-integrated data acquisition system (Biopac, Santa Barbara, CA, USA). To estimate

Pcap, the peristaltic pump was paused for a few seconds. The Pcap was then calculated using a model developed in our laboratory by Baconnier et al. [3]. In this model, pulmonary vasculature is considered three serial compliant compartments (arterial, capillary, and venous) separated by two resistances (arterial and venous). The Pcap was then estimated using zero time extrapolation of the slow component of the Dabrafenib mouse arterial occlusion profile. The respective PVRa and PVRv were then derived from this Pcap evaluation. Concentrations from two pro-inflammatory selleck products cytokines, TNFα and IL-1β, were measured in perfusion fluid and in BAL fluid. We found that the ischemia-reperfusion of solid organs was responsible for the quick release of pro-inflammatory cytokines [13, 14, 18, 27, 39]. These pro-inflammatory cytokines were mainly secreted by the alveolar and parenchymal macrophages and secondarily secreted by the alveolar epithelial cells, which were

in Ferroptosis inhibitor direct response to the oxidative stress [30]. This phenomenon explains why we can find the cytokines in both the alveolar space and the perfusate.

The concentrations of RAGE were also measured in perfusion and BAL fluid. The marker RAGE is relatively specific to the alveolar epithelial cell injury [7]. RAGE is predominantly produced by alveolar type I cells which covers 95% of the pulmonary alveolar surface. During an alveolar epithelial injury, RAGE is released in both the alveolar space and in the vascular compartment [46]. Some recent studies have shown that an increase in the concentration of RAGE in BAL was directly correlated with the severity of the lesion [7, 9, 17]. RAGE concentration in the vascular compartment was also of interest in order to evaluate lung injury. If plasmatic RAGE was elevated in the ARDS [22], it could result in early mortality, ventilator free days, and the length of stay in an intensive care unit after lung transplantation [46]. We then calculated the rate of AFC, which estimates fluid reabsorption capacities and functional status of the alveolar epithelium. AFC was then measured as previously described [7, 17]. At the end of the experiment, a catheter (PE 240 tubing; BD, Le Pont de Claix, France) was passed through a side port in the endobronchial tube into the lung and advanced until gentle resistance was encountered. Then 100 mL of warm (36°C) normal saline containing 5% bovine serum albumin was instilled through the catheter into the airspaces of the lung.

Nevertheless, the findings raised here with respect to atheroscle

Nevertheless, the findings raised here with respect to atherosclerosis are not without precedent in the cancer literature. Recent work has shown, for example, that dendritic cells with high lipid content are less effective at presenting tumor-associated antigens; this appears to be due to a selective defect in antigen processing while the cells continue to take up soluble proteins 33. Several other studies have also supported a role for nuclear receptors 34 and the NLRP3 inflammasome 35–37 in cancer progression. Many questions remain, however. What is the role of the cholesterol efflux pathways in the macrophage cancer response? Do lipid-loaded monocytes/macrophages traffic to tumor sites and influence

cancer progression? Is atherosclerosis-associated Sunitinib in vivo leukocytosis a major mechanism by which myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs, discussed in the next section)

arise? Harnessing some Sorafenib ic50 of these atherosclerosis-related studies to better understand how metabolism and inflammation converge in cancer may provide unexpected insights and strengthen common threads between these two pathologies. Ly6Chigh CCR2high (but not Ly6Clow CCR2−) mouse monocytes represent a sizeable fraction of a heterogeneous population of cells called Gr-1+ CD11b+ MDSCs, which are defined operationally by their capacity to regulate T-cell responses 38. MDSCs are widely talked about in the context of cancer and have Interleukin-3 receptor been also shown to control immune responses during pathogen infection, transplantation and trauma 39, 40. Whether they participate during atherosclerosis remains largely unknown. MDSCs produce immunosuppressive factors, such as nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species, that suppress anti-tumor effector

T-cell activity 41, enhance regulatory T-cell responses 42 and collectively support tumor progression. Accumulating evidence also supports a key role for T cells in atherosclerosis 6. In this context, however, effector T cells exert proatherogenic effects, whereas regulatory T cells dampen inflammation and are antiatherogenic. Consequently, when merely considering their impact on T cells, Ly6Chigh monocytes/MDSCs might exert antiatherogenic functions. This notion is unexplored because Ly6Chigh monocytes are well-known precursors of macrophages and lipid-rich foam cells in atheromata. Future studies should define the spectrum of MDSC-mediated functions (beside modulation of T-cell responses) and the relative importance of these activities in distinct disease settings. MDSCs (and TAMs) also often activate STAT3 upon recruitment to tumors. This transcription factor, by triggering the NF-κB and JAK pathways, typically activates the production of enzymes (metalloproteinases), cytokines (IL-6, IL-10, IL-17, IL-23) and growth factors (VEGF, FGF) that elicit and sustain angiogenic and metastatic programs 43, 44.

The data confirm previously published studies at other centers “

The data confirm previously published studies at other centers. “
“The activation of TLRs expressed by macrophages or DCs, in the long run, leads to persistently impaired functionality. TLR signals activate a wide range of negative feedback mechanisms; it is not known, however, which of these can lead to long-lasting tolerance for further stimulatory signals. In addition, it is not yet understood how the functionality of monocyte-derived DCs (MoDCs) is influenced in inflamed tissues by the continuous check details presence of stimulatory

signals during their differentiation. Here we studied the role of a wide range of DC-inhibitory mechanisms in a simple and robust model of MoDC inactivation induced by early TLR signals during differentiation. We show that the activation-induced suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1), IL-10, STAT3, miR146a and CD150 (SLAM) molecules possessed short-term inhibitory effects on cytokine production but did not induce persistent DC inactivation. On the contrary, the LPS-induced IRAK-1 downregulation could alone lead to persistent MoDC inactivation. Studying cellular functions in line with the activation-induced

negative feedback mechanisms, we show that early activation of developing MoDCs allowed only a transient cytokine production that was followed by the downregulation of effector functions and the preservation of a tissue-resident non-migratory phenotype. In response to pathogen recognition or inflammatory click here mediators, steady-state tissue-resident DCs exit the inflamed tissues and transport peripheral antigens to secondary lymphoid organs, where DCs can initiate the adaptive immune response by triggering naïve T-cell activation. At the same

time, monocytes enter the inflamed tissues and give rise to phagocytic cells and APCs, including DCs, thereby compensating the rapid egress of the steady-state DC network 1–3. The newly differentiated monocyte-derived DCs (MoDCs) may act as local tissue resident APCs or as sources of inflammatory cytokines 4, 5. In addition, these cells might obtain the ability to migrate to peripheral lymphoid organs maintaining the activation of naïve T lymphocytes 2, 6. Human monocytes obtain DC-like features when maintained dipyridamole in culture for 5–8 days in the presence of GM-CSF combined with IL-4 or other cytokines 7, 8. During their differentiation MoDCs downregulate CD14, upregulate CD1a and DC-SIGN and obtain the ability to express CCR7 upon activation that is required for migration towards lymphoid tissues. However, such differentiation of immature MoDCs is highly unlikely to occur in inflamed tissues where the developing cells constantly receive stimulatory signals due to the presence of microbial compounds, inflammatory mediators and tissue damage. It has been extensively documented that long-term activation leads to functional exhaustion of macrophages and DCs 9.

A software was developed to evaluate SE and SP of associated assa

A software was developed to evaluate SE and SP of associated assays. Significant level was α = 0.05. The study included 28 Caucasian patients. According to Centers of Diseases and Control classification (CDC) clinical status, most responders belonged to clinical category B, while non-responders staged in clinical categories B and C, thus appearing to have a more advanced clinical disease. No changes in CDC clinical categories were observed during study. In line with data of literature and clinical practice, responders were characterized by lower median VL (P < 0.0001), by higher median %CD4 and AbsCD4 (P = 0.0017

Antiinfection Compound Library screening and P = 0.0034) than non-responder subjects. No significant difference was observed in %CD8 and AbsCD8. A lower median CD38 ABC (P = 0.0004) and a lower median %CD38/CD8 (P = 0.0049) were detected in responders as compared to non- responders. CD38 ABC and %CD38/CD8 showed a good correlation (rs = 0.89, P < 0.0001) and a very high concordance (Cohen K = 0.83). The study of T cell responses showed a higher fraction of a good LPR in responders as compared to non-responders, but the difference was not statistically significant (Table 1). learn more Assuming that patients were correctly classified into responder and non-responder groups by standard criteria, based on

VL and CD4 cells, we compared the ability of CD38 expression on CD8 T cell to differentiate before responders versus non-responders in a single point measurement after a minimum of 6 months of therapy. Both CD38 ABC and %CD38/CD8 showed a good discrimination: the area under

ROC curves (AUC) was equal to 0.901 and 0.815, respectively. The difference in AUC between the two measures was not significantly different (P = 0.089). However, the shape of ROC curves suggests a trend towards an overall higher sensitivity with CD38 ABC than with %CD38/CD8 (Fig. 1). The automatically established 2401 CD38 ABC and 85%CD38/CD8 cutoff values were endowed with the best proportion of correct classifications. CD38 expression ≥2401 CD38 ABC and ≥85% CD38/CD8 resulted in 75.0% sensitivity (identification of non-responders) and 93.8% specificity (identification of a responder), when used as single assays. The association of the two different measures of CD38 expression showed that sensitivity improved to 83.3%, when it was sufficient to obtain either a value ≥2401 CD38 ABC or ≥85% CD38/CD8 to define a non-responder, while sensitivity decreased to 66.7% when the definition of a non-responder was based on having both ≥2401 CD38 ABC and ≥85% CD38/CD8. LPR data analysis showed that Poor LPR had a low sensitivity in the identification of non-responders (sensitivity 25%), while Good LPR was valuable at identifying response to therapy (specificity 81.3%).

cruzi challenges [20-22] In the present study, we investigated w

cruzi challenges [20-22]. In the present study, we investigated whether the immune response against TcSP, a member of the TS superfamily, or the A, R or C domains of TcSP is capable of inducing protection against both acute and chronic T. cruzi infection in mice. Trichostatin A Because differential immune responses have been reported when immunity was induced by DNA or recombinant proteins [23, 24], animals were immunized with DNA encoding for either TcSP, the A, R or C domains or with the corresponding recombinant proteins to compare the immune response induced by the two antigen delivery systems. The immune response was evaluated with regard to the antibody response, cytokine production

and the capacity of the antigen to confer protective immunity against T. cruzi infection in a mouse model. We found that immunization with DNA that encoded the R domain of TcSP induced protection in mice against challenge with T. cruzi. Female BALB/c mice, 4–6 weeks old, were used in all of the experiments, and both immunized and unimmunized mice had access to food and water ad libitum. The H8 strain of T. cruzi was a kind gift from Dr. Jorge E. Zavala Castro, Centro de Investigaciones Regionales ‘Dr. Hideyo Noguchi’,

Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, México. T. cruzi was maintained and propagated by serial passage in naive mice. The mice were housed in a controlled environment and managed according to the National Institutes of Health Guide for Care and Use of Experimental Animals, with the approval of the CINVESTAV-IPN Animal Care and Use Committee. The DNA encoding the surface protein (SP) of T. cruzi (TcSP) was obtained from the genomic clone Vincristine in vivo A83 (GenBankTM database accession number HQ642765, ORF1) by digesting the plasmid pBSKA83 with EcoR I and subcloning in frame into the eukaryotic expression vector pBluescript-CMV

(Stratagene), thus obtaining the plasmid pBKTcSP. The DNA fragments coding for the TcSP domains A (N-terminal, 459 aa), R (central amino acid repeats sequence, 5 aa repeats (PKPAE)48) Thalidomide or C (C-terminal, 110 aa) were amplified by PCR with the following primers: SPAF 5′-GGGAATTCATTGGCTTCCTCACCGATGC-3′, SPAR 5′-GATCTCCTTCATCTTCTGCAGCGGAGGTGGAATGGTGACTT-3′; SPRF 5′-GGGAATTCAAAGTCACCATTCCACCTCC-3′, SPRR 5′-GATCTCCTTCATCTTCTGCAGTGAGGATGTCGCGGCATTGG-3′; SPCF 5′-GGGAATTCAATGCCGCGACATCCTCAGC-3′, SPCR 5′-GATCTCCTTCATCTTCTGCAGAAGGCTGCTGCTGAGTGTCG-3′. The PCR contained 1 μg of the pBSKA83 template, 2 mm MgSO2, 0·4 mm of each dNTP, 1X PCR buffer and 2.5 U of Taq DNA polymerase. PCR conditions involved denaturizing at 94°C for 30 s, primer annealing at 70°C for 30 s, extension at 72°C for 30 s for 30 cycles and a final extension at 72°C for 10 min. The amplified DNA products TcSPA (1367pb), TcSPR (758pb) and TcSPC (317pb) were digested with EcoR I and Pst I and cloned in frame into the pBluescript-CMV and pRSETB (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA, USA) expression vectors.