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Histamine, a decarboxylated amino acid with a molecular mass of 112 daltons reveals multicoloured functional activities. Its role in allergy and inflammation is abundantly characterized. Moreover histamine is one of the neurotransmitters, has a role in gastric acid production and in maintenance of bloodbrain barrier. In the last decade, many data were collected suggesting an important function of histamine in events of immune response and also in both benign and malignant cell proliferation. Our group collected data on the relevance of histamine as an autocrine factor in human melanoma. The outcome of the action seems to be closely related to the local and actual balance of histamine receptors (H1R, H2R, H3R and H4R) on tumor cells. Recently, using a gene targeted mouse strain (lacking an enzyme, histidine decarboxylase, the only one responsible for histamine production) many phenotypes of the histamine-free mice were demonstrated. Our data suggest, that histamine, as part of the poorly characterized metabolome of the mammalian cells plays significant role in many physiological and pathological processes.

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Abstract

Cell derived extracellular vesicles are submicron structures surrounded by phospholipid bilayer and released by both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The sizes of these vesicles roughly fall into the size ranges of microbes, and they represent efficient delivery platforms targeting complex molecular information to professional antigen presenting cells. Critical roles of these naturally formulated units of information have been described in many physiological and pathological processes. Extracellular vesicles are not only potential biomarkers and possible pathogenic factors in numerous diseases, but they are also considered as emerging therapeutic targets and therapeutic vehicles. Strikingly, current drug delivery systems, designed to convey therapeutic proteins and peptides (such as liposomes), show many similarities to extracellular vesicles. Here we review some aspects of therapeutic implementation of natural, cell-derived extracellular vesicles in human diseases. Exploration of molecular and functional details of extracellular vesicle release and action may provide important lessons for the design of future drug delivery systems.

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Genetic/genomic polymorphism, i.e. variations in DNA sequences are ideally assayed by direct nucleotide sequencing of a gene region or other homologous segment of the genome. An easier and cheaper approach, however, if the variants are analyzed by hybridization technology using restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) or by detection of the number of tandem repeats (VNTR) of small DNA segments, the “minisatellites”. In this study we describe results of the DNA analysis of repetitive sequences of human 6th chromosome by the application of a chemiluminescent labeled probes. The allele frequency distribution of polymorphic DNA sequences has been determined in unrelated individuals. The isolated genomic DNA was cut with Pst I restriction enzyme, size fractionated on agarose gel and hybridized with a chemiluminescent labeled D6 S132 probe. At this locus the Pst I cleaved DNA fragments are ranging from 1841 to 6098 base pairs (bp). Specific genetic pattern was characterized by more frequent fragments (3313 and 3884 bp), and the rarely occurring ones (clustered between 1841-2595 and 5227-6098 bp). Our study provides a further possibility for characterization of individual genomic patterns.

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Increasing number of data suggests that locally produced histamine is involved in regulation of hematopoiesis. In this study the granulocyte/macrophage (CFU-GM) colony formation by normal murine or human bone marrow cells, leukaemic colony formation (CFU-L) by a murine leukemia cell line (WEHI 3B), and colony formation by bone marrow cells from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) have been examined. We detected mRNA and protein expression of histidine decarboxylase (HDC), the only enzyme responsible for histamine synthesis both in normal bone marrow progenitor cells and in leukaemic progenitors. The significance of in situ generated histamine was shown on colony formation by inhibitory action of aFMH (blocking HDC activity, i.e. de novo histamine formation) and by N,N-diethyl-2-{4-(phenylmethyl)phenoxy}-ethanamine-HCl (DPPE) disturbing the interference of histamine with intracellular binding sites. These data provide further confirmation of the role of histamine in development and colony formation of bone marrow derived cells.

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In contrast to most of the soluble cytokine receptor antagonists properties, the soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) occurring in various body fluids of healthy persons and patients with various diseases is an agonist. The enhancing effect is due to its ability to form complex with IL-6 and to bind to gp130 making constitutively IL-6 receptor negative cells responsive for IL-6. The generation as well as the functional role of soluble IL-6 receptor is poorly understood. Earlier, we found that the sIL-6R levels in sera of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were higher than those of the control group measured by ELISA sandwich technology. In the present study we detected different levels of sIL-6R in the supernatants of lymphocyte cultures of healthy persons and patients with RA as well as SLE. Moreover, we found, that in vitro dexamethasone treatment stimulated generation of sIL-6R in both healthy persons and in active SLE, while it strongly suppressed production of sIL-6R in both RA groups. At mRNA level, we found that in SLE both the IL-6R mRNA encoding the membrane spanning and alternatively spliced (soluble) variants increased. Surprisingly, the strong decrease of sIL6R protein in RA was not found at mRNA level.

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Developments in Health Sciences
Authors:
ZS. Molnár
,
L. Varga
,
G. Gyenes
,
Á. Lehotsky
,
E. Gradvohl
,
Á.J. Lukács
,
R.A. Füzi
,
A. Gézsi
,
A. Falus
, and
H.J. Feith

Abstract

Purpose

Proper handwashing helps prevent the spread of communicable diseases. The aim of our study was to analyse and compare children's knowledge and skills in hand hygiene before and after school interventions in order to evaluate the effectiveness of our peer education programme.

Materials/methods

In our longitudinal study, short- and long-term changes in the knowledge, hand-washing skills and health behaviour of 224 lower, upper and secondary school students were assessed. Our measurements were performed with a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire and the Semmelweis Scanner.

Results

As a result of the intervention, the proportion of correct answers increased significantly both in the short term and in the long run compared to the input measurements, but age differences did not disappear for most variables. There is a difference in the process of learning theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Areas not used for handwashing in the paediatric population are different from those described for adults in the literature. There was no significant difference between the mean scores of the right and left hands.

Conclusions

There was a significant positive change in both theory and practice of handwashing. In education, emphasis should also be put on long-term retention of theoretical knowledge in age-specific health promotion programmes within the paediatric population.

Open access
Developments in Health Sciences
Authors:
HJ Feith
,
Á Lehotsky
,
Á Lukács
,
E Gradvohl
,
R Füzi
,
S Darvay Mészárosné
,
I Krekó Bihariné
,
ZS Karacs
,
ZS Kiss Soósné
, and
A Falus

Purpose

The authors intended to develop a novel procedure and research method that follows the effectiveness of the peer-educational approach in handwashing among school children.

Materials and methods

To ask the children about their sociodemographic background, health behaviour, hand hygiene knowledge, and health attitudes, and questionnaires were applied. The education on proper handwashing procedures was followed by a test with a mobile UV-light detection system (Semmelweis Scanner, http://www.handinscan.com/), and the scans were evaluated through an intrinsic computer software.

Results

Our newly developed questionnaire-based research method and the hand-rubbing technique followed by a test with a mobile UV-light detection system may become a reliable and valid scientific measurement of the effectiveness of hand hygiene training programmes.

Conclusions

The Hand-in-Scan technology and questionnaire-based research method provide proper tools for evaluating the successful peer education method. It can significantly elevate the level of children’s compliance, which leads to a better hygienic consciousness.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors:
M. Pásztói
,
P. Misják
,
B. György
,
B. Aradi
,
T. G. Szabó
,
B. Szántó
,
M. Cs. Holub
,
Gy. Nagy
,
A. Falus
, and
E. I. Buzás

Abstract

While the key initiating processes that trigger human autoimmune diseases remain enigmatic, increasing evidences support the concept that microbial stimuli are among major environmental factors eliciting autoimmune diseases in genetically susceptible individuals.

Here, we present an overview of evidences obtained through various experimental models of autoimmunity for the role of microbial stimuli in disease development. Disease onset and severity have been compared in numerous models under conventional, specific-pathogen-free and germ-free conditions. The results of these experiments suggest that there is no uniform scheme that could describe the role played by infectious agents in the experimental models of autoimmunity. While some models are dependent, others prove to be completely independent of microbial stimuli. In line with the threshold hypothesis of autoimmune diseases, highly relevant genetic factors or microbial stimuli induce autoimmunity on their own, without requiring further factors. Importantly, recent evidences show that colonization of germ-free animals with certain members of the commensal flora [such as segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB)] may lead to autoimmunity. These data drive attention to the importance of the complex composition of gut flora in maintaining immune homeostasis. The intriguing observation obtained in autoimmune animal models that parasites often confer protection against autoimmune disease development may suggest new therapeutic perspectives of infectious agents in autoimmunity.

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