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Concept: C-reactive protein


This investigation examined the impact of Montmorency tart cherry concentrate (MC) on physiological indices of oxidative stress, inflammation and muscle damage across 3 days simulated road cycle racing. Trained cyclists (n = 16) were divided into equal groups and consumed 30 mL of MC or placebo (PLA), twice per day for seven consecutive days. A simulated, high-intensity, stochastic road cycling trial, lasting 109 min, was completed on days 5, 6 and 7. Oxidative stress and inflammation were measured from blood samples collected at baseline and immediately pre- and post-trial on days 5, 6 and 7. Analyses for lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-1-beta (IL-1-β), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and creatine kinase (CK) were conducted. LOOH (p < 0.01), IL-6 (p < 0.05) and hsCRP (p < 0.05) responses to trials were lower in the MC group versus PLA. No group or interaction effects were found for the other markers. The attenuated oxidative and inflammatory responses suggest MC may be efficacious in combating post-exercise oxidative and inflammatory cascades that can contribute to cellular disruption. Additionally, we demonstrate direct application for MC in repeated days cycling and conceivably other sporting scenario's where back-to-back performances are required.

Concepts: Inflammation, Cycling, C-reactive protein, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Road bicycle racing, Cherries, Montmorency cherry, Road cycling


Gastrointestinal disturbances are among symptoms commonly reported by individuals diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). However, whether ME/CFS is associated with an altered microbiome has remained uncertain. Here, we profiled gut microbial diversity by sequencing 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) genes from stool as well as inflammatory markers from serum for cases (n = 48) and controls (n = 39). We also examined a set of inflammatory markers in blood: C-reactive protein (CRP), intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), LPS-binding protein (LBP), and soluble CD14 (sCD14).

Concepts: Protein, Gene, Bacteria, Amino acid, RNA, Ribosomal RNA, Ribosome, C-reactive protein


There is strong diurnal variation in the symptoms and severity of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, disruption of the circadian clock is an aggravating factor associated with a range of human inflammatory diseases. To investigate mechanistic links between the biological clock and pathways underlying inflammatory arthritis, mice were administered collagen (or saline as a control) to induce arthritis. The treatment provoked an inflammatory response within the limbs, which showed robust daily variation in paw swelling and inflammatory cytokine expression. Inflammatory markers were significantly repressed during the dark phase. Further work demonstrated an active molecular clock within the inflamed limbs and highlighted the resident inflammatory cells, fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs), as a potential source of the rhythmic inflammatory signal. Exposure of mice to constant light disrupted the clock in peripheral tissues, causing loss of the nighttime repression of local inflammation. Finally, the results show that the core clock proteins CRYPTOCHROMES 1 and 2 repressed inflammation within the FLSs, and provide novel evidence that a CRYPTOCHROME activator has anti-inflammatory properties in human cells. We conclude that under chronic inflammatory conditions, the clock actively represses inflammatory pathways during the dark phase. This interaction has exciting potential as a therapeutic avenue for treatment of inflammatory disease.-Hand, L. E., Hopwood, T. W., Dickson, S. H., Walker, A. L., Loudon, A. S. I., Ray D. W., Bechtold, D. A., Gibbs, J. E. The circadian clock regulates inflammatory arthritis.

Concepts: Inflammation, Interleukin 1, Asthma, Rheumatoid arthritis, Vasculitis, Anti-inflammatory, Circadian rhythm, C-reactive protein


Particulate air pollution has been associated with increased risk of cardiopulmonary diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We have previously demonstrated that single dose exposure to diesel exhaust particle (DEP) causes lung inflammation and peripheral thrombotic events. Here, we exposed mice with repeated doses of DEP (15 µg/animal) every 2(nd) day for 6 days (a total of 4 exposures), and measured several cardiopulmonary endpoints 48 h after the end of the treatments. Moreover, the potential protective effect of curcumin (the yellow pigment isolated from turmeric) on DEP-induced cardiopulmonary toxicity was assessed. DEP exposure increased macrophage and neutrophil numbers, tumor necrosis factor α (TNF α) in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and enhanced airway resistance to methacoline measured invasively using Flexivent. DEP also significantly increased plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and TNF α concentrations, systolic blood pressure (SBP) as well as the pial arteriolar thrombosis. It also significantly enhanced the plasma D-dimer and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Pretreatment with curcumin by oral gavage (45 mg/kg) 1 h before exposure to DEP significantly prevented the influx of inflammatory cells and the increase of TNF α in BAL, and the increased airway resistance caused by DEP. Likewise, curcumin prevented the increase of SBP, CRP, TNF α, D-dimer and PAI-1. The thrombosis was partially but significantly mitigated. In conclusion, repeated exposure to DEP induced lung and systemic inflammation characterized by TNFα release, increased SBP, and accelerated coagulation. Our findings indicate that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that prevents the release of TNFα and protects against the pulmonary and cardiovascular effects of DEP.

Concepts: Inflammation, Blood, Heart, Vein, Anti-inflammatory, C-reactive protein, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Air pollution


Laboratory evidence suggests that certain specialty dietary supplements have antiinflammatory properties, though evidence in humans remains limited. Data on a nationally representative sample of 9,947 adults from the 1999-2004 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used to assess the associations between specialty supplement use and inflammation, as measured by serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) concentration. Using survey-weighted multivariate linear regression, significant reductions in hs-CRP concentrations were associated with regular use of glucosamine (17%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 7, 26), chondroitin (22%, 95% CI: 8, 33), and fish oil (16%, 95% CI: 0.3, 29). No associations were observed between hs-CRP concentration and regular use of supplements containing methylsulfonylmethane, garlic, ginkgo biloba, saw palmetto, or pycnogenol. These results suggest that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are associated with reduced inflammation in humans and provide further evidence to support an inverse association between use of fish oil supplements and inflammation. It is important to further investigate the potential antiinflammatory role of these supplements, as there is a need to identify safe and effective ways to reduce inflammation and the burden of inflammation-related diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Concepts: Inflammation, Chondroitin sulfate, Nutrition, Cardiovascular disease, Anti-inflammatory, C-reactive protein, Ginkgo biloba, Ginkgo


BACKGROUND: To evaluated the prognostic significance of the pre-operative C-reactive protein (CRP) serum level in patients with renal cell cancer (RCC). METHODS: We evaluated 1,161 RCC patients with complete patient and tumour specific characteristics as well as information about their pre-operative CRP-level, who had undergone either radical nephrectomy or nephron-sparing surgery at two German high-volume centres (University Hospitals of Hannover and Ulm). The mean follow-up was 54 months. RESULTS: The CRP-level, stratified to three subgroups (CRP <= 4, 4--10, and >10 mg/l), correlated significantly with tumour stage (p < 0.001), the risk of presenting nodal disease (2.1, 3.1, and 16.4%) and distant metastasis (2.9, 8.6, and 30.0%; p < 0.001). The Kaplan-Meier 5-year cancer specific survival (CSS) rates were 89.4, 77.9, and 49.5%, respectively (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis identified CRP as an independent prognosticator for CSS as well as overall survival (p < 0.001). Patients with a CRP of 4--10 and >10 mg/l had a 1.67 and 2.48 fold higher risk of dying due to their RCC compared to those with a pre-operative CRP <=4 mg/l, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: A high preoperative serum CRP level is an independent predictor of poor survival in patients with RCC. Its routine use could allow better risk stratification and risk-adjusted follow-up of RCC patients.

Concepts: Cancer, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, C-reactive protein, Renin, Renal cell carcinoma, Nephrectomy, Kidney cancer


INTRODUCTION: Sweet’s syndrome is an acute neutrophilic dermatosis characterized by a diffuse dermal infiltrate of mature neutrophils. In most cases, it occurs as an isolated phenomenon (idiopathic Sweet’s syndrome) but it can be drug induced or associated with a variety of underlying diseases such as infections, neoplasms, and chronic inflammatory diseases. The association between Sweet’s syndrome and ankylosing spondylitis is rare. Only a few cases have been reported in the literature. We report a new case in which we describe an outbreak of acute neutrophilic dermatosis revealing ankylosing spondylitis. CASE PRESENTATION: A 33-year-old Moroccan man presented with large-joint polyarthralgia, inflammatory pain in his buttocks and lower lumbar spine, fever and skin lesions. On examination, the patient had a low-grade fever, six tender but not swollen joints, limitation of motion of the lumbar spine, and painful erythematous maculopapules over his face, neck, and hands. Laboratory tests showed hyperleukocytosis, and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein. The immunological tests and infectious disease markers were negative. Investigations for an underlying neoplastic disease remained negative. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a bilateral sacroiliitis. Skin biopsy findings were consistent with Sweet’s syndrome. The diagnosis of Sweet’s syndrome associated with ankylosing spondylitis was established. Nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs were started and the patient showed rapid clinical and biological improvement. CONCLUSION: Three observations of the association between Sweet’s syndrome and spondylarthropathy have been reported in the literature. The cause of this association remains unclear. Some hypotheses have been developed, but further studies are needed to confirm or refute them.

Concepts: Inflammation, Cancer, Infectious disease, Infection, Lumbar vertebrae, Rheumatoid arthritis, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, C-reactive protein


Sheep scab is an intensively pruritic, exudative and allergic dermatitis of sheep caused by the ectoparasitic mite Psoroptes ovis. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of P. ovis infestation on different components of the ovine epidermal barrier within the first 24 hours post-infestation (hpi). To achieve this, the expression of epidermal differentiation complex (EDC) genes and epidermal barrier proteins, the nature and severity of epidermal pathology and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) were evaluated.By 1 hpi a significant dermal polymorphonuclear infiltrate and a significant increase in TEWL with maximal mean TEWL (598.67 g/m2h) were observed. Epidermal pathology involving intra-epidermal pustulation, loss of epidermal architecture and damage to the basement membrane was seen by 3 hpi. Filaggrin and loricrin protein levels in the stratum corneum declined significantly in the first 24 hpi and qPCR validation confirmed the decrease in expression of the key EDC genes involucrin, filaggrin and loricrin observed by microarray analysis, with 5.8-fold, 4.5-fold and 80-fold decreases, respectively by 24 hpi.The present study has demonstrated that early P. ovis infestation disrupts the ovine epidermal barrier causing significant alterations in the expression of critical barrier components, epidermal pathology, and TEWL. Many of these features have also been documented in human and canine atopic dermatitis suggesting that sheep scab may provide a model for the elucidation of events occurring in the early phases of atopic sensitisation.

Concepts: Protein, Allergy, C-reactive protein, Domestic sheep, Ovis, Sheep, Glossary of sheep husbandry, Sheep husbandry


Endothelial activation characterized by the expression of multiple chemokines and adhesive molecules is a critical initial step of vascular inflammation which results in recruitment of leukocytes into sub-endothelial layer of vascular wall and triggers vascular inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis. Although inhibiting the endothelial inflammation has already been well recognized as a therapeutic strategy in vascular inflammatory diseases, the therapeutic targets are still elusive. In the present study we found that Zc3h12c, a recently discovered CCCH-zinc finger containing protein, significantly inhibited endothelial cell inflammatory response in vitro. Overexpression of Zc3h12c significantly attenuated tumor necrosis factor a (TNFa) induced expression of chemokines and adhesive molecules, and thus reduced monocyte adherence to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Conversely, siRNA-mediated knocking down of Zc3h12c increased TNFα-induced expression of chemokines and adhesive molecules in HUVECs. Furthermore, forced expression of Zc3h12c decreased TNFα-induced IKKa/b and IkBa phosphorylation and p65 nuclear translocation, suggesting that Zc3h12c exerted the anti-inflammatory function probably by suppressing nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) pathway. Thus, Zc3h12c is an endogenous inhibitor of TNFα-induced inflammatory signaling in HUVECs and might be a therapeutic target in vascular inflammatory diseases.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Atherosclerosis, Blood vessel, Endothelium, Anti-inflammatory, C-reactive protein, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha


Emerging evidence suggests that there is interplay between the frequency and circadian timing of eating and metabolic health. We examined the associations of eating frequency and timing with metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers putatively associated with breast cancer risk in women participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination 2009-2010 Survey. Eating frequency and timing variables were calculated from 24-hour food records and included (1) proportion of calories consumed in the evening (5pm-midnight), (2) number of eating episodes per day, and (3) nighttime fasting duration. Linear regression models examined each eating frequency and timing exposure variable with C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations and the Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR). Each 10 percent increase in the proportion of calories consumed in the evening was associated with a 3 percent increase in CRP. Conversely, eating one additional meal or snack per day was associated with an 8 percent reduction in CRP. There was a significant interaction between proportion of calories consumed in the evening and fasting duration with CRP (p = 0.02). A longer nighttime fasting duration was associated with an 8 percent lower CRP only among women who ate less than 30% of their total daily calories in the evening (p = 0.01). None of the eating frequency and timing variables were significantly associated with HOMA-IR. These findings suggest that eating more frequently, reducing evening energy intake, and fasting for longer nightly intervals may lower systemic inflammation and subsequently reduce breast cancer risk. Randomized trials are needed to validate these associations.

Concepts: Inflammation, Regression analysis, Linear regression, Cancer, Nutrition, Obesity, Insulin resistance, C-reactive protein