The effects of endurance training and anabolic steroid (Methandienone 1.5 mg.kg-1 p. o. daily) and their combination on regional collagen biosynthesis and concentration in the hearts of male beagle dogs were studied by measuring prolyl 4-hydroxylase (PH) activity and hydroxyproline (HYP) concentration. The PH (P less than 0.05) and HYP (P less than 0.05) were both greater in the subendocardinal layer than in the subepicardium (EPI) of the left ventricular wall in controls, whereas opposite gradients (P less than 0.05) were observed in the right ventricle. Endurance exercise caused an increase of PH activity in EPI of the left ventricular wall (P less than 0.01). The HYP concentration increased in both layers of the right ventricle in the exercise plus steroid group (P less than 0.05). The results suggest that transmural differences exist in the rate of collagen synthesis and concentration in canine cardiac ventricles and that endurance exercise may accelerate collagen synthesis in EPI of the left ventricle and the combination of exercise and anabolic steroid causes an increase in collagen concentration in the right ventricular wall.
Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland Keski-Suomen Magneettikuvaus, Jyväskylä, Finland Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Oulu University Hospital and Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland Department of Public Health and Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
Exercise is thought to increase the diameter of the conduit arteries supplying the muscles involved. We studied the effects of a physically active vs inactive lifestyle on artery diameters in monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs discordant over 30 years for leisure-time physical activity habits. In a population-based co-twin control study design, six middle-aged (50-65 years) same-sex MZ twin pairs with long-term discordance for physical activity were comprehensively identified from the Finnish Twin Cohort (TWINACTIVE study). Discordance was initially defined in 1975 and the same co-twin remained significantly more active during the 32-year follow-up. The main outcomes were arterial lumen diameters measured from maximal intensity projections of contrast-enhanced MR angiography images. Paired differences between active and inactive co-twins were studied. Compared with inactive members, active members of MZ twin pairs had larger diameters for the distal aorta and iliac and femoral arteries (P0.2 for all comparisons) were found in the dimensions of the carotid arteries. Our genetically controlled study confirms that habitual physical activity during adulthood enlarges arteries in a site-specific manner.
Exercise is thought to reduce high-risk body fat, but intervention studies are frequently limited by short follow-ups and observational studies by genetic selection. Therefore, we studied the effects of a physically inactive vs active lifestyle on high-risk (visceral, liver and intramuscular) fat in twin pairs discordant for leisure-time physical activity habits for over 30 years.
A longitudinal population-based twin study.
Sixteen middle-aged (50-74 years) same-sex twin pairs (seven monozygotic (MZ), nine dizygotic (DZ)) with long-term discordance for physical activity habits were comprehensively identified from the Finnish Twin Cohort (TWINACTIVE study). Discordance was initially defined in 1975 and the same co-twin remained significantly more active during the 32-year-long follow-up.
Magnetic resonance imaging-assessed visceral, liver and intramuscular fat.
In within-pair analyses carried out after the adult life-long discordance in physical activity habits, the physically inactive co-twins had 50% greater visceral fat area compared with the active co-twins (mean difference 55.5 cm2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 7.0-104.1, P=0.010). The liver fat score was 170% higher (13.2, 95% CI 3.5-22.8, P=0.030) and the intramuscular fat area 54% higher (4.9 cm2, 95% CI 1.9-7.9, P=0.002) among the inactive co-twins. All the trends were similar for MZ and DZ pairs. Peak oxygen uptake was inversely associated with visceral (r=-0.46, P=0.012) and intramuscular fat area (r=-0.48, P=0.028), with similar trends in intrapair difference correlations (r=-0.57, P=0.021 and r=-0.50, P=0.056, respectively). The intrapair difference correlation between visceral and intramuscular fat was also high (r=0.65, P=0.009).
Regular physical activity seems to be an important factor in preventing the accumulation of high-risk fat over time, even after controlling for genetic liability and childhood environment. Therefore, the prevention and treatment of obesity should emphasize the role of regular leisure-time physical activity.
Serum antibodies against human coronavirus OC43 in different age groups were measured by complement fixation (CF), haemagglutination inhibition (HI), radial diffusion haemolysis-in-gel (HIG), and solid-phase radioimmunoassay (RIA) methods. Antigen grown in suckling mouse brain was used in all tests. Results obtained by the CF and HIG tests, and the RIA, were in good agreement with regard to the presence or absence of antibodies. Similar results were also obtained with the HI test if nonspecific haemagglutination inhibitors were first removed by treatment with phospholipase C and only titers of 1:20 or greater were considered positive. Children 6--23 months of age (n = 45) were without measurable coronavirus antibodies in all four assays. A rapid increase in the prevalence of antibodies then occurred in subsequent age groups, and practically all persons 6 years of age or older were found to have OC43 antibodies as measured by the HIG test or the RIA. The mean antibody levels determined by these two methods continued to increase, however, up to the age group of 10--14 years. This increase in antibody levels after the initial antibody incidence plateau may be due to boosting effects caused by related coronavirus strains, since OC43 antigens are known to cross-react with antibodies induced by other human coronaviruses. Taken together, these data suggest that OC43 virus, or an antigenically related coronavirus strain, is very common in Finland.
To evaluate the prevalence of parent-reported food allergies requiring avoidance diet at early school age.
The school health nurses interviewed, by using a structured questionnaire on the required diet at school, the parents of all the 1542 children starting elementary school in a Finnish town with 210,000 inhabitants.
An allergy to basic foods was found in 41 (2.7%) children: 1.5% to milk, 1.1% to eggs and 1.0% to grains. An allergy to nuts was present in 3.1% and to fruits and vegetables in 5.8%, both with known cross-sensitization to pollens. In all, 9.2% of the children reported some allergy. Milk, egg and grain allergies were associated with soy, nut and spice allergies.
Over 2% of the 1542 Finnish first-graders reported allergies to basic foods (milk, eggs or grains) requiring special avoidance diets at school. The figure suggests that avoidance diets started in the first years of life still unnecessarily continued.
The purpose of this study was to design a simplified polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique for the detection of Helicobacter pylori and to compare it with conventional diagnostic methods-culture and histology of gastric biopsy specimens. In addition, the capability of this technique to detect H. pylori in the gastric mucosal biopsies of originally H. pylori-negative children with gastritis or recurrent abdominal pain was investigated.
Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using polymerase from Thermus thermophilus was applied to detect H. pylori 16S rRNA. Twenty-five children H. pylori-positive by culture and/or histology were used as positive control subjects. Sixteen healthy H. pylori-negative children served as negative control subjects. Biopsy specimens from gastric antrum and corpus from 81 children were examined by RT-PCR. Altogether, 30 had histologic gastritis and 51 had nonspecific abdominal pain only, with no disease in histologic specimens. Histology and culture of H. pylori were negative in both patient groups.
Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction detected 24 of 25 tissue-positive and 0 of 16 tissue-negative cases, indicating 96% sensitivity and 100% specificity for the test. None of the culturally and histologically H. pylori-negative samples showed H. pylori colonization when analyzed by RT-PCR.
RT-PCR using Thermus thermophilus polymerase is a fast and simple means of detecting H. pylori in gastric biopsy specimens. It is at least as specific and sensitive as conventional methods. In pediatric patients it may be necessary to take more than two biopsy specimens to increase sensitivity in cases of local or patchy colonization.