Several nuclear hormone receptors have been associated with inflammatory reactions. Particularly, liver X receptors (LXRs) have recently been identified as key transcriptional regulators of genes involved in lipid homeostasis and inflammation. LXRs are negative regulators of macrophage inflammatory gene expression. Multiple sclerosis (MS), a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system of unknown cause, is characterized by recurrent inflammation involving macrophages and their inflammatory mediators. Sweden belongs to the countries with a high MS incidence. In Italy, the MS incidence is lower, except on the island of Sardinia where the incidence is even higher than in Sweden. Subjects from Sardinia are ethnically more homogeneous, and differ from Swedes also regarding genetic background and environment. We studied mRNA expression of several nuclear hormone receptors in blood mononuclear cells (MNC) from female patients with untreated relapsing-remitting MS from Sassari, Sardinia, and Stockholm, Sweden. Sex- and age-matched healthy controls (HC) were from both areas. mRNA expression was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. We found altered mRNA expression of LXRs, estrogen receptors (ERs), and androgen receptor (AR) in MS. mRNA expression of both LXRalpha and LXRbeta is lower in MS from Stockholm but not from Sassari. In particular, LXRalpha mRNA expression was significantly lower in MS from Stockholm as compared with all groups in the study including MS from Sassari. Low levels of ERalpha mRNA are seen in MS from both Stockholm and Sassari. The splice variant ERbetacx showed significantly higher mRNA expression in MS from Sassari and Stockholm as compared with corresponding HC. In particular, ERbetacx mRNA in MS from Sassari was remarkably higher as compared with all other groups in the study. Higher levels of AR mRNA are present in HC from Sassari. The findings indicate that the expression levels of anti-inflammatory nuclear receptor superfamily genes in MS appear to reflect both ethnic and environmental influences.
Cancer risks associated with Italian ethnicity were investigated using data from a large case-control study on the aetiology of several cancer sites in the male population of Montreal. Two approaches were taken. First, incidence rates were computed for Italians and for others in the Montreal area using our ascertained cases as numerators and census-derived denominators. Secondly, for respondents to the case-control study, an analysis was carried out with Italian ethnicity as the risk factor and a number of covariates as potential confounders. Out of 4553 incident cases in men aged 35-69, 301 were of Italian origin. As compared with other Montreal males, those of Italian origin had higher incidence rates for cancers of the stomach (p = 0.016, based on 31 cases) and of the colon and rectum (p = 0.102, based on 75 cases) and lower rates for cancer of the lung (p = 0.006) and prostate (p = 0.102, based on 24 cases). For other sites the differences between Montrealers of Italian and non-Italian origins were small. Montreal Italians manifested risks similar to those of the country of origin for cancer of the prostate and similar to the host country for cancers of the colon, rectum and liver. For other sites it was difficult to characterize the pattern because of wide variations among Italian registries. Over 80% of the study subjects in Montreal were interviewed and odds ratios (OR) for Italian ethnicity were estimated for each cancer site using all other sites as controls, adjusting for five potential confounders.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The present study reports on the analysis of cancer mortality in Italian first-generation migrants resident in Canada, deceased in the period between 1964-1985 (5,801 males: 3,267 females). Mortality in migrants is compared to that of the host population as well as to that in the migrants' country of origin. This is carried out both on a national level (Italy), and on a regional level with those regions that have made the greatest contribution to the Italian migratory flow (Southern Italy). Compared with the Canada-born population, significantly higher risks were evident for nasopharynx, stomach, liver and gallbladder tumors in migrants. Lower risks were observed for the oral cavity, esophagus, colon, rectum, pancreas (females), larynx, lung, melanoma, breast, ovary, prostate, bladder (females), and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in migrants. This is consistent with that evidenced in the comparison between Italy and Canada. The data are discussed in relation to the results of other studies on Italian migrants and the prevalence of main risk factors.
This study tested the hypothesis that despite differences in setting, specifically in Padua or Montreal, black psychiatric inpatients will have higher rates of assigned diagnosis of psychosis than their non-black counterparts.
Data on psychotic patients admitted to the psychiatry ward were extracted from records of general hospitals in Padua and Montreal. Logistic regression analyses were conducted separately for each site to determine the relation between being black and receiving a diagnosis of psychosis, while controlling for sex and age.
Most black patients at both sites received a diagnosis of psychosis (76% in Padua and 81% in Montreal). Being black was independently and positively associated with being diagnosed with psychosis compared to patients from other groups.
Black patients admitted to psychiatry, whether in Padua or Montreal, were more likely to be assigned a diagnosis of psychosis than were other patients.
The relative importance of genetic and environmental factors in causing insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) is unknown. We studied this question by assessing the incidence of the disease in children, born in a region with a low incidence of IDDM (Lazio), but whose parents came from a region with high incidence (Sardinia).
We identified all IDDM cases that occurred between 1989 and 1994. We used as the denominator the number of children aged 0-14 born in Lazio of Sardinian parents to calculate incidence. We compared this rate with the incidences of IDDM in the populations of Lazio and Sardinia.
The age-adjusted incidence of IDDM in Sardinian-heritage children born and living in Lazio was 33.8 per 100,000 per year (95% CI 7.0-99.0) for those with two Sardinian parents, and 15.9 (8.7-26.6) for those with only one parent from Sardinia. The former incidence was not different from that recorded in Sardinia (34.4, 31.3-37.9), but was fourtold that of Lazio-heritage children (7.9, 7.1-8.8).
Our results show that two different ethnic groups living in the same region have a fourfold difference in incidence of IDDM. Children of Sardinian-heritage born in Lazio have the same incidence as the population of origin, which is genetically prone to the disease. Moreover, children with one Sardinian parent had a rate half that of Sardinians and double that of the indigenous population. We conclude that in a given population genetic susceptibility determines the frequency of IDDM in response to the environmental challenge.
Comment In: Lancet. 1997 Jan 18;349(9046):147-89111533
Comment In: Lancet. 1997 Mar 29;349(9056):956-79093277
Comment In: Lancet. 1997 Mar 29;349(9056):9579093278