Life Extension Magazine®

Immune Function

Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in May 2022. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Effects of a tryptic hydrolysate from bovine milk alphaS1-casein on hemodynamic responses in healthy human volunteers facing successive mental and physical stress situations.

BACKGROUND: Preclinical results in rats have demonstrated anxiolytic-like effects of a tryptic bovine alphaS1-casein hydrolysate. AIM OF THE STUDY: We investigated the putative effects of this tryptic hydrolysate on systolic (SBP), diastolic (DBP) blood pressures, heart rate (HR) values and plasma cortisol concentrations (CC) in human healthy volunteers facing successive stress situations.

METHODS: The subjects were (double blind) randomly allocated to ingest three times, 12 hours apart, two capsules containing either 200 mg of alphaS1-casein hydrolysate (TS) or bovine skimmed milk powder as a placebo (CS). On the morning of the test day, a first blood sample for baseline measurement of CC was taken before the subjects were submitted to the Stroop test (ST) and, after a 30-min rest, to a Cold Pressor test (CPT). SBP, DBP, and HR were continuously recorded for 5 min before the ST and during each stress situation. A second blood sample was taken 15 min after the end of the CPT condition. RESULTS: ST and ST + CPT combined test situations increased SBP, DBP and HR. The significant “Treatment x SBP” and “Treatment x DBP” interactions indicated the lower percentage changes in SBP and DBP of the TS. In addition, the results showed a significant decrease of the CC in the TS but not in the CS throughout the ST + CPT combined stress tests. HR remained stable in TS between the initial rest period and the CPT unlike what happened in CS. CONCLUSION: On the basis of blood pressure and cortisol changes, these results suggest an antistress profile of this alphaS1-casein hydrolysate in human subjects.

Eur J Nutr. 2005 Mar;44(2):128-32.

Impact of sleep debt on metabolic and endocrine function.

BACKGROUND: Chronic sleep debt is becoming increasingly common and affects millions of people in more-developed countries. Sleep debt is currently believed to have no adverse effect on health. We investigated the effect of sleep debt on metabolic and endocrine functions. METHODS: We assessed carbohydrate metabolism, thyrotropic function, activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, and sympathovagal balance in 11 young men after time in bed had been restricted to 4 h per night for 6 nights. We compared the sleep-debt condition with measurements taken at the end of a sleep-recovery period when participants were allowed 12 h in bed per night for 6 nights. FINDINGS: Glucose tolerance was lower in the sleep-debt condition than in the fully rested condition (p<0.02), as were thyrotropin concentrations (p<0.01). Evening cortisol concentrations were raised (p=0.0001) and activity of the sympathetic nervous system was increased in the sleep-debt condition (p<0.02). INTERPRETATION: Sleep debt has a harmful impact on carbohydrate metabolism and endocrine function. The effects are similar to those seen in normal ageing and, therefore, sleep debt may increase the severity of age-related chronic disorders.

Lancet. 1999 Oct 23;354(9188):1435-9

The morbidity of insomnia uncomplicated by psychiatric disorders.

The morbidity of sleep problems has been well documented; however, they are frequently associated with and are symptomatic of several psychiatric disorders. It is unclear how much of the morbidity can be accounted for by the associated psychiatric and substance abuse disorders and medical problems, and how much by the sleep problems per se. Sleep problems may also be an early sign of a psychiatric problem. This paper reports data from an epidemiologic community survey of over 10,000 adults living in three US communities. A structured diagnostic assessment of psychiatric disorders as well as assessment of the presence of insomnia not due to medical conditions, medication, drug or alcohol abuse, and a 1-year follow-up were completed. Persons with insomnia in the past year without any psychiatric disorders ever (uncomplicated insomnia); with a psychiatric disorder in the past year (complicated insomnia); and with neither insomnia nor psychiatric disorders ever were compared on treatment utilization and the first onset of a psychiatric disorder in the subsequent year. Eight percent of those with uncomplicated as compared with 14.9% with complicated insomnia and 2.5% with neither had sought treatment from the general medical sector for emotional problems in the 6 months prior to the interview. The rates of treatment sought from the psychiatric specialty sector were 3.8%, 9.4%, and 1.2%, respectively. These differences were significant after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and were sustained when the persons were interviewed 1 year later. Uncomplicated insomnia was also associated with an increase in risk for first onset of major depression, panic disorder, and alcohol abuse over the following year. Insomnia, even in the absence of psychiatric disorders, is associated with increased use of general medical and mental health treatment for emotional problems and for the subsequent first onset in the following year of some psychiatric disorders. Early diagnosis and treatment of uncomplicated insomnia may be useful.

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1997 Jul;19(4):245-50

Sleep loss results in an elevation of cortisol levels the next evening.

Sleep curtailment constitutes an increasingly common condition in industrialized societies and is thought to affect mood and performance rather than physiological functions. There is no evidence for prolonged or delayed effects of sleep loss on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. We evaluated the effects of acute partial or total sleep deprivation on the nighttime and daytime profile of cortisol levels. Plasma cortisol profiles were determined during a 32-hour period (from 1800 hours on day 1 until 0200 hours on day 3) in normal young men submitted to three different protocols: normal sleep schedule (2300-0700 hours), partial sleep deprivation (0400-0800 hours), and total sleep deprivation. Alterations in cortisol levels could only be demonstrated in the evening following the night of sleep deprivation. After normal sleep, plasma cortisol levels over the 1800-2300-hour period were similar on days 1 and 2. After partial and total sleep deprivation, plasma cortisol levels over the 1800-2300-hour period were higher on day 2 than on day 1 (37 and 45% increases, p = 0.03 and 0.003, respectively), and the onset of the quiescent period of cortisol secretion was delayed by at least 1 hour. We conclude that even partial acute sleep loss delays the recovery of the HPA from early morning circadian stimulation and is thus likely to involve an alteration in negative glucocorticoid feedback regulation. Sleep loss could thus affect the resiliency of the stress response and may accelerate the development of metabolic and cognitive consequences of glucocorticoid excess.

Sleep. 1997 Oct;20(10):865-70

Sleep curtailment is accompanied by increased intake of calories from snacks.

BACKGROUND: Short sleep is associated with obesity and may alter the endocrine regulation of hunger and appetite. OBJECTIVE: We tested the hypothesis that the curtailment of human sleep could promote excessive energy intake. DESIGN: Eleven healthy volunteers [5 women, 6 men; mean +/- SD age: 39 +/- 5 y; mean +/- SD body mass index (in kg/m(2)): 26.5 +/- 1.5] completed in random order two 14-d stays in a sleep laboratory with ad libitum access to palatable food and 5.5-h or 8.5-h bedtimes. The primary endpoints were calories from meals and snacks consumed during each bedtime condition. Additional measures included total energy expenditure and 24-h profiles of serum leptin and ghrelin. RESULTS: Sleep was reduced by 122 +/- 25 min per night during the 5.5-h bedtime condition. Although meal intake remained similar (P = 0.51), sleep restriction was accompanied by increased consumption of calories from snacks (1087 +/- 541 compared with 866 +/- 365 kcal/d; P = 0.026), with higher carbohydrate content (65% compared with 61%; P = 0.04), particularly during the period from 1900 to 0700. These changes were not associated with a significant increase in energy expenditure (2526 +/- 537 and 2390 +/- 369 kcal/d during the 5.5-h and 8.5-h bedtime periods, respectively; P = 0.58), and we found no significant differences in serum leptin and ghrelin between the 2 sleep conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Recurrent bedtime restriction can modify the amount, composition, and distribution of human food intake, and sleeping short hours in an obesity-promoting environment may facilitate the excessive consumption of energy from snacks but not meals.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):126-33.

Metabolic effects of short-term elevations of plasma cortisol are more pronounced in the evening than in the morning.

To determine whether elevations of cortisol levels have more pronounced effects on glucose levels and insulin secretion in the evening (at the trough of the daily rhythm) or in the morning (at the peak of the rhythm), nine normal men each participated in four studies performed in random order. In all studies, endogenous cortisol levels were suppressed by metyrapone administration, and caloric intake was exclusively under the form of a constant glucose infusion. The daily cortisol elevation was restored by administration of hydrocortisone (or placebo) either at 0500 h or at 1700 h. In each study, plasma levels of glucose, insulin, C-peptide, and cortisol were measured at 20-min intervals for 32 h. The initial effect of the hydrocortisone-induced cortisol pulse was a short-term inhibition of insulin secretion without concomitant glucose changes and was similar in the evening and in the morning. At both times of day, starting 4-6 h after hydrocortisone ingestion, glucose levels increased and remained higher than under placebo for at least 12 h. This delayed hyperglycemic effect was minimal in the morning but much more pronounced in the evening, when it was associated with robust increases in serum insulin and insulin secretion and with a 30% decrease in insulin clearance. Thus, elevations of evening cortisol levels could contribute to alterations in glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and insulin secretion.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Sep;84(9): 3082-92

Sleep-disordered breathing and mortality: a prospective cohort study.

BACKGROUND: Sleep-disordered breathing is a common condition associated with adverse health outcomes including hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The overall objective of this study was to determine whether sleep-disordered breathing and its sequelae of intermittent hypoxemia and recurrent arousals are associated with mortality in a community sample of adults aged 40 years or older. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We prospectively examined whether sleep-disordered breathing was associated with an increased risk of death from any cause in 6,441 men and women participating in the Sleep Heart Health Study. Sleep-disordered breathing was assessed with the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) based on an in-home polysomnogram. Survival analysis and proportional hazards regression models were used to calculate hazard ratios for mortality after adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking status, body mass index, and prevalent medical conditions. The average follow-up period for the cohort was 8.2 y during which 1,047 participants (587 men and 460 women) died. Compared to those without sleep-disordered breathing (AHI: <5 events/h), the fully adjusted hazard ratios for all-cause mortality in those with mild (AHI: 5.0-14.9 events/h), moderate (AHI: 15.0-29.9 events/h), and severe (AHI: >or=30.0 events/h) sleep-disordered breathing were 0.93 (95% CI: 0.80-1.08), 1.17 (95% CI: 0.97-1.42), and 1.46 (95% CI: 1.14-1.86), respectively. Stratified analyses by sex and age showed that the increased risk of death associated with severe sleep-disordered breathing was statistically significant in men aged 40-70 y (hazard ratio: 2.09; 95% CI: 1.31-3.33). Measures of sleep-related intermittent hypoxemia, but not sleep fragmentation, were independently associated with all-cause mortality. Coronary artery disease-related mortality associated with sleep-disordered breathing showed a pattern of association similar to all-cause mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Sleep-disordered breathing is associated with all-cause mortality and specifically that due to coronary artery disease, particularly in men aged 40-70 y with severe sleep-disordered breathing.

PLoS Med. 2009 Aug;6(8):e1000132

Sleep duration and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies.

BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence suggests an association between both short and long duration of habitual sleep with adverse health outcomes. OBJECTIVES: To assess whether the population longitudinal evidence supports the presence of a relationship between duration of sleep and all-cause mortality, to investigate both short and long sleep duration and to obtain an estimate of the risk. METHODS: We performed a systematic search of publications using MEDLINE (1966-2009), EMBASE (from 1980), the Cochrane Library, and manual searches without language restrictions. We included studies if they were prospective, had follow-up >3 years, had duration of sleep at baseline, and all-cause mortality prospectively. We extracted relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) and pooled them using a random effect model. We carried out sensitivity analyses and assessed heterogeneity and publication bias. RESULTS: Overall, the 16 studies analyzed provided 27 independent cohort samples. They included 1,382,999 male and female participants (followup range 4 to 25 years), and 112,566 deaths. Sleep duration was assessed by questionnaire and outcome through death certification. In the pooled analysis, short duration of sleep was associated with a greater risk of death (RR: 1.12; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.18; P < 0.01) with no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.74) but heterogeneity between studies (P = 0.02). Long duration of sleep was also associated with a greater risk of death (1.30; [1.22 to 1.38]; P < 0.0001) with no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.18) but significant heterogeneity between studies (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Both short and long duration of sleep are significant predictors of death in prospective population studies.

Sleep. 2010 May 1;33(5):585-92

Sleep deprivation affects inflammatory marker expression in adipose tissue.

Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase inflammatory markers in rat sera and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Inflammation is a condition associated with pathologies such as obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. We investigated changes in the pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines and adipokines in different depots of white adipose tissue in rats. We also assessed lipid profiles and serum levels of corticosterone, leptin, and adiponectin after 96 hours of sleep deprivation. METHODS: The study consisted of two groups: a control (C) group and a paradoxical sleep deprivation by 96 h (PSD) group. Ten rats were randomly assigned to either the control group (C) or the PSD. Mesenteric (MEAT) and retroperitoneal (RPAT) adipose tissue, liver and serum were collected following completion of the PSD protocol. Levels of interleukin (IL)-6, interleukin (IL)-10 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α were analysed in MEAT and RPAT, and leptin, adiponectin, glucose, corticosterone and lipid profile levels were analysed in serum. RESULTS: IL-6 levels were elevated in RPAT but remained unchanged in MEAT after PSD. IL-10 protein concentration was not altered in either depot, and TNF-α levels decreased in MEAT. Glucose, triglycerides (TG), VLDL and leptin decreased in serum after 96 hours of PSD; adiponectin was not altered and corticosterone was increased. CONCLUSION: PSD decreased fat mass and may modulate the cytokine content in different depots of adipose tissue. The inflammatory response was diminished in both depots of adipose tissue, with increased IL-6 levels in RPAT and decreased TNF-α protein concentrations in MEAT and increased levels of corticosterone in serum.

Lipids Health Dis. 2010 Oct 30;9:125

Sleep restriction for 1 week reduces insulin sensitivity in healthy men.

OBJECTIVE: Short sleep duration is associated with impaired glucose tolerance and an increased risk of diabetes. The effects of sleep restriction on insulin sensitivity have not been established. This study tests the hypothesis that decreasing nighttime sleep duration reduces insulin sensitivity and assesses the effects of a drug, modafinil, that increases alertness during wakefulness. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This 12-day inpatient General Clinical Research Center study included 20 healthy men (age 20-35 years and BMI 20-30 kg/m(2)). Subjects spent 10 h/night in bed for >or=8 nights including three inpatient nights (sleep-replete condition), followed by 5 h/night in bed for 7 nights (sleep-restricted condition). Subjects received 300 mg/day modafinil or placebo during sleep restriction. Diet and activity were controlled. On the last 2 days of each condition, we assessed glucose metabolism by intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) and euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. Salivary cortisol, 24-h urinary catecholamines, and neurobehavioral performance were measured. RESULTS: IVGTT-derived insulin sensitivity was reduced by (means +/- SD) 20 +/- 24% after sleep restriction (P = 0.001), without significant alterations in the insulin secretory response. Similarly, insulin sensitivity assessed by clamp was reduced by 11 +/- 5.5% (P < 0.04) after sleep restriction. Glucose tolerance and the disposition index were reduced by sleep restriction. These outcomes were not affected by modafinil treatment. Changes in insulin sensitivity did not correlate with changes in salivary cortisol (increase of 51 +/- 8% with sleep restriction, P < 0.02), urinary catecholamines, or slow wave sleep. CONCLUSIONS: Sleep restriction (5 h/night) for 1 week significantly reduces insulin sensitivity, raising concerns about effects of chronic insufficient sleep on disease processes associated with insulin resistance.

Diabetes. 2010 Sep;59(9):2126-33

The impact of daily sleep duration on health: a review of the literature.

A healthy amount of sleep is paramount to leading a healthy and productive lifestyle. Although chronic sleep loss is common in today’s society, many people are unaware of the potential adverse health effects of habitual sleep restriction. Under strict experimental conditions, short-term restriction of sleep results in a variety of adverse physiologic effects, including hypertension, activation of the sympathetic nervous system, impairment of glucose control, and increased inflammation. A variety of epidemiologic studies have also suggested an association between self-reported sleep duration and long-term health. Individuals who report both an increased (>8 h/d) or reduced (<7 h/d) sleep duration are at modestly increased risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and developing symptomatic diabetes. Although the data are not definitive, these studies suggest that sleep should not be considered a luxury, but an important component of a healthful lifestyle.

Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 2004 Spring;19(2):56-9

Association of sleep duration with mortality from cardiovascular disease and other causes for Japanese men and women: the JACC study.

STUDY OBJECTIVES: To examine sex-specific associations between sleep duration and mortality from cardiovascular disease and other causes. DESIGN: Cohort study. SETTING: Community-based study. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 98,634 subjects (41,489 men and 57,145 women) aged 40 to 79 years from 1988 to 1990 and were followed until 2003. INTERVENTIONS: N/A. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: During a median follow-up of 14.3 years, there were 1,964 deaths (men and women: 1,038 and 926) from stroke, 881 (508 and 373) from coronary heart disease, 4,287 (2,297 and 1,990) from cardiovascular disease, 5,465 (3,432 and 2,033) from cancer, and 14,540 (8,548 and 5,992) from all causes. Compared with a sleep duration of 7 hours, sleep duration of 4 hours or less was associated with increased mortality from coronary heart disease for women and noncardiovascular disease/noncancer and all causes in both sexes. The respective multivariable hazard ratios were 2.32 (1.19-4.50) for coronary heart disease in women, 1.49 (1.02-2.18) and 1.47 (1.01-2.15) for noncardiovascular disease/noncancer, and 1.29 (1.02-1.64) and 1.28 (1.03-1.60) for all causes in men and women, respectively. Long sleep duration of 10 hours or longer was associated with 1.5- to 2-fold increased mortality from total and ischemic stroke, total cardiovascular disease, noncardiovascular disease/noncancer, and all causes for men and women, compared with 7 hours of sleep in both sexes. There was no association between sleep duration and cancer mortality in either sex. CONCLUSIONS: Both short and long sleep duration were associated with increased mortality from cardiovascular disease, noncardiovascular disease/noncancer, and all causes for both sexes, yielding a U-shaped relationship with total mortality with a nadir at 7 hours of sleep.

Sleep. 2009 Mar 1;32(3):295-301

Sleep deprivation in the rat: VIII. High EEG amplitude sleep deprivation.

The disk apparatus was used to deprive six rats of the portion of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep with high electroencephalogram (EEG) amplitude (HS2). All HS2 deprived (HS2D) rats died or were sacrificed when death seemed imminent within 23 to 66 days. No anatomical cause of death was identified. All deprived rats showed a debilitated appearance, lesions on their tails and paws, and weight loss in spite of increased food intake. Energy expenditure (calculated from the caloric value of food, weight change, and wastes) increased to more than twice baseline values. With one exception, yoked control rats remained generally healthy. It was not clear whether the changes in HS2D rats resulted from the loss of HS2 or the general disruption of NREM sleep that accompanied this loss. Also, it was not possible to produce major HS2 loss without incurring some loss of paradoxical sleep (PS). Control studies indicated that the partial PS loss in HS2D rats could not, in and of itself, account for all the pathological effects. However, an interaction of HS2D and partial PS loss in producing pathological effects cannot be ruled out.

Sleep. 1989 Feb;12(1):53-9

Sleep deprivation in the rat: VI. Skin changes.

All rats subjected to total or paradoxical sleep deprivation by the disk apparatus developed severe ulcerative and hyperkeratotic skin lesions localized to the plantar surfaces of their paws and to their tails. Yoked control rats only occasionally developed similar appearing lesions, which were always much less severe than in deprived rats. The deprived rat lesions could not be explained by pressure, disk rotation, water immersion, infection, necrotizing vasculitis, tyrosinemia, protein deficiency, or reduced rates of mitosis. Thus, although paw and tail lesions constitute a very reliable and severe symptom of total or selective sleep deprivation in the rat that potentially could yield insights into the pathogenic mechanisms induced by sleep loss, the mediation of the lesions remains unknown.

Sleep. 1989 Feb;12(1):42-6

Nightly treatment of primary insomnia with prolonged release melatonin for 6 months: a randomized placebo controlled trial on age and endogenous melatonin as predictors of efficacy and safety.

BACKGROUND: Melatonin is extensively used in the USA in a non-regulated manner for sleep disorders. Prolonged release melatonin (PRM) is licensed in Europe and other countries for the short term treatment of primary insomnia in patients aged 55 years and over. However, a clear definition of the target patient population and well-controlled studies of long-term efficacy and safety are lacking. It is known that melatonin production declines with age. Some young insomnia patients also may have low melatonin levels. The study investigated whether older age or low melatonin excretion is a better predictor of response to PRM, whether the efficacy observed in short-term studies is sustained during continued treatment and the long term safety of such treatment. METHODS: Adult outpatients (791, aged 18-80 years) with primary insomnia, were treated with placebo (2 weeks) and then randomized, double-blind to 3 weeks with PRM or placebo nightly. PRM patients continued whereas placebo completers were re-randomized 1:1 to PRM or placebo for 26 weeks with 2 weeks of single-blind placebo run-out. Main outcome measures were sleep latency derived from a sleep diary, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Quality of Life (World Health Organzaton-5) Clinical Global Impression of Improvement (CGI-I) and adverse effects and vital signs recorded at each visit.RESULTS: On the primary efficacy variable, sleep latency, the effects of PRM (3 weeks) in patients with low endogenous melatonin (6-sulphatoxymelatonin [6-SMT] <or=8 microg/night) regardless of age did not differ from the placebo, whereas PRM significantly reduced sleep latency compared to the placebo in elderly patients regardless of melatonin levels (-19.1 versus -1.7 min; P = 0.002). The effects on sleep latency and additional sleep and daytime parameters that improved with PRM were maintained or enhanced over the 6-month period with no signs of tolerance. Most adverse events were mild in severity with no clinically relevant differences between PRM and placebo for any safety outcome. CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrate short- and long-term efficacy and safety of PRM in elderly insomnia patients. Low melatonin production regardless of age is not useful in predicting responses to melatonin therapy in insomnia. The age cut-off for response warrants further investigation.

BMC Med. 2010 Aug 16;8:51

The effect of prolonged-release melatonin on sleep measures and psychomotor performance in elderly patients with insomnia.

Objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of prolonged-release melatonin 2 mg (PRM) on sleep and subsequent daytime psychomotor performance in patients aged > or =55 years with primary insomnia, as defined by fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association. Patients (N = 40) were treated nightly single-blind with placebo (2 weeks), randomized double-blind to PRM or placebo (3 weeks) followed by withdrawal period (3 weeks). Sleep was assessed by polysomnography, all-night sleep electroencephalography spectral analysis and questionnaires. Psychomotor performance was assessed by the Leeds Psychomotor Test battery. By the end of the double-blind treatment, the PRM group had significantly shorter sleep onset latency (9 min; P = 0.02) compared with the placebo group and scored significantly better in the Critical Flicker Fusion Test (P = 0.008) without negatively affecting sleep structure and architecture. Half of the patients reported substantial improvement in sleep quality at home with PRM compared with 15% with placebo (P = 0.018). No rebound effects were observed during withdrawal. In conclusion, nightly treatment with PRM effectively induced sleep and improved perceived quality of sleep in patients with primary insomnia aged > or =55 years. Daytime psychomotor performance was not impaired and was consistently better with PRM compared with placebo. PRM was well tolerated with no evidence of rebound effects.

Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009 Sep;24(5):239-49

Efficacy of prolonged release melatonin in insomnia patients aged 55-80 years: quality of sleep and next-day alertness outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: Melatonin, the hormone produced nocturnally by the pineal gland, serves as a circadian time cue and sleep-anticipating signal in humans. With age, melatonin production declines and the prevalence of sleep disorders, particularly insomnia, increases. The efficacy and safety of a prolonged release melatonin formulation (PR-melatonin; Circadin* 2 mg) were examined in insomnia patients aged 55 years and older. DESIGN: Randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled. SETTING: Primary care. METHODOLOGY: From 1248 patients pre-screened and 523 attending visit 1, 354 males and females aged 55-80 years were admitted to the study, 177 to active medication and 177 to placebo. The study was conducted by primary care physicians in the West of Scotland and consisted of a 2-week, single blind, placebo run-in period followed by a 3-week double blind treatment period with PR-melatonin or placebo, one tablet per day at 2 hours before bedtime. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Responder rate (concomitant improvement in sleep quality and morning alertness on Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire [LSEQ]), other LSEQ assessments, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) global score, other PSQI assessments, Quality of Night and Quality of Day derived from a diary, Clinical Global Improvement scale (CGI) score and quality of life (WHO-5 well being index). RESULTS: Of the 354 patients entering the active phase of the study, 20 failed to complete visit 3 (eight PR-melatonin; 12 Placebo). The principal reasons for drop-out were patient decision and lost to follow-up. Significant differences in favour of PR-melatonin vs. placebo treatment were found in concomitant and clinically relevant improvements in quality of sleep and morning alertness, demonstrated by responder analysis (26% vs. 15%; p = 0.014) as well as on each of these parameters separately. A significant and clinically relevant shortening of sleep latency to the same extent as most frequently used sleep medications was also found (-24.3 vs.-12.9 minutes; p = 0.028). Quality of life also improved significantly (p = 0.034). CONCLUSIONS: PR-melatonin results in significant and clinically meaningful improvements in sleep quality, morning alertness, sleep onset latency and quality of life in primary insomnia patients aged 55 years and over. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was conducted prior to registration being introduced.

Curr Med Res Opin. 2007 Oct;23(10):2597-605

Prolonged-release melatonin improves sleep quality and morning alertness in insomnia patients aged 55 years and older and has no withdrawal effects.

Melatonin, secreted nocturnally by the pineal gland, is an endogenous sleep regulator. Impaired melatonin production and complaints on poor quality of sleep are common among the elderly. Non-restorative sleep (perceived poor quality of sleep) and subsequently poor daytime functioning are increasingly recognized as a leading syndrome in the diagnostic and therapeutic process of insomnia complaints. The effects of 3-weeks prolonged-release melatonin 2 mg (PR-melatonin) versus placebo treatment were assessed in a multi-center randomized placebo-controlled study in 170 primary insomnia outpatients aged > or =55 years. Improvements in quality of sleep (QOS) the night before and morning alertness (BFW) were assessed using the Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire and changes in sleep quality (QON) reported on five categorical unit scales. Rebound insomnia and withdrawal effects following discontinuation were also evaluated. PR-melatonin significantly improved QOS (-22.5 versus -16.5 mm, P = 0.047), QON (0.89 versus 0.46 units; P = 0.003) and BFW (-15.7 versus -6.8 mm; P = 0.002) compared with placebo. The improvements in QOS and BFW were strongly correlated (Rval = 0.77, P < 0.001) suggesting a beneficial treatment effect on the restorative value of sleep. These results were confirmed in a subgroup of patients with a greater symptom severity. There was no evidence of rebound insomnia or withdrawal effects following treatment discontinuation. The incidence of adverse events was low and most side-effects were judged to be of minor severity. PR-melatonin is the first drug shown to significantly improve quality of sleep and morning alertness in primary insomnia patients aged 55 years and older-suggesting more restorative sleep, and without withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.

J Sleep Res. 2007 Dec;16(4):372-80

Melatonin replacement therapy of elderly insomniacs.

Changes in sleep-wake patterns are among the hallmarks of biological aging. Previously, we reported that impaired melatonin secretion is associated with sleep disorders in old age. In this study we investigated the effects of melatonin replacement therapy on melatonin-deficient elderly insomniacs. The study comprised a running-in, no-treatment period and four experimental periods. During the second, third and fourth periods, subjects were administered tablets for 7 consecutive days, 2 hours before desired bedtime. The tablets were either 2 mg melatonin administered as sustained-release or fast-release formulations, or an identical-looking placebo. The fifth period, which concluded the study, was a 2-month period of daily administration of 1 mg sustained-release melatonin 2 hours before desired bedtime. During each of these five experimental periods, sleep-wake patterns were monitored by wrist-worn actigraphs. Analysis of the first three 1-week periods revealed that a 1-week treatment with 2 mg sustained-release melatonin was effective for sleep maintenance (i.e. sleep efficiency and activity level) of elderly insomniacs, while sleep initiation was improved by the fast-release melatonin treatment. Sleep maintenance and initiation were further improved following the 2-month 1-mg sustained-release melatonin treatment, indicating that tolerance had not developed. After cessation of treatment, sleep quality deteriorated. Our findings suggest that for melatonin-deficient elderly insomniacs, melatonin replacement therapy may be beneficial in the initiation and maintenance of sleep.

Sleep. 1995 Sep;18(7):598-603

Improvement of sleep quality in elderly people by controlled-release melatonin.

Melatonin, produced by the pineal gland at night, has a role in regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. Among elderly people, even those who are healthy, the frequency of sleep disorders is high and there is an association with impairment of melatonin production. We investigated the effect of a controlled-release formulation of melatonin on sleep quality in 12 elderly subjects (aged 76 [SD 8] years) who were receiving various medications for chronic illnesses and who complained of insomnia. In all 12 subjects the peak excretion of the main melatonin metabolite 6-sulphatoxymelatonin during the night was lower than normal and/or delayed in comparison with non-insomniac elderly people. In a randomised, double-blind, crossover study the subjects were treated for 3 weeks with 2 mg per night of controlled-release melatonin and for 3 weeks with placebo, with a week’s washout period. Sleep quality was objectively monitored by wrist actigraphy. Sleep efficiency was significantly greater after melatonin than after placebo (83 [SE 4] vs 75 [3]%, p < 0.001) and wake time after sleep onset was significantly shorter (49 [14] vs 73 [13] min, p < 0.001). Sleep latency decreased, but not significantly (19 [5] vs 33 [7] min, p = 0.088). Total sleep time was not affected. The only adverse effects reported were two cases of pruritus, one during melatonin and one during placebo treatment; both resolved spontaneously. Melatonin deficiency may have an important role in the high frequency of insomnia among elderly people. Controlled-release melatonin replacement therapy effectively improves sleep quality in this population.

Lancet. 1995 Aug 26;346(8974):541-4

Nocturnal 6-sulfatoxymelatonin excretion in insomnia and its relation to the response to melatonin replacement therapy.

PURPOSE: Melatonin, which is produced by the pineal gland at night, is an endogenous sleep regulator. Both sleep disorders and impaired melatonin production are common among the elderly. We examined the excretion of the major melatonin metabolite 6-sulfatoxymelatonin in insomnia patients aged >or=55 years and its relation with the subsequent response to melatonin therapy. METHODS: We studied 517 insomnia patients, along with 29 age-matched and 30 younger healthy volunteers. Nocturnal urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin excretion was assessed between 10 pm and 10 am. Three hundred and ninety-six of the insomnia patients were treated for 2 weeks with placebo and for 3 weeks with 2 mg per night of controlled-release melatonin, of which 372 provided complete datasets. Clinical response, assessed with the Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire, was defined as an improvement of 10 mm or more on the visual analog scales. RESULTS: Mean (+/- SD) 6-sulfatoxymelatonin excretion was lower in the insomnia patients (9.0 +/- 8.3 microg per night) than in volunteers of the same age (18.1 +/- 12.7 microg per night, P <0.05) and in younger volunteers (24.2 +/- 11.9 microg per night, P <0.05). About 30% of patients (112/372) excreted <or=3.5 microg of sulfatoxymelatonin per night, which is considered to be lower than normal for this age group. These “low excretors” had a significantly higher response to melatonin replacement therapy (58% [65/112] vs. 47% [122/260], P <0.05). CONCLUSION: Low nocturnal melatonin production is associated with insomnia in patients aged 55 years or older, and identifies patients who are somewhat more likely to respond to melatonin replacement.

Am J Med. 2004 Jan 15;116(2):91-5

Alterations in circadian rhythmicity of the vasopressin-producing neurons of the human suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) with aging.

The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the anterior hypothalamus is implicated in the temporal organization of circadian rhythms in a variety of physiological, endocrine and behavioral processes. There is a great deal of evidence indicating that aging is characterized by a progressive deterioration of circadian timekeeping. The present study was aimed at investigating whether there are age-related changes in circadian rhythmicity of the vasopressin (VP)-producing neurons in the human SCN. To that end brains obtained at autopsy of 39 subjects, ranging in age from 6 to 91 years, were studied. Subjects were divided into two age groups, viz. ‘young subjects’ (up to 50 years) and ‘elderly subjects’ (over 50 years). It is shown that the number of VP-immunoreactive neurons in the human SCN exhibits a marked diurnal oscillation in young, but not in elderly, people. Whereas in young subjects low VP-immunoreactive neuron numbers were found during the night period (22:00-06:00 h) and peak values during the early morning (06:00-10:00 h), the SCN of elderly people showed a reduced amplitude and a tendency for a reversed diurnal pattern with high instead of low values during the night. The findings suggest that the VP synthesis of the human SCN exhibits a circadian rhythm that is disrupted later in life.

Brain Res. 1994 Jul 18;651(1-2):134-42

Triphala promotes healing of infected full-thickness dermal wound.

BACKGROUND: Infection is a major problem in the management of wounds. Even though the development of synthetic antimicrobial agents persists, drug resistance and toxicity hinder their way. Many plants with multi-potent pharmaceutical activities may offer better treatment options, and Triphala (dried fruits of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica, and Phyllanthus emblica) are potential formulations evaluated for healing activity on infected wound as it possesses numerous activities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Alcoholic extract of Triphala has shown in vitro antimicrobial activity against wound pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Streptococcus pyogenes. An ointment was prepared from the Triphala extract (10% w/w) and assessed for in vivo wound healing on infected rat model by rate of healing, bacterial count, biochemical analysis, and expression of matrix metalloproteinases.RESULTS: The treated group has shown significantly improved wound closure. Assessment of granulation tissue on every fourth day showed significant reduction in bacterial count with significant level of collagen, hexosamine, uronic acid, and superoxide dismutase in the treated group (P < 0.01). Reduction of matrix metalloproteinase expression observed in the treated group by gelatin zymography and immunoblotting confirms our in vivo assessment. CONCLUSIONS: The above results showed the antibacterial, wound healing, and antioxidant activities of Triphala ointment, necessary for the management of infected wounds. Active principles of the Triphala may be further evaluated and used as an excellent therapeutic formulation for infected wounds.

J Surg Res. 2008 Jan;144(1):94-101

Role of melatonin in the regulation of human circadian rhythms and sleep.

The circadian rhythm of pineal melatonin is the best marker of internal time under low ambient light levels. The endogenous melatonin rhythm exhibits a close association with the endogenous circadian component of the sleep propensity rhythm. This has led to the idea that melatonin is an internal sleep “facilitator” in humans, and therefore useful in the treatment of insomnia and the readjustment of circadian rhythms. There is evidence that administration of melatonin is able: (i) to induce sleep when the homeostatic drive to sleep is insufficient; (ii) to inhibit the drive for wakefulness emanating from the circadian pacemaker; and (iii) induce phase shifts in the circadian clock such that the circadian phase of increased sleep propensity occurs at a new, desired time. Therefore, exogenous melatonin can act as soporific agent, a chronohypnotic, and/or a chronobiotic. We describe the role of melatonin in the regulation of sleep, and the use of exogenous melatonin to treat sleep or circadian rhythm disorders.

J Neuroendocrinol. 2003 Apr;15(4):432-7

Functional regulatory T cells accumulate in aged hosts and promote chronic infectious disease reactivation.

Declines in immune function are well described in the elderly and are considered to contribute significantly to the disease burden in this population. Regulatory T cells (T(regs)), a CD4(+) T cell subset usually characterized by high CD25 expression, control the intensity of immune responses both in rodents and humans. However, because CD25 expression does not define all T(regs), especially in aged hosts, we characterized T(regs) by the expression of FOXP3, a transcription factor crucial for T(reg) differentiation and function. The proportion of FOXP3(+)CD4(+) T(regs) increased in the blood of the elderly and the lymphoid tissues of aged mice. The expression of functional markers, such as CTLA-4 and GITR, was either preserved or increased on FOXP3(+) T(regs) from aged hosts, depending on the tissue analyzed. In vitro depletion of peripheral T(regs) from elderly humans improves effector T cell responses in most subjects. Importantly, T(regs) from old FoxP3-GFP knock-in mice were suppressive, exhibiting a higher level of suppression per cell than young T(regs). The increased proportion of T(regs) in aged mice was associated with the spontaneous reactivation of chronic Leishmania major infection in old mice, likely because old T(regs) efficiently suppressed the production of IFN-gamma by effector T cells. Finally, in vivo depletion of T(regs) in old mice attenuated disease severity. Accumulation of functional T(regs) in aged hosts could therefore play an important role in the frequent reactivation of chronic infections that occurs in aging. Manipulation of T(reg) numbers and/or activity may be envisioned to enhance the control of infectious diseases in this fragile population.

J Immunol. 2008 Aug 1;181(3):1835-48

The number of human peripheral blood CD4+ CD25high regulatory T cells increases with age.

Ageing is associated with evidence of immune deficiency and dysregulation. Key changes in the immune system with ageing include a progressive reduction in naive T cell output associated with thymic involution and peripheral expansion of oligoclonal memory T cells. These features are associated with evidence of impaired immune responsiveness both in vitro and in vivo, termed immune senescence. CD4+ CD25+ T cells have recently been recognized as mediators of peripheral immune regulation and play a role in the control of autoimmune and pathogen-specific immune responses. The significance of CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells in the context of immunosenescence is not known. We have investigated the number, phenotype and function of CD4+ CD25+ T cells in healthy volunteers over a wide age range. We demonstrate that the number of CD4+ CD25+ and CD4+ CD25high T cells in healthy volunteers increases with age. In both age groups CD4+ CD25+ T cells showed a phenotype consistent with that described for regulatory T cells. Further analysis of CD4+ CD25high T cells in young and elderly donors showed equivalent expression of intracellular CTLA-4 and surface expression of activation markers. In vitro, functional titration assays of CD4+ CD25high T cells demonstrated equivalent regulatory function in both young and elderly donors, with suppression of proliferation and cytokine production in response to polyclonal T cell stimulation. These observations demonstrate an increase in peripheral blood CD4+ CD25high regulatory T cells associated with ageing. The relevance of these expanded cells in relation to the immune senescence seen in the elderly as yet remains unclear.

Clin Exp Immunol. 2005 Jun;140(3):540-6

Shortage of circulating naive CD8(+) T cells provides new insights on immunodeficiency in aging.

Clinical observations indicate that elderly people are prone to severe, often lethal infectious diseases induced by novel pathogens. Since the ability to mount primary immune responses relies on the availability of naive T cells, the circulating naive T-cell reservoir was evaluated throughout the human life span. Naive T cells were identified as CD95(-) T lymphocytes for their phenotypic and functional features. Indeed, the lack of CD95 marker is sufficient to identify a population of naive T cells, as defined by coincidence with previously characterized CD45RA(+) CD62L(+) T cells. Naive CD95(-) T cells, as expected, require a costimulatory signal, such as CD28, to optimally proliferate after anti-CD3 stimulation. Cytofluorimetric analysis of circulating T lymphocytes from 120 healthy subjects ranging in age from 18 to 105 years revealed that naive T cells decreased sharply with age. The younger subjects had a naive T-lymphocyte count of 825 +/- 48 cells/microL, and the centenarians had a naive T-lymphocyte count of 177 +/- 28 cells/microL. Surprisingly, the naive T-cell count was lower in CD8(+) than in CD4(+) subsets at any age, and the oldest individuals were almost completely depleted of circulating naive CD8(+) T cells (13 +/- 4 cells/microL). Concomitantly, a progressive expansion of CD28(-) T cells occurs with age, which can be interpreted as a compensatory mechanism. These data provide new insights into age-related T-cell-mediated immunodeficiency and reveal some analogies of T-cell dynamics between advanced aging and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. In conclusion, the exhaustion of the naive CD8(+) T-cell reservoir, which has never been reported before, suggests that this T-cell pool is a major target of the aging process and may define a parameter possibly related to the life span of humans.

Blood. 2000 May 1;95(9):2860-8

Immunological studies of aging. Decreased production of and response to T cell growth factor by lymphocytes from aged humans.

Human lymphocytes from elderly and young donors were cultured with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) or concanavalin A. Cultures from old donors produced less T cell growth factor (TCGF) and incorporated less tritiated thymidine (3H-Tdr) than did similar cultures from young donors in the presence of either mitogen. Furthermore, the response of lymphocytes from elderly donors to TCGF was impaired. Thus, PHA-activated T cells from aged donors showed no increase tritiated thymidine incorporation when incubated with exogenous human TCGF. In contrast, addition of exogenous human TCGF to PHA-activated peripheral blood leukocytes from younger individuals increased tritiated thymidine incorporation by 30-50%. The impaired response to TCGF was associated with decreased binding of TCGF by PHA-activated cells from old donors. TCGF production or responsiveness was not associated with the presence of “suppressor” activity in elderly T cell preparations. These studies suggest a possible molecular mechanism for the impaired proliferative response of elderly human T cells. These data lend support to the hypothesis that defects in the capacity to either produce or respond to TCGF may be a fundamental cause of immune deficiency.

J Clin Invest. 1981 Apr;67(4):937-42

Homeostasis and the age-associated defect of CD4 T cells.

Survival and homeostatic division of naive CD4 T cells is regulated by the cellular and non-cellular milieu and together these processes ensure that a population of naive CD4 T cells persists into old age. However, the naive CD4 T cells from aged animals show reduced IL-2 production, proliferation, helper function and effector generation and memory function. We explore here whether the age-related defects in naive CD4 T cells are due to the aged environment from which they come or to intrinsic defects that are caused by homeostasis and their long lifespan.

Semin Immunol. 2005 Oct;17(5):370-7

Age-associated decline in effective immune synapse formation of CD4(+) T cells is reversed by vitamin E supplementation.

Aging is associated with reduced IL-2 production and T cell proliferation. Vitamin E supplementation, in aged animals and humans, increases cell division and IL-2 production by naive T cells. The immune synapse forms at the site of contact between a T cell and an APC and participates in T cell activation. We evaluated whether vitamin E affects the redistribution of signaling proteins to the immune synapse. Purified CD4(+) T cells, from the spleens of young and old mice, were treated with vitamin E before stimulation with a surrogate APC expressing anti-CD3. Using confocal fluorescent microscopy, we observed that CD4(+) T cells from old mice were significantly less likely to recruit signaling proteins to the immune synapse than cells from young mice. Vitamin E increased the percentage of old CD4(+) T cells capable of forming an effective immune synapse. Similar results were found following in vivo supplementation with vitamin E. When compared with memory cells, naive T cells from aged mice were more defective in immune synapse formation and were more responsive to vitamin E supplementation. These data show, for the first time, that vitamin E significantly improves age-related early T cell signaling events in naive CD4(+) T cells.

J Immunol. 2007 Feb 1;178(3):1443-9

The ageing immune system: is it ever too old to become young again?

Ageing is accompanied by a decline in the function of the immune system, which increases susceptibility to infections and can decrease the quality of life. The ability to rejuvenate the ageing immune system would therefore be beneficial for elderly individuals and would decrease health-care costs for society. But is the immune system ever too old to become young again? We review here the promise of various approaches to rejuvenate the function of the immune system in the rapidly growing ageing population.

Nat Rev Immunol. 2009 Jan;9(1):57-62

Decreased TNF-alpha synthesis by macrophages restricts cutaneous immunosurveillance by memory CD4+ T cells during aging.

Immunity declines during aging, however the mechanisms involved in this decline are not known. In this study, we show that cutaneous delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses to recall antigens are significantly decreased in older individuals. However, this is not related to CC chemokine receptor 4, cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen, or CD11a expression by CD4(+) T cells or their physical capacity for migration. Instead, there is defective activation of dermal blood vessels in older subject that results from decreased TNF-alpha secretion by macrophages. This prevents memory T cell entry into the skin after antigen challenge. However, isolated cutaneous macrophages from these subjects can be induced to secrete TNF-alpha after stimulation with Toll-like receptor (TLR) 1/2 or TLR 4 ligands in vitro, indicating that the defect is reversible. The decreased conditioning of tissue microenvironments by macrophage-derived cytokines may therefore lead to defective immunosurveillance by memory T cells. This may be a predisposing factor for the development of malignancy and infection in the skin during aging.

J Exp Med. 2009 Aug 31;206(9):1929-40.

Immunosenescence and cancer.

Age is a major risk factor for many cancers. Although this is usually viewed in the context of the cell biology, we argue here that age-associated changes to immunity may also contribute to the age-associated increasing incidence of most cancers. This is because cancers are immunogenic (at least initially), and the immune system can and does protect against tumourigenesis. However, immune competence tends to decrease with age, a phenomenon loosely termed “immunosenescence”, implying that decreased immunosurveillance against cancer could also contribute to increased disease in the elderly. This review weighs some of the evidence for and against this possibility.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2010 Aug;75(2):165-72

Mechanisms of immunosenescence.

On April 7,8, 2009 a Symposium entitled “Pathophysiology of Successful and Unsuccessful Ageing” took place in Palermo, Italy. Here, the lectures of G. Pawelec, D. Dunn-Walters and. G. Colonna-Romano on T and B immunosenescence are summarized. In the elderly, many alterations of both innate and acquired immunity have been described. Alterations to the immune system in the older person are generally viewed as a deterioration of immunity, leading to the use of the catch-all term immunosenescence. Indeed, many immunological parameters are often markedly different in elderly compared to young people, and some, mostly circumstantial, evidence suggests that retained function of both innate and acquired immunity in the elderly is correlated with health status. What is often not clear from studies is how far immune dysfunction is a cause or an effect. A better understanding of immunosenescence and mechanisms responsible for proven deleterious changes is needed to maintain a healthy state in later life and to design possible therapeutic interventions.

Immun Ageing. 2009 Jul 22;6:10

Ageing and the immune system.

Immune system alterations during ageing are complex and pleiotropic, suggestive of remodelling or altered regulation, rather than simple immune deficiency. The most dramatic changes with age occur within the T cell compartment, the arm of the immune system that protects against pathogens and tumours, consistent with the increased incidence and severity of infection and cancer in the elderly. Indeed, autopsy studies confirm infection as the major cause of death in the very old. Increased serum levels of inflammatory mediators are another hallmark of ageing, suggestive of either regulatory defects or an ongoing attack on sub-clinical neoplastic disease or infection. Qualitative changes in antibody production, including those secreted by the gut mucosal immune compartment, affect responses to foreign antigens as well as to prophylactic vaccines. Innate immunity, the first line of defence that precedes the antigen-specific T and B cell responses, also undergoes changes with age. Some of the immune effects associated with ageing are secondary to overall organismic changes, such as alterations in the viscosity of cell membranes and proteolytic cellular machinery. Evidence suggesting that immune system changes may be involved in some major age-related pathologies, such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, will be discussed.

Novartis Found Symp. 2001;235:130-9

Production of hen egg yolk immunoglobulins simultaneously directed against Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium in the same egg yolk.

The present study was an attempt to raise hen egg yolk Ig (IgY) simultaneously directed against Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) and Salmonella Typhimurium (ST) in the same egg yolk. The immunopotentiating effect of 2 different adjuvants -- Freund’s adjuvants (FA) and immunostimulating complexes matrix (IM) -- on antibody response was also evaluated. Bacterial outer membrane proteins (OMP) were selected as target antigens. The ISA Brown hens, specific-Salmonella spp.-free status, divided into 6 groups were intramuscularly injected with a mono-compound antigen preparation: SE-OMP (treatment SE-FA or SE-IM) or ST-OMP (treatment ST-FA or ST-IM), or a combined antigen preparation: (1/2) SE-OMP and (1/2) STOMP (treatment SEST-FA or SEST-IM). Titers of antibodies in yolk were evaluated biweekly with ELISA. There was no antigen x adjuvant interaction on antibody titers. Anti-SE IgY titers in hens that received treatment SEST-FA or SEST-IM were statistically similar (P > 0.05) as compared with those obtained from hens immunized with treatment SE-FA or SE-IM. Anti-ST IgY titers in hens immunized with treatment SEST-FA or SEST-IM were slightly lower than those of hens that received treatment ST-FA or ST-IM. The cross-reactivity of anti-SE IgY, induced by treatment SE-FA or SE-IM, with ST-OMP antigen and that of anti-ST IgY, induced by ST-FA or ST-IM, with SE-OMP antigen were arbitrarily assessed on d 43 and 155 by ELISA. The average cross-reactivity of anti-SE IgY with ST-OMP antigen was 71.7%. The average cross-reactivity of anti-ST IgY with SE-OMP antigen was 78.8%. In FA groups, antibody titers were found higher (P < 0.05) than those in IM groups. Furthermore, no extensive lesions or clinical abnormalities were detected in hens injected with FA. These findings showed the opportunity to raise IgY antibody against 2 Salmonella serovars in the same yolk and that FA was more efficient than IM in mediating antibody response.

Poult Sci. 2008 Jan;87(1):32-40

The impact of egg limitations on coronary heart disease risk: do the numbers add up?

For over 25 years eggs have been the icon for the fat, cholesterol and caloric excesses in the American diet, and the message to limit eggs to lower heart disease risk has been widely circulated. The “dietary cholesterol equals blood cholesterol” view is a standard of dietary recommendations, yet few consider whether the evidence justifies such restrictions. Over 50 years of cholesterol-feeding studies show that dietary cholesterol does have a small effect on plasma cholesterol concentrations. The 167 cholesterol feeding studies in over 3,500 subjects in the literature indicate that a 100 mg change in dietary cholesterol changes plasma total cholesterol by 2.2 mg/dL. Today we recognize that dietary effects on plasma cholesterol must be viewed from effects on the atherogenic LDL cholesterol as well as anti-atherogenic HDL cholesterol since the ratio of LDL:HDL cholesterol is a major determinant of heart disease risk. Cholesterol feeding studies demonstrate that dietary cholesterol increases both LDL and HDL cholesterol with little change in the LDL:HDL ratio. Addition of 100 mg cholesterol per day to the diet increases total cholesterol with a 1.9 mg/dL increase in LDL cholesterol and a 0.4 mg/dL increase in HDL cholesterol. On average, the LDL:HDL ratio change per 100 mg/day change in dietary cholesterol is from 2.60 to 2.61, which would be predicted to have little effect on heart disease risk. These data help explain the epidemiological studies showing that dietary cholesterol is not related to coronary heart disease incidence or mortality across or within populations.

J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Oct;19(5 Suppl):540S-548S

Oral administration of specific yolk antibodies (IgY) may prevent Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in patients with cystic fibrosis: a phase I feasibility study.

Respiratory infection is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) infections ultimately occur in virtually all patients. It is impossible to eradicate PA when a patient has been chronically colonized. Immunotherapy with specific egg-yolk antibodies (IgY) may be an alternative to antibiotics for the prevention of PA infections. We wanted to determine if treatment with specific IgY can prolong the period between the first and the second PA colonization? And long-term, can the treatment diminish the number of positive PA cultures and postpone the onset of chronic colonization? CF patients gargled daily with an IgY-antibody preparation, purified from eggs of hens immunized with PA bacteria. They were compared to a group of patients who did not gargle with the preparation. Both groups had their first colonization with PA eradicated by antibiotics. The basic treatment was essentially the same in both groups. In the initial study, the period between the first and second colonization with PA was significantly prolonged for the treated vs. the control group (Kaplan-Meier P = 0.015, Breslow test). In the prolonged study, the treated group had only 2.5 sputum cultures positive for PA per 100 months of observation, and none of these patients became chronically colonized with PA. No adverse events were reported. In the control group, 13.7 cultures per 100 months of observation were positive for PA, and 5 (24%) patients became chronically colonized with PA. This feasibility study shows that antipseudomonal IgY has the potential to effectively prevent PA colonization without any severe adverse effects. A phase III study should be initiated.

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2003 Jun;35(6):433-40

Successful treatment of rotavirus diarrhea in children with immunoglobulin from immunized bovine colostrum.

BACKGROUND: Oral ingestion of immunoglobulins in humans has been shown to be effective as prophylaxis against enteric infections. However, its therapeutic effect in children with infectious diarrhea has hitherto not been proven. We treated children with rotavirus diarrhea with immunoglobulins extracted from immunized bovine colostrum (IIBC) containing high titers of antibodies against four rotavirus serotypes. METHODS: In this double blind placebo-controlled trial, 80 children with rotavirus diarrhea were randomly assigned to receive orally either 10 g of IIBC (containing 3.6 g of antirotavirus antibodies) daily for 4 days or the same amount of a placebo preparation. The daily stool output (grams/kg/day), intake of oral rehydration solution (ml/kg/day), stool frequency (number of stools/day) and presence of rotavirus in stool were monitored for the 4 days during treatment. RESULTS: Children who received IIBC had significantly less daily and total stool output and stool frequency and required a smaller amount of oral rehydration solution than did children who received placebo (P < 0.05). Clearance of rotavirus from the stool was also earlier in the IIBC group compared with the placebo group (mean day, 1.5 vs. 2.9, P < 0.001). No adverse reactions from the colostrum treatment were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with antirotavirus immunoglobulin of bovine colostral origin is effective in the management of children with acute rotavirus diarrhea.

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1998 Dec;17(12):1149-54

Effect of oral egg antibody in experimental F18+ Escherichia coli infection in weaned pigs.

The protection conferred by egg antibody specific for F18-fimbriae against infection with F18+ Escherichia coli was studied in controlled passive immunization trials involving weaned pigs. Parameters of protection consisted of body weight gain, frequency and severity of diarrhea and recovery of the challenge strain of F18+ E. coli. Weaned pigs at four weeks of age were challenge exposed once daily for three days by oral inoculation with 10(11) cfu of virulent F18+ E. coli followed by daily administration of antibody supplemented feed for 9 days starting from the first challenge day 0. Results showed a dose-dependent response to antibody treatment. The group of pigs given 1:50 titer of antibody in feed had less frequency of diarrhea (P < 0.01-0.05), higher rate of gain (P < 0.01) and lower isolation rate of challenge strain in rectal and intestinal swabs (P < 0.01) compared to non-treated control. In the same manner, the anti-F18 antibody significantly reduced adherence of F18+ E. coli to pig intestinal epithelial cells in vitro (P < 0.01). Results suggest that egg antibodies specific for the F18 fimbriae is a suitable immunotherapeutic agent for pigs infected with F18+ E. coli and that pigs can be protected from overt clinical disease and the subsequent reduced performance arising from infection with this pathogen.

J Vet Med Sci. 1997 Oct;59(10):917-21

Prevention of human rotavirus infection with chicken egg yolk immunoglobulins containing rotavirus antibody in cat.

A study was made on the passive protection against rotavirus-induced diarrhea. Chickens were immunized with bovine rotavirus (serotype 1) and the egg yolk immunoglobulins containing a high titer anti-rotavirus neutralizing antibody (CEYI) was obtained. The CEYI was then orally administered to specific-pathogen-free cats, and the cats were infected with human rotavirus. The cats treated with the CEYI remained clinically healthy after challenge, whereas diarrhea occurred in the placebo-fed cats as control. Virus antigens were detected in feces in all the diarrheal cases in the placebo-fed cats but were only sporadically detected in the CEYI-fed cats. However, the cats were only protected against rotavirus infection by the presence in the gut at the time of infection of the antibody. These results suggested that continuous administration of the CEYI is capable of preventing children from diarrhea induced by human rotavirus infection and viral shedding.

Kansenshogaku Zasshi. 1990 Jan;64(1):118-23

Gastroenteritis in suckling mice caused by human rotavirus can be prevented with egg yolk immunoglobulin (IgY) and treated with a protein-bound polysaccharide preparation (PSK).

Oral inoculation of human rotavirus MO strain (serotype 3) into 5-day-old BALB/c mice cause gastroenteritis characterized by diarrhea. Clinical symptoms, histopathological changes in the small intestine, and the detection of rotavirus antigen in enterocytes were all characteristic of rotavirus-induced gastroenteritis. Using this small animal model, passive protection of suckling mice against human rotavirus infection was achieved with the use of immunoglobulin (IgY) from the yolks of eggs of rotavirus-immunized hens. When IgY against a rotavirus strain homotypic to the challenge virus (MO strain) was administered in the mice, complete protection against rotavirus infection was achieved. On the other hand, with oral administration of IgY against a heterotypic strain (serotype 1, Wa strain), a lower protective effect was nevertheless obtained. The four different strains of human rotavirus (Wa, KUN, MO, and ST3) were inactivated in vitro by treatment with PSK, a protein-bound polysaccharide preparation, in a dose-dependent manner. Oral administration of 2.5 mg of PSK caused a therapeutic effect on experimentally MO-infected suckling mice. The antiviral effect of PSK was indicated by the reduction of the duration of diarrhea.

Microbiol Immunol. 1990;34(7):617-29

Oral passive immunization against experimental salmonellosis in mice using chicken egg yolk antibodies specific for Salmonella enteritidis and S. typhimurium.

The efficacy of chicken egg yolk homotypic antibodies specific for outer membrane proteins (OMP), lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or flagella (Fla) in controlling experimental salmonellosis in mice was investigated. Mice challenged orally with 2 x 10(9) c.f.u. of Salmonella enteritidis or 2 x 10(7) c.f.u. of S. typhimurium were orally treated with 0.2 ml anti-OMP, -LPS or -Fla yolk antibody three times a day for three consecutive days. In mice challenged with S. enteritidis, antibody treatment resulted in a survival rate of 80%, 47% and 60% using OMP, LPS or Fla specific antibodies respectively, in contrast to only 20% in control mice. In the S. typhimurium trial, survival rate was 40%, 30% and 20% using OMP, LPS or Fla specific antibodies respectively in contrast to 0% in control mice. In vitro adhesion of S. enteritidis and S. typhimurium to HeLa cells was significantly reduced by anti-OMP, -LPS, and -Fla homotypic antibodies. Results suggest that egg yolk antibodies specific for Salmonella OMP, LPS, and Fla may protect mice from experimental salmonellosis when passively administered orally. Of these antibodies, anti-OMP exhibited the highest level of protection in vivo and in vitro.

Vaccine. 1998 Feb;16(4):388-93

Prevention of fatal salmonellosis in neonatal calves, using orally administered chicken egg yolk Salmonella-specific antibodies.

OBJECTIVE: To protect neonatal calves against fatal salmonellosis within the first 2 weeks after birth, using chicken egg yolk antibodies specific against Salmonella typhimurium or S dublin. ANIMALS: 38 neonatal Holstein calves from Salmonella-free farms.PROCEDURE: After removal of the lipid components with hydroxypropylmethylcellulose phthalate, egg yolk antibodies were spray dried. At 4 days of age, calves were challenge exposed by oral inoculation with 10(11) virulent S typhimurium (experiment 1) or S dublin (experiment 2). Starting from the challenge-exposure day, egg yolk antibody preparations were administered orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days.RESULTS: In passive immunization trials, the orally administered antibodies conferred dose-dependent protection against infection with each of the homologous strains of Salmonella. Within 7 to 10 days after challenge exposure, all control calves died, whereas low-titer antibody-treated calves had 60 to 100% mortality. Only fever and diarrhea, but no deaths (P < 0.01), were observed in calves given the highest titer of antibody. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Compared with that in control calves, survival was significantly higher among calves given antibodies with titers of 500 (P < 0.05) and 1,000 (P < 0.01) homotypic for S typhimurium and with titer of 5,000 (P < 0.01) for S dublin. Egg yolk antibodies specific for whole cell S typhimurium or S dublin are protective against fatal salmonellosis when given in sufficiently high concentration, and may be clinically useful during a salmonellosis outbreak.

Am J Vet Res. 1998 Apr;59(4):416-20

Cancer statistics, 2010.

Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the United States in the current year and compiles the most recent data regarding cancer incidence, mortality, and survival based on incidence data from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Incidence and death rates are age-standardized to the 2000 US standard million population. A total of 1,529,560 new cancer cases and 569,490 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the United States in 2010. Overall cancer incidence rates decreased in the most recent time period in both men (1.3% per year from 2000 to 2006) and women (0.5% per year from 1998 to 2006), largely due to decreases in the 3 major cancer sites in men (lung, prostate, and colon and rectum [colorectum]) and 2 major cancer sites in women (breast and colorectum). This decrease occurred in all racial/ethnic groups in both men and women with the exception of American Indian/Alaska Native women, in whom rates were stable. Among men, death rates for all races combined decreased by 21.0% between 1990 and 2006, with decreases in lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer rates accounting for nearly 80% of the total decrease. Among women, overall cancer death rates between 1991 and 2006 decreased by 12.3%, with decreases in breast and colorectal cancer rates accounting for 60% of the total decrease. The reduction in the overall cancer death rates translates to the avoidance of approximately 767,000 deaths from cancer over the 16-year period. This report also examines cancer incidence, mortality, and survival by site, sex, race/ethnicity, geographic area, and calendar year. Although progress has been made in reducing incidence and mortality rates and improving survival, cancer still accounts for more deaths than heart disease in persons younger than 85 years. Further progress can be accelerated by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population and by supporting new discoveries in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment.

CA Cancer J Clin. 2010 Sep-Oct;60(5):277-300