Browsing Department of Pediatrics: Faculty Research and Presentations by Subjects
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Healthy aging and disease: role for telomere biology?Aging is a biological process that affects most cells, organisms and species. Human aging is associated with increased susceptibility to a variety of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, TypeÂ 2 diabetes, neurological diseases and cancer. Despite the remarkable progress made during the last two decades, our understanding of the biology of aging remains incomplete. Telomere biology has recently emerged as an important player in the aging and disease process.
Modulation of Tumor Tolerance in Primary Central Nervous System MalignanciesCentral nervous system tumors take advantage of the unique immunology of the CNS and develop exquisitely complex stromal networks that promote growth despite the presence of antigen-presenting cells and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. It is precisely this immunological paradox that is essential to the survival of the tumor. We review the evidence for functional CNS immune privilege and the impact it has on tumor tolerance. In this paper, we place an emphasis on the role of tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells in maintaining stromal and vascular quiescence, and we underscore the importance of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase activity as a myeloid-driven tumor tolerance mechanism. Much remains to be discovered regarding the tolerogenic mechanisms by which CNS tumors avoid immune clearance. Thus, it is an open question whether tumor tolerance in the brain is fundamentally different from that of peripheral sites of tumorigenesis or whether it simply stands as a particularly strong example of such tolerance.
Review of Outcome Information in 46,XX Patients with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Assigned/Reared Male: What Does It Say about Gender Assignment?There is ample historical verification of 46,XX congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) patients being born with essentially male genitaliawhile outcome information is scant. Prior to glucocorticoid therapy, most patients died very young from adrenal insufficiency. Most available reports from laterchildhood, contain little information concerning sexual identity. Reports on older individuals lack adequate information about sexual identity and quality of life. The difficulty in assessing the relative impact of multiple dynamic environmental factors on the development of sexual identity, self- and body esteem and overall adjustment to life is clear. Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether those infants whose masculine genitalia at birth resulted in an initial male assignment would have enjoyed a better adult outcome had they been allowed to remain male rather than the female reassignment that most received. Further, one could ask whether a male sex of rearing should be considered in 46,XX CAH infants with male external genitalia. After reviewing available literature, we conclude that because those extremely virlized 46,XX CAH patients who were reared male with healthy social support demonstrated satisfactory levels of social and sexual function as adults a male sex assignment should be considered in these types of infants when social and cultural environment are supportive.