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1/4. Genetic determinants of drug-induced agranulocytosis: potential risk of olanzapine?

    Whether or not olanzapine causes bone marrow toxicity is still a matter of debate. In spite of pre-marketing and post-marketing clinical trials, and although there have been no cases in animals of olanzapine-induced neutropenia or agranulocytosis, the risk of bone marrow toxicity cannot be excluded. The present paper addresses the following questions: what is the potential background of drug-induced agranulocytosis? Are there any case reports supporting the view that olanzapine has relevant bone marrow toxicity? What strategies might be helpful in identifying the pathological mechanisms underlying this side effect?
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2/4. Gorillas with spondyloarthropathies express an MHC class I molecule with only limited sequence similarity to HLA-B27 that binds peptides with arginine at P2.

    The human MHC class I gene, HLA-B27, is a strong risk factor for susceptibility to a group of disorders termed spondyloarthropathies (SpAs). HLA-B27-transgenic rodents develop SpAs, implicating HLA-B27 in the etiology of these disorders. Several nonhuman primates, including gorillas, develop signs of SpAs indistinguishable from clinical signs of humans with SpAs. To determine whether SpAs in gorillas have a similar HLA-B27-related etiology, we analyzed the MHC class I molecules expressed in four affected gorillas. Gogo-B01, isolated from three of the animals, has only limited similarity to HLA-B27 at the end of the alpha1 domain. It differs by several residues in the B pocket, including differences at positions 45 and 67. However, the molecular model of Gogo-B*0101 is consistent with a requirement for positively charged residues at the second amino acid of peptides bound by the MHC class I molecule. Indeed, the peptide binding motif and sequence of individual ligands eluted from Gogo-B*0101 demonstrate that, like HLA-B27, this gorilla MHC class I molecule binds peptides with arginine at the second amino acid position of peptides bound by the MHC class I molecule. Furthermore, live cell binding assays show that Gogo-B*0101 can bind HLA-B27 ligands. Therefore, although most gorillas that develop SpAs express an MHC class I molecule with striking differences to HLA-B27, this molecule binds peptides similar to those bound by HLA-B27.
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3/4. Fulminant Crohn's colitis after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

    We report a case of fulminant Crohn's colitis that occurred following non-myeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation for Hodgkin's lymphoma. adoptive transfer of inflammatory bowel disease by haematopoietic cells is recognised in several animal models of inflammatory bowel disease and remission of Crohn's disease has been reported in patients who have received a bone marrow transplant. However, adoptive transfer of Crohn's disease susceptibility leading to phenotypic manifestation of the disease after transplantation has not been previously reported. Having ruled out an infective cause of a colitis in this case, we speculated that adoptive transfer of Crohn's disease may have occurred and performed a genetic analysis of known susceptibility loci for significant donor-recipient mismatches. The donor and recipient had several haplotype mismatches in HLA class III genes at the IBD3 locus. In addition, the donor (but not the recipient) had a polymorphism of the 5' UTR of NOD2/CARD15 that may be associated with Crohn's disease. This case highlights the question of whether adoptive transfer of Crohn's disease can occur between allogeneic stem cell transplant donor and recipient, in a similar fashion to that reported for other autoimmune diseases. This report should also stimulate debate regarding the need for stem cell transplant donor screening for inflammatory bowel disease.
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4/4. Monozygous twin brothers discordant for photosensitive epilepsy: first report of possible visual priming in humans.

    PURPOSE: The interaction of genetic predisposition and the environment in the development of epilepsy is often discussed, but, aside from some animal reflex epilepsies, little evidence supports such interaction in the development of reflex epilepsy in humans. methods: We describe the history of a 16-year-old boy in whom photosensitive epilepsy developed after a period of weekly exposures to high-intensity light flashes. RESULTS: Both he and his clinically unaffected monozygotic twin were found to be photosensitive. CONCLUSIONS: This case report suggests that some genetic forms of human reflex epilepsy may be elicited by repeated environmental exposure to the appropriate stimulus, similar to some of the stimulus-induced epilepsies seen in animals.
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