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Hypothalamic digoxin, hemispheric chemical dominance and sarcoidosis

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Ravi Kumar A, Kurup PA. Hypothalamic digoxin, hemispheric chemical dominance and sarcoidosis. Background/aims: 

The isoprenoid pathway produces three key metabolites: endogenous digoxin (membrane sodium-potassium ATPase inhibitor, immunomodulator and regulator of neurotransmitter/amino acid transport), dolichol (regulates N-glycosylation of proteins) and ubiquinone (free radical scavenger). The role of the isoprenoid pathway in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis in relation to hemispheric dominance was studied. Methods: 

The isoprenoid pathway-related cascade was assessed in patients with systemic sarcoidosis with pulmonary involvement. The pathway was also assessed in patients with right hemispheric, left hemispheric and bihemispheric dominance for comparison to find out the role of hemispheric dominance in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis. Results: 

In patients with sarcoidosis there was elevated digoxin synthesis, increased dolichol and glycoconjugate levels and low ubiquinone and elevated free radical levels. There was also an increase in tryptophan catabolites and a reduction in tyrosine catabolites. There was an increase in the cholesterol:phospholipid ratio and a reduction in the glycoconjugate level of red blood cell (RBC) membrane in this group of patients. The same biochemical patterns were obtained in individuals with right hemispheric dominance. In individuals with left hemispheric dominance the patterns were reversed. Conclusions: 

Endogenous digoxin, by activating the calcineurin signal transduction pathway of T cells, can contribute to immune activation in sarcoidosis. An altered glycoconjugate metabolism can lead to the generation of endogenous self-glycoprotein antigens in the lung as well as other tissues. Increased free radical generation can also lead to immune activation. The role of a dysfunctional isoprenoid pathway and endogenous digoxin in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis in relation to right hemispheric chemical dominance is discussed. All the patients with sarcoidosis were right-handed/left hemispheric dominant according to the dichotic listening test, but their biochemical patterns were suggestive of right hemispheric chemical dominance. Hemispheric chemical dominance has no correlation with handedness or the dichotic listening test.
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Keywords: digoxin; hemispheric chemical dominance; hypothalamus; isoprenoid; sarcoidosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurology, Medical College; and 2: Metabolic Disorders Research Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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