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  • Andersson, Britta, 1979- (författare)
  • Manipulation of potassium ion fluxes to induce apoptosis in lung cancer cells
  • 2007
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Apoptosis is a special form of cell death that if non-functional may lead to diseases such as cancer. A reduction of the intracellular potassium ion (K+) content is necessary for activating enzymes important for the execution of apoptosis. Pharmacological modulation of K+ fluxes to reduce intracellular K+ in cancer cells might therefore force the cells into apoptosis and decrease tumour cell mass.</p> <p>Human malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a form of cancer often caused by asbestos exposure. Although asbestos has been banned in the Western World, the incidence of MPM is expected to increase. Cisplatin is the first-line chemotherapy for MPM, but acquired resistance to the drug is a clinical problem.</p> <p>This thesis is mainly based on work with the human malignant pleural mesothelioma cell line (P31 wt) and a cisplatin-resistant sub-line (P31 res). The aim was to first characterize K+ fluxes in P31 wt and P31 res cells, and then manipulate them in order to reduce intracellular K+ and induce apoptosis with K+ manipulation alone or in combination with cisplatin.</p> <p>Characterization of K+ fluxes in P31 wt cells showed that: 1) ouabain, a digitalis-like drug, and specific blocker of the Na+, K+, ATPase pump, effectively inhibited K+ uptake, 2) bumetanide, a diuretic, and an inhibitor of the Na+, K+, 2Cl-¬-cotransporter, had a transient effect on K+ uptake, and 3) the antifungal drug amphotericin B stimulated K+ efflux.</p> <p>In order to determine intracellular K+ content, the potassium-binding fluorescent probe PBFI-AM was used in a 96-well plate assay. After a 3-h incubation with ouabain, with or without bumetanide, combined with amphotericin B, the intracellular K+ content was reduced in P31 wt cells but not in P31 res cells.</p> <p>Ouabain induced apoptosis in both P31 wt and P31 res cells. P31 res cells were sensitized to cisplatin by ouabain, since 10 mg/L cisplatin in combination with ouabain induced about the same percentage of apoptotic cells as 40 mg/L cisplatin. Apoptosis was executed via caspase-3 activation in both P31 wt and P31 res cells. Amphotericin B enhanced ouabain-induced apoptosis in P31 wt cells via caspase-9 activation, with increased caspase-3 activation and DNA fragmentation as consequences. Ouabain-induced apoptosis in P31 res cells was executed via increased expression of pro-apoptotic Bak. The combination of cisplatin with ouabain and amphotericin B was stressful to both P31 wt and P31 res cells, since SAPK/JNK a known factor in stress-induced apoptosis was activated.</p> <p>In conclusion, K+ flux manipulation with clinical used drugs can induce apoptosis per se and also enhance cisplatin-induced apoptosis in P31 wt and P31 res cells.</p>
  • Andersson, Christopher, 1987- (författare)
  • Regulatory pathways and virulence inhibition in <em>Listeria monocytogenes</em>
  • 2016
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p><em>Listeria monocytogenes</em> is a rod-shaped Gram positive bacterium. It generally exist ubiquitously in nature, where it lives as a saprophyte. Occasionally it however enters the food chain, from where it can be ingested by humans and cause gastro-intestinal distress. In immunocompetent individuals <em>L. monocytogenes</em> is generally cleared within a couple of weeks, but in immunocompromised patients it can progress to listeriosis, a potentially life-threatening infection in the central nervous system. If the infected individual is pregnant, the bacteria can cross the placental barrier and infect the fetus, possibly leading to spontaneous abortion.</p><p>The infectivity of <em>L. monocytogenes</em> requires a certain set of genes, and the majority of them is dependent on the transcriptional regulator PrfA. The expression and activity of PrfA is controlled at several levels, and has traditionally been viewed to be active at 37 °C (virulence conditions) where it bind as a homodimer to a “PrfA-box” and induces the expression of the downstream gene.</p><p>One of these genes is ActA, which enables intracellular movement by recruiting an actin polymerizing protein complex. When studying the effects of a blue light receptor we surprisingly found an effect of ActA at non-virulent conditions, where it is required for the bacteria to properly react to light exposure.</p><p>To further study the PrfA regulon we tested deletion mutants of several PrfA-regulated virulence genes in chicken embryo infection studies. Based on these studies we could conclude that the chicken embryo model is a viable complement to traditional murine models, especially when investigating non-traditional internalin pathogenicity pathways. We have also studied the effects of small molecule virulence inhibitors that, by acting on PrfA, can inhibit <em>L. monocytogenes</em> infectivity in cell cultures with concentrations in the low micro-molar range.</p>
  • Andersson, Charlotta, 1976- (författare)
  • Significance of Wilms’ tumor gene 1 as a biomarker in acute leukemia and solid tumors
  • 2016
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Wilms’ tumor gene 1 (<em>WT1</em>) is a zinc finger transcriptional regulator with crucial functions in embryonic development. Originally <em>WT1</em> was described as a tumor suppressor gene, but later studies have shown oncogenic properties of <em>WT1</em> in a variety of tumors. Because of its dual functions in tumorigenesis, <em>WT1</em> has been described as a chameleon gene. In this thesis, the significance of <em>WT1 </em>as a biomarker was investigated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), ovarian carcinoma (OC) and childhood B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL).</p><p>Previous studies have suggested that<em> </em>expression of<em> WT1</em> is a potential marker for detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) in AML. We aimed to define expression of <em>WT1</em> as an MRD marker in AML. In adult AML patients, we found that a reduction of <em>WT1</em> expression in bone marrow (≥ 1-log) detected less than 1 month after diagnosis was associated with an improved overall survival (OS) and freedom from relapse (FFR). In peripheral blood, a reduction of <em>WT1</em> expression (≥ 2-log) detected between 1 and 6 months after treatment initiation was associated with an improved OS and FFR.</p><p><em>WT1</em> harbor pathogenic genetic variants in a considerable proportion of AML and T-lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), but mutations have not been reported in BCP-ALL. We aimed to evaluate the clinical impact of <em>WT1</em> mutations and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in BCP-ALL. Pathogenic mutations in the <em>WT1</em> gene were rarely seen in childhood BCP-ALL. However, five <em>WT1</em> SNPs were identified. In survival analyses, <em>WT1</em> SNP rs1799925 was found to be associated with worse OS, indicating that <em>WT1</em> SNP rs1799925 may be a useful marker for clinical outcome in childhood BCP-ALL. We also explored whether <em>WT1</em> mutations and SNPs in ccRCC could be used as biomarkers for risk and treatment stratification. We therefore examined whether SNPs or mutations in <em>WT1</em> were associated with <em>WT1</em> expression and clinical outcome. Sequencing analysis revealed that none of the previously reported <em>WT1</em> mutations were found in ccRCC; however, we identified six different <em>WT1 </em>SNPs. Our data suggest that pathogenic <em>WT1</em> mutations are not involved in ccRCC, and the prognostic significance of <em>WT1</em> SNPs in ccRCC is considerably weak. However, a favorable OS and disease-specific survival were found in the few cases harboring the homozygous minor allele.</p><p>OC has a poor prognosis, and early effective screening markers are lacking. Serous OCs are known to express the WT1 protein. Overexpressed oncogenic proteins can be considered potential candidate antigens for cancer vaccines and T-cell therapy. It was therefore of great interest to investigate whether anti-WT1 IgG antibody (Ab) measurements in plasma could serve as biomarkers of anti-OC response. We found limited prognostic impact, but the results indicated that anti-WT1 IgG Ab measurements in plasma and WT1 staining in tissue specimens could be potential biomarkers for patient outcome in the high-risk subtypes of OCs.</p><p>In conclusion, the results of this thesis indicate that <em>WT1</em> gene expression can provide information about MRD of patients with AML, and <em>WT1</em> SNP rs1799925 may be used as a biomarker for predicting clinical outcome in childhood BCP-ALL. In ccRCC, the prognostic significance of <em>WT1</em> SNPs is weak and limited to the subgroup of patients that are homozygous for the minor allele. In OCs anti-WT1 IgG Ab measurement in plasma and WT1 staining in tissue specimens could possibly be used as biomarkers for predicting patient outcome in the high-risk subtypes of OCs.</p>
  • Andersson, Emma, 1978- (författare)
  • Human adenoviruses new bioassays for antiviral screening and CD46 interaction
  • 2010
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Adenoviruses are common pathogens all over the world. The majority of the population has at some point been infected with an adenovirus. Although severe disease can occur in otherwise healthy individuals an adenovirus infection is most commonly self limited in these cases. For immunocompromised individuals however, adenoviruses can be life-threatening pathogens capable of causing disseminated disease and multiple organ failure. Still there is no approved drug specific for treatment of adenovirus infections. We have addressed this using a unique whole cell viral replication reporter gene assay to screen small organic molecules for anti-adenoviral effect. This RCAd11pGFP-vector based assay allowed screening without any preconceived idea of the mechanism for adenovirus inhibition. As a result of the screening campaign 2-[[2-(benzoylamino)benzoyl]amino]-benzoic acid turned out to be a potent inhibitor of adenoviral replication. To establish a structure-activity relationship a number of analogs were synthesized and evaluated for their anti-adenoviral effect. The carboxylic acid moiety of the molecule was important for efficient inhibition of adenovirus replication.</p><p>There are 54 adenovirus types characterized today and these are divided into seven species, A-G. The receptors used by species B and other adenoviruses are not fully characterized. CD46 is a complement regulatory molecule suggested to be used by all species B types and some species D types but this is not established. We have designed a new bioassay for assessment of the interaction between adenoviruses and CD46 and investigated the CD46-binding capacity of adenovirus types indicated to interact with CD46. We concluded that Ad11p, Ad34, Ad35, and Ad50 clearly bind CD46 specifically, whereas Ad3p, Ad7p, Ad14, and Ad37 do not.</p><p>CD46 is expressed on all human nucleated cells and serves as a receptor for a number of different bacteria and viruses. Downregulation of CD46 on the cell surface occurs upon binding by some of these pathogens. We show that early in infection Ad11p virions downregulate CD46 upon binding to a much higher extent than the complement regulatory molecules CD55 and CD59.</p><p>These findings may lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of adenoviruses in general and species B adenoviruses in particular and hopefully we have discovered a molecule that can be the basis for development of new anti-adenoviral drugs.</p>
  • Andersson-Evelönn, Emma, 1983- (författare)
  • DNA methylation as a prognostic marker in clear cell Renal Cell Carcinoma
  • 2020
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Populärvetenskaplig sammanfattning</p><p>Klarcellig njurcancer är den vanligaste form av njurcancer. I Sverige diagnostiseras ca 1 000 individer årligen med sjukdomen. Idag upptäcks ofta njurcancer när patienter undersöks med bilddiagnostik av buken av andra anledningar, exempelvis vid oklar buksmärta och vid trauma. Detta gör att tumörerna upptäcks innan de hunnit ge symtom och andelen patienter med spridd sjukdom vid diagnos är under 20%, jämfört med över 30% i början av milleniet.</p><p>Den enda botande behandling som finns för njurcancer är total eller partiell nefrektomi, vilket innebär att hela njuren eller delen av njuren med tumör opereras bort. Om sjukdomen upptäcks tidigt, innan den hunnit sprida sig till kringliggande organ, är prognosen god och 90% av patienterna lever minst fem år efter diagnos. Är sjukdomen spridd vid diagnos finns det idag behandlingar som förlänger överlevnadstiden, och ny immunbehandling som också kan bota sjukdomen.</p><p>Även om klarcellig njurcancer som är begränsad till njuren botas när tumören avlägsnas är det ungefär en tredjedel av dessa patienter som drabbas av en ny njurtumör eller spridning till andra organ inom fem år efter diagnos. Behovet av att identifiera dessa patienter är stort när de är i behov av tilläggsbehandling. Idag utgår klinikerna från hur tumören ser ut när de bestämmer hur patienterna ska följas efter kirurgi, vid karakteristika som talar för en hög risk för spridning följs patienterna tätare och under längre tid.</p><p>Genom att analysera hur ccRCC tumörer ser ut på cellnivå har skillnader i genuttryck och DNA-sekvenser kunna identifieras. Att utnyttja dessa skillnader är viktiga för att identifiera tumörer med ökad risk för spridning.</p><p>I min avhandling har vi analyserat DNA metylering i klarcellig njurcancer vid diagnos. DNA metylering är en epigenetisk förändring, en förändring på DNA nivå som inte påverkar DNA sekvensen men kan påverkar vilka gener som uttrycks i cellerna. Nivåerna av DNA metylering skiljer sig mellan olika prognostiska grupper ccRCC. De tumörer som vid diagnos redan spridit sig till kringliggande organ har en högre grad av metylering jämfört med de tumörer som växer endast i njuren. Vi har även kunnat visa på skillnader mellan de lokala tumörer som senare sprids. Detta gör att DNA metylering kan användas som prognostisk markör i ccRCC.</p><p></p><p></p><p></p>
  • Andersson, Gustav, 1983- (författare)
  • Influences of paratendinous innervation and non-neuronal substance P in tendinopathy studies on human tendon tissue and an experimental model of Achilles tendinopathy
  • 2010
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Pain of the musculoskeletal system is one of the most common reasons for people seeking medical attention, and is also one of the major factors that prevent patients from working. Chronic tendon pain, tendinopathy, affects millions of workers world-wide, and the Achilles tendon is an important structure often afflicted by this condition. The pathogenesis of tendinopathy is poorly understood, but it is thought to be of multifactoral aetiology. It is known that tendon pain is often accompanied not only by impaired function but also by structural tissue changes, like vascular proliferation, irregular collagen organisation, and hypercellularity, whereby the condition is called tendinosis. In light of the poor knowledge of tendinosis pathophysiology and recent findings of a non-neuronal signalling system in tendon tissue, the contributory role of neuropeptides such as substance P (SP) has gained increased interest. SP, known for afferent pain signalling in the nervous system, also has multiple efferent functions and has been described to be expressed by non-neuronal cells. As pain is the most prominent symptom of tendinopathy, the focus of the studies in this thesis was the innervation patterns of the tissue ventral to the Achilles tendon (i.e. the tissue targeted in many contemporary treatment methods) as well as the distribution of SP and its preferred receptor, the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R), in the tendon tissue itself. It was hereby hypothesised that the source of SP affecting the Achilles tendon might be the main cells of the tendon tissue (the tenocytes) as well as paratendinous nerves, and that SP might be involved in tendinosis- development. The studies were conducted, via morphological staining methods including immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation, on tendon biopsies from patients suffering from Achilles tendinosis and on those from healthy volunteers. The hypothesis of the thesis was furthermore tested using an experimental animal model (rabbit) of Achilles tendinopathy, which was first validated. The model was based on a previously established overuse protocol of repetitive exercise. In the human biopsies of the tissue ventral to the Achilles tendon, there was a marked occurrence of sympathetic innervation, but also sensory, SP-containing, nerve fibres. NK-1R was expressed on blood vessels and nerve fascicles of the paratendinous tissue, but also on the tenocytes of the tendon tissue proper itself, and notably more so in patients suffering from tendinosis. Furthermore, the human tenocytes displayed not only NK-1R mRNA but also mRNA for SP. The animal model was shown to produce objectively verified tendinosis-like changes, such as hypercellularity and increased vascularity, in the rabbit Achilles tendons, after a minimum of three weeks of the exercise protocol. The contralateral leg of the animals in the model was found to be an unreliable control, as bilateral changes occured. The model furthermore demonstrated that exogenously administered SP triggers an inflammatory response in the paratendinous tissue and accelerates the intratendinous tendinosis-like changes such that they now occur after only one week of the protocol. Injections of saline as a control showed similar results as SP concerning hypercellularity, but did not lead to vascular changes or pronounced paratendinous inflammation. In summary, this thesis concludes that interactions between the peripheral sympathetic and sensory nervous systems may occur in Achilles tendinosis at the level of the ventral paratendinous tissue, a region thought to be of great importance in chronic tendon pain since many successful treatments are directed toward it. Furthermore, the distribution of NK-1R:s in the Achilles tendon described in these studies gives a basis for SP, whether produced by nerves mainly outside the tendon or by tenocytes within the tendon, to affect blood vessels, nerve structures, and/or tendon cells, especially in tendinosis patients. In light of this and of previously known SP-effects, such as stimulation of angiogenesis, pain signalling, and cell proliferation, the proposed involvement of SP in tendinosis development seems likely. Indeed, the animal model of Achilles tendon overuse confirms that SP does induce vascular proliferation and hypercellularity in tendon tissue, thus strengthening theories of SP playing a role in tendinosis pathology.</p>
  • Andersson, Henrik, 1972- (författare)
  • A microarray analysis of the host response to infection with Francisella tularensis
  • 2006
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Francisella tularensis is a gram-negative bacterium that is the cause of the serious and sometimes fatal disease, tularemia, in a wide range of animal species and in humans. The response of cells of the mouse macrophage cell line J774 to infection with Francisella tularensis LVS was analyzed by means of a DNA microarray. It was observed that the infection conferred an oxidative stress upon the target cells and many of the host defense mechanisms appeared to be intended to counteract this stress. The infection was characterized by a very modest inflammatory response.</p> <p>Tularemia caused by inhalation of F. tularensis subspecies tularensis is one of the most aggressive infectious diseases known. We used the mouse model to examine in detail the host immune response in the lung. After an aerosol challenge all mice developed clinical signs of severe disease, showed weight loss by day four of infection, and died the next day. Gene transcriptional changes in the mouse lung samples were examined on day one, two, and four of infection. Genes preferentially involved in host immune responses were activated extensively on day four but on day one and two, only marginally or not at all. Several genes upregulated on day four are known to depend on IFN-gamma or TNF-alpha for their regulation. In keeping with this finding, TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma levels were found to be increased significantly in bronchoalveolar lavage on day four.</p> <p>We undertook an analysis of the transcriptional response in peripheral blood during the course of ulceroglandular tularemia by use of Affymetrix microarrays. Samples were obtained from seven individuals at five occasions during two weeks after the first hospital visit and convalescent samples three months later. In total 265 genes were differentially expressed. The most prominent changes were noted in samples drawn on days 2-3 and a considerable proportion of the upregulated genes appeared to represent an IFN-gamma-induced response and also a pro-apoptotic response. Genes involved in the generation of innate and acquired immune responses were found to be downregulated, presumably a pathogen-induced event. A logistic regression analysis revealed that seven genes were good predictors of the early phase of tularemia.</p> <p>Recently, a large number of methods for the analysis of microarray data have been proposed but there are few comparisons of their relative performances. We undertook a study to evaluate established and novel methods for filtration, background adjustment, scanning, and censoring. For all analyses, the sensitivities at low false positive rates were observed together with a bias measurement. In general, there was a trade off between the analyses ability to identify differentially expressed genes and their ability to obtain unbiased estimators of the desired ratios. A commonly used standard analysis using background adjustment performed poorly. Interestingly, the constrained model combining data from several scans resulted in high sensitivities. For experiments where only low false discovery rates are acceptable, the use of the constrained model or the novel partial filtration method are likely to perform better than some commonly used standard analyses.</p>
  • Andersson, Jonas, 1969- (författare)
  • Adipose tissue as an active organ  blood flow regulation and tissue-specific glucocorticoid metabolism
  • 2011
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>Background: Despite advances in the treatment of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. With the population getting older and more obese, the burden of cardiovascular disease may further increase. Premenopausal women are relatively protected against cardiovascular disease compared to men, but the reasons for this sex difference are partly unknown. Redistribution of body fat from peripheral to central depots may be a contributing factor. Central fat is associated with hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance. Two possible mediators of these metabolic disturbances are tissue-specific production of the stress hormone cortisol and adipose tissue blood flow (ATBF). The aim of this thesis was to determine the adipose tissue production of cortisol by the enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) and to investigate the regulation of ATBF.</p> <p>Materials and Methods: Cortisol release was estimated by labeled cortisol infusions and tissue-specific catheterizations of subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in men. We investigated ATBF by 133Xe-washout and its relation to autonomic activity, endothelial function, adipose tissue distribution, and adipokines in different groups of women. We further investigated the effect of two diets and of weight loss on ATBF in women.</p> <p>Results: We demonstrated significant cortisol release from subcutaneous adipose tissue in humans. Splanchnic cortisol release was accounted for entirely by the liver. Cortisol release from VAT (to the portal vein) was not detected. ATBF decreased according to increasing weight and postmenopausal status, and the level of blood flow was associated with nitric oxide (NO) activity and autonomic activity. ATBF was also highly associated with leptin levels and both subcutaneous adipose tissue and VAT areas. After 6 months of diet and weight reduction, a significant difference in ATBF was observed between diet groups.</p> <p>Conclusions: Our data for the first time demonstrate the contributions of cortisol generated from subcutaneous adipose tissue, visceral tissues, and liver by 11β-HSD1. ATBF is linked to autonomic activity, NO activity, and the amount of adipose tissue (independent of fat depot). Postmenopausal overweight women exhibited a loss of ATBF flexibility, which may contribute to the metabolic dysfunction seen in this group. Weight loss in a diet program could not increase the ATBF, although there were ATBF differences between diet groups. The results will increase understanding of adipose tissue biology and contribute to the development of treatment strategies targeting obesity and obesity-related disorders.</p>
  • Andersson, Jenny (författare)
  • Genusgörande och läkarblivande attityder, föreställningar och förväntningar bland läkarstudenter i Sverige
  • 2012
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • <p>The inclusion of a gender perspective in medicine has shown that gender is an essential factor in health and disease, in medical encounters and also in medical students’ educational environment. The aim of this study was to explore attitudes, preconceptions and norms regarding gender within medical education and processes of gender bias. First, we explored medical students gendered beliefs about patients. Second, we examined the medical students ideas about their future careers. Third, we compared awareness on gender issues among medical students in Sweden and the Netherlands.</p><p><strong>Method and material</strong></p><p>The analyses were based on data from two different sources: one experimental study based on authentic patient narratives about being diagnosed with cancer and one extensive questionaire exploring different aspects of gender issues in medical education. Both studies had a design which enabled both qualitative and quantitative research and mixed methods was used.</p><p>Study I (Paper I and II): Eighty-one anonymous letters from patients were read by 130 students of medicine and psychology. For each letter the students were asked to state the patient’s sex and explain their choice. In paper I the students’ success rates were analysed statistically and the explanations to four letters were used to illustrate the students’ reasoning. Paper II examined the 87 medical students’ explanations closer to examine gender beliefs about patients.</p><p>Study II (Paper III and IV): The questionaire started with an open question where medical students were asked to describe their ideal future, it also included a validated scale designed to estimate gender awareness. Paper III examined 507 swedish medical students descriptions about their ideal future and compared answers from male and female students in the beginning and at the end of medical school. Paper IV compared gender awareness among 1096 Swedish and Dutch medical students in first term.</p><p><strong>Findings with reflections</strong></p><p>Paper I showed that the patient’s sex was correctly identified in 62% of the cases. There were no difference between the results of male and female students. However, large differences between letters were observed, i.e. there were some letters were almost all students correctly identified the patient´s sex, others were almost all students were incorrect and most letters were found somewhere in the middle. Another significant finding was that the same expressions were interpreted differently depending on which initial guess the medical student had made regarding the sex of the patient.</p><p>Paper II identified 21 categories of justifications within the students’ explanations, twelve of which were significantly associated with an assumption of either a male or female patient. Only three categories led to more correct identifications of the patients’ sex and two were more often associated with incorrect assignments. The results illustrate how beliefs about gender difference, even though they might be recognizable on a group level, are not applicable on individuals. Furthermore, the results show that medical students enter the education with beliefs about male and female patients, which could have consequenses and cause bias in their future work as doctors.</p><p>Paper III found that almost all students, both male and female, were work-oriented. However, the female students even more so than their male counterparts. This result is particularly interesting in regards to the debate about the “feminization of medicine” in which the increasing number of female students has been adressed as a problem. When reflecting on their own lifes and their future its obvious that medical students nowadays, male and female, expect more to life than work, especially those who are on the doorstep to their professional life.</p><p>Paper IV found that the national and cultural setting was the most crucial impact factor in relation to the medical students preconceptions and awareness about gender. The Swedish students expressed less stereotypic thinking about patients and doctors, while the Dutch students were more sensitive to gender difference. In both countries, the students’ sex mattered for gender stereotyping, with male students agreeing more to stereotypes.</p><p><strong>Conclusions</strong></p><p>A gender perspective is important in medical education. Our studies show that such initiatives needs to take cultural aspects, gender attitudes and students’ gender into account. Moreover, reflections on assumptions about men and women, patients as well as doctors, need to be included in medical curricula and the impact of implicit gender beliefs needs to be included in discussions on gender bias in health care. Also, the next generation of doctors want more to life than work. Future Swedish doctors, both female and male, intend to balance work not only with a family but also with leisure. This attitudinal change towards their future work as doctors will provide the health care system with a challenge to establish more adaptive and flexible work conditions.</p>
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