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Inflammation is increasingly thought to be associated with diabetes; however, only a few inflammation markers have been assessed concurrently in relation to history of diabetes. In the most comprehensive evaluation of inflammation markers and diabetes to date using a Luminex bead-based assay, we measured 78 inflammation-, immune-, and metabolic-related markers detectable in at least 10% of serum samples collected from participants from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer (PLCO) screening trial (n = 1,814). At baseline, 6.6% (n = 120) of PLCO participants self-reported a history of diabetes. Cross-sectional associations between these markers and self-reported diabetes were assessed using weighted logistic regression adjusting for sex, smoking status, blood draw age and year, body mass index, and cohort sub-study. Including chemokines [C-C motif ligand (CCL) 19, CCL20, CCL21, C-X-C motif ligand (CXCL) 6, CXCL10, and CXCL11] and soluble cytokine and chemokine receptors [soluble (s) interleukin (IL) 6 receptor (R), soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor (sTNFR) 1, sTNFR2, and sIL-R2], ten inflammation-related markers, were nominally associated with diabetes (P<0.05). In addition to these associations, higher levels of insulin, gastric inhibitory polypeptide, and pancreatic polypeptide remained significantly associated with self-reported diabetes with a false discovery rate <5%, indicating that the assay was able to detect markers associated with diabetes. In summary, self-reported diabetes was nominally associated with circulating cytokines, chemokines, and soluble cytokine and chemokine receptors in the most expansive examination of diabetes and inflammation- and immune-related markers to date. These results highlight the need to explore in future prospective studies the role of inflammation markers in diabetes.
AMPA receptors (AMPAR) are ligand gated ion channels critical for synaptic transmission and plasticity. Their dysfunction is implicated in a variety of psychiatric and neurological diseases ranging from major depressive disorder to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Attempting to potentiate or depress AMPAR activity is an inherently difficult balancing act between effective treatments and debilitating side effects. A newly explored strategy to target subsets of AMPARs in the central nervous system is to identify compounds that affect specific AMPAR-auxiliary subunit complexes. This exploits diverse spatio-temporal expression patterns of known AMPAR auxiliary subunits, providing means for designing brain region-selective compounds. Here we report a high-throughput screening-based pipeline that can identify compounds that are selective for GluA2-CNIH3 and GluA2-stargazin complexes. These compounds will help us build upon the growing library of AMPAR-auxiliary subunit specific inhibitors, which have thus far all been targeted to TARP γ-8. We used a cell-based assay combined with a voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) to identify changes in glutamate-gated cation flow across the membranes of HEK cells co-expressing GluA2 and an auxiliary subunit. We then used a calcium flux assay to further validate hits picked from the VSD assay. VU0612951 and VU0627849 are candidate compounds from the initial screen that were identified as negative and positive allosteric modulators (NAM and PAM), respectively. They both have lower IC50/EC50s on complexes containing stargazin and CNIH3 than GSG1L or the AMPAR alone. We have also identified a candidate compound, VU0539491, that has NAM activity in GluA2(R)-CNIH3 and GluA2(Q) complexes and PAM activity in GluA2(Q)-GSG1L complexes.
Resistant hypertension is defined as high blood pressure that remains above treatment goals in spite of the concurrent use of three antihypertensive agents from different classes. Despite the important health consequences of resistant hypertension, few studies of resistant hypertension have been conducted. To perform a genome-wide association study for resistant hypertension, we defined and identified cases of resistant hypertension and hypertensives with treated, controlled hypertension among >47,500 adults residing in the US linked to electronic health records (EHRs) and genotyped as part of the electronic MEdical Records & GEnomics (eMERGE) Network. Electronic selection logic using billing codes, laboratory values, text queries, and medication records was used to identify resistant hypertension cases and controls at each site, and a total of 3,006 cases of resistant hypertension and 876 controlled hypertensives were identified among eMERGE Phase I and II sites. After imputation and quality control, a total of 2,530,150 SNPs were tested for an association among 2,830 multi-ethnic cases of resistant hypertension and 876 controlled hypertensives. No test of association was genome-wide significant in the full dataset or in the dataset limited to European American cases (n = 1,719) and controls (n = 708). The most significant finding was CLNK rs13144136 at p = 1.00x10-6 (odds ratio = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.58-0.80) in the full dataset with similar results in the European American only dataset. We also examined whether SNPs known to influence blood pressure or hypertension also influenced resistant hypertension. None was significant after correction for multiple testing. These data highlight both the difficulties and the potential utility of EHR-linked genomic data to study clinically-relevant traits such as resistant hypertension.
Calgranulin genes (S100A8, S100A9 and S100A12) play key immune response roles in inflammatory disorders, including cardiovascular disease. Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) may have systemic and adipose tissue-specific anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective action. Interactions between calgranulins and the unsaturated fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA) have been reported, yet little is known about the relationship between calgranulins and the LC n-3 PUFA eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). We explored tissue-specific action of calgranulins in the setting of evoked endotoxemia and n-3 PUFA supplementation. Expression of calgranulins in adipose tissue in vivo was assessed by RNA sequencing (RNASeq) before and after n-3 PUFA supplementation and evoked endotoxemia in the fenofibrate and omega-3 fatty acid modulation of endotoxemia (FFAME) Study. Subjects received n-3 PUFA (n = 8; 3600mg/day EPA/DHA) or matched placebo (n = 6) for 6-8 weeks, before completing an endotoxin challenge (LPS 0.6 ng/kg). Calgranulin genes were up-regulated post-LPS, with greater increase in n-3 PUFA (S100A8 15-fold, p = 0.003; S100A9 7-fold, p = 0.003; S100A12 28-fold, p = 0.01) compared to placebo (S100A8 2-fold, p = 0.01; S100A9 1.4-fold, p = 0.4; S100A12 5-fold, p = 0.06). In an independent evoked endotoxemia study, calgranulin gene expression correlated with the systemic inflammatory response. Through in vivo and in vitro interrogation we highlight differential responses in adipocytes and mononuclear cells during inflammation, with n-3 PUFA leading to increased calgranulin expression in adipose, but decreased expression in circulating cells. In conclusion, we present a novel relationship between n-3 PUFA anti-inflammatory action in vivo and cell-specific modulation of calgranulin expression during innate immune activation.
AMPK is an energy sensor that protects cellular energy state by attenuating anabolic and promoting catabolic processes. AMPK signaling is purported to regulate hepatic gluconeogenesis and substrate oxidation; coordination of these processes is vital during nutrient deprivation or pathogenic during overnutrition. Here we directly test hepatic AMPK function in regulating metabolic fluxes that converge to produce glucose and energy in vivo. Flux analysis was applied in mice with a liver-specific deletion of AMPK (L-KO) or floxed control littermates to assess rates of hepatic glucose producing and citric acid cycle (CAC) fluxes. Fluxes were assessed in short and long term fasted mice; the latter condition is a nutrient stressor that increases liver AMP/ATP. The flux circuit connecting anaplerosis with gluconeogenesis from the CAC was unaffected by hepatic AMPK deletion in short and long term fasting. Nevertheless, depletion of hepatic ATP was exacerbated in L-KO mice, corresponding to a relative elevation in citrate synthase flux and accumulation of branched-chain amino acid-related metabolites. L-KO mice also had a physiological reduction in flux from glycogen to G6P. These results demonstrate AMPK is unnecessary for maintaining gluconeogenic flux from the CAC yet is critical for stabilizing liver energy state during nutrient deprivation.
BACKGROUND - Vaccine development for influenza A/H5N1 is an important public health priority, but H5N1 vaccines are less immunogenic than seasonal influenza vaccines. Adjuvant System 03 (AS03) markedly enhances immune responses to H5N1 vaccine antigens, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood.
OBJECTIVE AND METHODS - We compared the safety (primary endpoint), immunogenicity (secondary), gene expression (tertiary) and cytokine responses (exploratory) between AS03-adjuvanted and unadjuvanted inactivated split-virus H5N1 influenza vaccines. In a double-blinded clinical trial, we randomized twenty adults aged 18-49 to receive two doses of either AS03-adjuvanted (n = 10) or unadjuvanted (n = 10) H5N1 vaccine 28 days apart. We used a systems biology approach to characterize and correlate changes in serum cytokines, antibody titers, and gene expression levels in six immune cell types at 1, 3, 7, and 28 days after the first vaccination.
RESULTS - Both vaccines were well-tolerated. Nine of 10 subjects in the adjuvanted group and 0/10 in the unadjuvanted group exhibited seroprotection (hemagglutination inhibition antibody titer > 1:40) at day 56. Within 24 hours of AS03-adjuvanted vaccination, increased serum levels of IL-6 and IP-10 were noted. Interferon signaling and antigen processing and presentation-related gene responses were induced in dendritic cells, monocytes, and neutrophils. Upregulation of MHC class II antigen presentation-related genes was seen in neutrophils. Three days after AS03-adjuvanted vaccine, upregulation of genes involved in cell cycle and division was detected in NK cells and correlated with serum levels of IP-10. Early upregulation of interferon signaling-related genes was also found to predict seroprotection 56 days after first vaccination.
CONCLUSIONS - Using this cell-based systems approach, novel mechanisms of action for AS03-adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccination were observed.
TRIAL REGISTRATION - ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01573312.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) accounts for more than 300,000 deaths worldwide per year as a consequence of tumor cell invasion of adjacent structures or metastasis. LIM-only protein 4 (LMO4) and LIM-domain binding protein 1 (LDB1), two directly interacting transcriptional adaptors that have important roles in normal epithelial cell differentiation, have been associated with increased metastasis, decreased differentiation, and shortened survival in carcinoma of the breast. Here, we implicate two LDB1-binding proteins, single-stranded binding protein 2 (SSBP2) and 3 (SSBP3), in controlling LMO4 and LDB1 protein abundance in HNSCC and in regulating specific tumor cell functions in this disease. First, we found that the relative abundance of LMO4, LDB1, and the two SSBPs correlated very significantly in a panel of human HNSCC cell lines. Second, expression of these proteins in tumor primaries and lymph nodes involved by metastasis were concordant in 3 of 3 sets of tissue. Third, using a Matrigel invasion and organotypic reconstruct assay, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of LDB1 in the VU-SCC-1729 cell line, which is highly invasive of basement membrane and cellular monolayers, reduced tumor cell invasiveness and migration, as well as proliferation on tissue culture plastic. Finally, inactivation of the LDB1 gene in these cells decreased growth and vascularization of xenografted human tumor cells in vivo. These data show that LMO4, LDB1, and SSBP2 and/or SSBP3 regulate metastasis, proliferation, and angiogenesis in HNSCC and provide the first evidence that SSBPs control LMO4 and LDB1 protein abundance in a cancer context.
Populations in sub-Saharan Africa are shifting from rural to increasingly urban. Although the burden of cardiovascular disease is expected to increase with this changing landscape, few large studies have assessed a wide range of risk factors in urban and rural populations, particularly in West Africa. We conducted a cross-sectional, population-based survey of 3317 participants from Ghana (≥18 years old), of whom 2265 (57% female) were from a mid-sized city (Sunyani, population ~250,000) and 1052 (55% female) were from surrounding villages (populations <5000). We measured canonical cardiovascular disease risk factors (BMI, blood pressure, fasting glucose, lipids) and fibrinolytic markers (PAI-1 and t-PA), and assessed how their distributions and related clinical outcomes (including obesity, hypertension and diabetes) varied with urban residence and sex. Urban residence was strongly associated with obesity (OR: 7.8, 95% CI: 5.3-11.3), diabetes (OR 3.6, 95% CI: 2.3-5.7), and hypertension (OR 3.2, 95% CI: 2.6-4.0). Among the quantitative measures, most affected were total cholesterol (+0.81 standard deviations, 95% CI 0.73-0.88), LDL cholesterol (+0.89, 95% CI: 0.79-0.99), and t-PA (+0.56, 95% CI: 0.48-0.63). Triglycerides and HDL cholesterol profiles were similarly poor in both urban and rural environments, but significantly worse among rural participants after BMI-adjustment. For most of the risk factors, the strength of the association with urban residence did not vary with sex. Obesity was a major exception, with urban women at particularly high risk (26% age-standardized prevalence) compared to urban men (7%). Overall, urban residents had substantially worse cardiovascular risk profiles, with some risk factors at levels typically seen in the developed world.
Elevated levels of circulating pro-atherogenic uremic solutes, particularly trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), have been implicated in cardiovascular disease development in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). TMAO is generated from trimethylamine (TMA) via metabolism by hepatic flavin-containing monooxygenase isoform 3 (FMO3). We determined the functional effects of three common FMO3 variants at amino acids 158, 308, and 257 on TMAO concentrations in a prospective cohort study and evaluated associations of polymorphisms with CKD progression and mortality. Each additional minor allele at amino acid 158 was associated with a 0.38 μg/mL higher circulating TMAO (p = 0.01) and with faster rates of annualized relative eGFR decline. Participants with 0, 1 and 2 variant alleles averaged an eGFR loss of 8%, 12%, and 14% per year, respectively (p-for trend = 0.05). Compared to participants with the homozygous reference allele, heterozygous and homozygous variant participants had a 2.0-fold (95% CI: 0.85, 4.6) and 2.2-fold (95% CI: 0.89, 5.48) higher risk of mortality, respectively (p-for-trend = 0.04). No associations with clinical outcomes were observed for allelic variants at amino acids 257 or 308. Understanding the contribution of genetic variation of FMO3 to disease progression and all-cause mortality can guide recommendations for diet modification or pharmacotherapy in CKD patients at increased risk of adverse outcomes.
We performed a Phenome-Wide Association Study (PheWAS) to identify interrelationships between the immune system genetic architecture and a wide array of phenotypes from two de-identified electronic health record (EHR) biorepositories. We selected variants within genes encoding critical factors in the immune system and variants with known associations with autoimmunity. To define case/control status for EHR diagnoses, we used International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) diagnosis codes from 3,024 Geisinger Clinic MyCode® subjects (470 diagnoses) and 2,899 Vanderbilt University Medical Center BioVU biorepository subjects (380 diagnoses). A pooled-analysis was also carried out for the replicating results of the two data sets. We identified new associations with potential biological relevance including SNPs in tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and ankyrin-related genes associated with acute and chronic sinusitis and acute respiratory tract infection. The two most significant associations identified were for the C6orf10 SNP rs6910071 and "rheumatoid arthritis" (ICD-9 code category 714) (pMETAL = 2.58 x 10-9) and the ATN1 SNP rs2239167 and "diabetes mellitus, type 2" (ICD-9 code category 250) (pMETAL = 6.39 x 10-9). This study highlights the utility of using PheWAS in conjunction with EHRs to discover new genotypic-phenotypic associations for immune-system related genetic loci.