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OBJECTIVE - Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common surgical emergency in preterm infants, and pathogenesis associates with changes in the fecal microbiome. As fecal samples incompletely represent microbial communities in intestinal mucosa, we sought to determine the NEC tissue-specific microbiome and assess its contribution to pathogenesis.
DESIGN - We amplified and sequenced the V1-V3 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene extracted from intestinal tissue and corresponding fecal samples from 12 surgical patients with NEC and 14 surgical patients without NEC. Low quality and non-bacterial sequences were removed, and taxonomic assignment was made with the Ribosomal Database Project. Operational taxonomic units were clustered at 97%. We tested for differences between NEC and non-NEC samples in microbiome alpha- and beta-diversity and differential abundance of specific taxa between NEC and non-NEC samples. Additional analyses were performed to assess the contribution of other demographic and environmental confounding factors on the infant tissue and fecal microbiome.
RESULTS - The fecal and tissue microbial communities were different. NEC was associated with a distinct microbiome, which was characterized by low diversity, higher abundances of Staphylococcus and Clostridium_sensu_stricto, and lower abundances of Actinomyces and Corynebacterium. Infant age and vancomycin exposure correlated with shifts in the tissue microbiome.
CONCLUSION - The observed low diversity in NEC tissues suggests that NEC is associated with a bacterial bloom and a distinct mucosal bacterial community. The exact bacterial species that constitute the bloom varied by infant and were strongly influenced by age and exposure to vancomycin.
RATIONALE & OBJECTIVE - Inflammation, cardiac remodeling, and fibrosis may explain in part the excess risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15), galectin 3 (Gal-3), and soluble ST2 (sST2) are possible biomarkers of these pathways in patients with CKD.
STUDY DESIGN - Observational cohort study.
SETTING & PARTICIPANTS - Individuals with CKD enrolled in either of 2 multicenter CKD cohort studies: the Seattle Kidney Study or C-PROBE (Clinical Phenotyping and Resource Biobank Study).
EXPOSURES - Circulating GDF-15, Gal-3, and sST2 measured at baseline.
OUTCOMES - Primary outcome was all-cause mortality. Secondary outcomes included hospitalization for physician-adjudicated heart failure and the atherosclerotic CVD events of myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accident.
ANALYTIC APPROACH - Cox proportional hazards models used to test the association of each biomarker with each outcome, adjusting for demographics, CVD risk factors, and kidney function.
RESULTS - Among 883 participants, mean estimated glomerular filtration rate was 49±19mL/min/1.73m. Higher GDF-15 (adjusted HR [aHR] per 1-SD higher, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.53-2.29), Gal-3 (aHR per 1-SD higher, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.36-1.78), and sST2 (aHR per 1-SD higher, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.17-1.58) concentrations were significantly associated with mortality. Only GDF-15 level was also associated with heart failure events (HR per 1-SD higher, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.12-2.16). There were no detectable associations between GDF-15, Gal-3, or sST2 concentrations and atherosclerotic CVD events.
LIMITATIONS - Event rates for heart failure and atherosclerotic CVD were low.
CONCLUSIONS - Adults with CKD and higher circulating GDF-15, Gal-3, and sST2 concentrations experienced greater mortality. Elevated GDF-15 concentration was also associated with an increased rate of heart failure. Further work is needed to elucidate the mechanisms linking these circulating biomarkers with CVD in patients with CKD.
Copyright © 2018 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Extent of response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, tumor size, and patient age are important prognostic variables for patients with osteosarcoma, but applying information from these continuous variables in survival models is difficult. Dichotomization is usually inappropriate and alternative statistical techniques should be considered instead. Nonlinear multivariable regression methods (restricted cubic splines and fractional polynomials) were applied to data from the National Cancer Database to model continuous prognostic factors for overall survival from localized, high-grade osteosarcoma of the appendicular and nonspinal skeleton following neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgical resection (N=2493). The assumption that log hazard ratios were linear in relation to these continuous prognostic factors was tested using likelihood ratio tests of model deviance and Wald tests of spline coefficients. Log hazard ratios for increasing patient age were linear over the range of 4 to 80 years, but showed evidence for variation in the coefficient over elapsed follow-up time. Tumor size also showed a linear relationship with log hazard over the range of 1 to 30 cm. Hazard ratios for chemotherapy effect profoundly deviated from log-linear (P<0.004), with significantly decreased hazard for death from baseline for patients with ≥90% tumor necrosis (hazard ratio, 0.32; 95% confidence interval, 0.20-0.52; P<0.0001). Important implications of these results include: (1) ≥90% tumor necrosis defines good chemotherapy response in a clinically useful manner; (2) staging osteosarcoma by dichotomizing tumor size is inappropriate; and (3) patient age can be modeled as a linear effect on the log hazard ratio in prognostic models with the caveat that risk may change over duration of the analysis.
OBJECTIVE - Excess deposition of fat within and around vital organs and nonadipose tissues is hypothesized to contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We evaluated the association of abdominal intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) volume with coronary artery calcification in the CARDIA study (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) participants.
APPROACH AND RESULTS - We measured IMAT in the abdominal muscles, visceral adipose tissue and pericardial adipose tissue, and coronary artery calcification using computed tomography in 3051 CARDIA participants (56% women) at the CARDIA year 25 examination (2010-2011). Mean IMAT volume and mean IMAT/total muscle volume (IMAT normalized for muscle size) were calculated in a 10-mm block of slices centered at L3-L4. Multivariable analyses included potential confounders and traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors. Compared with the lowest quartile, the upper quartile of abdominal IMAT volume was associated with higher coronary artery calcification prevalence (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.6 [1.2-2.1]) after adjusting for cardiovascular disease risk factors. Results were similar for highest versus lowest quartile of IMAT normalized to total muscle volume (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.5 [1.1-2.0]). Significant associations of higher IMAT and normalized IMAT with coronary artery calcification prevalence persisted when body mass index, visceral adipose tissue, or pericardial adipose tissue were added to the models.
CONCLUSIONS - In a large, community-based, cross-sectional study, we found that higher abdominal skeletal muscle adipose tissue volume was associated with subclinical atherosclerosis independent of traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors and other adipose depots.
© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.
It is unclear whether genetic markers interact with risk factors to influence atrial fibrillation (AF) risk. We performed genome-wide interaction analyses between genetic variants and age, sex, hypertension, and body mass index in the AFGen Consortium. Study-specific results were combined using meta-analysis (88,383 individuals of European descent, including 7,292 with AF). Variants with nominal interaction associations in the discovery analysis were tested for association in four independent studies (131,441 individuals, including 5,722 with AF). In the discovery analysis, the AF risk associated with the minor rs6817105 allele (at the PITX2 locus) was greater among subjects ≤ 65 years of age than among those > 65 years (interaction p-value = 4.0 × 10). The interaction p-value exceeded genome-wide significance in combined discovery and replication analyses (interaction p-value = 1.7 × 10). We observed one genome-wide significant interaction with body mass index and several suggestive interactions with age, sex, and body mass index in the discovery analysis. However, none was replicated in the independent sample. Our findings suggest that the pathogenesis of AF may differ according to age in individuals of European descent, but we did not observe evidence of statistically significant genetic interactions with sex, body mass index, or hypertension on AF risk.
In the developing hypothalamus, the fat-derived hormone leptin stimulates the growth of axons from the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) to other regions that control energy balance. These projections are significantly reduced in leptin deficient (Lep ) mice and this phenotype is largely rescued by neonatal leptin treatments. However, treatment of mature Lep mice is ineffective, suggesting that the trophic action of leptin is limited to a developmental critical period. To temporally delineate closure of this critical period for leptin-stimulated growth, we treated Lep mice with exogenous leptin during a variety of discrete time periods, and measured the density of Agouti-Related Peptide (AgRP) containing projections from the ARH to the ventral part of the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (DMHv), and to the medial parvocellular part of the paraventricular nucleus (PVHmp). The results indicate that leptin loses its neurotrophic potential at or near postnatal day 28. The duration of leptin exposure appears to be important, with 9- or 11-day treatments found to be more effective than shorter (5-day) treatments. Furthermore, leptin treatment for 9 days or more was sufficient to restore AgRP innervation to both the PVHmp and DMHv in Lep females, but only to the DMHv in Lep males. Together, these findings reveal that the trophic actions of leptin are contingent upon timing and duration of leptin exposure, display both target and sex specificity, and that modulation of leptin-dependent circuit formation by each of these factors may carry enduring consequences for feeding behavior, metabolism, and obesity risk.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Moderate drinking (vs abstinence) is associated with lower risk of CVD in the general population. We assessed whether alcohol use is associated with CVD risk in patients with NAFLD.
METHODS - We analyzed data from participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults longitudinal cohort study of 5115 black and white young adults, 18-30 years old, recruited from 4 cities in the United States from 1985 through 1986. Participants self-reported alcohol use at study entry and then again after 15, 20, and 25 years. At year 25 (2010-2011), participants underwent computed tomography examination of the thorax and abdomen and tissue Doppler echocardiography with myocardial strain measured by speckle tracking. Coronary artery calcification was defined as an Agatston score above 0. NAFLD was defined as liver attenuation <51 Hounsfield Units after exclusions. Drinkers reported 1-21 (men) or 1-14 (women) standard drinks/week at years 15, 20, or 25. Nondrinkers reported no alcohol use at years 15, 20, and 25.
RESULTS - Of the 570 participants with NAFLD (mean age, 50 years; 54% black; 46% female), 332 (58%) were drinkers; significantly higher proportions of drinkers were white, male, and with higher levels of education compared with nondrinkers (P < .05 for all). Higher proportions of drinkers had obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome compared with nondrinkers (P < .01). There was no difference in liver attenuation between groups (P = .12). After multivariable adjustment, there was no association between alcohol use and CVD risk factors (diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia) or subclinical CVD measures (coronary artery calcification, early transmitral velocity/late (atrial) transmitral velocity (E/A) ratio, global longitudinal strain).
CONCLUSIONS - In a population-based sample of individuals with NAFLD in midlife, prospectively assessed alcohol use is not associated with significant differences in risk factors for CVD or markers of subclinical CVD. In contrast to general population findings, alcohol use may not reduce the risk of CVD in patients with NAFLD.
Copyright © 2017 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Our purpose was to characterize the clinical influences, genetic risk factors, and gene mechanisms contributing to persistent cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (CisIPN) in testicular cancer survivors (TCSs). TCS given cisplatin-based therapy completed the validated EORTC QLQ-CIPN20 questionnaire. An ordinal CisIPN phenotype was derived, and associations with age, smoking, excess drinking, hypertension, body mass index, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, cumulative cisplatin dose, and self-reported health were examined for 680 TCS. Genotyping was performed on the Illumina HumanOmniExpressExome chip. Following quality control and imputation, 5.1 million SNPs in 680 genetically European TCS formed the input set. GWAS and PrediXcan were used to identify genetic variation and genetically determined gene expression traits, respectively, contributing to CisIPN. We evaluated two independent datasets for replication: Vanderbilt's electronic health database (BioVU) and the CALGB 90401 trial. Eight sensory items formed a subscale with good internal consistency (Cronbach α = 0.88). Variables significantly associated with CisIPN included age at diagnosis (OR per year, 1.06; = 2 × 10), smoking (OR, 1.54; = 0.004), excess drinking (OR, 1.83; = 0.007), and hypertension (OR, 1.61; = 0.03). CisIPN was correlated with lower self-reported health (OR, 0.56; = 2.6 × 10) and weight gain adjusted for years since treatment (OR per Δkg/m, 1.05; = 0.004). PrediXcan identified lower expressions of and and higher expression as associated with CisIPN ( value for each < 5 × 10) with replication of meeting significance criteria (Fisher combined = 0.0089). CisIPN is associated with age, modifiable risk factors, and genetically determined expression level of Further study of implicated genes could elucidate the pathophysiologic underpinnings of CisIPN. .
©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.
Over time, the long-lived proteins that are present throughout the human body deteriorate. Typically, they become racemized, truncated, and covalently cross-linked. One reaction responsible for age-related protein cross-linking in the lens was elucidated recently and shown to involve spontaneous formation of dehydroalanine (DHA) intermediates from phosphoserine. Cys residues are another potential source of DHA, and evidence for this was found in many lens crystallins. In the human lens, some sites were more prone to forming non-disulfide covalent cross-links than others. Foremost among them was Cys5 in βA4 crystallin. The reason for this enhanced reactivity was investigated using peptides. Oxidation of Cys to cystine was a prerequisite for DHA formation, and DHA production was accelerated markedly by the presence of a Lys, one residue separated from Cys5. Modeling and direct investigation of the N-terminal sequence of βA4 crystallin, as well as a variety of homologous peptides, showed that the epsilon amino group of Lys can promote DHA production by nucleophilic attack on the alpha proton of cystine. Once a DHA residue was generated, it could form intermolecular cross-links with Lys and Cys. In the lens, the most abundant cross-link involved Cys5 of βA4 crystallin attached via a thioether bond to glutathione. These findings illustrate the potential of Cys and disulfide bonds to act as precursors for irreversible covalent cross-links and the role of nearby amino acids in creating 'hotpsots' for the spontaneous processes responsible for protein degradation in aged tissues.
© 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.