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Accurate estimates of the BOLD hemodynamic response function (HRF) are crucial for the interpretation and analysis of event-related functional MRI data. To date, however, there have been no comprehensive measurements of the HRF in white matter (WM) despite increasing evidence that BOLD signals in WM change after a stimulus. We performed an event-related cognitive task (Stroop color-word interference) to measure the HRF in selected human WM pathways. The task was chosen in order to produce robust, distributed centers of activity throughout the cortex. To measure the HRF in WM, fiber tracts were reconstructed between each pair of activated cortical areas. We observed clear task-specific HRFs with reduced magnitudes, delayed onsets and prolonged initial dips in WM tracts compared with activated grey matter, thus calling for significant changes to current standard models for accurately characterizing the HRFs in WM and for modifications of standard methods of analysis of functional imaging data.
Metals are a limiting resource for pathogenic bacteria and must be scavenged from host proteins. Hemoglobin provides the most abundant source of iron in the human body and is required by several pathogens to cause invasive disease. However, the consequences of hemoglobin evolution for bacterial nutrient acquisition remain unclear. Here we show that the α- and β-globin genes exhibit strikingly parallel signatures of adaptive evolution across simian primates. Rapidly evolving sites in hemoglobin correspond to binding interfaces of IsdB, a bacterial hemoglobin receptor harbored by pathogenic Using an evolution-guided experimental approach, we demonstrate that the divergence between primates and staphylococcal isolates governs hemoglobin recognition and bacterial growth. The reintroduction of putative adaptive mutations in α- or β-globin proteins was sufficient to impair binding, providing a mechanism for the evolution of disease resistance. These findings suggest that bacterial hemoprotein capture has driven repeated evolutionary conflicts with hemoglobin during primate descent. During infection, bacteria must steal metals, including iron, from the host tissue. Therefore, pathogenic bacteria have evolved metal acquisition systems to overcome the elaborate processes mammals use to withhold metal from pathogens. uses IsdB, a hemoglobin receptor, to thieve iron-containing heme from hemoglobin within human blood. We find evidence that primate hemoglobin has undergone rapid evolution at protein surfaces contacted by IsdB. Additionally, variation in the hemoglobin sequences among primates, or variation in IsdB of related staphylococci, reduces bacterial hemoglobin capture. Together, these data suggest that has evolved to recognize human hemoglobin in the face of rapid evolution at the IsdB binding interface, consistent with repeated evolutionary conflicts in the battle for iron during host-pathogen interactions.
Copyright © 2018 Choby et al.
BACKGROUND - Increased endothelial permeability is central to shock and organ dysfunction in sepsis but therapeutics targeted to known mediators of increased endothelial permeability have been unsuccessful in patient studies. We previously reported that cell-free hemoglobin (CFH) is elevated in the majority of patients with sepsis and is associated with organ dysfunction, poor clinical outcomes and elevated markers of oxidant injury. Others have shown that Vitamin C (ascorbate) may have endothelial protective effects in sepsis. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that high levels of CFH, as seen in the circulation of patients with sepsis, disrupt endothelial barrier integrity.
METHODS - Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were grown to confluence and treated with CFH with or without ascorbate. Monolayer permeability was measured by Electric Cell-substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS) or transfer of C-inulin. Viability was measured by trypan blue exclusion. Intracellular ascorbate was measured by HPLC.
RESULTS - CFH increased permeability in a dose- and time-dependent manner with 1 mg/ml of CFH increasing inulin transfer by 50% without affecting cell viability. CFH (1 mg/ml) also caused a dramatic reduction in intracellular ascorbate in the same time frame (1.4 mM without CFH, 0.23 mM 18 h after 1 mg/ml CFH, p < 0.05). Pre-treatment of HUVECs with ascorbate attenuated CFH induced permeability.
CONCLUSIONS - CFH increases endothelial permeability in part through depletion of intracellular ascorbate. Supplementation of ascorbate can attenuate increases in permeability mediated by CFH suggesting a possible therapeutic approach in sepsis.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
RATIONALE - Cell-free hemoglobin (CFH) is a potent oxidant associated with poor clinical outcomes in a variety of clinical settings. Recent studies suggest that acetaminophen (APAP), a specific hemoprotein reductant, can abrogate CFH-mediated oxidative injury and organ dysfunction. Preoperative plasma CFH levels are independently associated with primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after lung transplant ( 1 ).
OBJECTIVES - Our objectives were to determine whether CFH would increase lung vascular permeability in the isolated perfused human lung and whether APAP would limit these effects.
METHODS - Human lungs declined for transplant were inflated and perfused with Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium/5% albumin at a pulmonary artery pressure of 8-12 mm Hg. After steady state was achieved, CFH (100 mg/dl) was added to the perfusate ± APAP (15 μg/ml). Lung permeability was measured by continuous monitoring of lung weight gain and by extravasation of Evans blue dye-labeled albumin from the vasculature into bronchoalveolar lavage. To test the mechanism of increased permeability, human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells were exposed to CFH (0.5 mg/ml) ± APAP (160 μM) for 24 hours and permeability was assessed by electrical cell-substrate impedance sensing.
MEASUREMENT AND MAIN RESULTS - In the isolated perfused human lung, CFH increased lung permeability over 2 hours compared with control lungs (12% vs. 2% weight gain from baseline, P = 0.03). Increased vascular permeability was confirmed by a 4.8-fold increase in Evans blue dye-labeled albumin in the airspace compared with control lungs. Pretreatment with APAP prevented lung weight gain (P = 0.06 vs. CFH). In human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells, CFH increased monolayer permeability (P = 0.03 vs. control), and this was attenuated by APAP (P = 0.045 vs. CFH).
CONCLUSIONS - Circulating CFH increases vascular permeability in the isolated perfused human lung and paracellular permeability in lung microvascular endothelial cells. These effects may explain the association of plasma CFH levels with PGD. The hemoprotein reductant APAP attenuates the effects of CFH and merits further exploration as a potential therapy for PGD prevention.
OBJECTIVE - Systemic loxoscelism is a rare illness resulting from the bite of the recluse spider and, in its most severe form, can lead to widespread hemolysis, coagulopathy, and death. We aim to describe the clinical features and outcomes of the largest known cohort of individuals with moderate to severe loxoscelism.
METHODS - We performed a retrospective, cross sectional study from January 1, 1995, to December 31, 2015, at a tertiary-care academic medical center, to determine individuals with clinical records consistent with moderate to severe loxoscelism. Age-, sex-, and race-matched controls were compared. Demographics, clinical characteristics, laboratory measures, and outcomes of individuals with loxoscelism are described. Case and control groups were compared with descriptive statistics and phenome-wide association study (PheWAS).
RESULTS - During the time period, 57 individuals were identified as having moderate to severe loxoscelism. Of these, only 33% had an antecedent spider bite documented. Median age of individuals diagnosed with moderate to severe loxoscelism was 14 years old (IQR 9.0-24.0 years). PheWAS confirmed associations of systemic loxoscelism with 29 other phenotypes, e.g., rash, hemolytic anemia, and sepsis. Hemoglobin level dropped an average of 3.1 g/dL over an average of 2.0 days (IQR 2.0-6.0). Lactate dehydrogenase and total bilirubin levels were on average over two times their upper limit of normal values. Eighteen individuals of 32 tested had a positive direct antiglobulin (Coombs') test. Mortality was 3.5% (2/57 individuals).
CONCLUSION - Systemic loxoscelism is a rare but devastating process with only a minority of patients recalling the toxic exposure; hemolysis reaches a peak at 2 days after admission, with some cases taking more than a week before recovery. In endemic areas, suspicion for systemic loxoscelism should be high in individuals, especially children and younger adults, presenting with a cutaneous ulcer and hemolysis or coagulopathy, even in the absence of a bite exposure history.
Staphylococcus lugdunensis is a coagulase negative bacterial pathogen that is particularly associated with severe cases of infectious endocarditis. Unique amongst the coagulase-negative staphylococci, S. lugdunensis harbors an iron regulated surface determinant locus (isd). This locus facilitates the acquisition of heme as a source of nutrient iron during infection and allows iron limitation caused by "nutritional immunity" to be overcome. The isd locus is duplicated in S. lugdunensis HKU09-01 and we show here that the duplication is intrinsically unstable and undergoes accordion-like amplification and segregation leading to extensive isd copy number variation. Amplification of the locus increased the level of expression of Isd proteins and improved binding of hemoglobin to the cell surface of S. lugdunensis. Furthermore, Isd overexpression provided an advantage when strains were competing for a limited amount of hemoglobin as the sole source of iron. Gene duplications and amplifications (GDA) are events of fundamental importance for bacterial evolution and are frequently associated with antibiotic resistance in many species. As such, GDAs are regarded as evolutionary adaptions to novel selective pressures in hostile environments pointing towards a special importance of isd for S. lugdunensis. For the first time we show an example of a GDA that involves a virulence factor of a Gram-positive pathogen and link the GDA directly to a competitive advantage when the bacteria were struggling with selective pressures mimicking "nutritional immunity".
Red blood cell (RBC) traits are important heritable clinical biomarkers and modifiers of disease severity. To identify coding genetic variants associated with these traits, we conducted meta-analyses of seven RBC phenotypes in 130,273 multi-ethnic individuals from studies genotyped on an exome array. After conditional analyses and replication in 27,480 independent individuals, we identified 16 new RBC variants. We found low-frequency missense variants in MAP1A (rs55707100, minor allele frequency [MAF] = 3.3%, p = 2 × 10(-10) for hemoglobin [HGB]) and HNF4A (rs1800961, MAF = 2.4%, p < 3 × 10(-8) for hematocrit [HCT] and HGB). In African Americans, we identified a nonsense variant in CD36 associated with higher RBC distribution width (rs3211938, MAF = 8.7%, p = 7 × 10(-11)) and showed that it is associated with lower CD36 expression and strong allelic imbalance in ex vivo differentiated human erythroblasts. We also identified a rare missense variant in ALAS2 (rs201062903, MAF = 0.2%) associated with lower mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin (p < 8 × 10(-9)). Mendelian mutations in ALAS2 are a cause of sideroblastic anemia and erythropoietic protoporphyria. Gene-based testing highlighted three rare missense variants in PKLR, a gene mutated in Mendelian non-spherocytic hemolytic anemia, associated with HGB and HCT (SKAT p < 8 × 10(-7)). These rare, low-frequency, and common RBC variants showed pleiotropy, being also associated with platelet, white blood cell, and lipid traits. Our association results and functional annotation suggest the involvement of new genes in human erythropoiesis. We also confirm that rare and low-frequency variants play a role in the architecture of complex human traits, although their phenotypic effect is generally smaller than originally anticipated.
Copyright © 2016 American Society of Human Genetics. All rights reserved.
Patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) have elevated levels of cell-free hemoglobin (CFH) in the air space, but the contribution of CFH to the pathogenesis of acute lung injury is unknown. In the present study, we demonstrate that levels of CFH in the air space correlate with measures of alveolar-capillary barrier dysfunction in humans with ARDS (r = 0.89, P < 0.001) and in mice with ventilator-induced acute lung injury (r = 0.89, P < 0.001). To investigate the specific contribution of CFH to ARDS, we studied the impact of purified CFH in the mouse lung and on cultured mouse lung epithelial (MLE-12) cells. Intratracheal delivery of CFH in mice causes acute lung injury with air space inflammation and alveolar-capillary barrier disruption. Similarly, in MLE-12 cells, CFH increases proinflammatory cytokine expression and increases paracellular permeability as measured by electrical cell-substrate impedance sensing. Next, to determine whether these effects are mediated by the iron-containing heme moiety of CFH, we treated mice with intratracheal hemin, the chloride salt of heme, and found that hemin was sufficient to increase alveolar permeability but failed to induce proinflammatory cytokine expression or epithelial cell injury. Together, these data identify CFH in the air space as a previously unrecognized driver of lung epithelial injury in human and experimental ARDS and suggest that CFH and hemin may contribute to ARDS through different mechanisms. Interventions targeting CFH and heme in the air space could provide a new therapeutic approach for ARDS.
Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
Ferric pyrophosphate citrate (FPC) is a water-soluble iron salt administered via dialysate to supply iron directly to transferrin. The PRIME study tested whether treatment with FPC could reduce prescribed erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) use and maintain hemoglobin in hemodialysis patients. This 9-month, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter clinical study included 103 patients undergoing hemodialysis 3-4 times weekly. The FPC group received dialysate containing 2 μmol/l of iron. The placebo group received standard dialysate. A blinded central anemia management group facilitated ESA dose adjustments. Intravenous iron was administered according to the approved indication when ferritin levels fell below 200 μg/l. The primary end point was the percentage change from baseline in prescribed ESA dose at end of treatment. Secondary end points included intravenous iron use and safety. At the end of treatment, there was a significant 35% reduction in prescribed ESA dose in FPC-treated patients compared with placebo. The FPC patients used 51% less intravenous iron than placebo. Adverse and serious adverse events were similar in both groups. Thus, FPC delivered via dialysate significantly reduces the prescribed ESA dose and the amount of intravenous iron needed to maintain hemoglobin in chronic hemodialysis patients.
OBJECTIVES - Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4) is implicated in modulating inflammatory cytokines though its role in atherosclerosis remains uncertain. We have recently described a non-foam cell macrophage phenotype driven by ingestion of hemoglobin:haptoglobin complexes (HH), via the scavenger receptor CD163, characterized by reduced inflammatory cytokine production. In this study, we examined the role of iron metabolism in modulating TLR4 signaling in these cells.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Areas in human atherosclerotic plaque with non-foam cell, CD163 positive macrophages demonstrated reduced expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interferon-beta (INF-β) compared to foam cells. Human macrophages differentiated in hemoglobin:haptoglobin (HH) complexes expressed the CD163 positive non-foam cell phenotype and demonstrated significantly less TNF-α and INF-β compared to control macrophages when exposed to oxidized LDL (oxLDL) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS stimulated expression of TNF-α and INF-β could be restored in HH macrophages by pretreatment with hepcidin, an endogenous suppressor of ferroportin1 (FPN), or by genetic suppression of FPN in macrophages derived from myeloid specific FPN knockout mice. LPS stimulated control macrophages demonstrated increase in TLR4 trafficking to lipid rafts; this response was suppressed in HH macrophages but was restored upon pretreatment with hepcidin. Using a pharmacologic hepcidin suppressor, we observed a decrease in cytokine expression and TLR4-lipid raft trafficking in LPS-stimulated in a murine macrophage model.
CONCLUSION - TLR4 dependent macrophage signaling is controlled via hepcidin-ferroportin1 axis by influencing TLR4-lipid raft interactions. Pharmacologic manipulation of iron metabolism may represent a promising approach to limiting TLR4-mediated inflammatory responses.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.