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BACKGROUND - Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors that have been linked to cognitive decline. Whether NAFLD is associated with cognitive performance in midlife remains uncertain.
METHODS - Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study participants with CT examination and cognitive assessment at Y25 (2010-2011; n = 2809) were included. Cognitive function was reassessed at Y30. NAFLD was defined according to liver attenuation and treated both continuously and categorically (using ≤ 40 and ≤ 51 Hounsfield units to define severity) after exclusion for other causes of liver fat. Cognitive tests including the Digit Symbol Substitution (processing speed), Rey Auditory Verbal Learning (verbal memory), and Stroop (executive function) were analyzed with standardized z-scores. Linear models were constructed to (a) examine the cross-sectional associations of NAFLD with cognitive scores and (b) evaluate its predictive role in 5-year change in cognitive performance.
RESULTS - Participants' mean age (Y25) was 50.1 (SD 3.6) years (57% female; 48% black), with 392 (14%) having mild NAFLD and 281 (10%) having severe NAFLD. NAFLD was positively associated with CVD risk factors and inversely associated with cognitive scores. However, after adjustment for CVD risk factors, no associations were shown between NAFLD and cognitive scores (all βs ≈ 0). Similarly, no associations were observed with 5-year cognitive decline. CVD history, hypertension, smoking, diabetes and hypertriglyceridemia showed stronger associations with baseline cognitive scores and were predictive of subsequent cognitive decline (all P ≤ .05).
CONCLUSION - Among middle-aged adults, inverse associations between NAFLD and cognitive scores were attenuated after adjustment for CVD risk factors, with the latter predictive of poorer cognitive performance both at baseline and follow-up.
Hereditary motor sensory neuropathy (HMSN/ACC) with agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC) has been documented in the French-derived populations of Charlevoix and Saguenay/Lac St. Jean in Quebec, Canada, as well as a few sporadic families throughout the world. HMSN/ACC occurs because of loss-of-function mutations in the potassium-chloride cotransporter 3 (KCC3). In HMSN/ACC, motor deficits occur early in infancy with rapid and continual deterioration of motor and sensory fibers into juvenile and adulthood. Genetic work in mice has demonstrated that the disease is caused by loss of KCC3 function in neurons and particularly parvalbumin (PV)-expressing neurons. Currently, there are no treatments or cures for HMSN/ACC other than pain management. As genetic counseling in Quebec has increased as a preventative strategy, most individuals with HSMN/ACC are now adults. The onset of the disease is unknown. In particular, it is unknown if the disease starts early during development and whether it can be reversed by restoring KCC3 function. In this study, we used two separate mouse models that when combined to the PV-Cre tamoxifen-inducible system allowed us to ) disrupt KCC3 expression in adulthood or juvenile periods; and ) reintroduce KCC3 expression in mice that first develop with a nonfunctional cotransporter. We show that disrupting or reintroducing KCC3 in the adult mouse has no effect on locomotor behavior, indicating that expression of KCC3 is critical during embryonic development and/or the perinatal period and that once the disease has started, reexpressing a functional cotransporter fails to change the course of HMSN/ACC.
Importance - It remains poorly understood how parents decide whether to enroll a child in a neonatal clinical trial. This is particularly true for parents from racial or ethnic minority populations. Understanding factors associated with enrollment decisions may improve recruitment processes for families, increase enrollment rates, and decrease disparities in research participation.
Objective - To assess differences in parental factors between parents who enrolled their infant and those who declined enrollment for a neonatal randomized clinical trial.
Design, Setting, and Participants - This survey study conducted from July 2017 to October 2019 in 12 US level 3 and 4 neonatal intensive care units included parents of infants who enrolled in the High-dose Erythropoietin for Asphyxia and Encephalopathy (HEAL) trial or who were eligible but declined enrollment. Data were analyzed October 2019 through July 2020.
Exposure - Parental choice of enrollment in neonatal clinical trial.
Main Outcomes and Measures - Percentages and odds ratios (ORs) of parent participation as categorized by demographic characteristics, self-assessment of child's medical condition, study comprehension, and trust in medical researchers. Survey questions were based on the hypothesis that parents who enrolled their infant in HEAL differ from those who declined enrollment across 4 categories: (1) infant characteristics and parental demographic characteristics, (2) perception of infant's illness, (3) study comprehension, and (4) trust in clinicians and researchers.
Results - Of a total 387 eligible parents, 269 (69.5%) completed the survey and were included in analysis. This included 183 of 242 (75.6%) of HEAL-enrolled and 86 of 145 (59.3%) of HEAL-declined parents. Parents who enrolled their infant had lower rates of Medicaid participation (74 [41.1%] vs 47 [55.3%]; P = .04) and higher rates of annual income greater than $55 000 (94 [52.8%] vs 30 [37.5%]; P = .03) compared with those who declined. Black parents had lower enrollment rates compared with White parents (OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.17-0.73). Parents who reported their infant's medical condition as more serious had higher enrollment rates (OR, 5.7; 95% CI, 2.0-16.3). Parents who enrolled their infant reported higher trust in medical researchers compared with parents who declined (mean [SD] difference, 5.3 [0.3-10.3]). There was no association between study comprehension and enrollment.
Conclusions and Relevance - In this study, the following factors were associated with neonatal clinical trial enrollment: demographic characteristics (ie, race/ethnicity, Medicaid status, and reported income), perception of illness, and trust in medical researchers. Future work to confirm these findings and explore the reasons behind them may lead to strategies for better engaging underrepresented groups in neonatal clinical research to reduce enrollment disparities.
Understanding the genetic architecture of host proteins interacting with SARS-CoV-2 or mediating the maladaptive host response to COVID-19 can help to identify new or repurpose existing drugs targeting those proteins. We present a genetic discovery study of 179 such host proteins among 10,708 individuals using an aptamer-based technique. We identify 220 host DNA sequence variants acting in cis (MAF 0.01-49.9%) and explaining 0.3-70.9% of the variance of 97 of these proteins, including 45 with no previously known protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL) and 38 encoding current drug targets. Systematic characterization of pQTLs across the phenome identified protein-drug-disease links and evidence that putative viral interaction partners such as MARK3 affect immune response. Our results accelerate the evaluation and prioritization of new drug development programmes and repurposing of trials to prevent, treat or reduce adverse outcomes. Rapid sharing and detailed interrogation of results is facilitated through an interactive webserver ( https://omicscience.org/apps/covidpgwas/ ).
OBJECTIVE - To quantify and contextualize the risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related hospitalization and illness severity in type 1 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We conducted a prospective cohort study to identify case subjects with COVID-19 across a regional health care network of 137 service locations. Using an electronic health record query, chart review, and patient contact, we identified clinical factors influencing illness severity.
RESULTS - We identified COVID-19 in 6,138, 40, and 273 patients without diabetes and with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, respectively. Compared with not having diabetes, people with type 1 diabetes had adjusted odds ratios of 3.90 (95% CI 1.75-8.69) for hospitalization and 3.35 (95% CI 1.53-7.33) for greater illness severity, which was similar to risk in type 2 diabetes. Among patients with type 1 diabetes, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA), hypertension, race, recent diabetic ketoacidosis, health insurance status, and less diabetes technology use were significantly associated with illness severity.
CONCLUSIONS - Diabetes status, both type 1 and type 2, independently increases the adverse impacts of COVID-19. Potentially modifiable factors (e.g., HbA) had significant but modest impact compared with comparatively static factors (e.g., race and insurance) in type 1 diabetes, indicating an urgent and continued need to mitigate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection risk in this community.
© 2020 by the American Diabetes Association.
BACKGROUND - Exogenous surfactants to treat respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) are approved for tracheal instillation only; this requires intubation, often followed by positive pressure ventilation to promote distribution. Aerosol delivery offers a safer alternative, but clinical studies have had mixed results. We hypothesized that efficient aerosolization of a surfactant with low viscosity, early in the course of RDS, could reduce the need for intubation and instillation of liquid surfactant.
METHODS - A prospective, multicenter, randomized, unblinded comparison trial of aerosolized calfactant (Infasurf) in newborns with signs of RDS that required noninvasive respiratory support. Calfactant was aerosolized by using a Solarys nebulizer modified with a pacifier adapter; 6 mL/kg (210 mg phospholipid/kg body weight) were delivered directly into the mouth. Infants in the aerosol group received up to 3 treatments, at least 4 hours apart. Infants in the control group received usual care, determined by providers. Infants were intubated and given instilled surfactant for persistent or worsening respiratory distress, at their providers' discretion.
RESULTS - Among 22 NICUs, 457 infants were enrolled; gestation 23 to 41 (median 33) weeks and birth weight 595 to 4802 (median 1960) grams. In total, 230 infants were randomly assigned to aerosol; 225 received 334 treatments, starting at a median of 5 hours. The rates of intubation for surfactant instillation were 26% in the aerosol group and 50% in the usual care group ( < .0001). Respiratory outcomes up to 28 days of age were no different.
CONCLUSIONS - In newborns with early, mild to moderate respiratory distress, aerosolized calfactant at a dose of 210 mg phospholipid/kg body weight reduced intubation and surfactant instillation by nearly one-half.
Copyright © 2020 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
BACKGROUND - New treatment options for ovarian cancer are urgently required. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are an attractive target for therapy; repolarizing TAMs from M2 (pro-tumor) to M1 (anti-tumor) phenotypes represents an important therapeutic goal. We have previously shown that upregulated NF-kappaB (NF-κB) signaling in macrophages promotes M1 polarization, but effects in the context of ovarian cancer are unknown. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the therapeutic potential of increasing macrophage NF-κB activity in immunocompetent mouse models of ovarian cancer.
METHODS - We have generated a transgenic mouse model, termed IKFM, which allows doxycycline-inducible overexpression of a constitutively active form of IKK2 (cIKK2) specifically within macrophages. The IKFM model was used to evaluate effects of increasing macrophage NF-κB activity in syngeneic murine TBR5 and ID8-Luc models of ovarian cancer in two temporal windows: 1) in established tumors, and 2) during tumor implantation and early tumor growth. Tumor weight, ascites volume, ascites supernatant and cells, and solid tumor were collected at sacrifice. Populations of macrophages and T cells within solid tumor and/or ascites were analyzed by immunofluorescent staining and qPCR, and soluble factors in ascitic fluid were analyzed by ELISA. Comparisons of control versus IKFM groups were performed by 2-tailed Mann-Whitney test, and a P-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULTS - Increased expression of the cIKK2 transgene in TAMs from IKFM mice was confirmed at the mRNA and protein levels. Tumors from IKFM mice, regardless of the timing of doxycycline (dox) administration, demonstrated greater necrosis and immune infiltration than control tumors. Analysis of IKFM ascites and tumors showed sustained shifts in macrophage populations away from the M2 and towards the anti-tumor M1 phenotype. There were also increased tumor-infiltrating CD3/CD8 T cells in IKFM mice, accompanied by higher levels of CXCL9, a T cell activating factor secreted by macrophages, in IKFM ascitic fluid.
CONCLUSIONS - In syngeneic ovarian cancer models, increased canonical NF-κB signaling in macrophages promoted anti-tumor TAM phenotypes and increased cytotoxic T cell infiltration, which was sufficient to limit tumor progression. This may present a novel translational approach for ovarian cancer treatment, with the potential to increase responses to T cell-directed therapy in future studies.
In the PDA-TOLERATE trial, persistent (even for several weeks) moderate to large patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) was not associated with an increased risk of BPD when the infant required <10 days of intubation. However, in infants requiring intubation for ≥10 days, prolonged PDA exposure (≥11 days) was associated with an increased risk of moderate/severe BPD.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project was established to characterize genetic effects on the transcriptome across human tissues and to link these regulatory mechanisms to trait and disease associations. Here, we present analyses of the version 8 data, examining 15,201 RNA-sequencing samples from 49 tissues of 838 postmortem donors. We comprehensively characterize genetic associations for gene expression and splicing in cis and trans, showing that regulatory associations are found for almost all genes, and describe the underlying molecular mechanisms and their contribution to allelic heterogeneity and pleiotropy of complex traits. Leveraging the large diversity of tissues, we provide insights into the tissue specificity of genetic effects and show that cell type composition is a key factor in understanding gene regulatory mechanisms in human tissues.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.