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BACKGROUND - Cardiac amyloidosis is an infiltrative cardiomyopathy that is challenging to diagnose. We hypothesized that the novel biomarkers hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), galectin-3 (GAL-3), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) would be elevated in cardiac amyloidosis and may be able to discriminate from non-cardiac systemic amyloidosis or other cardiomyopathies with similar clinical or morphologic characteristics.
METHODS - Patients were selected from the Vanderbilt Main Heart Registry according to the following groups: (1) amyloid light-chain (AL) cardiac amyloidosis (n = 26); (2) transthyretin (ATTR) cardiac amyloidosis (n = 7); (3) left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) (n = 45); (4) systolic heart failure (n = 42); and (5) non-cardiac systemic amyloidosis (n = 7). Biomarkers were measured in stored plasma samples. Biomarkers' discrimination performance in predicting AL cardiac amyloidosis (i.e., Concordance index) was reported. A survival analysis was used to explore the relationship between HGF levels and mortality among AL cardiac amyloidosis patients.
RESULTS - HGF levels were markedly elevated in patients with AL cardiac amyloidosis (median = 622, interquartile range (IQR): 299-1228 pg/mL) compared with the other groups, including those with non-cardiac systemic amyloidosis (median = 134, IQR: 94-163 pg/mL, p < 0.001). HGF was not a specific marker for ATTR amyloidosis. Gal-3 was elevated in all groups with amyloidosis but could not differentiate between those with and without cardiac involvement. There was no difference in IL-6 or VEGF between those with AL cardiac amyloidosis compared to other groups (p = 0.13 and 0.057, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS - HGF may be a specific marker that distinguishes AL cardiac amyloidosis from other cardiomyopathies with similar clinical or morphologic characteristics. Further studies are necessary to determine whether HGF levels predict the likelihood of survival.
Vitamin A, via retinoic acid (RA), is a critical micronutrient. Normally, plasma concentrations are tightly regulated. Concentrations of vitamin A metabolites (13cis-RA, atRA) and relationships between RBP4 and retinoids have never been fully evaluated in adult patients with CKD. We measured retinoid and RBP4 concentrations in plasma and urine from 55 adult patients with CKD and 21 matched healthy subjects. RBP4 and retinol levels were increased approximately twofold in patients with CKD, with a negative correlation between plasma retinol and eGFR (p = 0.006) and plasma RBP4 and eGFR (p = 0.0007). RBP4 renal clearance was higher in patients with CKD than healthy subjects but not associated with eGFR. Circulating concentrations of atRA increased and concentrations of 13cis-RA decreased in subjects with CKD with no change in RA-to-retinol ratio. Increases in circulating retinol, RBP4, and atRA may be due to increased hepatic RBP4 synthesis, retinyl ester hydrolysis, and/or hepatic secretion of RBP4-retinol.
© 2016 The Authors. Clinical and Translational Science published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
In Alzheimer's disease (AD), most hippocampal and cortical neurons show increased staining with anti-transthyretin (TTR) antibodies. Genetically programmed overexpression of wild type human TTR suppressed the neuropathologic and behavioral abnormalities in APP23 AD model mice and TTR-Aβ complexes have been isolated from some human AD brains and those of APP23 transgenic mice. In the present study, in vitro NMR analysis showed interaction between the hydrophobic thyroxine binding pocket of TTR and the cytoplasmic loop of the C99 fragment released by β-secretase cleavage of AβPP, with Kd = 86±9 μM. In cultured cells expressing both proteins, the interaction reduced phosphorylation of C99 (at T668) and suppressed its cleavage by γ-secretase, significantly decreasing Aβ secretion. Coupled with its previously demonstrated capacity to inhibit Aβ aggregation (with the resultant cytotoxicity in tissue culture) and its regulation by HSF1, these findings indicate that TTR can behave as a stress responsive multimodal suppressor of AD pathogenesis.
BACKGROUND - Increasing evidence indicates that proteotoxicity plays a pathophysiologic role in experimental and human cardiomyopathy. In organ-specific amyloidoses, soluble protein oligomers are the primary cytotoxic species in the process of protein aggregation. While isolated atrial amyloidosis can develop with aging, the presence of preamyloid oligomers (PAOs) in atrial tissue has not been previously investigated.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Atrial samples were collected during elective cardiac surgery in patients without a history of atrial arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, or amyloidosis. Immunohistochemistry was performed for PAOs using a conformation-specific antibody, as well as for candidate proteins identified previously in isolated atrial amyloidosis. Using a myocardium-specific marker, the fraction of myocardium colocalizing with PAOs (PAO burden) was quantified (green/red ratio). Atrial samples were obtained from 92 patients, with a mean age of 61.7±13.8 years. Most patients (62%) were male, 23% had diabetes, 72% had hypertension, and 42% had coronary artery disease. A majority (n=62) underwent aortic valve replacement, with fewer undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (n=34) or mitral valve replacement/repair (n=24). Immunostaining detected intracellular PAOs in a majority of atrial samples, with a heterogeneous distribution throughout the myocardium. Mean green/red ratio value for the samples was 0.11±0.1 (range 0.03 to 0.77), with a value ≥0.05 in 74 patients. Atrial natriuretic peptide colocalized with PAOs in myocardium, whereas transthyretin was located in the interstitium. Adjusting for multiple covariates, PAO burden was independently associated with the presence of hypertension.
CONCLUSION - PAOs are frequently detected in human atrium, where their presence is associated with clinical hypertension.
© 2014 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.
Systemic amyloidoses result from the aberrant secretion of destabilized, amyloidogenic proteins to the serum where they aggregate into proteotoxic soluble aggregates and amyloid fibrils. Few therapeutic approaches exist to attenuate extracellular pathologic aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins, necessitating the development of new strategies to intervene in these devastating disorders. We show that stress-independent activation of the Unfolded Protein Response-associated transcription factor ATF6 increases ER quality control stringency for the amyloidogenic protein transthyretin (TTR), preferentially reducing secretion of disease-associated TTR variants to an extent corresponding to the variants' destabilization of the TTR tetramer. This decrease in destabilized TTR variant secretion attenuates extracellular, concentration-dependent aggregation of amyloidogenic TTRs into soluble aggregates commonly associated with proteotoxicity in disease. Collectively, our results indicate that increasing ER quality control stringency through ATF6 activation is a strategy to attenuate pathologic aggregation of a destabilized, amyloidogenic protein, revealing a potential approach to intervene in systemic amyloid disease pathology.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP) is a hereditary amyloidosis induced by amyloidogenic transthyretin (ATTR). Because most transthyretin (TTR) in serum is synthesized by the liver, liver transplantation (LT) is today the only treatment available to halt the progression of FAP, even though LT is associated with several problems. Despite the urgent need to develop alternatives to LT, the detailed pathogenesis of FAP is still unknown; also, no model fully represents the relevant processes in patients with FAP. The induction of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells has allowed development of pluripotent cells specific for patients and has led to useful models of human diseases. Because of the need for a tool to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of FAP, in this study we sought to establish heterozygous ATTR mutant iPS cells, and were successful, by using a Sendai virus vector mixture containing four transcription factors (Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc) to reprogram dermal fibroblasts derived from FAP patients. Moreover, FAP-specific iPS cells had the potential to differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells and indeed expressed ATTR. FAP-specific iPS cells demonstrated the possibility of serving as a pathological tool that will contribute to understanding the pathogenesis of FAP and development of FAP treatments.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - To elucidate the long-term effects of liver transplantation (LT) on familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP).
METHODS - We investigated clinicopathological and biochemical characteristics of systemic tissues in four autopsied cases of FAP patients surviving more than 10 years after LT and seven autopsied cases without LT. For analysing the truncated form of transthyretin (TTR) in amyloid, we also employed specimens from additional 18 FAP patients.
RESULTS - Several tissue sites such as the heart, tongue and spinal cord had moderate-to-severe amyloid deposits but other tissues showed no or mild amyloid deposition. Those findings seemed similar to those observed in senile systemic amyloidosis (SSA), a sporadic amyloidosis caused by wild-type (WT) TTR. Also, amyloid deposits in systemic tissue sites except for the spinal cord in patients after LT derived mostly from WT TTR secreted from the normal liver grafts. In addition, in non-transplantation patients, proportions of WT TTR seemed to be relatively high in those tissue sites in which patients after LT had severe amyloid deposition, which suggests that WT TTR tends to form amyloid in those tissue sites. Finally, although the truncation of TTR in amyloid deposits did not depend on undergoing LT, we elucidated the truncation of TTR occurred predominantly in patients from non-endemic areas of Japan, where FAP amyloidogenic TTR V30M patients are late onset and low penetrance, compared with patients from an endemic area of Japan.
CONCLUSIONS - FAP may shift to systemic WT TTR amyloid formation after LT, which seems to be similar to the process in SSA. The truncation of TTR in amyloid deposits may depend on some genetic or environmental factors other than undergoing LT.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
Liver transplantation (LT) reportedly prolongs the survival of patients with familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP), a fatal hereditary systemic amyloidosis caused by mutant transthyretin (TTR). However, what happens in systemic tissue sites long after LT is poorly understood. In the present study, we report pathological and biochemical findings for an FAP patient who underwent LT and died from refractory ventricular fibrillation more than 16 years after FAP onset. Our autopsy study revealed that the distributions of amyloid deposits after LT were quite different from those in FAP amyloidogenic TTR V30M patients not having had LT and seemed to be similar to those observed in senile systemic amyloidosis (SSA), a sporadic systemic amyloidosis derived from wild-type (WT) TTR. Our biochemical examination also revealed that this patient's cardiac and tongue amyloid deposits derived mostly from WT TTR. We propose that FAP patients after LT may suffer from SSA-like WT TTR amyloidosis in systemic organs.
Repeated exposure to cocaine induces neuroadaptations which contribute to the rewarding properties of cocaine. Using cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) as an animal model of reward, earlier studies have shown that sigma (σ) receptor ligands can attenuate the acquisition, expression and reactivation of CPP. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms that are associated with these changes are not yet understood. In the present study, CM156, a novel antagonist with high selectivity and affinity for σ receptors was used to attenuate the expression of cocaine-induced CPP in mice. Immediately following the behavioral evaluations, mouse brain tissues were collected and alterations in gene expression in half brain samples were profiled by cDNA microarray analysis. Microarray data was analyzed by three distinct normalization methods and four genes were consistently found to be upregulated by cocaine when compared to saline controls. Each of these gene changes were found by more than one normalization method to be reversed by at least one dose of CM156. Quantitative real time PCR confirmed that a single administration of CM156 was able to reverse the cocaine-induced increases in three of these four genes: metastasis associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (malat1), tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein (ywhaz), and transthyretin (ttr). These genes are involved in processes related to neuroplasticity and RNA editing. The data presented herein provides evidence that pharmacological intervention with a putative σ receptor antagonist reverses alterations in gene expression that are associated with cocaine-induced reward.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.