Uncontrolled hemorrhage remains one of the most challenging problems facing emergency medical professionals and a leading cause of traumatic death in both battlefield and civilian environments. Survival is determined by the ability to rapidly control hemorrhage. Several commercially available topical adjunct agents have been shown to be effective in controlling hemorrhage, and one, Combat Gauze (CG), is used regularly on the battlefield and for civilian applications. However, recent literature reviews have concluded that no ideal topical agent exists for all injuries and scenarios. The authors compared a novel nonimpregnated dressing composed of cellulose and silica, NuStat (NS), to CG in a lethal hemorrhagic groin injury. These dressings were selected for their commercial availability and design intended for control of massive hemorrhage.
Abstract Contemporary cost estimates of dengue fever are difficult to attain in many countries in which the disease is endemic. By applying publicly available health care costs and wage data to recently available country-level estimates of dengue incidence, we estimate the total cost of dengue to be nearly 40 billion dollars in 2011.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is able to synthesise molybdopterin cofactor (MoCo), which is utilised by numerous enzymes that catalyse redox reactions in carbon, nitrogen and sulphur metabolism. In bacteria, MoCo is further modified through the activity of a guanylyltransferase, MobA, which converts MoCo to bis-molybdopterin guanine dinucleotide (bis-MGD), a form of the cofactor that is required by the DMSO reductase family of enzymes which includes the nitrate reductase, NarGHI. In this study, functionality of the mobA homolog in M. tuberculosis was confirmed by demonstrating loss of assimilatory and respiratory nitrate reductase activity in a mobA deletion mutant. This mutant displayed no survival defects in human monocytes or mouse lungs but failed to persist in the lungs of guinea pigs. These results implicate one or more bis-MGD-dependent enzymes in persistence of M. tuberculosis in guinea pig lungs, and underscore the applicability of this animal model for assessing the role of molybdoenzymes in this pathogen.
SUMMARY The pentastomid parasite, Raillietiella frenata, is native to Asia where it infects the Asian House gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus. This gecko has been widely introduced and recently R. frenata was found in introduced populations of cane toads (Rhinella marina) in Australia, indicating a host-switch from introduced geckos to toads. Here we report non-native adult R. frenata infecting the lungs of native cane toads in Panama. Eight of 64 toads were infected (median = 2·5, range = 1-80 pentastomids/toad) and pentastomid prevalence was positively associated with the number of buildings at a site, though further sampling is needed to confirm this pattern. We postulate that this pattern is likely due to a host shift of this parasite from an urban-associated introduced gecko. This is the first record of this parasite infecting cane toads in their native range, and the first instance of this parasite occurring in Central America.
Targeted cancer therapies have produced substantial clinical responses, but most tumors develop resistance to these drugs. Here, we describe a pharmacogenomic platform that facilitates rapid discovery of drug combinations that can overcome resistance. We established cell culture models derived from biopsy samples of lung cancer patients whose disease had progressed while on treatment with EGFR or ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors and then subjected these cells to genetic analyses and a pharmacological screen. Multiple effective drug combinations were identified. For example, the combination of ALK and MEK inhibitors was active in an ALK-positive resistant tumor that had developed a MAP2K1 activating mutation, and the combination of EGFR and FGFR inhibitors was active in an EGFR mutant resistant cancer with a novel mutation in FGFR3. Combined ALK and SRC inhibition was effective in several ALK-driven patient-derived models, a result not predicted by genetic analysis alone. With further refinements, this strategy could help direct therapeutic choices for individual patients.
The human airway is lined with respiratory epithelial cells, which create a critical barrier through the formation of apical tight junctions. To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying this process, an RNAi screen for guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) was performed in human bronchial epithelial cells (16HBE). We report that SOS1, acting through the Ras/MEK/ERK pathway, is essential for tight junction formation. Global microarray analysis identifies epithelial membrane protein 1 (EMP1), an integral tetraspan membrane protein, as a major transcriptional target. EMP1 is indispensable for tight junction formation and function in 16HBE cells and in a human airway basal progenitor-like cell line (BCi-NS1.1). Furthermore, EMP1 is significantly downregulated in human lung cancers. Together, these data identify important roles for SOS1/Ras and EMP1 in tight junction assembly during airway morphogenesis.
The global epidemic caused by the bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis continues unabated. Moreover, the only available vaccine against tuberculosis, Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), demonstrates variable efficacy. To respond to this global threat new animal models which mimic the pathological disease process in humans are required for vaccine testing. One new model, the susceptible C3Heb/FeJ mice are similar to human tuberculosis in that these animals are capable of forming necrotic tubercule granulomas in contrast to resistant C3H/HeOuJ mice. In this study, we evaluated the impact of prior BCG vaccination of C3Heb/FeJ and C3H/HeOuJ mice on exposure with a low dose aerosol of Mycobacterium tuberculosis W-Beijing strain SA161. Both BCG vaccinated murine strains demonstrated reduced bacterial loads 25 days after infection compared to controls, indicating vaccine efficacy. However, during chronic infection vaccine efficacy waned in C3H/HeOuJ but not in C3Heb/FeJ mice. Protection in vaccinated C3Heb/FeJ mice was associated with reduced CD11b(+)Gr1(+) cells, increased effector and memory T cells and abscence of necrotic granulomas. BCG vaccine efficacy waned in C3H/HeOuJ mice denoted by reduced expression of IFN? by T cells and increased expression of IL-17, IL-10 and Foxp3 compared to the C3Heb/FeJ mice. This is the first murine vaccine model system described to date that can be utilized to dissect differential vaccine derived immune efficacy.
I recently met a group of UK community nurses who told me just how much they love their jobs. Supporting patients with long-term conditions to maximise their health and self-manage where possible gives them a sense of satisfaction, as does enabling patients to have a peaceful and dignified death at home.
A characteristic feature of the human airway epithelium is the presence of ciliated cells bearing motile cilia, specialized cell surface projections containing axonemes composed of microtubules and dynein arms, which provide ATP-driven motility. In the airways, cilia function in concert with airway mucus to mediate the critical function of mucociliary clearance, cleansing the airways of inhaled particles and pathogens. The prototypical disorder of respiratory cilia is primary ciliary dyskinesia, an inherited disorder that leads to impaired mucociliary clearance, to repeated chest infections, and to the progressive destruction of lung architecture. Numerous acquired lung diseases are also marked by abnormalities in both cilia structure and function. In this review we summarize current knowledge regarding airway ciliated cells and cilia, how they function to maintain a healthy epithelium, and how disorders of cilia structure and function contribute to inherited and acquired lung disease. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Physiology Volume 77 is February 10, 2015. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.
Historically, the mental health system has not effectively addressed the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse individuals (President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003), which has contributed to significant racial and ethnic disparities in mental health care (USDHHS, 2001). This paper focuses on exploring how a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health policy initiative, the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care (or the National CLAS Standards), may be used by mental health agencies to reduce mental health care disparities. The National CLAS Standards are a set of action steps that inform and facilitate the implementation of culturally and linguistically appropriate services. We first discuss the role of cultural and linguistic competency in mental health care disparities reduction efforts, and then describe specific strategies to facilitate the organizational implementation of the National CLAS Standards. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Previous transcriptome studies observed disrupted cellular processes in late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), yet it is unclear whether these changes are specific to LOAD, or are common to general neurodegeneration. In this study, we address this question by examining transcription in LOAD and comparing it to cognitively normal controls and a cohort of "disease controls." Differential transcription was examined using RNA-seq, which allows for the examination of protein coding genes, non-coding RNAs, and splicing. Significant transcription differences specific to LOAD were observed in five genes: C10orf105, DIO2, a lincRNA, RARRES3, and WIF1. These findings were replicated in two independent publicly available microarray data sets. Network analyses, performed on 2,504 genes with moderate transcription differences in LOAD, reveal that these genes aggregate into seven networks. Two networks involved in myelination and innate immune response specifically correlated to LOAD. FRMD4B and ST18, hub genes within the myelination network, were previously implicated in LOAD. Of the five significant genes, WIF1 and RARRES3 are directly implicated in the myelination process; the other three genes are located within the network. LOAD specific changes in DNA methylation were located throughout the genome and substantial changes in methylation were identified within the myelination network. Splicing differences specific to LOAD were observed across the genome and were decreased in all seven networks. DNA methylation had reduced influence on transcription within LOAD in the myelination network when compared to both controls. These results hint at the molecular underpinnings of LOAD and indicate several key processes, genes, and networks specific to the disease.
The earliest abnormality in the lung associated with smoking is hyperplasia of airway basal cells, the stem/progenitor cells of the ciliated and secretory cells that are central to pulmonary host defense. Using cell biology and 'omics technologies to assess basal cells isolated from bronchoscopic brushings of nonsmokers, smokers and smokers with COPD, compelling evidence has been provided in support of the concept that airway basal cells are central to the pathogenesis of smoking-associated lung diseases. When confronted by the chronic stress of smoking, airway basal cells become disorderly, regress to a more primitive state, behave as dictated by their inheritance, are susceptible to acquired changes in their genome, lose the capacity to regenerate the epithelium, are responsible for the major changes in the airway that characterize COPD, and with persistent stress, can undergo malignant transformation. Together, these observations lead to the conclusion that accelerated loss of lung function in susceptible individuals begins with disordered airway basal cell biology, i.e., that airway basal cells are the "smoking gun" of COPD, a potential target for the development of therapies to prevent the smoking-related lung disorders.
BackgroundAging involves multiple biologically complex processes characterized by a decline in cellular homeostasis over time leading to a loss and impairment of physiological integrity and function. Specific cellular hallmarks of aging include abnormal gene expression patterns, shortened telomeres and associated biological dysfunction. Like all organs, the lung demonstrates both physiological and structural changes with age that result in a progressive decrease in lung function in healthy individuals. Cigarette smoking accelerates lung function decline over time, suggesting smoking accelerates aging of the lung. Based on this data, we hypothesized that cigarette smoking accelerates the aging of the small airway epithelium, the cells that take the initial brunt of inhaled toxins from the cigarette smoke and one of the primary sites of pathology associated with cigarette smoking.MethodsUsing the sensitive molecular parameters of aging-related gene expression and telomere length, the aging process of the small airway epithelium was assessed in age matched healthy nonsmokers and healthy smokers with no physical manifestation of lung disease or abnormalities in lung function.ResultsAnalysis of a 73 gene aging signature demonstrated that smoking significantly dysregulates 18 aging-related genes in the small airway epithelium. In an independent cohort of male subjects, smoking significantly reduced telomere length in the small airway epithelium of smokers by 14% compared to nonsmokers.ConclusionThese data provide biologic evidence that smoking accelerates aging of the small airway epithelium.
Bevacizumab acquired from compounding pharmacies for intravitreal injection may cause infectious and noninfectious inflammation. In addition to safety issues, the drug itself may have variable efficacy associated with product aliquoting, handling, and distribution.
Posttrauma adjustment theories postulate that intense stressors violate people's beliefs about the world and perceived ability to achieve valued goals. Failure to make meaning from traumatic events exacerbates negative adjustment (e.g., PTSD), whereas success facilitates positive adjustment (e.g., stress-related growth). The current study aimed to test this model of direct and indirect effects among a sample of veterans.
Background and Objectives: Research increasingly demonstrates that trauma exposure can have cumulative effects, yet much remains to be learned about effects of cumulative trauma, particularly regarding longer term adjustment. One such trauma, combat exposure, is insufficiently understood, especially for women, who are increasingly engaged in professional combat activities. Design: The study comprised a cross-sectional survey assessing multiple aspects of current well-being in women approximately 25 years after their service in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Methods: Participants were 1374 women (78% military and 22% nonmilitary; mean age = 59.7). This study investigated the relations between three separate categories of trauma exposure (childhood, adulthood, and combat) and well-being and examined whether perceived social support at return from Vietnam moderated the association between combat exposure and well-being. Results: While both childhood and adulthood trauma exposure related to midlife well-being, combat exposure still uniquely predicted outcomes. Further, postdeployment perceived social support moderated the association of combat and well-being: recollected higher perceived social support at homecoming buffered participants from the links between combat exposure and well-being. Conclusions: These results may have important implications for interventions to reduce the impact of traumatic experiences, particularly in light of the increasing exposure of women to direct combat events.
Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), a fatal disorder caused by deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme arylsulfatase A (ARSA), is associated with an accumulation of sulfatides, causing widespread demyelination in both central and peripheral nervous systems. On the basis of prior studies demonstrating that adeno-associated virus AAVrh.10 can mediate widespread distribution in the CNS of a secreted lysosomal transgene, and as a prelude to human trials, we comparatively assessed the optimal CNS delivery route of an AAVrh.10 vector encoding human ARSA in a large animal model for broadest distribution of ARSA enzyme. Five routes were tested (each total dose, 1.5 × 10(12) genome copies of AAVrh.10hARSA-FLAG): (1) delivery to white matter centrum ovale; (2) deep gray matter delivery (putamen, thalamus, and caudate) plus overlying white matter; (3) convection-enhanced delivery to same deep gray matter locations; (4) lateral cerebral ventricle; and (5) intraarterial delivery with hyperosmotic mannitol to the middle cerebral artery. After 13 weeks, the distribution of ARSA activity subsequent to each of the three direct intraparenchymal administration routes was significantly higher than in phosphate-buffered saline-administered controls, but administration by the intraventricular and intraarterial routes failed to demonstrate measurable levels above controls. Immunohistochemical staining in the cortex, white matter, deep gray matter of the striatum, thalamus, choroid plexus, and spinal cord dorsal root ganglions confirmed these results. Of the five routes studied, administration to the white matter generated the broadest distribution of ARSA, with 80% of the brain displaying more than a therapeutic (10%) increase in ARSA activity above PBS controls. No significant toxicity was observed with any delivery route as measured by safety parameters, although some inflammatory changes were seen by histopathology. We conclude that AAVrh.10-mediated delivery of ARSA via CNS administration into the white matter is likely to be safe and yields the widest distribution of ARSA, making it the most suitable route of vector delivery.
Anti-angiogenesis therapies such as bevacizumab, the monoclonal antibody to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), have been used against ovarian cancer, but transient and low peritoneal drug levels are likely a factor in treatment failure. We hypothesized that a single administration of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated intraperitoneal expression of bevacizumab would direct persistent expression and suppress growth and metastasis of ovarian cancer.
District nurses are a national treasure. They are the key professionals who will enable the agenda of patients being cared for at home to be realised. They are highly trusted and valued by communities who lead and manage teams of nurses and nursing assistants expertly to deliver high-quality care in the patient's own home. In an era where the focus is now turning to the community for more care, more actions are required to increase our district nursing workforce. This article discusses the above issues in relation to recent reports on the current status of community nursing.
We examined motives for adopting and maintaining yoga practice in a national survey of yoga practitioners (360 yoga students, 156 yoga teachers). Both students and teachers adopted yoga practice primarily for exercise and stress relief, but reported many other reasons, including flexibility, getting into shape, and depression/anxiety relief. Over 62?percent of students and 85?percent of teachers reported having changed their primary reason for practicing or discovering other reasons; for both, the top changed primary reason was spirituality. Findings suggest that most initiate yoga practice for exercise and stress relief, but for many, spirituality becomes their primary reason for maintaining practice.
Airway epithelium ciliated cells play a central role in clearing the lung of inhaled pathogens and xenobiotics, and cilia length and coordinated beating are important for airway clearance. Based on in vivo studies showing that the airway epithelium of healthy smokers has shorter cilia than that of healthy nonsmokers, we investigated the mechanisms involved in cigarette smoke-mediated inhibition of ciliogenesis by assessing normal human airway basal cell differentiation in air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures in the presence of nontoxic concentrations of cigarette smoke extract (CSE). Measurements of cilia length from Day 28 ALI cultures demonstrated that CSE exposure was associated with shorter cilia (P < 0.05), reproducing the effect of cigarette smoking on cilia length observed in vivo. This phenotype correlated with a broad CSE-mediated suppression of genes involved in cilia-related transcriptional regulation, intraflagellar transport, cilia motility, structural integrity, and basal body development but not of control genes or epithelial barrier integrity. The CSE-mediated inhibition of cilia growth could be prevented by lentivirus-mediated overexpression of FOXJ1, the major cilia-related transcription factor, which led to partial reversal of expression of cilia-related genes suppressed by CSE. Together, the data suggest that components of cigarette smoke are responsible for a broad suppression of genes involved in cilia growth, but, by stimulating ciliogenesis with the transcription factor FOXJ1, it may be possible to maintain close to normal cilia length despite the stress of cigarette smoking.
The Research Prioritization Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention conducted a comprehensive literature review of suicide prevention/intervention trials to assess the quality of the scientific evidence.
Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA is a severe degenerative disease caused by an autosomal recessive defect of a gene encoding a lysosomal heparan-N-sulfamidase, the N-sulfoglycosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH), the catalytic site of which is activated by a sulfatase-modifying factor (SUMF1). Four children (Patients 1-3, aged between 5.5 and 6 years; Patient 4 aged 2 years 8 months) received intracerebral injections of an adeno-associated viral vector serotype rh.10-SGSH-IRES-SUMF1 vector in a phase I/II clinical trial. All children were able to walk, but their cognitive abilities were abnormal and had declined (Patients 1-3). Patients 1-3 presented with brain atrophy. The therapeutic vector was delivered in a frameless stereotaxic device, at a dose of 7.2×10(11) viral genomes/patient simultaneously via 12 needles as deposits of 60??l over a period of 2?hr. The vector was delivered bilaterally to the white matter anterior, medial, and posterior to the basal ganglia. Immunosuppressive treatment (mycophenolate mofetil and tacrolimus) was initiated 15 days before surgery and maintained for 8 weeks (mycophenolate mofetil) or throughout follow-up (tacrolimus, with progressive dose reduction) to prevent elimination of transduced cells. Safety data collected from inclusion, during the neurosurgery period and over the year of follow-up, showed good tolerance, absence of adverse events related to the injected product, no increase in the number of infectious events, and no biological sign of toxicity related to immunosuppressive drugs. Efficacy analysis was necessarily preliminary in this phase I/II trial on four children, in the absence of validated surrogate markers. Brain atrophy evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging seemed to be stable in Patients 1 and 3 but tended to increase in Patients 2 and 4. Neuropsychological evaluations suggested a possible although moderate improvement in behavior, attention, and sleep in Patients 1-3. The youngest patient was the most likely to display neurocognitive benefit.
Recently, the gene therapy field has begun to experience clinical successes in a number of different diseases using various approaches and vectors. The workshop Gene Therapy: Charting a Future Course, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Biotechnology Activities, brought together early and mid-career researchers to discuss the key scientific challenges and opportunities, ethical and communication issues, and NIH and foundation resources available to facilitate further clinical advances.
Pentastomids are endoparasites of the respiratory system of vertebrates, maturing primarily in carnivorous reptiles. Adult and larval pentastomids can cause severe pathology resulting in the death of their intermediate and definitive hosts. The study of pentastomids is a neglected field, impaired by risk of zoonoses, difficulties in species identification, and life cycle complexities. We surveyed wild snakes in the tropics of Australia to clarify which host species possess these parasites, and then sought to identify these pentastomids using a combination of morphological and molecular techniques. We detected pentastomid infections in 59% of the 81 snakes surveyed. The ubiquity of pentastomid infections in snakes of the Australian tropics sampled in this study is alarmingly high considering the often-adverse consequences of infection and the recognized zoonotic potential of these parasites. The pentastomids were of the genera Raillietiella and Waddycephalus and infected a range of host taxa, encompassing seven snake species from three snake families. All seven snake species represent new host records for pentastomids of the genera Raillietiella and/or Waddycephalus. The arboreal colubrid Dendrelaphis punctulatus and the terrestrial elapid Demansia vestigiata had particularly high infection prevalences (79% and 100% infected, respectively). Raillietiella orientalis infected 38% of the snakes surveyed, especially frog-eating species, implying a frog intermediate host for this parasite. Raillietiella orientalis was previously known only from Asian snakes and has invaded Australia via an unknown pathway. Our molecular data indicated that five species of Waddycephalus infect 28% of snakes in the surveyed area. Our morphological data indicate that features of pentastomid anatomy previously utilised to identify species of the genus Waddycephalus are unreliable for distinguishing species, highlighting the need for additional taxonomic work on this genus.
Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) harboring anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangements invariably develop resistance to the ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) crizotinib. Herein, we report the first preclinical evaluation of the next-generation ALK TKI, ceritinib (LDK378), in the setting of crizotinib resistance. An interrogation of in vitro and in vivo models of acquired resistance to crizotinib, including cell lines established from biopsies of patients with crizotinib-resistant NSCLC, revealed that ceritinib potently overcomes crizotinib-resistant mutations. In particular, ceritinib effectively inhibits ALK harboring L1196M, G1269A, I1171T, and S1206Y mutations, and a cocrystal structure of ceritinib bound to ALK provides structural bases for this increased potency. However, we observed that ceritinib did not overcome two crizotinib-resistant ALK mutations, G1202R and F1174C, and one of these mutations was identified in 5 of 11 biopsies from patients with acquired resistance to ceritinib. Altogether, our results demonstrate that ceritinib can overcome crizotinib resistance, consistent with clinical data showing marked efficacy of ceritinib in patients with crizotinib-resistant disease.
Scientific advances in treatments and outcomes for those diagnosed with cancer in late adolescence and early adulthood depend, in part, on the availability of adequate assessment tools to measure health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for survivors in this age group. Domains especially relevant to late adolescence and young adulthood (LAYA; e.g., education and career, committed romantic relationships, worldview formation) are typically overlooked in studies assessing the impact of cancer, usually more appropriate for middle-aged or older survivors. Current HRQOL measures also tend to assess issues that are salient during or shortly after treatment rather than reflecting life years after treatment.
Cocaine use disorders are mediated by the cocaine blockade of the dopamine transporter in the central nervous system (CNS). On the basis of the concept that these effects could be obviated if cocaine were prevented from reaching its cognate receptors in the CNS, we have developed an anticocaine vaccine, dAd5GNE, based on a cocaine analog covalently linked to capsid proteins of an E1(-)E3(-) serotype 5 adenovirus. While the vaccine effectively blocks systemically administered cocaine from reaching the brain by mediating sequestration of the cocaine in the blood, the fact that cocaine also has significant peripheral effects raises concerns that vaccination-mediated redistribution could lead to adverse effects in the visceral organs. The distribution of systemically administered cocaine at a weight-adjusted typical human dose was evaluated along with cocaine metabolites in both dAd5GNE-vaccinated and control nonhuman primates. dAd5GNE sequestration of cocaine to the blood not only prevented cocaine access to the CNS, but also limited access of both the drug and its metabolites to other cocaine-sensitive organs. The levels of cocaine in the blood of vaccinated animals rapidly decreased, suggesting that while the antibody limits access of the drug and its active metabolites to the brain and sensitive organs of the periphery, it does not prolong drug levels in the blood compartment. Gross and histopathology of major organs found no vaccine-mediated untoward effects. These results build on our earlier measures of efficacy and demonstrate that the dAd5GNE vaccine-mediated redistribution of administered cocaine is not likely to impact the vaccine safety profile.
The scientific study of yoga requires rigorous methodology. This review aimed to systematically assess all studies of yoga interventions to (1) determine yoga intervention characteristics; (2) examine methodologic quality of the subset of RCTs; and (3) explore how well these interventions are reported.
The delivery of therapeutics to neural tissue is greatly hindered by the blood brain barrier (BBB). Direct local delivery via diffusive release from degradable implants or direct intra-cerebral injection can bypass the BBB and obtain high concentrations of the therapeutic in the targeted tissue, however the total volume of tissue that can be treated using these techniques is limited. One treatment modality that can potentially access large volumes of neural tissue in a single treatment is intra-arterial (IA) injection after osmotic blood brain barrier disruption. In this technique, the therapeutic of interest is injected directly into the arteries that feed the target tissue after the blood brain barrier has been disrupted by exposure to a hyperosmolar mannitol solution, permitting the transluminal transport of the therapy. In this work we used contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of IA injections in mice to establish parameters that allow for extensive and reproducible BBB disruption. We found that the volume but not the flow rate of the mannitol injection has a significant effect on the degree of disruption. To determine whether the degree of disruption that we observed with this method was sufficient for delivery of nanoscale therapeutics, we performed IA injections of an adeno-associated viral vector containing the CLN2 gene (AAVrh.10CLN2), which is mutated in the lysosomal storage disorder Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (LINCL). We demonstrated that IA injection of AAVrh.10CLN2 after BBB disruption can achieve widespread transgene production in the mouse brain after a single administration. Further, we showed that there exists a minimum threshold of BBB disruption necessary to permit the AAV.rh10 vector to pass into the brain parenchyma from the vascular system. These results suggest that IA administration may be used to obtain widespread delivery of nanoscale therapeutics throughout the murine brain after a single administration.
Cardiac failure is the most common cause of mortality in Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA), a mitochondrial disease characterized by neurodegeneration, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and diabetes. FRDA is caused by reduced levels of frataxin (FXN), an essential mitochondrial protein involved in the biosynthesis of iron-sulfur (Fe-S) clusters. Impaired mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, bioenergetics imbalance, deficit of Fe-S cluster enzymes and mitochondrial iron overload occur in the myocardium of individuals with FRDA. No treatment exists as yet for FRDA cardiomyopathy. A conditional mouse model with complete frataxin deletion in cardiac and skeletal muscle (Mck-Cre-Fxn(L3/L-) mice) recapitulates most features of FRDA cardiomyopathy, albeit with a more rapid and severe course. Here we show that adeno-associated virus rh10 vector expressing human FXN injected intravenously in these mice fully prevented the onset of cardiac disease. Moreover, later administration of the frataxin-expressing vector, after the onset of heart failure, was able to completely reverse the cardiomyopathy of these mice at the functional, cellular and molecular levels within a few days. Our results demonstrate that cardiomyocytes with severe energy failure and ultrastructure disorganization can be rapidly rescued and remodeled by gene therapy and establish the preclinical proof of concept for the potential of gene therapy in treating FRDA cardiomyopathy.
Cocaine use disorders are mediated by the cocaine blockade of the dopamine transporter in the central nervous system (CNS). Based on the concept that these effects could be obviated if cocaine were prevented from reaching its cognate receptors in the CNS, we have developed an anti-cocaine vaccine, dAd5GNE, based on a cocaine analog covalently linked to capsid proteins of an E1-E3- serotype 5 adenovirus. While the vaccine effectively blocks systemically administered cocaine from reaching the brain by mediating sequestration of the cocaine in the blood, the fact that cocaine also has significant peripheral effects raises concerns that vaccination-mediated redistribution could lead to adverse effects in the visceral organs. The distribution of systemically administered cocaine at a weight-adjusted typical human dose was evaluated along with cocaine metabolites in both dAd5GNE-vaccinated and control nonhuman primates. dAd5GNE sequestration of cocaine to the blood not only prevented cocaine access to the CNS, but also limited access of both the drug and its metabolites to other cocaine sensitive organs. The levels of cocaine in the blood of vaccinated animals rapidly decreased, suggesting that while the antibody limits access of the drug and its active metabolites to the brain and sensitive organs of the periphery, it does not prolong drug levels in the blood compartment. Gross and histopathology of major organs found no vaccine-mediated untoward effects. These results build on our earlier measures of efficacy and demonstrate that the dAd5GNE vaccine-mediated redistribution of administered cocaine is not likely to impact the vaccine safety profile.
The present study explored the experiences of people living with advanced heart failure (HF) to determine the extent to which (1) psychosocial resources relevant to HF patients were qualitatively reported, and (2) to determine the extent to which psychosocial resources were correlates of subsequent well-being as assessed by validated quantitative measures.
The in situ reprogramming of cardiac fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocytes by the administration of gene transfer vectors encoding Gata4 (G), Mef2c (M), and Tbx5 (T) has been shown to improve ventricular function in myocardial infarction models. The efficacy of this strategy could, however, be limited by the need for fibroblast targets to be infected 3 times--once by each of the 3 transgene vectors. We hypothesized that a polycistronic "triplet" vector encoding all 3 transgenes would enhance postinfarct ventricular function compared with use of "singlet" vectors.
Identity labels with which people diagnosed with cancer identify may have important implications for post-cancer adjustment, yet little is known about these identities, and virtually nothing about them in people diagnosed during late adolescence and young adulthood (LAYA). We examined (1) the extent to which LAYA participants endorse different identities, (2) relations between identities and subsequent adjustment (positive/negative impact of cancer, quality of life, health behaviours), and (3) coping as mediating identity-adjustment links.
Research suggesting the beneficial effects of yoga on myriad aspects of psychological health has proliferated in recent years, yet there is currently no overarching framework by which to understand yoga's potential beneficial effects. Here we provide a theoretical framework and systems-based network model of yoga that focuses on integration of top-down and bottom-up forms of self-regulation. We begin by contextualizing yoga in historical and contemporary settings, and then detail how specific components of yoga practice may affect cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and autonomic output under stress through an emphasis on interoception and bottom-up input, resulting in physical and psychological health. The model describes yoga practice as a comprehensive skillset of synergistic process tools that facilitate bidirectional feedback and integration between high- and low-level brain networks, and afferent and re-afferent input from interoceptive processes (somatosensory, viscerosensory, chemosensory). From a predictive coding perspective we propose a shift to perceptual inference for stress modulation and optimal self-regulation. We describe how the processes that sub-serve self-regulation become more automatized and efficient over time and practice, requiring less effort to initiate when necessary and terminate more rapidly when no longer needed. To support our proposed model, we present the available evidence for yoga affecting self-regulatory pathways, integrating existing constructs from behavior theory and cognitive neuroscience with emerging yoga and meditation research. This paper is intended to guide future basic and clinical research, specifically targeting areas of development in the treatment of stress-mediated psychological disorders.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and candidate gene studies have identified a number of risk loci associated with the smoking-related disease COPD, a disorder that originates in the airway epithelium. Since airway basal cell (BC) stem/progenitor cells exhibit the earliest abnormalities associated with smoking (hyperplasia, squamous metaplasia), we hypothesized that smoker BC have a dysregulated transcriptome, enriched, in part, at known GWAS/candidate gene loci. Massive parallel RNA sequencing was used to compare the transcriptome of BC purified from the airway epithelium of healthy nonsmokers (n?=?10) and healthy smokers (n?=?7). The chromosomal location of the differentially expressed genes was compared to loci identified by GWAS to confer risk for COPD. Smoker BC have 676 genes differentially expressed compared to nonsmoker BC, dominated by smoking up-regulation. Strikingly, 166 (25%) of these genes are located on chromosome 19, with 13 localized to 19q13.2 (p<10?? compared to chance), including 4 genes (NFKBIB, LTBP4, EGLN2 and TGFB1) associated with risk for COPD. These observations provide the first direct connection between known genetic risks for smoking-related lung disease and airway BC, the population of lung cells that undergo the earliest changes associated with smoking.
Smoking and COPD are associated with decreased mucociliary clearance, and healthy smokers have shorter cilia in the large airway than nonsmokers. We hypothesized that changes in cilia length are consistent throughout the airway, and we further hypothesized that smokers with COPD have shorter cilia than healthy smokers. Because intraflagellar transport (IFT) is the process by which cilia of normal length are produced and maintained, and alterations in IFT lead to short cilia in model organisms, we also hypothesized that smoking induces changes in the expression of IFT-related genes in the airway epithelium of smokers and smokers with COPD. To assess these hypotheses, airway epithelium was obtained via bronchoscopic brushing. Cilia length was assessed by measuring 100 cilia (10 cilia on each of 10 cells) per subject and Affymetrix microarrays were used to evaluate IFT gene expression in nonsmokers and healthy smokers in 2 independent data sets from large and small airway as well as in COPD smokers in a data set from the small airway. In the large and small airway epithelium, cilia were significantly shorter in healthy smokers than nonsmokers, and significantly shorter in COPD smokers than in both healthy smokers and nonsmokers. The gene expression data confirmed that a set of 8 IFT genes were down-regulated in smokers in both data sets; however, no differences were seen in COPD smokers compared to healthy smokers. These results support the concept that loss of cilia length contributes to defective mucociliary clearance in COPD, and that smoking-induced changes in expression of IFT genes may be one mechanism of abnormally short cilia in smokers. Strategies to normalize cilia length may be an important avenue for novel COPD therapies.
It turns out that 2013 has been a great year for district nursing. This time last year, there was concern that the debate on the future of district nursing was not being heard and there was a lack of attention being given to the profession. One year on and I am confident that we have turned a corner.
Health behaviors such as eating and exercising have been linked to stress in many studies, and researchers suggest that these links are in large part due to the use of health behaviors to cope with stress. However, health behaviors in the context of coping have received relatively little research attention. In this paper, we briefly survey the literature linking stress, coping, and health behaviors, noting that very little research has explicitly examined health behaviors as coping with stress. We address critical theoretical and methodological issues that arise in applying a stress and coping perspective to health behaviors. We conclude with potential directions for interventions, including the need for conceptually solid and methodologically rigorous research and the development of new measures, and with suggestions for future research. The concepts of self-regulation and stress management and their implications in health behavior research and interventions are also discussed.
Identification of expression Quantitative Trait Loci (eQTL), the genetic loci that contribute to heritable variation in gene expression, can be obstructed by factors that produce variation in expression profiles if these factors are unmeasured or hidden from direct analysis.
Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) comprises ?13 genetically distinct lysosomal disorders primarily affecting the central nervous system. Here we report successful reprograming of patient fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for the two most common NCL subtypes: classic late-infantile NCL, caused by TPP1(CLN2) mutation, and juvenile NCL, caused by CLN3 mutation. CLN2/TPP1- and CLN3-iPSCs displayed overlapping but distinct biochemical and morphological abnormalities within the endosomal-lysosomal system. In neuronal derivatives, further abnormalities were observed in mitochondria, Golgi and endoplasmic reticulum. While lysosomal storage was undetectable in iPSCs, progressive disease subtype-specific storage material was evident upon neural differentiation and was rescued by reintroducing the non-mutated NCL proteins. In proof-of-concept studies, we further documented differential effects of potential small molecule TPP1 activity inducers. Fenofibrate and gemfibrozil, previously reported to induce TPP1 activity in control cells, failed to increase TPP1 activity in patient iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells. Conversely, nonsense suppression by PTC124 resulted in both an increase of TPP1 activity and attenuation of neuropathology in patient iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells. This study therefore documents the high value of this powerful new set of tools for improved drug screening and for investigating early mechanisms driving NCL pathogenesis.
Abstract Alpha-1 antitrypsin (?1AT) deficiency is a common autosomal recessive disorder characterized by a marked reduction in serum ?1AT levels, lung and liver disease. ?1AT is mainly produced and secreted by hepatocytes, with its primary function to protect the lung against the proteolytic activity of neutrophil elastase. Serum ?1AT levels <11??M are associated with progressive destruction of lung parenchyma and early-onset of panacinar emphysema in the age range 35-45. The current approved treatment for ?1AT deficiency is a costly protein augmentation therapy requiring weekly intravenous infusion of purified ?1AT from pooled human plasma. Gene therapy offers the advantage of a single vector administration, eliminating the burden of the repeated purified protein infusions, with the consequent reduced overall drug cost and improved compliance. We have developed a novel, highly efficient gene therapy approach for ?1AT deficiency based on the administration of AAVrh.10h?1AT, an adeno-associated viral vector serotype rh.10 coding for normal M-type human ?1AT via the intrapleural route. On the basis of prior murine studies, this approach provides sustained ?1AT proximal to the lung with a highly efficient vector. In support of a clinical trial for this approach, we carried out a study to assess the safety of intrapleural administration of AAVrh.10h?1AT to 280 mice and 36 nonhuman primates. The data demonstrate that this approach is safe, with no toxicity issues. Importantly, there was persistent expression of the human ?1AT mRNA in chest cavity cells for the duration of the study (6 months in mice and 1 year in nonhuman primates). Together, these data support the initiation of a clinical trial of intrapleural human AAVrh.10h?1AT for the treatment of ?1AT deficiency.
Objectives: Although more individuals are adopting yoga into their lives, little research has examined practitioners expectations and experiences of their yoga instructors behavior. Discrepancies between real and ideal behaviors of yoga instructors may lead to unsatisfactory experiences and decrease the potential impact of yoga practice. This study investigated differences between yoga practitioners real and ideal perceptions of their yoga teachers behavior and the relationship between discrepant beliefs and students symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Methods: The Perceptions of Yoga Teacher Questionnaire (PYTQ), a recently developed survey of student attitudes regarding yoga teachers behavior, was administered in a national online survey of yoga students and teachers. Greater discrepancy between real and idea yoga teacher behavior was anticipated to be positively associated with practitioners symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Cardiac gene therapy offers a strategy to treat diffuse coronary artery disease (CAD), a disorder with no therapeutic options. The use of genes to revascularize the ischemic myocardium has been the focus of two decades of preclinical research with a variety of angiogenic mediators, including vascular endothelial growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, hepatocyte growth factor, and others encoded by DNA plasmids or adenovirus vectors. The multifaceted challenge for developing efficient induction of collateral vessels in the ischemic heart requires a choice for route of delivery, dosing level, a relevant animal model, duration of treatment, and assessment of phenotype for efficacy. Overall, studies of gene therapy for ischemia in experimental models are very encouraging, with clear evidence of safety and efficacy, strongly supporting the concept that gene therapy to induce angiogenesis is a viable therapeutic approach for CAD. Clinical studies of cardiac gene therapy with angiogenic factors have added substantially to the evidence for efficacy, but definitive studies have not yet led to commercial approval. This review provides the general concepts for angiogenesis-based therapeutic approaches for diffuse CAD and summarizes the results from key studies in the field with recommendations for refinement to a successful product design and evaluation.
The purpose of this simple study was to characterize a panel of clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis obtained from the Western Cape region of South Africa where new clinical vaccine trials are beginning, in the low dose aerosol guinea pig infection model. Most of the strains tested grew well in the lungs and other organs of these animals, and in most cases gave rise to moderate to very severe lung damage. We further observed that the current BCG vaccine was highly protective against two randomly selected strains, giving rise to significantly prolonged survival.
We have developed a novel minimally invasive technique for the intra-arterial delivery of therapeutics to the mouse brain. CD-1 mice were anesthetized and placed in a lateral decubitus position. A 10mm midline longitudinal incision was made over the thyroid bone. The omohyoid and sternomastoid muscles were retracted to expose the common carotid artery and external carotid artery (ECA). To maximize delivery of administered agents, the superior thyroid artery was ligated or coagulated, and the occipital artery and the pterygopalatine artery (PPA) were temporarily occluded with 6-0 prolene suture. The ECA was carefully dissected and a permanent ligature was placed on its distal segment while a temporary 6-0 prolene ligature was placed on the proximal segment in order to obtain a flow-free segment of vessel. A sterilized 169?m outer diameter polyimide microcatheter was introduced into the ECA and advanced in retrograde fashion toward the carotid bifurcation. The catheter was then secured and manually rotated so that the microcatheter tip was oriented cephalad in the internal carotid artery (ICA). We were able to achieve reproducible results for selective ipsilateral hemispheric carotid injections of mannitol mediated therapeutics and/or gadolinium-based MRI contrast agent. Survival rates were dependent on the administered agent and ranged from 78 to 90%. This technique allows for reproducible delivery of agents to the ipsilateral cerebral hemisphere by utilizing anterograde catheter placement and temporary ligation of the PPA. This method is cost-effective and associated with a low rate of morbimortality.
Apolipoprotein E, a protein component of blood lipid particles, plays an important role in lipid transport. Different mutations in the apolipoprotein E gene have been associated with various clinical phenotypes. In an initiated study of Qataris, we observed that 17% of the African-derived genetic subgroup were heterozygotes for a rare Arg145Cys (R145C) variant that functions as a dominant trait with incomplete penetrance associated with type III hyperlipoproteinemia. On the basis of this observation, we hypothesized that the R145C polymorphism might be common in African-derived populations. The prevalence of the R145C variant was assessed worldwide in the "1000 Genomes Project" and in 1,012 whites and 1,226 African-Americans in New York, New York. The 1000 Genomes Project data demonstrated that the R145C polymorphism is rare in non-African-derived populations but present in 5% to 12% of Sub-Saharan African-derived populations. The R145C polymorphism was also rare in New York whites (1 of 1,012, 0.1%); however, strikingly, 53 of the 1,226 New York African-Americans (4.3%) were R145C heterozygotes. The lipid profiles of the Qatari and New York R145C heterozygotes were compared with those of controls. The Qatari R145C subjects had higher triglyceride levels than the Qatari controls (p <0.007) and the New York African-American R145C subjects had an average of 52% greater fasting triglyceride levels than the New York African-American controls (p <0.002). From these observations, likely millions of people worldwide derived from Sub-Saharan Africans are apolipoprotein E R145C. In conclusion, although larger epidemiologic studies are necessary to determine the long-term consequences of this polymorphism, the available evidence suggests it is a common cause of a mild triglyceride dyslipidemia.
Antioxidant nutritional status is hypothesized to influence chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) susceptibility and progression. Although past studies relate antioxidants to gene expression, there are no data in patients with COPD. This study investigated the hypothesis that antioxidant status is compromised in patients with COPD, and antioxidant-responsive genes differentially express in a similar pattern. Lung tissue samples from patients with COPD were assayed for vitamin E and gene expression. Selenium and vitamin E were assayed in corresponding plasma samples. Discovery based genome-wide expression analysis compared moderate, severe, and very severe COPD (GOLD II-IV) patients to mild and at-risk/normal (GOLD 0-I). Hypotheses-driven analyses assessed differential gene expression by disease severity for vitamin E-responsive and selenium-responsive genes. GOLD II-IV COPD patients had 30% lower lung tissue vitamin E levels compared to GOLD 0-I participants (p = 0.0082). No statistically significant genome-wide differences in expression by disease severity were identified. Hypothesis-driven analyses of 109 genes found 16 genes differentially expressed (padjusted < 0.05) by disease severity including 6 selenium-responsive genes (range in fold-change -1.39 to 2.25), 6 vitamin E-responsive genes (fold-change -2.30 to 1.51), and 4 COPD-associated genes. Lung tissue vitamin E in patients with COPD was associated with disease severity and vitamin E-responsive genes were differentially expressed by disease severity. Although nutritional status is hypothesized to contribute to COPD risk, and is of therapeutic interest, evidence to date is mainly observational. The findings reported herein are novel, and support a role of vitamin E in COPD progression.
The small airway epithelium (SAE), the first site of smoking-induced lung pathology, exhibits genome-wide changes in gene expression in response to cigarette smoking. Based on the increasing evidence that the epigenome can respond to external stimuli in a rapid manner, we assessed the SAE of smokers for genome-wide DNA methylation changes compared with nonsmokers, and whether changes in SAE DNA methylation were linked to the transcriptional output of these cells. Using genome-wide methylation analysis of SAE DNA of nonsmokers and smokers, the data identified 204 unique genes differentially methylated in SAE DNA of smokers compared with nonsmokers, with 67% of the regions with differential methylation occurring within 2 kb of the transcriptional start site. Among the genes with differential methylation were those related to metabolism, transcription, signal transduction and transport. For the differentially methylated genes, 35 exhibited a correlation with gene expression, 54% with an inverse correlation of DNA methylation with gene expression and 46% a direct correlation. These observations provide evidence that cigarette smoking alters the DNA methylation patterning of the SAE and that, for some genes, these changes are associated with the smoking-related changes in gene expression.
The airway epithelium of smokers acquires pathological phenotypes, including basal cell (BC) and/or goblet cell hyperplasia, squamous metaplasia, structural and functional abnormalities of ciliated cells, decreased number of secretoglobin (SCGB1A1)-expressing secretory cells, and a disordered junctional barrier. In this study, we hypothesized that smoking alters airway epithelial structure through modification of BC function via an EGF receptor (EGFR)-mediated mechanism. Analysis of the airway epithelium revealed that EGFR is enriched in airway BCs, whereas its ligand EGF is induced by smoking in ciliated cells. Exposure of BCs to EGF shifted the BC differentiation program toward the squamous and epithelial-mesenchymal transition-like phenotypes with down-regulation of genes related to ciliogenesis, secretory differentiation, and markedly reduced junctional barrier integrity, mimicking the abnormalities present in the airways of smokers in vivo. These data suggest that activation of EGFR in airway BCs by smoking-induced EGF represents a unique mechanism whereby smoking can alter airway epithelial differentiation and barrier function.
The purpose of this study was to attempt to develop therapeutic or post-exposure vaccines that could slow progressive disease in guinea pigs infected by low dose aerosol with very high virulence Beijing isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, currently classified as Category C biodefense pathogens by the NIH and CDC. After screening several candidates we focused on the use of three candidates; these were a pool of bacterial iron acquisition proteins, a pool of antigens recognized by T cells from chronically infected mice thought to represent proteins made by the bacillus in response to decreases in local oxygen tension, and a bacterial lipoprotein that is a potent TLR2 agonist. When delivered in a potent GLA-based adjuvant [targeting TLR4 and TLR9], in most cases we were unable to reduce the bacterial load in the lungs. However, the pathologic appearance of lungs from these animals showed that, while primary lesions were most unaffected and had become necrotic, the development of large, lung consolidating secondary lesions seemed to have been mostly prevented. In animals given both a priming vaccination and a boost the effects were prominent, and almost certainly contributed to significantly prolonged survival in these animals. In a biodefense situation, this prolonged survival would be potentially long enough to allow for the organism to be identified and a drug susceptibility profile determined.
As the multipotent progenitor population of the airway epithelium, human airway basal cells (BC) replenish the specialized differentiated cell populations of the mucociliated airway epithelium during physiological turnover and repair. Cultured primary BC divide a limited number of times before entering a state of replicative senescence, preventing the establishment of long-term replicating cultures of airway BC that maintain their original phenotype.
Abstract Coronary artery disease (CAD), a leading cause of mortality, is a chronic disease in which blood flow to the myocardium is obstructed, leading to ischemia. Although coronary artery stenting and surgical bypass are successful with localized coronary lesions, patients with diffuse CAD have only pharmacologic options. In a mouse ischemic hind-limb model, AdVEGF-All6A+, an Ad5 vector expressing the cDNA/genomic hybrid of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene (expressing isoforms, 121, 165, and 189) mediated recovery of blood flow at a dose of two logs less than that required with a single isoform. The objective of the current study was to ascertain the safety profile of good manufacturing practice (GMP)-grade AdVEGF-All6A+ in the adult rat ischemic heart model in support of a clinical study to treat humans with diffuse CAD. AdVEGF-All6A+ (10(5), 10(6), or 10(7) particle units), a control vector (AdNull, 10(7) particle units) with no translatable expression cassette and a vehicle sham control (phosphate buffered saline [PBS]) were administered separately to the left ventricle of rats immediately following acute coronary artery ligation to initiate myocardial infarction (MI), designed to evoke an extreme ischemic myocardium in cohorts (n=5 males; n=5 females), with sacrifice at 5, 14, or 30 days. Six cohorts received no ligation but were administered AdVEGF-All6A+ vector or PBS with sacrifice at 30 or 365 days. Although there were surgical-related abnormalities among the groups, blinded evaluation of gross and histopathology, complete blood count, and serum chemistry found no significant differences between control- and vector-treated groups and no adverse effects could be attributed to AdVEGF-All6A+. No changes in serum troponin-I levels persisted beyond those associated with the MI. Gross pathology and histopathology of all major organs showed no AdVEGF-All6A+-related changes. Overall, this safety profile suggests that AdVEGF-All6A+ or AdNull administration to the myocardium meets the criteria to proceed to clinical trial.
Lung cancer, including lung adenocarcinoma, is a heterogeneous disease, which evolves from molecular alterations in the airway epithelium. This study explores whether a subtype of lung adenocarcinomas expresses the unique molecular features of human airway basal cells (BCs), and how expression of the airway BC features correlates with the molecular, pathological and clinical phenotype of lung adenocarcinoma. Three independent lung adenocarcinoma data sets were analysed for expression of genes that constitute the airway BC signature. Expression of the BC signature in lung adenocarcinoma was then correlated to clinical and biological parameters. Remarkable enrichment of airway BC signature genes was found in lung adenocarcinomas. A subset of lung adenocarcinomas (BC-high adenocarcinoma) exhibited high expression of BC signature genes in association with poorer tumour grade, higher frequency of vascular invasion and shorter survival than adenocarcinomas with lower expression of these genes. At the molecular level, BC-high adenocarcinomas displayed a higher frequency of KRAS mutations, activation of transcriptional networks and pathways related to cell cycle, extracellular matrix organisation, and a distinct differentiation pattern with suppression of ciliated and exocrine bronchiolar cell (Clara cell)-related genes. Activation of the airway BC programme is a molecular feature of a distinct, aggressive subtype of lung adenocarcinoma.
Despite antismoking campaigns, cigarette smoking remains a pervasive addiction with significant societal impact, accounting for one of every five deaths. Smoking cessation therapies to help smokers quit are ineffective with a high recidivism rate. With the knowledge that nicotine is the principal addictive compound of cigarettes, we have developed an antismoking vaccine based on the highly immunogenic properties of the hexon protein purified from the serotype 5 adenovirus (Ad) capsid. We hypothesized that an effective antinicotine vaccine could be based on coupling the nicotine hapten AM1 to purified Ad hexon protein. To assess this, AM1 was conjugated to hexon purified from serotype 5 Ad to produce the HexonAM1 vaccine. C57Bl/6 mice were sensitized by 10 daily nicotine administrations (0.5?mg/kg, subcutaneous) to render the mice addicted to nicotine. Control groups were sensitized to phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). The mice were then immunized with HexonAM1 (4??g, intramuscular) at 0, 3, and 6 weeks. By 6 weeks, the HexonAM1-vaccinated mice had serum antinicotine antibody titers of 1.1×10(6)±7.6×10(4). To demonstrate that these high antinicotine titers were sufficient to suppress the effects of nicotine, HexonAM1-vaccinated mice were evaluated for nicotine-induced hypoactive behavior with nicotine challenges (0.5?mg/kg wt) over 5 weeks. In all challenges, the HexonAM1-vaccinated mice behaved similar to PBS-challenged naive mice. These data demonstrate that a vaccine comprised of a nicotine analog coupled to Ad hexon can evoke a high level of antinicotine antibodies sufficient to inhibit nicotine-induced behavior. The HexonAM1 vaccine represents a platform paradigm for vaccines against small molecules.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a major smoking-associated lung disorder characterized by progressive irreversible airflow limitation, affects >200 million people worldwide. Individuals with COPD have increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, resulting in exacerbations of the disease. A growing body of evidence indicates that multiple host defense mechanisms, such as those provided by the airway epithelial barrier and innate immune cells, including alveolar macrophages, neutrophils, dendritic cells and natural killer cells, are broadly suppressed in COPD in a smoking-dependent manner. Inactivation of the innate immune system observed in COPD smokers is remarkably similar to the immunosenescence phenotype associated with aging. As a consequence of defective innate immune defense, the lungs of COPD smokers are frequently colonized with pathogens and commonly develop bacterial and viral infections, which cause secondary inflammation, a major driver of the disease progression. In this review, we summarize the evidence from human studies related to disordering of the innate immune system in COPD, discuss possible relationships between those changes and aging, and provide insights into potential therapeutic strategies aimed at the prevention of COPD progression via normalization of the disordered innate immune mechanisms.
CXCL14, a recently described epithelial cytokine, plays putative multiple roles in inflammation and carcinogenesis. In the context that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are both smoking-related disorders associated with airway epithelial disorder and inflammation, we hypothesized that the airway epithelium responds to cigarette smoking with altered CXCL14 gene expression, contributing to the disease-relevant phenotype. Using genome-wide microarrays with subsequent immunohistochemical analysis, the data demonstrate that the expression of CXCL14 is up-regulated in the airway epithelium of healthy smokers and further increased in COPD smokers, especially within hyperplastic/metaplastic lesions, in association with multiple genes relevant to epithelial structural integrity and cancer. In vitro experiments revealed that the expression of CXCL14 is induced in the differentiated airway epithelium by cigarette smoke extract, and that epidermal growth factor mediates CXCL14 up-regulation in the airway epithelium through its effects on the basal stem/progenitor cell population. Analyses of two independent lung cancer cohorts revealed a dramatic up-regulation of CXCL14 expression in adenocarcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma. High expression of the COPD-associated CXCL14-correlating cluster of genes was linked in lung adenocarcinoma with poor survival. These data suggest that the smoking-induced expression of CXCL14 in the airway epithelium represents a novel potential molecular link between smoking-associated airway epithelial injury, COPD, and lung cancer.
The therapy of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is an example of a medical triumph over a common hereditary disease. Based on the understanding of the pathogens of the disease as a deficiency in liver production of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) resulting from inherited genetic variation in both parental AAT genes, the knowledge that A1AT functions primarily to inhibit neutrophil elastase (NE), and the observation that NE instilled into the lung of experimental animals resulted in emphysema, the concept evolved that the pulmonary manifestations of the disease could be halted by intermittent intravenous infusions of AAT purified from pooled human plasma. Following preliminary clinical studies in the academic community, and then pharmaceutical company development of large scale purification of human AAT, the FDA approved the use of weekly AAT augmentation therapy for AATD following a clinical trial which demonstrated that weekly infusions would raise to normal plasma and lung epithelial fluid levels of AAT in AAT-deficient individuals. The therapy is now used worldwide to treat AATD, the only pulmonary genetic disease with effective therapy for all affected individuals.
Gene therapy has shown clinical efficacy for several rare diseases, using different approaches and vectors. The Gene Therapy for Rare Diseases workshop, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Biotechnology Activities and Office of Rare Diseases Research, brought together investigators from different disciplines to discuss the challenges and opportunities for advancing the field including means for enhancing data sharing for preclinical and clinical studies, development and utilization of available NIH resources, and interactions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Activation of the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) signature genes has been observed in various epithelial cancers. In this study, we found that the hESC signature is selectively induced in the airway basal stem/progenitor cell population of healthy smokers (BC-S), with a pattern similar to that activated in all major types of human lung cancer. We further identified a subset of 6 BC-S hESC genes, whose coherent overexpression in lung adenocarcinoma (AdCa) was associated with reduced lung function, poorer differentiation grade, more advanced tumor stage, remarkably shorter survival, and higher frequency of TP53 mutations. BC-S shared with hESC and a considerable subset of lung carcinomas a common TP53 inactivation molecular pattern which strongly correlated with the BC-S hESC gene expression. These data provide transcriptome-based evidence that smoking-induced reprogramming of airway BC toward the hESC-like phenotype might represent a common early molecular event in the development of aggressive lung carcinomas in humans.
Exome sequencing of families of related individuals has been highly successful in identifying genetic polymorphisms responsible for Mendelian disorders. Here, we demonstrate the value of the reverse approach, where we use exome sequencing of a sample of unrelated individuals to analyze allele frequencies of known causal mutations for Mendelian diseases. We sequenced the exomes of 100 individuals representing the three major genetic subgroups of the Qatari population (Q1 Bedouin, Q2 Persian-South Asian, Q3 African) and identified 37 variants in 33 genes with effects on 36 clinically significant Mendelian diseases. These include variants not present in 1000 Genomes and variants at high frequency when compared with 1000 Genomes populations. Several of these Mendelian variants were only segregating in one Qatari subpopulation, where the observed subpopulation specificity trends were confirmed in an independent population of 386 Qataris. Premarital genetic screening in Qatar tests for only four out of the 37, such that this study provides a set of Mendelian disease variants with potential impact on the epidemiological profile of the population that could be incorporated into the testing program if further experimental and clinical characterization confirms high penetrance.
Cocaine addiction is a major problem for which there is no approved pharmacotherapy. We have developed a vaccine to cocaine (dAd5GNE), based on the cocaine analog GNE linked to the capsid proteins of a serotype 5 adenovirus, designed to evoke anti-cocaine antibodies that sequester cocaine in the blood, preventing access to the CNS. To assess the efficacy of dAd5GNE in a large animal model, positron emission tomography (PET) and the radiotracer [(11)C]PE2I were used to measure cocaine occupancy of the dopamine transporter (DAT) in nonhuman primates. Repeat administration of dAd5GNE induced high anti-cocaine titers. Before vaccination, cocaine displaced PE2I from DAT in the caudate and putamen, resulting in 62±4% cocaine occupancy. In contrast, dAd5GNE-vaccinated animals showed reduced cocaine occupancy such that when anti-cocaine titers were >4 × 10(5), the cocaine occupancy was reduced to levels of <20%, significantly below the 47% threshold required to evoke the subjective high reported in humans.
In biological invasions, rates of range expansion tend to accelerate through time. What kind of benefits to more rapidly dispersing organisms might impose natural selection for faster rates of dispersal, and hence the evolution of range-edge acceleration? We can answer that question by comparing fitness-relevant ecological traits of individuals at the invasion front compared with conspecifics in the same area a few years post-invasion. In tropical Australia, the rate of invasion by cane toads (Rhinella marina) has increased substantially over recent decades, due to shifts in heritable traits. Our data on field-collected cane toads at a recently invaded site in the Australian wet-dry tropics span a 5-year period beginning with toad arrival. Compared with conspecifics that we monitored in the same sites post-invasion, toads in the invasion vanguard exhibited higher feeding rates, larger energy stores, better body condition and faster growth. Three processes may have contributed to this pattern: (i) higher prey availability at the front (perhaps due to reduced competition from conspecifics); (ii) the lack of viability-reducing parasites and pathogens in invasion-front toads; and (iii) distinctive (active, fast-growing) phenotypes of the invasion-front toads. Nutritional benefits to individuals in the invasion vanguard (whether because of higher prey availability, or lower pathogen levels) thus may have conferred a selective advantage to accelerated dispersal in this system.
Ciliated cells play a central role in cleansing the airways of inhaled contaminants. They are derived from basal cells that include the airway stem/progenitor cells. In animal models, the transcription factor FOXJ1 has been shown to induce differentiation to the ciliated cell lineage, and the RFX transcription factor-family has been shown to be necessary for, but not sufficient to induce, correct cilia development.
Vitamin D is associated with lung health in epidemiologic studies, but mechanisms mediating observed associations are poorly understood. This study explores mechanisms for an effect of vitamin D in lung through an in vivo gene expression study, an expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis in lung tissue, and a population-based cohort study of sequence variants.
This study explored the use of Yoga by using a cross-sectional analysis of 286 young adult cancer survivors. The aim was to explore yoga practice, reasons for using this therapy; predictors of yoga use and any potential relationship between yoga use and well-being. Ninety one participants (32.82%) reported practicing yoga from their initial diagnosis. Practitioners reported a relatively high intensity (mean: 7.46 h/month) and length (25.88 months) of practice. The most common reasons given for undertaking yoga were to maintain flexibility and promote relaxation. Sociodemographic predictors of yoga use included gender, higher education with increased yoga use generally related to enhanced feelings of well-being. Results suggest that yoga use is more commonly used by cancer survivors with greater resources. Understanding more about the use of yoga by cancer survivors may facilitate the development and promotion of yoga-based interventions.
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