Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the most abundant neutrophin in the mammalian central nervous system, is critically involved in synaptic plasticity. In both rodents and humans, BDNF has been implicated in hippocampus- and amygdala-dependent learning and memory and has more recently been linked to fear extinction processes. Fifty-nine healthy participants, genotyped for the functional BDNFval66met polymorphism, underwent a fear conditioning and 24h-delayed extinction protocol while skin conductance and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses (functional magnetic resonance imaging) were acquired. We present the first report of neural activation pattern during fear acquisition 'and' extinction for the BDNFval66met polymorphism using a differential conditioned stimulus (CS)+ > CS- comparison. During conditioning, we observed heightened allele dose-dependent responses in the amygdala and reduced responses in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex in BDNFval66met met-carriers. During early extinction, 24h later, we again observed heightened responses in several regions ascribed to the fear network in met-carriers as opposed to val-carriers (insula, amygdala, hippocampus), which likely reflects fear memory recall. No differences were observed during late extinction, which likely reflects learned extinction. Our data thus support previous associations of the BDNFval66met polymorphism with neural activation in the fear and extinction network, but speak against a specific association with fear extinction processes.
Abstract Background. Human adenovirus-36 (Adv36) increases adiposity, but also upregulates distal insulin signaling in vitro in human adipose and muscle tissue and in vivo in the rodent independently of adiposity. Accordingly, healthy adults and children with antibodies against Adv36 had increased insulin sensitivity and reduced hepatic lipid accumulation. We hypothesized that Adv36 infection would be less frequent in individuals with type 2 diabetes or impaired glycemic control. Methods. Presence of antibodies against Adv36 was analyzed for association to type 2 diabetes or impaired glycemic control in a two-wave population-based sample of well-characterized adults (n = 1734). Indices of impaired glycemic control included oral glucose tolerance, and circulating fasting levels of glucose, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1). Results. Adv36 seropositivity was more common in those with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) than in those with diabetes (females: OR 17.2, 95% CI 4.0-74.3; males: OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.8-6.7). Also, females with NGT had higher frequency of Adv36 seropositivity than females with prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance and/or impaired fasting glucose; OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-3.1). Within the female prediabetes group Adv36 seropositivity was associated with higher insulin sensitivity reflected by reduced HOMA-IR and increased IGFBP-1. Conclusion. Adv36 infection is associated with lower occurrence of type 2 diabetes and better insulin sensitivity in adults, particularly among females.
The spatial localization of amyloid-? peptide deposits, the major component of senile plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD), was mapped in transgenic AD mouse brains using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), simultaneously with several endogenous molecules that cannot be mapped using conventional immunohistochemistry imaging, including phospholipids, cholesterol and sulfatides. Whereas the endogenous lipids were detected directly, the amyloid-? deposits, which cannot be detected as intact entities with ToF-SIMS because of extensive ion-induced fragmentation, were identified by specific binding of deuterated liposomes to antibodies directed against amyloid-?. Comparative investigation of the amyloid-? deposits using conventional immunohistochemistry and fluorescence microscopy suggests similar sensitivity but a more surface-confined identification due to the shallow penetration depth of the ToF-SIMS signal. The recorded ToF-SIMS images thus display the localization of lipids and amyloid-? in a narrow (~10 nm) two-dimensional plane at the tissue surface. As compared to a frozen nontreated tissue sample, the liposome preparation protocol generally increased the signal intensity of endogenous lipids, likely caused by matrix effects associated with the removal of salts, but no severe effects on the tissue integrity and the spatial distribution of lipids were observed with ToF-SIMS or scanning electron microscopy (SEM). This method may provide an important extension to conventional tissue imaging techniques to investigate the complex interplay of different kinds of molecules in neurodegenerative diseases, in the same specimen. However, limitations in target accessibility of the liposomes as well as unspecific binding need further consideration.
There is strong evidence that certain thrombophilic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) account for an increased risk of thrombosis. The additive impact of inherited thrombotic risk factors to a certain disease- immanent thrombotic risk is vastly unknown. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the influence of three novel, preselected SNPs on the risk of thrombosis in patients diagnosed with myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN).
Discovery of novel improved tools for diagnosis, prevention and therapy of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an important task for the nephrology community and it is likely that scientific breakthroughs, to a large extent, will be based on genomics. The rapid growth of the number of genome-wide association studies, major advances in DNA sequencing and omics profiling, and accelerating biomedical research efforts in this area have greatly expanded the knowledge base needed for applied genomics. However, translating and implementing genotype-phenotype data into gene-based medicine in CKD populations is still in an early phase and will require continuous research efforts with integrated approaches and intensified investigations that focus on the biological pathways, which causatively link a genetic variant with the disease phenotype. In this article, we review some current strategies to unravel these translational gaps as well as prospects for the implementation of genetic and epigenetic methods into novel clinical practice.
Identification of risk factors in patients with a particular disease can be analyzed in clinical data sets by using feature selection procedures of pattern recognition and data mining methods. The applicability of the relaxed linear separability (RLS) method of feature subset selection was checked for high-dimensional and mixed type (genetic and phenotypic) clinical data of patients with end-stage renal disease. The RLS method allowed for substantial reduction of the dimensionality through omitting redundant features while maintaining the linear separability of data sets of patients with high and low levels of an inflammatory biomarker. The synergy between genetic and phenotypic features in differentiation between these two subgroups was demonstrated.
Approximately 50 to 60% of patients with essential thrombocythemia or primary myelofibrosis carry a mutation in the Janus kinase 2 gene (JAK2), and an additional 5 to 10% have activating mutations in the thrombopoietin receptor gene (MPL). So far, no specific molecular marker has been identified in the remaining 30 to 45% of patients.
Like in many other common complex disorders, studies of chronic kidney disease (CKD) can now make use of the increasing knowledge of the human genome, its variations and impact on disease susceptibility, initiation, progression and complications. Such studies are facilitated by novel readily available high through-put genotyping methods and sophisticated analytical approaches to scan the genome for DNA variations and epigenetic modifications. Here, we review some of the recent discoveries that have emerged from these studies and expanded our knowledge of genetic risk loci and epigenetic markers in CKD pathophysiology. Obstacles and practical issues in this field are discussed.
Anorexia, meaning poor appetite, occurs in many human conditions, for example, anorexia nervosa, cachexia, and failure to thrive in infants. A key player in the regulation of appetite/food intake in general, as well as conditions of anorexia, is the hypothalamus, in particular, the AGRP/NPY and POMC/CART neurons in the arcuate nucleus. In this chapter, we review the hypothalamic aberrances seen in the anorectic anx/anx mouse. This mouse displays deviations in neuropeptidergic/-transmitter systems, including selective hypothalamic degeneration and inflammation that have been associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. In addition, we discuss data from other animal models, as well as clinical data relating hypothalamic inflammation/degeneration, neurogenesis, and mitochondrial dysfunction to conditions of disturbed regulation of food intake.
Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) harbours a polymorphic upstream variable-number tandem repeat (u-VNTR). The MAOA-L allele of the u-VNTR leads to decreased gene expression levels in vitro and has been found to increase the risk of conduct disorder in males with childhood adversities. Early-life adversities have been associated with hypermethylation of the glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1). In this study, we first performed a genetic association analysis of the MAOA u-VNTR using individuals with depression (n = 392) and controls (n = 1276). Next, DNA methylation analyses of MAOA and NR3C1 were performed using saliva samples of depressed and control subgroups. Adult MAOA-L females with childhood adversities were found to have a higher risk of developing depression (p = 0.006) and overall MAOA methylation levels were decreased in depressed females compared to controls (mean depressed, 42% vs. mean controls, 44%; p = 0.04). One specific childhood adversity [early parental death (EPD)] was associated with hypermethylation of NR3C1 close to an NGFI-A binding site (mean EPD, 19% vs. mean non-EPD, 14%; p = 0.005). Regression analysis indicated that this association may be mediated by the MAOA-L allele (adjusted R² = 0.24, ANOVA: F = 23.48, p < 0.001). Conclusively: (1) depression in females may result from a gene × childhood-adversity interaction and/or a dysregulated epigenetic programming of MAOA; (2) childhood-adversity subtypes may differentially impact DNA methylation at NR3C1; (3) baseline MAOA-genotypic variations may affect the extent of NR3C1 methylation.
Most psychiatric disorders are moderately to highly heritable. The degree to which genetic variation is unique to individual disorders or shared across disorders is unclear. To examine shared genetic etiology, we use genome-wide genotype data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) for cases and controls in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We apply univariate and bivariate methods for the estimation of genetic variation within and covariation between disorders. SNPs explained 17-29% of the variance in liability. The genetic correlation calculated using common SNPs was high between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (0.68 ± 0.04 s.e.), moderate between schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (0.43 ± 0.06 s.e.), bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (0.47 ± 0.06 s.e.), and ADHD and major depressive disorder (0.32 ± 0.07 s.e.), low between schizophrenia and ASD (0.16 ± 0.06 s.e.) and non-significant for other pairs of disorders as well as between psychiatric disorders and the negative control of Crohns disease. This empirical evidence of shared genetic etiology for psychiatric disorders can inform nosology and encourages the investigation of common pathophysiologies for related disorders.
The role of genetics for predicting the response to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder (SAD) has only been studied in one previous investigation. The serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR), the catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) val158met, and the tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2) G-703Tpolymorphisms are implicated in the regulation of amygdala reactivity and fear extinction and therefore might be of relevance for CBT outcome. The aim of the present study was to investigate if these three gene variants predicted response to CBT in a large sample of SAD patients.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by severe mood symptoms including major depressive and manic episodes. During manic episodes, many patients show cognitive dysfunction. Dopamine and glutamate are important for cognitive processing, thus the COMT and DAOA genes that modulate the expression of these neurotransmitters are of interest for studies of cognitive function.
The assessment of response to lithium maintenance treatment in bipolar disorder (BD) is complicated by variable length of treatment, unpredictable clinical course, and often inconsistent compliance. Prospective and retrospective methods of assessment of lithium response have been proposed in the literature. In this study we report the key phenotypic measures of the "Retrospective Criteria of Long-Term Treatment Response in Research Subjects with Bipolar Disorder" scale currently used in the Consortium on Lithium Genetics (ConLiGen) study.
? Several genetic loci have been suggested to be associated with bipolar disorder but results have been inconsistent. Studying associations between bipolar symptoms and candidate genes may better expose this relationship. Here we investigate the association between bipolar key symptoms and the P2RX7 gene.
The anorectic anx/anx mouse exhibits disturbed feeding behavior and aberrances, including neurodegeneration, in peptidergic neurons in the appetite regulating hypothalamic arcuate nucleus. Poor feeding in infants, as well as neurodegeneration, are common phenotypes in human disorders caused by dysfunction of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS). We therefore hypothesized that the anorexia and degenerative phenotypes in the anx/anx mouse could be related to defects in the OXPHOS. In this study, we found reduced efficiency of hypothalamic OXPHOS complex I assembly and activity in the anx/anx mouse. We also recorded signs of increased oxidative stress in anx/anx hypothalamus, possibly as an effect of the decreased hypothalamic levels of fully assembled complex I, that were demonstrated by native Western blots. Furthermore, the Ndufaf1 gene, encoding a complex I assembly factor, was genetically mapped to the anx interval and found to be down-regulated in anx/anx mice. These results suggest that the anorexia and hypothalamic neurodegeneration of the anx/anx mouse are associated with dysfunction of mitochondrial complex I.
Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are clonal myeloid disorders with increased production of terminally differentiated cells. The disease course is generally chronic, but some patients show disease progression (secondary myelofibrosis or accelerated phase) and/or leukemic transformation. We investigated chromosomal aberrations in 408 MPN samples using high-resolution single-nucleotide polymorphism microarrays to identify disease-associated somatic lesions. Of 408 samples, 37.5% had a wild-type karyotype and 62.5% harbored at least 1 chromosomal aberration. We identified 25 recurrent aberrations that were found in 3 or more samples. An increased number of chromosomal lesions was significantly associated with patient age, as well as with disease progression and leukemic transformation, but no association was observed with MPN subtypes, Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) mutational status, or disease duration. Aberrations of chromosomes 1q and 9p were positively associated with disease progression to secondary myelofibrosis or accelerated phase. Changes of chromosomes 1q, 7q, 5q, 6p, 7p, 19q, 22q, and 3q were positively associated with post-MPN acute myeloid leukemia. We mapped commonly affected regions to single target genes on chromosomes 3p (forkhead box P1 [FOXP1]), 4q (tet oncogene family member 2 [TET2]), 7p (IKAROS family zinc finger 1 [IKZF1]), 7q (cut-like homeobox 1 [CUX1]), 12p (ets variant 6 [ETV6]), and 21q (runt-related transcription factor 1 [RUNX1]). Our data provide insight into the genetic complexity of MPNs and implicate new genes involved in disease progression.
Variation in the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene (SLC6A4) has been shown to influence a wide range of affective processes. Low 5-HTT gene-expression has also been suggested to increase the risk of chronic pain. Conditioned pain modulation (CPM)--i.e. pain inhibits pain--is impaired in chronic pain states and, reciprocally, aberrations of CPM may predict the development of chronic pain. Therefore we hypothesized that a common variation in the SLC6A4 is associated with inter-individual variation in CPM. Forty-five healthy subjects recruited on the basis of tri-allelic 5-HTTLPR genotype, with inferred high or low 5-HTT-expression, were included in a double-blind study. A submaximal-effort tourniquet test was used to provide a standardized degree of conditioning ischemic pain. Individualized noxious heat and pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) were used as subjective test-modalities and the nociceptive flexion reflex (NFR) was used to provide an objective neurophysiological window into spinal processing.
The main aim of this study was to assess if the perception of thermal pain thresholds is associated with genetically inferred levels of expression of the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT). Additionally, the perception of the so-called thermal grill illusion (TGI) was assessed. Forty-four healthy individuals (27 females, 17 males) were selected a-priori based on their 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 (tri-allelic 5-HTTLPR) genotype, with inferred high or low 5-HTT expression. Thresholds for heat- and cold-pain were determined along with the sensory and affective dimensions of the TGI.
Amygdala reactivity is a heritable trait, potentiated in affective disorders and associated with both the 5-HTTLPR and the COMTval158met polymorphism. Fifty-four healthy volunteers selected a priori based on gender and 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 and COMTval158met genotypes performed a passive viewing task of angry facial expressions using fMRI. Amygdala reactivity and habituation were investigated using the a priori anatomical region of interest (ROI) approach. Furthermore, salivary cortisol and skin conductance responses were recorded. We observed an effect of 5-HTTLPR on right amygdala reactivity (s-carrier>l/l) and COMTval158met on left amygdala reactivity (met/met>val-carrier). We provide preliminary evidence that different amygdala habituation curves may partly underlie the differences between 5-HTTLPR and not COMT genotype groups. Further, exploratory analyses find no evidence for additive or interaction effects. Our results support that 5-HTTLPR s-carriers and COMT met/met carriers may be more sensitive to the detection of biologically and socially relevant information and suggest a mechanism behind this for the 5-HTTLPR.
Irritable mood during mood elevation is common in bipolar disorder. The progesterone metabolite allopregnanolone (ALLO) has been implicated in other disorders presenting with irritability. This study aimed to test whether a history of manic/hypomanic irritability is associated with low serum progesterone levels; and whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in gene coding for steroidogenetic enzymes (HSD3B2, SRD5A1 and AKR1C4 were coupled to previous manic irritability and/or with serum progesterone concentrations.
Premature vascular calcification (or rather ossification) significantly contributes to morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease stage 5 (CKD-5) and is linked to dysregulation of bone remodelling proteins. Recent evidence of a cross-talk between bone and fat tissue urged us to investigate whether the calcification/ossification-associated factors osteoprotegerin (OPG) and alpha-2-HS-glycoprotein (AHSG) are expressed in human uremic subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and if the expression differs from nonuremic SAT.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) represents a learning process leading to symptom relief and resulting in long-term changes in behavior. CBT for panic disorder is based on exposure and exposure-based processes can be studied in the laboratory as extinction of experimentally acquired fear responses. We have recently demonstrated that the ability to extinguish learned fear responses is associated with a functional genetic polymorphism (COMTval158met) in the COMT gene and this study was aimed at transferring the experimental results on the COMTval158met polymorphism on extinction into a clinical setting.
Despite considerable progress in the pharmacotherapy of epilepsy, more than 30% of patients are reported to be resistant to antiepileptic drugs. Multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1) gene could play a role in drug resistance in epilepsy. In this study, the authors investigated the association between the MDR1 gene polymorphisms, C3435T and G2677AT, and drug resistance epilepsy by using polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism and pyrosequencing methods in a group of 39 patients with drug-resistant epilepsy and 92 controls. No associations were found between the polymorphisms of the MDR1 gene and drug-resistant epilepsy. Haplotype analysis showed no significant association. Compound genotype analysis showed that CC3435/GG2677 was significantly higher in the control group compared to the patient group. In conclusion, MDR1 polymorphisms investigated in this study are not associated with antiepileptic drug resistance, but the CC3435/GG2677 compound genotype might have an effect on antiepileptic drug response.
Bipolar disorder patients often display abnormalities in circadian rhythm, and they are sensitive to irregular diurnal rhythms. CRY2 participates in the core clock that generates circadian rhythms. CRY2 mRNA expression in blood mononuclear cells was recently shown to display a marked diurnal variation and to respond to total sleep deprivation in healthy human volunteers. It was also shown that bipolar patients in a depressive state had lower CRY2 mRNA levels, nonresponsive to total sleep deprivation, compared to healthy controls, and that CRY2 gene variation was associated with winter depression in both Swedish and Finnish cohorts.
Using genome-wide association, we identify common variants at 2p12-p13, 6q26, 17q23 and 19q13 associated with serum creatinine, a marker of kidney function (P = 10(-10) to 10(-15)). Of these, rs10206899 (near NAT8, 2p12-p13) and rs4805834 (near SLC7A9, 19q13) were also associated with chronic kidney disease (P = 5.0 x 10(-5) and P = 3.6 x 10(-4), respectively). Our findings provide insight into metabolic, solute and drug-transport pathways underlying susceptibility to chronic kidney disease.
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is critically involved in neuroplasticity, as well as the acquisition, consolidation, and retention of hippocampal- and amygdala-dependent learning. A common functional A-->G single nucleotide polymorphism (BDNFval66met) in the prodomain of the human BDNF gene is associated with abnormal intracellular trafficking and reduced activity-dependent BDNF release. We studied the effect of BDNFval66met in an aversive differential fear conditioning, and a delayed extinction paradigm in 57 healthy participants. Pictures of male faces were used as stimuli and fear learning was quantified by fear potentiated startle (FPS) and skin conductance responses (SCR). Aware BDNF met-carriers show a deficit in amygdala-dependent fear conditioning as indicated by an absence of FPS responses in the last acquisition block. This deficit was maintained in the first block of extinction. No genotype differences were found in conditioned SCR discrimination. These data provide evidence for the involvement of BDNF signaling in human amygdala-dependent learning. We suggest that the BDNF met-allele may have a protective effect for the development of affective pathologies that may be mediated via reduced synaptic plasticity induced by negative experience.
The imaging capability and high detection sensitivity of time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) makes it a potentially attractive complement to other mass spectrometry methods, such as ESI and MALDI, for the analysis of proteins and peptides. We have explored this possibility by performing a systematic analysis of synthetic opioid and amyloid peptides with ToF-SIMS using Bi(3)(+) and Au(3)(+) primary ions. In the low mass region of the spectra, a number of single amino acid ion peaks were detected, providing information about the amino acid content in each peptide. In the medium and high mass range of the spectra, peaks corresponding to multiple amino acid ions (backbone cleavage ions) as well as molecular ions were detected, allowing for the determination of the amino acid sequence and the molecular mass of the entire peptide, respectively. Detection efficiencies were determined for the molecular ions of some of the peptides, indicating detection limits in the attomole range. The fragmentation patterns observed in the ToF-SIMS analysis of opioid and amyloid peptides showed interesting similarities with collision-induced dissociation (CID) studies using other mass spectrometry methods. The present work provides important progress toward ToF-SIMS proteomics.
Abnormalities in the circadian clockwork often characterize patients with major depressive and bipolar disorders. Circadian clock genes are targets of interest in these patients. CRY2 is a circadian gene that participates in regulation of the evening oscillator. This is of interest in mood disorders where a lack of switch from evening to morning oscillators has been postulated.
Depression and alcohol abuse or dependence (AUD) co-occur in the general population more frequently than expected by chance. Alcohol use influences the circadian rhythms generated by the central pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, and circadian rhythm alterations in turn are common in depressive disorders as well as among persons addicted to alcohol.
Anorexia is a common complication of chronic kidney disease (CKD), while novel animal and human data suggest a role for visfatin in regulating feeding behavior. We hypothesized that increased visfatin levels in CKD patients may be involved in the regulation of appetite and nutrient homeostasis.
The progression rate of chronic kidney disease (CKD) to its terminal stage, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and the development and severity of various complications, are at least indirectly influenced by genetic--and epigenetic--factors. For years, scientists have held out hope that the rapidly evolving field of genetics could transform medical diagnosis and treatment, moving beyond a trial-and-error approach towards "personalized medicine." Indeed, there are now signs that the role of genetics and the pursuit of "personalized medicine" in medical care will be a priority for governments during years to come. But the vision of individualized treatment based on a patients genetic makeup and other biological markers has yet to materialize in the field of CKD and ESRD. As the toxic uremic environment may render CKD patients more sensitive to the effects of genetic variants, it is likely that genetic factors could be of special importance in this high-risk population. Therefore, outcome in the CKD population may be improved by establishing individual genetic/epigenetic profiles, thus enabling physicians to design an individualized therapeutic strategy. Personalized medicine based on a more individualized therapy could be applied in, for example, pharmacotherapy (CYP genes), dialysis therapy, and nutritional and lifestyle modifications.
The short allele of a functional polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) in the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) promoter is associated with reduced serotonin transporter expression, lower in vivo 5-HTT binding, higher neuroticism and amygdala reactivity as well as facilitated fear conditioning and is a candidate variant for panic disorder. However, case-control studies have consistently failed to show an association between 5-HTTLPR and panic disorder. As psychiatric disorders are broadly defined phenotypes merging different symptoms to syndromes, they may not be very well suited for genetic association studies. An alternative approach is to measure symptoms along continuous symptom dimensions which may more appropriately reflect their biological underpinnings and may reveal subpopulations within clinical diagnostic groups. We recorded the symptomatic profile in 73 in panic disorder patients using observer-rated instruments (Panic Disorder Severity Scale, PDSS; Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale, MADRS) and hypothesized more severe symptoms in patients carrying the 5-HTTLPR s-allele. We observed a strong association between bi- and triallelic 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms and the symptomatic profile. Carriers of the 5-HTTLPR s-allele suffered from most severe panic and depressive symptoms. Our data highlight the importance of defining appropriate phenotypes for psychiatric genetic studies and demonstrate that the 5-HTTLPR genotype may be related to the symptomatic profiles rather than to the vulnerability to develop panic disorder.
There is evidence from animal studies that serotonin (5-HT) can influence the antinociceptive effects of opioids at the spinal cord level. Therefore, there could be an influence of genetic polymorphisms in the serotonin system on individual variability in response to opioid treatment of pain. The serotonin transporter (5-HTT) is a key regulator of serotonin metabolism and availability and its gene harbors several known polymorphisms that are known to affect 5-HTT expression (e.g. 5-HTTLPR, rs25531). The aim of this study was to investigate if the triallelic 5-HTTLPR influences pain sensitivity or the analgesic effect of opioids in humans. 43 healthy volunteers (12 men, 31 women, mean age 26 years) underwent heat pain stimulations before and after intravenous injection of Remifentanil; a rapid and potent opioid drug acting on micro-type receptors. Subjects rated their perceived pain on a visual analogue scale (VAS). All participants were genotyped for the 5-HTTLPR and the rs25531 polymorphism. We recruited by advertising, with no history of drug abuse, chronic pain or psychiatric disorders.
The CC-chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) is a receptor for various proinflammatory chemokines, and a deletion variant of the CCR5 gene (CCR5 Delta 32) leads to deficiency of the receptor. We hypothesized that CCR5 Delta 32 modulates inflammation-driven mortality in patients with ESRD. We studied the interaction between CCR5 genotype and levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in 603 incident dialysis patients from the multicenter, prospective NEtherlands COoperative Study on the Adequacy of Dialysis (NECOSAD) cohort. CCR5 genotype and hsCRP levels were both available for 413 patients. During 5 yr of follow-up, 170 patients died; 87 from cardiovascular causes. Compared with the reference group of patients who had the wild-type CCR5 genotype and hsCRP 10 mg/L (n = 108) had an increased risk for mortality (HR: 1.82; 95% CI: 1.29 to 2.58). However, those carrying the deletion allele with hsCRP > 10 mg/L (n = 25) had a mortality rate similar to the reference group; this seemingly protective effect of the CCR5 deletion was even more pronounced for cardiovascular mortality. We replicated these findings in an independent Swedish cohort of 302 ESRD patients. In conclusion, the CCR5 Delta 32 polymorphism attenuates the adverse effects of inflammation on overall and cardiovascular mortality in ESRD.
It was investigated whether azithromycin (AZM) stimulates chloride (Cl-) efflux from cystic fibrosis (CF) and non-CF airway epithelial cells, possibly secondary to up-regulation of the multidrug resistance protein (MDR). CF and non-CF human airway epithelial cell lines (CFBE and 16HBE) were treated with 0.4, 4, and 40 microg/mL AZM for 4 days. Cl- efflux was explored in the presence or absence of specific inhibitors of CFTR and alternative Cl- channels. Six CF patients received AZM (500 mg daily) for 6 months. The percentage of predicted forced vital capacity (FVC%), forced expiratory volume (FEV1%), and the number of acute exacerbations were compared before and after treatment. Nasal biopsies were taken before and after treatment, and mRNA expression of MDR and CFTR was determined by in situ hybridization. A significant dose-dependent increase of Cl- efflux from CFBE cells (but not from 16HBE cells) was observed after AZM treatment. A CFTR inhibitor significantly reduced AZM-stimulated Cl- efflux from CFBE cells. A significant improvement in FEV1%, and fewer exacerbations were observed. AZM treatment did not affect mRNA expression of MDR and CFTR. The stimulation of Cl- efflux could be part of the explanation for the clinical improvement seen among the patients.
Osmium tetroxide (OsO4) is a commonly used stain for unsaturated lipids in electron and optical microscopy of cells and tissues. In this work, the localization of osmium oxide and specific lipids was independently monitored in mouse adipose tissue by using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry with Bi cluster primary ions. Substance-specific ion images recorded after OsO4 staining showed that unsaturated C18 fatty acids were colocalized with osmium oxide, corroborating the view that osmium tetroxide binds to unsaturated lipids. In contrast, saturated fatty acids (C14, C16 and C18) and also unsaturated C16 fatty acids show largely complementary localizations to osmium oxide. Furthermore, the distributions of saturated and unsaturated diglycerides are consistent with the specific binding of osmium oxide to unsaturated C18 fatty acids. The abundance of ions, characteristic of phospholipids and proteins, is strongly decreased as a result of the osmium staining, suggesting that a large fraction of these compounds are removed from the tissue during this step, while ions related to fatty acids, di- and triglycerides remain strong after osmium staining. Ethanol dehydration after osmium staining results in more homogeneous distributions of osmium oxide and unsaturated lipids. This work provides detailed insight into the specific binding of osmium oxide to different lipids.
Postoperative insulin resistance, resulting in hyperglycemia, is strongly associated to morbidity and mortality in surgical patients but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. As increasing data suggests a link between inflammation and insulin resistance, we aimed to evaluate if the expression of inflammatory and insulin signaling genes is regulated in skeletal muscle during surgery.
Pavlovian fear conditioning is a widely used model of the acquisition and extinction of fear. Neural findings suggest that the amygdala is the core structure for fear acquisition, whereas prefrontal cortical areas are given pivotal roles in fear extinction. Forty-eight volunteers participated in a fear-conditioning experiment, which used fear potentiation of the startle reflex as the primary measure to investigate the effect of two genetic polymorphisms (5-HTTLPR and COMTval158met) on conditioning and extinction of fear. The 5-HTTLPR polymorphism, located in the serotonin transporter gene, is associated with amygdala reactivity and neuroticism, whereas the COMTval158met polymorphism, which is located in the gene coding for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), a dopamine-degrading enzyme, affects prefrontal executive functions. Our results show that only carriers of the 5-HTTLPR s allele exhibited conditioned startle potentiation, whereas carriers of the COMT met/met genotype failed to extinguish conditioned fear. These results may have interesting implications for understanding gene-environment interactions in the development and treatment of anxiety disorders.
The lateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices have both been implicated in emotion regulation, but their distinct roles in regulation of negative emotion remain poorly understood. To address this issue we enrolled 58 participants in an fMRI study in which participants were instructed to reappraise both negative and neutral stimuli. This design allowed us to separately study activations reflecting cognitive processes associated with reappraisal in general and activations specifically related to reappraisal of negative emotion. Our results confirmed that both the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) contribute to emotion regulation through reappraisal. However, activity in the DLPFC was related to reappraisal independently of whether negative or neutral stimuli were reappraised, whereas the lateral OFC was uniquely related to reappraisal of negative stimuli. We suggest that relative to the lateral OFC, the DLPFC serves a more general role in emotion regulation, perhaps by reflecting the cognitive demand that is inherent to the regulation task.
The tools of modern molecular biology are evolving rapidly, resulting in vastly more efficient approaches to illuminating human genetic variations and their effects on common multifactorial disorders such as chronic kidney disease (CKD). Indeed, candidate gene association studies and genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have generated novel genetic variants in previously unrecognized biological pathways, highlighting disease mechanisms with a potential role in CKD etiology, morbidity and mortality. Nephrologists now need to find ways to make use of these advancements and meet the increasingly stringent requirements for valid study design, data handling and interpretation of genetic studies. Adding to our prior article in this journal, which introduced the basics of genotype-phenotype association studies in CKD, this second article focuses on how to ascertain robust and reproducible findings by applying adequate methodological and statistical approaches to genotype-phenotype studies in CKD populations. Moreover, this review will briefly discuss genotype-based risk prediction, pharmacotherapy, drug target identification and individualized treatment solutions, specifically highlighting potentially important findings in CKD patients. This increased knowledge will hopefully facilitate the exciting transition from conventional clinical medicine to gene-based medicine. However, before this can be accomplished, unsolved issues regarding the complex human genetic architecture as well technical and clinically oriented obstacles will have to be overcome. Additionally, new policies and standardized risk evaluations for genetic testing in the clinical setting will have to be established to guarantee that CKD patients are provided with high-quality genotype-guided counseling that will help to improve their poor outcomes.
The spatial distributions of lipids, amyloid-beta deposits, markers of neurons and glial cells were imaged, at submicrometer lateral resolution, in brain structures of a mouse model of Alzheimers disease using a new methodology that combines time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) and confocal fluorescence microscopy. The technology, which enabled us to simultaneously image the lipid and glial cell distributions in Tg2576 mouse brain structures, revealed micrometer-sized cholesterol accumulations in hippocampal regions undergoing amyloid-beta deposition. Such cholesterol granules were either associated with individual amyloid deposits or spread over entire regions undergoing amyloidogenesis. Subsequent immunohistochemical analysis of the same brain regions showed increased microglial and astrocytic immunoreactivity associated with the amyloid deposits, as expected from previous studies, but did not reveal any particular astrocytic or microglial feature correlated with cholesterol granulation. However, dystrophic neurites as well as presynaptic vesicles presented a distribution similar to that of cholesterol granules in regions undergoing amyloid-beta accumulation, thus indicating that these neuronal endpoints may retain cholesterol in areas with lesions. In conclusion, the present study provides evidence for an altered cholesterol distribution near amyloid deposits that would have been missed by several other lipid analysis methods, and opens for the possibility to study in detail the putative liaison between lipid environment and protein structure and function in Alzheimers disease.
Serotonin (5-HT) is highly involved in pain regulation and serotonin-1A (5-HT1A) receptors are important in determining central 5-HT tone. Accordingly, variation in the 5-HT1A receptor gene (HTR1A) may contribute to inter-individual differences in human pain sensitivity. The minor G-allele of the HTR1A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs6295 attenuates firing of serotonergic neurons and reduces postsynaptic expression of the receptor. Experiments in rodents suggest that 5-HT1A-agonism modulates pain in opposite directions at mild compared to high noxious intensities. Based upon this and several other similar observations, we hypothesized that G-carriers would exhibit a relative hypoalgesia at mild thermal stimuli but tend towards hyperalgesia at higher noxious intensities.
Rapid cycling is a severe form of bipolar disorder with an increased rate of episodes that is particularly treatment-responsive to chronotherapy and stable sleep-wake cycles. We hypothesized that the P2RX7 gene would be affected by sleep deprivation and be implicated in rapid cycling.
Experimental and natural human adenovirus-36 (Adv36) infection of multiple animal species results in obesity through increasing adipogenesis and lipid accumulation in adipocytes. Presence of Adv36 antibodies detected by serum neutralization assay has previously been associated with obesity in children and adults living in the USA, South Korea and Italy, whereas no association with adult obesity was detected in Belgium/The Netherlands nor among USA military personnel. Adv36 infection has also been shown to reduce blood lipid levels, increase glucose uptake by adipose tissue and skeletal muscle biopsies, and to associate with improved glycemic control in non-diabetic individuals.
In spite of extensive research resulting in major advances in renal care including technological improvements of dialysis, the poor outcome of chronic kidney disease patients has only marginally been improved since the 1980s. It has thus become clear that new strategies are needed to move forward. There are now great expectations that increased knowledge about genetic characteristics combined with other biological markers will identify pathophysiological pathways involved in the initiation and progression of renal damage and that this in turn will help define tools for early disease intervention and personalized treatment strategies. Already, new methodologies have made it possible to study the heritable component of many kidney diseases, and it is probable that DNA-based diagnostics will be performed on a regular basis for many conditions in the near future. This article discusses basic genetic concepts and highlights some of the novel approaches available for genome-wide genetic analyses. We hope that it may serve as an introduction to the research field of what we call "nephrogenetics." A second article in this series will focus on the interpretation and evaluation of genetic association studies and how to make use of this information to improve patient care and outcomes.
Even though schizophrenia has a strong hereditary component, departures from simple genetic transmission are prominent. DNA methylation has emerged as an epigenetic explanatory candidate of schizophrenias nonmendelian characteristics. To investigate this assumption, we examined genome-wide (global) and gene-specific DNA methylation levels, which are associated with genomic stability and gene expression activity, respectively. Analyses were conducted using DNA from leukocytes of patients with schizophrenia and controls. Global methylation results revealed a highly significant hypomethylation in patients with schizophrenia (P<2.0×10(-6)) and linear regression among patients generated a model in which antipsychotic treatment and disease onset explained 11% of the global methylation variance (adjusted R(2)=0.11, ANOVA P<0.001). Specifically, haloperidol was associated with higher ("control-like") methylation (P=0.001), and early onset (a putative marker of schizophrenia severity) was associated with lower methylation (P=0.002). With regard to the gene-specific methylation analyses, and in accordance with the dopamine hypothesis of psychosis, we found that the analyzed region of S-COMT was hypermethylated in patients with schizophrenia (P=0.004). In summary, these data support the notion of a dysregulated epigenome in schizophrenia, which, at least globally, is more pronounced in early-onset patients and can be partly rescued by antipsychotic medication. In addition, blood DNA-methylation signatures show promise of serving as a schizophrenia biomarker in the future.
Paranoia is commonly a mood-incongruent psychotic symptom of mania which may be related to dopamine dysregulation. Progesterone and its metabolite allopregnanolone (ALLO) have been found in animals to antagonize the effects of dopamine. We therefore examined serum progesterone, its endogenous antagonist DHEAS and polymorphisms of the genes coding for certain steroidogenetic enzymes (AKR1C4, HSD3B2, and SRD5A1) in 64 males and 96 females with bipolar 1 or 2 disorder with or without paranoid ideation during mood elevation. Euthymic morning serum progesterone, DHEAS and cortisol concentrations were measured in males and in premenopausal women who were in follicular phase and not taking oral contraceptives. In women only, SNPs in AKR1C4 reduced the likelihood of having exhibited paranoid ideation by circa 60%. The haplotype of all 4 SNPs in the AKR1C4 gene reduced the risk of exhibiting paranoia by 80% (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.06-0.61, p=0.05). A history of paranoid ideation was not, however, related to progesterone or DHEAS concentration. Serum DHEAS and progesterone concentrations were lower in men who had shown paranoid ideation during mania/hypomania compared with those who had not (F=7.30, p=0.006) however this was not coupled to polymorphisms in the selected genes. The ancestral G in rs4659174 in HSD3B2 was in men associated with a lower risk of paranoid ideation (likelihood ratio ?(2) 3.97, p=0.046, OR 0.31 (95% CI 0.10-0.96)) but did not correlate with hormone concentrations. Hence, gene variants in the steroidogenetic pathway and steroids concentration differences may be involved in the susceptibility to paranoia during mood elevation.
Fundamental biases in affective information processing are modulated by individual differences in the emotional response to environmental stimuli that may be partly based on the individuals genetic make-up. To extend prior dot probe studies on attention genetics, we used a visual-search paradigm (VSP) with pictures of angry and happy faces of both sexes as targets, neutral faces as distractors, and a varying set size. Participants were selected a priori depending on their 5-HTTLPR (s/s, s/l, l/l; on a constant rs25531 A-allele background) and COMTval158met (val/val, valmet, met/met) genotypes and were matched for sex and age. We demonstrate a bias towards angry male faces (as opposed to happy male faces) irrespective of 5-HTTLPR genotype in the first experimental block that was maintained during the second experimental block only in carriers of the s-allele, which implies differential habituation processes. While a bias towards angry male faces was observed irrespective of COMTval158met genotype, only individuals with the val/val genotype exhibited a bias towards a happy female face (as opposed to an angry female face). In sum, our results both replicate and extend prior findings in the field of attention genetics and add important pieces of information to the research on attentional biases in emotion processing.
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