Osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are the two most common age-related chronic disorders of articular joints and skeleton, representing a major public health problem in most developed countries. Apart from being influenced by environmental factors, both disorders have a strong genetic component, and there is now considerable evidence from large population studies that these two disorders are inversely related. Thus, an accurate analysis of the genetic component of one of these two multifactorial diseases may provide data of interest for the other. However, the existence of confounding factors must always be borne in mind in interpreting the genetic analysis. In addition, each patient must be given an accurate clinical evaluation, including family history, history of drug treatments, lifestyle, and environment, in order to reduce the background bias. Here, we review the impact of recent work in molecular genetics suggesting that powerful molecular biology techniques will soon make possible both a rapid accumulation of data on the genetics of both disorders and the development of novel diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic approaches.
candidate genes; genetics; multifactorial diseases; osteoporosis; osteoarthritis
Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is an aggressive childhood myeloproliferative disorder characterized by the overproduction of myelomonocytic cells. JMML incidence approaches 1.2/million persons in the United States (Cancer Incidence and Survival Among Children and Adolescents: United States SEER Program 1975–1995). Although rare, JMML is innately informative as the molecular genetics of this disease implicates hyperactive Ras as an essential initiating event. Given that Ras is one of the most frequently mutated oncogenes in human cancer, findings from this disease are applicable to more genetically diverse and complex adult leukemias. The JMML Foundation (www.jmmlfoundation.org) was founded by parent advocates dedicated to finding a cure for this disease. They work to bring investigators together in a collaborative manner. This article summarizes key presentations from the 2nd International JMML Symposium, on December 7–8, 2007 in Atlanta, GA. A list of all participants is in Supplementary Table.
Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML); RAS; PTPN11; NF1; Therapy; Diagnosis
The strain diversity and the population structure of nosocomial Acinetobacter isolated from patients admitted to different hospitals in Florence, Italy, during a 3-year surveillance program, were investigated by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). The majority of isolates (84.5%) were identified as A. baumannii, confirming this species as the most common hospital Acinetobacter. Three very distinct A. baumannii clonal groups (A1, A2, and A3) were defined. The A1 isolates appeared to be genetically related to the well-characterized European EU II clone. A2 was responsible for three outbreaks which occurred in two intensive care units. Space/time population dynamic analysis showed that A1 and A2 were successful nosocomial clones. Most of the A. baumannnii isolates were imipenem resistant. The genetic determinants of carbapenem resistance were investigated by multiplex PCR, showing that resistance, independently of hospital origin, period of isolation, or clonal group, was associated with the presence of a bla OXA-58-like gene and with ISAba2 and ISAba3 elements flanking this gene. bla OXA-58 appeared to be horizontally transferred. This study showed that the high discriminatory power of AFLP is useful for identification and typing of nosocomial Acinetobacter isolates. Moreover the use of AFLP in a real-time surveillance program allowed us the recognition of clinically relevant and widespread clones and their monitoring in hospital settings. The correlation between clone diffusion, imipenem resistance, and the presence of the blaOXA-58-like gene is discussed.
Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is a common systemic disorder characterised by the ossification of the anterior longitudinal spinal ligament involving at least three contiguous vertebrae and by diffuse extraspinal enthesopathies. The condition is associated with the male sex and with advanced age; its aetiology is uncertain, but seems to be related to obesity and diabetes. The most recent studies in archaeological series demonstrated a relation between high social status and the incidence of DISH. The present study examines two cases of DISH found amongst the members of the Medici family buried in the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence. The skeletons of the Grand Dukes Cosimo I (1519–1574) and his son Ferdinand I (1549–1609) showed the typical features of the condition. This result is related to the obesity of the Grand Dukes, attested by the written and artistic sources, and to the protein-based alimentation demonstrated by a paleonutritional study, thus furnishing further evidence to the significance of DISH as a life style.
DISH; Morbus Forrestier; Spinal ankylosis; Obesity; Diabetes; Life style; Renaissance
The Douglas Mental Health University Institute, in collaboration with the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, organized a two day symposium entitled “Biological Changes Associated with Healthy Versus Pathological Aging” that was held in December 13 and 14, 2007 on the Douglas campus. The symposium involved presentations on current trends in aging and dementia research across several sub-disciplines: genetics, neurochemistry, structural and functional neuroimaging and clinical treatment and rehabilitation. The goal of this symposium was to provide a forum for knowledge-transfer between scientists and clinicians with different specializations in order to promote cross-fertilization of research ideas that would lead to future collaborative neuroscience research in aging and dementia. In this review article we summarize the presentations made by the thirteen international scientists at the symposium and highlight: (i) past research, and future research trends in neuroscience of aging and dementia and (ii) links across levels of analysis that can lead to fruitful transdisciplinary research programs that will advance knowledge about the neurobiological changes associated with healthy aging and dementia.
healthy aging; dementia; hippocampus; prefrontal cortex; amyloid deposition; MRI; volumetry; dopamine
The growth and development of the human skeleton requires an adequate supply of many different nutritional factors. Classical nutrient deficiencies are associated with stunting (e.g. energy, protein, Zn), rickets (e.g. vitamin D) and other bone abnormalities (e.g. Cu, Zn, vitamin C). In recent years there has been interest in the role nutrition may play in bone growth at intakes above those required to prevent classical deficiencies, particularly in relation to optimising peak bone mass and minimising osteoporosis risk. There is evidence to suggest that peak bone mass and later fracture risk are influenced by the pattern of growth in childhood and by nutritional exposures in utero, in infancy and during childhood and adolescence. Of the individual nutrients, particular attention has been paid to Ca, vitamin D, protein and P. There has also been interest in several food groups, particularly dairy products, fruit and vegetables and foods contributing to acid–base balance. However, it is not possible at the present time to define dietary reference values using bone health as a criterion, and the question of what type of diet constitutes the best support for optimal bone growth and development remains open. Prudent recommendations (Department of Health, 1998; World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization, 2003) are the same as those for adults, i.e. to consume a Ca intake close to the reference nutrient intake, optimise vitamin D status through adequate summer sunshine exposure (and diet supplementation where appropriate), be physically active, have a body weight in the healthy range, restrict salt intake and consume plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Bone growth and development; Bone health; Nutritional factors; Dietary and lifestyle recommendations; Bone measurements in children
Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are age-related disorders of the skeleton with genetic components. Low bone density is a risk factor for osteoporotic fracture while osteoarthritis is associated with increased bone density. The 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 receptor (VDR) gene locus was previously found to be associated with bone density. We therefore studied the relationship between radiographic osteoarthritis at the knee and VDR genotype in a population-based sample (n = 846), using molecular haplotyping of anonymous intragenic DNA polymorphisms. Radiographic osteoarthritis was defined using the Kellgren score, which is based on the assessment of osteophytes and joint space narrowing (JSN). We show that one VDR haplotype allele is significantly overrepresented in individuals with knee osteoarthritis and associated with a 2.27-fold increased relative risk (95% confidence interval 1.46, 3.52). Adjustment for bone density at the femoral neck did not change these results, indicating that the association is not mediated by bone density. The association appeared to be largely explained by the presence of osteophytes rather than JSN. Our results indicate a role of the VDR gene in the pathogenesis of osteophytes while linkage disequilibrium with another nearby gene, i.e., the collagen type IIa1 gene encoding the most abundant protein in cartilage, might contribute to the association.
Rapidly evolving genetic and genomic technologies for genetic cancer risk assessment (GCRA) are revolutionizing our approach to targeted therapy and cancer screening and prevention, heralding the era of personalized medicine. Although many academic medical centers provide GCRA services, most people receive their medical care in the community setting. Yet, few community clinicians have the knowledge or time needed to adequately select, apply and interpret genetic/genomic tests. This article describes alternative approaches to the delivery of GCRA services, profiling the City of Hope Cancer Screening & Prevention Program Network (CSPPN) academic and community-based health center partnership as a model for the delivery of the highest quality evidence-based GCRA services while promoting research participation in the community setting.
Growth of the CSPPN was enabled by information technology, with videoconferencing for telemedicine and web conferencing for remote participation in interdisciplinary genetics tumor boards. Grant support facilitated the establishment of an underserved minority outreach clinic in the regional County hospital. Innovative clinician education, technology and collaboration are powerful tools to extend GCRA expertise from a NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, enabling diffusion of evidenced-base genetic/genomic information and best practice into the community setting.
cancer genetics; community; genetic counseling; genetic education; personalized medicine
The International Symposium "Peripheral Nerve Repair and Regeneration and 2nd Club Brunelli Meeting" was held on December 4-5, 2009 in Turin, Italy (Organizers: Bruno Battiston, Stefano Geuna, Isabelle Perroteau, Pierluigi Tos). Interest in the study of peripheral nerve regeneration is very much alive because complete recovery of nerve function almost never occurs after nerve reconstruction and, often, the clinical outcome is rather poor. Therefore, there is a need for defining innovative strategies for improving the success of recovery after nerve lesion and repair and this meeting was intended to discuss, from a multidisciplinary point of view, some of today's most important issues in this scientific field, arising from both basic and clinical neurosciences.
Risk of lung cancer related to region of birth in Italy was investigated among migrants to Florence, in a case control study of all histologically confirmed incident cases of primary lung cancer in a three year period in that city (n = 376). Controls (n = 892) were patients in the same hospital of similar age, sex, date of admission, and smoking status with discharge diagnoses other than lung cancer or suicide. Information on place of birth and year of migration to Florence was collected directly from each subject, along with a detailed occupational history. Logistic regression models were used to calculate the odds ratio for birth in the south of Italy relative to birth elsewhere. Male migrants from the south have an odds ratio of lung cancer of 0.5 (95% limits 0.3 to 0.7) relative to those born elsewhere. This "protective effect" is not explained by smoking or by any known occupational risk. The risk is lowest among those born on the island of Sicily (odds ratio 0.2 compared to those born in the centre-north).
The Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is one of the largest regular conferences devoted to breast cancer research and treatment. In particular, it provides a forum in which to discuss the more translational aspects of current basic research, and the 2002 meeting was no exception. Growth factor pathways and endocrine resistance, cancer genomics and the clinical applications of proteomics were three of the major topics for discussion. Presentations on genetic susceptibility and the development of prognostic and predictive markers also created much interest.
BRCA 1/2; cDNA microarray; growth factor pathways; prognostic and predictive markers; proteomics
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) initiates a cascade of numerous pathophysiological
events that evolve over time. Despite the complexity of TBI, research aimed at
therapy development has almost exclusively focused on single therapies, all of
which have failed in multicenter clinical trials. Therefore, in February 2008
the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, with support from
the National Institute of Child Health and Development, the National Heart,
Lung, and Blood Institute, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, convened a
workshop to discuss the opportunities and challenges of testing combination
therapies for TBI. Workshop participants included clinicians and scientists from
a variety of disciplines, institutions, and agencies. The objectives of the
workshop were to: (1) identify the most promising combinations of therapies for
TBI; (2) identify challenges of testing combination therapies in clinical and
pre-clinical studies; and (3) propose research methodologies and study designs
to overcome these challenges. Several promising combination therapies were
discussed, but no one combination was identified as being the most promising.
Rather, the general recommendation was to combine agents with complementary
targets and effects (e.g., mechanisms and time-points), rather than focusing on
a single target with multiple agents. In addition, it was recommended that
clinical management guidelines be carefully considered when designing
pre-clinical studies for therapeutic development. To overcome the challenges of
testing combination therapies it was recommended that statisticians and the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration be included in early discussions of experimental
design. Furthermore, it was agreed that an efficient and validated screening
platform for candidate therapeutics, sensitive and clinically relevant
biomarkers and outcome measures, and standardization and data sharing across
centers would greatly facilitate the development of successful combination
therapies for TBI. Overall there was great enthusiasm for working
collaboratively to act on these recommendations.
clinical trials; head injury; injury mechanisms; intervention; in-vitro and in-vivo models
To familiarize the chiropractic clinician with the clinical presentation, radiographic features, and conservative versus surgical treatment options for managing femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) syndrome.
FAI syndrome is a relatively new clinical entity to be described in orthopedics, and has been strongly linked with pain and early osteoarthritis of the hip in young adults. Hip joint radiographs in these patients often appear normal at first—particularly if the clinician is unfamiliar with FAI. The role of conservative therapy in managing this disorder is questionable. Surgical treatment ultimately addresses any acetabular labral or articular cartilage damage, as well as the underlying osseous abnormalities associated with FAI. The most commonly used approach is open surgical hip dislocation; however, more recent surgical procedures also involve arthroscopy.
In FAI syndrome—a condition unknown to many clinicians (including medical)—chiropractors can play an important role in its diagnosis and referral for appropriate management.
acetabulum/abnormalities; femoral neck/abnormalities; osteoarthritis; hip joint; acétabulum/anormalités; col fémoral/anormalités; arthrose; articulation de la hanche
Osteoarthritis (OA), one of the most common age-related chronic disorders of articular cartilage, joints, and bone tissue, represents a major public health problem. Genetic studies have identified multiple gene variations associated with an increased risk of OA. These findings suggest that there is a large genetic component to OA and that the disorder belongs in the multigenetic, multifactorial class of genetic diseases. Studies of chondrodysplasias and associated hereditary OA have provided a better understanding of the role of structural genes in the maintenance and repair of articular cartilage, in the regulation of chondrocyte proliferation and gene expression, and in the pathogenesis of OA.
cartilage; chromosomes; genetics; linkage; osteoarthritis
STUDY OBJECTIVE--To assess the impact of a breast clinic on a specific target population and evaluate early diagnosis performance indicators for breast cancer in the presence of a self referral policy. DESIGN--Women living in Florence between 1980 and 1989 who had undergone mammography at a self referral breast clinic were studied. Main outcome measures were the use of mammography in relation to age, symptoms, and the interval between two subsequent tests, and early diagnosis performance indicators were the detection rate (DR), the prevalence/incidence ratio, and the proportion of early detected cancers. Performance indicators were compared with those from formal screening programmes. SETTING--Florence, Italy. PATIENTS--All mammograms performed at the clinic from 1980-89 in 40-69 year old women living in Florence were examined (n = 42,226). Records included the date of birth and of the examination, the reason for testing (asymptomatic/presence of pain/presence of symptoms other than pain), and the TNM classification for breast cancer cases. MAIN RESULTS--The total number of mammograms performed per annum increased by 70% over the decade, but much of this was routine repeat mammography (54.1% in 1989). Rates of first examinations in asymptomatic women increased in the second half of the decade from 17 per 1000 in 1985 to 31 per 1000 in 1989. Mammographic coverage decreased with increasing age from 12.6% in 40-49 year olds to 6.0% in 60-69 years old. Performance indicators of the activity in asymptomatic women were comparable with those expected in service screening. The proportion of not advanced cancers detected in asymptomatic women was 62.3% with a DR of 5.3 per 1000, and the average prevalence/incidence ratio was 2.9. CONCLUSIONS--High quality mammography performed in a breast clinic in self referred asymptomatic women can achieve as good results as a formal invitation screening service. Only a few of these women will benefit, but those who do are likely to be younger (40-49 year old women).
A case control study of lung cancer in Florence, Italy was performed to investigate occupational risk factors for both men and women. The case series (n = 376) comprised all incident, histologically confirmed cases of primary lung cancer occurring in a three year period. Controls (n = 892) were patients in the same hospital of similar age, sex, date of admission, and smoking status with discharge diagnoses other than lung cancer or suicide. A detailed occupational history was collected from each subject directly. Logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios for specific occupations compared to all others. Among men, the lung cancer risk for bricklayers using firebrick and other refractory materials was elevated (adjusted odds ratio 6.5, 95% limits 2.1 and 20.9). Female hat makers, probably exposed to arsenic while making felt hats, had an elevated risk of lung cancer (6 cases versus 0 controls, p = 0.01). Risks in other occupations are discussed.
Adenocarcinoma of the nose and paranasal sinuses has been associated with occupational exposure to wood and leather dust. Strong evidence has been found for such an association in Florence, Italy, from 1963 to 1977. Sixty-nine cases of primary cancer of the nose and paranasal sinuses were identified from hospital records. There were 13 cases of adenocarcinoma, 11 of which were successfully traced and interviewed (patient or relative). Of the 11 cases, three were woodworkers with substantial exposure to wood dust (17 years' average employment) and seven were shoemakers, mostly trimmers. When matched to either of two separate sets of controls (non-cancer hospital patients, and non-adenocarcinoma nose or paranasal sinus cancer patients), the association with occupation was statistically significant. Smoking was ruled out as a source of bias.
Background and aims: Two divergent patterns of mortality for smoking related diseases in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease patients were suggested in a previous population based study in Florence, Italy. Long term follow up (median 15 years) was completed to re-evaluate mortality in this Mediterranean cohort.
Patients and methods: Overall, 920 patients with inflammatory bowel disease were followed until December 2001 or death, with seven patients (0.8%) lost to follow up. A total of 14 040 person years were available for analysis; 118 deaths were observed (81/689 in ulcerative colitis and 37/231 in Crohn’s disease). Expected deaths were estimated using age, sex, and calendar specific national and local mortality rates; standardised mortality ratios (SMR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated.
Results: Among Crohn’s disease patients, mortality was strongly increased for gastrointestinal diseases (SMR 4.49 (95% CI 1.80–9.25)), all cancers (SMR 2.10 (95% CI 1.22–3.36)), and lung cancer (SMR 4.00 (95% CI 1.60–8.24)), leading to a significant 50% excess total mortality. Ulcerative colitis patients showed a significantly reduced total mortality because of lower cardiovascular (SMR 0.67 (95% CI 0.45–0.95)) and lung cancer (SMR 0.32 (95% CI 0.07–0.95)) mortality. No significant excess for colorectal cancer mortality was evident in this extended follow up.
Conclusions: These clearly divergent patterns of mortality correlate with documented differences in smoking habits between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients. Family doctors and gastroenterologists should consider stopping cigarette smoking a specific priority for Crohn’s disease patients; the latter should be offered free participation in structured programmes for smoking cessation, with the aim of reducing smoking related excess mortality. Overall, no evidence of an increased mortality for large bowel cancer emerged in this series.
Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis; inflammatory bowel disease; mortality; epidemiology
Patients diagnosed with breast cancer are often treated with surgery followed by radiation therapy. In this paper, we evaluate the effect that radiotherapy may have had on the subsequent risk of second malignancies, including the possible influences of age at treatment and menopausal status.
In order to evaluate the long-term consequences of radiotherapy, a cohort study was conducted based on clinical records for 5,248 women treated for breast cancer in Florence (Italy), with continuous follow-up from 1965 to 1994. The Cox proportional hazards model for ungrouped survival data was used to estimate the relative risk for second cancer after radiotherapy.
This study indicated an increased relative risk of all second cancers combined following radiotherapy (1.22, 95% CI: 0.88 to 1.69). The increased relative risk appeared five or more years after radiotherapy and appeared to be highest amongst women treated after the menopause (1.61, 95% CI: 1.13 to 2.29). Increased relative risks were observed specifically for leukaemia (8.13, 95% CI: 0.96 to 69.1) and other solid cancers (1.84, 95% CI: 1.06 to 3.16), excluding contralateral breast cancer. For contralateral breast cancer, no raised relative risk was observed during the period more than five years after radiotherapy.
The study indicated a raised risk of second malignancies associated with radiotherapy for breast cancer, particularly for women treated after the menopause.
A symposium on primary vitreoretinal lymphoma held at the Fifth Annual, National Cancer Institute–sponsored International Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma Collaborative Group conference, a multidisciplinary meeting, is summarized herein. Tumor biology, nomenclature, epidemiology and prognosis, biology and pathogenesis, animal models, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, therapeutics, and future investigations are reviewed.
Primary vitreoretinal lymphoma (PVRL), also known as primary intraocular lymphoma, is a rare malignancy typically classified as a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and most frequently develops in elderly populations. PVRL commonly masquerades as posterior uveitis and has a unique tropism for the retina and central nervous system (CNS). Over 15% of primary CNS lymphoma patients develop intraocular lymphoma, usually occurring in the retina and/or vitreous. Conversely, 65%–90% of PVRL patients develop CNS lymphoma. Consequently, PVRL is often fatal because of ultimate CNS association. Current PVRL animal models are limited and require further development. Typical clinical findings include vitreous cellular infiltration (lymphoma and inflammatory cells) and subretinal tumor infiltration as determined using dilated fundoscopy, fluorescent angiography, and optical coherent tomography. Currently, PVRL is most often diagnosed using both histology to identify lymphoma cells in the vitreous or retina and immunohistochemistry to indicate monoclonality. Additional adjuncts in diagnosing PVRL exist, including elevation of interleukin-10 levels in ocular fluids and detection of IgH or T-cell receptor gene rearrangements in malignant cells. The optimal therapy for PVRL is not defined and requires the combined effort of oncologists and ophthalmologists. PVRL is sensitive to radiation therapy and exhibits high responsiveness to intravitreal methotrexate or rituximab. Although systemic chemotherapy alone can result in high response rates in patients with PVRL, there is a high relapse rate. Because of the disease rarity, international, multicenter, collaborative efforts are required to better understand the biology and pathogenesis of PVRL as well as to define both diagnostic markers and optimal therapies.
Breast cancer cases diagnosed in women aged 50–69 since 1990 to 1996 in the City of Florence were partitioned into those who had been invited to screening prior to diagnosis and those who had not. All cases were followed up for vital status until 31 December 1999. The cumulative number of breast cancer deaths among the cases were divided by screening and invitation status, to give the rates of cancers proving fatal within a period of 8 years of observation (incidence-based mortality). We used the incidence-based mortality rates for two periods (1985–86, 1990–96), pre and during screening. The incidence-based mortality ratio comparing 1990–96 and 1985–86 was 0.50 (95% CI : 0.38–0.66), a significant 50% reduction. For noninvited women, compared to 1985-86, there was a 41% significant mortality reduction (RR=0.59, 95% CI : 0.42–0.82). The comparable reduction in those invited was a significant 55% (RR=0.45, 95% CI : 0.32–0.61). The incidence ratio of rates of cancers stage II or worse was close to one when the noninvited in 1990–96 were compared with 1985–86 (RR=0.97, 95% CI : 0.78–1.21). Excluding prevalent cases, the rate of stage II+ breast cancer cases was 42% lower in Screened women compared with the noninvited (RR=0.58, 95% CI : 0.45–0.74). This study confirmed that new treatments and the first rounds of the screening programme contributed to reducing mortality from breast cancer.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 87, 65–69. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600301 www.bjcancer.com
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
mammography screening; breast cancer; screening programmes
We evaluated the sensitivity for colorectal cancer (CRC) of the latex agglutination test (LAT), an immunochemical test routinely used in the Florence District screening programme since 2000. Sensitivity was calculated by the proportional interval cancer incidence method in a population of 27 503 consecutive subjects screened in 2000–2002, interval cancers being identified by linkage to the Tuscany Cancer Registry files. Sensitivity was calculated overall and by gender, age, time since last negative LAT, CRC site, and rank of screening. Overall 1- and 2-year sensitivity estimates were 80.7 and 71.5%, respectively, suggesting that faecal occult blood testing screening sensitivity may be suboptimal due to testing or programme quality problems. Increasing screening sensitivity might be achieved if the detection rate of advanced adenomas could be increased without unacceptable loss in specificity.
colorectal cancer; screening; faecal occult blood tests; sensitivity; proportional incidence method
This review summarizes comprehensively the most important and representative molecular genetics studies of gene identification for osteoporosis published up to the end of December 2004. It is intended to constitute a sequential update of our previously published review covering the available data up to the end of 2002. Evidence from candidate gene association studies and genome-wide linkage studies in humans, as well as quantitative trait locus mapping animal models are reviewed separately. Studies of transgenic and knockout mice models relevant to osteoporosis are summarized. An important extension of this update is incorporation of functional genomic studies (including DNA microarrays and proteomics) on osteogenesis and osteoporosis, in light of the rapid advances and the promising prospects of the field. Comments are made on the most notable findings and representative studies for their potential influence and implications on our present understanding of genetics of osteoporosis. The format adopted by this review should be ideal for accommodating future new advances and studies.
osteoporosis; molecular genetics; association; linkage; functional genomics
Recent findings derived from large-scale datasets and biobanks link multiple genes to autism spectrum disorders. Consequently, novel rodent mutants with deletions, truncations and in some cases, overexpression of these candidate genes have been developed and studied both behaviorally and biologically. At the Annual Neurotoxicology Meeting in Rochester, NY in October of 2008, a symposium of clinicians and basic scientists gathered to present the behavioral features of autism, as well as strategies to model those behavioral features in mice and primates. The aim of the symposium was to provide researchers with up-to-date information on both the genetics of autism and how they are used in differing in vivo and in vitro animal models as well as to provide a background on the environmental exposures being tested on several animal models. In addition, researchers utilizing complementary approaches, presented on cell culture, in vitro or more basic models, which target neurobiological mechanisms, including Drosophila. Following the presentation, a panel convened to explore the opportunities and challenges of using model systems to investigate genetic and environment interactions in autism spectrum disorders. The following paper represents a summary of each presentation, as well as the discussion that followed at the end of the symposium.
Animal models; Autism; Neurotoxicology; Symposium