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1.  Serologic Evidence of Infections and Type 2 Diabetes: The MultiEthnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Prospective studies have identified chronic inflammation as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, it is not known whether infection by specific pathogens or having a greater “pathogen burden” is associated with diabetes. The aim of this study was to examine the cross-sectional relation of seropositivity to five pathogens (C. pneumoniae, cytomegalovirus, H. pylori, hepatitis A virus, herpes simplex virus) and prevalent diabetes.
Baseline data from a random sample of MultiEthnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) participants (n=1,000; age: 45-84) were used. Diabetes was defined by ADA 2003 criteria, and “pathogen burden” by the number of pathogens (0–5) for which an individual was seropositive. Logistic regression was used to test differences in diabetes prevalence by seropositivity. Linear regression was used to explore associations between pathogen seropositivity and the inflammation markers CRP, IL-6, and fibrinogen.
Diabetes prevalence was 12.7%, while seropositivity for C. pnuemoniae was 76%, cytomegalovirus 77%, H. pylori 45%, hepatitis A 58%, and herpes simplex virus 85%. 72% were seropositive for ≥3 pathogens. In crude analyses, the prevalence of diabetes was higher among those with a pathogen burden ≥3, and with seropositivity to cytomegalovirus, H. pylori, hepatitis A, and herpes simplex virus. After adjustment for demographic covariates (particularly race) all associations became nonsignificant. Pathogen seropositivity was also not related to inflammation marker levels.
Following demographic adjustments, no associations were observed between infection by several pathogens and diabetes status, suggesting no etiologic role for them in the occurrence of diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2679689  PMID: 19236617
diabetes; infection; pathogen; seropositivity
2.  Fasting Glucose GWAS Candidate Region Analysis across Ethnic Groups in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Genetic epidemiology  2012;36(4):384-391.
Genetic variants associated with fasting glucose in European ancestry populations are increasingly well understood. However, the nature of the associations between these SNPs and fasting glucose in other racial and ethnic groups is unclear. We sought to examine regions previously identified to be associated with fasting glucose in Caucasian GWAS across multiple ethnicities in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Non-diabetic MESA participants with fasting glucose measured at the baseline exam and with GWAS genotyping were included; 2349 Caucasians, 664 individuals of Chinese descent, 1366 African Americans, and 1171 Hispanics. Genotype data was generated from the Affymetrix 6.0 array and imputation in IMPUTE. Fasting glucose was regressed on SNP dosage data in each ethnic group adjusting for age, gender, MESA study center, and ethnic-specific principal components. SNPs from the three gene regions with the strongest associations to fasting glucose in previous Caucasian GWAS (MTNR1B / GCK / G6PC2) were examined in depth. There was limited power to replicate associations in other ethnic groups due to smaller allele frequencies and limited sample size; SNP associations may also have differed across ethnic groups due to differing LD patterns with causal variants. rs10830963 in MTNR1B and rs4607517 in GCK demonstrated consistent magnitude and direction of association with fasting glucose across ethnic groups, although the associations were often not nominally significant. In conclusion, certain SNPs in MTNR1B and GCK demonstrate consistent effects across four racial and ethnic groups, narrowing the putative region for these causal variants.
PMCID: PMC3507617  PMID: 22508271
GWAS; fasting glucose; SNP
3.  Physical activity and physiological cardiac remodelling in a community setting: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
To evaluate the association of physical activity with left ventricular structure and function in the general population in a community setting.
Cross-sectional study.
The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), a population-based study of subclinical atherosclerosis.
A multiethnic sample of 4992 participants (aged 45–84 years; 52% female) free of clinically apparent cardiovascular disease.
Physical activity induces beneficial physiological cardiac remodelling in a cross-sectional study of non-athlete individuals.
Main Outcome Measures
Left ventricular mass, volumes and function were assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Physical activity, defined as intentional exercise and total moderate and vigorous physical activity, was assessed by a standard semiquantitative questionnaire.
Left ventricular mass and end-diastolic volume were positively associated with physical activity (eg, 1.4 g/m2 (women) and 3.1 g/m2 (men) greater left ventricular mass in the highest category of intentional exercise compared with individuals reporting no intentional exercise; p = 0.05 and p<0.001, respectively). Relationships were non-linear, with stronger positive associations at lower levels of physical activity (test for non-linearity; p = 0.02 and p = 0.03, respectively). Cardiac output and ejection fraction were unchanged with increased physical activity levels. Resting heart rate was lower in women and men with higher physical activity levels (eg, −2.6 beats/minute lower resting heart rate in the highest category of intentional exercise compared with individuals reporting no intentional exercise; p<0.001).
In a community-based population free of clinically apparent cardiovascular disease, higher physical activity levels were associated with proportionally greater left ventricular mass and end-diastolic volume and lower resting heart rate.
PMCID: PMC3037117  PMID: 19858139
4.  HbA1c as a risk factor for heart failure in persons with diabetes: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study 
Diabetologia  2008;51(12):2197-2204.
Heart failure (HF) incidence in diabetes in both the presence and absence of CHD is rising. Prospective population-based studies can help describe the relationship between HbA1c, a measure of glycaemia control, and HF risk.
We studied the incidence of HF hospitalisation or death among 1,827 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study with diabetes and no evidence of HF at baseline. Cox proportional hazard models included age, sex, race, education, health insurance status, alcohol consumption, BMI and WHR, and major CHD risk factors (BP level and medications, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol levels, and smoking).
In this population of persons with diabetes, crude HF incidence rates per 1,000 person-years were lower in the absence of CHD (incidence rate 15.5 for CHD-negative vs 56.4 for CHD-positive, p<0.001). The adjusted HR of HF for each 1% higher HbA1c was 1.17 (95% CI 1.11–1.25) for the non-CHD group and 1.20 (95% CI 1.04–1.40) for the CHD group. When the analysis was limited to HF cases which occurred in the absence of prevalent or incident CHD (during follow-up) the adjusted HR remained 1.20 (95% CI 1.11–1.29).
These data suggest HbA1c is an independent risk factor for incident HF in persons with diabetes with and without CHD. Long-term clinical trials of tight glycaemic control should quantify the impact of different treatment regimens on HF risk reduction.
PMCID: PMC2848756  PMID: 18828004
Diabetes; HbA1c; Heart Failure
6.  Caprine arthritis encephalitis virus dysregulates the expression of cytokines in macrophages. 
Journal of Virology  1997;71(10):7488-7497.
Caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV) is a lentivirus of goats that leads to chronic mononuclear infiltration of various tissues, in particular, the radiocarpal joints. Cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage are the major host cells of CAEV in vivo. We have shown that infection of cultured goat macrophages with CAEV results in an alteration of cytokine expression in vitro. Constitutive expression of interleukin 8 (IL-8) and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) was increased in infected macrophages, whereas transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1) mRNA was down-regulated. When macrophages were infected with a CAEV clone lacking the trans-acting nuclear regulatory gene tat, IL-8 and MCP-1 were also increased. No significant differences from cells infected with the wild-type clone were observed, suggesting that Tat is not required for the increased expression of IL-8 and MCP-1 in infected macrophages. Furthermore, infection with CAEV led to an altered pattern of cytokine expression in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), heat-killed Listeria monocytogenes plus gamma interferon, or fixed cells of Staphylococcus aureus Cowan I. In infected macrophages, tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, and IL-12 p40 mRNA expression was reduced in response to all stimuli tested whereas changes in expression of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor depended on the stimulating agent. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that, in contrast to effects of human immunodeficiency virus infection of macrophages, CAEV infection had no effect on the level of constitutive nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activity or on the level of LPS-stimulated NF-kappaB activity, suggesting that NF-kappaB is not involved in altered regulation of cytokine expression in CAEV-infected cells. In contrast, activator protein 1 (AP-1) binding activity was decreased in infected macrophages. These data show that CAEV infection may result in a dysregulation of expression of cytokines in macrophages. This finding suggests that CAEV may modulate the accessory functions of infected macrophages and the antiviral immune response in vivo.
PMCID: PMC192095  PMID: 9311828
7.  Cloning of the genes for and characterization of the early stages of toluene and o-xylene catabolism in Pseudomonas stutzeri OX1. 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  1996;62(10):3704-3711.
In order to study the toluene and o-xylene catabolic genes of Pseudomonas stutzeri OX1, a genomic library was constructed. A 28-kb EcoRI restriction endonuclease DNA fragment, cloned into the vector plasmid pLAFR1 and designated pFB3401, permitted Pseudomonas putida PaW340 to convert toluene and o-xylene into the corresponding meta-ring fission products. Physical and functional endonuclease restriction maps have been derived from the cloned DNA fragment. Further subcloning into and deletion analysis in the Escherichia coli vector pGEM-3Z allowed the genes for the conversion of toluene or o-xylene into the corresponding catechols to be mapped within a 6-kb region of the pFB3401 insert and their direction of transcription to be determined. Following exposure to toluene, E. coli cells carrying this 6-kb region produce a mixture of o-cresol, m-cresol, and p-cresol, which are further converted to 3-methylcatechol and 4-methylcatechol. Similarly, a mixture of 2,3-dimethylphenol and 3,4-dimethylphenol, further converted into dimethylcatechols, was detected after exposure to o-xylene. The enzyme involved in the first step of toluene and o-xylene degradation exhibited a broad substrate specificity, being able to oxidize also benzene, ethylbenzene, m-xylene, p-xylene, styrene, and naphthalene. Deletions of the 6-kb region which affect the ability to convert toluene or o-xylene into the corresponding methylphenols compromise also their further oxidation to methylcatechols. This suggests that a single enzyme system could be involved in both steps of the early stages of toluene and o-xylene catabolism.
PMCID: PMC168179  PMID: 8837426
8.  Antibody reactivity to the immunodominant epitopes of the caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus gp38 transmembrane protein associates with the development of arthritis. 
Journal of Virology  1994;68(11):7139-7147.
High titers of antibodies to caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) envelope (Env) glycoproteins are found in infected goats developing a progressive arthritis. In order to identify linear B epitopes of the CAEV Env, which may be involved in the immunopathology of arthritis, we constructed a lambda gt11 Env expression library. By combining library screening with sera from naturally infected Swiss goats with an enzyme immunoassay with overlapping peptides (pepscan), four group-specific epitopes could be precisely defined in the transmembrane envelope proteins: TM1 to TM4, including a conserved structure (TM3) that corresponds to the immunodominant epitope of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and other lentiviruses. A panel of 190 CAEV naturally infected goat serum samples, obtained from animals with defined clinical status, was tested for reactivity to synthetic peptides corresponding to the TM epitopes in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antibody reactivity to two epitopes was highly associated (TM3, P = 0.002, and TM4, P < 0.001) with the presence of clinically detectable arthritis. Such an association is absent for anti-Gag antibody. Antibodies to the immunodominant structures of the TM glycoprotein could thus have an important role in the immunopathogenic process leading to disease.
PMCID: PMC237153  PMID: 7933096
9.  Genetic analysis of chromosomal operons involved in degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons in Pseudomonas putida TMB. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1990;172(11):6355-6362.
The catabolic pathway for the degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons encoded by Pseudomonas putida TMB differs from the TOL plasmid-encoded pathway as far as regulation of the upper pathway is concerned. We found, by analyzing Tn5-induced mutants and by Southern blot hybridization with appropriate probes derived from the TOL plasmid pWW0, that the catabolic genes of strain TMB were located on the bacterial chromosome and not on the 84-kb plasmid harbored by this strain. The catabolic genes of TMB and pWW0 had sequence homology, as shown by Southern blot hybridization, but differed significantly in their restriction patterns. The analysis of the mutants suggests that a regulatory mechanism similar to that present in pWW0 coexists in TMB with a second mode of regulation which is epistatic on the former and that the chromosomal region carrying the catabolic genes is prone to rearrangements and deletions.
PMCID: PMC526820  PMID: 2172213
10.  Inhibition of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) release from P3HR-1 and B95-8 cell lines by monoclonal antibodies to EBV membrane antigen gp350/220. 
Journal of Virology  1988;62(8):2614-2621.
Antibody-mediated inhibition of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) release from the EBV-productive cell lines P3HR-1 and B95-8 was probed with two monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), 72A1 and 2L10, which immunoprecipitated the same EBV membrane antigen (MA) gp350/220 found with the 1B6 MAb with which inhibition of EBV release from P3HR-1 cells was first described. These three MAbs were not equivalent in either MA reactivities or functional effects, reflecting the variable expression of different epitopes of gp350/220. 1B6 recognized MA on P3HR-1 cells, which expressed predominately the gp220 form of MA. 1B6 did not recognize (or barely recognized) a determinant on B95-8 cells. MAbs 2L10 and 72A1 reacted as well with B95-8 cells as they did with P3HR-1 cells. MAbs 1B6 and 2L10 neutralized neither P3HR-1 nor B95-8 virus, but 72A1 neutralized both viruses. MAbs 1B6 and 72A1 inhibited P3HR-1 virus release, as measured by the assay for infectious virus and by DNA hybridization analysis of released virus, but 2L10 had no such activity. 72A1 (but not 1B6) inhibited release of EBV from B95-8 cells. These experiments pointed to the presence of three different epitopes on gp350/220, identified with the respective MAbs and having varying involvement in virus neutralization and virus release inhibition.
PMCID: PMC253691  PMID: 2839689
11.  Impaired contrast sensitivity in diabetic patients with and without retinopathy: a new technique for rapid assessment. 
A simple technique is described for assessing the sensitivity of the human visual system to gratings at threshold contrast. The technique has advantages for clinical use in that it is (1) inexpensive, (2) quick to administer, (3) portable, and (4) relatively free from bias. Forty-two diabetic patients and 84 normal controls have been tested. Fifteen diabetic patients (6/20 with retinopathy and 9/22 without) had test scores more than two standard deviations below the norm for age-matched controls.
PMCID: PMC1040540  PMID: 3967001

Results 1-11 (11)