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1.  Aortic origin of conus coronary artery. Evidence of postnatal coronary development. 
British Heart Journal  1981;45(5):555-558.
The conus coronary artery has been reported to arise independently from the aorta in approximately 45 per cent of hearts. In this study, 305 necropsy specimens were examined to determine the origin of the conus coronary artery and variations in patterns of origin with respect to age. Three patterns were recognised: 1, in which the conus artery arose from the aorta independently of the right coronary artery; 2, in which the conus artery and the right coronary arose from a common ostium; and 3, in which only the right coronary artery took origin from the right aortic sinus. The relative incidence of the three patterns varied with age. Pattern 1 was recognised in 14 to 24 per cent of specimens from patients under the age of 2 years, whereas in older patients, it occurred in 41 to 63 per cent. These data suggest that aortic origin of the conus arterial ostium may appear in some individuals between 2 and 4 years of age, and they support the concept that some coronary arterial patterns are not fully established at the time of birth.
PMCID: PMC482564  PMID: 7236461
2.  Admixture mapping identifies a locus at 15q21.2-22.3 associated with keloid formation in African Americans 
Human genetics  2014;133(12):1513-1523.
Keloids are benign dermal tumors that occur ~20-times more often in African versus Caucasian descent individuals. While most keloids occur sporadically, a genetic predisposition is supported by both familial aggregation of some keloids and the large differences in risk among populations. Yet, no well-established genetic risk factors for keloids have been identified. In this study we conducted admixture mapping and whole exome association using 478 African Americans (AAs) samples (122 cases, 356 controls) with exome genotyping data to identify regions where local ancestry associated with keloid risk. Logistic regression was used to evaluate associations under admixture peaks. A significant mapping peak was observed on chr15q21.2-22.3. This peak included NEDD4, a gene previously implicated in a keloid genome-wide association study (GWAS) of Japanese individuals later validated in a Chinese cohort. While we observed modest evidence for association with NEDD4, a more significant association was observed at (myosin 1E) MYO1E. A genome-scan not including the 15q21-22 region also identified associations at MYO7A (p rs35641839, odds ratio [OR]=4.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.38–9.32, p=8.34x10−6) at 11q13.5. The identification of SNPs in two myosin genes strongly associated with keloid formation suggests that an altered cytoskeleton contributes to the enhanced migratory and invasive properties of keloid fibroblasts. Our findings support the admixture mapping approach for the study of keloid risk, and indicate potentially common genetic elements on chr15q21.2-22.3 in causation of keloids in AAs, Japanese, and Chinese populations.
PMCID: PMC4334317  PMID: 25280642
keloids; admixture mapping; fibrosis; genetic epidemiology; ancestry
3.  Reproducibility of Optovue RTVue Optical Coherence Tomography Retinal Thickness Measurements and Conversion to Equivalent Zeiss Stratus Metrics in Diabetic Macular Edema 
To evaluate the reproducibility of central subfield thickness (CST) and volume measurements from optical coherence tomography (OCT) images obtained with Zeiss Stratus and Optovue RTVue, and formulate equations to convert these measurements from RTVue to ‘equivalent' Stratus values.
Cross-sectional observational study from 309 eyes of 167 participants with diabetes and at least one eye with central-involved diabetic macular edema (DME; Stratus CST ≥ 250 μm) that underwent two replicate Stratus scans followed by two replicate RTVue scans centered on the fovea.
The Bland-Altman coefficient of repeatability for relative change in CST (the degree of change that could be expected from measurement variability) was not significantly different on Stratus and RTVue scans (10% and 16%, respectively). The replicate Stratus CST was within 10% of the initial Stratus measurement 93% of the time; the CST conversion equation predicted a Stratus value calculated from the observed RTVue value within 10% of the observed Stratus thickness 91% of the time. Bland-Altman limit of agreement for relative change in CST between measurements observed on different machines was 23%, comparing predicted versus actual Stratus measurement.
RTVue thickness reproducibility appears similar to Stratus. Conversion equations to transform RTVue measurements to Stratus-equivalent values within 10% of the observed Stratus RT are feasible. CST changes greater than 10% when using the same machine or 20% when switching from Stratus to RTVue, after conversion to Stratus equivalents, are likely due to a true change beyond measurement error.
Translational Relevance
Conversion equations to translate central retinal thickness measurements between OCT instruments is critical to clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC4306266  PMID: 25635237
diabetic macular edema; optical coherence tomography; retinal thickness measurements
4.  Variants in BET1L and TNRC6B associate with increasing fibroid volume and fibroid type among European Americans 
Human genetics  2013;132(12):10.1007/s00439-013-1340-1.
Uterine fibroid (UFs) affect 77% of women by menopause and account for $9.4 billion in yearly healthcare costs. We recently replicated findings from the first UF genome-wide association study (GWAS), conducted in the Japanese. Here we tested these GWAS-discovered SNPs for association with UF characteristics to further assess whether risk varies by sub-phenotypes of UFs. Women were enrolled in Right from the Start (RFTS) and the BioVU DNA Repository (BioVU). UF status was determined by pelvic imaging. We tested the top GWAS-associated SNPs for association with UF characteristics (RFTS: type, number, volume; BioVU: type) using covariate adjusted logistic and linear regression. We also combined association results of UF type using meta-analysis. 456 European American (EA) cases and 1,549 controls were examined. Trinucleotide repeat containing 6B (TNRC6B) rs12484776 associated with volume in RFTS (Beta = 0.40, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.75, p = 0.024). RFTS analyses evaluating stratified quartiles of volume showed the strongest OR at rs12484776 for the largest volume (16.6 to 179.1 cc, odds ratio [OR]=2.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07 to 4.46, p = 0.031). Meta-analysis showed a strong association at blocked early in transport 1 homolog (BET1L) rs2280543 for intramural UFs (meta-OR = 0.51, standard error [SE] = 0.14, Q = 0.590, I = 0, p = 2.48×10−6), which is stronger than the overall association with UF risk. This study is the first to evaluate these SNPs for association with UF characteristics and suggests these genes associate with increasing UF volume and protection from intramural UF in EAs.
PMCID: PMC3830582  PMID: 23892540
Uterine leiomyoma; fibroids; genetic epidemiology; polymorphism; women's health
5.  Genetic Epidemiology of Pelvic Organ Prolapse: A Systematic Review 
Given current evidence supporting a genetic predisposition for pelvic organ prolapse (POP), we conducted a systematic review of published literature on the genetic epidemiology of POP. Inclusion criteria were linkage studies, candidate gene association and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in adult women published in English and indexed in PubMed through December 2012, with no limit on date of publication. Methodology adhered to the PRISMA guidelines. Data were systematically extracted by two reviewers and graded by the Venice criteria for studies of genetic associations. A meta-analysis was performed on all single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) evaluated by two or more studies with similar methodology. The meta-analysis suggests that collagen type 3 alpha 1 (COL3A1) rs1800255 genotype AA is associated with POP, OR 4.79 (95% CI 1.91 to 11.98, p= 0.001) compared to the reference genotype GG in populations of Asian and Dutch women. There was little evidence of heterogeneity for rs1800255 (p-value for heterogeneity= 0.94; proportion of variance due to heterogeneity, I2= 0.00%). There was insufficient evidence to determine whether other SNPs evaluated by two or more papers were associated with POP. An association with POP was seen in individual studies for estrogen receptor alpha (ER-α) rs2228480 GA, COL3A1 exon 31, chromosome 9q21 (HLOD score 3.41) as well as six SNPs identified by a GWAS. Overall, individual studies were of small sample size and often of poor quality. Future studies would benefit from more rigorous study design as outlined in the Venice recommendations.
PMCID: PMC4213176  PMID: 24721264
genetic epidemiology; genome wide association study; pelvic organ prolapse; single nucleotide polymorphism
6.  High Dietary Sodium Intake Impairs Endothelium-Dependent Dilation in Healthy Salt-Resistant Humans 
Journal of hypertension  2013;31(3):530-536.
Excess dietary sodium has been linked to the development of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. In humans, the effects of sodium consumption on endothelial function have not been separated from the effects on blood pressure. The present study was designed to determine if dietary sodium intake affected endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD) independently of changes in blood pressure. Fourteen healthy salt resistant adults were studied (9M, 5F; age 33 ± 2.4 years) in a controlled feeding study. After a baseline run-in diet, participants were randomized to a 7 day high sodium (HS) (300-350 mmol/day) and 7 day low sodium (LS) (20 mmol/day) diet. Salt resistance, defined as a ≤ 5 mm Hg change in a 24-hour mean arterial pressure, was individually assessed while on the low sodium and high sodium diets and confirmed in the subjects undergoing study (LS: 85±1 mm Hg; HS: 85±2 mmHg). EDD was determined in each subject via brachial artery flow-mediated dilation on the last day of each diet. Sodium excretion increased during the high sodium diet (p < 0.01). EDD was reduced on the high sodium diet (Low: 10.3±0.9%, High: 7.3±0.7%, p < 0.05). The HS diet significantly suppressed plasma renin activity (PRA), plasma angiotensin II, and aldosterone (p < 0.05). These data demonstrate that excess salt intake in humans impairs endothelium-dependent dilation independently of changes in blood pressure.
PMCID: PMC4176919  PMID: 23263240
dietary sodium; endothelium-dependent dilation; blood pressure; salt-resistance
7.  BET1L and TNRC6B associate with uterine fibroid risk among European Americans 
Human genetics  2013;132(8):943-953.
Uterine fibroid (UFs) affect 77% of women by menopause and account for $9.4 billion in healthcare costs each year. Although UFs are heritable, genetic risk is poorly understood. The first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of UFs was recently performed in a Japanese population, with reported genome-wide significance for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across three chromosomal regions. We tested these SNPs for association with UFs in U.S. cohorts. Women were enrolled in the Right from the Start (RFTS) cohort and the BioVU DNA repository. UF status in both cohorts was determined by pelvic imaging. We tested 65 candidate and haplotype-tagging SNPs for association with UFs presence using logistic regression in RFTS and the top three GWAS associated SNPs in BioVU. We also combined association results from both cohorts using meta-analysis. 1,086 European American (EA) cases and 1,549 controls were examined. Two SNP associations replicated (blocked early in transport 1 homolog[BET1L] rs2280543, RFTS-BioVU meta-odds ratio[OR]=0.67 95% confidence interval[CI] 0.38 to 0.96, Q=0.70, I=0, p=6.9×10-3; trinucleotide repeat containing 6B[TNRC6B] rs12484776, RFTS-BioVU meta-OR=1.21, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.35, Q=0.24, I=28.37, p=8.7×10-3). Meta-analyses combining evidence from RFTS, BioVU, and prior GWAS showed little heterogeneity in effect sizes across studies, with meta-p-values between 7.45×10-8 to 3.89×10-9, which were stronger than prior GWAS and supported associations observed for all previously identified loci. These data suggest common variants increase risk for UF in both EA and Japanese populations. However, further research is needed to assess the role of these genes across other racial groups.
PMCID: PMC3715562  PMID: 23604678
Uterine leiomyoma; fibroids; genetic epidemiology; polymorphism; women's health
8.  Phenotyping Clinical Disorders: Lessons Learned From Pelvic Organ Prolapse 
Genetic epidemiology, the study of genetic contributions to risk for disease, is an innovative area in medicine. While research in this arena has advanced in other disciplines, few genetic epidemiologic studies have been conducted in obstetrics and gynecology. It is crucial that we study the genetic susceptibility for issues in women’s health, as this information will shape the new frontier of “personalized medicine.” To date, preterm birth may be one of the best examples of genetic susceptibility in obstetrics and gynecology, but many areas are being evaluated including endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome and pelvic floor disorders. An essential component to genetic epidemiologic studies is to characterize, or “phenotype,” the disorder in order to identify genetic effects. Given the growing importance of genomics and genetic epidemiology, we discuss the importance of accurate phenotyping of clinical disorders and highlight critical considerations and opportunities in phenotyping, using pelvic organ prolapse as a clinical example.
PMCID: PMC3597745  PMID: 23200709
9.  Pediatric Falls from Buildings: Defining the Burden of Injury in Hawai‘i 
Falls from buildings, including houses, are an important cause of childhood injury in the United States; however, no study has previously examined the impact of this problem in Hawai‘i. The objective of this study is to categorize the demographics and injury circumstances of pediatric falls from buildings in Hawai‘i and compare to other US cities. Patients age 10 and under who were injured in nonfatal accidental falls from buildings in Hawai‘i between 2005 and 2011 were identified retrospectively from a statewide repository of hospital billing data. The Hawai‘i death certificate database was searched separately for deaths in children age 10 and under due to falls from buildings, with data available from 1991 through 2011. Data was reviewed for demographics, circumstances surrounding the injury, and level of hospital treatment. During the 7-year period for nonfatal injuries, 416 fall-related injuries were identified in children age 10 and younger. Of these, 86 required hospitalization. The rate of nonfatal injury in Hawai‘i County was twice that of Honolulu and Maui Counties, and three times that of Kaua‘i County. There were 9 fatal falls over a 21-year period. The population based incidence for nonfatal injuries was three-fold higher than that reported in the city of Dallas. The rate of hospitalizations following building falls was more than twice as high as the national average, and that of New York City, but similar to that of California. Strategies for education and environmental modification are reviewed, which may be helpful in reducing the incidence of pediatric falls from buildings in Hawai‘i.
PMCID: PMC4021729  PMID: 24843835
10.  Lower potassium intake is associated with increased wave reflection in young healthy adults 
Nutrition Journal  2014;13:39.
Increased potassium intake has been shown to lower blood pressure (BP) even in the presence of high sodium consumption however the role of dietary potassium on vascular function has received less attention. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between habitual intake of sodium (Na) and potassium (K) and measures of arterial stiffness and wave reflection.
Thirty-six young healthy adults (21 M, 15 F; 24 ± 0.6 yrs; systolic BP 117 ± 2; diastolic BP 63 ± 1 mmHg) recorded their dietary intake for 3 days and collected their urine for 24 hours on the 3rd day. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) and the synthesis of a central aortic pressure waveform (by radial artery applanation tonometry and generalized transfer function) were performed. Aortic augmentation index (AI), an index of wave reflection, was calculated from the aortic pressure waveform.
Subjects consumed an average of 2244 kcals, 3763 mg Na, and 2876 mg of K. Average urinary K excretion was 67 ± 5.3 mmol/24 hr, Na excretion was 157 ± 11 mmol/24 hr and the average Na/K excretion ratio was 2.7 ± 0.2. An inverse relationship between AI and K excretion was found (r = -0.323; p < 0.05). A positive relationship between AI and the Na/K excretion ratio was seen (r = 0.318; p < 0.05) while no relationship was noted with Na excretion alone (r = 0.071; p > 0.05). Reflection magnitude, the ratio of reflected and forward waves, was significantly associated with the Na/K excretion ratio (r = 0.365; p <0.05) but not Na or K alone. PWV did not correlate with Na or the Na/K excretion ratio (p > 0.05) but showed an inverse relationship with K excretion (r = -0.308; p < 0.05).
These data suggest that lower potassium intakes are associated with greater wave reflection and stiffer arteries in young healthy adults.
PMCID: PMC4036422  PMID: 24775098
Potassium; Sodium; Wave reflection; Arterial stiffness
11.  Sustainable Management in Crop Monocultures: The Impact of Retaining Forest on Oil Palm Yield 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91695.
Tropical agriculture is expanding rapidly at the expense of forest, driving a global extinction crisis. How to create agricultural landscapes that minimise the clearance of forest and maximise sustainability is thus a key issue. One possibility is protecting natural forest within or adjacent to crop monocultures to harness important ecosystem services provided by biodiversity spill-over that may facilitate production. Yet this contrasts with the conflicting potential that the retention of forest exports dis-services, such as agricultural pests. We focus on oil palm and obtained yields from 499 plantation parcels spanning a total of ≈23,000 ha of oil palm plantation in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. We investigate the relationship between the extent and proximity of both contiguous and fragmented dipterocarp forest cover and oil palm yield, controlling for variation in oil palm age and for environmental heterogeneity by incorporating proximity to non-native forestry plantations, other oil palm plantations, and large rivers, elevation and soil type in our models. The extent of forest cover and proximity to dipterocarp forest were not significant predictors of oil palm yield. Similarly, proximity to large rivers and other oil palm plantations, as well as soil type had no significant effect. Instead, lower elevation and closer proximity to forestry plantations had significant positive impacts on oil palm yield. These findings suggest that if dipterocarp forests are exporting ecosystem service benefits or ecosystem dis-services, that the net effect on yield is neutral. There is thus no evidence to support arguments that forest should be retained within or adjacent to oil palm monocultures for the provision of ecosystem services that benefit yield. We urge for more nuanced assessments of the impacts of forest and biodiversity on yields in crop monocultures to better understand their role in sustainable agriculture.
PMCID: PMC3956724  PMID: 24638038
12.  Sequence and gene content of a large fragment of a lizard sex chromosome and evaluation of candidate sex differentiating gene R-spondin 1 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:899.
Scant genomic information from non-avian reptile sex chromosomes is available, and for only a few lizards, several snakes and one turtle species, and it represents only a small fraction of the total sex chromosome sequences in these species.
We report a 352 kb of contiguous sequence from the sex chromosome of a squamate reptile, Pogona vitticeps, with a ZZ/ZW sex microchromosome system. This contig contains five protein coding genes (oprd1, rcc1, znf91, znf131, znf180), and major families of repetitive sequences with a high number of copies of LTR and non-LTR retrotransposons, including the CR1 and Bov-B LINEs. The two genes, oprd1 and rcc1 are part of a homologous syntenic block, which is conserved among amniotes. While oprd1 and rcc1 have no known function in sex determination or differentiation in amniotes, this homologous syntenic block in mammals and chicken also contains R-spondin 1 (rspo1), the ovarian differentiating gene in mammals. In order to explore the probability that rspo1 is sex determining in dragon lizards, genomic BAC and cDNA clones were mapped using fluorescence in situ hybridisation. Their location on an autosomal microchromosome pair, not on the ZW sex microchromosomes, eliminates rspo1 as a candidate sex determining gene in P. vitticeps.
Our study has characterized the largest contiguous stretch of physically mapped sex chromosome sequence (352 kb) from a ZZ/ZW lizard species. Although this region represents only a small fraction of the sex chromosomes of P. vitticeps, it has revealed several features typically associated with sex chromosomes including the accumulation of large blocks of repetitive sequences.
PMCID: PMC3880147  PMID: 24344927
ZW sex chromosomes; Genotypic sex determination (GSD); Temperature dependent sex determination (TSD); RSPO1; Squamata; Reptilia
13.  A Meta-Analysis Identifies New Loci Associated with Body Mass index in Individuals of African Ancestry 
Monda, Keri L. | Chen, Gary K. | Taylor, Kira C. | Palmer, Cameron | Edwards, Todd L. | Lange, Leslie A. | Ng, Maggie C.Y. | Adeyemo, Adebowale A. | Allison, Matthew A. | Bielak, Lawrence F. | Chen, Guanji | Graff, Mariaelisa | Irvin, Marguerite R. | Rhie, Suhn K. | Li, Guo | Liu, Yongmei | Liu, Youfang | Lu, Yingchang | Nalls, Michael A. | Sun, Yan V. | Wojczynski, Mary K. | Yanek, Lisa R. | Aldrich, Melinda C. | Ademola, Adeyinka | Amos, Christopher I. | Bandera, Elisa V. | Bock, Cathryn H. | Britton, Angela | Broeckel, Ulrich | Cai, Quiyin | Caporaso, Neil E. | Carlson, Chris | Carpten, John | Casey, Graham | Chen, Wei-Min | Chen, Fang | Chen, Yii-Der I. | Chiang, Charleston W.K. | Coetzee, Gerhard A. | Demerath, Ellen | Deming-Halverson, Sandra L. | Driver, Ryan W. | Dubbert, Patricia | Feitosa, Mary F. | Freedman, Barry I. | Gillanders, Elizabeth M. | Gottesman, Omri | Guo, Xiuqing | Haritunians, Talin | Harris, Tamara | Harris, Curtis C. | Hennis, Anselm JM | Hernandez, Dena G. | McNeill, Lorna H. | Howard, Timothy D. | Howard, Barbara V. | Howard, Virginia J. | Johnson, Karen C. | Kang, Sun J. | Keating, Brendan J. | Kolb, Suzanne | Kuller, Lewis H. | Kutlar, Abdullah | Langefeld, Carl D. | Lettre, Guillaume | Lohman, Kurt | Lotay, Vaneet | Lyon, Helen | Manson, JoAnn E. | Maixner, William | Meng, Yan A. | Monroe, Kristine R. | Morhason-Bello, Imran | Murphy, Adam B. | Mychaleckyj, Josyf C. | Nadukuru, Rajiv | Nathanson, Katherine L. | Nayak, Uma | N’Diaye, Amidou | Nemesure, Barbara | Wu, Suh-Yuh | Leske, M. Cristina | Neslund-Dudas, Christine | Neuhouser, Marian | Nyante, Sarah | Ochs-Balcom, Heather | Ogunniyi, Adesola | Ogundiran, Temidayo O. | Ojengbede, Oladosu | Olopade, Olufunmilayo I. | Palmer, Julie R. | Ruiz-Narvaez, Edward A. | Palmer, Nicholette D. | Press, Michael F. | Rampersaud, Evandine | Rasmussen-Torvik, Laura J. | Rodriguez-Gil, Jorge L. | Salako, Babatunde | Schadt, Eric E. | Schwartz, Ann G. | Shriner, Daniel A. | Siscovick, David | Smith, Shad B. | Wassertheil-Smoller, Sylvia | Speliotes, Elizabeth K. | Spitz, Margaret R. | Sucheston, Lara | Taylor, Herman | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Tucker, Margaret A. | Van Den Berg, David J. | Velez Edwards, Digna R. | Wang, Zhaoming | Wiencke, John K. | Winkler, Thomas W. | Witte, John S. | Wrensch, Margaret | Wu, Xifeng | Yang, James J. | Levin, Albert M. | Young, Taylor R. | Zakai, Neil A. | Cushman, Mary | Zanetti, Krista A. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Zhao, Wei | Zheng, Yonglan | Zhou, Jie | Ziegler, Regina G. | Zmuda, Joseph M. | Fernandes, Jyotika K. | Gilkeson, Gary S. | Kamen, Diane L. | Hunt, Kelly J. | Spruill, Ida J. | Ambrosone, Christine B. | Ambs, Stefan | Arnett, Donna K. | Atwood, Larry | Becker, Diane M. | Berndt, Sonja I. | Bernstein, Leslie | Blot, William J. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Bottinger, Erwin P. | Bowden, Donald W. | Burke, Gregory | Chanock, Stephen J. | Cooper, Richard S. | Ding, Jingzhong | Duggan, David | Evans, Michele K. | Fox, Caroline | Garvey, W. Timothy | Bradfield, Jonathan P. | Hakonarson, Hakon | Grant, Struan F.A. | Hsing, Ann | Chu, Lisa | Hu, Jennifer J. | Huo, Dezheng | Ingles, Sue A. | John, Esther M. | Jordan, Joanne M. | Kabagambe, Edmond K. | Kardia, Sharon L.R. | Kittles, Rick A. | Goodman, Phyllis J. | Klein, Eric A. | Kolonel, Laurence N. | Le Marchand, Loic | Liu, Simin | McKnight, Barbara | Millikan, Robert C. | Mosley, Thomas H. | Padhukasahasram, Badri | Williams, L. Keoki | Patel, Sanjay R. | Peters, Ulrike | Pettaway, Curtis A. | Peyser, Patricia A. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Redline, Susan | Rotimi, Charles N. | Rybicki, Benjamin A. | Sale, Michèle M. | Schreiner, Pamela J. | Signorello, Lisa B. | Singleton, Andrew B. | Stanford, Janet L. | Strom, Sara S. | Thun, Michael J. | Vitolins, Mara | Zheng, Wei | Moore, Jason H. | Williams, Scott M. | Zhu, Xiaofeng | Zonderman, Alan B. | Kooperberg, Charles | Papanicolaou, George | Henderson, Brian E. | Reiner, Alex P. | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Loos, Ruth JF | North, Kari E. | Haiman, Christopher A.
Nature genetics  2013;45(6):690-696.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 36 loci associated with body mass index (BMI), predominantly in populations of European ancestry. We conducted a meta-analysis to examine the association of >3.2 million SNPs with BMI in 39,144 men and women of African ancestry, and followed up the most significant associations in an additional 32,268 individuals of African ancestry. We identified one novel locus at 5q33 (GALNT10, rs7708584, p=3.4×10−11) and another at 7p15 when combined with data from the Giant consortium (MIR148A/NFE2L3, rs10261878, p=1.2×10−10). We also found suggestive evidence of an association at a third locus at 6q16 in the African ancestry sample (KLHL32, rs974417, p=6.9×10−8). Thirty-two of the 36 previously established BMI variants displayed directionally consistent effect estimates in our GWAS (binomial p=9.7×10−7), of which five reached genome-wide significance. These findings provide strong support for shared BMI loci across populations as well as for the utility of studying ancestrally diverse populations.
PMCID: PMC3694490  PMID: 23583978
14.  Histone deacetylase (HDAC) 1 and 2 are Essential for normal T cell Development and Genomic Stability in Mice 
Blood  2013;121(8):10.1182/blood-2012-07-441949.
Histone deacetylase 1 and 2 (HDAC1/2) regulate chromatin structure as the catalytic core of the Sin3A, NuRD and CoREST co-repressor complexes. To better understand the key pathways regulated by HDAC1/2 in the adaptive immune system and inform their exploitation as drug targets, we have generated mice with a T cell specific deletion. Loss of either HDAC1 or HDAC2 alone has little effect, while dual inactivation results in a 5-fold reduction in thymocyte cellularity, accompanied by developmental arrest at the double-negative to double-positive transition. Transcriptome analysis revealed 892 mis-regulated genes in Hdac1/2 knock-out thymocytes, including down-regulation of LAT, Themis and Itk, key components of the T cell receptor (TCR) signalling pathway. Down-regulation of these genes suggests a model in which HDAC1/2 deficiency results in defective propagation of TCR signalling, thus blocking development. Furthermore, mice with a single Hdac2 allele, develop a lethal pathology by 3-months of age, a result of neoplastic transformation of immature T cells in the thymus. Tumor cells become aneuploid, express increased levels of c-Myc and show elevated levels of the DNA damage marker, γH2AX. These data demonstrate a crucial role for HDAC1/2 in T cell development and the maintenance of genomic stability.
PMCID: PMC3836254  PMID: 23287868
Deacetylase; chromatin; T cell; development and cancer
15.  Multiple independent variants at the TERT locus are associated with telomere length and risks of breast and ovarian cancer 
Bojesen, Stig E | Pooley, Karen A | Johnatty, Sharon E | Beesley, Jonathan | Michailidou, Kyriaki | Tyrer, Jonathan P | Edwards, Stacey L | Pickett, Hilda A | Shen, Howard C | Smart, Chanel E | Hillman, Kristine M | Mai, Phuong L | Lawrenson, Kate | Stutz, Michael D | Lu, Yi | Karevan, Rod | Woods, Nicholas | Johnston, Rebecca L | French, Juliet D | Chen, Xiaoqing | Weischer, Maren | Nielsen, Sune F | Maranian, Melanie J | Ghoussaini, Maya | Ahmed, Shahana | Baynes, Caroline | Bolla, Manjeet K | Wang, Qin | Dennis, Joe | McGuffog, Lesley | Barrowdale, Daniel | Lee, Andrew | Healey, Sue | Lush, Michael | Tessier, Daniel C | Vincent, Daniel | Bacot, Françis | Vergote, Ignace | Lambrechts, Sandrina | Despierre, Evelyn | Risch, Harvey A | González-Neira, Anna | Rossing, Mary Anne | Pita, Guillermo | Doherty, Jennifer A | Álvarez, Nuria | Larson, Melissa C | Fridley, Brooke L | Schoof, Nils | Chang-Claude, Jenny | Cicek, Mine S | Peto, Julian | Kalli, Kimberly R | Broeks, Annegien | Armasu, Sebastian M | Schmidt, Marjanka K | Braaf, Linde M | Winterhoff, Boris | Nevanlinna, Heli | Konecny, Gottfried E | Lambrechts, Diether | Rogmann, Lisa | Guénel, Pascal | Teoman, Attila | Milne, Roger L | Garcia, Joaquin J | Cox, Angela | Shridhar, Vijayalakshmi | Burwinkel, Barbara | Marme, Frederik | Hein, Rebecca | Sawyer, Elinor J | Haiman, Christopher A | Wang-Gohrke, Shan | Andrulis, Irene L | Moysich, Kirsten B | Hopper, John L | Odunsi, Kunle | Lindblom, Annika | Giles, Graham G | Brenner, Hermann | Simard, Jacques | Lurie, Galina | Fasching, Peter A | Carney, Michael E | Radice, Paolo | Wilkens, Lynne R | Swerdlow, Anthony | Goodman, Marc T | Brauch, Hiltrud | García-Closas, Montserrat | Hillemanns, Peter | Winqvist, Robert | Dürst, Matthias | Devilee, Peter | Runnebaum, Ingo | Jakubowska, Anna | Lubinski, Jan | Mannermaa, Arto | Butzow, Ralf | Bogdanova, Natalia V | Dörk, Thilo | Pelttari, Liisa M | Zheng, Wei | Leminen, Arto | Anton-Culver, Hoda | Bunker, Clareann H | Kristensen, Vessela | Ness, Roberta B | Muir, Kenneth | Edwards, Robert | Meindl, Alfons | Heitz, Florian | Matsuo, Keitaro | du Bois, Andreas | Wu, Anna H | Harter, Philipp | Teo, Soo-Hwang | Schwaab, Ira | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Blot, William | Hosono, Satoyo | Kang, Daehee | Nakanishi, Toru | Hartman, Mikael | Yatabe, Yasushi | Hamann, Ute | Karlan, Beth Y | Sangrajrang, Suleeporn | Kjaer, Susanne Krüger | Gaborieau, Valerie | Jensen, Allan | Eccles, Diana | Høgdall, Estrid | Shen, Chen-Yang | Brown, Judith | Woo, Yin Ling | Shah, Mitul | Azmi, Mat Adenan Noor | Luben, Robert | Omar, Siti Zawiah | Czene, Kamila | Vierkant, Robert A | Nordestgaard, Børge G | Flyger, Henrik | Vachon, Celine | Olson, Janet E | Wang, Xianshu | Levine, Douglas A | Rudolph, Anja | Weber, Rachel Palmieri | Flesch-Janys, Dieter | Iversen, Edwin | Nickels, Stefan | Schildkraut, Joellen M | Silva, Isabel Dos Santos | Cramer, Daniel W | Gibson, Lorna | Terry, Kathryn L | Fletcher, Olivia | Vitonis, Allison F | van der Schoot, C Ellen | Poole, Elizabeth M | Hogervorst, Frans B L | Tworoger, Shelley S | Liu, Jianjun | Bandera, Elisa V | Li, Jingmei | Olson, Sara H | Humphreys, Keith | Orlow, Irene | Blomqvist, Carl | Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Lorna | Aittomäki, Kristiina | Salvesen, Helga B | Muranen, Taru A | Wik, Elisabeth | Brouwers, Barbara | Krakstad, Camilla | Wauters, Els | Halle, Mari K | Wildiers, Hans | Kiemeney, Lambertus A | Mulot, Claire | Aben, Katja K | Laurent-Puig, Pierre | van Altena, Anne M | Truong, Thérèse | Massuger, Leon F A G | Benitez, Javier | Pejovic, Tanja | Perez, Jose Ignacio Arias | Hoatlin, Maureen | Zamora, M Pilar | Cook, Linda S | Balasubramanian, Sabapathy P | Kelemen, Linda E | Schneeweiss, Andreas | Le, Nhu D | Sohn, Christof | Brooks-Wilson, Angela | Tomlinson, Ian | Kerin, Michael J | Miller, Nicola | Cybulski, Cezary | Henderson, Brian E | Menkiszak, Janusz | Schumacher, Fredrick | Wentzensen, Nicolas | Marchand, Loic Le | Yang, Hannah P | Mulligan, Anna Marie | Glendon, Gord | Engelholm, Svend Aage | Knight, Julia A | Høgdall, Claus K | Apicella, Carmel | Gore, Martin | Tsimiklis, Helen | Song, Honglin | Southey, Melissa C | Jager, Agnes | van den Ouweland, Ans M W | Brown, Robert | Martens, John W M | Flanagan, James M | Kriege, Mieke | Paul, James | Margolin, Sara | Siddiqui, Nadeem | Severi, Gianluca | Whittemore, Alice S | Baglietto, Laura | McGuire, Valerie | Stegmaier, Christa | Sieh, Weiva | Müller, Heiko | Arndt, Volker | Labrèche, France | Gao, Yu-Tang | Goldberg, Mark S | Yang, Gong | Dumont, Martine | McLaughlin, John R | Hartmann, Arndt | Ekici, Arif B | Beckmann, Matthias W | Phelan, Catherine M | Lux, Michael P | Permuth-Wey, Jenny | Peissel, Bernard | Sellers, Thomas A | Ficarazzi, Filomena | Barile, Monica | Ziogas, Argyrios | Ashworth, Alan | Gentry-Maharaj, Aleksandra | Jones, Michael | Ramus, Susan J | Orr, Nick | Menon, Usha | Pearce, Celeste L | Brüning, Thomas | Pike, Malcolm C | Ko, Yon-Dschun | Lissowska, Jolanta | Figueroa, Jonine | Kupryjanczyk, Jolanta | Chanock, Stephen J | Dansonka-Mieszkowska, Agnieszka | Jukkola-Vuorinen, Arja | Rzepecka, Iwona K | Pylkäs, Katri | Bidzinski, Mariusz | Kauppila, Saila | Hollestelle, Antoinette | Seynaeve, Caroline | Tollenaar, Rob A E M | Durda, Katarzyna | Jaworska, Katarzyna | Hartikainen, Jaana M | Kosma, Veli-Matti | Kataja, Vesa | Antonenkova, Natalia N | Long, Jirong | Shrubsole, Martha | Deming-Halverson, Sandra | Lophatananon, Artitaya | Siriwanarangsan, Pornthep | Stewart-Brown, Sarah | Ditsch, Nina | Lichtner, Peter | Schmutzler, Rita K | Ito, Hidemi | Iwata, Hiroji | Tajima, Kazuo | Tseng, Chiu-Chen | Stram, Daniel O | van den Berg, David | Yip, Cheng Har | Ikram, M Kamran | Teh, Yew-Ching | Cai, Hui | Lu, Wei | Signorello, Lisa B | Cai, Qiuyin | Noh, Dong-Young | Yoo, Keun-Young | Miao, Hui | Iau, Philip Tsau-Choong | Teo, Yik Ying | McKay, James | Shapiro, Charles | Ademuyiwa, Foluso | Fountzilas, George | Hsiung, Chia-Ni | Yu, Jyh-Cherng | Hou, Ming-Feng | Healey, Catherine S | Luccarini, Craig | Peock, Susan | Stoppa-Lyonnet, Dominique | Peterlongo, Paolo | Rebbeck, Timothy R | Piedmonte, Marion | Singer, Christian F | Friedman, Eitan | Thomassen, Mads | Offit, Kenneth | Hansen, Thomas V O | Neuhausen, Susan L | Szabo, Csilla I | Blanco, Ignacio | Garber, Judy | Narod, Steven A | Weitzel, Jeffrey N | Montagna, Marco | Olah, Edith | Godwin, Andrew K | Yannoukakos, Drakoulis | Goldgar, David E | Caldes, Trinidad | Imyanitov, Evgeny N | Tihomirova, Laima | Arun, Banu K | Campbell, Ian | Mensenkamp, Arjen R | van Asperen, Christi J | van Roozendaal, Kees E P | Meijers-Heijboer, Hanne | Collée, J Margriet | Oosterwijk, Jan C | Hooning, Maartje J | Rookus, Matti A | van der Luijt, Rob B | van Os, Theo A M | Evans, D Gareth | Frost, Debra | Fineberg, Elena | Barwell, Julian | Walker, Lisa | Kennedy, M John | Platte, Radka | Davidson, Rosemarie | Ellis, Steve D | Cole, Trevor | Paillerets, Brigitte Bressac-de | Buecher, Bruno | Damiola, Francesca | Faivre, Laurence | Frenay, Marc | Sinilnikova, Olga M | Caron, Olivier | Giraud, Sophie | Mazoyer, Sylvie | Bonadona, Valérie | Caux-Moncoutier, Virginie | Toloczko-Grabarek, Aleksandra | Gronwald, Jacek | Byrski, Tomasz | Spurdle, Amanda B | Bonanni, Bernardo | Zaffaroni, Daniela | Giannini, Giuseppe | Bernard, Loris | Dolcetti, Riccardo | Manoukian, Siranoush | Arnold, Norbert | Engel, Christoph | Deissler, Helmut | Rhiem, Kerstin | Niederacher, Dieter | Plendl, Hansjoerg | Sutter, Christian | Wappenschmidt, Barbara | Borg, Åke | Melin, Beatrice | Rantala, Johanna | Soller, Maria | Nathanson, Katherine L | Domchek, Susan M | Rodriguez, Gustavo C | Salani, Ritu | Kaulich, Daphne Gschwantler | Tea, Muy-Kheng | Paluch, Shani Shimon | Laitman, Yael | Skytte, Anne-Bine | Kruse, Torben A | Jensen, Uffe Birk | Robson, Mark | Gerdes, Anne-Marie | Ejlertsen, Bent | Foretova, Lenka | Savage, Sharon A | Lester, Jenny | Soucy, Penny | Kuchenbaecker, Karoline B | Olswold, Curtis | Cunningham, Julie M | Slager, Susan | Pankratz, Vernon S | Dicks, Ed | Lakhani, Sunil R | Couch, Fergus J | Hall, Per | Monteiro, Alvaro N A | Gayther, Simon A | Pharoah, Paul D P | Reddel, Roger R | Goode, Ellen L | Greene, Mark H | Easton, Douglas F | Berchuck, Andrew | Antoniou, Antonis C | Chenevix-Trench, Georgia | Dunning, Alison M
Nature genetics  2013;45(4):371-384e2.
TERT-locus single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and leucocyte telomere measures are reportedly associated with risks of multiple cancers. Using the iCOGs chip, we analysed ~480 TERT-locus SNPs in breast (n=103,991), ovarian (n=39,774) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (11,705) cancer cases and controls. 53,724 participants have leucocyte telomere measures. Most associations cluster into three independent peaks. Peak 1 SNP rs2736108 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=5.8×10−7), reduced estrogen receptor negative (ER-negative) (P=1.0×10−8) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.1×10−5) breast cancer risks, and altered promoter-assay signal. Peak 2 SNP rs7705526 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=2.3×10−14), increased low malignant potential ovarian cancer risk (P=1.3×10−15) and increased promoter activity. Peak 3 SNPs rs10069690 and rs2242652 minor alleles increase ER-negative (P=1.2×10−12) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.6×10−14) breast and invasive ovarian (P=1.3×10−11) cancer risks, but not via altered telomere length. The cancer-risk alleles of rs2242652 and rs10069690 respectively increase silencing and generate a truncated TERT splice-variant.
PMCID: PMC3670748  PMID: 23535731
16.  Critical research gaps and translational priorities for the successful prevention and treatment of breast cancer 
Eccles, Suzanne A | Aboagye, Eric O | Ali, Simak | Anderson, Annie S | Armes, Jo | Berditchevski, Fedor | Blaydes, Jeremy P | Brennan, Keith | Brown, Nicola J | Bryant, Helen E | Bundred, Nigel J | Burchell, Joy M | Campbell, Anna M | Carroll, Jason S | Clarke, Robert B | Coles, Charlotte E | Cook, Gary JR | Cox, Angela | Curtin, Nicola J | Dekker, Lodewijk V | dos Santos Silva, Isabel | Duffy, Stephen W | Easton, Douglas F | Eccles, Diana M | Edwards, Dylan R | Edwards, Joanne | Evans, D Gareth | Fenlon, Deborah F | Flanagan, James M | Foster, Claire | Gallagher, William M | Garcia-Closas, Montserrat | Gee, Julia M W | Gescher, Andy J | Goh, Vicky | Groves, Ashley M | Harvey, Amanda J | Harvie, Michelle | Hennessy, Bryan T | Hiscox, Stephen | Holen, Ingunn | Howell, Sacha J | Howell, Anthony | Hubbard, Gill | Hulbert-Williams, Nick | Hunter, Myra S | Jasani, Bharat | Jones, Louise J | Key, Timothy J | Kirwan, Cliona C | Kong, Anthony | Kunkler, Ian H | Langdon, Simon P | Leach, Martin O | Mann, David J | Marshall, John F | Martin, Lesley Ann | Martin, Stewart G | Macdougall, Jennifer E | Miles, David W | Miller, William R | Morris, Joanna R | Moss, Sue M | Mullan, Paul | Natrajan, Rachel | O’Connor, James PB | O’Connor, Rosemary | Palmieri, Carlo | Pharoah, Paul D P | Rakha, Emad A | Reed, Elizabeth | Robinson, Simon P | Sahai, Erik | Saxton, John M | Schmid, Peter | Smalley, Matthew J | Speirs, Valerie | Stein, Robert | Stingl, John | Streuli, Charles H | Tutt, Andrew N J | Velikova, Galina | Walker, Rosemary A | Watson, Christine J | Williams, Kaye J | Young, Leonie S | Thompson, Alastair M
Breast cancer remains a significant scientific, clinical and societal challenge. This gap analysis has reviewed and critically assessed enduring issues and new challenges emerging from recent research, and proposes strategies for translating solutions into practice.
More than 100 internationally recognised specialist breast cancer scientists, clinicians and healthcare professionals collaborated to address nine thematic areas: genetics, epigenetics and epidemiology; molecular pathology and cell biology; hormonal influences and endocrine therapy; imaging, detection and screening; current/novel therapies and biomarkers; drug resistance; metastasis, angiogenesis, circulating tumour cells, cancer ‘stem’ cells; risk and prevention; living with and managing breast cancer and its treatment. The groups developed summary papers through an iterative process which, following further appraisal from experts and patients, were melded into this summary account.
The 10 major gaps identified were: (1) understanding the functions and contextual interactions of genetic and epigenetic changes in normal breast development and during malignant transformation; (2) how to implement sustainable lifestyle changes (diet, exercise and weight) and chemopreventive strategies; (3) the need for tailored screening approaches including clinically actionable tests; (4) enhancing knowledge of molecular drivers behind breast cancer subtypes, progression and metastasis; (5) understanding the molecular mechanisms of tumour heterogeneity, dormancy, de novo or acquired resistance and how to target key nodes in these dynamic processes; (6) developing validated markers for chemosensitivity and radiosensitivity; (7) understanding the optimal duration, sequencing and rational combinations of treatment for improved personalised therapy; (8) validating multimodality imaging biomarkers for minimally invasive diagnosis and monitoring of responses in primary and metastatic disease; (9) developing interventions and support to improve the survivorship experience; (10) a continuing need for clinical material for translational research derived from normal breast, blood, primary, relapsed, metastatic and drug-resistant cancers with expert bioinformatics support to maximise its utility. The proposed infrastructural enablers include enhanced resources to support clinically relevant in vitro and in vivo tumour models; improved access to appropriate, fully annotated clinical samples; extended biomarker discovery, validation and standardisation; and facilitated cross-discipline working.
With resources to conduct further high-quality targeted research focusing on the gaps identified, increased knowledge translating into improved clinical care should be achievable within five years.
PMCID: PMC3907091  PMID: 24286369
17.  Loading and Concurrent Synchronous Whole-Body Vibration Interaction Increases Oxygen Consumption During Resistance Exercise 
Exercise is commonly used as an intervention to increase caloric output and positively affect body composition. A major challenge is the low compliance often seen when the prescribed exercise is associated with high levels of exertion. Whole-body vibration (WBV) may allow increased caloric output with reduced effort; however, there is limited information concerning the effect of WBV on oxygen consumption (VO2). Therefore, this study assessed the synergistic effects of resistance training and WBV on VO2. We examined VO2 at different loads (0%, 20%, and 40% body weight (BW)) and vibration intensities (No vibration (NV), 35HZ, 2-3mm (35L), 50Hz, 57mm (50H)) in ten men (26.5 ± 5.1 years). Data were collected during different stages (rest, six 30s sets of squatting, and recovery). Repeated measures ANOVA showed a stage x load x vibration interaction. Post hoc analysis revealed no differences during rest; however, a significant vibration x load interaction occurred during exercise. Both 35L and 50H produced greater VO2 than NV at a moderate load of 20%BW. Although 40%BW produced greater VO2 than 20%BW or 0%BW using NV, no significant difference in VO2 was seen among vibratory conditions at 40%BW. Moreover, no significant differences were seen between 50H and 35L at 20%BW and NV at 40%BW. During recovery there was a main effect for load. Post hoc analyses revealed that VO2 at 40%BW was significantly higher than 20%BW or 0%BW, and 20%BW produced higher VO2 than no load. Minute-by-minute analysis revealed a significant impact on VO2 due to load but not to vibratory condition. We conclude that the synergistic effect of WBV and active squatting with a moderate load is as effective at increasing VO2 as doubling the external load during squatting without WBV.
Key PointsSynchronous whole body vibration in conjunction with moderate external loading (app 20% BW) can increase oxygen consumption to the same extent as heavier loading (40% BW) during performance of the parallel squat.While the application of synchronous whole body vibration had no effect on recovery oxygen, under bot vibratory and non-vibratory conditions, the heavier the external load the greater the recovery oxygen consumption levels.Regardless of vibratory condition, during the squatting exercise bout 40% BW produced higher heart rates than 20%BW or 0% BW, and 20% BW produced higher heart rates than 0% BW.There were strong trends toward higher heart rates in both vibratory conditions (50 Hz, 5-6mm; 35 Hz, 2-3 mm) than in the non-vibratory condition regardless of external loading.
PMCID: PMC3772591  PMID: 24149154
Energy expenditure; weight loss; exercise prescription
18.  Gene-environment interactions and obesity traits among postmenopausal African-American and Hispanic women in the Women’s Health Initiative SHARe Study 
Human genetics  2012;132(3):323-336.
Genome-wide association studies of obesity measures have identified associations with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). However, no large-scale evaluation of gene-environment interactions has been performed. We conducted a search of gene-environment (G×E) interactions in post-menopausal African-American and Hispanic women from the Women’s Health Initiative SNP Health Association Resource GWAS study. Single SNP linear regression on body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip circumference ratio (WHR) adjusted for multidimensional-scaling-derived axes of ancestry and age was run in race-stratified data with 871,512 SNPs available from African-Americans (N=8,203) and 786,776 SNPs from Hispanics (N=3,484). Tests of G×E interaction at all SNPs for recreational physical activity (met-hrs/wk), dietary energy intake (kcal/day), alcohol intake (categorical), cigarette smoking years, and cigarette smoking (ever vs. never) were run in African-Americans and Hispanics adjusted for ancestry and age at interview, followed by meta-analysis of G×E interaction terms. The strongest evidence for concordant G×E interactions in African-Americans and Hispanics was for smoking and marker rs10133840 (Q statistic P=0.70, beta=−0.01, P=3.81×10−7) with BMI as the outcome. The strongest evidence for G×E interaction within a cohort was in African-Americans with WHR as outcome for dietary energy intake and rs9557704 (SNP×kcal =−0.04, P=2.17×10−7). No results exceeded the Bonferroni–corrected statistical significance threshold.
PMCID: PMC3704217  PMID: 23192594
BMI; WHR; genetic epidemiology; disparity; obesity; GWAS
19.  The Human Fetus Preferentially Secretes Corticosterone, Rather than Cortisol, in Response to Intra-Partum Stressors 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e63684.
Fetal stress is relevant to newborn outcomes. Corticosterone is rarely quantified in human clinical endocrinology and is found at much lower concentrations than cortisol. However, fetal corticosterone is a candidate hormone as a fetal stress signal.
Test the hypothesis that preferential fetal corticosterone synthesis occurs in response to fetal intra-partum stress.
Cross-sectional comparison of paired serum corticosteroid concentrations in umbilical artery and vein from 300 women providing consent at admission to a General Hospital Labor and Delivery unit. Pre-term and multiple births were excluded, leaving 265 healthy deliveries.
Main Outcome Measures
Corticosterone and cortisol concentrations determined by LC-MS/MS for umbilical cord venous (V) and arterial (A) samples and used to calculate fetal synthesis (A−V) and proportional fetal synthesis ([A−V]/V). Chart-derived criteria stratified samples by type of delivery, maternal regional analgesia, augmentation of contractions, and clinical rationale for emergent Caesarian delivery.
Cortisol concentrations were higher than corticosterone concentrations; however, the fetus preferentially secretes corticosterone (148% vs 49% proportional increase for cortisol) and differentially secretes corticosterone as fetal stress increases. Fetal corticosterone synthesis is elevated after passage through the birth canal relative to Caesarian deliveries. For vaginal deliveries, augmentation of contractions does not affect corticosteroid concentrations whereas maternal regional analgesia decreases venous (maternal) concentrations and increases fetal synthesis. Fetal corticosterone synthesis is also elevated after C-section indicated by cephalopelvic disproportion after labor, whereas cortisol is not.
The full-term fetus preferentially secretes corticosterone in response to fetal stress during delivery. Fetal corticosterone could serve as a biomarker of fetal stress.
PMCID: PMC3682977  PMID: 23798989
20.  Immobilization of Active Human Carboxylesterase 1 in Biomimetic Silica Nanoparticles 
Biotechnology progress  2011;27(3):863-869.
The encapsulation of proteins in biomimetic silica has recently been shown to successfully maintain enzymes in their active state. Organophosphate (OP) compounds are employed as pesticides as well as potent chemical warfare nerve agents. Because these toxicants are life threatening, we sought to generate biomimetic silicas capable of responding to OPs. Here, we present the silica encapsulation of human drug metabolism enzyme carboxylesterase 1 (hCE1) in the presence of a range of catalysts. hCE1 was successfully encapsulated into silica particles when lysozyme or the peptide R5 were used as catalysts; in contrast, polyethyleneimine (PEI), a catalyst employed to encapuslate other enzymes, did not facilitate hCE1 entrapment. hCE1 silica particles in a column chromatography format respond to the presence of the organophosphate (OP) pesticides paraoxon and dimethyl-p-nitrophenyl phosphate in solution. These results may lead to novel approaches to detect OP pesticides or other weaponized agents that bind hCE1.
PMCID: PMC3670151  PMID: 21509954
drug metabolism; biomimetic silica; enzyme immobilization; organophosphate pesticide
21.  HTR1B, ADIPOR1, PPARGC1A, and CYP19A1 and Obesity in a Cohort of Caucasians and African Americans: An Evaluation of Gene-Environment Interactions and Candidate Genes 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2011;175(1):11-21.
The World Health Organization estimates that the number of obese and overweight adults has increased to 1.6 billion, with concomitant increases in comorbidity. While genetic factors for obesity have been extensively studied in Caucasians, fewer studies have investigated genetic determinants of body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)2) in African Americans. A total of 38 genes and 1,086 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in African Americans (n = 1,173) and 897 SNPs in Caucasians (n = 1,165) were examined in the Southern Community Cohort Study (2002–2009) for associations with BMI and gene × environment interactions. A statistically significant association with BMI survived correction for multiple testing at rs4140535 (β = −0.04, 95% confidence interval: −0.06, −0.02; P = 5.76 × 10−5) in African Americans but not in Caucasians. Gene-environment interactions were observed with cigarette smoking and a SNP in ADIPOR1 in African Americans, as well as between a different SNP in ADIPOR1 and physical activity in Caucasians. A SNP in PPARGC1A interacted with alcohol consumption in African Americans, and a different SNP in PPARGC1A was nominally associated in Caucasians. A SNP in CYP19A1 interacted with dietary energy intake in African Americans, and another SNP in CYP191A had an independent association with BMI in Caucasians.
PMCID: PMC3244609  PMID: 22106445
African continental ancestry group; body mass index; European continental ancestry group; genetics; molecular epidemiology; obesity
22.  Osteoclasts in Multiple Myeloma Are Derived from Gr-1+CD11b+Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48871.
Osteoclasts play a key role in the development of cancer-associated osteolytic lesions. The number and activity of osteoclasts are often enhanced by tumors. However, the origin of osteoclasts is unknown. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are one of the pre-metastatic niche components that are induced to expand by tumor cells. Here we show that the MDSCs can differentiate into mature and functional osteoclasts in vitro and in vivo. Inoculation of 5TGM1-GFP myeloma cells into C57BL6/KaLwRij mice led to a significant expansion of MDSCs in blood, spleen, and bone marrow over time. When grown in osteoclastogenic media in vitro, MDSCs from tumor-challenged mice displayed 14 times greater potential to differentiate into mature and functional osteoclasts than those from non-tumor controls. Importantly, MDSCs from tumor-challenged LacZ transgenic mice differentiated into LacZ+osteoclasts in vivo. Furthermore, a significant increase in tumor burden and bone loss accompanied by increased number of osteoclasts was observed in mice co-inoculated with tumor-challenged MDSCs and 5TGM1 cells compared to the control animals received 5TGM1 cells alone. Finally, treatment of MDSCs from myeloma-challenged mice with Zoledronic acid (ZA), a potent inhibitor of bone resorption, inhibited the number of osteoclasts formed in MDSC cultures and the expansion of MDSCs and bone lesions in mice. Collectively, these data provide in vitro and in vivo evidence that tumor-induced MDSCs exacerbate cancer-associated bone destruction by directly serving as osteoclast precursors.
PMCID: PMC3500251  PMID: 23173040
23.  MCP1 SNPs and Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Cohorts from West Africa, the USA and Argentina: Lack of Association or Epistasis with IL12B Polymorphisms 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e32275.
The monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) is a chemokine that plays an important role in the recruitment of monocytes to M. tuberculosis infection sites, and previous studies have reported that genetic variants in MCP1 are associated with differential susceptibility to pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). We examined eight MCP1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a multi-ethnic, case-control design that included: 321 cases and 346 controls from Guinea-Bissau, 258 cases and 271 controls from The Gambia, 295 cases and 179 controls from the U.S. (African-Americans), and an additional set of 237 cases and 144 controls of European ancestry from the U.S. and Argentina. Two locus interactions were also examined for polymorphisms in MCP1 and interleukin 12B (IL12B), another gene implicated in PTB risk. Examination of previously associated MCP1 SNPs rs1024611 (−2581A/G), rs2857656 (−362G/C) and rs4586 (+900C/T) did not show evidence for association. One interaction between rs2857656 and IL12B SNP rs2288831 was observed among Africans but the effect was in the opposite direction in Guineans (OR = 1.90, p = 0.001) and Gambians (OR = 0.64, p = 0.024). Our data indicate that the effect of genetic variation within MCP1 is not clear cut and additional studies will be needed to elucidate its role in TB susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC3288089  PMID: 22384203
24.  The development of health literacy in patients with a long-term health condition: the health literacy pathway model 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:130.
Inadequate health literacy has been associated with poor management of long-term health conditions and has been identified as a key social determinant of health outcomes. However, little is understood about how health literacy might develop over time or the processes by which people may become more health literate. Our objectives were to describe how patients with a long-term condition practice health literacy in the management of their health and communication with health professionals, how they become more health literate over time and their experience of using health services. We also sought to identify and describe the motivations, facilitators and barriers in the practice of health literacy in healthcare consultations.
We designed a longitudinal qualitative study using serial interviews with 18 participants to explore their experiences of learning to manage their condition and their experiences of health literacy when participating in healthcare processes. Participants were recruited from patient education programmes and were interviewed three times over a period of 9 months. A framework approach was used to analyse data.
A model is presented that illustrates the development of health literacy along a trajectory that includes the development of knowledge, health literacy skills and practices, health literacy actions, abilities in seeking options and informed and shared decision making opportunities. Motivations and barriers to developing and practising health literacy skills partly reflected participants' characteristics but were also influenced by health professionals. Some participants developed their health literacy to a point where they became more involved in healthcare processes (including informed and shared decision-making).
Patients with a long-term condition can develop health literacy skills over time and put their skills into practice in becoming more active in healthcare consultations. Our findings have implications for developing health literacy interventions aimed at patient involvement in healthcare processes and improved self-management of long-term conditions.
PMCID: PMC3305618  PMID: 22332990

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