Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, complex and highly heritable disorder, characterised by inattentive, impulsive and overactive behaviour. Evidence for the heritability of ADHD measures in twin population samples has come from the analysis of total scores that combine inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms subscales. This study investigated, in a community sample, the aetiology of ADHD-like traits and the aetiological overlap between the two dimensions that define the ADHD disorder.
Parents of 6,222 approximately 8-year-old twin pairs from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) population sample completed the two subscales of the Conners’ 18-item DSM-IV checklist, a screening instrument for ADHD symptoms.
Both subscales were highly heritable (hyperactive-impulsive: 88%; inattentive: 79%). Bivariate genetic modelling indicated substantial genetic overlap between the two components; however, there were significant independent genetic effects.
These findings suggest that many genes associated with the hyperactivity-impulsivity dimension will also be associated with the inattentive dimension but that there is significant genetic heterogeneity as well. These results provide genetic support for combining the two behavioural dimensions that define ADHD, but also suggest that some symptom-specific genes will also be identified.
Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) proteins are expressed on natural killer (NK) cells and appear important in innate and adaptive immunity. There are about 14 KIR genes on chromosome 19q13.4, composed of those that inhibit and those that activate NK cell killing. Haplotypes have different combinations of these genes meaning that not all genes are present in a subject. There are two main classes of cognate human leukocyte antigen (HLA) ligands (HLA-Bw4 and HLA-C1/C2) that bind to the inhibitory/activating receptors. As a general rule, the inhibitory state is maintained except when virally infected or tumor cells are encountered; however, both increased activation and inhibition states have been associated with susceptibility and protection against numerous disease states including cancer, arthritis, and psoriasis.
Utilizing DNA from 158 Caucasian subjects with autism and 176 KIR control subjects we show for the first time a highly significant increase in four activating KIR genes (2DS5, 3DS1, 2DS1 and 2DS4) as measured by chi square values and odds ratios. In addition, our data suggests a highly significant increase in the activating KIR gene 2DS1 and its cognate HLA-C2 ligand (2DS1+C2; p=0.00003 [Odds Ratio=2.87]). This information ties together two major immune gene complexes, the Human Leukocyte Complex and the Leukocyte Receptor Complex, and may partially explain immune abnormalities observed in many subjects with autism.
killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor; KIR genes; KIR haplotypes; human leukocyte antigen; HLA ligands; leukocyte receptor complex; autism; immune dysfunction; natural killer cells
Environmental transmission of extremely resistant Toxoplasma gondii oocysts has resulted in infection of diverse species around the world, leading to severe disease and deaths in human and animal populations. This review explores T. gondii oocyst shedding, survival, and transmission, emphasizing the importance of linking laboratory and landscape from molecular characterization of oocysts to watershed-level models of oocyst loading and transport in terrestrial and aquatic systems. Building on discipline-specific studies, a One Health approach incorporating tools and perspectives from diverse fields and stakeholders has contributed to an advanced understanding of T. gondii and is addressing transmission at the rapidly changing human–animal–environment interface.
Toxoplasma gondii; One Health; Oocyst; Modeling; Transport; Molecular characterization; Climate change; Land use change; Zoonotic disease; Environmental resistance
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that starts in childhood and frequently persists in adults. Electrophysiological studies in children with ADHD provide evidence for abnormal performance monitoring processes and the familality of these processes. It is not yet known if this abnormal processing is developmentally stable and shares familial influences with ADHD throughout the lifespan.
We aimed to investigate event-related potential (ERP) indices of performance monitoring and their familiality in adults with ADHD. An arrow flanker task was presented to 21 adults with ADHD, 20 first-degree relatives (fathers) of children with ADHD and 20 controls.
Compared to the controls, both adults with ADHD and parents of children with ADHD displayed significantly weaker error and conflict monitoring, as indexed by the smaller error negativity (Ne) and the N2 components. These two components were highly correlated within each of the three groups (r = 0.53 - 0.65). The groups did not differ on the error positivity (Pe).
These findings closely resemble those previously found in children with ADHD, suggesting that abnormal conflict monitoring and early error processing is developmentally stable in ADHD and shares familial influences with ADHD in adults. The relationship between different indices of performance monitoring may suggest partly common underlying mechanisms or modulators.
Action monitoring; ADHD; adult ADHD; ERP; error negativity; error positivity; N2; endophenotype
For candidate endophenotypes to be useful for psychiatric genetic research, they first of all need to show significant genetic influences. To address the relative lack of previous data, we set to investigate the extent of genetic and environmental influences on performance in a set of theoretically driven cognitive-experimental tasks in a large twin sample. We further aimed to illustrate how test–retest reliability of the measures affects the estimates.
Four-hundred 7- to 9-year-old twin pairs were assessed individually on tasks measuring reaction time, inhibition, working memory and ‘delay aversion’ performance. Test–retest reliability data on some of the key measures were available from a previous study.
Several key measures of reaction time, inhibition and working-memory performance indicated a moderate degree of genetic influence. Combining data across theoretically related tasks increased the heritability estimates, as illustrated by the heritability estimates of 60% for mean reaction time and 50% for reaction-time variability. Psychometric properties (reliability or ceiling effects) had a substantial influence on the estimates for some measures.
The data support the usefulness of several of the variables for endophenotype studies that aim to link genes to cognitive and motivational processes. Importantly, the data also illustrate specific conditions under which the true extent of genetic influences may be underestimated and hence the usefulness for genetic mapping studies compromised, and suggest ways to address this.
Reaction time (RT) variability is one of the strongest findings to emerge in cognitive-experimental research of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We set out to confirm the association between ADHD and slow and variable RTs and investigate the degree to which RT performance improves under fast event rate and incentives. Using a group familial correlation approach, we tested the hypothesis that there are shared familial effects on RT performance and ADHD.
A total of 144 ADHD combined-type probands, 125 siblings of the ADHD probands and 60 control participants, ages 6–18, performed a four-choice RT task with baseline and fast-incentive conditions.
ADHD was associated with slow and variable RTs, and with greater improvement in speed and RT variability from baseline to fast-incentive condition. RT performance showed shared familial influences with ADHD. Under the assumption that the familial effects represent genetic influences, the proportion of the phenotypic correlation due to shared familial influences was estimated as 60–70%.
The data are inconsistent with models that consider RT variability as reflecting a stable cognitive deficit in ADHD, but instead emphasize the extent to which energetic or motivational factors can have a greater effect on RT performance in ADHD. The findings support the role of RT variability as an endophenotype mediating the link between genes and ADHD.
FMRI research in ADHD is a fast developing and very complex field. Every study appears to show differences in patterns of brain activation between cases and controls, but the interpretation of such differences is not as straightforward as it may seem. We present here a systematic review of the fMRI literature in ADHD; areas covered include executive functions, reward processing, the effects of methylphenidate, comorbidity and spontaneous brain activity in the resting state. To facilitate the interpretation of research in this area, we discuss important conceptual issues, such as the need to take group differences in performance into account or to consider the role of errors. We present common themes that emerge from these studies, and we discuss possible reasons for the many discrepancies that were observed. Finally, based on existing literature and current advancements in fMRI research, we discuss the role that fMRI could play in the future as a diagnostic tool or in treatment outcome predictions, and we make predictions for the future directions of research in this field.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; ADHD; functional magnetic resonance imaging; fMRI; children; adolescents; adult ADHD; systematic review; methylphenidate; neuroimaging; resting state
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been linked to deficits in the dopaminergic reward-processing circuitry, yet existing evidence is limited and the influence of genetic variation affecting dopamine signaling remains unknown. We investigated striatal responsivity to rewards in ADHD combined type (ADHD-CT) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and whether it is modulated by variation in the dopamine transporter gene (DAT1).
We tested 29 male adolescents with ADHD-CT and 30 age-, handedness-and gender-matched healthy controls, selected for DAT110/6 haplotype dosage. Based on previous research, we focused our analysis on the ventral striatum and the caudate nucleus.
Three main findings emerged: first, male adolescents with ADHD-CT did not differ from controls in terms of blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) fMRI response to reward-predicting cues (gain or loss-avoidance) in the ventral striatum. Second, male adolescents with ADHD-CT showed a relative increase, compared to controls, in the striatal BOLD response to successful outcomes. Third, DAT110/6 dosage differentially modulated neural activation to reward-predicting cues in the caudate nucleus in the ADHD-CT and control groups.
The findings challenge the idea of a deficit in anticipation-related activation in the ventral striatum in male adolescents with ADHD-CT, while suggesting that the processing of reward outcomes is dysfunctional, consistent with a recent neurobiological model of the disorder. Preliminary evidence suggests that polymorphic variations in genes affecting dopamine signaling need to be taken into consideration when investigating reward-related deficits in ADHD-CT.
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); reward processing; ventral striatum; caudate nucleus; DAT1 (SLC6A3)
The majority of emerging zoonoses originate in wildlife, and many are caused by viruses. However, there are no rigorous estimates of total viral diversity (here termed “virodiversity”) for any wildlife species, despite the utility of this to future surveillance and control of emerging zoonoses. In this case study, we repeatedly sampled a mammalian wildlife host known to harbor emerging zoonotic pathogens (the Indian Flying Fox, Pteropus giganteus) and used PCR with degenerate viral family-level primers to discover and analyze the occurrence patterns of 55 viruses from nine viral families. We then adapted statistical techniques used to estimate biodiversity in vertebrates and plants and estimated the total viral richness of these nine families in P. giganteus to be 58 viruses. Our analyses demonstrate proof-of-concept of a strategy for estimating viral richness and provide the first statistically supported estimate of the number of undiscovered viruses in a mammalian host. We used a simple extrapolation to estimate that there are a minimum of 320,000 mammalian viruses awaiting discovery within these nine families, assuming all species harbor a similar number of viruses, with minimal turnover between host species. We estimate the cost of discovering these viruses to be ~$6.3 billion (or ~$1.4 billion for 85% of the total diversity), which if annualized over a 10-year study time frame would represent a small fraction of the cost of many pandemic zoonoses.
Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in viral discovery efforts. However, most lack rigorous systematic design, which limits our ability to understand viral diversity and its ecological drivers and reduces their value to public health intervention. Here, we present a new framework for the discovery of novel viruses in wildlife and use it to make the first-ever estimate of the number of viruses that exist in a mammalian host. As pathogens continue to emerge from wildlife, this estimate allows us to put preliminary bounds around the potential size of the total zoonotic pool and facilitates a better understanding of where best to allocate resources for the subsequent discovery of global viral diversity.
Carboplatin administered systemically or periocularly can result in dramatic and prompt regression of retinoblastoma. However, both routes are rarely curative alone and have undesirable side effects. We aimed to assess the efficacy and toxicity of carboplatin +/− topotecan delivered by ophthalmic artery chemosurgery whereby chemotherapy is infused into the eye via the ophthalmic artery.
This retrospective, IRB-approved study investigated retinoblastoma patients whom received carboplatin +/− topotecan ophthalmic artery chemosurgery. Patient survival, ocular survival, hematologic toxicity, ocular toxicity, second cancer development and electroretinogram response were all evaluated.
57 carboplatin +/− topotecan infusions (of 111 total) were performed in 31 eyes of 24 patients. The remaining infusions were melphalan-containing. All patients were alive and no patient developed a second malignancy at a median follow up of 25 months. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of ocular survival at two years was 89.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 82.1–97.9%) for all eyes. Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia developed in two patients and one patient developed metastatic disease. By univariate analysis, neither increasing maximum carboplatin/topotecan dose nor cumulative carboplatin/topotecan dose was associated with statistically significant reduction in the electroretinogram responses.
Carboplatin +/− topotecan infusions are effective for ophthalmic artery chemosurgery in retinoblastoma: they demonstrate low hematologic and ocular toxicity and no statistically significant influence on electroretinogram responses, and used in conjunction with melphalan-containing OAC, demonstrate excellent patient survival and satisfactory ocular survival.
Twin studies using both clinical and population-based samples suggest that the frequent co-occurrence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reading ability/disability (RD) is largely driven by shared genetic influences. While both disorders are associated with lower IQ, recent twin data suggest that the shared genetic variability between reading difficulties and ADHD inattention symptoms is largely independent from genetic influences contributing to general cognitive ability. The current study aimed to extend the previous findings that were based on rating scale measures in a population sample by examining the generalizability of the findings to a clinical population, and by measuring reading difficulties both with a rating scale and with an objective task. We therefore investigated the familial relationships between ADHD, reading difficulties and IQ in a sample of individuals diagnosed with ADHD combined type, their siblings and control sibling pairs.
We ran multivariate familial models on data from 1789 individuals at ages 6 to 19. Reading difficulties were measured with both rating scale and an objective task. IQ was obtained using the Wechsler Intelligence Scales (WISC-III / WAIS-III).
Significant phenotypic (0.2–0.4) and familial (0.3–0.5) correlations were observed among ADHD, reading difficulties and IQ. Yet 53% to 72% of the overlapping familial influences between ADHD and reading difficulties were not shared with IQ.
Our finding that familial influences shared with general cognitive ability, though present, do not account for the majority of the overlapping familial influences on ADHD and reading difficulties extends previous findings from a population-based study to a clinically-ascertained sample with combined type ADHD.
ADHD; reading difficulties; IQ; familial; sibling-pair; comorbidity
Junín virus (JUNV) and several other Clade B New World arenaviruses cause human disease ranging from mild febrile illness to severe viral hemorrhagic fever (HF). These viruses pose a significant threat to national security and safe and effective therapies are limited outside of Argentina, where immune plasma is the standard of care for treating JUNV infection in cases of Argentine HF.
An in vitro screen of the Chemtura library identified several compounds with activity against Tacaribe virus (TCRV), a Clade B arenavirus closely related to JUNV. Of these compounds, D746, a phenolic dibenzylsulfide, was further pursued for additional in vitro studies and evaluated in the AG129 mouse TCRV infection model.
D746 was found to act during an early to intermediate stage of the TCRV replication cycle and micromolar range activity was confirmed by virus yield reduction assays with both TCRV and JUNV. Although intraperitoneal twice daily treatment regimens were found to be highly effective when started 2 hours prior to TCRV challenge in AG129 mice, post-exposure treatment initiated 3 days after infection was not efficacious. Interestingly, despite the pre-exposure treatment success, D746 did not reduce serum or tissue virus titers during the acute infection. Moreover, D746 elicited ascites fluid accumulation in mice during, as well as independent of, infection.
Our findings suggest that D746 may be altering the host response to TCRV infection in AG129 mice in a way that limits pathogenesis and thereby protects mice from otherwise lethal infection in the absence of measurable reductions in viral burden.
Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) offers equivalent postoperative fusion rates compared to posterior lumbar fusion (PLF) and minimizes the amount of iatrogenic injury to the spinal muscles. The objective of this study was to examine the difference in pain perception, stress, mood disturbance, quality of life, and immunological indices throughout the perioperative course among patients undergoing TLIF and PLF. A prospective, nonrandomized descriptive design was used to evaluate these measures among patients undergoing TLIF (n = 17) or PLF (n = 18) at 1 week prior to surgery (T1), the day of surgery (T2), 24 hours postoperatively (T3), and 6 weeks postoperatively (T4). Among TLIF patients, pain, stress, fatigue, and mood disturbance were significantly decreased at the 6-week follow-up visit (T4) compared to patients who underwent PLF. The TLIF group also demonstrated significantly higher levels (near baseline) of CD8 cells atT4 than the PLF group. Interleukin-6 levels were significantly higher in the TLIF group as well, which may be an indicator of ongoing nerve regeneration and healing. Knowledge concerning the effect of pain and the psychological experience on immunity among individuals undergoing spinal fusion can help nurses tailor interventions to improve outcomes, regardless of the approach used.
Burt (2009) recently published a meta-analysis of twin studies on behaviors associated with childhood psychopathologies, concluding that the finding that traits associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were the only behaviors that did not show a significant influence of shared environment (C) was surprising. We agree, highlighting four methodological issues that may account for this finding: (a) the use of nonlinear transformations to normalize skewed data; (b) low power to detect C and the subsequent presentation of reduced models; (c) the negative confounding of dominant genetic (D) and C influences in twin models with data exclusively from monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs reared together; and (d) the correction used for contrast effects (a form of rater bias), which may lead to an overestimate of additive genetic (A) or D parameters at the expense of C. We offer suggestions for future research to address these issues, and we emphasize the need for additional research to examine possible shared environmental factors related to ADHD.
ADHD; twin studies; heritability; objective data; meta-analysis
Marine ecosystems are undergoing substantial changes due to human-induced pressures. Analysis of long-term data series is a valuable tool for understanding naturally and anthropogenically induced changes in plankton communities. In the present study, seasonal monitoring data were collected in three sub-basins of the northern Baltic Sea between 1979 and 2011 and statistically analysed for trends and interactions between surface water hydrography, inorganic nutrient concentrations and phyto- and zooplankton community composition. The most conspicuous hydrographic change was a significant increase in late summer surface water temperatures over the study period. In addition, salinity decreased and dissolved inorganic nutrient concentrations increased in some basins. Based on redundancy analysis (RDA), warming was the key environmental factor explaining the observed changes in plankton communities: the general increase in total phytoplankton biomass, Cyanophyceae, Prymnesiophyceae and Chrysophyceae, and decrease in Cryptophyceae throughout the study area, as well as increase in rotifers and decrease in total zooplankton, cladoceran and copepod abundances in some basins. We conclude that the plankton communities in the Baltic Sea have shifted towards a food web structure with smaller sized organisms, leading to decreased energy available for grazing zooplankton and planktivorous fish. The shift is most probably due to complex interactions between warming, eutrophication and increased top-down pressure due to overexploitation of resources, and the resulting trophic cascades.
Insect chemical communication and chemosensory systems rely on proteins coded by several gene families. Here, we have combined protein modeling with evolutionary analysis in order to study the evolution and structure of chemosensory proteins (CSPs) within arthropods and, more specifically, in ants by using the data available from sequenced genomes. Ants and other social insects are especially interesting model systems for the study of chemosensation, as they communicate in a highly complex social context and much of their communication relies on chemicals. Our ant protein models show how this complexity has shaped CSP evolution; the proteins are highly modifiable by their size, surface charge and binding pocket. Based on these findings, we divide ant CSPs into three groups: typical insect CSPs, an ancient 5-helical CSP and hymenopteran CSPs with a small binding pocket, and suggest that these groups likely serve different functions. The hymenopteran CSPs have duplicated repeatedly in individual ant lineages. In these CSPs, positive selection has driven surface charge changes, an observation which has possible implications for the interaction between CSPs and ligands or odorant receptors. Our phylogenetic analysis shows that within the Arthropoda the only highly conserved gene is the ancient 5-helical CSP, which is likely involved in an essential ubiquitous function rather than chemosensation. During insect evolution, the 6-helical CSPs have diverged and perform chemosensory functions among others. Our results contribute to the general knowledge of the structural differences between proteins underlying chemosensation and highlight those protein properties which have been affected by adaptive evolution.
The comorbidity of pain and depression is associated with high disease burden for patients in terms of disability, wellbeing, and use of medical care. Patients with major and minor depression often present themselves with pain to a general practitioner and recognition of depression in such cases is low, but evolving. Also, physical symptoms, including pain, in major depressive disorder, predict a poorer response to treatment. A multi-faceted, patient-tailored treatment programme, like collaborative care, is promising. However, treatment of chronic pain conditions in depressive patients has, so far, received limited attention in research. Cost effectiveness of an integrated approach of pain in depressed patients has not been studied.
This article describes the aims and design of a study to evaluate effects and costs of collaborative care with the antidepressant duloxetine for patients with pain symptoms and a depressive disorder, compared to collaborative care with placebo and compared to duloxetine alone.
This study is a placebo controlled double blind, three armed randomized multi centre trial. Patients with (sub)chronic pain and a depressive disorder are randomized to either a) collaborative care with duloxetine, b) collaborative care with placebo or c) duloxetine alone. 189 completers are needed to attain sufficient power to show a clinically significant effect of 0.6 SD on the primary outcome measures (PHQ-9 score). Data on depression, anxiety, mental and physical health, medication adherence, medication tolerability, quality of life, patient-doctor relationship, coping, health resource use and productivity will be collected at baseline and after three, six, nine and twelve months.
In the collaborative care conditions a) and b), a care-manager provides Problem Solving Treatment and integrated symptom management guidance with a self-help manual, monitors depressive and pain symptoms, and refers patients to a physiotherapist for treatment according to a 'Graded Activity' protocol. A psychiatrist provides duloxetine or placebo and pain medication according to algorithms, and also monitors pain and depressive symptoms. In condition c), the psychiatrist prescribes duloxetine without collaborative care. After 12 weeks, the patient is referred back to the general practitioner with a consultation letter, with information for further treatment of the patient.
This study enables us to show the value of a closely monitored integrated treatment model above usual pharmacological treatment. Furthermore, a comparison with a placebo arm enables us to evaluate effectiveness of duloxetine in this population in a real life setting. Also, this study will provide evidence-based treatments and tools for their implementation in practice. This will facilitate generalization and implementation of results of this study. Moreover, patients included in this study are screened for pain symptoms, differentiating between nociceptive and neuropathic pain. Therefore, pain relief can be thoroughly evaluated.
Depression; Pain; Duloxetine; Collaborative Care; Transmural; Primary Care
Very preterm birth (VPTB) is a leading cause of infant mortality, morbidity and racial disparity in the U.S. The underlying causes of VPTB are multiple and poorly understood. The California Very Preterm Birth Study was conducted to discover maternal and infant genetic and environmental factors associated with VPTB. This paper describes the study design, population, data and specimen collection, laboratory methods and characteristics of the study population. Using a large, population-based cohort created through record linkage of livebirths delivered from 2000 to 2007 in five counties of southern California, and existing data and banked specimens from state-wide prenatal and newborn screening, 1100 VPTB cases and 796 control mother-infant pairs were selected for study (385/200 White, 385/253 Hispanic and 330/343 Black cases/controls, respectively). Medical record abstraction of cases was conducted at over 50 hospitals to identify spontaneous VPTB, improve accuracy of gestational age, obtain relevant clinical data and exclude cases that did not meet eligibility criteria. VPTB was defined as birth at <32 weeks in Whites and Hispanics and <34 weeks in Blacks. Approximately 55% of all VPTBs were spontaneous and 45% had medical indications or other exclusions. Of the spontaneous VPTBs, approximately 41% were reported to have chorioamnionitis. While the current focus of the California Very Preterm Birth Study is to assess the role of candidate genetic markers on spontaneous VPTB, its design enables the pursuit of other research opportunities to identify social, clinical and biological determinants of different types of VPTB with the ultimate aim of reducing infant mortality, morbidity and racial disparities in these health outcomes in the US and elsewhere.
Study design; California Very Preterm Birth Study
Recent genome-wide association studies have described many loci implicated in type 2 diabetes (T2D) pathophysiology and beta-cell dysfunction, but contributed little to our understanding of the genetic basis of insulin resistance. We hypothesized that genes implicated in insulin resistance pathways may be uncovered by accounting for differences in body mass index (BMI) and potential interaction between BMI and genetic variants. We applied a novel joint meta-analytical approach to test associations with fasting insulin (FI) and glucose (FG) on a genome-wide scale. We present six previously unknown FI loci at P<5×10−8 in combined discovery and follow-up analyses of 52 studies comprising up to 96,496non-diabetic individuals. Risk variants were associated with higher triglyceride and lower HDL cholesterol levels, suggestive of a role for these FI loci in insulin resistance pathways. The localization of these additional loci will aid further characterization of the role of insulin resistance in T2D pathophysiology.
Accumulating evidence indicates that the intestinal microbiota regulates our physiology and metabolism. Bacteria marketed as probiotics confer health benefits that may arise from their ability to affect the microbiota. Here high-throughput screening of the intestinal microbiota was carried out and integrated with serum lipidomic profiling data to study the impact of probiotic intervention on the intestinal ecosystem, and to explore the associations between the intestinal bacteria and serum lipids. We performed a comprehensive intestinal microbiota analysis using a phylogenetic microarray before and after Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG intervention. While a specific increase in the L. rhamnosus-related bacteria was observed during the intervention, no other changes in the composition or stability of the microbiota were detected. After the intervention, lactobacilli returned to their initial levels. As previously reported, also the serum lipid profiles remained unaltered during the intervention. Based on a high-resolution microbiota analysis, intake of L. rhamnosus GG did not modify the composition of the intestinal ecosystem in healthy adults, indicating that probiotics confer their health effects by other mechanisms. The most prevailing association between the gut microbiota and lipid profiles was a strong positive correlation between uncultured phylotypes of Ruminococcus gnavus-group and polyunsaturated serum triglycerides of dietary origin. Moreover, a positive correlation was detected between serum cholesterol and Collinsella (Coriobacteriaceae). These associations identified with the spectrometric lipidome profiling were corroborated by enzymatically determined cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Actinomycetaceae correlated negatively with triglycerides of highly unsaturated fatty acids while a set of Proteobacteria showed negative correlation with ether phosphatidylcholines. Our results suggest that several members of the Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria may be involved in the metabolism of dietary and endogenous lipids, and provide a scientific rationale for further human studies to explore the role of intestinal microbes in host lipid metabolism.
Microbiota; Lipidomics; Probiotics; Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG; Gastrointestinal tract; Physiology; High-throughput profiling
ADHD is a common childhood onset mental health disorder that persists into adulthood in two-thirds of cases. One of the most prevalent and impairing comorbidities of ADHD in adults are substance use disorders. We estimate rates of ADHD in patients with substance abuse disorders and delineate impairment in the co-morbid group.
Screening for ADHD followed by a research diagnostic interview in people attending in-patient drug and alcohol detoxification units.
We estimated prevalence of undiagnosed ADHD within substance use disorder in-patients in South London around 12%. Those individuals with substance use disorders and ADHD had significantly higher self-rated impairments across several domains of daily life; and higher rates of substance abuse and alcohol consumption, suicide attempts, and depression recorded in their case records.
This study demonstrates the high rates of untreated ADHD within substance use disorder populations and the association of ADHD in such patients with greater levels of impairment. These are likely to be a source of additional impairment to patients and represent an increased burden on clinical services.
Clinical relevance of a genetic predisposition to elevated blood pressure was quantified during the transition from childhood to adulthood in a population-based Finnish cohort (N=2,357). Blood pressure was measured at baseline in 1980 (age 3–18 years) and in follow-ups in 1983, 1986, 2001 and 2007. Thirteen single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with blood pressure were genotyped and three genetic risk scores associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure and their combination were derived for all participants. Effects of the genetic risk score were 0.47 mmHg for systolic and 0.53 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure (both p<0.01). The combination genetic risk score was associated with diastolic blood pressure from age 9 onwards (β=0.68 mmHg, p=0.015). Replications in 1194 participants of the Bogalusa Heart Study showed essentially similar results. The participants in the highest quintile of the combination genetic risk score had a 1.82-fold risk of hypertension in adulthood (p<0.0001) compared with the lowest quintile, independent of a family history of premature hypertension. These findings show that genetic variants are associated with preclinical blood pressure traits in childhood, individuals with several susceptibility alleles have on average a 0.5 mmHg higher blood pressure and this trajectory continues from childhood to adulthood.
Epidemiological study; Genetic risk score; Blood Pressure; Cardiovascular disease
Deorphanization of GPR54 receptor a decade ago led to the characterization of the kisspeptin receptor (Kissr) in mammals and the discovery of its major role in the brain control of reproduction. While a single gene encodes for Kissr in eutherian mammals including human, other vertebrates present a variable number of Kissr genes, from none in birds, one or two in teleosts, to three in an amphibian, xenopus. In order to get more insight into the evolution of Kissr gene family, we investigated the presence of Kissr in osteichthyans of key-phylogenetical positions: the coelacanth, a representative of early sarcopterygians, the spotted gar, a non-teleost actinopterygian, and the European eel, a member of an early group of teleosts (elopomorphs). We report the occurrence of three Kissr for the first time in a teleost, the eel. As measured by quantitative RT-PCR, the three eel Kissr were differentially expressed in the brain-pituitary-gonadal axis, and differentially regulated in experimentally matured eels, as compared to prepubertal controls. Subfunctionalisation, as shown by these differences in tissue distribution and regulation, may have represented significant evolutionary constraints for the conservation of multiple Kissr paralogs in this species. Furthermore, we identified four Kissr in both coelacanth and spotted gar genomes, providing the first evidence for the presence of four Kissr in vertebrates. Phylogenetic and syntenic analyses supported the existence of four Kissr paralogs in osteichthyans and allowed to propose a clarified nomenclature of Kissr (Kissr-1 to -4) based on these paralogs. Syntenic analysis suggested that the four Kissr paralogs arose through the two rounds of whole genome duplication (1R and 2R) in early vertebrates, followed by multiple gene loss events in the actinopterygian and sarcopterygian lineages. Due to gene loss there was no impact of the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (3R) on the number of Kissr paralogs in current teleosts.
Acidification of the seas, caused by increased dissolution of CO2 into surface water, and global warming challenge the adaptation mechanisms of marine organisms. In boreal coastal environments, temperature and pH vary greatly seasonally, but sometimes also rapidly within hours due to upwelling events. We studied if copepod zooplankton living in a fluctuating environment are tolerant to climate change effects predicted for 2100, i.e., a temperature increase of 3°C and a pH decrease of 0.4. Egg production of the copepod Acartia sp. was followed over five consecutive days at four temperature and pH conditions (17°C/ambient pH; 17°C/low pH; 20°C/ambient pH; 20°C/low pH). Egg production was higher in treatments with warmer temperature but the increase was smaller when copepods were simultaneously exposed to warmer temperature and lowered pH. To reveal if maternal effects are important in terms of adaptation to a changing environment, we conducted an egg transplantation experiment, where the produced eggs were moved to a different environment and egg hatching was monitored for three days. When pH changed between the egg production and hatching conditions, it resulted in lower hatching success, but the effect was diminished over the course of the experiment possibly due to improved maternal provisioning. Warmer egg production temperature induced a positive maternal effect and increased the egg hatching rate. Warmer hatching temperature resulted also in earlier hatching. However, the temperature effects appear to be dependent on the ambient sea temperature. Our preliminary results indicate that maternal effects are an important mechanism in the face of environmental change.
Deep sequencing was used to discover a novel rhabdovirus (Bas-Congo virus, or BASV) associated with a 2009 outbreak of 3 human cases of acute hemorrhagic fever in Mangala village, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa. The cases, presenting over a 3-week period, were characterized by abrupt disease onset, high fever, mucosal hemorrhage, and, in two patients, death within 3 days. BASV was detected in an acute serum sample from the lone survivor at a concentration of 1.09×106 RNA copies/mL, and 98.2% of the genome was subsequently de novo assembled from ∼140 million sequence reads. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that BASV is highly divergent and shares less than 34% amino acid identity with any other rhabdovirus. High convalescent neutralizing antibody titers of >1∶1000 were detected in the survivor and an asymptomatic nurse directly caring for him, both of whom were health care workers, suggesting the potential for human-to-human transmission of BASV. The natural animal reservoir host or arthropod vector and precise mode of transmission for the virus remain unclear. BASV is an emerging human pathogen associated with acute hemorrhagic fever in Africa.
We used deep sequencing, a method for generating millions of DNA sequence reads from clinical samples, to discover a novel rhabdovirus (Bas-Congo virus, or BASV) associated with a 2009 outbreak of 3 human cases of acute hemorrhagic fever in Mangala village, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa. The cases, presenting over a 3-week period, were characterized by abrupt disease onset, high fever, bloody vomiting and diarrhea, and, in two patients, death within 3 days. BASV was present in the blood of the lone survivor at a concentration of over a million copies per milliliter. The genome of BASV, assembled from over 140 million sequence reads, reveals that it is very different from any other rhabdovirus. The lone survivor and a nurse caring for him (with no symptoms), both health care workers, were found to have high levels of antibodies to BASV, indicating that they both had been infected by the virus. Although the source of the virus remains unclear, our study findings suggest that BASV may be spread by human-to-human contact and is an emerging pathogen associated with acute hemorrhagic fever in Africa.