Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common disease worldwide. This study aimed to investigate the health status of patients with newly diagnosed COPD.
A total of 45 healthy controls and 218 patients with newly diagnosed COPD were recruited. Pulmonary function test (PFT) values, COPD assessment test (CAT) scores, exacerbation history, and demographics were recorded.
Forced expiratory volume in 1 s percent (FEV1%) predicted was significantly decreased and the CAT score was significantly increased in patients with COPD compared with healthy controls (P <0.001). Among the COPD patients, the most commonly reported respiratory symptoms were cough (86.7%), sputum (80.3%), and dyspnea (45%). A total of 86.2% patients were in the moderate or severe stage (spirometric classification) of COPD, and 71.5% were in Group C or Group D (combined assessment). A total of 33.9% of the patients had 2 or more exacerbations in the previous year. Nearly half of the patients (45.4%) had a high CAT score of ≥10. Patients with a history of more exacerbations had a higher CAT score.
Most COPD patients were symptomatic and appeared to have moderate to severe airflow limitation or a high risk of exacerbation before definitely being diagnosed with COPD using the PFT.
Human parainfluenza viruses (PIVs) cause acute respiratory illness in children, the elderly, and immunocompromised patients. PIV3 is a common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia, whereas PIV1 and 2 are frequent causes of upper respiratory tract illness and croup. To assess how PIV1, 2, and 3 differ with regard to replication and induction of type I interferons, interleukin-6, and relevant chemokines, we infected primary human airway epithelium (HAE) cultures from the same tissue donors and examined replication kinetics and cytokine secretion. PIV1 replicated to high titer yet did not induce cytokine secretion until late in infection, while PIV2 replicated less efficiently but induced an early cytokine peak. PIV3 replicated to high titer but induced a slower rise in cytokine secretion. The T cell chemoattractants CXCL10 and CXCL11 were the most abundant chemokines induced. Differences in replication and cytokine secretion might explain some of the differences in PIV serotype-specific pathogenesis and epidemiology.
Human parainfluenza virus; Human airway epithelium; cytokines; chemokines; interferon; pathogenesis
To plot longitudinal trajectories of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) severity from early childhood to early adolescence. In line with reported trajectories in toddlers, we hypothesize that a substantial minority of children will show marked changes in ASD severity over time, with “Improvers” demonstrating the highest mean baseline and rate of growth in verbal IQ (VIQ).
Patients included 345 clinic referrals and research participants with best-estimate clinical diagnoses of ASD at 1 or more time points, and repeated Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), VIQ, and nonverbal IQ scores. Standardized ADOS severity scores were applied to 1026 assessments collected longitudinally between the ages of 2 and 15 (VIQ at most recent assessment: mean = 58, SD = 35). Scores were fitted for latent severity trajectory classes with and without covariates. Adaptive behavior and VIQ trajectories over time were modeled within each of the best-fit latent classes.
A 4-class model best represented the observed data. Over 80% of participants were assigned to persistent (stable) high or moderately severe classes; 2 small classes respectively increased or decreased in severity over time. Age, gender, race, and nonverbal IQ did not predict class membership; VIQ was a significant predictor. Baseline VIQ was highest in the improving and worsening classes; it increased at the greatest rate in the improving class. Adaptive behavior declined in all but the improving class, with consistent impairment in all classes.
If replicated, identified trajectory classes of ADOS severity may contribute to clinical prognosis and to subtyping samples for neurobiological and genetic research.
autism spectrum disorders; severity; trajectory; Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule Comparison Score
•Adolescents with SLI report having more difficulties with peers.•They also report having more mental health problems than do typical adolescents.•Problematic peer relations is the strongest differentiator between the two groups.•Poorer receptive language is related to more emotional/behavioral problems.•Despite peer difficulties, most adolescents with SLI see themselves as prosocial.
Adolescents with specific language impairment (SLI) are at a greater risk of emotional and behavioral problems compared to their typically developing (TD) peers, but little is known about their self-perceived strengths and difficulties. In this study, the self-reported social, emotional and behavioral functioning of 139 adolescents with a history of SLI and 124 TD individuals at age 16 was examined. The self-report version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used to assess their prosocial behavior and levels of peer, emotional and behavioral difficulties. Associations of these areas of functioning with gender, verbal and non-verbal skills were also investigated. Adolescents with a history of SLI were more likely than their TD peers to report higher levels of peer problems, emotional symptoms, hyperactivity and conduct problems. The majority of adolescents in both groups (87% SLI and 96% TD), however, reported prosocial behavior within the typical range. Difficulty with peer relations was the strongest differentiator between the groups, with the odds of reporting borderline or abnormally high levels of peer problems being 12 times higher for individuals with a history of SLI. Adolescents with poorer receptive language skills were also more likely to report higher levels of emotional and behavioral difficulties. The findings of this study identify likely traits that may lead to referral to services.
CAMHS, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services; PIQ, performance IQ; SDQ, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; SLI, specific language impairment; TD, typically developing; Specific language impairment (SLI); Prosocial behavior; Peer problems; Emotional symptoms; Conduct problems; Hyperactivity
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus accessory protein ORF6 antagonizes interferon signaling by blocking karyopherin-mediated nuclear import processes. Viral nuclear import antagonists, expressed by several highly pathogenic RNA viruses, likely mediate pleiotropic effects on host gene expression, presumably interfering with transcription factors, cytokines, hormones, and/or signaling cascades that occur in response to infection. By bioinformatic and systems biology approaches, we evaluated the impact of nuclear import antagonism on host expression networks by using human lung epithelial cells infected with either wild-type virus or a mutant that does not express ORF6 protein. Microarray analysis revealed significant changes in differential gene expression, with approximately twice as many upregulated genes in the mutant virus samples by 48 h postinfection, despite identical viral titers. Our data demonstrated that ORF6 protein expression attenuates the activity of numerous karyopherin-dependent host transcription factors (VDR, CREB1, SMAD4, p53, EpasI, and Oct3/4) that are critical for establishing antiviral responses and regulating key host responses during virus infection. Results were confirmed by proteomic and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay analyses and in parallel microarray studies using infected primary human airway epithelial cell cultures. The data strongly support the hypothesis that viral antagonists of nuclear import actively manipulate host responses in specific hierarchical patterns, contributing to the viral pathogenic potential in vivo. Importantly, these studies and modeling approaches not only provide templates for evaluating virus antagonism of nuclear import processes but also can reveal candidate cellular genes and pathways that may significantly influence disease outcomes following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in vivo.
The human nasal epithelium is the first line of defense during respiratory virus infection. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the major cause of bronchitis, asthma and severe lower respiratory tract disease in infants and young children. We previously reported in human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs), the replication and budding of RSV and the epithelial responses, including release of proinflammatory cytokines and enhancement of the tight junctions, are in part regulated via an NF-κB pathway. In this study, we investigated the effects of the NF-κB in HNECs infected with RSV. Curcumin prevented the replication and budding of RSV and the epithelial responses to it without cytotoxicity. Furthermore, the upregulation of the epithelial barrier function caused by infection with RSV was enhanced by curcumin. Curcumin also has wide pharmacokinetic effects as an inhibitor of NF-κB, eIF-2α dephosphorylation, proteasome and COX2. RSV-infected HNECs were treated with the eIF-2α dephosphorylation blocker salubrinal and the proteasome inhibitor MG132, and inhibitors of COX1 and COX2. Treatment with salubrinal, MG132 and COX2 inhibitor, like curcumin, prevented the replication of RSV and the epithelial responses, and treatment with salubrinal and MG132 enhanced the upregulation of tight junction molecules induced by infection with RSV. These results suggest that curcumin can prevent the replication of RSV and the epithelial responses to it without cytotoxicity and may act as therapy for severe lower respiratory tract disease in infants and young children caused by RSV infection.
Blood vessel-specific fluorescent transgenic mice are excellent tools to study the development of the vasculature and angiogenic processes. There is growing interest in the biological processes relevant to endothelial cells but limited tools exist to selectively evaluate subcellular functions of this cell type in vivo. Here, we report a novel transgenic animal model that expresses mitochondrially targeted enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) via the Hb9 promoter, a homeobox transcription factor with limited known involvement in the vasculature. Random integration of the transgene, containing the entire mouse Hb9 promoter, was found to be expressed in a variety of vascularised tissues. Further inspection revealed that Mito-EGFP localizes to the endothelial cells (ECs) of a subset of microvascular blood vessels, especially in the central nervous system (CNS), heart, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes and skin. We demonstrate the utility of this novel transgenic mouse, named Endo-MitoEGFP, in the detection, imaging, and isolation of microvascular ECs and evaluation of EC mitochondrial function isolated from adult animals. These transgenic mice will be useful to studies of ECs in development, physiology, and pathology.
Mutations in cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein cause cystic fibrosis, a disease characterized by exaggerated airway epithelial production of the neutrophil chemokine interleukin (IL)-8, which results in exuberant neutrophilic inflammation. Because activation of an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling cascade induces airway epithelial IL-8 production, we hypothesized that normal CFTR suppresses EGFR-dependent IL-8 production and that loss of CFTR at the surface exaggerates IL-8 production via activation of a pro-inflammatory EGFR cascade. We examined this hypothesis in human airway epithelial (NCI-H292) cells and in normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells containing normal CFTR treated with a CFTR-selective inhibitor (CFTR-172), and in human airway epithelial (IB3) cells containing mutant CFTR versus isogenic (C38) cells containing wild-type CFTR. In NCI-H292 cells, CFTR-172 induced IL-8 production EGFR-dependently. Pretreatment with an EGFR neutralizing antibody or the metalloprotease TACE inhibitor TAPI-1, or TACE siRNA knockdown prevented CFTR-172-induced EGFR phosphorylation (EGFR-P) and IL-8 production, implicating TACE-dependent EGFR pro-ligand cleavage in these responses. Pretreatment with neutralizing antibodies to IL-1R or to IL-1alpha, but not to IL-1beta, markedly suppressed CFTR-172-induced EGFR-P and IL-8 production, suggesting that binding of IL-1alpha to IL-1R stimulates a TACE-EGFR-IL-8 cascade. Similarly, in NHBE cells, CFTR-172 increased IL-8 production EGFR-, TACE-, and IL-1alpha/IL-1R-dependently. In IB3 cells, constitutive IL-8 production was markedly increased compared to C38 cells. EGFR-P was increased in IB3 cells compared to C38 cells, and exaggerated IL-8 production in the IB3 cells was EGFR-dependent. Activation of TACE and binding of IL-1alpha to IL-1R contributed to EGFR-P and IL-8 production in IB3 cells but not in C38 cells. Thus, we conclude that normal CFTR suppresses airway epithelial IL-8 production that occurs via a stimulatory EGFR cascade, and that loss of normal CFTR activity exaggerates IL-8 production via activation of a pro-inflammatory EGFR cascade.
► Infants preferentially orient to socially relevant information such as faces. ► Infants at-risk for autism have a tendency to sustain attention to faces. ► Those infants who later develop autism show an equally strong face orienting response. ► Combined influence of social and attentional brain systems is implicated in autism.
A popular idea related to early brain development in autism is that a lack of attention to, or interest in, social stimuli early in life interferes with the emergence of social brain networks mediating the typical development of socio-communicative skills. Compelling as it is, this developmental account has proved difficult to verify empirically because autism is typically diagnosed in toddlerhood, after this process of brain specialization is well underway. Using a prospective study, we directly tested the integrity of social orienting mechanisms in infants at-risk for autism by virtue of having an older diagnosed sibling. Contrary to previous accounts, infants who later develop autism exhibit a clear orienting response to faces that are embedded within an array of distractors. Nevertheless, infants at-risk for autism as a group, and irrespective of their subsequent outcomes, had a greater tendency to select and sustain attention to faces. This pattern suggests that interactions among multiple social and attentional brain systems over the first two years give rise to variable pathways in infants at-risk.
Autism; Infancy; At-risk; Face-processing; Attention; Prospective study
The sensitivity of X-ray mammography for the detection of breast malignancy in younger females is lower than that of breast MRI; consequently, guidelines recommend annual MRI for patients with a significantly elevated lifetime risk. The improved signal-to-noise ratio obtainable at 3.0 T should result in data superior to those obtainable at 1.5 T. However, breast imaging on higher field strength systems poses specific problems. As a result, caution has been urged in the implementation of breast MRI at 3.0 T. The aim of this study was to determine if it is appropriate to use 3.0 T MRI in the screening of patients by comparing the summary statistics achieved by this 3.0 T MRI programme against the published results of 1.5 T screening studies.
Over a 20-month period, 291 patients referred with an elevated familial risk of breast cancer were examined at 3.0 T. Resulting images were scored based on the Royal College of Radiologists Breast Group imaging classification. The reference standard was a combination of histology and follow-up imaging.
Follow-up data were available in 267 patients. Analysis revealed positive and negative post-test probabilities of 28% [95% confidence intervals (CI); range, 10–60%] and 1% (95% CI; range, 0–2%), respectively. These results compared favourably against those of a recent meta-analysis [25.3% (95% CI; range, 18.4–33.8%) and 0.4% (95% CI; range, 0.2–0.9%), respectively].
Given the similar summary statistics between this work and the 1.5 T results, it would appear that screening of high-risk patients at 3.0 T has potential. Further studies should be undertaken to verify this result.
IVF treatments for infertility involve the transfer of multiple embryos in any one treatment cycle. When data is available on individual embryos the outcomes of each embryo are only partially observed, as treatment outcome (live birth) is assessed at the patient level. Two-level Embryo-Uterus (EU) models have been developed which assume a biologically plausible mechanism and assume that effects are mediated directly through the embryo (E) and also through the uterine environment (U), represented by two sub-models. This approach potentially allows inference as to the association of patient variables with outcome. However, when the variable is measured at the patient level either additional decisions have to be made in the modelling process as to in which sub-model the variable should be included or some model selection algorithm has to be invoked. These uncertainties have limited the practical application of these models.
We have conducted simulation studies based around realistic parameter values of situations where a putative patient-level variable is being considered for inclusion in an EU model and/or the mechanistic interpretation from the sub-model assignment is of interest. Firstly we explore various strategies for inference for a variable of interest where the sub-model is either pre-specified or considered unknown. Secondly we explore the use of information criteria to select the appropriate sub-model and the strength of evidence for that assignment. These are demonstrated in a reanalysis of a previously published dataset.
In the absence of prior evidence for potential prognostic factors measured at the patient level, two single degree-of-freedom likelihood ratio tests with a Bonferroni correction including the variable of interest in first the E then the U sub-model performs well as a statistical test for association with outcome. For model building the information criteria can be used, but large differences are required (⪆6) to provide reasonable evidence of sub-model assignment. Previous interpretations have been over-optimistic.
These results suggest simple strategies and should enable these models to be used more confidently in practical applications.
Embryo uterus models; In-vitro fertilization; Hypothesis testing; Model selection; Information criteria; Simulation
To follow toddlers referred for risk for autism using standardized observational measures administered frequently from ages 18 to 36 months.
65 consecutive referrals and 13 children from other research projects were seen approximately every 2 months from 18 to 36 months for standardized assessments and clinical judgments by the same examiner, and every 6 months by an examiner “blind” to previous scores.
30 children never received an ASD diagnosis; 48 children (all referrals) received at least one diagnosis of ASD. Best trajectory typology using ADOS scores revealed 4 trajectory classes with high probabilities for fit to most likely class: severe persistent (21%), worsening (21%), improving (19%) and nonspectrum (40%). Classes differed by trajectories in verbal and nonverbal mental ages; never/ever ASD groups differed on ADI-R domain scores and clinician judgments, but improving/worsening trajectory groups did not.
Results replicated findings from studies of infant siblings of children with autism in siblings and non-siblings, suggesting variability in early trajectories and supporting the need for early identification, regular monitoring and standardized assessments of young children suspected of ASD.
Autism; ADOS; Longitudinal; Toddlers; Trajectory
Patients who were previously treated for prostate cancer with radiation therapy are monitored at regular intervals using a laboratory test called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). If the value of the PSA test starts to rise, this is an indication that the prostate cancer is more likely to recur, and the patient may wish to initiate new treatments. Such patients could be helped in making medical decisions by an accurate estimate of the probability of recurrence of the cancer in the next few years. In this paper, we describe the methodology for giving the probability of recurrence for a new patient, as implemented on a web-based calculator. The methods use a joint longitudinal survival model. The model is developed on a training dataset of 2,386 patients and tested on a dataset of 846 patients. Bayesian estimation methods are used with one Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm developed for estimation of the parameters from the training dataset and a second quick MCMC developed for prediction of the risk of recurrence that uses the longitudinal PSA measures from a new patient.
Joint longitudinal-survival model; Online calculator; Predicted probability; Prostate cancer; PSA
Genetic influences have an important role in the ageing process. The genetic factors that influence success in bodily ageing may also contribute to the successful ageing of cognitive abilities. A comparative genomics approach found longevity genes conserved between yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We hypothesised that these longevity genes influence variance in cognitive ability and age-related cognitive decline in humans. Here, we investigated six of these genes that have human orthologs and show expression in the brain. We tested AFG3L2 (MIM: 604581, AFG3 ATPase family gene 3-like 2 (yeast)), FRAP1 (MIM: 601231, a FK506 binding protein 12-rapamycin associated protein), MAT1A, MAT2A (MIM: 610550 and 601468, methionine adenosyltransferases I alpha and II alpha, respectively), SYNJ1 and SYNJ2 (MIM: 604297 and 609410, synaptojanin-1 and synaptojanin-2, respectively) in approximately 1000 healthy older Scots: the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (LBC1936). They were tested on general cognitive ability at age 11 years. At a mean age of 70 years, they re-sat the same general cognitive ability test and underwent an additional battery of diverse cognitive tests. In all, 70 tag and functional SNPs in the six longevity genes were genotyped and tested for association with cognition and cognitive ageing in LBC1936. Suggestive associations were detected between SNPs in SYNJ2, MAT1A, AFG3L2 and SYNJ1 and a general memory factor and general cognitive ability at age 11 and 70 years. Replication studies for cognitive ability associations were performed in 2506 samples from the Cognitive Ageing Genetics in England and Scotland consortium. A meta-analysis replicated the SYNJ2 association with cognitive abilities (lowest P=0.00077). SYNJ2 is a novel gene in which variation is potentially associated with cognitive abilities.
cognition; cognitive ageing; longevity genes; gene association; SYNJ2
Prostate brachytherapy can be used as a monotherapy for low- and intermediate-risk patients or in combination with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) as a form of dose escalation for selected intermediate- and high-risk patients. Prostate brachytherapy with either permanent implants (low dose rate [LDR]) or temporary implants (high dose rate [HDR]) is emerging as the most effective radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Several large Canadian brachytherapy programs were established in the mid- to late-1990s. Prostate brachytherapy is offered in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. We anticipate the need for brachytherapy services in Canada will significantly increase in the near future. In this review, we summarize brachytherapy programs across Canada, contemporary eligibility criteria for the procedure, toxicity and prostate-specific antigen recurrence free survival (PRFS), as published from Canadian institutions for both LDR and HDR brachytherapy.
Differences in genomic structure between individuals are ubiquitous features of human genetic variation. Specific copy number variants (CNVs) have been associated with susceptibility to numerous complex psychiatric disorders, including attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, autism-spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. These disorders often display co-morbidity with low intelligence. Rare chromosomal deletions and duplications are associated with these disorders, so it has been suggested that these deletions or duplications may be associated with differences in intelligence. Here we investigate associations between large (≥500kb), rare (<1% population frequency) CNVs and both fluid and crystallized intelligence in community-dwelling older people. We observe no significant associations between intelligence and total CNV load. Examining individual CNV regions previously implicated in neuropsychological disorders, we find suggestive evidence that CNV regions around SHANK3 are associated with fluid intelligence as derived from a battery of cognitive tests. This is the first study to examine the effects of rare CNVs as called by multiple algorithms on cognition in a large non-clinical sample, and finds no effects of such variants on general cognitive ability.
Parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) infects a wide range of animals including dogs, pigs, cats, and humans; however, its association with disease in humans remains controversial. In contrast to parainfluenza virus 3 (PIV3) or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), PIV5 is remarkably non-cytopathic in monolayer cultures of immortalized epithelial cells. To compare the cytopathology produced by these viruses in a relevant human tissue, we infected an in vitro model of human ciliated airway epithelium and measured outcomes of cytopathology. PIV5, PIV3 and, RSV all infected ciliated cells, and PIV5 and PIV3 infection was dependent on sialic acid residues. Only PIV5-infected cells formed syncytia. PIV5 infection resulted in a more rapid loss of infected cells by shedding of infected cells into the lumen. These studies revealed striking differences in cytopathology of PIV5 versus PIV3 or RSV and indicate the extent of cytopathology determined in cell-lines does not predict events in differentiated airway cells.
Parainfluenza virus; respiratory syncytial virus; airway epithelium; cytopathic effect; viral pathogenesis; syncytia; ciliated cell shedding; viral persistence; multi-potent progenitor cells; 3-dimensional (3-D) image reconstruction
Dental caries remains a significant public health problem, prevalence being linked to social and economic deprivation. Occlusal surfaces of first permanent molars are the most susceptible site in the developing permanent dentition. Cochrane reviews have shown pit and fissure sealants (PFS) and fluoride varnish (FV) to be effective over no intervention in preventing caries. However, the comparative cost and effectiveness of these treatments is uncertain. The primary aim of the trial described in this protocol is to compare the clinical effectiveness of PFS and FV in preventing dental caries in first permanent molars in 6-7 year-olds. Secondary aims include: establishing the costs and the relative cost-effectiveness of PFS and FV delivered in a community/school setting; examining the impact of PFS and FV on children and their parents/carers in terms of quality of life/treatment acceptability measures; and examining the implementation of treatment in a community setting.
The trial design comprises a randomised, assessor-blinded, two-arm, parallel group trial in 6–7 year old schoolchildren. Clinical procedures and assessments will be performed at 66 primary schools, in deprived areas in South Wales. Treatments will be delivered via a mobile dental clinic. In total, 920 children will be recruited (460 per trial arm). At baseline and annually for 36 months dental caries will be recorded using the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS) by trained and calibrated dentists. PFS and FV will be applied by trained dental hygienists. The FV will be applied at baseline, 6, 12, 18, 24 and 30 months. The PFS will be applied at baseline and re-examined at 6, 12, 18, 24, and 30 months, and will be re-applied if the existing sealant has become detached/is insufficient. The economic analysis will estimate the costs of providing the PFS versus FV. The process evaluation will assess implementation and acceptability through acceptability scales, a schools questionnaire and interviews with children, parents, dentists, dental nurses and school staff. The primary outcome measure will be the proportion of children developing new caries on any one of up to four treated first permanent molars.
The objectives of this study have been identified by the National Institute for Health Research as one of importance to the National Health Service in the UK. The results of this trial will provide guidance on which of these technologies should be adopted for the prevention of dental decay in the most susceptible tooth-surface in the most at risk children.
ISRCTN ref: ISRCTN17029222 EudraCT: 2010-023476-23 UKCRN ref: 9273
Dental caries; Clinical trial; Pit and fissure sealants; Fluoride varnish; Preventive dentistry; Oral health
Animal studies find that prenatal stress is associated with increased physiological and emotional reactivity later in life, mediated via fetal programming of the HPA axis through decreased glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene expression. Post-natal behaviours, notably licking and grooming in rats, cause decreased behavioural indices of fear and reduced HPA axis reactivity mediated via increased GR gene expression. Post-natal maternal behaviours may therefore be expected to modify prenatal effects, but this has not previously been examined in humans. We examined whether, according to self-report, maternal stroking over the first weeks of life modified associations between prenatal depression and physiological and behavioral outcomes in infancy, hence mimicking effects of rodent licking and grooming. From a general population sample of 1233 first time mothers recruited at 20 weeks gestation we drew a stratified random sample of 316 for assessment at 32 weeks based on reported inter-partner psychological abuse, a risk to child development. Of these 271 provided data at 5, 9 and 29 weeks post delivery. Mothers reported how often they stroked their babies at 5 and 9 weeks. At 29 weeks vagal withdrawal to a stressor, a measure of physiological adaptability, and maternal reported negative emotionality were assessed. There was a significant interaction between prenatal depression and maternal stroking in the prediction of vagal reactivity to a stressor (p = .01), and maternal reports of infant anger proneness (p = .007) and fear (p = .043). Increasing maternal depression was associated with decreasing physiological adaptability, and with increasing negative emotionality, only in the presence of low maternal stroking. These initial findings in humans indicate that maternal stroking in infancy, as reported by mothers, has effects strongly resembling the effects of observed maternal behaviours in animals, pointing to future studies of the epigenetic, physiological and behavioral effects of maternal stroking.
Muc1 (MUC1 in humans) is a membrane-tethered mucin that exerts anti-inflammatory effects in the lung during bacterial infection. Muc1 and other mucins are also likely to form a protective barrier in the lung. We used mouse adenovirus type 1 (MAV-1, also known as MAdV-1) to determine the role of Muc1 in the pathogenesis of an adenovirus in its natural host. Following intranasal inoculation of wild type mice, we detected increased TNF-α, a cytokine linked to Muc1 production, but no consistent changes in the production of lung Muc1, Muc5ac or overall lung mucus production. Viral loads were modestly higher in the lungs of Muc1−/− mice compared to Muc1+/+ mice at several early time points but decreased to similar levels by 14 days post infection in both groups. However, cellular inflammation and the expression of CXCL1, CCL5, and CCL2 did not significantly differ between Muc1−/− and Muc1+/+ mice. Our data therefore suggest that Muc1 may contribute to a physical barrier that protects against MAV-1 respiratory infection. However, our data do not reveal an anti-inflammatory effect of Muc1 that contributes to MAV-1 pathogenesis..
mucin; Muc1; adenovirus
AAV1 and AAV6 are two closely related AAV serotypes. In the present study, we found AAV6 was more efficient in transducing mouse lower airway epithelia in vitro and in vivo than AAV1. To further explore the mechanism of this difference, we found that significantly more AAV1 bound to mouse airway epithelia than AAV6, yet transduction by AAV6 was far superior. Lectin competition assays demonstrated that both AAV1 and AAV6 similarly utilize α-2, 3-, and to a lesser extend α-2, 6- linked sialic acids as the receptors for transduction. Furthermore, the rates of AAV endocytosis could not account for the transduction differences of AAV1 and AAV6. Finally, it was revealed that AAV6 was less susceptible to ubiquitin/proteasome-mediated blocks than AAV1 when transducing mouse airway epithelia. Thus compared with AAV1, AAV6 has a unique ability to escape proteasome-mediated degradation, which is likely responsible for its higher transduction efficiency in mouse airway epithelium.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and its metabolite adenosine regulate airway mucociliary clearance via activation of purinoceptors. In this study, we investigated the contribution of goblet cells to airway epithelial ATP release. Primary human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cultures, typically dominated by ciliated cells, were induced to develop goblet cell metaplasia by infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or treatment with IL-13. Under resting conditions, goblet-cell metaplastic cultures displayed enhanced mucin secretion accompanied by increased rates of ATP release and mucosal surface adenosine accumulation as compared with nonmetaplastic control HBE cultures. Intracellular calcium chelation [1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid tetraacetoxymethyl ester] or disruption of the secretory pathways (nocodazole, brefeldin A, and N-ethylmaleimide) decreased mucin secretion and ATP release in goblet-cell metaplastic HBE cultures. Conversely, stimuli that triggered calcium-regulated mucin secretion (e.g., ionomycin or UTP) increased luminal ATP release and adenyl purine accumulation in control and goblet-cell metaplastic HBE cultures. Goblet cell–associated ATP release was not blocked by the connexin/pannexin hemichannel inhibitor carbenoxolone, suggesting direct nucleotide release from goblet cell vesicles rather than the hemichannel insertion. Collectively, our data demonstrate that nucleotide release is increased by goblet cell metaplasia, reflecting, at least in part, a mechanism tightly associated with goblet cell mucin secretion. Increased goblet cell nucleotide release and resultant adenosine accumulation provide compensatory mechanisms to hydrate mucins by paracrine stimulation of ciliated cell ion and water secretion and maintain mucociliary clearance, and to modulate inflammatory responses.
goblet cell metaplasia; ATP release; mucin; airway epithelia; RSV
ExoU, a Pseudomonas aeruginosa cytotoxin injected into host cytosol by type III secretion system, exhibits a potent proinflammatory activity that leads to a marked recruitment of neutrophils to infected tissues. To evaluate the mechanisms that account for neutrophil infiltration, we investigated the effect of ExoU on IL-8 secretion and NF-κB activation. We demonstrate that ExoU increases IL-8 mRNA and protein levels in P. aeruginosa-infected epithelial and endothelial cell lines. Also, ExoU induces the nuclear translocation of p65/p50 NF-κB transactivator heterodimer as well as NF-κB-dependent transcriptional activity. ChIP assays clearly revealed that ExoU promotes p65 binding to NF-κB site in IL-8 promoter and the treatment of cultures with the NF-κB inhibitor Bay 11-7082 led to a significant reduction in IL-8 mRNA levels and protein secretion induced by ExoU. These results were corroborated in a murine model of pneumonia that revealed a significant reduction in KC secretion and neutrophil infiltration in bronchoalveolar lavage when mice were treated with Bay 11-7082 before infection with an ExoU-producing strain. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that ExoU activates NF-κB, stimulating IL-8 expression and secretion during P. aeruginosa infection, and unveils a new mechanism triggered by this important virulence factor to interfere in host signaling pathways.
While it is apparent that rare variation can play an important role in the genetic architecture of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), the contribution of common variation to the risk of developing ASD is less clear. To produce a more comprehensive picture, we report Stage 2 of the Autism Genome Project genome-wide association study, adding 1301 ASD families and bringing the total to 2705 families analysed (Stages 1 and 2). In addition to evaluating the association of individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we also sought evidence that common variants, en masse, might affect the risk. Despite genotyping over a million SNPs covering the genome, no single SNP shows significant association with ASD or selected phenotypes at a genome-wide level. The SNP that achieves the smallest P-value from secondary analyses is rs1718101. It falls in CNTNAP2, a gene previously implicated in susceptibility for ASD. This SNP also shows modest association with age of word/phrase acquisition in ASD subjects, of interest because features of language development are also associated with other variation in CNTNAP2. In contrast, allele scores derived from the transmission of common alleles to Stage 1 cases significantly predict case status in the independent Stage 2 sample. Despite being significant, the variance explained by these allele scores was small (Vm< 1%). Based on results from individual SNPs and their en masse effect on risk, as inferred from the allele score results, it is reasonable to conclude that common variants affect the risk for ASD but their individual effects are modest.