Cobalamins (Cbl) are important co-factors for methionine synthase and methylmalonyl-coA mutase. Certain corrins also bind nitric oxide (NO), quenching its bioactivity. To determine if corrins would inhibit NO synthase (NOS), we measured their effects on 14-C-L-arginine-to-14-C-L-citrulline conversion by NOS1, NOS2, and NOS3. Hydroxocobalamin (OH-Cbl), cobinamide (Cbi), and dicyanocobinamide (CN2-Cbi) potently inhibited all isoforms, whfile cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin, and adenosylcobalamin had much less effect. OH-Cbl and CN2-Cbi prevented binding of the oxygen analog carbon monoxide (CO) to the reduced NOS1 and NOS2 heme active site. CN2-Cbi did not react directly with NO or CO. Spectral perturbation analysis showed that CN2-Cbi interacted directly with the purified NOS1 oxygenase domain. NOS inhibition by corrins was rapid and not reversed by dialysis with L-arginine, tetrahydrobiopterin. Molecular modeling indicated that corrins could access the unusually large heme and substrate-binding pocket of NOS. Best fits were obtained in the “base-off” conformation of the lower axial dimethylbenzimidazole ligand. CN2-Cbi inhibited interferon-γ-activated Raw264.7 mouse macrophage NO production. We show for the first time that certain corrins directly inhibit NOS, suggesting that these agents (or their derivatives) may have pharmacological utility. Endogenous cobalamins and cobinamides might play important roles regulating NOS activity in normal and pathological conditions.
cobalamin; cobinamide; vitamin B12; nitric oxide; nitric oxide synthase; arginine; macrophage
Purpose of review
Parasiticidal therapy of severe falciparum malaria improves outcome, but up to 30% of these patients die despite best therapy. Nitric oxide is protective against severe disease, and both nitric oxide and arginine (the substrate for nitric oxide synthase) are low in clinical malaria. Parasitized red blood cell interactions with endothelium are important in the pathophysiology of malaria. This review describes new information regarding nitric oxide, arginine, carbon monoxide, and endothelial function in malaria.
Low arginine, low nitric oxide production, and endothelial dysfunction are common in severe malaria. The degree of hypoargininemia and endothelial dysfunction (measured by reactive hyperemia peripheral artery tonometry) is proportional to parasite burden and severity of illness. Plasma arginase (an enzyme that catabolizes arginine) is elevated in severe malaria. Administering arginine intravenously reverses hypoargininemia and endothelial dysfunction. The cause(s) of hypoargininemia in malaria is unknown. Carbon monoxide (which shares certain functional properties with nitric oxide) protects against cerebral malaria in mice.
Replenishment of arginine and restoration of nitric oxide production in clinical malaria should diminish parasitized red blood cells adherence to endothelium and reduce the sequelae of these interactions (e.g., cerebral malaria). Arginine therapy given in addition to conventional antimalaria treatment may prove to be beneficial in severe malaria.
arginine; carbon monoxide; endothelium; malaria; nitric oxide
Impaired T cell function in sepsis is associated with poor outcome, but the mechanisms are unclear. In cancer, arginase-expressing myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) deplete arginine, impair T cell receptor CD3 zeta-chain expression and T cell function and are linked to poor clinical outcome, but their role during acute human infectious disease and in particular sepsis remains unknown. Hypoarginemia is prevalent in sepsis. This study aimed to determine whether neutrophils that co-purify with PBMC express arginase, and if arginine depletion constrains T cell CD3 zeta-chain expression and function in human sepsis.
Using flow cytometry, cell culture, HPLC, arginase activity and mRNA detection, our study examined whether neutrophils, with reduced buoyant density isolated in the Ficoll interface, metabolise L-arginine and suppress T cell proliferation in sepsis. A total of 35 sepsis patients (23 with septic shock) and 12 hospital controls in a tertiary referral hospital in tropical Australia were evaluated.
Only sepsis patients had interphase neutrophils, neutrophils co-purifying with mononuclear cells (≤1.077 specific gravity). The percentage of interphase neutrophils in sepsis was proportional to sepsis severity and correlated with plasma IL-6 concentrations. Ex vivo, sepsis-derived interphase neutrophils expressed arginase, metabolised culture L-arginine and suppressed T cell proliferation and CD3 zeta-chain expression. In vivo, in septic shock there was a longitudinal inverse association between interphase neutrophil number and CD3 zeta-chain expression. Depletion or inhibition of interphase neutrophils in vitro restored zeta-chain expression and T cell function.
For the first time during an acute human infection, interphase neutrophils that express arginase were found to circulate in sepsis, in proportion to disease severity. These neutrophil-MDSCs impair T cell CD3 zeta-chain expression and T cell function via L-arginine metabolism, and likely contribute to the T cell dysfunction seen in sepsis. Modulation of neutrophil-MDSC or their downstream effects warrant consideration as targets for novel adjunctive therapies in sepsis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/cc14003) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is a preclinical hematologic condition wherein small numbers of clonal B cells can be detected in the blood of otherwise healthy individuals. Most MBL have a surface immunophenotype nearly identical to that of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), though other phenotypes can also be identified. MBL has been shown to be a precursor state for CLL, but most MBL clones are quite small and apparently have minimal potential to progress of CLL or other B cell lymphoproliferative disorder (B-LPD). The investigation of MBL as a precursor state for CLL will likely lead to important insights into mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. The review will cover clinical and translational aspects of MBL, with a particular emphasis on the prevalence of MBL; the relationship between MBL, CLL, and other B-LPDs; and the capacity of MBL to modulate the normal B and T cell compartments.
Monoclonal B Lymphocytosis; Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia; Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; B Cell Receptor; B Cell Development
Although researchers have noted high level activation of rodent mononuclear phagocytes for nitric oxide (NO) synthase type 2 (S2) expression and NO production with a variety of agents such as interferon (IFN) γ and endotoxin, it has been difficult to demonstrate activation of human mononuclear phagocytes. The purpose of this study was to determine if IFN-α serves as an activator in vitro and in vivo in humans. Treatment of normal monocytes or mononuclear cells in vitro with IFN-α caused a dose-dependent increase in monocyte NOS2 activity and NO production, and increased expression of NOS2 protein and mRNA expression. To determine if in vivo administration of IFN-α also modulated NOS2, we studied blood cells from patients with hepatitis C before and after IFN-α therapy. Untreated patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection had levels of NOS activity and NOS2 antigen in freshly isolated mononuclear cells similar to those of healthy subjects, and they expressed minimal or no NOS2 mRNA. However, IFN-α treatment of patients with hepatitis C infection was associated with a significant elevation in mononuclear cell NOS activity, NOS2 antigen content, and NOS2 mRNA content. IFN-α–treated patients had significant decreases in levels of serum alanine aminotransferase and plasma hepatitis C mRNA. The degree of IFN-α–enhanced mononuclear cell NOS2 antigen content correlated significantly with the degree of reduction in serum alanine aminotransferase levels. Thus, IFN-α treatment of cells in vitro or administration of IFN-α to hepatitis C patients in vivo increases expression of mononuclear cell NOS2 mRNA expression, NOS activity, NOS2 antigen expression, and NO production. Since NO has been reported to have antiviral activity for a variety of viruses, we speculate that induced NO production may be related to the antiviral action(s) of IFN-α in hepatitis C infection.
Nitric oxide (NO) is an important mediator of the inflammatory response. MRL–lpr/lpr mice overexpress inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) and overproduce NO in parallel with the development of an autoimmune syndrome with a variety of inflammatory manifestations. In previous studies, we showed that inhibiting NO production with the nonselective nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor NG-monomethyl–arginine reduced glomerulonephritis, arthritis, and vasculitis in MRL–lpr/lpr mice. To define further the role of NO and NOS2 in disease in MRL–lpr/lpr mice, mice with targeted disruption of NOS2 were produced by homologous recombination and bred to MRL–lpr/lpr mice to the N4 generation. MRL–lpr/lpr littermates homozygous for disrupted NOS2 (−/−), heterozygous for disrupted NOS2 (+/−), or wildtype (+/+) were derived for this study. Measures of NO production were markedly decreased in the MRL-lpr/lpr (−/−) mice compared with MRL-lpr/lpr (+/+) mice, with intermediate production by the MRL-lpr/lpr (+/−) mice. There was no detectable NOS2 protein by immunoblot analysis of the spleen, liver, kidney, and peritoneal macrophages of the (−/−) animals, whereas that of (+/+) was high and (+/−) intermediate. The (−/−) mice developed glomerular and synovial pathology similar to that of the (+/−) and (+/+) mice. However, (−/−) mice and (+/−) mice had significantly less vasculitis of medium-sized renal vessels than (+/+) mice. IgG rheumatoid factor levels were significantly lower in the (−/−) mice as compared with (+/+) mice, but levels of anti-DNA antibodies were comparable in all groups. Our findings show that NO derived from NOS2 has a variable impact on disease manifestations in MRL-lpr/lpr mice, suggesting heterogeneity in disease mechanisms.
Our genome-wide association study (GWAS) of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) identified 4 highly-correlated intronic variants within the IRF8 gene that were associated with CLL. These results were further supported by a recent meta-analysis of our GWAS with two other GWAS of CLL, supporting the IRF8 gene as a strong candidate for CLL risk.
To refine the genetic association of CLL risk, we performed Sanger sequencing of IRF8 in 94 CLL cases and 96 controls. We then performed fine-mapping by genotyping 39 variants (of which 10 were identified from sequencing) in 745 CLL cases and 1521 controls. We also assessed these associations with risk of other non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes.
The strongest association with CLL risk was observed with a common SNP located within the 3’ UTR of IRF8 (rs1044873, log additive odds ratio = 0.7, P=1.81×10−6). This SNP was not associated with the other NHL subtypes (all P>0.05).
We provide evidence that rs1044873 in the IRF8 gene accounts for the initial GWAS signal for CLL risk. This association appears to be unique to CLL with little support for association with other common NHL subtypes. Future work is needed to assess functional role of IRF8 in CLL etiology.
These data provide support that a functional variant within the 3’ UTR of IRF8 may be driving the GWAS signal seen on 16q24.1 for CLL risk.
CLL; NHL; SNPs; IRF8; risk locus
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) can be immunosuppressive in humans and mice, and CLL cells share multiple phenotypic markers with regulatory B cells that are competent to produce IL-10 (B10 cells). To identify functional links between CLL cells and regulatory B10 cells, the phenotypes and abilities of leukemia cells from 93 patients with overt CLL to express IL-10 were assessed. CD5+ CLL cells purified from 90% of the patients were IL-10-competent and secreted IL-10 following appropriate ex vivo stimulation. Serum IL-10 levels were also significantly elevated in CLL patients. IL-10-competent cell frequencies were higher among CLLs with IgVH mutations, and correlated positively with TCL1 expression. In the TCL1-transgenic (TCL1-Tg) mouse model of CLL, IL-10-competent B cells with the cell-surface phenotype of B10 cells expanded significantly with age, preceding the development of overt, CLL-like leukemia. Malignant CLL cells in TCL1-Tg mice also shared immunoregulatory functions with mouse and human B10 cells. Serum IL-10 levels varied in TCL1-Tg mice, but in vivo low-dose lipopolysaccharide treatment induced IL-10 expression in CLL cells and high levels of serum IL-10. Thus, malignant IL-10-competent CLL cells exhibit regulatory functions comparable to normal B10 cells that may contribute to the immunosuppression observed in patients and TCL1-Tg mice.
B10 cells; regulatory B cell; CLL; leukemia; IL-10; immunosuppression
A recent meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) identified two common variants at the 6p21.31 locus that are associated with CLL risk. To verify and further explore the association of these variants with other non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes, we genotyped 1196 CLL cases, 1699 NHL cases, and 2410 controls. We found significant associations between the 6p21.31 variants and CLL risk (rs210134: P=0.01; rs210142: P=6.8×10−3). These variants also showed a trend towards association with some of the other NHL subtypes. Our results validate the prior work and support specific genetic pathways for risk among NHL subtypes.
CLL; NHL; SNPs; BAK1; risk locus
Tissue-engineered constructs designed to treat large cartilage defects or osteoarthritic lesions may be exposed to significant mechanical loading as well as an inflammatory environment upon implantation in an injured or diseased joint. We hypothesized that a three-dimensionally (3D) woven poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffold seeded with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) would provide biomimetic mechanical properties in early stages of in vitro culture as the MSCs assembled a functional, cartilaginous extracellular matrix (ECM). We also hypothesized that these properties would be maintained even in the presence of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1), which is found at high levels in injured or diseased joints. MSC-seeded 3D woven scaffolds cultured in chondrogenic conditions synthesized a functional ECM rich in collagen and proteoglycan content, reaching an aggregate modulus of ~0.75 MPa within 14 days of culture. However, the presence of pathophysiologically relevant levels of IL-1 limited matrix accumulation and inhibited any increase in mechanical properties over baseline values. On the other hand, the mechanical properties of constructs cultured in chondrogenic conditions for 4 weeks prior to IL-1 exposure were protected from deleterious effects of the cytokine. These findings demonstrate that IL-1 significantly inhibits the chondrogenic development and maturation of MSC-seeded constructs; however, the overall mechanical functionality of the engineered tissue can be preserved through the use of a 3D woven scaffold designed to recreate the mechanical properties of native articular cartilage.
cytokine; articular cartilage; tissue engineering; textile; stem cell; mesenchymal stem cell; differentiation; fiber; inflammation; fabric
Hemolysis causes anemia in falciparum malaria, but its contribution to microvascular pathology in severe malaria (SM) is not well characterized. In other hemolytic diseases, release of cell-free hemoglobin causes nitric oxide (NO) quenching, endothelial activation, and vascular complications. We examined the relationship of plasma hemoglobin and myoglobin to endothelial dysfunction and disease severity in malaria.
Cell-free hemoglobin (a potent NO quencher), reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT) (a measure of endothelial NO bioavailability), and measures of perfusion and endothelial activation were quantified in adults with moderately severe (n = 78) or severe (n = 49) malaria and control subjects (n = 16) from Papua, Indonesia.
Cell-free hemoglobin concentrations in patients with SM (median, 5.4 μmol/L; interquartile range [IQR], 3.2–7.4 μmol/L) were significantly higher than in those with moderately severe malaria (2.6 μmol/L; IQR, 1.3–4.5 μmol/L) or controls (1.2 μmol/L; IQR, 0.9–2.4 μmol/L; P < .001). Multivariable regression analysis revealed that cell-free hemoglobin remained inversely associated with RH-PAT, and in patients with SM, there was a significant longitudinal association between improvement in RH-PAT index and decreasing levels of cell-free hemoglobin (P = .047). Cell-free hemoglobin levels were also independently associated with lactate, endothelial activation, and proinflammatory cytokinemia.
Hemolysis in falciparum malaria results in NO quenching by cell-free hemoglobin, and may exacerbate endothelial dysfunction, adhesion receptor expression and impaired tissue perfusion. Treatments that increase NO bioavailability may have potential as adjunctive therapies in SM.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is typically regarded as an indolent B-cell malignancy. However, there is wide variability with regards to need for therapy, time to progressive disease, and treatment response. This clinical variability is due, in part, to biological heterogeneity between individual patients’ leukemias. While much has been learned about this biological variation using genomic approaches, it is unclear whether such efforts have sufficiently evaluated biological and clinical heterogeneity in CLL.
To study the extent of genomic variability in CLL and the biological and clinical attributes of genomic classification in CLL, we evaluated 893 unique CLL samples from fifteen publicly available gene expression profiling datasets. We used unsupervised approaches to divide the data into subgroups, evaluated the biological pathways and genetic aberrations that were associated with the subgroups, and compared prognostic and clinical outcome data between the subgroups.
Using an unsupervised approach, we determined that approximately 600 CLL samples are needed to define the spectrum of diversity in CLL genomic expression. We identified seven genomically-defined CLL subgroups that have distinct biological properties, are associated with specific chromosomal deletions and amplifications, and have marked differences in molecular prognostic markers and clinical outcomes.
Our results indicate that investigations focusing on small numbers of patient samples likely provide a biased outlook on CLL biology. These findings may have important implications in identifying patients who should be treated with specific targeted therapies, which could have efficacy against CLL cells that rely on specific biological pathways.
Plasma Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein-2 (PfHRP-2) concentrations, a measure of parasite biomass, have been correlated with malaria severity in adults, but not yet in children. We measured plasma PfHRP-2 in Tanzanian children with uncomplicated (n = 61) and cerebral malaria (n = 45; 7 deaths). Median plasma PfHRP-2 concentrations were higher in cerebral malaria (1008 [IQR 342–2572] ng/mL) than in uncomplicated malaria (465 [IQR 36–1426] ng/mL; p = 0.017). In cerebral malaria, natural log plasma PfHRP-2 was associated with coma depth (r = −0.42; p = 0.006) and mortality (OR: 3.0 [95% CI 1.03–8.76]; p = 0.04). In this relatively small cohort study in a mesoendemic transmission area of Africa, plasma PfHRP-2 was associated with pediatric malaria severity and mortality. Further studies among children in areas of Africa with higher malaria transmission and among children with different clinical manifestations of severe malaria will help determine the wider utility of quantitative PfHRP-2 as a measure of parasite biomass and prognosis in sub-Saharan Africa.
Monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is a hematologic condition wherein small B cell clones can be detected in the blood of asymptomatic individuals. Most MBL have an immunophenotype similar to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and “CLL-like” MBL is a precursor to CLL. We used flow cytometry to identify MBL from unaffected members of CLL kindreds. We identified 101 MBL cases from 622 study subjects; of these, 82 individuals with MBL were further characterized. Ninety-one unique MBL clones were detected: 73 CLL-like MBL (CD5+CD20dimsIgdim), 11 atypical MBL (CD5+CD20+sIg+), and 7 CD5neg MBL (CD5negCD20+sIgneg). Extended immunophenotypic characterization of these MBL subtypes was performed, and significant differences in cell surface expression of CD23, CD49d, CD79b, and FMC-7 were observed among the groups. Markers of risk in CLL such as CD38, ZAP70, and CD49d were infrequently expressed in CLL-like MBL, but were expressed in the majority of atypical MBL. Interphase cytogenetics was performed in 35 MBL cases, and del 13q14 was most common (22/30 CLL-like MBL cases). Gene expression analysis using oligonucleotide arrays was performed on 7 CLL-like MBL, and showed activation of B cell receptor associated pathways. Our findings underscore the diversity of MBL subtypes and further clarify the relationship between MBL and other lymphoproliferative disorders.
Injury or removal of the knee meniscus leads to progressive joint degeneration, and current surgical therapies for meniscal tears seek to maximally preserve meniscal structure and function. However, the factors that influence intrinsic repair of the meniscus are not well understood. The goal of this study was to investigate the capacity of meniscus tissue to repair a simulated defect in vitro and to examine the effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines on this process.
Cylindrical explants were harvested from the outer one-third of medial porcine menisci. To simulate a full-thickness defect, a central core was removed and reinserted immediately into the defect. Explants were cultured for 2, 4, or 6 weeks in serum-containing media in the presence or absence of interleukin-1 (IL-1) or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), and meniscal repair was investigated using mechanical testing and fluorescence confocal microscopy.
Meniscal lesions in untreated samples showed a significant capacity for intrinsic repair in vitro, with increasing cell accumulation and repair strength over time in culture. In the presence of IL-1 or TNF-alpha, no repair was observed despite the presence of abundant viable cells.
This study demonstrates that the meniscus exhibits an intrinsic repair response in vitro. However, the presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines completely inhibited repair. These findings suggest that increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines post-injury or under arthritic conditions may inhibit meniscal repair. Therefore, inhibition of these cytokines may provide a means of accelerating repair of damaged or injured menisci in vivo.
Meniscus; Injury; Cartilage; Integrative repair; IL-1; TNF-α; Osteoarthritis
Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is an asymptomatic haematological condition characterized by low absolute levels of B-cell clones with a surface immunophenotype similar to that of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). In the general population, MBL increases with age with a prevalence of 5–9% in individuals over age 60 years. It has been reported to be higher among first-degree relatives from CLL families. We report results of multi-parameter flow cytometry among 505 first-degree relatives with no personal history of lymphoproliferative disease from 140 families having at least two cases of CLL. Seventeen percent of relatives had MBL. Age was the most important determinant where the probability for developing MBL by age 90 years was 61%. MBL clustered in certain families but clustering was independent of the number of known CLL cases in a family. As is the case with CLL, males had a significantly higher risk for MBL than did females (p=0.04). MBL patients had significantly higher mean absolute lymphocyte counts (2.4 × 109/l) and B-cell counts (0.53 × 109/l) than those with a normal B-cell immunophenotype. Our findings show that MBL occurs at a very high rate in high risk CLL families. Both the age and gender distribution of MBL are parallel to CLL, implying a shared inherited risk.
chronic lymphocytic leukaemia; high risk families; monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis; flow cytometry
Age and host genetics are important determinants of malaria severity. Lymphotoxin-alpha (LTα) has been linked to the development of cerebral malaria (CM) and other severe malaria (SM) syndromes. Mutations in genes regulating LTα production contribute to other acute vascular diseases and may contribute to malaria pathogenesis.
We tested the association between rs7291467, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the LTα-related gene encoding galectin-2 (LGALS2), disease severity and function in a case-control study of ethnic Highland Papuan adults and children with SM (n=380) and asymptomatic malaria-exposed controls (n=356), originating from a non-malaria-endemic region but residing in a lowland malaria-endemic area of Papua, Indonesia.
The LGALS2 SNP showed significant association with susceptibility to SM (including CM), in children (OR 2.02 [95% CI:1.14-3.57]) but not adults. In SM, the C-allele at rs7291467 was associated with enhanced galectin-2 transcript levels. In a separate group of Tanzanian children originating from a malaria-endemic region, we found preservation of the major ancestral LGALS2 allele and no association with susceptibility to CM.
Results suggest differences in the inflammatory contribution to the development of SM between children and adults in the same population, and potential differences between individuals originating from malaria-endemic and non-endemic areas.
Malaria; Galectin-2; Inflammation; Gene regulation; Age; Severe Malaria; Cerebral Malaria
Meniscal tears are a common knee injury and increased levels of interleukin-1 (IL-1) have been measured in injured and degenerated joints. Studies have shown that IL-1 decreases the shear strength, cell accumulation, and tissue formation in meniscal repair interfaces. While mechanical stress and IL-1 modulate meniscal biosynthesis and degradation, the effects of dynamic loading on meniscal repair are unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of mechanical compression on meniscal repair under normal and inflammatory conditions.
Explants were harvested from porcine medial menisci. To simulate a full-thickness defect, a central core was removed and reinserted. Explants were loaded for 4 hours/day at 1Hz and 0 – 26% strain for 14 days in the presence of 0 or 100pg/mL of IL-1. Media were assessed for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, aggrecanase activity, sulfated glycosaminoglycan (S-GAG) release, and nitric oxide (NO) production. After 14 days, biomechanical testing and histological analyses were performed.
IL-1 increased MMP activity, S-GAG release, and NO production, while decreasing the shear strength and tissue repair in the interface. Dynamic loading antagonized IL-1-mediated inhibition of repair at all strain amplitudes. Neither IL-1 treatment nor strain altered aggrecanase activity. Additionally, strain alone did not alter meniscal healing, except at the highest strain magnitude (26%), a level that enhanced the strength of repair.
Dynamic loading blocked the catabolic effects of IL-1 on meniscal repair, suggesting that joint loading through physical therapy may be beneficial in promoting healing of meniscal lesions under inflammatory conditions.
meniscus; tissue repair; mechanical loading; interleukin-1; matrix metalloproteinase; aggrecanase; nitric oxide
There is strong and consistent evidence that a genetic component contributes to the etiology of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) of CLL identified 7 genetic variants that increased the risk of CLL within a European population.
We evaluated the association of these variants, or variants in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with these variants, with CLL risk in an independent sample of 438 CLL cases and 328 controls.
Of these 7 SNPs, 6 had p-trend < 0.05 and had estimated odds ratios (ORs) that were strikingly comparable to those of the previous study. Associations were seen for rs9378805 (OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.19, 1.80, p-trend = 0.0003) near IRF4 and rs735665 near GRAMD1B (OR= 1.47; 95% CI: 1.14, 1.89; p-trend = 0.003). However, no associations (P> 0.05) were found for rs11083846, nor were any found for any SNPs in LD with rs11083846.
Our results confirm the previous findings and further support the role of a genetic basis in the etiology of CLL; however, more research is needed to elucidate the causal SNP(s) and the potential manner in which these SNPs or linked SNPs function in CLL pathogenesis.
IRF4; CLL; genetic association
To identify susceptibility loci for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes, we conducted a three-stage genome-wide association study. We identified two variants associated with follicular lymphoma (FL) in 1,465 FL cases/6,958 controls at 6p21.32 (rs10484561, rs7755224, r2=1.0; combined p-values=1.12×10-29, 2.00×10-19), providing further support that MHC genetic variation influences FL susceptibility. Confirmatory evidence of a previously reported association was also found between chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma and rs735665 (combined p-value=4.24×10-9).
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a B-cell malignancy characterized by a variable clinical course. Several parameters have prognostic capabilities but are associated with altered response to therapy in only a small subset of patients.
We used gene expression profiling methods to generate predictors of therapy response and prognosis. Genomic signatures that reflect progressive disease and responses to chemotherapy or chemo-immunotherapy were created using cancer cell lines and patient leukemia cell samples. We validated and applied these three signatures to independent clinical data from four cohorts representing a total of 301 CLL patients.
A genomic signature of prognosis created from patient leukemic cell gene expression data coupled with clinical parameters significantly differentiated patients with stable disease from those with progressive disease in the training dataset. The progression signature was validated in two independent datasets, demonstrating a capacity to accurately identify patients at risk for progressive disease. In addition, genomic signatures that predict response to chlorambucil or pentostatin, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab were generated and could accurately distinguish responding and non-responding CLL patients.
Thus, microarray analysis of CLL lymphocytes can be used to refine prognosis and predict response to different therapies. These results have implications for standard and investigational therapeutics in CLL patients.
Tuberculosis (TB) has substantial mortality worldwide with 5-10% of those exposed progressing to active TB disease. Studies in mice and humans indicate that the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) molecule plays an important role in immune response to TB. A mixed case-control association study of individuals with TB, relatives, or close contact controls was performed in 726 individuals (279 case and 166 control African-Americans; 198 case and 123 control Caucasians). Thirty-nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected from the NOS2A gene for single SNP, haplotype, and multilocus interaction analyses with other typed candidate genes using generalized estimating equations. In African-Americans, ten NOS2A SNPs were associated with TB. The strongest associations were observed at rs2274894 (odds ratio (OR) = 1.84, 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.23-2.77], p = 0.003) and rs7215373 (OR 1.67, 95% CI [1.17-2.37], p = 0.004), both of which passed a false discovery rate (FDR) correction for multiple comparisons (q*=0.20). The strongest gene-gene interactions were observed between NOS2A rs2248814 and IFNGR1 rs1327474 (p = 0.0004) and NOS2A rs944722 and IFNGR1 rs1327474 (p = 0.0006). Three other SNPs in NOS2A interacted with TLR4 rs5030729 and five other NOS2A SNPs interacted with IFNGR1 rs1327474. No significant associations were observed in Caucasians. These results suggest that NOS2A variants may contribute to TB susceptibility, particularly in individuals of African descent, and may act synergistically with SNPs in TLR4 and IFNGR1.
tuberculosis; epistasis; complex disease; infectious disease; genetic epidemiology
Severe malaria (SM) syndromes caused by Plasmodium falciparum infection result in major morbidity and mortality each year. However, only a fraction of P. falciparum infections develop into SM, implicating host genetic factors as important determinants of disease outcome. Previous studies indicate that tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and lymphotoxin alpha (LTα) may be important for the development of cerebral malaria (CM) and other SM syndromes.
An extensive analysis was conducted of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TNF, LTA and LTB genes in highland Papuan children and adults, a population historically unexposed to malaria that has migrated to a malaria endemic region. Generated P-values for SNPs spanning the LTA/TNF/LTB locus were corrected for multiple testing of all the SNPs and haplotype blocks within the region tested through 10,000 permutations. A global P-value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
No associations between SNPs in the TNF/LTA/LTB locus and susceptibility to SM in highland Papuan children and adults were found.
These results support the notion that unique selective pressure on the TNF/LTA/LTB locus in different populations has influenced the contribution of the gene products from this region to SM susceptibility.
Nitric oxide (NO) mediates host resistance to severe malaria and other infectious diseases. NO production and mononuclear cell expression of the NO producing enzyme-inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) have been associated with protection from severe falciparum malaria. The purpose of this study was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes in the NOS2 promoter, to identify associations of these haplotypes with malaria severity and to test the effects of these polymorphisms on promoter activity. We identified 34 SNPs in the proximal 7.3 kb region of the NOS2 promoter and inferred NOS2 promoter haplotypes based on genotyping 24 of these SNPs in a population of Tanzanian children with and without cerebral malaria. We identified 71 haplotypes; 24 of these haplotypes comprised 82% of the alleles. We determined whether NOS2 promoter haplotypes were associated with malaria severity in two groups of subjects from Dar es Salaam (N = 185 and N = 250) and in an inception cohort of children from Muheza-Tanga, Tanzania (N = 883). We did not find consistent associations of NOS2 promoter haplotypes with malaria severity or malarial anemia, although interpretation of these results was potentially limited by the sample size of each group. Furthermore, cytokine-induced NOS2 promoter activity determined using luciferase reporter constructs containing the proximal 7.3 kb region of the NOS2 promoter and the G-954C or C-1173T SNPs did not differ from NOS2 promoter constructs that lacked these polymorphisms. Taken together, these studies suggest that the relationship between NOS2 promoter polymorphisms and malaria severity is more complex than previously described.