Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (168)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
more »
1.  Genome-wide interaction studies reveal sex-specific asthma risk alleles 
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(19):5251-5259.
Asthma is a complex disease with sex-specific differences in prevalence. Candidate gene studies have suggested that genotype-by-sex interaction effects on asthma risk exist, but this has not yet been explored at a genome-wide level. We aimed to identify sex-specific asthma risk alleles by performing a genome-wide scan for genotype-by-sex interactions in the ethnically diverse participants in the EVE Asthma Genetics Consortium. We performed male- and female-specific genome-wide association studies in 2653 male asthma cases, 2566 female asthma cases and 3830 non-asthma controls from European American, African American, African Caribbean and Latino populations. Association tests were conducted in each study sample, and the results were combined in ancestry-specific and cross-ancestry meta-analyses. Six sex-specific asthma risk loci had P-values < 1 × 10−6, of which two were male specific and four were female specific; all were ancestry specific. The most significant sex-specific association in European Americans was at the interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) locus on 5q31.1. We also identify a Latino female-specific association in RAP1GAP2. Both of these loci included single-nucleotide polymorphisms that are known expression quantitative trait loci and have been associated with asthma in independent studies. The IRF1 locus is a strong candidate region for male-specific asthma susceptibility due to the association and validation we demonstrate here, the known role of IRF1 in asthma-relevant immune pathways and prior reports of sex-specific differences in interferon responses.
PMCID: PMC4159149  PMID: 24824216
2.  Differential expression of the Nrf2-linked genes in pediatric septic shock 
Critical Care  2015;19(1):327.
Experimental data from animal models of sepsis support a role for a transcription factor, nuclear erythroid-related factor 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2), as a master regulator of antioxidant and detoxifying genes and intermediary metabolism during stress. Prior analysis of a pediatric septic shock transcriptomic database showed that the Nrf2 response is a top 5 upregulated signaling pathway in early pediatric septic shock.
We conducted a focused analysis of 267 Nrf2-linked genes using a multicenter, genome-wide expression database of 180 children with septic shock 10 years of age or younger and 53 healthy controls. The analysis involved RNA isolated from whole blood within 24 h of pediatric intensive care unit admission for septic shock and a false discovery rate of 5 %. We compared differentially expressed genes from (1) patients with septic shock and healthy controls and (2) across validated gene expression–based subclasses of pediatric septic shock (endotypes A and B) using several bioinformatic methods.
We found upregulation of 123 Nrf2-linked genes in children with septic shock. The top gene network represented by these genes contained primarily enzymes with oxidoreductase activity involved in cellular lipid metabolism that were highly connected to the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor and the retinoic acid receptor families. Endotype A, which had higher organ failure burden and mortality, exhibited a greater downregulation of Nrf2-linked genes than endotype B, with 92 genes differentially regulated between endotypes.
Our findings indicate that Nrf2-linked genes may contribute to alterations in oxidative signaling and intermediary metabolism in pediatric septic shock.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13054-015-1052-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4574004  PMID: 26376786
3.  Discordant identification of pediatric severe sepsis by research and clinical definitions in the SPROUT international point prevalence study 
Critical Care  2015;19(1):325.
Consensus criteria for pediatric severe sepsis have standardized enrollment for research studies. However, the extent to which critically ill children identified by consensus criteria reflect physician diagnosis of severe sepsis, which underlies external validity for pediatric sepsis research, is not known. We sought to determine the agreement between physician diagnosis and consensus criteria to identify pediatric patients with severe sepsis across a network of international pediatric intensive care units (PICUs).
We conducted a point prevalence study involving 128 PICUs in 26 countries across 6 continents. Over the course of 5 study days, 6925 PICU patients <18 years of age were screened, and 706 with severe sepsis defined either by physician diagnosis or on the basis of 2005 International Pediatric Sepsis Consensus Conference consensus criteria were enrolled. The primary endpoint was agreement of pediatric severe sepsis between physician diagnosis and consensus criteria as measured using Cohen’s κ. Secondary endpoints included characteristics and clinical outcomes for patients identified using physician diagnosis versus consensus criteria.
Of the 706 patients, 301 (42.6 %) met both definitions. The inter-rater agreement (κ ± SE) between physician diagnosis and consensus criteria was 0.57 ± 0.02. Of the 438 patients with a physician’s diagnosis of severe sepsis, only 69 % (301 of 438) would have been eligible to participate in a clinical trial of pediatric severe sepsis that enrolled patients based on consensus criteria. Patients with physician-diagnosed severe sepsis who did not meet consensus criteria were younger and had lower severity of illness and lower PICU mortality than those meeting consensus criteria or both definitions. After controlling for age, severity of illness, number of comorbid conditions, and treatment in developed versus resource-limited regions, patients identified with severe sepsis by physician diagnosis alone or by consensus criteria alone did not have PICU mortality significantly different from that of patients identified by both physician diagnosis and consensus criteria.
Physician diagnosis of pediatric severe sepsis achieved only moderate agreement with consensus criteria, with physicians diagnosing severe sepsis more broadly. Consequently, the results of a research study based on consensus criteria may have limited generalizability to nearly one-third of PICU patients diagnosed with severe sepsis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13054-015-1055-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4572676  PMID: 26373923
4.  Genome-wide Interrogation of Longitudinal FEV1 in Children with Asthma 
Rationale: Most genomic studies of lung function have used phenotypic data derived from a single time-point (e.g., presence/absence of disease) without considering the dynamic progression of a chronic disease.
Objectives: To characterize lung function change over time in subjects with asthma and identify genetic contributors to a longitudinal phenotype.
Methods: We present a method that models longitudinal FEV1 data, collected from 1,041 children with asthma who participated in the Childhood Asthma Management Program. This longitudinal progression model was built using population-based nonlinear mixed-effects modeling with an exponential structure and the determinants of age and height.
Measurements and Main Results: We found ethnicity was a key covariate for FEV1 level. Budesonide-treated children with asthma had a slight but significant effect on FEV1 when compared with those treated with placebo or nedocromil (P < 0.001). A genome-wide association study identified seven single-nucleotide polymorphisms nominally associated with longitudinal lung function phenotypes in 581 white Childhood Asthma Management Program subjects (P < 10−4 in the placebo [“discovery”] and P < 0.05 in the nedocromil treatment [“replication”] group). Using ChIP-seq and RNA-seq data, we found that some of the associated variants were in strong enhancer regions in human lung fibroblasts and may affect gene expression in human lung tissue. Genetic mapping restricted to genome-wide enhancer single-nucleotide polymorphisms in lung fibroblasts revealed a highly significant variant (rs6763931; P = 4 × 10−6; false discovery rate < 0.05).
Conclusions: This study offers a strategy to explore the genetic determinants of longitudinal phenotypes, provide a comprehensive picture of disease pathophysiology, and suggest potential treatment targets.
PMCID: PMC4214107  PMID: 25221879
asthma; NONMEM; longitudinal model; FEV1
5.  Vitamin D Modulates Expression of the Airway Smooth Muscle Transcriptome in Fatal Asthma 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0134057.
Globally, asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory disease affecting over 300 million people. Some asthma patients remain poorly controlled by conventional therapies and experience more life-threatening exacerbations. Vitamin D, as an adjunct therapy, may improve disease control in severe asthma patients since vitamin D enhances glucocorticoid responsiveness and mitigates airway smooth muscle (ASM) hyperplasia. We sought to characterize differences in transcriptome responsiveness to vitamin D between fatal asthma- and non-asthma-derived ASM by using RNA-Seq to measure ASM transcript expression in five donors with fatal asthma and ten non-asthma-derived donors at baseline and with vitamin D treatment. Based on a Benjamini-Hochberg corrected p-value <0.05, 838 genes were differentially expressed in fatal asthma vs. non-asthma-derived ASM at baseline, and vitamin D treatment compared to baseline conditions induced differential expression of 711 and 867 genes in fatal asthma- and non-asthma-derived ASM, respectively. Functional gene categories that were highly represented in all groups included extracellular matrix, and responses to steroid hormone stimuli and wounding. Genes differentially expressed by vitamin D also included cytokine and chemokine activity categories. Follow-up qPCR and individual analyte ELISA experiments were conducted for four cytokines (i.e. CCL2, CCL13, CXCL12, IL8) to measure TNFα-induced changes by asthma status and vitamin D treatment. Vitamin D inhibited TNFα-induced IL8 protein secretion levels to a comparable degree in fatal asthma- and non-asthma-derived ASM even though IL8 had significantly higher baseline levels in fatal asthma-derived ASM. Our findings identify vitamin D-specific gene targets and provide transcriptomic data to explore differences in the ASM of fatal asthma- and non-asthma-derived donors.
PMCID: PMC4514847  PMID: 26207385
6.  Ethnic-Specific Associations of Rare and Low Frequency DNA Sequence Variants with Asthma 
Nature communications  2015;6:5965.
Common variants at many loci have been robustly associated with asthma but explain little of the overall genetic risk. Here we investigate the role of rare (<1%) and low frequency (1–5%) variants using the Illumina HumanExome BeadChip array in 4,794 asthma cases, 4,707 non-asthmatic controls, and 590 case-parent trios representing European Americans, African Americans/African Caribbeans, and Latinos. Our study reveals one low frequency missense mutation in the GRASP gene that is associated with asthma in the Latino sample (P=4.31×10−6; OR=1.25; MAF=1.21%) and two genes harboring functional variants that are associated with asthma in a gene-based analysis: GSDMB at the 17q12-21 asthma locus in the Latino and combined samples (P=7.81×10−8 and 4.09×10−8, respectively) and MTHFR in the African ancestry sample (P=1.72×10−6). Our results suggest that associations with rare and low frequency variants are ethnic specific and not likely to explain a significant proportion of the “missing heritability” of asthma.
PMCID: PMC4309441  PMID: 25591454
7.  Association of defensin β-1 gene polymorphisms with asthma 
Defensins are antimicrobial peptides that may take part in airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness.
We characterized the genetic diversity in the defensin β-1 (DEFB1) locus and tested for an association between common genetic variants and asthma diagnosis.
To identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we resequenced this gene in 23 self-defined European Americans and 24 African Americans. To test whether DEFB1 genetic variants are associated with asthma, we genotyped 4 haplotype-tag SNPs in 517 asthmatic and 519 control samples from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and performed a case-control association analysis. To replicate these findings, we evaluated the DEFB1 polymorphisms in a second cohort from the Childhood Asthma Management Program.
Within the NHS, single SNP testing suggested an association between asthma diagnosis and a 5′ genomic SNP (g.–1816 T>C; P = .025) and intronic SNP (IVS+692 G>A; P = .054). A significant association between haplotype (Adenine, Cytosine, Thymine, Adenine [ACTA]) and asthma (P = .024) was also identified. Associations between asthma diagnosis and both DEFB1 polymorphisms were observed in Childhood Asthma Management Program, a second cohort: g.–1816 T>C and IVS+692 G>A demonstrated significant transmission distortion (P = .05 and .007, respectively). Transmission distortion was not observed in male subjects. The rare alleles (–1816C and +692A) were undertransmitted to offspring with asthma, suggesting a protective effect, contrary to the findings in the NHS cohort. Similar effects were evident at the haplotype level: ACTA was undertransmitted (P = .04) and was more prominent in female subjects (P = .007).
Variation in DEFB1 contributes to asthma diagnosis, with apparent gender-specific effects.
PMCID: PMC4475026  PMID: 15696078
Asthma; asthma genetics; defensin; association studies
8.  Inflammatory Markers of Lung Disease in Adult Patients With Cystic Fibrosis 
Pediatric pulmonology  2007;42(3):256-262.
Progressive pulmonary disease associated with chronic bacterial infection and inflammation is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Identifying markers of inflammation that correlate with lung injury may be useful in monitoring disease progression and response to therapy. We hypothesized that levels of serum biomarkers would correlate with clinical course of CF as defined by pulmonary function testing (FEV1).
To determine whether biomarkers of systemic inflammation correlate with lung function in adults with CF.
Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of 63 individuals ≥30 years of age diagnosed with CF in childhood and followed at Children’s Hospital, Boston. We collected data on demographics, CFTR genotype, percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1), C-reactive protein (CRP), serum IgE nd IgG, alpha1-antitrypsin, total white blood cell and neutrophil counts, and percent neutrophils. We used univariate analyses and multivariate linear regression modeling to examine whether markers of systemic inflammation varied with FEV1 (% predicted).
In two-covariate models including CRP and one other marker, CRP (P < 0.001) and IgG (P = 0.02) were significantly associated with FEV1 (% predicted). In the CRP and IgG model, percent predicted FEV1 decreased by 4.91% (P < 0.0001) for each twofold increase in CRP and by 1.56% (P = 0.02) for each 100 mg/dl increase in IgG. Results were unchanged by adjustment for number of DF 508 CFTR alleles. There was no association between any other marker and FEV1 (% predicted) after adjusting for CRP.
Severity of lung disease in long surviving adult CF patients is correlated with CRP and IgG levels. Our findings relating CRP and IgG levels and lung function provide a foundation for subsequent longitudinal studies and consideration of novel disease mechanisms and outcome measurements.
PMCID: PMC4469989  PMID: 17245735
cystic fibrosis; biological markers; airway inflammation; c-reactive protein in cystic fibrosis; lung function; IgG in cystic fibrosis
9.  Red Blood Cell Distribution Width as a Pragmatic Marker for Outcome in Pediatric Critical Illness 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0129258.
Red cell distribution width (RDW) is a routine laboratory measure associated with poor outcomes in adult critical illness.
We determined the utility of RDW as an early pragmatic biomarker for outcome in pediatric critical illness.
We used multivariable logistic regression to test the association of RDW on the first day of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission with prolonged PICU length of stay (LOS) >48 hours and mortality. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) for RDW was compared to the Pediatric Index of Mortality (PIM)-2 score.
Over a 13-month period, 596 unique patients had RDW measured on the first day of PICU admission. Sepsis was an effect modifier for LOS >48 hours but not mortality. In sepsis, RDW was not associated with LOS >48 hours. For patients without sepsis, each 1% increase in RDW was associated with 1.17 (95% CI 1.06, 1.30) increased odds of LOS >48 hours. In all patients, RDW was independently associated with PICU mortality (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.09, 1.43). The AUROC for RDW to predict LOS >48 hours and mortality was 0.61 (95% CI 0.56, 0.66) and 0.65 (95% CI 0.55, 0.75), respectively. Although the AUROC for mortality was comparable to PIM-2 (0.75, 95% CI 0.66, 0.83; p = 0.18), RDW did not increase the discriminative utility when added to PIM-2. Despite the moderate AUROC, RDW <13.4% (upper limit of lower quartile) had 53% risk of LOS >48 hours and 3.3% risk of mortality compared to patients with an RDW >15.7% (lower limit of upper quartile) who had 78% risk of LOS >48 hours and 12.9% risk of mortality (p<0.001 for both outcomes).
Elevated RDW was associated with outcome in pediatric critical illness and provided similar prognostic information as the more complex PIM-2 severity of illness score. Distinct RDW thresholds best discriminate low- versus high-risk patients.
PMCID: PMC4461244  PMID: 26057629
10.  The Vitamin D Antenatal Asthma Reduction Trial (VDAART): Rationale, design, and methods of a randomized, controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy for the primary prevention of asthma and allergies in children 
Contemporary clinical trials  2014;38(1):37-50.
There is intense interest in the role of vitamin D in the development of asthma and allergies. However, studies differ on whether a higher vitamin D intake or status in pregnancy or at birth is protective against asthma and allergies. To address this uncertainty, the Vitamin D Antenatal Asthma Reduction Trial (VDAART) was developed. VDAART is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in pregnant women to determine whether prenatal supplementation can prevent the development of asthma and allergies in the women’s offspring. A secondary aim is to determine whether vitamin D supplementation can prevent the development of pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia, preterm birth, and gestational diabetes. Women were randomized to the treatment arm of 4,000 IU/day of vitamin D3 plus a daily multivitamin that contained 400 IU of vitamin D3 or the placebo arm of placebo plus a multivitamin that contained 400 IU daily of vitamin D3. Women who were between the gestational ages of 10–18 weeks were randomized from three clinical centers across the United States – Boston Medical Center, Washington University in St. Louis, and Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region (San Diego, CA). Supplementation took place throughout pregnancy. Monthly monitoring of urinary calcium to creatinine ratio was performed in addition to medical record review for adverse events. Offspring are being evaluated quarterly through questionnaires and yearly during in-person visits until the 3rd birthday of the child. Ancillary studies will investigate neonatal T-regulatory cell function, maternal vaginal flora, and maternal and child intestinal flora.
PMCID: PMC4086903  PMID: 24614387
Vitamin D; asthma; allergy; randomized controlled trial; Deveopmental Origins; prenatal
11.  The genomic origins of asthma 
Thorax  2014;69(5):481-487.
Lung function tracks from the earliest age that it can be reliably measured. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) suggest that most variants identified for common complex traits are both regulatory in function and active during fetal development. Fetal programming of gene expression during development is critical to the formation of a normal lung. An understanding of how fetal developmental genes related to diseases of the lungs and airways is a critical area for research. This review article will consider the developmental origins hypothesis, the stages of normal lung development and a variety of environmental exposures that might influence the developmental process: in utero cigarette smoke exposure, vitamin D and Folate. We conclude with some information on developmental genes and asthma.
PMCID: PMC4343201  PMID: 24668408
Genomics; Asthma; Fetal Lung Development
12.  Maternal intake of vitamin D during pregnancy and risk of recurrent wheeze in children at 3 y of age1–3 
Vitamin D deficiency and asthma are common at higher latitudes. Although vitamin D has important immunologic effects, its relation with asthma is unknown.
We hypothesized that a higher maternal intake of vitamin D during pregnancy is associated with a lower risk of recurrent wheeze in children at 3 y of age.
The participants were 1194 mother-child pairs in Project Viva—a prospective prebirth cohort study in Massachusetts. We assessed the maternal intake of vitamin D during pregnancy from a validated food-frequency questionnaire. The primary outcome was recurrent wheeze, ie, a positive asthma predictive index (≥2 wheezing attacks among children with a personal diagnosis of eczema or a parental history of asthma).
The mean (±SD) total vitamin D intake during pregnancy was 548 ± 167 IU/d. By age 3 y, 186 children (16%) had recurrent wheeze. Compared with mothers in the lowest quartile of daily intake (median: 356 IU), those in the highest quartile (724 IU) had a lower risk of having a child with recurrent wheeze [odds ratio (OR): 0.39; 95% CI: 0.25, 0.62; P for trend <0.001]. A 100-IU increase in vitamin D intake was associated with lower risk (OR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.74, 0.89), regardless of whether vitamin D was from the diet (OR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.69, 0.96) or supplements (OR: 0.82; 95% CI: 0.73, 0.92). Adjustment for 12 potential confounders, including maternal intake of other dietary factors, did not change the results.
In the northeastern United States, a higher maternal intake of vitamin D during pregnancy may decrease the risk of recurrent wheeze in early childhood.
PMCID: PMC4406411  PMID: 17344501
Vitamin D; pregnancy; dietary intake; childhood wheeze; asthma
13.  Corticosteroids Are Associated with Repression of Adaptive Immunity Gene Programs in Pediatric Septic Shock 
Rationale: Corticosteroids are prescribed commonly for patients with septic shock, but their use remains controversial and concerns remain regarding side effects.
Objectives: To determine the effect of adjunctive corticosteroids on the genomic response of pediatric septic shock.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed an existing transcriptomic database of pediatric septic shock. Subjects receiving any formulation of systemic corticosteroids at the time of blood draw for microarray analysis were classified in the septic shock corticosteroid group. We compared normal control subjects (n = 52), a septic shock no corticosteroid group (n = 110), and a septic shock corticosteroid group (n = 70) using analysis of variance. Genes differentially regulated between the no corticosteroid group and the corticosteroid group were analyzed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis.
Measurements and Main Results: The two study groups did not differ with respect to illness severity, organ failure burden, mortality, or mortality risk. There were 319 gene probes differentially regulated between the no corticosteroid group and the corticosteroid group. These genes corresponded predominately to adaptive immunity–related signaling pathways, and were down-regulated relative to control subjects. Notably, the degree of down-regulation was significantly greater in the corticosteroid group, compared with the no corticosteroid group. A similar pattern was observed for genes corresponding to the glucocorticoid receptor signaling pathway.
Conclusions: Administration of corticosteroids in pediatric septic shock is associated with additional repression of genes corresponding to adaptive immunity. These data should be taken into account when considering the benefit to risk ratio of adjunctive corticosteroids for septic shock.
PMCID: PMC4098101  PMID: 24650276
sepsis; corticosteroids; adaptive immunity; gene expression; microarray
14.  Successful Isolation of Viable Adipose-Derived Stem Cells from Human Adipose Tissue Subject to Long-Term Cryopreservation: Positive Implications for Adult Stem Cell-Based Therapeutics in Patients of Advanced Age 
Stem Cells International  2015;2015:146421.
We examined cell isolation, viability, and growth in adipose-derived stem cells harvested from whole adipose tissue subject to different cryopreservation lengths (2–1159 days) from patients of varying ages (26–62 years). Subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue was excised during abdominoplasties and was cryopreserved. The viability and number of adipose-derived stem cells isolated were measured after initial isolation and after 9, 18, and 28 days of growth. Data were analyzed with respect to cryopreservation duration and patient age. Significantly more viable cells were initially isolated from tissue cryopreserved <1 year than from tissue cryopreserved >2 years, irrespective of patient age. However, this difference did not persist with continued growth and there were no significant differences in cell viability or growth at subsequent time points with respect to cryopreservation duration or patient age. Mesenchymal stem cell markers were maintained in all cohorts tested throughout the duration of the study. Consequently, longer cryopreservation negatively impacts initial live adipose-derived stem cell isolation; however, this effect is neutralized with continued cell growth. Patient age does not significantly impact stem cell isolation, viability, or growth. Cryopreservation of adipose tissue is an effective long-term banking method for isolation of adipose-derived stem cells in patients of varying ages.
PMCID: PMC4402176  PMID: 25945096
15.  Asthma: NHLBI Workshop on the Primary Prevention of Chronic Lung Diseases 
Annals of the American Thoracic Society  2014;11(Suppl 3):S139-S145.
Asthma is a common disease with enormous public health costs, and its primary prevention is an ambitious and important goal. Understanding of how host and environmental factors interact to cause asthma is incomplete, but persistent questions about mechanisms should not stop clinical research efforts aimed at reducing the prevalence of childhood asthma. Achieving the goal of primary prevention of asthma will involve integrated and parallel sets of research activities in which mechanism-oriented studies of asthma inception proceed alongside clinical intervention studies to test biologically plausible prevention ideas. For example, continued research is needed, particularly in young children, to uncover biomarkers that identify asthma risk and provide potential targets of intervention, and to improve understanding of the role of microbial factors in asthma risk and disease initiation. In terms of clinical trials that could be initiated now or in the near future, we recommend three interventions for testing: (1) preventing asthma through prophylaxis against respiratory syncytial virus and human rhinovirus infections of the airway; (2) immune modulation, using prebiotics, probiotics, and bacterial lysates; and (3) prevention of allergen sensitization and allergic inflammation, using anti-IgE. These interventions should be tested while other, more universal prevention measures that may promote lung health are also investigated. These potential universal lung health measures include prevention of preterm delivery; reduced exposure of the fetus and young infant to environmental pollutants, including tobacco smoke; prevention of maternal and child obesity; and management of psychosocial stress.
PMCID: PMC4112503  PMID: 24754822
asthma; primary prevention; allergy; respiratory syncytial virus; rhinovirus
16.  Extreme Stress Hyperglycemia During Acute Illness in a Pediatric Emergency Department 
Pediatric emergency care  2010;26(9):626-632.
Although mild stress hyperglycemia in pediatric illness is common, severe hyperglycemic responses (≥300 mg/dL [16.7 mmol/L]) to stress are unusual. We sought to determine the incidence and course of extreme stress hyperglycemia (ESH) in acute pediatric illness, including whether it is a marker of increased mortality or associated with subsequent development of diabetes mellitus (DM).
We retrospectively reviewed a cohort of 55,120 consecutive visits over 6 years to a pediatric emergency department at which blood glucose concentrations were measured and report on visits with laboratory glucose 300 mg/dL (16.7 mmol/L) or greater without DM.
There were 72 cases of ESH (incidence of 0.13%). Median age was 8.8 years; 63% were male. The most common diagnoses were respiratory illness (49%), trauma (15%), and seizure (8%), and 65% of patients had received glucose-influencing interventions before evaluation. Eighty-five percent were ill appearing, 60% were admitted to the intensive care unit, and half had acidemic pH values. The overall mortality rate was 22%. Despite treatment of hyperglycemia in only 8 patients, glucose concentrations decreased to 150 mg/dL (8.3 mmol/L) or less within 48 hours in 67% and before discharge or death in 85% of patients. Preceding symptoms and concurrent laboratory results were helpful to exclude diabetes, and none of the surviving patients with follow-up available went on to develop type 1 or 2 DM.
Although rare, ESH (≥300 mg/dL [16.7 mmol/L]) does occur in acute pediatric illness, in most cases is at least partially iatrogenic, and is a marker of severe illness and high mortality. Normoglycemia is typically restored quickly with treatment of the primary illness. No association was found with a subsequent diagnosis of DM.
PMCID: PMC4381194  PMID: 20805780
hyperglycemia; stress hyperglycemia; diabetes; pediatric acute illness
17.  Elevated malondialdehyde levels in sepsis - something to 'stress' about? 
Critical Care  2014;18(2):125.
Oxidative stress has been postulated as a mechanism of organ dysfunction - and thus a potential therapeutic target - in sepsis. Lorente and colleagues report increased serum levels of malondialdehyde, a biomarker of oxidative stress-induced lipid peroxidation, in adults with severe sepsis, particularly in non-survivors. While survivors exhibited a decrease in serum malondialdehyde over time, the elevation was sustained in non-survivors. These findings suggest that there is increased oxidative stress in sepsis and that membrane lipids in particular are targeted by free radical species. Further study is required to validate the utility of malondialdehyde as a prognostic biomarker in sepsis and to determine a role for antioxidant therapy.
PMCID: PMC4056888  PMID: 25029036
18.  Vitamin D status among preterm and full-term infants at birth 
Pediatric research  2013;75(0):75-80.
Risk factors for maternal vitamin D deficiency and preterm birth overlap but the distribution of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels among preterm infants is not known. We aimed to determine associations between 25(OH)D levels and gestational age.
We measured umbilical cord plasma levels of 25(OH)D from 471 infants born at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. We used generalized estimating equations to determine whether preterm (<37 weeks’ gestation) or very preterm (<32 weeks’ gestation) infants had greater odds of 25(OH)D levels < 20 ng/ml than more mature infants. We adjusted for potential confounding by season of birth, maternal age, race, marital status and singleton or multiple gestation.
Mean cord plasma 25(OH)D level was 34.0 ng/ml (range 4.1 to 95.3, and SD 14.1). Infants born before 32 weeks’ gestation had increased odds of 25(OH)D levels < 20 ng/ml in unadjusted (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1, 4.3) and adjusted models (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.2, 5.3) compared to more mature infants.
Infants born < 32 weeks’ gestation are at higher risk than more mature infants for low 25(OH)D levels. Further investigation of the relationships between low 25(OH)D levels and preterm birth and its sequelae is thus warranted.
PMCID: PMC4349515  PMID: 24121425
19.  Inhaled corticosteroid treatment modulates ZNF432 gene variant's effect on bronchodilator response in asthmatics 
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) influence a patient's response to inhaled corticosteroids and β2-agonists, and the effect of treatment with inhaled corticosteroids is synergistic with the effect of β2-agonists. We hypothesized that use of inhaled corticosteroids could influence the effect of SNPs associated with bronchodilator response.
To assess whether, among asthma subjects, the association of SNPs with bronchodilator response is different between those treated with inhaled corticosteroids vs. those on placebo.
A genome-wide association analysis was conducted using 581 white subjects from the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP). Using data for 449,540 SNPs, we conducted a gene by environment analysis in PLINK with inhaled corticosteroid treatment as the environmental exposure and bronchodilator response as the outcome measure. We attempted to replicate the top 12 SNPs in the Leukotriene Modifier Or Corticosteroid or Corticosteroid-Salmeterol (LOCCS) Trial.
The combined P-value for the CAMP and LOCCS populations was 4.81E-08 for rs3752120, which is located in the zinc finger protein gene ZNF432, and has unknown function.
Inhaled corticosteroids appear to modulate the association of bronchodilator response with variant(s) in the ZNF432 gene among adults and children with asthma.
Clinical Implications
Clinicians who treat asthma patients with inhaled corticosteroids should be aware that the patient's genetic makeup likely influences response as measured in lung function.
Capsule Summary
Our study suggests that inhaled corticosteroids could influence the effect of multiple SNPs associated with bronchodilator response across the genome.
PMCID: PMC3943570  PMID: 24280104
asthma; bronchodilator response; lung function; inhaled corticosteroids; single nucleotide polymorphisms; zinc finger proteins; ZNF432
20.  Glucocorticoid Receptor Hetero-Complex Gene STIP1 Is Associated with Improved Lung Function in Asthmatics Treated with Inhaled Corticosteroids 
Corticosteroids exert their anti-inflammatory action by binding and activating the intracellular the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) hetero-complex.
Evaluate the genes HSPCB, HSPCA, STIP1, HSPA8, DNAJB1, PTGES3, FKBP5, and FKBP4 on corticosteroid response.
Caucasian asthmatics (382) randomized to once daily flunisolide or conventional inhaled corticosteroid therapy were genotyped. Outcome measures were baseline FEV1, % predicted FEV1, and % change in FEV1 after corticosteroid treatment. Multivariable analyses adjusted for age, gender, and height, were performed fitting the most appropriate genetic model based on quantitative mean derived from ANOVA models to determine if there was an independent effect of polymorphisms on change in FEV1 independent of baseline level.
Positive recessive model correlations for STIP1 SNPs were observed for baseline FEV1 [rs4980524, p=0.009; rs6591838, p=0.0045; rs2236647, p=0.002; and rs2236648; p=0.013], baseline % predicted FEV1 [rs4980524, p=0.002; rs6591838, p=0.017; rs2236647, p=0.003; and rs2236648; p=0.008] ; % change in FEV1 at 4 weeks [rs4980524, p=0.044; rs6591838, p=0.016; rs2236647; p=0.01] and 8 weeks therapy [rs4980524, p=0.044; rs6591838, p=0.016; rs2236647; p=0.01]. Haplotypic associations were observed for baseline FEV1 and % change in FEV1 at 4 weeks therapy [p=0.05 and p=0.01, respectively]. Significant trends towards association were observed for baseline % predicted FEV1 and % change in FEV1 at 8 weeks therapy. Positive correlations between haplotypes and % change in FEV1 were also observed.
STIP1 genetic variations may play a role in regulating corticosteroid response in asthmatics with reduced lung function. Replication in a second asthma population is required to confirm these observations.
Clinical Implications
Identifying genes that regulate corticosteroid responses could allow a priori determination of individual responses to corticosteroid therapy, leading to more effective dosing and/or selection of drug therapies for treating asthma.
PMCID: PMC4317788  PMID: 19254810
corticosteroid; pharmacogenetics; glucocorticoid receptor; SNP; heat shock protein; heat shock organizing protein; immunophilin
22.  Ethnic-specific associations of rare and low-frequency DNA sequence variants with asthma 
Nature Communications  2015;6:5965.
Common variants at many loci have been robustly associated with asthma but explain little of the overall genetic risk. Here we investigate the role of rare (<1%) and low-frequency (1–5%) variants using the Illumina HumanExome BeadChip array in 4,794 asthma cases, 4,707 non-asthmatic controls and 590 case–parent trios representing European Americans, African Americans/African Caribbeans and Latinos. Our study reveals one low-frequency missense mutation in the GRASP gene that is associated with asthma in the Latino sample (P=4.31 × 10−6; OR=1.25; MAF=1.21%) and two genes harbouring functional variants that are associated with asthma in a gene-based analysis: GSDMB at the 17q12–21 asthma locus in the Latino and combined samples (P=7.81 × 10−8 and 4.09 × 10−8, respectively) and MTHFR in the African ancestry sample (P=1.72 × 10−6). Our results suggest that associations with rare and low-frequency variants are ethnic specific and not likely to explain a significant proportion of the ‘missing heritability’ of asthma.
Common variants account for only a small amount of the heritable risk for developing asthma. Using a meta-analysis approach, Igartua et al. identify one low-frequency missense mutation and two genes with functional variants that are associated with asthma, but only in specific ethnic groups.
PMCID: PMC4309441  PMID: 25591454
23.  CD11a polymorphisms regulate TH2 cell homing and TH2-related disease 
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology  2013;133(1):10.1016/j.jaci.2013.03.049.
TH2-dependent diseases vary in severity according to genotype, but relevant gene polymorphisms remain largely unknown. The integrin CD11a is a critical determinant of allergic responses, and allelic variants of this gene might influence allergic phenotypes.
We sought to determine major CD11a allelic variants in mice and human subjects and their importance to allergic disease expression.
We sequenced mouse CD11a alleles from C57BL/6 and BALB/c strains to identify major polymorphisms; human CD11a single nucleotide polymorphisms were compared with allergic disease phenotypes as part of the international HapMap project. Mice on a BALB/c or C57BL/6 background and congenic for the other strain's CD11a allele were created to determine the importance of mouse CD11a polymorphisms in vivo and in vitro.
Compared with the C57BL/6 allele, the BALB/c CD11a allele contained a nonsynonymous change from asparagine to aspartic acid within the metal ion binding domain. In general, the BALB/c CD11a allele enhanced and the C57BL/6 CD11a allele suppressed TH2 cell–dependent disease caused by the parasite Leishmania major and allergic lung disease caused by the fungus Aspergillus niger. Relative to the C57BL/6 CD11a allele, the BALB/c CD11a allele conferred both greater T-cell adhesion to CD54 in vitro and enhanced TH2 cell homing to lungs in vivo. We further identified a human CD11a polymorphism that significantly associated with atopic disease and relevant allergic indices.
Polymorphisms in CD11a critically influence TH2 cell homing and diverse TH2-dependent immunopathologic states in mice and potentially influence the expression of human allergic disease.
PMCID: PMC3842370  PMID: 23726040
Asthma; allergic disease; CD11a; TH2 cell; homing; polymorphism; allele; congenic; biomarker
Shock (Augusta, Ga.)  2013;40(6):10.1097/SHK.0000000000000026.
Although mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to contribute to the development of post-traumatic organ failure, current techniques to assess mitochondrial function in tissues are invasive and clinically impractical. We hypothesized that mitochondrial function in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) would reflect cellular respiration in other organs during hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation (HS&R).
Using a fixed pressure HS model, Long Evan’s rats were bled to a mean arterial pressure (MAP) of 40 mmHg. When blood pressure could no longer be sustained without intermittent fluid infusion (Decompensated HS), Lactated Ringer’s (LR) was incrementally infused to maintain the MAP at 40 mmHg until 40% of the shed blood volume was returned (Severe HS). Animals were then resuscitated with 4X total shed volume in LR over 60 minutes (Resuscitation). Control animals underwent the same surgical procedures, but were not hemorrhaged. Animals were randomized to Control (n=6), Decompensated HS (n=6), Severe HS (n=6) or Resuscitation (n=6) groups. Kidney, liver, and heart tissues as well as PBMC’s were harvested from animals in each group to measure mitochondrial oxygen consumption using high resolution respirometry. Flow cytometry was used to assess mitochondrial membrane potential (Ψm) in PBMCs. One-way ANOVA and Pearson correlations were performed.
Mitochondrial oxygen consumption decreased in all tissues, including PBMC’s, following Decompensated HS, Severe HS, and Resuscitation. However, the degree of impairment varied significantly across tissues during HS&R. Of the tissues investigated, PBMC mitochondrial oxygen consumption and Ψm provided the closest correlation to kidney mitochondrial function during HS (complex I: r =0.65; complex II: r=0.65; complex IV: r=0.52; p<0.05). This association, however, disappeared with resuscitation. A weaker association between PBMC and heart mitochondrial function was observed but no association was noted between PBMC and liver mitochondrial function.
All tissues including PBMC’s demonstrated significant mitochondrial dysfunction following HS&R. Although PBMC and kidney mitochondrial function correlated well during hemorrhagic shock, the variability in mitochondrial response across tissues over the spectrum of hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation limits the usefulness of using PBMC’s as a proxy for tissue-specific cellular respiration.
PMCID: PMC3880402  PMID: 24088987
Hemorrhagic shock; mitochondrial dysfunction; peripheral blood mononuclear cell; resuscitation; vital organ
25.  Differential expression of the nuclear-encoded mitochondrial transcriptome in pediatric septic shock 
Critical Care  2014;18(6):623.
Increasing evidence supports a role for mitochondrial dysfunction in organ injury and immune dysregulation in sepsis. Although differential expression of mitochondrial genes in blood cells has been reported for several diseases in which bioenergetic failure is a postulated mechanism, there are no data about the blood cell mitochondrial transcriptome in pediatric sepsis.
We conducted a focused analysis using a multicenter genome-wide expression database of 180 children ≤10 years of age with septic shock and 53 healthy controls. Using total RNA isolated from whole blood within 24 hours of PICU admission for septic shock, we evaluated 296 nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes using a false discovery rate of 1%. A series of bioinformatic approaches were applied to compare differentially expressed genes across previously validated gene expression-based subclasses (groups A, B, and C) of pediatric septic shock.
In total, 118 genes were differentially regulated in subjects with septic shock compared to healthy controls, including 48 genes that were upregulated and 70 that were downregulated. The top scoring canonical pathway was oxidative phosphorylation, with general downregulation of the 51 genes corresponding to the electron transport system (ETS). The top two gene networks were composed primarily of mitochondrial ribosomal proteins highly connected to ETS complex I, and genes encoding for ETS complexes I, II, and IV that were highly connected to the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR) family. There were 162 mitochondrial genes differentially regulated between groups A, B, and C. Group A, which had the highest maximum number of organ failures and mortality, exhibited a greater downregulation of mitochondrial genes compared to groups B and C.
Based on a focused analysis of a pediatric septic shock transcriptomic database, nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes were differentially regulated early in pediatric septic shock compared to healthy controls, as well as across genotypic and phenotypic distinct pediatric septic shock subclasses. The nuclear genome may be an important mechanism contributing to alterations in mitochondrial bioenergetic function and outcomes in pediatric sepsis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13054-014-0623-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4247726  PMID: 25410281

Results 1-25 (168)