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author:("oksama, nicu")
1.  Rapid and Accurate Detection of Urinary Pathogens by Mobile IMS-Based Electronic Nose: A Proof-of-Principle Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114279.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common disease with significant morbidity and economic burden, accounting for a significant part of the workload in clinical microbiology laboratories. Current clinical chemisty point-of-care diagnostics rely on imperfect dipstick analysis which only provides indirect and insensitive evidence of urinary bacterial pathogens. An electronic nose (eNose) is a handheld device mimicking mammalian olfaction that potentially offers affordable and rapid analysis of samples without preparation at athmospheric pressure. In this study we demonstrate the applicability of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) –based eNose to discriminate the most common UTI pathogens from gaseous headspace of culture plates rapidly and without sample preparation. We gathered a total of 101 culture samples containing four most common UTI bacteries: E. coli, S. saprophyticus, E. faecalis, Klebsiella spp and sterile culture plates. The samples were analyzed using ChemPro 100i device, consisting of IMS cell and six semiconductor sensors. Data analysis was conducted by linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and logistic regression (LR). The results were validated by leave-one-out and 5-fold cross validation analysis. In discrimination of sterile and bacterial samples sensitivity of 95% and specificity of 97% were achieved. The bacterial species were identified with sensitivity of 95% and specificity of 96% using eNose as compared to urine bacterial cultures. In conclusion: These findings strongly demonstrate the ability of our eNose to discriminate bacterial cultures and provides a proof of principle to use this method in urinanalysis of UTI.
PMCID: PMC4272258  PMID: 25526592
2.  Natural thermal adaptation increases heat shock protein levels and decreases oxidative stress 
Redox Biology  2014;3:25-28.
Heat shock proteins (HSPs), originally identified as heat-inducible gene products, are a family of highly conserved proteins that respond to a wide variety of stress including oxidative stress. Although both acute and chronic oxidative stress have been well demonstrated to induce HSP responses, little evidence is available whether increased HSP levels provide enhanced protection against oxidative stress under elevated yet sublethal temperatures. We studied relationships between oxidative stress and HSPs in a physiological model by using Garra rufa (doctor fish), a fish species naturally acclimatized to different thermal conditions. We compared fish naturally living in a hot spring with relatively high water temperature (34.4±0.6 °C) to those living in normal river water temperature (25.4±4.7 °C), and found that levels of all the studied HSPs (HSP70, HSP60, HSP90, HSC70 and GRP75) were higher in fish living in elevated water temperature compared with normal river water temperature. In contrast, indicators of oxidative stress, including protein carbonyls and lipid hydroperoxides, were decreased in fish living in the elevated temperature, indicating that HSP levels are inversely associated with oxidative stress. The present results provide evidence that physiologically increased HSP levels provide protection against oxidative stress and enhance cytoprotection.
PMCID: PMC4225528  PMID: 25462062
Thermal; Oxidation; Stress; Regulation; Garra rufa
3.  Evidence HDAC9 genetic variant associated with ischaemic stroke increases risk via promoting carotid atherosclerosis 
Background and purpose
A novel association between a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) on chromosome 7p21.1 and large vessel ischaemic stroke, was recently identified. The most likely underlying gene is histone deacetylase 9 (HDAC9). The mechanism by which HDAC9 increases stroke risk is not clear; both vascular and neuronal mechanisms have been proposed.
We determined whether the lead SNPs were associated with asymptomatic carotid plaque (N=25179) and carotid intima-media thickness (N=31210) detected by carotid ultrasound in a meta-analysis of population based and community cohorts. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine whether HDAC9 was expressed in healthy human cerebral and systemic arteries. In the Tampere Vascular Study we determined whether HDAC9 mRNA expression was altered in carotid (N=29), abdominal aortic (N=15) and femoral (N=24) atherosclerotic plaques compared with control (left internal thoracic, N=28) arteries.
Both SNPs (rs11984041 and rs2107595) were associated with common carotid IMT (rs2107595 p=0.0018) and with presence of carotid plaque (rs2107595 p=0.0022). In both cerebral and systemic arteries, HDAC9 labelling was seen in nuclei and cytoplasm of vascular smooth muscle cells, and in endothelial cells. HDAC9 expression was upregulated in carotid plaques compared to left internal thoracic controls (p=0.00000103). It was also up-regulated in aortic and femoral plaques compared to controls, with mRNA expression increased in carotid compared with femoral plaques (p=0.0038).
Our results are consistent with the 7p21.1 association acting via promoting atherosclerosis, and consistent with alterations in HDAC9 expression mediating this increased risk. Further studies in experimental models are required to confirm this link.
PMCID: PMC4206941  PMID: 23449258
atherosclerosis; genetics; carotid stenosis; expression experiments; intima-media thickness
4.  A Novel MMP12 Locus Is Associated with Large Artery Atherosclerotic Stroke Using a Genome-Wide Age-at-Onset Informed Approach 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(7):e1004469.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have begun to identify the common genetic component to ischaemic stroke (IS). However, IS has considerable phenotypic heterogeneity. Where clinical covariates explain a large fraction of disease risk, covariate informed designs can increase power to detect associations. As prevalence rates in IS are markedly affected by age, and younger onset cases may have higher genetic predisposition, we investigated whether an age-at-onset informed approach could detect novel associations with IS and its subtypes; cardioembolic (CE), large artery atherosclerosis (LAA) and small vessel disease (SVD) in 6,778 cases of European ancestry and 12,095 ancestry-matched controls. Regression analysis to identify SNP associations was performed on posterior liabilities after conditioning on age-at-onset and affection status. We sought further evidence of an association with LAA in 1,881 cases and 50,817 controls, and examined mRNA expression levels of the nearby genes in atherosclerotic carotid artery plaques. Secondly, we performed permutation analyses to evaluate the extent to which age-at-onset informed analysis improves significance for novel loci. We identified a novel association with an MMP12 locus in LAA (rs660599; p = 2.5×10−7), with independent replication in a second population (p = 0.0048, OR(95% CI) = 1.18(1.05–1.32); meta-analysis p = 2.6×10−8). The nearby gene, MMP12, was significantly overexpressed in carotid plaques compared to atherosclerosis-free control arteries (p = 1.2×10−15; fold change = 335.6). Permutation analyses demonstrated improved significance for associations when accounting for age-at-onset in all four stroke phenotypes (p<0.001). Our results show that a covariate-informed design, by adjusting for age-at-onset of stroke, can detect variants not identified by conventional GWAS.
Author Summary
Ischaemic stroke places an enormous burden on global healthcare. However, the disease processes that lead to stroke are not fully understood. Genome-wide association studies have recently established that common genetic variants can increase risk of ischaemic stroke and its subtypes. In this study, we aimed to identify novel genetic associations with ischaemic stroke and its subtypes by addressing the fact that younger onset cases may have a stronger genetic component, and using this information in our analyses. We identify a novel genetic variant on chromosome 11 (rs660599), which is associated with increased risk of large artery stroke. We also show that mRNA expression of the nearest gene (MMP12) is higher in arteries with the disease process underlying large artery stroke (atherosclerosis). Finally, we evaluate our novel analysis approach, and show that our method is likely to identify further associations with ischaemic stroke.
PMCID: PMC4117446  PMID: 25078452
5.  Βeta-fibrinogen gene promoter A −455 allele associated with poor longterm survival among 55–71 years old Caucasian women in Finnish stroke cohort 
BMC Neurology  2014;14:137.
Women die of stroke more often than men. After menopause, the incidence of ischemic stroke increases rapidly. Elevated fibrinogen levels and smoking have been associated with an increased risk of stroke. In gene-cluster haplotype analyses, the beta-fibrinogen (FGB) promoter −455 G/A polymorphic locus was most strongly associated with elevated plasma fibrinogen levels. We investigated whether the FGB −455 G/A polymorphism and smoking might interact with sex on longterm survival of acute stroke sufferers.
The Stroke Aging Memory (SAM) cohort comprising 486 consecutive stroke patients (55–85 years, 246 men, 240 women) subjected to clinical and MRI examination was followed over 12.5 years. During this period 347 (71.4%) patients died. The genotypes of the FGB −455 G/A polymorphism were determined by PCR.
The FGB −455 G/A polymorphism genotype distributions were 64.7%, 32.1%, and 3.2% for GG, GA, and AA, respectively. During the follow-up, the FGB −455 A + genotype did not associate with survival, nor was there any genotype-by-smoking interaction on poor outcome in the total study population. However, women aged 55–71 years who carried the FGB −455 A-allele showed worse survival regardless of smoking status compared to non-smoking FGB −455 GG homozygotes (non-smokers, crude HR = 5.21, 95% CI: 1.38-19.7; smokers, crude HR = 7.03, 95% CI: 1.81-27.3). This association persisted in adjusted analyses. No such association was observed for women in the oldest age-group, nor among men.
The A + genotype of the FGB −455 G/A polymorphism associated with poor survival among 55–71 years old Caucasian women in the Finnish stroke cohort.
PMCID: PMC4131463  PMID: 24957141
Adult; Cohort study; Cerebral infarction; Stroke; Risk factors; Genetic and inherited disorders; Genetics; Genetic polymorphisms; Fibrinogen; Haematological disorders
6.  Preoperative White Matter Lesions Are Independent Predictors of Long-Term Survival after Internal Carotid Endarterectomy 
Cerebrovascular Diseases Extra  2014;4(2):122-131.
Cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs) predict long-term survival of conservatively treated acute stroke patients with etiology other than carotid stenosis. In carotid endarterectomy patients, WMLs are associated with severe carotid stenosis and unstable plaques, with the risk of perioperative complications and with increased 30-day perioperative risk of death. However, no data exist on their effect on postoperative long-term survival, a factor important when considering the net benefit from carotid endarterectomy. Whether this effect is independent of classical risk factors and indications for surgery is not known either. We hypothesized that WMLs could be evaluated from preoperative routine computed tomography (CT) scans and are predictors of postoperative survival, independent of classical cardiovascular risk factors, indication category and degree of carotid stenosis.
A total of 353 of 481 (73.4%) consecutive patients subjected to carotid endarterectomy due to different indications, i.e. asymptomatic stenosis (n = 28, 7.9%), amaurosis fugax (n = 52, 14.7%), transient ischemic attack (n = 135, 38.2%) or ischemic stroke (n = 138, 39.1%), from prospective vascular registries during the years 2001-2010 with digital preoperative CT scans, were included in the study. WMLs were rated by a radiologist (Wahlund criteria) in a blinded fashion. Internal carotid artery (ICA) stenoses were angiographically graded (<50, 50-69, 70-99 and 100%). Odds ratios (ORs) and hazard ratios (HRs) are reported (ORs and HRs ≤1 indicate a beneficial effect). The median follow-up time was 67 months (interquartile range 45.5, range 0-129 months). Spearman's rho was used to estimate intraobserver agreement. Binary logistic regression was performed to analyze the association of risk factors with WMLs. Cox regression proportional hazards analysis was used to study the effect of different factors on survival.
WML severity could be assessed with a substantial intraobserver agreement (Spearman's rho 0.843, p < 0.0001). Only age (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.06-1.15; p < 0.0001 per year), degree of ipsilateral ICA stenosis (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.08-4.55; p < 0.05 per stenosis grade) and indication category (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.19-2.24; p < 0.01 per category) remained independently associated with WMLs. Age (HR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01-1.08; p < 0.05 per year), diabetes (HR 1.59, 95% CI 1.01-2.49; p < 0.05), peripheral arterial disease (HR 2.47, 95% CI 1.46-4.15; p < 0.01), degree of ipsilateral ICA stenosis (HR 2.56, 95% CI 1.12-5.87; p < 0.05 per stenosis grade) and WMLs (HR 3.83, 95% CI 1.17-12.5; p < 0.05) remained independently associated with increased long-term mortality.
WMLs in a preoperative CT scan provide a substantially reliable estimate of postoperative long-term survival of carotid endarterectomy patients independent of currently used criteria, i.e. cardiovascular risk factors, indication category and degree of ipsilateral ICA stenosis.
PMCID: PMC4093648  PMID: 25076957
Carotid artery stenosis; White matter lesions; Carotid endarterectomy
7.  Upstream Transcription Factor 1 (USF1) allelic variants regulate lipoprotein metabolism in women and USF1 expression in atherosclerotic plaque 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4650.
Upstream transcription factor 1 (USF1) allelic variants significantly influence future risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality in females. We investigated sex-specific effects of USF1 gene allelic variants on serum indices of lipoprotein metabolism, early markers of asymptomatic atherosclerosis and their changes during six years of follow-up. In addition, we investigated the cis-regulatory role of these USF1 variants in artery wall tissues in Caucasians. In the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, 1,608 participants (56% women, aged 31.9 ± 4.9) with lipids and cIMT data were included. For functional study, whole genome mRNA expression profiling was performed in 91 histologically classified atherosclerotic samples. In females, serum total, LDL cholesterol and apoB levels increased gradually according to USF1 rs2516839 genotypes TT < CT < CC and rs1556259 AA < AG < GG as well as according to USF1 H3 (GCCCGG) copy number 0 < 1 < 2. Furthermore, the carriers of minor alleles of rs2516839 (C) and rs1556259 (G) of USF1 gene had decreased USF1 expression in atherosclerotic plaques (P = 0.028 and 0.08, respectively) as compared to non-carriers. The genetic variation in USF1 influence USF1 transcript expression in advanced atherosclerosis and regulates levels and metabolism of circulating apoB and apoB-containing lipoprotein particles in sex-dependent manner, but is not a major determinant of early markers of atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3983598  PMID: 24722012
8.  Aerobic Fitness Does Not Modify the Effect of FTO Variation on Body Composition Traits 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51635.
Poor physical fitness and obesity are risk factors for all cause morbidity and mortality. We aimed to clarify whether common genetic variants of key energy intake determinants in leptin (LEP), leptin receptor (LEPR), and fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) are associated with aerobic and neuromuscular performance, and whether aerobic fitness can alter the effect of these genotypes on body composition.
846 healthy Finnish males of Caucasian origin were genotyped for FTO (rs8050136), LEP (rs7799039) and LEPR (rs8179183 and rs1137101) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and studied for associations with maximal oxygen consumption, body fat percent, serum leptin levels, waist circumference and maximal force of leg extensor muscles.
Genotype AA of the FTO SNP rs8050136 associated with higher BMI and greater waist circumference compared to the genotype CC. In general linear model, no significant interaction for FTO genotype-relative VO2max (mL·kg−1·min−1) or FTO genotype-absolute VO2max (L·min−1) on BMI or waist circumference was found. Main effects of aerobic performance on body composition traits were significant (p<0.001). Logistic regression modelling found no significant interaction between aerobic fitness and FTO genotype. LEP SNP rs7799039, LEPR SNPs rs8179183 and rs1137101 did not associate with any of the measured variables, and no significant interactions of LEP or LEPR genotype with aerobic fitness were observed. In addition, none of the studied SNPs associated with aerobic or neuromuscular performance.
Aerobic fitness may not modify the effect of FTO variation on body composition traits. However, relative aerobic capacity associates with lower BMI and waist circumference regardless of the FTO genotype. FTO, LEP and LEPR genotypes unlikely associate with physical performance.
PMCID: PMC3524224  PMID: 23284729
9.  Novel Loci for Metabolic Networks and Multi-Tissue Expression Studies Reveal Genes for Atherosclerosis 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(8):e1002907.
Association testing of multiple correlated phenotypes offers better power than univariate analysis of single traits. We analyzed 6,600 individuals from two population-based cohorts with both genome-wide SNP data and serum metabolomic profiles. From the observed correlation structure of 130 metabolites measured by nuclear magnetic resonance, we identified 11 metabolic networks and performed a multivariate genome-wide association analysis. We identified 34 genomic loci at genome-wide significance, of which 7 are novel. In comparison to univariate tests, multivariate association analysis identified nearly twice as many significant associations in total. Multi-tissue gene expression studies identified variants in our top loci, SERPINA1 and AQP9, as eQTLs and showed that SERPINA1 and AQP9 expression in human blood was associated with metabolites from their corresponding metabolic networks. Finally, liver expression of AQP9 was associated with atherosclerotic lesion area in mice, and in human arterial tissue both SERPINA1 and AQP9 were shown to be upregulated (6.3-fold and 4.6-fold, respectively) in atherosclerotic plaques. Our study illustrates the power of multi-phenotype GWAS and highlights candidate genes for atherosclerosis.
Author Summary
In this study, we aim to identify novel genetic variants for metabolism, characterize their effects on nearby genes, and show that the nearby genes are associated with metabolism and atherosclerosis. To discover new genetic variants, we use an alternative approach to traditional genome-wide association studies: we leverage the information in phenotype covariance to increase our statistical power. We identify variants at seven novel loci and then show that our top signals drive expression of nearby genes AQP9 and SERPINA1 in multiple tissues. We demonstrate that AQP9 and SERPINA1 gene expression, in turn, is associated with metabolite levels. Finally, we show that the genes are associated with atherosclerosis using mouse atherosclerotic lesion size (AQP9) as well as tissue from healthy human arteries and atherosclerotic plaques (AQP9 and SERPINA1). This study illustrates that multivariate analysis of correlated metabolites can boost power for gene discovery substantially. Further functional work will need to be performed to elucidate the biological role of SERPINA1 and AQP9 in atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3420921  PMID: 22916037
10.  High mobility group B1 impairs hepatocyte regeneration in acetaminophen hepatotoxicity 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:45.
Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose induces massive hepatocyte necrosis. Necrotic tissue releases high mobility group B1 (HMGB1), and HMGB1 contributes to liver injury. Even though blockade of HMGB1 does not protect against APAP-induced acute liver injury (ALI) at 9 h time point, the later time points are not studied and the role of HMGB1 in APAP overdose is unknown, it is possible that neutralization of HMGB1 might improve hepatocyte regeneration. This study aims to test whether blockade of HMGB1 improves hepatocyte regeneration after APAP overdose.
Male C57BL/6 mice were treated with a single dose of APAP (350 mg/kg). 2 hrs after APAP administration, the APAP challenged mice were randomized to receive treatment with either anti-HMGB1 antibody (400 μg per dose) or non-immune (sham) IgG every 24 hours for a total of 2 doses.
24 hrs after APAP injection, anti-HMGB1 therapy instead of sham IgG therapy significantly improved hepatocyte regeneration microscopically; 48 hrs after APAP challenge, the sham IgG treated mice showed 14.6% hepatic necrosis; in contrast, blockade of HMGB1 significantly decreased serum transaminases (ALT and AST), markedly reduced the number of hepatic inflammatory cells infiltration and restored liver structure to nearly normal; this beneficial effect was associated with enhanced hepatic NF-κB DNA binding and increased the expression of cyclin D1, two important factors related to hepatocyte regeneration.
HMGB1 impairs hepatocyte regeneration after APAP overdose; Blockade of HMGB1 enhances liver recovery and may present a novel therapy to treat APAP overdose.
PMCID: PMC3444430  PMID: 22569100
11.  Genes Involved in Systemic and Arterial Bed Dependent Atherosclerosis - Tampere Vascular Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e33787.
Atherosclerosis is a complex disease with hundreds of genes influencing its progression. In addition, the phenotype of the disease varies significantly depending on the arterial bed.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We characterized the genes generally involved in human advanced atherosclerotic (AHA type V–VI) plaques in carotid and femoral arteries as well as aortas from 24 subjects of Tampere Vascular study and compared the results to non-atherosclerotic internal thoracic arteries (n=6) using genome-wide expression array and QRT-PCR. In addition we determined genes that were typical for each arterial plaque studied. To gain a comprehensive insight into the pathologic processes in the plaques we also analyzed pathways and gene sets dysregulated in this disease using gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). According to the selection criteria used (>3.0 fold change and p-value <0.05), 235 genes were up-regulated and 68 genes down-regulated in the carotid plaques, 242 genes up-regulated and 116 down-regulated in the femoral plaques and 256 genes up-regulated and 49 genes down-regulated in the aortic plaques. Nine genes were found to be specifically induced predominantly in aortic plaques, e.g., lactoferrin, and three genes in femoral plaques, e.g., chondroadherin, whereas no gene was found to be specific for carotid plaques. In pathway analysis, a total of 28 pathways or gene sets were found to be significantly dysregulated in atherosclerotic plaques (false discovery rate [FDR] <0.25).
This study describes comprehensively the gene expression changes that generally prevail in human atherosclerotic plaques. In addition, site specific genes induced only in femoral or aortic plaques were found, reflecting that atherosclerotic process has unique features in different vascular beds.
PMCID: PMC3324479  PMID: 22509262
12.  Genetic Profiling Using Genome-Wide Significant Coronary Artery Disease Risk Variants Does Not Improve the Prediction of Subclinical Atherosclerosis: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, the Bogalusa Heart Study and the Health 2000 Survey – A Meta-Analysis of Three Independent Studies 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e28931.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified a large number of variants (SNPs) associating with an increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). Recently, the CARDIoGRAM consortium published a GWAS based on the largest study population so far. They successfully replicated twelve already known associations and discovered thirteen new SNPs associating with CAD. We examined whether the genetic profiling of these variants improves prediction of subclinical atherosclerosis – i.e., carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and carotid artery elasticity (CAE) – beyond classical risk factors.
Subjects and Methods
We genotyped 24 variants found in a population of European ancestry and measured CIMT and CAE in 2001 and 2007 from 2,081, and 2,015 subjects (aged 30–45 years in 2007) respectively, participating in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (YFS). The Bogalusa Heart Study (BHS; n = 1179) was used as a replication cohort (mean age of 37.5). For additional replication, a sub-sample of 5 SNPs was genotyped for 1,291 individuals aged 46–76 years participating in the Health 2000 population survey. We tested the impact of genetic risk score (GRS24SNP/CAD) calculated as a weighted (by allelic odds ratios for CAD) sum of CAD risk alleles from the studied 24 variants on CIMT, CAE, the incidence of carotid atherosclerosis and the progression of CIMT and CAE during a 6-year follow-up.
CIMT or CAE did not significantly associate with GRS24SNP/CAD before or after adjusting for classical CAD risk factors (p>0.05 for all) in YFS or in the BHS. CIMT and CAE associated with only one SNP each in the YFS. The findings were not replicated in the replication cohorts. In the meta-analysis CIMT or CAE did not associate with any of the SNPs.
Genetic profiling, by using known CAD risk variants, should not improve risk stratification for subclinical atherosclerosis beyond conventional risk factors among healthy young adults.
PMCID: PMC3266236  PMID: 22295058
The heat shock proteins (HSPs), originally identified as heat-inducible gene products, are a highly conserved family of proteins that respond to a wide variety of stress. Although HSPs are among the most abundant intracellular proteins, they are expressed at low levels under normal physiological conditions, and show marked induction in response to various stressors. HSPs function primarily as molecular chaperones, facilitating the folding of other cellular proteins, preventing protein aggregation, or targeting improperly folded proteins to specific pathways for degradation. By modulating inflammation, wound debris clearance, cell proliferation, migration and collagen synthesis, HSPs are essential for normal wound healing of the skin. In this review, our goal is to discuss the role and clinical implications of HSP with respect to skin wound healing and diabetes. The numerous defects in the function of HSPs associated with diabetes could contribute to the commonly observed complications and delayed wound healing in diabetics. Several physical, pharmacological and genetic approaches may be considered to address HSP-directed therapies both in the laboratory and in the clinics.
PMCID: PMC2743605  PMID: 19275675
Heat shock proteins; Wound healing; Tissue protection; Diabetes
14.  A Common Variation in the Promoter Region of Interleukin-6 Gene Shows Association with Exercise Performance 
Skeletal muscle-derived interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine which regulates body metabolism during strenuous physical exercise. OBJECTIVE: The effect of a potentially functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) -174G/C of the IL6 gene (rs1800795) promoter was examined on maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), body mass index (BMI) and plasma IL-6 levels in response to physical training. Fifty four male military conscripts were studied for 8 weeks during their basic training. At weeks 1, 5 and 8, VO2max and anthropometrics were measured, and blood samples collected before and after acute aerobic exercise. Acute exercise increased plasma IL-6 in subjects with genotype CG. Moreover, during the 8-week training period, a tendency for increased plasma IL-6 was observed in subjects with this genotype. VO2max values increased in all genotype groups, but subjects with genotype CG made the greatest gains in VO2max. Training significantly decreased BMI only in subjects with genotype CG. Our findings suggest that the allele C may have an effect on plasma IL-6 response to acute exercise in healthy male subjects. Exercise training has a favourable effect on VO2max and BMI, with the most prominent effects in subjects with genotype CG. Thus we conclude that this SNP may account for individual response to exercise training.
Key pointsAllele C of the IL6 promoter SNP -174G/C may have an effect on plasma IL-6 response to acute exercise.All subjects responded to physical exercise, but the improvement in VO2max and decrease in BMI after training are more pronounced in the individuals with genotype CG, hence the IL6 promoter SNP -174G/C may have an influence on training responses.The small number of subjects investigated in the present study warrants further research to confirm these findings in large cohorts.
PMCID: PMC3761487  PMID: 24149537
Maximal oxygen uptake; IL-6; polymorphism; body mass index; training.
15.  Expression of sterol regulatory element-binding transcription factor (SREBF) 2 and SREBF cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) in human atheroma and the association of their allelic variants with sudden cardiac death 
Thrombosis Journal  2008;6:17.
Disturbed cellular cholesterol homeostasis may lead to accumulation of cholesterol in human atheroma plaques. Cellular cholesterol homeostasis is controlled by the sterol regulatory element-binding transcription factor 2 (SREBF-2) and the SREBF cleavage-activating protein (SCAP). We investigated whole genome expression in a series of human atherosclerotic samples from different vascular territories and studied whether the non-synonymous coding variants in the interacting domains of two genes, SREBF-2 1784G>C (rs2228314) and SCAP 2386A>G, are related to the progression of coronary atherosclerosis and the risk of pre-hospital sudden cardiac death (SCD).
Whole genome expression profiling was completed in twenty vascular samples from carotid, aortic and femoral atherosclerotic plaques and six control samples from internal mammary arteries. Three hundred sudden pre-hospital deaths of middle-aged (33–69 years) Caucasian Finnish men were subjected to detailed autopsy in the Helsinki Sudden Death Study. Coronary narrowing and areas of coronary wall covered with fatty streaks or fibrotic, calcified or complicated lesions were measured and related to the SREBF-2 and SCAP genotypes.
Whole genome expression profiling showed a significant (p = 0.02) down-regulation of SREBF-2 in atherosclerotic carotid plaques (types IV-V), but not in the aorta or femoral arteries (p = NS for both), as compared with the histologically confirmed non-atherosclerotic tissues. In logistic regression analysis, a significant interaction between the SREBF-2 1784G>C and the SCAP 2386A>G genotype was observed on the risk of SCD (p = 0.046). Men with the SREBF-2 C allele and the SCAP G allele had a significantly increased risk of SCD (OR 2.68, 95% CI 1.07–6.71), compared to SCAP AA homologous subjects carrying the SREBF-2 C allele. Furthermore, similar trends for having complicated lesions and for the occurrence of thrombosis were found, although the results were not statistically significant.
The results suggest that the allelic variants (SREBF-2 1784G>C and SCAP 2386A>G) in the cholesterol homeostasis regulating SREBF-SCAP pathway may contribute to SCD in early middle-aged men.
PMCID: PMC2645360  PMID: 19116028
16.  Effects of Prolonged Exercise on Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Defense in Endurance Horse 
Increased oxidative stress during prolonged endurance exercise may end up with muscle damage, fatigue and decreased physical performance. We have recently shown that acute exercise at moderate intensity induced lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) in trained trotters. The aim of this study was to measure the changes in oxidative stress and antioxidant defense following an 80-km ride in the blood of endurance horses. Blood samples were collected before and immediately after the ride. Unlike to our previous studies performed on trotters, in endurance horses there were no measurable changes in antioxidants or oxidative stress marker lipid hydroperoxides (LPO) after prolonged exercise. ORAC, vitamin E and lipid hydroperoxide (LPO) concentration or glutathione related enzyme activities were not altered due to the 80-km ride. However, the base line levels of oxidative stress marker were higher in endurance horses compared to trotters. A positive correlation between the pre-ride LPO concentration and erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity after the ride was observed, which may indicate a protective response of glutathione peroxidase against exercise-induced oxidative stress. Our results suggest that endurance horses have higher oxidative stress levels compared to trotters and a single 80-km ride probably did not suffice to induce oxidative stress and to activate antioxidant defense mechanisms.
Key PointsReactive oxygen species (ROS) at lower concentrations have physiological role in the signal transduction and in the regulation of cellular functions. However, the overproduction of ROS results in oxidative stress, an imbalance favoring pro-oxidants over antioxidants.Increased oxidative stress which occurred during prolonged and strenuous physical exercise may end up with muscle damage, fatigue and decreased performance.Prolonged exercise at moderate intensity does not induce oxidative stress in endurance horses.Endurance horses have higher oxidative stress at rest compared to trotters which were trained for short bouts of exercise.
PMCID: PMC3899657  PMID: 24501555
Horse; endurance; oxidative stress; antioxidants; ORAC

Results 1-16 (16)