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1.  Common Breast Cancer Susceptibility Variants in LSP1 and RAD51L1 Are Associated with Mammographic Density Measures that Predict Breast Cancer Risk 
Vachon, Celine M. | Scott, Christopher G. | Fasching, Peter A. | Hall, Per | Tamimi, Rulla M. | Li, Jingmei | Stone, Jennifer | Apicella, Carmel | Odefrey, Fabrice | Gierach, Gretchen L. | Jud, Sebastian M. | Heusinger, Katharina | Beckmann, Matthias W. | Pollan, Marina | Fernández-Navarro, Pablo | González-Neira, Anna | Benítez, Javier | van Gils, Carla H. | Lokate, Mariëtte | Onland-Moret, N. Charlotte | Peeters, Petra H.M. | Brown, Judith | Leyland, Jean | Varghese, Jajini S. | Easton, Douglas F. | Thompson, Deborah J. | Luben, Robert N. | Warren, Ruth ML | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Loos, Ruth JF | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Ursin, Giske | Lee, Eunjung | Gayther, Simon A. | Ramus, Susan J. | Eeles, Rosalind A. | Leach, Martin O. | Kwan-Lim, Gek | Couch, Fergus J. | Giles, Graham G. | Baglietto, Laura | Krishnan, Kavitha | Southey, Melissa C. | Le Marchand, Loic | Kolonel, Laurence N. | Woolcott, Christy | Maskarinec, Gertraud | Haiman, Christopher A | Walker, Kate | Johnson, Nichola | McCormack, Valerie A. | Biong, Margarethe | Alnæs, Grethe I.G. | Gram, Inger Torhild | Kristensen, Vessela N. | Børresen-Dale, Anne-Lise | Lindström, Sara | Hankinson, Susan E. | Hunter, David J. | Andrulis, Irene L. | Knight, Julia A. | Boyd, Norman F. | Figueroa, Jonine D. | Lissowska, Jolanta | Wesolowska, Ewa | Peplonska, Beata | Bukowska, Agnieszka | Reszka, Edyta | Liu, JianJun | Eriksson, Louise | Czene, Kamila | Audley, Tina | Wu, Anna H. | Pankratz, V. Shane | Hopper, John L. | dos-Santos-Silva, Isabel
Mammographic density adjusted for age and body mass index (BMI) is a heritable marker of breast cancer susceptibility. Little is known about the biological mechanisms underlying the association between mammographic density and breast cancer risk. We examined whether common low-penetrance breast cancer susceptibility variants contribute to inter-individual differences in mammographic density measures.
We established an international consortium (DENSNP) of 19 studies from 10 countries, comprising 16,895 Caucasian women, to conduct a pooled cross-sectional analysis of common breast cancer susceptibility variants in 14 independent loci and mammographic density measures. Dense and non-dense areas, and percent density, were measured using interactive-thresholding techniques. Mixed linear models were used to assess the association between genetic variants and the square roots of mammographic density measures adjusted for study, age, case status, body mass index (BMI) and menopausal status.
Consistent with their breast cancer associations, the C-allele of rs3817198 in LSP1 was positively associated with both adjusted dense area (p=0.00005) and adjusted percent density (p=0.001) whereas the A-allele of rs10483813 in RAD51L1 was inversely associated with adjusted percent density (p=0.003), but not with adjusted dense area (p=0.07).
We identified two common breast cancer susceptibility variants associated with mammographic measures of radio-dense tissue in the breast gland.
We examined the association of 14 established breast cancer susceptibility loci with mammographic density phenotypes within a large genetic consortium and identified two breast cancer susceptibility variants, LSP1-rs3817198 and RAD51L1-rs10483813, associated with mammographic measures and in the same direction as the breast cancer association.
PMCID: PMC3569092  PMID: 22454379
breast density; breast cancer; genetics; biomarkers; mammography
2.  Genetic Variations in Multiple Drug Action Pathways and Survival in Advanced-Stage Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Treated with Chemotherapy 
Variations in genes related to anticancer drugs' biologic activity could influence treatment responses and lung cancer prognosis. Genetic variants in four biological pathways, i.e., glutathione metabolism, DNA repair, cell cycle, and EGFR, were systematically investigated to examine their association with survival in advanced-stage NSCLC treated with chemotherapy.
Experimental Design
A total of 894 tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (tagSNPs) in 70 genes from the four pathways were genotyped and analyzed in a 1076-patient cohort. Association with overall survival was analyzed at single-SNP and whole-gene levels within all patients and major chemotherapy agent combination groups.
A poorer overall survival was observed in patients with genetic variations in GSS (glutathione pathway) and MAP3K1 (EGFR pathway) (HR=1.45, 95% CI=1.20–1.70 and HR=1.25, 95% CI=1.05–1.50, respectively). In stratified analysis on patients receiving platinum plus taxane treatment, we observed a hazardous effect on overall survival by MAP3K1 variant (HR=1.38, 95% CI =1.11–1.72) and a protective effect by RAF1 (HR=0.64, 95% CI=0.5–0.82) in the EGFR pathway. In patients receiving platinum plus gemcitabine treatment, RAF and GPX5 (glutathione pathway) genetic variations showed protective effects on survival (HR=0.54, 95% CI=0.38–0.77; HR=0.67, 95% CI=0.52–0.85, respectively); in contrast, NRAS (EGFR pathway) and GPX7 (glutathione pathway) variations showed hazardous effects on overall survival (HR=1.91, 95% CI=1.30–2.80; HR=1.83, 95% CI=1.27–2.63, respectively). All genes that harbored these significant SNPs remained significant by whole-gene analysis.
Common genetic variations in genes of EGFR and glutathione pathways may be associated with overall survival among patients with advanced-stage NSCLC treated with platinum, taxane, and/or gemicitabine combinations.
PMCID: PMC3124814  PMID: 21636554
non-small cell lung cancer; survival; single-nucleotide polymorphisms; pathway; chemotherapy
3.  Correction: Genetic Evidence Implicates the Immune System and Cholesterol Metabolism in the Aetiology of Alzheimer's Disease 
Jones, Lesley | Holmans, Peter A. | Hamshere, Marian L. | Harold, Denise | Moskvina, Valentina | Ivanov, Dobril | Pocklington, Andrew | Abraham, Richard | Hollingworth, Paul | Sims, Rebecca | Gerrish, Amy | Pahwa, Jaspreet Singh | Jones, Nicola | Stretton, Alexandra | Morgan, Angharad R. | Lovestone, Simon | Powell, John | Proitsi, Petroula | Lupton, Michelle K. | Brayne, Carol | Rubinsztein, David C. | Gill, Michael | Lawlor, Brian | Lynch, Aoibhinn | Morgan, Kevin | Brown, Kristelle S. | Passmore, Peter A. | Craig, David | McGuinness, Bernadette | Todd, Stephen | Holmes, Clive | Mann, David | Smith, A. David | Love, Seth | Kehoe, Patrick G. | Mead, Simon | Fox, Nick | Rossor, Martin | Collinge, John | Maier, Wolfgang | Jessen, Frank | Schürmann, Britta | van den Bussche, Hendrik | Heuser, Isabella | Peters, Oliver | Kornhuber, Johannes | Wiltfang, Jens | Dichgans, Martin | Frölich, Lutz | Hampel, Harald | Hüll, Michael | Rujescu, Dan | Goate, Alison M. | Kauwe, John S. K. | Cruchaga, Carlos | Nowotny, Petra | Morris, John C. | Mayo, Kevin | Livingston, Gill | Bass, Nicholas J. | Gurling, Hugh | McQuillin, Andrew | Gwilliam, Rhian | Deloukas, Panos | Al-Chalabi, Ammar | Shaw, Christopher E. | Singleton, Andrew B. | Guerreiro, Rita | Mühleisen, Thomas W. | Nöthen, Markus M. | Moebus, Susanne | Jöckel, Karl-Heinz | Klopp, Norman | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Rüther, Eckhard | Carrasquillo, Minerva M. | Pankratz, V. Shane | Younkin, Steven G. | Hardy, John | O'Donovan, Michael C. | Owen, Michael J. | Williams, Julie
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):10.1371/annotation/a0bb886d-d345-4a20-a82e-adce9b047798.
PMCID: PMC3039022
4.  HLA Alleles Associated with the Adaptive Immune Response to Smallpox Vaccine: A Replication Study 
Human genetics  2014;133(9):1083-1092.
We previously reported HLA allelic associations with vaccinia virus (VACV)-induced adaptive immune responses in a cohort of healthy individuals (n= 1,071 subjects) after a single dose of the licensed smallpox (Dryvax) vaccine. This study demonstrated that specific HLA alleles were significantly associated with VACV-induced neutralizing antibody (NA) titers and cytokine immune responses, including HLA-B (*13:02, *38:02, *44:03, *48:01), HLA-DQB1 (*03:02, *06:04) and HLA-DRB1 (*01:03, *03:01, *10:01, *13:01, *15:01), respectively.
We undertook an independent study of 1,053 healthy individuals and examined associations between HLA alleles and measures of adaptive immunity after a single dose of Dryvax-derived ACAM2000 vaccine in order to evaluate previously discovered HLA allelic associations from the Dryvax study and determine if these associations are replicated with ACAM2000.
Females had significantly higher NA titers than male subjects in both study cohorts (median ID50 discovery cohort 159 [93, 256] vs. 125 [75, 186], p<0.001; replication cohort 144 [82, 204] vs. 110 [61, 189], p=0.024). The association between the DQB1*03:02 allele (median ID50 discovery cohort 152, p=0.015; replication cohort 134, p=0.010) and higher NA titers was replicated. Two HLA associations of comparable magnitudes were consistently found between DRB1*04:03 and DRB1*08:01 alleles and IFN-γ ELISPOT responses. The association between the DRB1*15:01 allele with IFN-γ secretion was also replicated (median pg/mL discovery cohort 182, p=0.052; replication cohort 203, p=0.014).
Our results suggest that smallpox vaccine-induced adaptive immune responses are significantly influenced by HLA gene polymorphisms. These data provide information for functional studies and design of novel candidate smallpox vaccines.
PMCID: PMC4127812  PMID: 24880604
Smallpox vaccine; Vaccinia virus; HLA alleles; Neutralizing antibody titer; ELISPOT; cytokines; Human Leukocyte Antigen; Polymorphism, Smallpox Vaccine; Vaccinia Virus; Genetic Predisposition to Disease; Interferon-gamma; Viral Vaccines; Genetic Variation; Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay; European Continental Ancestry Group; African-Americans
5.  A comprehensive evaluation of interaction between genetic variants and use of menopausal hormone therapy on mammographic density 
Mammographic density is an established breast cancer risk factor with a strong genetic component and can be increased in women using menopausal hormone therapy (MHT). Here, we aimed to identify genetic variants that may modify the association between MHT use and mammographic density.
The study comprised 6,298 postmenopausal women from the Mayo Mammography Health Study and nine studies included in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. We selected for evaluation 1327 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showing the lowest P-values for interaction (Pint) in a meta-analysis of genome-wide gene-environment interaction studies with MHT use on risk of breast cancer, 2541 SNPs in candidate genes (AKR1C4, CYP1A1-CYP1A2, CYP1B1, ESR2, PPARG, PRL, SULT1A1-SULT1A2 and TNF) and ten SNPs (AREG-rs10034692, PRDM6-rs186749, ESR1-rs12665607, ZNF365-rs10995190, 8p11.23-rs7816345, LSP1-rs3817198, IGF1-rs703556, 12q24-rs1265507, TMEM184B-rs7289126, and SGSM3-rs17001868) associated with mammographic density in genome-wide studies. We used multiple linear regression models adjusted for potential confounders to evaluate interactions between SNPs and current use of MHT on mammographic density.
No significant interactions were identified after adjustment for multiple testing. The strongest SNP-MHT interaction (unadjusted Pint <0.0004) was observed with rs9358531 6.5kb 5′ of PRL. Furthermore, three SNPs in PLCG2 that had previously been shown to modify the association of MHT use with breast cancer risk were found to modify also the association of MHT use with mammographic density (unadjusted Pint <0.002), but solely among cases (unadjusted Pint SNP×MHT×case-status <0.02).
The study identified potential interactions on mammographic density between current use of MHT and SNPs near PRL and in PLCG2, which require confirmation. Given the moderate size of the interactions observed, larger studies are needed to identify genetic modifiers of the association of MHT use with mammographic density.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13058-015-0625-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4537547  PMID: 26275715
6.  Incidence of Dementia Among Participants and Nonparticipants in a Longitudinal Study of Cognitive Aging 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2014;180(4):414-423.
Although rates of incident dementia have been reported from several populations, the impact of nonparticipation on dementia incidence in studies of cognitive aging is unknown. In 2004, investigators with the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging selected persons aged 70–89 years from an enumeration of all Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents (age- and sex-stratified random sample). Of 4,398 potential participants, 2,050 agreed to undergo an in-person health assessment. Those participants were reevaluated in person using standard diagnostic procedures approximately every 15 months over a median follow-up period of 5.7 years (through September 15, 2013). There were 1,679 persons who refused any participation. A trained nurse abstractor reviewed the medical records of nonparticipants using the Rochester Epidemiology Project's medical record linkage system a median of 3.9 years after refusal. Nonparticipants had a higher prevalence of dementia than participants evaluated in person (6.5% vs. 3.3%; P < 0.0001). The standardized incidence of dementia was not significantly higher among the nonparticipants (23.2 per 1,000 person-years) than in those evaluated in person (19.6 per 1,000 person-years; hazard ratio = 1.17, 95% confidence interval: 0.95, 1.43 (P = 0.13); adjusted for education and sex, with age as the time scale). The small, nonsignificant impact of nonparticipation on rates of incident dementia is reassuring for future studies based on incident dementia cases.
PMCID: PMC4128768  PMID: 24859276
aging; cognition; cognitive aging; dementia; epidemiologic methods; incidence; prevalence
7.  Genome-wide SNP Associations with Rubella-Specific Cytokine Responses in Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine Recipients 
Immunogenetics  2014;66(0):493-499.
Genetic polymorphisms are known to affect responses to both viral infection and vaccination. Our previous work has described genetic polymorphisms significantly associated with variations in immune response to rubella vaccine from multiple gene families with known immune function, including: HLA, cytokine and cytokine receptor genes, and in genes controlling innate and adaptive immunity. In this study, we assessed cellular immune responses (IFNγ and IL-6) in a cohort of healthy younger individuals and performed genome wide SNP analysis on these same individuals. Here, we report the first genome-wide association study focused on immune responses following rubella vaccination. Our results indicate that rs16928280 in PTPRD (protein tyrosine phosphatase delta) and a collection of SNPs in ACO1 (encoding an iron regulatory protein) are associated with inter-individual variations in IFNγ response to rubella virus stimulation. In contrast, we did not identify any significant genetic associations with rubella-specific IL-6 response. These genetic regions may influence rubella vaccine-induced IFNγ responses and warrant further studies in additional cohorts in order to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC4096048  PMID: 24811271
Genome-Wide Association Study; Polymorphism; Genetic; Cytokines; Receptor; Cytokine; Immunity; Cellular; Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine; MMR
8.  HLA Genotypes and Rubella Vaccine Immune Response: Additional Evidence 
Vaccine  2014;32(33):4206-4213.
Recent population-based studies have demonstrated the genetic heritability of rubella vaccine response and assessed that the HLA system may explain about 20% of the inter-individual variance in humoral immune response to this vaccine. Our earlier studies compared HLA allelic associations with rubella vaccine-specific antibodies between two smaller cohorts of healthy Rochester, MN, children (346 and 396 subjects) after two doses of rubella-containing vaccine. This study found that specific HLA alleles were consistently associated with rubella-specific antibody titers (B*27:05, DPA1*02:01, and DPB1*04:01 alleles). The current study examined HLA associations in an independent larger cohort of 1,012 healthy San Diego, CA, subjects (age 19-40 years) after rubella vaccine in order to replicate our previous findings in the Rochester subjects. Two HLA associations of comparable magnitudes were consistently observed between B*27:05 (median NT50 Rochester cohort 48.9, p=0.067; San Diego cohort 54.8, p=0.047) and DPB1*04:01 (median NT50 Rochester cohort 61.6, p<0.001; San Diego cohort 70.8, p=0.084) alleles and rubella virus-neutralizing antibody titers. Additional HLA alleles resulted in consistent effects on IL-6 production in both cohorts, but did not meet criteria for statistical significance. Our data suggest these HLA alleles play a role in rubella vaccine-induced immunity and provide the basis for future studies that may explain the mechanism(s) by which these HLA polymorphisms affect immune responses to rubella vaccine.
PMCID: PMC4124933  PMID: 24837503
HLA antigens; alleles; rubella vaccine; vaccination; rubella; antibodies; neutralizing; cytokines
9.  The association of copy number variation and percent mammographic density 
BMC Research Notes  2015;8:297.
Percent mammographic density (PD) estimates the proportion of stromal, fat, and epithelial breast tissues on the mammogram image. Adjusted for age and body mass index (BMI), PD is one of the strongest risk factors for breast cancer [1]. Inherited factors are hypothesized to explain between 30 and 60% of the variance in this trait [2–5]. However, previously identified common genetic variants account for less than 6% of the variance in PD, leaving much of the genetic contribution to this trait unexplained. We performed the first study to examine whether germline copy number variation (CNV) are associated with PD. Two genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of percent density conducted on the Illumina 660W-Quad were used to identify and replicate the association between candidate CNVs and PD: the Minnesota Breast Cancer Family Study (MBCFS) and controls from the Mayo Venous Thromboembolism (Mayo VTE) Case–Control Study, with 585 and 328 women, respectively. Linear models were utilized to examine the association of each probe with PD, adjusted for age, menopausal status and BMI. Segmentation was subsequently performed on the probe-level test statistics to identify candidate CNV regions that were associated with PD.
Sixty-one probes from five chromosomal regions [3q26.1 (2 regions), 8q24.22, 11p15.3, and 17q22] were significantly associated with PD in MBCFS (p-values <0.0001). A CNV at 3q26.1 showed the greatest evidence for association with PD; a region without any known SNPs. Conversely, the CNV at 17q22 was largely due to the association between SNPs and PD in the region. SNPs in the 8q24.22 region have been shown to be associated with risk of many cancers; however, SNPs in this region were not responsible for the observed CNV association. While we were unable to replicate the associations with PD, two of the five CNVs (3q26.1 and 11p15.3) were also observed in the Mayo VTE controls.
CNVs may help to explain some of the variability in PD that is currently unexplained by SNPs. While we were able to replicate the existence of two CNVs across the two GWAS studies, we were unable to replicate the associations with PD. Even so, the proximity of the identified CNV regions to loci known to be associated with breast cancer risk suggests further investigation and potentially shared genetic mechanisms underlying the PD and breast cancer association.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13104-015-1212-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4494822  PMID: 26152678
Breast density; Mammographic density; Genetics; Copy number variation
10.  Widespread Non-Canonical Epigenetic Modifications in MMTV-NeuT Breast Cancer12 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2015;17(4):348-357.
Breast tumors in (FVB × BALB-NeuT) F1 mice have characteristic loss of chromosome 4 and sporadic loss or gain of other chromosomes. We employed the Illumina GoldenGate genotyping platform to quantitate loss of heterozygosity (LOH) across the genome of primary tumors, revealing strong biases favoring chromosome 4 alleles from the FVB parent. While allelic bias was not observed on other chromosomes, many tumors showed concerted LOH (C-LOH) of all alleles of one or the other parent on sporadic chromosomes, a pattern consistent with cytogenetic observations. Surprisingly, comparison of LOH in tumor samples relative to normal unaffected tissues from these animals revealed significant variegated (stochastic) deviations from heterozygosity (V-LOH) in every tumor genome. Sequence analysis showed expected changes in the allelic frequency of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in cases of C-LOH. However, no evidence of LOH due to mutations, small deletions, or gene conversion at the affected SNPs or surrounding DNA was found at loci with V-LOH. Postulating an epigenetic mechanism contributing to V-LOH, we tested whether methylation of template DNA impacts allele detection efficiency using synthetic oligonucleotide templates in an assay mimicking the GoldenGate genotyping format. Methylated templates were systematically over-scored, suggesting that the observed patterns of V-LOH may represent extensive epigenetic DNA modifications across the tumor genomes. As most of the SNPs queried do not contain standard (CpG) methylation targets, we propose that widespread, non-canonical DNA modifications occur during Her2/neuT-driven tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC4415121  PMID: 25925377
SNP, single nucleotide polymorphism; LOH, loss of heterozygosity; ASO, allele-specific oligonucleotide probe; LSO, locus-specific oligonucleotide probe
11.  Genome-wide association study identifies multiple loci associated with both mammographic density and breast cancer risk 
Nature communications  2014;5:5303.
Mammographic density reflects the amount of stromal and epithelial tissues in relation to adipose tissue in the breast and is a strong risk factor for breast cancer. Here we report the results from meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of three mammographic density phenotypes: dense area, non-dense area and percent density in up to 7,916 women in stage 1 and an additional 10,379 women in stage 2. We identify genome-wide significant (P<5×10−8) loci for dense area (AREG, ESR1, ZNF365, LSP1/TNNT3, IGF1, TMEM184B, SGSM3/MKL1), non-dense area (8p11.23) and percent density (PRDM6, 8p11.23, TMEM184B). Four of these regions are known breast cancer susceptibility loci, and four additional regions were found to be associated with breast cancer (P<0.05) in a large meta-analysis. These results provide further evidence of a shared genetic basis between mammographic density and breast cancer and illustrate the power of studying intermediate quantitative phenotypes to identify putative disease susceptibility loci.
PMCID: PMC4320806  PMID: 25342443
12.  Late-onset Alzheimer disease genetic variants in posterior cortical atrophy and posterior AD 
Neurology  2014;82(16):1455-1462.
To investigate association of genetic risk factors for late-onset Alzheimer disease (LOAD) with risk of posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), a syndrome of visual impairment with predominant Alzheimer disease (AD) pathology in posterior cortical regions, and with risk of “posterior AD” neuropathology.
We assessed 81 participants with PCA diagnosed clinically and 54 with neuropathologic diagnosis of posterior AD vs 2,523 controls for association with 11 significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from published LOAD risk genome-wide association studies.
There was highly significant association with APOE ε4 and increased risk of PCA (p = 0.0003, odds ratio [OR] = 3.17) and posterior AD (p = 1.11 × 10−17, OR = 6.43). No other locus was significant after corrections for multiple testing, although rs11136000 near CLU (p = 0.019, OR = 0.60) and rs744373 near BIN1 (p = 0.025, OR = 1. 63) associated nominally significantly with posterior AD, and rs3851179 at the PICALM locus had significant association with PCA (p = 0.0003, OR = 2.84). ABCA7 locus SNP rs3764650, which was also tested under the recessive model because of Hardy-Weinberg disequilibrium, also had nominally significant association with PCA risk. The direction of association at APOE, CLU, and BIN1 loci was the same for participants with PCA and posterior AD. The effects for all SNPs, except rs3851179, were consistent with those for LOAD risk.
We identified a significant effect for APOE and nominate CLU, BIN1, and ABCA7 as additional risk loci for PCA and posterior AD. Our findings suggest that at least some of the genetic risk factors for LOAD are shared with these atypical conditions and provide effect-size estimates for their future genetic studies.
PMCID: PMC4001196  PMID: 24670887
13.  Associations between race, sex and immune response variations to rubella vaccination in two independent cohorts 
Vaccine  2014;32(17):1946-1953.
Immune response variations after vaccination are influenced by host genetic factors and demographic variables, such as race, ethnicity and sex. The latter have not been systematically studied in regard to live rubella vaccine, but are of interest for developing next generation vaccines for diverse populations, for predicting immune responses after vaccination, and for better understanding the variables that impact immune response.
We assessed associations between demographic variables, including race, ethnicity and sex, and rubella-specific neutralizing antibody levels and secreted cytokines (IFN! , IL-6) in two independent cohorts (1,994 subjects), using linear and linear mixed models approaches, and genetically defined racial and ethnic categorizations.
Our replicated findings in two independent, large, racially diverse cohorts indicate that individuals of African descent have significantly higher rubella-specific neutralizing antibody levels compared to individuals of European descent and/or Hispanic ethnicity (p! 0.001).
Our study provides consistent evidence for racial/ethnic differences in humoral immune response following rubella vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3980440  PMID: 24530932
Race; Ethnicity; Sex; Antibodies; Cellular Immunity; Rubella vaccine; MMR; Continental Population Groups; Ethnic Groups; Sex; Antibodies; Immunity, Cellular; Rubella Vaccine; Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine
14.  Evaluation of Memory Endophenotypes for Association with CLU, CR1 and PICALM variants in African-American and Caucasian Subjects 
Genetic variants at the CLU, CR1 and PICALM loci associate with risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In this study, our aim was to determine whether the LOAD risk variants at these three loci influence memory endophenotypes in African-American and Caucasian subjects.
We pursued an association study between single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotypes at the CLU, CR1 and PICALM loci and memory endophenotypes. We assessed African-American subjects (AA: 44 with LOAD, 224 controls) recruited at Mayo Clinic Florida and Caucasians recruited at Mayo Clinic Minnesota (RS: 372 with LOAD, 1,690 controls) and Florida (JS: 60 with LOAD, 529 controls). SNPs at the LOAD risk loci CLU (rs11136000), CR1 (rs6656401, rs3818361) and PICALM (rs3851179) were genotyped and tested for association with Logical Memory immediate recall (LMIR), delayed recall (LMDR) and percent retention (LMPR) and Visual Reproduction (VRIR, VRDR, VRPR) scores from Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised, using multivariable linear regression analysis, adjusting for age-at-exam, sex, education and APOE ε4 dosage.
We identified nominally significant or suggestive associations between the LOAD risky CR1 variants and worse LMIR scores in the African-Americans (p=0.068 - 0.046, β= −2.7 to −1.2). The LOAD protective CLU variant is associated with better logical memory endophenotypes in the Caucasian subjects (p=0.099-0.027, β= 0.31 to 0.93). The CR1 associations persisted when the control subjects from the African-American series were assessed separately. The CLU associations appeared to be driven by one of the Caucasian series (RS) and were also observed when the control subset from RS was analyzed.
These results suggest for the first time that LOAD risk variants at CR1 may influence memory endophenotypes in African-Americans. Additionally, CLU LOAD protective variant may confer enhanced memory in Caucasians. Although these results would not remain significant after stringent corrections for multiple testing, they need to be considered in the context of the LOAD associations, with which they have biological consistency. They also provide estimates for effect sizes on memory endophenotypes that could guide future studies. The detection of memory effects for these variants in clinically normal subjects, implies that these LOAD risk loci might modify memory prior to clinical diagnosis of AD.
PMCID: PMC3815516  PMID: 23643458
15.  Higher risk of progression to dementia in mild cognitive impairment cases who revert to normal 
Neurology  2014;82(4):317-325.
To estimate rates of progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia and of reversion from MCI to being cognitively normal (CN) in a population-based cohort.
Participants (n = 534, aged 70 years and older) enrolled in the prospective Mayo Clinic Study of Aging were evaluated at baseline and every 15 months to identify incident MCI or dementia.
Over a median follow-up of 5.1 years, 153 of 534 participants (28.7%) with prevalent or incident MCI progressed to dementia (71.3 per 1,000 person-years). The cumulative incidence of dementia was 5.4% at 1 year, 16.1% at 2, 23.4% at 3, 31.1% at 4, and 42.5% at 5 years. The risk of dementia was elevated in MCI cases (hazard ratio [HR] 23.2, p < 0.001) compared with CN subjects. Thirty-eight percent (n = 201) of MCI participants reverted to CN (175.0/1,000 person-years), but 65% subsequently developed MCI or dementia; the HR was 6.6 (p < 0.001) compared with CN subjects. The risk of reversion was reduced in subjects with an APOE ε4 allele (HR 0.53, p < 0.001), higher Clinical Dementia Rating Scale–Sum of Boxes (HR 0.56, p < 0.001), and poorer cognitive function (HR 0.56, p < 0.001). The risk was also reduced in subjects with amnestic MCI (HR 0.70, p = 0.02) and multidomain MCI (HR 0.61, p = 0.003).
MCI cases, including those who revert to CN, have a high risk of progressing to dementia. This suggests that diagnosis of MCI at any time has prognostic value.
PMCID: PMC3929198  PMID: 24353333
16.  Association of diabetes with amnestic and nonamnestic mild cognitive impairment 
Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) through Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related and vascular pathology and may also increase the risk of nonamnestic MCI (naMCI) through vascular disease mechanisms. We examined the association of type 2 diabetes with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and MCI subtype (aMCI and naMCI) overall and by sex.
Participants were Olmsted County, Minnesota residents (70 years and older) enrolled in a prospective, population-based study. At baseline and every 15 months thereafter, participants were evaluated using the Clinical Dementia Rating scale, a neurological evaluation, and neuropsychological testing for a diagnosis of normal cognition, MCI, and dementia by a consensus panel. Type 2 diabetes was ascertained from the medical records of participants at baseline.
Over a median 4.0 years of follow-up, 348 of 1450 subjects developed MCI. Type 2 diabetes was associated (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval]) with MCI (1.39 [1.08–1.79]), aMCI (1.58 [1.17–2.15]; multiple domain: 1.58 [1.01–2.47]; single domain: 1.49 [1.09–2.05]), and the hazard ratio for naMCI was elevated (1.37 [0.84–2.24]). Diabetes was strongly associated with multiple-domain aMCI in men (2.42 [1.31–4.48]) and an elevated risk of multiple domain naMCI in men (2.11 [0.70–6.33]), and with single domain naMCI in women (2.32 [1.04–5.20]).
Diabetes was associated with an increased risk of MCI in elderly persons. The association of diabetes with MCI may vary with subtype, number of domains, and sex. Prevention and control of diabetes may reduce the risk of MCI and Alzheimer's disease.
PMCID: PMC3830601  PMID: 23562428
Mild cognitive impairment; Risk factors; Type 2 diabetes; Incidence; Cohort studies; Population-based studies; Sex differences; Diabetic retinopathy; Diabetic neuropathy
17.  Characterization of Humoral and Cellular Immunity to Rubella Vaccine in Four Distinct Cohorts 
Immunologic research  2014;58(1):1-8.
Although vaccination campaigns have significantly reduced the global burden of rubella disease, there are still regional outbreaks and cases of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). Rubella vaccination elicits a strong humoral, as well as cellular, response. The relationship between these two measures in response to rubella vaccine is poorly understood. We have previously reported no correlation between rubella virus-specific cytokine secretion and IgG antibody levels after rubella vaccination. In the current study, we extend our previous work to report correlations between secreted cytokines and functional neutralizing antibodies after rubella vaccination in four distinct cohorts. There was evidence of significant differences (p <0.05) in rubella virus-specific humoral and cellular responses between cohorts. When investigating relationships between rubella vaccine-specific humoral and cellular immunity, we observed a significant correlation between neutralizing antibodies and IFN-γ (rs = 0.21, p = 0.0004). We also observed correlations in subjects with extreme humoral immune phenotypes and IFN-γ levels in two of the four cohorts (rs = 0.32, p = 0.01; rs = 0.36, p = 0.01, respectively). These findings indicate that there is a high level of heterogeneity in rubella-specific immune responses between study populations. We believe that the novel correlation discovered between IFN-γ and neutralizing antibody titers will give future insight into the functional mechanisms of immunity induced by rubella virus and other live viral vaccines.
PMCID: PMC4212652  PMID: 24375276
Cytokines; Antibodies; MMR; Immunity; Humoral; Cellular; Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide; Cytokines; Receptors, Cytokine; Antibodies; Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine; Immunity; Immunity, Humoral; Immunity, Cellular
18.  Nonamnestic mild cognitive impairment progresses to dementia with Lewy bodies 
Neurology  2013;81(23):2032-2038.
To determine the rate of progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
We followed 337 patients with MCI in the Mayo Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (range 2–12 years). Competing risks survival models were used to examine the rates of progression to clinically probable DLB and Alzheimer disease (AD). A subset of patients underwent neuropathologic examination.
In this clinical cohort, 116 remained as MCI, while 49 progressed to probable DLB, 162 progressed to clinically probable AD, and 10 progressed to other dementias. Among nonamnestic MCI, progression rate to probable DLB was 20 events per 100 person-years and to probable AD was 1.6 per 100 person-years. Among amnestic MCI, progression rate to probable AD was 17 events per 100 person-years, and to DLB was 1.5 events per 100 person-years. In 88% of those who developed probable DLB, the baseline MCI diagnosis included attention and/or visuospatial deficits. Those who developed probable DLB were more likely to have baseline daytime sleepiness and subtle parkinsonism. In 99% of the clinically probable AD group, the baseline MCI diagnosis included memory impairment. Neuropathologic confirmation was obtained in 24 of 30 of those with clinically probable AD, and in 14 of 18 of those with clinically probable DLB.
In a clinical sample, patients with nonamnestic MCI were more likely to develop DLB, and those with amnestic MCI were more likely to develop probable AD.
PMCID: PMC3854825  PMID: 24212390
Mayo Clinic proceedings  2013;88(11):10.1016/j.mayocp.2013.08.012.
To investigate the association of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and MCI sub-types, amnestic MCI (a-MCI) and non-amnestic MCI (na-MCI), in a population-based study of elderly.
Patients and Methods
Participants included 1,927 individuals, aged 70 to 89 years, enrolled in the population-based, Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. Participants were evaluated with a nurse assessment, neurological evaluation, and neuropsychological testing and the diagnosis of MCI was made according to the standardized criteria by a consensus panel. COPD was identified by the review of medical records. The study was conducted from October 1, 2004, through July 31, 2007. The associations of COPD, and disease duration with MCI, and its subtypes were evaluated using logistic regression models adjusted for potential covariates.
Of 1,927 subjects, 288 had COPD (men vs women 17.9% vs 11.8%, p<0.001). As compared to subjects without COPD, the subjects with COPD had higher prevalence of MCI (27.1% vs 14.6%, p<0.001). The odds ratio (OR) of MCI was almost two times higher in subjects with COPD (OR =1.90, 95 %CI =1.35 – 2.65), with a similar effect in men and women. The OR for MCI increased from 1.67 (97% CI, 1.00 – 2.69) in subjects with COPD duration of ≤ 5 years to 2.08 (95% CI, 1.36 – 3.14) in subjects > 5 years.
This population-based study suggests that COPD is associated with increased odds of having MCI and its sub-types. There was a dose-response association with duration of COPD, after controlling for the potential covariates.
PMCID: PMC3875365  PMID: 24182702
20.  Diabetes and Elevated HbA1c levels are Associated with Brain Hypometabolism but not Amyloid Accumulation 
Dysfunctional insulin signaling may affect brain metabolism or amyloid deposition. We investigated the associations of type 2 diabetes with amyloid accumulation measured using 11C-Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) and brain hypometabolism measured using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET).
We studied a sample of non-demented participants from the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. All subjects underwent MRI, amyloid PET and FDG PET. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) signature and region of interest (ROI) measures for PiB retention ratio and FDG ratio were measured. Diabetes was assessed from the Rochester Epidemiology Project medical records-linkage system.
Among 749 participants (median age 79.0 years; 56.5% male, 81.0% cognitively normal; 20.6% diabetics), FDG hypometabolism (FDG ratio < 1.31) in the AD signature meta-ROI was more common in diabetics (48.1%) than in non-diabetics (28.9%; p <0.001). The median FDG ratio was lower in diabetics vs. non-diabetics in the AD signature meta-ROI (1.32 vs. 1.40, p < 0.001), and in the angular (1.40 vs. 1.48, p < 0.001) and posterior cingulate gyri ROIs (1.63 vs. 1.72, p < 0.001). The odds ratio (OR [95% confidence interval]) for abnormal AD signature FDG hypometabolism was elevated (OR, 2.28 [1.56, 3.33]) in diabetics vs. non-diabetics after adjustment for age, sex, and education, and after additional adjustment for Apolipoprotein ε4 allele, glycemic level, and cognitive status (OR, 1.69 [1.10, 2.60]). However, AD signature PiB retention ratio was similar in diabetics vs. non-diabetics (OR, 1.03 [0.71, 1.51]; p = 0.87). In post-hoc analyses in non-diabetics, a 1% increase in HBA1c was associated with greater AD signature hypometabolism in cognitively normal subjects (OR, 1.93 [1.03, 3.62; p = 0.04]) and in the total cohort (OR 1.59 [0.92, 2.75; p = 0.10).
Diabetes and poor glycemic control in non-diabetics may enhance glucose hypometabolism in AD signature regions. These factors should be investigated in longitudinal studies for their role in detecting onset of symptoms in AD.
PMCID: PMC4011952  PMID: 24652830
Diabetes; cerebral glucose metabolism; FDG- and PiB-PET imaging; hemoglobin A1c; amyloid accumulation
21.  Genetic Variation in IL18R1 and IL18 Genes and Inteferon γ ELISPOT Response to Smallpox Vaccination: An Unexpected Relationship 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;208(9):1422-1430.
Background. Genetic association studies demonstrated a role for cytokine proteins and cytokine or cytokine receptor gene polymorphisms in smallpox vaccine–induced adaptive immunity.
Methods. We examined the association of genetic polymorphisms with cellular (interferon [IFN] γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay [ELISPOT]) immune response to smallpox vaccine in 1076 immunized individuals.
Results. The majority of significant associations were discovered between single-nucleotide polymorphisms/haplotypes in IL18R1 and IL18 genes, in which we previously reported an association with vaccinia virus–induced neutralizing antibody titers in this study cohort. A functional coding IL18R1 polymorphism (rs1035130/Phe251Phe; P = .01) was significantly associated with an allele dose-related increase in IFN-γ production and was also associated with vaccinia-specific neutralizing antibody titers. Significant associations were also found between IL18R1 haplotypes and variations in IFN-γ ELISPOT responses (global P < .0001).
Conclusions. Our data suggest the importance of variants in the IL18R1 and IL18 genetic loci for broad-based smallpox vaccine–induced adaptive immunity.
PMCID: PMC3789570  PMID: 23901078
Polymorphism; single nucleotide; smallpox vaccine; vaccinia virus; interleukin-18; interleukin-18 receptor alpha subunit; haplotypes; genetic predisposition to disease; interferon-gamma; viral vaccines; genetic variation; enzyme-linked immunospot assay; european continental ancestry group; African-Americans
22.  Practice effects and longitudinal cognitive change in normal aging vs. incident mild cognitive impairment and dementia in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging 
The Clinical neuropsychologist  2013;27(8):10.1080/13854046.2013.836567.
The objective of this study was to examine practice effects and longitudinal cognitive change in a population based cohort classified as clinically normal at their initial evaluation. We examined 1390 individuals with a median age of 78.1 years and re-evaluated them up to four times at approximate 15 month intervals, with an average follow-up time of five years. Of the 1390 participants, 947 (69%) individuals remained cognitively normal, 397 (29%) progressed to mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 46 (3%) to dementia. The stable normal group showed an initial practice effect in all domains which was sustained in memory and visuospatial reasoning. There was only a slight decline in attention and language after visit 3. We combined individuals with incident MCI and dementia to form one group representing those who declined. The incident MCI/dementia group showed an unexpected practice effect in memory from baseline to visit 2, with a significant decline thereafter. This group did not demonstrate practice effects in any other domain and showed a downward trajectory in all domains at each evaluation. Modeling cognitive change in an epidemiologic sample may serve as a useful benchmark for evaluating cognitive change in future intervention studies.
PMCID: PMC3869900  PMID: 24041121
Cognition; memory; practice effects; mild cognitive impairment; Alzheimer’s disease
23.  Subtle gait changes in patients with REM Behavior Disorder 
Many people with REM sleep behavior disorder have an underlying synucleinopathy, the most common of which is Lewy body disease. Identifying additional abnormal clinical features may help in identifying those at greater risk of evolving to a more severe syndrome. As gait disorders are common in the synucleinopathies, early abnormalities in gait in those with REM sleep behavior disorder could help in identifying those at increased risk of developing overt parkinsonism and/or cognitive impairment.
We identified 42 probable REM sleep behavior disorder subjects and 492 controls using the Mayo Sleep Questionnaire and assessed gait velocity, cadence and stride dynamics with an automated gait analysis system.
Cases and controls were similar in age (79.9 ± 4.7 & 80.1 ± 4.7, p= 0.74), UPDRS score (3.3 ± 5.5 & 1.9 ± 4.1, p=0.21) and Mini-Mental State Examination scores (27.2 ± 1.9 & 27.7 ± 1.6, p=0.10). A diagnosis of probable REM sleep behavior disorder was associated with decreased velocity (−7.9 cm/sec, 95%CI −13.8 to −2.0, p<0.01), cadence (−4.4 steps/min, 95%CI −7.6 to −1.3, p<0.01), and significantly increased double limb support variability (30%, 95%CI 6 – 60, p=0.01), greater stride time variability (29%, 95%CI 2 – 63, p=0.03) and swing time variability (46%, 95%CI 15 – 84, p<0.01).
Probable REM sleep behavior disorder is associated with subtle gait changes prior to overt clinical parkinsonism. Diagnosis of probable REM sleep behavior disorder supplemented by gait analysis may help as a screening tool for disorders of α-synuclein.
PMCID: PMC3952497  PMID: 24130124
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder; gait; gait variability
24.  Race and Sex-Based Differences in Cytokine Immune Responses to Smallpox Vaccine in Healthy Individuals 
Human immunology  2013;74(10):1263-1266.
We assessed the effects of sex, race and ethnicity on smallpox vaccine-induced immune responses in 1,071 armed forces members after primary Dryvax® smallpox vaccination, including 790 males and 281 females; 580 Caucasians, 217 African-Americans, and 217 Hispanics. Analysis of vaccinia-specific cytokine responses revealed that Caucasians had higher total IFNγ ELISPOT responses (median 57 spot-forming units/SFUs per 200,000 cells, p=0.01) and CD8+IFNγ ELISPOT responses (12 SFUs, p<0.001) than African-Americans (51 and 4 SFUs, respectively) and Hispanics (47 and 8 SFUs, respectively). Similarly, Caucasians secreted higher levels of vaccinia-specific IL-2 (p=0.003) and IFNα (p<0.001) compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Males had higher total IFNγ ELISPOT responses (median 55 SFUs) compared to females (41 SFUs, p<0.001). We observed statistically significant sex-related differences in the secretion of IL-2 (p<0.001), IL-1β (p<0.001) and IL-10 (p=0.017). These data suggest that vaccinia-specific cytokine responses following primary smallpox vaccination are significantly influenced by race and sex of vaccinees.
PMCID: PMC4170575  PMID: 23806267
Smallpox Vaccine; Cytokine; Cellular Immunity; Race; Sex; Smallpox Vaccine; Cytokines; Immunity, Cellular; Sex; Hispanics; African Americans; Whites
25.  Genome-Wide Analysis of Polymorphisms Associated with Cytokine Responses in Smallpox Vaccine Recipients 
Human genetics  2012;131(9):1403-1421.
The role that genetics plays in response to infection or disease is becoming increasingly clear as we learn more about immunogenetics and host-pathogen interactions. Here we report a genome-wide analysis of the effects of host genetic variation on cytokine responses to vaccinia virus stimulation in smallpox vaccine recipients. Our data show that vaccinia stimulation of immune individuals results in secretion of inflammatory and Th1 cytokines. We identified multiple SNPs significantly associated with variations in cytokine secretion. These SNPs are found in genes with known immune function, as well as in genes encoding for proteins involved in signal transduction, cytoskeleton, membrane channels and ion transport, as well as others with no previously identified connection to immune responses. The large number of significant SNP associations implies that cytokine secretion in response to vaccinia virus is a complex process controlled by multiple genes and gene families. Follow-up studies to replicate these findings and then pursue mechanistic studies will provide a greater understanding of how genetic variation influences vaccine responses.
PMCID: PMC4170585  PMID: 22610502
smallpox vaccine; vaccinia; GWAS; genome-wide association; SNP; immune response; cytokines

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