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1.  Impaired macrophage phagocytosis of bacteria in severe asthma 
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):72.
Background
Bacteria are frequently cultured from sputum samples of severe asthma patients suggesting a defect in bacterial clearance from the airway. We measured the capacity of macrophages from patients with asthma to phagocytose bacteria.
Methods
Phagocytosis of fluorescently-labelled polystyrene beads, Haemophilus influenzae or Staphylococcus aureus by broncholaveolar lavage alveolar macrophages (AM) and by monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) from non-asthmatics, mild-moderate and severe asthmatic patients was assessed using fluorimetry.
Results
There were no differences in phagocytosis of polystyrene beads by AMs or MDMs from any of the subject groups. There was reduced phagocytosis of Haemophilus influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus in MDMs from patients with severe asthma compared to non-severe asthma (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively) and healthy subjects (p < 0.01and p < 0.001, respectively). Phagocytosis of Haemophilus influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus by AM was also reduced in severe asthma compared to normal subjects (p < 0.05). Dexamethasone and formoterol did not suppress phagocytosis of bacteria by MDMs from any of the groups.
Conclusions
Persistence of bacteria in the lower airways may result partly from a reduced phagocytic capacity of macrophages for bacteria. This may contribute to increased exacerbations, airway colonization and persistence of inflammation.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-15-72
PMCID: PMC4086996  PMID: 24972601
Macrophages; Phagocytosis; Staphylococcus aureus; Haemophilus influenzae; Asthma
2.  Clinical and genetic determinants of progression of type 2 diabetes: A DIRECT Study 
Diabetes care  2013;37(3):718-724.
Objective
The rate at which diabetes progresses following diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is highly variable between individuals.
Research Design and Methods
We studied 5250 patients with type 2 diabetes using comprehensive electronic medical records on all patients in Tayside, Scotland from 1992 onwards. We investigated the association of clinical, biochemical and genetic factors with the risk of progression of type 2 diabetes from diagnosis to requirement for insulin treatment (defined as insulin treatment or HbA1c ≥8.5%/69 mmol/mol treated with two or more non-insulin diabetes therapies).
Results
Risk of progression was associated with both low and high BMI. In an analysis stratified by BMI and HbA1c at diagnosis, faster progression was independently associated with younger age at diagnosis, higher log triacylglyceride concentrations (Hazard Ratio (HR) 1.28 per mmol/L (95% CI 1.15-1.42)) and lower HDL concentrations (HR 0.70 per mmol/L (95% CI 0.55-0.87)). A high genetic risk score derived from 61 diabetes risk variants was associated with a younger age of diagnosis, a younger age at starting insulin, but was not associated with the progression rate from diabetes to requirement for insulin treatment.
Conclusions
Increased triacylglyceride and low HDL are independently associated with increased rate of progression of diabetes. The genetic factors that predispose to diabetes are different from those that cause rapid progression of diabetes suggesting a difference in biological process that needs further investigation.
doi:10.2337/dc13-1995
PMCID: PMC4038744  PMID: 24186880
3.  Heritability of variation in glycaemic response to metformin: a genome-wide complex trait analysis 
Summary
Background
Metformin is a first-line oral agent used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but glycaemic response to this drug is highly variable. Understanding the genetic contribution to metformin response might increase the possibility of personalising metformin treatment. We aimed to establish the heritability of glycaemic response to metformin using the genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA) method.
Methods
In this GCTA study, we obtained data about HbA1c concentrations before and during metformin treatment from patients in the Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research in Tayside Scotland (GoDARTS) study, which includes a cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes and is linked to comprehensive clinical databases and genome-wide association study data. We applied the GCTA method to estimate heritability for four definitions of glycaemic response to metformin: absolute reduction in HbA1c; proportional reduction in HbA1c; adjusted reduction in HbA1c; and whether or not the target on-treatment HbA1c of less than 7% (53 mmol/mol) was achieved, with adjustment for baseline HbA1c and known clinical covariates. Chromosome-wise heritability estimation was used to obtain further information about the genetic architecture.
Findings
5386 individuals were included in the final dataset, of whom 2085 had enough clinical data to define glycaemic response to metformin. The heritability of glycaemic response to metformin varied by response phenotype, with a heritability of 34% (95% CI 1–68; p=0·022) for the absolute reduction in HbA1c, adjusted for pretreatment HbA1c. Chromosome-wise heritability estimates suggest that the genetic contribution is probably from individual variants scattered across the genome, which each have a small to moderate effect, rather than from a few loci that each have a large effect.
Interpretation
Glycaemic response to metformin is heritable, thus glycaemic response to metformin is, in part, intrinsic to individual biological variation. Further genetic analysis might enable us to make better predictions for stratified medicine and to unravel new mechanisms of metformin action.
Funding
Wellcome Trust.
doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70050-6
PMCID: PMC4038749  PMID: 24731673
4.  Discovery and Refinement of Loci Associated with Lipid Levels 
Willer, Cristen J. | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Sengupta, Sebanti | Peloso, Gina M. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Kanoni, Stavroula | Ganna, Andrea | Chen, Jin | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Mora, Samia | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Chang, Hsing-Yi | Demirkan, Ayşe | Den Hertog, Heleen M. | Do, Ron | Donnelly, Louise A. | Ehret, Georg B. | Esko, Tõnu | Feitosa, Mary F. | Ferreira, Teresa | Fischer, Krista | Fontanillas, Pierre | Fraser, Ross M. | Freitag, Daniel F. | Gurdasani, Deepti | Heikkilä, Kauko | Hyppönen, Elina | Isaacs, Aaron | Jackson, Anne U. | Johansson, Åsa | Johnson, Toby | Kaakinen, Marika | Kettunen, Johannes | Kleber, Marcus E. | Li, Xiaohui | Luan, Jian’an | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Mangino, Massimo | Mihailov, Evelin | Montasser, May E. | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nolte, Ilja M. | O’Connell, Jeffrey R. | Palmer, Cameron D. | Perola, Markus | Petersen, Ann-Kristin | Sanna, Serena | Saxena, Richa | Service, Susan K. | Shah, Sonia | Shungin, Dmitry | Sidore, Carlo | Song, Ci | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Surakka, Ida | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teslovich, Tanya M. | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Van den Herik, Evita G. | Voight, Benjamin F. | Volcik, Kelly A. | Waite, Lindsay L. | Wong, Andrew | Wu, Ying | Zhang, Weihua | Absher, Devin | Asiki, Gershim | Barroso, Inês | Been, Latonya F. | Bolton, Jennifer L. | Bonnycastle, Lori L | Brambilla, Paolo | Burnett, Mary S. | Cesana, Giancarlo | Dimitriou, Maria | Doney, Alex S.F. | Döring, Angela | Elliott, Paul | Epstein, Stephen E. | Ingi Eyjolfsson, Gudmundur | Gigante, Bruna | Goodarzi, Mark O. | Grallert, Harald | Gravito, Martha L. | Groves, Christopher J. | Hallmans, Göran | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hayward, Caroline | Hernandez, Dena | Hicks, Andrew A. | Holm, Hilma | Hung, Yi-Jen | Illig, Thomas | Jones, Michelle R. | Kaleebu, Pontiano | Kastelein, John J.P. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kim, Eric | Klopp, Norman | Komulainen, Pirjo | Kumari, Meena | Langenberg, Claudia | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lin, Shih-Yi | Lindström, Jaana | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Mach, François | McArdle, Wendy L | Meisinger, Christa | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Müller, Gabrielle | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Narisu, Narisu | Nieminen, Tuomo V.M. | Nsubuga, Rebecca N. | Olafsson, Isleifur | Ong, Ken K. | Palotie, Aarno | Papamarkou, Theodore | Pomilla, Cristina | Pouta, Anneli | Rader, Daniel J. | Reilly, Muredach P. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Ruokonen, Aimo | Samani, Nilesh | Scharnagl, Hubert | Seeley, Janet | Silander, Kaisa | Stančáková, Alena | Stirrups, Kathleen | Swift, Amy J. | Tiret, Laurence | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Pelt, L. Joost | Vedantam, Sailaja | Wainwright, Nicholas | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wild, Sarah H. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wilson, James F. | Young, Elizabeth H. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Adair, Linda S. | Arveiler, Dominique | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Bennett, Franklyn | Bochud, Murielle | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bovet, Pascal | Burnier, Michel | Campbell, Harry | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chambers, John C. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Collins, Francis S. | Cooper, Richard S. | Danesh, John | Dedoussis, George | de Faire, Ulf | Feranil, Alan B. | Ferrières, Jean | Ferrucci, Luigi | Freimer, Nelson B. | Gieger, Christian | Groop, Leif C. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hamsten, Anders | Harris, Tamara B. | Hingorani, Aroon | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Hofman, Albert | Hovingh, G. Kees | Hsiung, Chao Agnes | Humphries, Steve E. | Hunt, Steven C. | Hveem, Kristian | Iribarren, Carlos | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kesäniemi, Antero | Kivimaki, Mika | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Koudstaal, Peter J. | Krauss, Ronald M. | Kuh, Diana | Kuusisto, Johanna | Kyvik, Kirsten O. | Laakso, Markku | Lakka, Timo A. | Lind, Lars | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Martin, Nicholas G. | März, Winfried | McCarthy, Mark I. | McKenzie, Colin A. | Meneton, Pierre | Metspalu, Andres | Moilanen, Leena | Morris, Andrew D. | Munroe, Patricia B. | Njølstad, Inger | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Power, Chris | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Price, Jackie F. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Quertermous, Thomas | Rauramaa, Rainer | Saleheen, Danish | Salomaa, Veikko | Sanghera, Dharambir K. | Saramies, Jouko | Schwarz, Peter E.H. | Sheu, Wayne H-H | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Siegbahn, Agneta | Spector, Tim D. | Stefansson, Kari | Strachan, David P. | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Tremoli, Elena | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uusitupa, Matti | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Vollenweider, Peter | Wallentin, Lars | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Whitfield, John B. | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H.R. | Ordovas, Jose M. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Palmer, Colin N.A. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Chasman, Daniel I. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Franks, Paul W. | Ripatti, Samuli | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Sandhu, Manjinder S. | Rich, Stephen S. | Boehnke, Michael | Deloukas, Panos | Kathiresan, Sekar | Mohlke, Karen L. | Ingelsson, Erik | Abecasis, Gonçalo R.
Nature genetics  2013;45(11):10.1038/ng.2797.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol are heritable, modifiable, risk factors for coronary artery disease. To identify new loci and refine known loci influencing these lipids, we examined 188,578 individuals using genome-wide and custom genotyping arrays. We identify and annotate 157 loci associated with lipid levels at P < 5×10−8, including 62 loci not previously associated with lipid levels in humans. Using dense genotyping in individuals of European, East Asian, South Asian, and African ancestry, we narrow association signals in 12 loci. We find that loci associated with blood lipids are often associated with cardiovascular and metabolic traits including coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, waist-hip ratio, and body mass index. Our results illustrate the value of genetic data from individuals of diverse ancestries and provide insights into biological mechanisms regulating blood lipids to guide future genetic, biological, and therapeutic research.
doi:10.1038/ng.2797
PMCID: PMC3838666  PMID: 24097068
5.  Common variants associated with plasma triglycerides and risk for coronary artery disease 
Do, Ron | Willer, Cristen J. | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Sengupta, Sebanti | Gao, Chi | Peloso, Gina M. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Kanoni, Stavroula | Ganna, Andrea | Chen, Jin | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Mora, Samia | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Chang, Hsing-Yi | Demirkan, Ayşe | Den Hertog, Heleen M. | Donnelly, Louise A. | Ehret, Georg B. | Esko, Tõnu | Feitosa, Mary F. | Ferreira, Teresa | Fischer, Krista | Fontanillas, Pierre | Fraser, Ross M. | Freitag, Daniel F. | Gurdasani, Deepti | Heikkilä, Kauko | Hyppönen, Elina | Isaacs, Aaron | Jackson, Anne U. | Johansson, Åsa | Johnson, Toby | Kaakinen, Marika | Kettunen, Johannes | Kleber, Marcus E. | Li, Xiaohui | Luan, Jian'an | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Mangino, Massimo | Mihailov, Evelin | Montasser, May E. | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nolte, Ilja M. | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Palmer, Cameron D. | Perola, Markus | Petersen, Ann-Kristin | Sanna, Serena | Saxena, Richa | Service, Susan K. | Shah, Sonia | Shungin, Dmitry | Sidore, Carlo | Song, Ci | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Surakka, Ida | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teslovich, Tanya M. | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Van den Herik, Evita G. | Voight, Benjamin F. | Volcik, Kelly A. | Waite, Lindsay L. | Wong, Andrew | Wu, Ying | Zhang, Weihua | Absher, Devin | Asiki, Gershim | Barroso, Inês | Been, Latonya F. | Bolton, Jennifer L. | Bonnycastle, Lori L | Brambilla, Paolo | Burnett, Mary S. | Cesana, Giancarlo | Dimitriou, Maria | Doney, Alex S.F. | Döring, Angela | Elliott, Paul | Epstein, Stephen E. | Eyjolfsson, Gudmundur Ingi | Gigante, Bruna | Goodarzi, Mark O. | Grallert, Harald | Gravito, Martha L. | Groves, Christopher J. | Hallmans, Göran | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hayward, Caroline | Hernandez, Dena | Hicks, Andrew A. | Holm, Hilma | Hung, Yi-Jen | Illig, Thomas | Jones, Michelle R. | Kaleebu, Pontiano | Kastelein, John J.P. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kim, Eric | Klopp, Norman | Komulainen, Pirjo | Kumari, Meena | Langenberg, Claudia | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lin, Shih-Yi | Lindström, Jaana | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Mach, François | McArdle, Wendy L | Meisinger, Christa | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Müller, Gabrielle | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Narisu, Narisu | Nieminen, Tuomo V.M. | Nsubuga, Rebecca N. | Olafsson, Isleifur | Ong, Ken K. | Palotie, Aarno | Papamarkou, Theodore | Pomilla, Cristina | Pouta, Anneli | Rader, Daniel J. | Reilly, Muredach P. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Ruokonen, Aimo | Samani, Nilesh | Scharnagl, Hubert | Seeley, Janet | Silander, Kaisa | Stančáková, Alena | Stirrups, Kathleen | Swift, Amy J. | Tiret, Laurence | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Pelt, L. Joost | Vedantam, Sailaja | Wainwright, Nicholas | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wild, Sarah H. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wilson, James F. | Young, Elizabeth H. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Adair, Linda S. | Arveiler, Dominique | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Bennett, Franklyn | Bochud, Murielle | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bovet, Pascal | Burnier, Michel | Campbell, Harry | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chambers, John C. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Collins, Francis S. | Cooper, Richard S. | Danesh, John | Dedoussis, George | de Faire, Ulf | Feranil, Alan B. | Ferrières, Jean | Ferrucci, Luigi | Freimer, Nelson B. | Gieger, Christian | Groop, Leif C. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hamsten, Anders | Harris, Tamara B. | Hingorani, Aroon | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Hofman, Albert | Hovingh, G. Kees | Hsiung, Chao Agnes | Humphries, Steve E. | Hunt, Steven C. | Hveem, Kristian | Iribarren, Carlos | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kesäniemi, Antero | Kivimaki, Mika | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Koudstaal, Peter J. | Krauss, Ronald M. | Kuh, Diana | Kuusisto, Johanna | Kyvik, Kirsten O. | Laakso, Markku | Lakka, Timo A. | Lind, Lars | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Martin, Nicholas G. | März, Winfried | McCarthy, Mark I. | McKenzie, Colin A. | Meneton, Pierre | Metspalu, Andres | Moilanen, Leena | Morris, Andrew D. | Munroe, Patricia B. | Njølstad, Inger | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Power, Chris | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Price, Jackie F. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Quertermous, Thomas | Rauramaa, Rainer | Saleheen, Danish | Salomaa, Veikko | Sanghera, Dharambir K. | Saramies, Jouko | Schwarz, Peter E.H. | Sheu, Wayne H-H | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Siegbahn, Agneta | Spector, Tim D. | Stefansson, Kari | Strachan, David P. | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Tremoli, Elena | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uusitupa, Matti | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Vollenweider, Peter | Wallentin, Lars | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Whitfield, John B. | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H.R. | Altshuler, David | Ordovas, Jose M. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Palmer, Colin N.A. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Chasman, Daniel I. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Franks, Paul W. | Ripatti, Samuli | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Sandhu, Manjinder S. | Rich, Stephen S. | Boehnke, Michael | Deloukas, Panos | Mohlke, Karen L. | Ingelsson, Erik | Abecasis, Goncalo R. | Daly, Mark J. | Neale, Benjamin M. | Kathiresan, Sekar
Nature genetics  2013;45(11):1345-1352.
Triglycerides are transported in plasma by specific triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; in epidemiologic studies, increased triglyceride levels correlate with higher risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, it is unclear whether this association reflects causal processes. We used 185 common variants recently mapped for plasma lipids (P<5×10−8 for each) to examine the role of triglycerides on risk for CAD. First, we highlight loci associated with both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides, and show that the direction and magnitude of both are factors in determining CAD risk. Second, we consider loci with only a strong magnitude of association with triglycerides and show that these loci are also associated with CAD. Finally, in a model accounting for effects on LDL-C and/or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a polymorphism's strength of effect on triglycerides is correlated with the magnitude of its effect on CAD risk. These results suggest that triglyceride-rich lipoproteins causally influence risk for CAD.
doi:10.1038/ng.2795
PMCID: PMC3904346  PMID: 24097064
6.  Sustained release of proteins from a modified vaginal ring device 
A new vaginal ring technology, the insert vaginal ring (InVR), is presented. The InVR overcomes the current shortfall of conventional vaginal rings (VRs) that are generally ineffectual for the delivery of hydrophilic and/or macromolecular actives, including peptides, proteins and antibodies, due to their poor permeation characteristics in the hydrophobic polymeric elastomers from which VRs are usually fabricated. Release of the model protein BSA from a variety of insert matrices for the InVR is demonstrated, including modified silicone rods, directly compressed tablets and lyophilised gels, which collectively provided controlled release profiles from several hours to beyond 4 weeks. Furthermore, the InVR was shown to deliver over 1 mg of the monoclonal antibody 2F5 from a single device, offering a potential means of protecting women against the transmission of HIV.
doi:10.1016/j.ejpb.2010.10.010
PMCID: PMC3761689  PMID: 21055465
Vaginal ring; Protein drug delivery; Vaccine; Microbicide; 2F5; Lyophilisation
7.  Genetic variants predicting left ventricular hypertrophy in a diabetic population: a Go-DARTS study including meta-analysis 
Background
Left ventricular hypertrophy has multiple aetiologies including diabetes and genetic factors. We aimed to identify genetic variants predicting left ventricular hypertrophy in diabetic individuals.
Methods
Demographic, echocardiographic, prescribing, morbidity, mortality and genotyping databases connected with the Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research in Tayside, Scotland project were accurately linked using a patient-specific identifier. Left ventricular hypertrophy cases were identified using echocardiographic data.
Genotyping data from 973 cases and 1443 non-left ventricular hypertrophy controls were analysed, investigating whether single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with left ventricular hypertrophy in previous Genome Wide Association Studies predicted left ventricular hypertrophy in our population of individuals with type 2 diabetes. Meta-analysis assessed overall significance of these single nucleotide polymorphisms, which were also used to create gene scores. Logistic regression assessed whether these scores predicted left ventricular hypertrophy.
Results
Two single nucleotide polymorphisms previously associated with left ventricular hypertrophy were significant: rs17132261: OR 2.03, 95% CI 1.10-3.73, p-value 0.02 and rs2292462: OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.73-0.93 and p-value 2.26x10-3. Meta-analysis confirmed rs17132261 and rs2292462 were associated with left ventricular hypertrophy (p=1.03x10-8 and p=5.86x10-10 respectively) and one single nucleotide polymorphisms in IGF1R (rs4966014) became genome wide significant upon meta-analysis although was not significant in our study. Gene scoring based on published single nucleotide polymorphisms also predicted left ventricular hypertrophy in our study.
Rs17132261, within SLC25A46, encodes a mitochondrial phosphate transporter, implying abnormal myocardial energetics contribute to left ventricular hypertrophy development. Rs2292462 lies within the obesity-implicated neuromedin B gene. Rs4966014 lies within the IGF1R1 gene. IGF1 signalling is an established factor in cardiac hypertrophy.
Conclusions
We created a resource to study genetics of left ventricular hypertrophy in diabetes and validated our left ventricular hypertrophy phenotype in replicating single nucleotide polymorphisms identified by previous genome wide association studies investigating left ventricular hypertrophy.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-109
PMCID: PMC3729417  PMID: 23879873
Left ventricular hypertrophy; Genetics; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
8.  The Role of Adiposity in Cardiometabolic Traits: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis 
Fall, Tove | Hägg, Sara | Mägi, Reedik | Ploner, Alexander | Fischer, Krista | Horikoshi, Momoko | Sarin, Antti-Pekka | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Ladenvall, Claes | Kals, Mart | Kuningas, Maris | Draisma, Harmen H. M. | Ried, Janina S. | van Zuydam, Natalie R. | Huikari, Ville | Mangino, Massimo | Sonestedt, Emily | Benyamin, Beben | Nelson, Christopher P. | Rivera, Natalia V. | Kristiansson, Kati | Shen, Huei-yi | Havulinna, Aki S. | Dehghan, Abbas | Donnelly, Louise A. | Kaakinen, Marika | Nuotio, Marja-Liisa | Robertson, Neil | de Bruijn, Renée F. A. G. | Ikram, M. Arfan | Amin, Najaf | Balmforth, Anthony J. | Braund, Peter S. | Doney, Alexander S. F. | Döring, Angela | Elliott, Paul | Esko, Tõnu | Franco, Oscar H. | Gretarsdottir, Solveig | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Heikkilä, Kauko | Herzig, Karl-Heinz | Holm, Hilma | Hottenga, Jouke Jan | Hyppönen, Elina | Illig, Thomas | Isaacs, Aaron | Isomaa, Bo | Karssen, Lennart C. | Kettunen, Johannes | Koenig, Wolfgang | Kuulasmaa, Kari | Laatikainen, Tiina | Laitinen, Jaana | Lindgren, Cecilia | Lyssenko, Valeriya | Läärä, Esa | Rayner, Nigel W. | Männistö, Satu | Pouta, Anneli | Rathmann, Wolfgang | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Ruokonen, Aimo | Savolainen, Markku J. | Sijbrands, Eric J. G. | Small, Kerrin S. | Smit, Jan H. | Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur | Syvänen, Ann-Christine | Taanila, Anja | Tobin, Martin D. | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | Willems, Sara M. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Witteman, Jacqueline | Perola, Markus | Evans, Alun | Ferrières, Jean | Virtamo, Jarmo | Kee, Frank | Tregouet, David-Alexandre | Arveiler, Dominique | Amouyel, Philippe | Ferrario, Marco M. | Brambilla, Paolo | Hall, Alistair S. | Heath, Andrew C. | Madden, Pamela A. F. | Martin, Nicholas G. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Whitfield, John B. | Jula, Antti | Knekt, Paul | Oostra, Ben | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Penninx, Brenda W. J. H. | Davey Smith, George | Kaprio, Jaakko | Samani, Nilesh J. | Gieger, Christian | Peters, Annette | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Boomsma, Dorret I. | de Geus, Eco J. C. | Tuomi, TiinaMaija | Power, Chris | Hammond, Christopher J. | Spector, Tim D. | Lind, Lars | Orho-Melander, Marju | Palmer, Colin Neil Alexander | Morris, Andrew D. | Groop, Leif | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Salomaa, Veikko | Vartiainen, Erkki | Hofman, Albert | Ripatti, Samuli | Metspalu, Andres | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Stefansson, Kari | Pedersen, Nancy L. | McCarthy, Mark I. | Ingelsson, Erik | Prokopenko, Inga
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(6):e1001474.
In this study, Prokopenko and colleagues provide novel evidence for causal relationship between adiposity and heart failure and increased liver enzymes using a Mendelian randomization study design.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The association between adiposity and cardiometabolic traits is well known from epidemiological studies. Whilst the causal relationship is clear for some of these traits, for others it is not. We aimed to determine whether adiposity is causally related to various cardiometabolic traits using the Mendelian randomization approach.
Methods and Findings
We used the adiposity-associated variant rs9939609 at the FTO locus as an instrumental variable (IV) for body mass index (BMI) in a Mendelian randomization design. Thirty-six population-based studies of individuals of European descent contributed to the analyses.
Age- and sex-adjusted regression models were fitted to test for association between (i) rs9939609 and BMI (n = 198,502), (ii) rs9939609 and 24 traits, and (iii) BMI and 24 traits. The causal effect of BMI on the outcome measures was quantified by IV estimators. The estimators were compared to the BMI–trait associations derived from the same individuals. In the IV analysis, we demonstrated novel evidence for a causal relationship between adiposity and incident heart failure (hazard ratio, 1.19 per BMI-unit increase; 95% CI, 1.03–1.39) and replicated earlier reports of a causal association with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia, and hypertension (odds ratio for IV estimator, 1.1–1.4; all p<0.05). For quantitative traits, our results provide novel evidence for a causal effect of adiposity on the liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transferase and confirm previous reports of a causal effect of adiposity on systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting insulin, 2-h post-load glucose from the oral glucose tolerance test, C-reactive protein, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (all p<0.05). The estimated causal effects were in agreement with traditional observational measures in all instances except for type 2 diabetes, where the causal estimate was larger than the observational estimate (p = 0.001).
Conclusions
We provide novel evidence for a causal relationship between adiposity and heart failure as well as between adiposity and increased liver enzymes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—disease that affects the heart and/or the blood vessels—is a major cause of illness and death worldwide. In the US, for example, coronary heart disease—a CVD in which narrowing of the heart's blood vessels by fatty deposits slows the blood supply to the heart and may eventually cause a heart attack—is the leading cause of death, and stroke—a CVD in which the brain's blood supply is interrupted—is the fourth leading cause of death. Globally, both the incidence of CVD (the number of new cases in a population every year) and its prevalence (the proportion of the population with CVD) are increasing, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This increasing burden of CVD is occurring in parallel with a global increase in the incidence and prevalence of obesity—having an unhealthy amount of body fat (adiposity)—and of metabolic diseases—conditions such as diabetes in which metabolism (the processes that the body uses to make energy from food) is disrupted, with resulting high blood sugar and damage to the blood vessels.
Why Was This Study Done?
Epidemiological studies—investigations that record the patterns and causes of disease in populations—have reported an association between adiposity (indicated by an increased body mass index [BMI], which is calculated by dividing body weight in kilograms by height in meters squared) and cardiometabolic traits such as coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure (a condition in which the heart is incapable of pumping sufficient amounts of blood around the body), diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), and high blood cholesterol (dyslipidemia). However, observational studies cannot prove that adiposity causes any particular cardiometabolic trait because overweight individuals may share other characteristics (confounding factors) that are the real causes of both obesity and the cardiometabolic disease. Moreover, it is possible that having CVD or a metabolic disease causes obesity (reverse causation). For example, individuals with heart failure cannot do much exercise, so heart failure may cause obesity rather than vice versa. Here, the researchers use “Mendelian randomization” to examine whether adiposity is causally related to various cardiometabolic traits. Because gene variants are inherited randomly, they are not prone to confounding and are free from reverse causation. It is known that a genetic variant (rs9939609) within the genome region that encodes the fat-mass- and obesity-associated gene (FTO) is associated with increased BMI. Thus, an investigation of the associations between rs9939609 and cardiometabolic traits can indicate whether obesity is causally related to these traits.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed the association between rs9939609 (the “instrumental variable,” or IV) and BMI, between rs9939609 and 24 cardiometabolic traits, and between BMI and the same traits using genetic and health data collected in 36 population-based studies of nearly 200,000 individuals of European descent. They then quantified the strength of the causal association between BMI and the cardiometabolic traits by calculating “IV estimators.” Higher BMI showed a causal relationship with heart failure, metabolic syndrome (a combination of medical disorders that increases the risk of developing CVD), type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, increased blood levels of liver enzymes (an indicator of liver damage; some metabolic disorders involve liver damage), and several other cardiometabolic traits. All the IV estimators were similar to the BMI–cardiovascular trait associations (observational estimates) derived from the same individuals, with the exception of diabetes, where the causal estimate was higher than the observational estimate, probably because the observational estimate is based on a single BMI measurement, whereas the causal estimate considers lifetime changes in BMI.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Like all Mendelian randomization studies, the reliability of the causal associations reported here depends on several assumptions made by the researchers. Nevertheless, these findings provide support for many previously suspected and biologically plausible causal relationships, such as that between adiposity and hypertension. They also provide new insights into the causal effect of obesity on liver enzyme levels and on heart failure. In the latter case, these findings suggest that a one-unit increase in BMI might increase the incidence of heart failure by 17%. In the US, this corresponds to 113,000 additional cases of heart failure for every unit increase in BMI at the population level. Although additional studies are needed to confirm and extend these findings, these results suggest that global efforts to reduce the burden of obesity will likely also reduce the occurrence of CVD and metabolic disorders.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001474.
The American Heart Association provides information on all aspects of cardiovascular disease and tips on keeping the heart healthy, including weight management (in several languages); its website includes personal stories about stroke and heart attacks
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on heart disease, stroke, and all aspects of overweight and obesity (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about cardiovascular disease and obesity, including a personal story about losing weight
The World Health Organization provides information on obesity (in several languages)
The International Obesity Taskforce provides information about the global obesity epidemic
Wikipedia has a page on Mendelian randomization (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
MedlinePlus provides links to other sources of information on heart disease, on vascular disease, on obesity, and on metabolic disorders (in English and Spanish)
The International Association for the Study of Obesity provides maps and information about obesity worldwide
The International Diabetes Federation has a web page that describes types, complications, and risk factors of diabetes
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001474
PMCID: PMC3692470  PMID: 23824655
9.  Attitudes to reproductive genetic testing in women who had a positive BRCA test before having children: a qualitative analysis 
The scope of conditions for which preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is licensed has recently been expanded in the United Kingdom to include genetic predisposition to adult-onset cancer. This qualitative interview study explores reproductive decision making, knowledge of and attitudes to reproductive genetic testing (prenatal diagnosis and PGD) with 25 women aged 18–45 years who received a positive BRCA test in the United Kingdom before having children. In this cohort of younger women, BRCA testing was motivated by risk management decisions; for some, BRCA status has affected their later decisions about having children. The perceived severity of hereditary breast/ovarian cancer (HBOC) influences thoughts about passing on the mutation to children and willingness to consider reproductive genetic testing, but most participants do not believe HBOC is a condition for which pregnancy termination is justified. PGD is considered more acceptable and advantageous because it would prevent transmission to future generations, but women have concerns about selecting embryos and the fact that they and affected family members would not have been selected. Women would also be deterred by the need to undergo in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and ovarian stimulation for PGD. Awareness of reproductive testing options was very variable among the cohort. The findings highlight the complexities of reproductive decision making for young women who knowingly carry a BRCA mutation, and the dilemmas inherent to reproductive genetic testing when the condition being tested for also affects a prospective parent. Counselling and psychological support for BRCA-positive women and couples concerning reproductive options are strongly indicated.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2011.146
PMCID: PMC3234514  PMID: 21811309
BRCA; reproductive; attitudes; cancer; psychosocial; qualitative
10.  Paradoxical Lower Serum Triglyceride Levels and Higher Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Susceptibility in Obese Individuals with the PNPLA3 148M Variant 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39362.
Background
Obesity is highly associated with elevated serum triglycerides, hepatic steatosis and type 2 diabetes (T2D). The I148M (rs738409) genetic variant of patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 gene (PNPLA3) is known to modulate hepatic triglyceride accumulation, leading to steatosis. No association between PNPLA3 I148M genotype and T2D in Europeans has been reported. Aim of this study is to examine the relationship between PNPLA3 I148M genotypes and serum triglycerides, insulin resistance and T2D susceptibility by testing a gene-environment interaction model with severe obesity.
Methods and Findings
PNPLA3 I148M was genotyped in a large obese cohort, the SOS study (n = 3,473) and in the Go-DARTS (n = 15,448), a T2D case-control study. Metabolic parameters were examined across the PNPLA3 I148M genotypes in participants of the SOS study at baseline and at 2- and 10-year follow up after bariatric surgery or conventional therapy. The associations with metabolic parameters were validated in the Go-DARTS study. Serum triglycerides were found to be lower in the PNPLA3 148M carriers from the SOS study at baseline and from the Go-DARTS T2D cohort. An increased risk for T2D conferred by the 148M allele was found in the SOS study (O.R. 1.09, 95% C.I. 1.01-1.39, P = 0.040) and in severely obese individuals in the Go-DARTS study (O.R. 1.37, 95% C.I. 1.13-1.66, P = 0.001). The 148M allele was no longer associated with insulin resistance or T2D after bariatric surgery in the SOS study and no association with the 148M allele was observed in the less obese (BMI<35) individuals in the Go-DARTS study (P for interaction  = 0.002). This provides evidence for the obesity interaction with I48M allele and T2D risk in a large-scale cross-sectional and a prospective interventional study.
Conclusions
Severely obese individuals carrying the PNPLA3 148M allele have lower serum triglyceride levels, are more insulin resistant and more susceptible to T2D. This study supports the hypothesis that obesity-driven hepatic lipid accumulation may contribute to T2D susceptibility.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039362
PMCID: PMC3377675  PMID: 22724004
11.  Mendelian Randomization Studies Do Not Support a Role for Raised Circulating Triglyceride Levels Influencing Type 2 Diabetes, Glucose Levels, or Insulin Resistance 
Diabetes  2011;60(3):1008-1018.
OBJECTIVE
The causal nature of associations between circulating triglycerides, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes is unclear. We aimed to use Mendelian randomization to test the hypothesis that raised circulating triglyceride levels causally influence the risk of type 2 diabetes and raise normal fasting glucose levels and hepatic insulin resistance.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We tested 10 common genetic variants robustly associated with circulating triglyceride levels against the type 2 diabetes status in 5,637 case and 6,860 control subjects and four continuous outcomes (reflecting glycemia and hepatic insulin resistance) in 8,271 nondiabetic individuals from four studies.
RESULTS
Individuals carrying greater numbers of triglyceride-raising alleles had increased circulating triglyceride levels (SD 0.59 [95% CI 0.52–0.65] difference between the 20% of individuals with the most alleles and the 20% with the fewest alleles). There was no evidence that the carriers of greater numbers of triglyceride-raising alleles were at increased risk of type 2 diabetes (per weighted allele odds ratio [OR] 0.99 [95% CI 0.97–1.01]; P = 0.26). In nondiabetic individuals, there was no evidence that carriers of greater numbers of triglyceride-raising alleles had increased fasting insulin levels (SD 0.00 per weighted allele [95% CI −0.01 to 0.02]; P = 0.72) or increased fasting glucose levels (0.00 [−0.01 to 0.01]; P = 0.88). Instrumental variable analyses confirmed that genetically raised circulating triglyceride levels were not associated with increased diabetes risk, fasting glucose, or fasting insulin and, for diabetes, showed a trend toward a protective association (OR per 1-SD increase in log10 triglycerides: 0.61 [95% CI 0.45–0.83]; P = 0.002).
CONCLUSIONS
Genetically raised circulating triglyceride levels do not increase the risk of type 2 diabetes or raise fasting glucose or fasting insulin levels in nondiabetic individuals. One explanation for our results is that raised circulating triglycerides are predominantly secondary to the diabetes disease process rather than causal.
doi:10.2337/db10-1317
PMCID: PMC3046819  PMID: 21282362
12.  Mendelian Randomization Studies do not Support a Role for Raised Circulating Triglyceride Levels influencing Type 2 Diabetes, Glucose Levels, or Insulin Resistance 
Diabetes  2011;60(3):1008-1018.
Objective
The causal nature of associations between circulating triglycerides, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes is unclear. We aimed to use Mendelian randomization to test the hypothesis that raised circulating triglyceride levels causally influence the risk of type 2 diabetes, raised normal fasting glucose levels, and hepatic insulin resistance.
Research design and methods
We tested 10 common genetic variants robustly associated with circulating triglyceride levels against type 2 diabetes status in 5637 cases, 6860 controls, and four continuous outcomes (reflecting glycemia and hepatic insulin resistance) in 8271 non-diabetic individuals from four studies.
Results
Individuals carrying greater numbers of triglyceride-raising alleles had increased circulating triglyceride levels (0.59 SD [95% CI: 0.52, 0.65] difference between the 20% of individuals with the most alleles and the 20% with the fewest alleles). There was no evidence that carriers of greater numbers of triglyceride-raising alleles were at increased risk of type 2 diabetes (per weighted allele odds ratio (OR) 0.99 [95% CI: 0.97, 1.01]; P = 0.26). In non-diabetic individuals, there was no evidence that carriers of greater numbers of triglyceride-raising alleles had increased fasting insulin levels (0.00 SD per weighted allele [95% CI: −0.01, 0.02]; P = 0.72) or increased fasting glucose levels (0.00 SD per weighted allele [95% CI: −0.01, 0.01]; P = 0.88). Instrumental variable analyses confirmed that genetically raised circulating triglyceride levels were not associated with increased diabetes risk, fasting glucose or fasting insulin, and, for diabetes, showed a trend towards a protective association (OR per 1 SD increase in log10-triglycerides: 0.61 [95% CI: 0.45, 0.83]; P = 0.002).
Conclusion
Genetically raised circulating triglyceride levels do not increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, or raise fasting glucose or fasting insulin levels in non-diabetic individuals. One explanation for our results is that raised circulating triglycerides are predominantly secondary to the diabetes disease process rather than causal.
doi:10.2337/db10-1317
PMCID: PMC3046819  PMID: 21282362
13.  Common variants near ATM are associated with glycemic response to metformin in type 2 diabetes 
Nature genetics  2010;43(2):117-120.
Metformin is the most commonly used pharmacological therapy for type 2 diabetes. We carried out a GWA study on glycaemic response to metformin in 1024 Scottish patients with type 2 diabetes. Replication was in two cohorts consisting of 1783 Scottish patients and 1113 patients from the UK Prospective Diabetes Study. In a meta-analysis (n=3920) we observed an association (P=2.9 *10−9) for a SNP rs11212617 at a locus containing the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene with an odds ratio of 1.35 (95% CI 1.22 to 1.49) for treatment success. In a rat hepatoma cell line, inhibition of ATM with KU-55933 attenuated the phosphorylation and activation of AMPK in response to metformin. We conclude that ATM, a gene known to be involved in DNA repair and cell cycle control, plays a role in the effect of metformin upstream of AMPK, and variation in this gene alters glycaemic response to metformin.
doi:10.1038/ng.735
PMCID: PMC3030919  PMID: 21186350
14.  Intravaginal immunization using the recombinant HIV-1 clade-C trimeric envelope glycoprotein CN54gp140 formulated within lyophilized solid dosage forms 
Vaccine  2011;29(27):4512-4520.
Vaccine-mediated prevention of primary HIV-1 infection at the heterosexual mucosal portal of entry may be facilitated by highly optimised formulations or drug delivery devices for intravaginal (i.vag) immunization. Previously we described hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC)-based rheologically structured gel vehicles (RSVs) for vaginal immunization of an HIV-1 vaccine candidate, a soluble recombinant trimeric HIV-1 clade-C envelope glycoprotein designated CN54gp140. Here we investigated the efficacy of lyophilized solid dosage formulations (LSDFs) for prolonging antigen stability and as i.vag delivery modalities. LSDFs were designed and developed that upon i.vag administration they would reconstitute with the imbibing of vaginal fluid to mucoadhesive, site-retentive semi-solids. Mice were immunized with lyophilized equivalents of (i) RSVs, (ii) modified versions of the RSVs more suited to lyophilization (sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (NaCMC)-based gels) and (iii) Carbopol® gel, all containing CN54gp140. NaCMC-based LSDFs provided significantly enhanced antigen stability compared to aqueous-based RSVs. Rheological analysis indicated the NaCMC-based LSDFs would offer enhanced vaginal retention in woman compared to more conventional vaginal gel formulations. All LSDFs were well tolerated in the mouse model. Following i.vag administration, all LSDFs boosted systemic CN54gp140-specific antibody responses in sub-cutaneously primed mice. Induction of CN54gp140-specific antibody responses in the female genital tract was evident. Of all the LSDFs the fastest releasing which was lyophilized Carbopol® gel elicited immune responses comparable to buffer instillation of antigen suggesting that rather than slower sustained release, initial high burst release from the LSDFs may suffice. The boosting of specific immune responses upon i.vag administration indicates that LSDFs are viable mucosal vaccine delivery modalities promoting antigen stability and facilitating intimate exposure of CN54gp140 to the mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue of the female genital tract.
doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.04.023
PMCID: PMC3120965  PMID: 21514349
Intravaginal delivery; Mucosal vaccination; HIV-1; Lyophilized solid dosage formulations; DSC, differential scanning calorimetry; GNA, Galanthus nivalis; HEC, hydroxyethylcellulose; HPMC, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose; LSDFs, lyophilized solid dosage formulations; NaCMC, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose; PC, polycarbophil; PVP, polyvinylpyrollidone; RSVs, rheologically structured gel vehicles; SVF, simulated vaginal fluid
15.  Decreased histone deacetylase 2 impairs Nrf2 activation by oxidative stress 
Research highlights
► Nrf2 anti-oxidant function is impaired when HDAC activity is inhibited. ► HDAC inhibition decreases Nrf2 protein stability. ► HDAC2 is involved in reduced Nrf2 stability and both correlate in COPD samples. ► HDAC inhibition increases Nrf2 acetylation.
Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) plays a crucial role in cellular defence against oxidative stress by inducing the expression of multiple anti-oxidant genes. However, where high levels of oxidative stress are observed, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Nrf2 activity is reduced, although the molecular mechanism for this defect is uncertain. Here, we show that down-regulation of histone deacetylase (HDAC) 2 causes Nrf2 instability, resulting in reduced anti-oxidant gene expression and increase sensitivity to oxidative stress. Although Nrf2 protein was clearly stabilized after hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) stimulation in a bronchial epithelial cell line (BEAS2B), Nrf2 stability was decreased and Nrf2 acetylation increased in the presence of an HDAC inhibitor, trichostatin A (TSA). TSA also reduced Nrf2-regulated heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression in these cells, and this was confirmed in acute cigarette-smoke exposed mice in vivo. HDAC2 knock-down by RNA interference resulted in reduced H2O2-induced Nrf2 protein stability and activity in BEAS2B cells, whereas HDAC1 knockdown had no effect. Furthermore, monocyte-derived macrophages obtained from healthy volunteers (non-smokers and smokers) and COPD patients showed a significant correlation between HDAC2 expression and Nrf2 expression (r = 0.92, p < 0.0001). Thus, reduced HDAC2 activity in COPD may account for increased Nrf2 acetylation, reduced Nrf2 stability and impaired anti oxidant defences.
doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.02.035
PMCID: PMC3061319  PMID: 21320471
ARE, anti oxidant response element; COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; DJ-1, Parkinson’s disease (PD)-associated protein; HDAC2, histone deacetylase-2; HO-1, heme oxygenase-1; H2O2, hydrogen peroxide; Keap1, Kelch-like ECH associated protein 1; MDM, monocyte-derived macrophage; Nrf2, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2; ROS, reactive oxygen species; TSA, trichostatin A; Oxidative stress; Nrf2; Histone deacetylase 2; Protein stability; Acetylation; COPD
16.  The FTO Gene is Associated with an Atherogenic Lipid Profile and Myocardial Infarction in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Go-DARTS study 
Background
Common variation in the Fat Mass and Obesity related (FTO) gene is associated with increased body fat and susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2D). We hypothesized that this would also associate with metabolic phenotypes of insulin resistance, and increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Methods and Results
FTO rs9939609 genotype was determined in 4897 patients with T2D in the prospective Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research Study in Tayside Scotland (Go-DARTS) study. The A allele was associated with lower plasma HDL cholesterol (mean difference 0.03 mmol/L, p=0.008), higher triglycerides (0.1 mmol/L, p=0.007), higher atherogenic index of plasma (0.03, p=0.003) and, as expected, increased BMI (0.77 kg/m2, p=8.8×10−6). During a mean follow up of 3.6 years the A allele was also associated with increased risk (HR 2.36, CI 1.49-3.74, p=0.0002) of fatal and non fatal myocardial infarction (total 324 events) in a model including baseline age, gender, prevalent myocardial infarction, smoking status, statin and insulin use. This association diminished but remained significant when obesity related traits such as BMI, glycated haemoglobin and lipid parameters were also included (HR 2.01 CI 1.18-3.45, p=0.011). There was a strong interaction of FTO genotype and statin use and cardiovascular outcome (p=0.001) such that cardiovascular morbidity and mortality was completely abrogated in individuals prescribed statins.
Conclusion
The increased fat mass in carriers of the A allele of rs9939609 of FTO is associated not only with increased risk of T2D, but also with an increase in atherogenic lipid profile, and myocardial infarction in these patients. This variant may therefore in future contribute to more effective targeting of specific preventative therapy.
doi:10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.108.822320
PMCID: PMC3045745  PMID: 20031593
Genetics; Myocardial Infarction; Diabetes Mellitus
17.  New Users of Metformin Are at Low Risk of Incident Cancer 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(9):1620-1625.
OBJECTIVE
The antidiabetic properties of metformin are mediated through its ability to activate the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Activation of AMPK can suppress tumor formation and inhibit cell growth in addition to lowering blood glucose levels. We tested the hypothesis that metformin reduces the risk of cancer in people with type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In an observational cohort study using record-linkage databases and based in Tayside, Scotland, U.K., we identified people with type 2 diabetes who were new users of metformin in 1994–2003. We also identified a set of diabetic comparators, individually matched to the metformin users by year of diabetes diagnosis, who had never used metformin. In a survival analysis we calculated hazard ratios for diagnosis of cancer, adjusted for baseline characteristics of the two groups using Cox regression.
RESULTS
Cancer was diagnosed among 7.3% of 4,085 metformin users compared with 11.6% of 4,085 comparators, with median times to cancer of 3.5 and 2.6 years, respectively (P < 0.001). The unadjusted hazard ratio (95% CI) for cancer was 0.46 (0.40–0.53). After adjusting for sex, age, BMI, A1C, deprivation, smoking, and other drug use, there was still a significantly reduced risk of cancer associated with metformin: 0.63 (0.53–0.75).
CONCLUSIONS
These results suggest that metformin use may be associated with a reduced risk of cancer. A randomized trial is needed to assess whether metformin is protective in a population at high risk for cancer.
doi:10.2337/dc08-2175
PMCID: PMC2732153  PMID: 19564453
18.  Reduced-Function SLC22A1 Polymorphisms Encoding Organic Cation Transporter 1 and Glycemic Response to Metformin: A GoDARTS Study 
Diabetes  2009;58(6):1434-1439.
OBJECTIVE
Metformin is actively transported into the liver by the organic cation transporter (OCT)1 (encoded by SLC22A1). In 12 normoglycemic individuals, reduced-function variants in SLC22A1 were shown to decrease the ability of metformin to reduce glucose excursion in response to oral glucose. We assessed the effect of two common loss-of-function polymorphisms in SLC22A1 on metformin response in a large cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The Diabetes Audit and Research in Tayside Scotland (DARTS) database includes prescribing and biochemistry information and clinical phenotypes of all patients with diabetes within Tayside, Scotland, from 1992 onwards. R61C and 420del variants of SLC22A1 were genotyped in 3,450 patients with type 2 diabetes who were incident users of metformin. We assessed metformin response by modeling the maximum A1C reduction in 18 months after starting metformin and investigated whether a treatment target of A1C <7% was achieved. Sustained metformin effect on A1C between 6 and 42 months was also assessed, as was the time to metformin monotherapy failure. Covariates were SLC22A1 genotype, BMI, average drug dose, adherence, and creatinine clearance.
RESULTS
A total of 1,531 patients were identified with a definable metformin response. R61C and 420del variants did not affect the initial A1C reduction (P = 0.47 and P = 0.92, respectively), the chance of achieving a treatment target (P = 0.83 and P = 0.36), the average A1C on monotherapy up to 42 months (P = 0.44 and P = 0.75), or the hazard of monotherapy failure (P = 0.85 and P = 0.56).
CONCLUSIONS
The SLC22A1 loss-of-function variants, R61C and 420del, do not attenuate the A1C reduction achieved by metformin in patients with type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.2337/db08-0896
PMCID: PMC2682689  PMID: 19336679
19.  Vaginal delivery of the recombinant HIV-1 clade-C trimeric gp140 envelope protein CN54gp140 within novel rheologically structured vehicles elicits specific immune responses 
Vaccine  2009;27(48):6791-6798.
Rheologically structured vehicle (RSV) gels were developed as delivery systems for vaginal mucosal vaccination with an HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (CN54gp140). RSVs comprised a mucoadhesive matrix-forming and vaginal fluid absorbing polymer. The mucoadhesive and rheological properties of the RSVs were evaluated in vitro, and the distribution, antigenicity and release of CN54gp140 were analysed by ELISA. CN54gp140 was uniformly distributed within the RSVs and continuously released in vitro in an antigenically intact form over 24 h. Vaginal administration to rabbits induced specific serum IgG, and IgG and IgA in genital tract secretions. The RSVs are a viable delivery modality for vaginal immunization.
doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.08.088
PMCID: PMC2824087  PMID: 19747994
Vaginal delivery; Mucosal vaccination; HIV-1
20.  eHealth as a challenge to ‘expert’ power: a focus group study of internet use for health information and management 
Summary
Objective
To investigate current use of the internet and eHealth amongst adults.
Design
Focus groups were conducted to explore participants' attitudes to and reasons for health internet use.
Main outcome measures
The focus group data were analysed and interpreted using thematic analysis.
Results
Three superordinate themes exploring eHealth behaviours were identified: decline in expert authority, pervasiveness of health information on the internet and empowerment. Results showed participants enjoyed the immediate benefits of eHealth information and felt empowered by increased knowledge, but they would be reluctant to lose face-to-face consultations with their GP.
Conclusions
Our findings illustrate changes in patient identity and a decline in expert authority with ramifications for the practitioner–patient relationship and subsequent implications for health management more generally.
doi:10.1258/jrsm.2008.080156
PMCID: PMC2587202  PMID: 18840866
21.  Metformin and reduced risk of cancer in diabetic patients 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;330(7503):1304-1305.
doi:10.1136/bmj.38415.708634.F7
PMCID: PMC558205  PMID: 15849206
22.  Albuterol-induced downregulation of Gsα accounts for pulmonary β2-adrenoceptor desensitization in vivo 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2000;106(1):125-135.
The aim of the present study was to develop a chronic in vivo model of pulmonary β2-adrenoceptor desensitization and to elucidate the nature and molecular basis of this state. Subcutaneous infusion of rats with albuterol for 7 days compromised the ability of albuterol, given acutely, to protect against acetylcholine-induced bronchoconstriction. The bronchoprotective effect of prostaglandin E2, but not forskolin, was also impaired, indicating that the desensitization was heterologous and that the primary defect in signaling was upstream of adenylyl cyclase. β2-Adrenoceptor density was reduced in lung membranes harvested from albuterol-treated animals, and this was associated with impaired albuterol-induced cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) accumulation and activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase ex vivo. Gsα expression was reduced in the lung and tracheae of albuterol-treated rats, and cholera toxin–induced cAMP accumulation was blunted. Chronic treatment of rats with albuterol also increased cAMP phosphodiesterase activity and G protein–coupled receptor kinase-2, but the extent to which these events contributed to β2-adrenoceptor desensitization was unclear given that forskolin was active in both groups of animals and that desensitization was heterologous. Collectively, these results indicate that albuterol effects heterologous desensitization of pulmonary Gs-coupled receptors in this model, with downregulation of Gsα representing a primary molecular etiology.
PMCID: PMC314356  PMID: 10880056
23.  Characterization of the Rheological, Mucoadhesive, and Drug Release Properties of Highly Structured Gel Platforms for Intravaginal Drug Delivery 
Biomacromolecules  2009;10(9):2427-2435.
This investigation describes the formulation and characterization of rheologically structured vehicles (RSVs) designed for improved drug delivery to the vagina. Interactive, multicomponent, polymeric platforms were manufactured containing hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC, 5% w/w) polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP, 4% w/w), Pluronic (PL, 0 or 10% w/w), and either polycarbophil (PC, 3% w/w) or poly(methylvinylether-co-maleic anhydride) (Gantrez S97, 3% w/w) as a mucoadhesive agent. The rheological (torsional and dynamic), mechanical (compressional), and mucoadhesive properties were characterized and shown to be dependent upon the mucoadhesive agent used and the inclusion/exclusion of PL. The dynamic rheological properties of the gel platforms were also assessed following dilution with simulated vaginal fluid (to mimic in vivo dilution). RSVs containing PC were more rheologically structured than comparator formulations containing GAN. This trend was also reflected in formulation hardness, compressibility, consistency, and syringeability. Moreover, formulations containing PL (10% w/w) were more rheologically structured than formulations devoid of PL. Dilution with simulated vaginal fluids significantly decreased rheological structure, although RSVs still retained a highly elastic structure (G′ > G′′ and tan δ < 1). Furthermore, RSVs exhibited sustained drug release properties that were shown to be dependent upon their rheological structure. It is considered that these semisolid drug delivery systems may be useful as site-retentive platforms for the sustained delivery of therapeutic agents to the vagina.
doi:10.1021/bm9003332
PMCID: PMC2745825  PMID: 19642670
24.  Long non-coding RNAs and enhancer RNAs regulate the lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response in human monocytes 
Nature Communications  2014;5:3979.
Early reports indicate that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are novel regulators of biological responses. However, their role in the human innate immune response, which provides the initial defence against infection, is largely unexplored. To address this issue, here we characterize the long non-coding RNA transcriptome in primary human monocytes using RNA sequencing. We identify 76 enhancer RNAs (eRNAs), 40 canonical lncRNAs, 65 antisense lncRNAs and 35 regions of bidirectional transcription (RBT) that are differentially expressed in response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Crucially, we demonstrate that knockdown of nuclear-localized, NF-κB-regulated, eRNAs (IL1β-eRNA) and RBT (IL1β-RBT46) surrounding the IL1β locus, attenuates LPS-induced messenger RNA transcription and release of the proinflammatory mediators, IL1β and CXCL8. We predict that lncRNAs can be important regulators of the human innate immune response.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression. Ilott et al. characterize changes in the expression of lncRNAs and enhancer RNAs during the inflammatory response in human monocytes and show that these RNAs can be involved in the regulation of the innate immunity.
doi:10.1038/ncomms4979
PMCID: PMC4061460  PMID: 24909122

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