We tested the hypothesis that dopamine-dependent motor learning mechanism underlies the long-duration response to levodopa in Parkinson disease (PD) based on our studies in a mouse model. By data-mining the motor task performance in dominant and nondominant hands of the subjects in a double-blind randomized trial of levodopa therapy, the effects of activity and dopamine therapy were examined.
We data-mined the Earlier versus Later Levodopa Therapy in Parkinson's Disease (ELLDOPA) study published in 2005 and performed statistical analysis comparing the effects of levodopa and dominance of handedness over 42 weeks.
The mean change in finger-tapping counts from baseline before the initiation of therapy to predose at 9 weeks and 40 weeks increased more in the dominant compared to nondominant hand in levodopa-treated subjects in a dose-dependent fashion. There was no significant difference in dominant vs nondominant hands in the placebo group. The short-duration response assessed by the difference of postdose performance compared to predose performance at the same visit did not show any significant difference between dominant vs nondominant hands.
Active use of the dominant hand and dopamine replacement therapy produces synergistic effect on long-lasting motor task performance during “off” medication state. Such effect was confined to dopamine-responsive symptoms and not seen in dopamine-resistant symptoms such as gait and balance. We propose that long-lasting motor learning facilitated by activity and dopamine is a form of disease modification that is often seen in trials of medications that have symptomatic effects.
Age at onset of diagnostic motor manifestations in Huntington disease (HD) is strongly correlated with an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat. The length of the normal CAG repeat allele has been reported also to influence age at onset, in interaction with the expanded allele. Due to profound implications for disease mechanism and modification, we tested whether the normal allele, interaction between the expanded and normal alleles, or presence of a second expanded allele affects age at onset of HD motor signs.
We modeled natural log-transformed age at onset as a function of CAG repeat lengths of expanded and normal alleles and their interaction by linear regression.
An apparently significant effect of interaction on age at motor onset among 4,068 subjects was dependent on a single outlier data point. A rigorous statistical analysis with a well-behaved dataset that conformed to the fundamental assumptions of linear regression (e.g., constant variance and normally distributed error) revealed significance only for the expanded CAG repeat, with no effect of the normal CAG repeat. Ten subjects with 2 expanded alleles showed an age at motor onset consistent with the length of the larger expanded allele.
Normal allele CAG length, interaction between expanded and normal alleles, and presence of a second expanded allele do not influence age at onset of motor manifestations, indicating that the rate of HD pathogenesis leading to motor diagnosis is determined by a completely dominant action of the longest expanded allele and as yet unidentified genetic or environmental factors. Neurology® 2012;78:690–695
BACKGROUND: Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an autosomal dominant disease characterized by ventricular hypertrophy, myocellular disarray, arrhythmias, and sudden death. Mutations in several contractile proteins, including cardiac myosin heavy chains, have been described in families with this disease, leading to the hypothesis that HCM is a disease of the sarcomere. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A mutation in the myosin heavy chain (Myh) predicted to interfere strongly with myosin's binding to actin was designed and used to create an animal model for HCM. Five independent lines of transgenic mice were produced with cardiac-specific expression of the mutant Myh. RESULTS: Although the mutant Myh represents a small proportion (1-12%) of the heart's myosin, the mice exhibit the cardiac histopathology seen in HCM patients. Histopathology is absent from the atria and primarily restricted to the left ventricle. The line exhibiting the highest level of mutant Myh expression demonstrates ventricular hypertrophy by 12 weeks of age, but the further course of the disease is strongly affected by the sex of the animal. Hypertrophy increases with age in female animals while the hearts of male show severe dilation by 8 months of age, in the absence of increased mass. CONCLUSIONS: The low levels of the transgene protein in the presence of the phenotypic features of HCM suggest that the mutant protein acts as a dominant negative. In addition, the distinct phenotypes developed by aging male or female transgenic mice suggest that extragenic factors strongly influence the development of the disease phenotype.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) in the treatment of depression in Parkinson disease (PD).
A total of 115 subjects with PD were enrolled at 20 sites. Subjects were randomized to receive an SSRI (paroxetine; n = 42), an SNRI (venlafaxine extended release [XR]; n = 34), or placebo (n = 39). Subjects met DSM-IV criteria for a depressive disorder, or operationally defined subsyndromal depression, and scored >12 on the first 17 items of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D). Subjects were followed for 12 weeks (6-week dosage adjustment, 6-week maintenance). Maximum daily dosages were 40 mg for paroxetine and 225 mg for venlafaxine XR. The primary outcome measure was change in the HAM-D score from baseline to week 12.
Treatment effects (relative to placebo), expressed as mean 12-week reductions in HAM-D score, were 6.2 points (97.5% confidence interval [CI] 2.2 to 10.3, p = 0.0007) in the paroxetine group and 4.2 points (97.5% CI 0.1 to 8.4, p = 0.02) in the venlafaxine XR group. No treatment effects were seen on motor function.
Both paroxetine and venlafaxine XR significantly improved depression in subjects with PD. Both medications were generally safe and well tolerated and did not worsen motor function.
Classification of Evidence:
This study provides Class I evidence that paroxetine and venlafaxine XR are effective in treating depression in patients with PD.
Measuring the quality of health care is a fundamental step toward improving health care and is increasingly used in pay-for-performance initiatives and maintenance of certification requirements. Measure development to date has focused on primary care and common conditions such as diabetes; thus, the number of measures that apply to neurologic care is limited. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) identified the need for neurologists to develop measures of neurologic care and to establish a process to accomplish this.
To adapt and test the feasibility of a process for independent development by the AAN of measures for neurologic conditions for national measurement programs.
A process that has been used nationally for measure development was adapted for use by the AAN. Topics for measure development are chosen based upon national priorities, available evidence base from a systematic literature search, gaps in care, and the potential impact for quality improvement. A panel composed of subject matter and measure development methodology experts oversees the development of the measures. Recommendation statements and their corresponding level of evidence are reviewed and considered for development into draft candidate measures. The candidate measures are refined by the expert panel during a 30-day public comment period and by review by the American Medical Association for Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) II codes. All final AAN measures are approved by the AAN Board of Directors.
Parkinson disease (PD) was chosen for measure development. A review of the medical literature identified 258 relevant recommendation statements. A 28-member panel approved 10 quality measures for PD that included full specifications and CPT II codes.
The AAN has adapted a measure development process that is suitable for national measurement programs and has demonstrated its capability to independently develop quality measures.
= American Academy of Neurology;
= American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology;
= American Medical Association;
= Current Procedural Terminology;
= Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement;
= Parkinson disease;
= Performance Measurement Advisory Group;
= Physician Quality Reporting Initiative;
= Quality Measurement and Reporting Subcommittee.
To perform a comprehensive population genetic study of PARK2. PARK2 mutations are associated with juvenile parkinsonism, Alzheimer disease, cancer, leprosy, and diabetes mellitus, yet ironically, there has been no comprehensive study of PARK2 in control subjects; and to resolve controversial association of PARK2 heterozygous mutations with Parkinson disease (PD) in a well-powered study.
We studied 1,686 control subjects (mean age 66.1 ± 13.1 years) and 2,091 patients with PD (mean onset age 58.3 ± 12.1 years). We tested for PARK2 deletions/multiplications/copy number variations (CNV) using semiquantitative PCR and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, and validated the mutations by real-time quantitative PCR. Subjects were tested for point mutations previously. Association with PD was tested as PARK2 main effect, and in combination with known PD risk factors: SNCA, MAPT, APOE, smoking, and coffee intake.
A total of 0.95% of control subjects and 0.86% of patients carried a heterozygous CNV mutation. CNV mutations found in 16 control subjects were all in exons 1–4, sparing exons that encode functionally critical protein domains. Thirteen patients had 2 CNV mutations, 5 had 1 CNV and 1 point mutation, and 18 had 1 CNV mutation. Mutations found in patients spanned exons 2–9. In whites, having 1 CNV was not associated with increased risk (odds ratio 1.05, p = 0.89) or earlier onset of PD (64.7 ± 8.6 heterozygous vs 58.5 ± 11.8 normal).
This comprehensive population genetic study in control subjects fills the void for a PARK2 reference dataset. There is no compelling evidence for association of heterozygous PARK2 mutations, by themselves or in combination with known risk factors, with PD.
= autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism;
= confidence interval;
= copy number variation;
= moving average plots;
= multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification;
= NeuroGenetics Research Consortium;
= odds ratio;
= Parkinson disease.
Replication of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) was impeded in KB cells which were blocked in their capacity to synthesize DNA by 2 mM thymidine (TdR). The degree of inhibition was dependent upon the concentration of TdR. In marked contrast, HSV-1 is able to replicate under these conditions. The failure of HSV-2 to replicate is probably due to the inhibition of viral DNA synthesis; there was a marked reduction in the rate of DNA synthesis as well as the total amount of HSV-2 DNA made in the presence of 2 mM TdR. We postulated that the effect of TdR on viral replication occurs at the level of ribonucleotide reductase in a manner similar to KB cells. However, unlike KB cells, an altered ribonucleotide reductase activity, highly resistant to thymidine triphosphate inhibition, was found in extracts of HSV-2-infected KB cells. This activity was present in HSV-2-infected cells incubated in the presence or absence of TdR. Ribonucleotide reductase activity in extracts of HSV-1-infected KB cells showed a similar resistance to thymidine triphosphate inhibition. These results suggest that the effect of TdR on HSV-2 replication occurs at a stage of DNA synthesis other than reduction of cytidine nucleotides to deoxycytidine nucleotides.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) remain ubiquitous environmental contaminants. Developmental exposures are suspected to impact reproduction. Analysis of mixtures of PCBs may be problematic as components have a complex correlation structure, and along with limited sample sizes, standard regression strategies are problematic. We compared the results of a novel, empirical method to those based on categorization of PCB compounds by (1) hypothesized biological activity previously proposed and widely applied, and (2) degree of ortho- substitution (mono, di, tri), in a study of the relation of maternal serum PCBs and daughter’s time to pregnancy.
We measured PCBs in maternal serum samples collected in the early postpartum in 289 daughters in the Child Health and Development Studies birth cohort. We queried time to pregnancy in these daughters 28–31 years later. We applied a novel weighted quantile sum approach to find the bad-actor compounds in the PCB mixture found in maternal serum. The approach includes empirical estimation of the weights through a bootstrap step which accounts for the variation in the estimated weights.
Bootstrap analyses indicated the dominant functionality groups associated with longer TTP were the dioxin-like, anti-estrogenic group (average weight, 22%) and PCBs not previously classified by biological activity (54%). In contrast, the unclassified PCBs were not important in the association with shorter TTP, where the anti-estrogenic groups and the PB-inducers group played a more important role (60% and 23%, respectively). The highly chlorinated PCBs (average weight, 89%) were mostly associated with longer TTP; in contrast, the degree of chlorination was less discriminating for shorter TTP. Finally, PCB 56 was associated with the strongest relationship with TTP with a weight of 47%.
Our empirical approach found some associations previously identified by two classification schemes, but also identified other bad actors. This empirical method can generate hypotheses about mixture effects and mechanisms and overcomes some of the limitations of standard regression techniques.
Endocrine disruptors; Polychlorinated biphenyls; Prenatal exposure
The promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein is a tumor suppressor originally identified in acute promyelocytic leukemia and implicated in tumorigenesis in multiple forms of cancer. Here, we demonstrate that the PML protein undergoes ubiquitination-mediated degradation facilitated by an E3 ligase UHRF1 (ubiquitin-like with PHD and RING finger domains 1), which is commonly upregulated in various human malignancies. Furthermore, UHRF1 negatively regulates PML protein accumulation in primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), HEK 293 cells and cancer cells. Knockdown of UHRF1 upregulates whereas ectopic overexpression of UHRF1 downregulates protein abundance of endogenous or exogenous PML, doing so through its binding to the N-terminus of PML. Overexpression of wild-type UHRF1 shortens PML protein half-life and promotes PML polyubiquitination, whereas deletion of the RING domain or coexpression of the dominant-negative E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, E2D2, attenuates this modification to PML. Finally, knockdown of UHRF1 prolongs PML half-life and increases PML protein accumulation, yet inhibits cell migration and in vitro capillary tube formation, whereas co-knockdown of PML compromises this inhibitory effect. These findings suggest that UHRF1 promotes the turnover of PML protein, and thus targeting UHRF1 to restore PML-mediated tumor suppression represents a promising, novel, anticancer strategy.
UHRF1; PML; ubiquitination; cell migration; capillary tube formation
Parent and teacher ratings of core attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, as well as behavioral and emotional problems commonly comorbid with ADHD, were compared in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Participants were 86 children (66 boys; mean: age=9.3 years, intelligence quotient [IQ]=84) who met American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (DSM-IV) criteria for an ASD on the Autism Diagnostic Interview–Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). Parent and teacher behavioral ratings were compared on the Conners' Parent and Teacher Rating Scales (CPRS-R; CTRS-R). The degree to which age, ASD subtype, severity of autistic symptomatology, and medication status mediated this relationship was also examined.
Significant positive correlations between parent and teacher ratings suggest that a child's core ADHD symptoms—as well as closely related externalizing symptoms—are perceived similarly by parents and teachers. With the exception of oppositional behavior, there was no significant effect of age, gender, ASD subtype, or autism severity on the relationship between parent and teacher ratings. In general, parents rated children as having more severe symptomatology than did teachers. Patterns of parent and teacher ratings were highly correlated, both for children who were receiving medication, and for children who were not.
Parents and teachers perceived core symptoms of ADHD and closely-related externalizing problems in a similar manner, but there is less agreement on ratings of internalizing problems (e.g., anxiety). The clinical implication of these findings is that both parents and teachers provide important behavioral information about children with ASD. However, when a clinician is unable to access teacher ratings (e.g., during school vacations), parent ratings can provide a reasonable estimate of the child's functioning in these domains in school. As such, parent ratings can be reliably used to make initial diagnostic and treatment decisions (e.g., medication treatment) regarding ADHD symptoms in children with ASDs.
Many patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease experience difficulties maintaining daytime alertness. Controversy exists regarding whether this reflects effects of anti-Parkinsonian medications, the disease itself or other factors such as nocturnal sleep disturbances. In this study we examined the phenomenon by evaluating medicated and unmedicated Parkinson’s patients with objective polysomnographic measurements of nocturnal sleep and daytime alertness.
Patients (n = 63) underwent a 48-hour laboratory-based study incorporating 2 consecutive nights of overnight polysomnography and 2 days of Maintenance of Wakefulness Testing. We examined correlates of individual differences in alertness, including demographics, clinical features, nocturnal sleep variables and class and dosage of anti-Parkinson’s medications.
Results indicated that: 1) relative to unmediated patients, all classes of dopaminergic medications were associated with reduced daytime alertness and this effect was not mediated by disease duration or disease severity; 2) increasing dosages of dopamine agonists were associated with less daytime alertness, whereas higher levels of levodopa were associated with higher levels of alertness. Variables unrelated to Maintenance of Wakefulness Test defined daytime alertness included age, sex, years with diagnosis, motor impairment score and most nocturnal sleep variables.
Deficits in objectively assessed daytime alertness in Parkinson’s disease appear to be a function of both the disease and the medications and their doses utilized. The apparent divergent dose-dependent effects of drug class in Parkinson’s disease are anticipated by basic science studies of the sleep/wake cycle under different pharmacological agents.
Parkinson’s Disease; Daytime Alertness; Sleep; Maintenance of Wakefulness Test; Dopaminergic Treatment
Prenatal allergen exposure has been linked to both induction and protection of allergic sensitization in offspring. We hypothesized that prenatal exposure of mice (F0) to Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) would be associated with decreased immunoglobulin (Ig) E and airway eosinophilia and alterations in CpG methylation of T-helper genes in third-generation mice (F2).
Female BALB/c mice were sensitized to A. fumigatus (62.5, 125, 1250 μg, or saline) and re-exposed to the same dose on days 7 and 14 (early) or days 12 and 17 (late) gestation. Grandoffspring were treated with A. fumigatus (62.5 μg) at 9 weeks. IgE, IgG1, and IgG2a levels and cell counts from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were determined. Lung DNA was pyrosequenced at multiple sites in the interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-4 promoters.
Grandoffspring of mothers dosed with 1250 μg early during pregnancy developed increased airway eosinophilia (P < 0.05). Grandoffspring of mothers dosed late in pregnancy developed lower IgE (P < 0.05) and airway eosinophilia (P < 0.05). Grandoffspring of mothers dosed early had lower methylation at IL-4 CpG−408 and CpG−393 compared to late dosed mice (P < 0.005 across all doses). Few correlations were found between methylation levels and airway eosinophilia and IgE.
Prenatal exposure to A. fumigatus late during pregnancy, but not early, was associated with lower IgE and airway eosinophilia in grandoffspring. Prenatal exposure to A. fumigatus was associated with changes in CpG methylation in the IFN-γ and IL-4 promoters that did not correlate consistently with indicators of allergic sensitization.
allergy; Aspergillus fumigatus; DNA methylation; prenatal exposure
Dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by repetitive twisting muscle contractions and postures1,2. Its molecular pathophysiology is poorly understood, in part due to limited knowledge of the genetic basis of the disorder. Only three genes for primary torsion dystonia (PTD), TOR1A (DYT1)3, THAP1 (DYT6)4, and CIZ15 have been identified. Using exome sequencing in two PTD families we identified a novel causative gene, GNAL, with a nonsense p.S293X mutation resulting in premature stop codon in one family and a missense p.V137M mutation in the other. Screening of GNAL in 39 PTD families, revealed six additional novel mutations in this gene. Impaired function of several of the mutations was shown by bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) assays.
Essential tremor (ET) is a widespread late-life neurological disease. Genetic and environmental factors are likely to play important etiological roles. Harmane (1-methyl-9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole) is a potent tremor-producing neurotoxin. Previously, elevated blood harmane concentrations were demonstrated in ET cases compared to controls, but these observations were all been cross-sectional, assessing each subject at only one time point. Thus, no one has ever repeat-assayed blood harmane in the same subjects twice. Whether the observed case-control difference persists at a second time point, years later, is unknown. The current goal was to re-assess a sample of our ET cases and controls to determine whether blood harmane concentration remained elevated in ET at a second time point. Blood harmane concentrations were quantified by a well-established high performance liquid chromatography method in 63 ET cases and 70 controls. A mean of approximately 6 years elapsed between the initial and this subsequent blood harmane determination. The mean log blood harmane concentration was significantly higher in cases than controls (0.30 ± 0.61 g−10/ml vs. 0.08 ± 0.55 g−10/ml), and the median value in cases was double that of controls: 0.22 g−10/ml vs. 0.11 g−10/ml. The log blood harmane concentration was highest in cases with a family history of ET. Blood harmane concentration was elevated in ET cases compared to controls when re-assessed at a second time point several years later, indicating what seems to be a stable association between this environmental toxin and ET.
essential tremor; epidemiology; β-carboline alkaloid; harmane; toxin; environmental risk factors
HGF/c-Met signaling plays a pivotal role in hepatocyte survival and tissue remodeling during liver regeneration. HGF treatment accelerates resolution of fibrosis in experimental animal models. Here, we utilized Metfl/fl;Alb-Cre+/− conditional knockout mice and a carbon tetrachloride(CCl4)-induced liver fibrosis model to formally address the role of c-Met signaling in hepatocytes in the context of chronic tissue injury. Histological changes during injury (4 weeks) and healing phase (4 weeks) were monitored by immunohistochemistry; expression levels of selected key fibrotic molecules were evaluated by western blotting, and time-dependent global transcriptomic changes were examined using a microarray platform. Loss of hepatocyte c-Met signaling altered hepatic microenvironment and aggravated hepatic fibrogenesis. Greater liver damage was associated with decreased hepatocyte proliferation, excessive stellate cell activation and rapid dystrophic calcification of necrotic areas. Global transcriptome analysis revealed a broad impact of c-Met on critical signaling pathways associated with fibrosis. Loss of hepatocyte c-Met caused a strong deregulation of chemotactic and inflammatory signaling (MCP-1, RANTES, Cxcl10) in addition to modulation of genes involved in reorganization of the cytoskeletal network (Actb, Tuba1a, Tuba8), intercellular communications and adhesion (Adam8, Icam1, Itgb2), control of cell proliferation (Ccng2, Csnk2a, Cdc6, cdk10), DNA damage and stress response (Rad9, Rad52, Ercc4, Gsta1 and 2, Jun). Our study demonstrates that deletion of c-Met receptor in hepatocytes results in pronounced changes in hepatic metabolism and microenvironment, and establishes an essential role for c-Met in maintaining the structural integrity and adaptive plasticity of the liver under adverse conditions.
c-met; fibrosis; microarray; CCl4
To assess the cognitive phenotype of glucocerebrosidase (GBA) mutation carriers with early-onset Parkinson disease (PD).
We administered a neuropsychological battery and the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) to participants in the CORE-PD study who were tested for mutations in PARKIN, LRRK2, and GBA. Participants included 33 GBA mutation carriers and 60 noncarriers of any genetic mutation. Primary analyses were performed on 26 GBA heterozygous mutation carriers without additional mutations and 39 age- and PD duration–matched noncarriers. Five cognitive domains, psychomotor speed, attention, memory, visuospatial function, and executive function, were created from transformed z scores of individual neuropsychological tests. Clinical diagnoses (normal, mild cognitive impairment [MCI], dementia) were assigned blind to genotype based on neuropsychological performance and functional impairment as assessed by the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) score. The association between GBA mutation status and neuropsychological performance, CDR, and clinical diagnoses was assessed.
Demographics, UPSIT, and Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale–III performance did not differ between GBA carriers and noncarriers. GBA mutation carriers performed more poorly than noncarriers on the Mini-Mental State Examination (p = 0.035), and on the memory (p = 0.017) and visuospatial (p = 0.028) domains. The most prominent differences were observed in nonverbal memory performance (p < 0.001). Carriers were more likely to receive scores of 0.5 or higher on the CDR (p < 0.001), and a clinical diagnosis of either MCI or dementia (p = 0.004).
GBA mutation status may be an independent risk factor for cognitive impairment in patients with PD.
Disproportionate anterocollis is a debilitating condition which occurs in the later stages of parkinsonian syndromes and for which there is no effective therapy. Multiple hypotheses have been proposed to explain its underlying etiology, including myopathy of the cervical extensors, and dystonia of the cervical flexors.
We examined the records of 39 patients (8 prospectively) with anterocollis and parkinsonian syndromes to explore demographics, historical and clinical data, findings from electromyography and response to therapies. We classified our patients based on whether or not they were weak on neck extension and also based on primary diagnosis (PD vs atypical parkinsonian syndrome). Demographic, clinical, historical and EMG features are reported for each group.
There were no significant demographic differences between clinical subtypes, or primary diagnosis. Electromyographic (EMG) findings demonstrated myopathic changes in both groups, although they were more prominent in the group which was weak in extension. Historical features were similar between groups except for dopamine agonist use, which was more common in the myopathic subgroup (p = 0.02). There were no other significant clinical differences between clinical subtypes or primary diagnosis with the exception that patients with atypical parkinsonian syndromes had more advanced motor symptoms.
We conclude that anterocollis is a heterogeneous condition in which at least two distinct subtypes exist. Recognizing these subtypes may help guide therapy and future research.
Anterocollis; Head drop syndrome; Parkinson’s disease; Dystonia; Myopathy
The aims of this project were to determine the risk factors for and clinical characteristics of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Parkinson’s disease (PD). We performed a retrospective record review of 72 non-demented PD patients (age: 57.79 ± 10.57, duration of PD: 7.32 ± 4.97) who completed a standardized neurological assessment, including a full neuropsychological battery, as part of their diagnostic work-up. Of these participants, 47.2% were cognitively normal and 52.8% met criteria for MCI. The majority of MCI patients had single domain MCI (23/38), the affected domains being memory (n = 9), executive function (n = 6), visuospatial skills (n = 6), and language (n = 2). The MCI group had longer duration of disease and higher postural instability and gait disorder subscale scores than the cognitively normal group. This report provides further support for use of the concept of MCI in PD research. There may be certain disease characteristics that could alert practitioners to the emergence of cognitive changes in patients. Future studies should focus on additional risk factors for MCI subtypes and their possible progression to frank dementia.
Parkinson’s disease; Mild cognitive impairment; Dementia; Motor dysfunction; Cognition
HGF/c-Met supports a pleiotrophic signal transduction pathway that controls stem cell homeostasis. Here, we directly addressed the role of c-Met in stem cell-mediated liver regeneration by utilizing mice harboring c-met floxed alleles and Alb-Cre or Mx1-Cre transgenes. To activate oval cells, the hepatic stem cell (HSC) progeny, we used a model of liver injury induced by diet containing the porphyrinogenic agent, 3, 5-diethocarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine (DDC). Deletion of c-met in oval cells was confirmed in both models by PCR analysis of FACS- sorted EpCam-positive cells. Loss of c-Met receptor decreased sphere-forming capacity of oval cells in vitro as well as reduced oval cell pool, impaired migration and decreased hepatocytic differentiation in vivo as demonstrated by double immunofluorescence using oval- (A6 and EpCam) and hepatocyte-specific (HNF-4α) antibodies. Furthermore, lack of c-Met had a profound effect on tissue remodeling and overall composition of HSC niche which was associated with greatly reduced MMP9 activity and decreased expression of SDF1. Using a combination of double immunofluorescence of cell type-specific markers with MMP9 and gelatin zymography on the isolated cell populations, we identified macrophages as a major source of MMP9 in DDC-treated livers. The Mx1-Cre-driven c-met deletion caused the greatest phenotypic impact on HSCs response as compared to the selective inactivation in the epithelial cell lineages achieved in c-Metfl/fl; Alb-Cre+/- mice. However, in both models, genetic loss of c-met triggered a similar cascade of events leading to failure of HSCs mobilization and death of the mice. Conclusion: These results establish a direct contribution of c-Met in regulation of HSC response, and support a unique role for HGF/c-Met as an essential growth factor signaling pathway for regeneration of diseased liver.
Oval cell; DDC model; MMP9; hepatic stem cell niche; Kupffer cell
To identify risk factors for pregnancy outcomes in couples treated with intracervical or intrauterine insemination, with or without superovulation for unexplained or male-factor infertility. The treatment continued for four cycles unless pregnancy was achieved.
Secondary analysis of data from a randomized superovulation and intrauterine insemination trial.
Academic medical centers.
Out of 932 couples randomized to four treatment groups, 664 couples who had completed the lifestyle questionnaires were assessed for occurrence of pregnancy and live birth.
Main outcome measure(s)
pregnancy and live birth.
The pregnancy and live birth rates were significantly higher in couples in which the female partners reported that they had consumed coffee or tea in the past or drank alcoholic beverages in the past (past users) when compared to those who had never consumed coffee or tea (4.0, 1.6–10.2 for pregnancy; 3.1, 1.2–8.1 for live birth) or alcoholic beverages (1.9, 1.1–3.3 for pregnancy; 2.1, 1.2–3.7 for live birth) (data are adjusted odds ratio and 95% confidence interval). Past users also had significantly higher pregnancy and live birth rates than those who were currently consuming coffee or tea or alcoholic beverages. Demographic, occupational exposures and other lifestyle factors were not significant.
Couples in which the female partners drank coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages in the past had higher pregnancy and live birth rates when compared to never or current users. When discontinuing these habits, they might have made other lifestyle changes to improve the pregnancy outcome.
Infertility; lifestyle; pregnancy; live birth; insemination; superovulation
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Cholangiocarcinoma is a heterogeneous disease with a poor outcome that accounts for 5%–10% of primary liver cancers. We characterized its genomic and genetic features and associated these with patient responses to therapy.
We profiled the transcriptomes from 104 surgically resected cholangiocarcinoma samples collected from patients in Australia, Europe, and the United States; epithelial and stromal compartments from 23 tumors were laser capture microdissected. We analyzed mutations in KRAS, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and BRAF in samples from 69 tumors. Changes in gene expression were validated by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry; integrative genomics combined data from the patients with data from 7 human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines, which were then exposed to trastuzumab and lapatinib.
Patients were classified into 2 subclasses, based on 5-year survival rate (72% vs 30%; χ2 = 11.61; P < .0007), time to recurrence (13.7 vs 22.7 months; P < .001), and the absence or presence of KRAS mutations (24.6%), respectively. Class comparison identified 4 survival subgroups (SGI–IV; χ2 = 8.34; P < .03); SGIII was characterized by genes associated with proteasomal activity and the worst prognosis. The tumor epithelium was defined by deregulation of the HER2 network and frequent overexpression of EGFR, the hepatocyte growth factor receptor (MET), pRPS6, and Ki67, whereas stroma was enriched in inflammatory cytokines. Lapatinib, an inhibitor of HER2 and EGFR, was more effective in inhibiting growth of cholangiocarcinoma cell lines than trastuzumab.
We provide insight into the pathogenesis of cholangiocarcinoma and identify previously unrecognized subclasses of patients, based on KRAS mutations and increased levels of EGFR and HER2 signaling, who might benefit from dual-target tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The group of patients with the worst prognosis was characterized by transcriptional enrichment of genes that regulate proteasome activity, indicating new therapeutic targets.
Genetic Analysis; Gene Expression; CCA; Hepatic
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a class of brominated flame retardants commonly used in a wide range of products. Prenatal exposure to PBDEs has been associated with adverse neurodevelopment. Our objective was to characterize predictors of exposure to PBDEs among a multi-ethnic, low-income cohort of pregnant women enrolled from highly urban communities in New York City between years 2009–2010.
During the first half of pregnancy we collected 316 maternal serum samples and administered an extensive questionnaire including items on demographics, diet and lifestyle. We measured 12 PBDE congeners in blood samples. Using bivariate and multivariate approaches, we regressed the most commonly detected PBDE congeners (PBDE-47, -99, -100 and -153) against potential demographic, dietary and lifestyle predictor variables.
At least one PBDE congener was detected in each serum sample. Our analyses demonstrate unique predictor patterns for PBDE-47, -99, -100 and -153 based on demographic, lifestyle and dietary characteristics of women. Higher education and increased use of household electronics were associated with higher levels of all 4 congeners. Six characteristics were associated with PBDE-153 serum concentrations, more than for any other congener. These include maternal education, household income, body mass index, solid dairy consumption, processed meat consumption and frequent use of household electronics.
PBDE exposure in this widespread in this cohort, though levels are lower than previous assessments of US pregnant women. Lower levels may be in response to legislation restricting the production, sale and use of these compounds. In our cohort, we did not observe any individual predictor or a consistent pattern of several predictors representing a significant source of PBDE exposure. These data suggest that legislation and policy may be more effective at reducing exposure than personal lifestyle modifications.
PBDEs; Human exposure; Diet; Lifestyle; Pregnancy
Genome-wide association (GWAS) methods have identified genes contributing to Parkinson disease (PD); we sought to identify additional genes associated with PD susceptibility.
A two stage design was used. First, individual level genotypic data from five recent PD GWAS (Discovery Sample: 4,238 PD cases and 4,239 controls) were combined. Following imputation, a logistic regression model was employed in each dataset to test for association with PD susceptibility and results from each dataset were meta-analyzed. Second, 768 SNPs were genotyped in an independent Replication Sample (3,738 cases and 2,111 controls).
Genome-wide significance was reached for SNPs in SNCA (rs356165, G: odds ratio (OR)=1.37; p=9.3 × 10−21), MAPT (rs242559, C: OR=0.78; p=1.5 × 10−10), GAK/DGKQ (rs11248051, T:OR=1.35; p=8.2 × 10−9/ rs11248060, T: OR=1.35; p=2.0×10−9), and the HLA region (rs3129882, A: OR=0.83; p=1.2 × 10−8), which were previously reported. The Replication Sample confirmed the associations with SNCA, MAPT, and the HLA region and also with GBA (E326K OR=1.71; p=5 × 10−8 Combined Sample) (N370 OR=3.08; p=7 × 10−5 Replication sample). A novel PD susceptibility locus, RIT2, on chromosome 18 (rs12456492; p=5 × 10−5 Discovery Sample; p=1.52 × 10−7 Replication sample; p=2 × 10−10 Combined Sample) was replicated. Conditional analyses within each of the replicated regions identified distinct SNP associations within GBA and SNCA, suggesting that there may be multiple risk alleles within these genes.
We identified a novel PD susceptibility locus, RIT2, replicated several previously identified loci, and identified more than one risk allele within SNCA and GBA.
Freezing of gait (FOG) is a debilitating feature of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other forms of parkinsonism. The anatomical or pathophysiological correlates are poorly understood largely due to the lack of a well-established animal model. Here we studied whether FOG is reproduced in the non-human primate (NHP) model of PD. 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-treated monkeys (Genus Macaca, n=29) were examined for the development of FOG, and the leg movements were recorded with accelerometry. The relationships between developing FOG and the animals’ characteristics, the MPTP treatments, and the modeled outcomes were determined. In parkinsonian monkeys FOG developed frequently (48%) manifesting similar characteristics to those seen in PD patients. In addition, FOG episodes in the monkey were accompanied by leg trembling with the typical duration (2–10 s) and frequency (~7 Hz). The development of NHP FOG was significantly associated with the severity of parkinsonism, as shown by high motor disability scores (≥20) and levodopa-induced dyskinesia scores (p=0.01 and p=0.04, respectively). Differences in demographics and MPTP treatments (doses, treatment duration, etc.) had no influence on NHP FOG occurrence, with the exception of gender that showed FOG predominance in males (p=0.03). The unique features of FOG in PD can be replicated in severely parkinsonian macaques, and this represents the first description of a FOG animal model.
Freezing of gait; MPTP; Animal model; Non-human primate; Dopamine
The cardiovascular manifestations of Chagas disease are well known. However, the contribution of the vasculature and specifically the microvasculature has received little attention. This chapter reviews the evidence supporting the notion that alterations in the microvasculature especially in the heart contribute to the pathogenesis of chagasic cardiomyopathy. These data may also be important in understanding the contributions of the microvasculature in the aetiologies of other cardiomyopathies. The role of endothelin-1 and of thromboxane A2 vascular spasm and platelet aggregation is also discussed. Further, these observations may provide target(s) for intervention.