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1.  Early Intervention to Improve Hand Function in Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy 
Children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy often have marked hand involvement with excessive thumb adduction and flexion and limited active wrist extension from infancy. Post-lesional aberrant plasticity can lead to progressive abnormalities of the developing motor system. Disturbances of somatosensory and visual function and developmental disregard contribute to difficulties with hand use. Progressive soft tissue and bony changes may occur, leading to contractures, which further limit function in a vicious cycle. Early intervention might help to break this cycle, however, the precise nature and appropriateness of the intervention must be carefully considered. Traditional approaches to the hemiplegic upper limb include medications and botulinum toxin injections to manage abnormalities of tone, and surgical interventions. Therapist input, including provision of orthoses, remains a mainstay although many therapies have not been well evaluated. There has been a recent increase in interventions for the hemiplegic upper limb, mostly aimed outside the period of infancy. These include trials of constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) and bimanual therapy as well as the use of virtual reality and robot-assisted therapy. In future, non-invasive brain stimulation may be combined with therapy. Interventions under investigation in the infant age group include modified CIMT and action observation therapy. A further approach which may be suited to the infant with thumb-in-palm deformity, but which requires evaluation, is the use of elastic taping. Enhanced cutaneous feedback through mechanical stimulation to the skin provided by the tape during movement has been postulated to modulate ongoing muscle activity. If effective, this would represent a low-cost, safe, widely applicable early intervention.
PMCID: PMC4285072  PMID: 25610423
cerebral palsy; early intervention; upper limb; elastic taping; thumb-in-palm deformity; hemiplegia; therapy; orthoses
3.  Overcoming the barriers to umbilical cord blood transplantation 
Cytotherapy  2010;12(2):121-130.
Umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplantation (UCBT) has seen a marked increase in utilization in recent years, especially in the pediatric population; however, graft failure, delayed engraftment and profound delay in immune reconstitution leads to significant morbidity and mortality in adults. The lack of cells available for post-transplant therapies, such as donor lymphocyte infusions, has also been considered a disadvantage. To overcome the cell–dose barrier, the combination of two UCB units is becoming commonplace in adolescent and adult populations, and is currently being studied in pediatrics as well. In some studies, the use of two UCB units appears to have a positive impact on outcomes; however, engraftment is still suboptimal. A possible additional way to improve outcome and extend applicability of UCBT is via ex vivo expansion. Studies to develop optimal expansion conditions are still in the exploratory phase; however, recent studies suggest expanded UCB is safe and can improve outcomes. The ability to transplant across HLA disparities, rapid procurement time and decreased graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) seen with UCBT makes it a promising stem cell source and, while barriers exist, consistent progress is being made to overcome them.
PMCID: PMC4219635  PMID: 20196692
adolescent; adult; double-unit cord blood transplant; ex vivo expansion; hematopoietic stem cells; umbilical cord blood
4.  A high throughput microelectroporation device to introduce a chimeric antigen receptor to redirect the specificity of human T cells 
Biomedical microdevices  2010;12(5):855-863.
It has been demonstrated that a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) can directly recognize the CD19 molecule expressed on the cell surface of B-cell malignancies independent of major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Although T-cell therapy of tumors using CD19-specific CAR is promising, this approach relies on using expression vectors that stably integrate the CAR into T-cell chromosomes. To circumvent the potential genotoxicity that may occur from expressing integrating transgenes, we have expressed the CD19-specific CAR transgene from mRNA using a high throughput microelectroporation device. This research was accomplished using a microelectroporator to achieve efficient and high throughput non-viral gene transfer of in vitro transcribed CAR mRNA into human T cells that had been numerically expanded ex vivo. Electro-transfer of mRNA avoids the potential genotoxicity associated with vector and transgene integration and the high throughput capacity overcomes the expected transient CAR expression, as repeated rounds of electroporation can replace T cells that have lost transgene expression. We fabricated and tested a high throughput microelectroporator that can electroporate a stream of 2×108 primary T cells within 10 min. After electroporation, up to 80% of the passaged T cells expressed the CD19-specific CAR. Video time-lapse microscopy (VTLM) demonstrated the redirected effector function of the genetically manipulated T cells to specifically lyse CD19+ tumor cells. Our biomedical micro-device, in which T cells are transiently and safely modified to be tumor-specific and then can be re-infused, offers a method for redirecting T-cell specificity, that has implications for the development of adoptive immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4109048  PMID: 20574820
Electroporation; Cancer; High throughput; mRNA; Chimeric antigen receptor; T cells
5.  Induced and pre-existing anti-polyethylene glycol antibody in a trial of every 3-week dosing of pegloticase for refractory gout, including in organ transplant recipients 
Pegloticase, a PEGylated recombinant porcine uricase, is approved for treating refractory gout at a dose of 8 mg intravenous (IV) every 2 weeks. However, during phase 1 testing, pharmacokinetics supported less frequent dosing. Also, single doses of pegloticase unexpectedly induced antibodies (Ab) that bound to polyethylene glycol (PEG). We have conducted a phase 2 trial to evaluate every 3-week dosing, and to further define the Ab response to pegloticase. Organ transplant recipients were included, as they are prone to severe gout that is difficult to manage, and because treatment to prevent graft rejection might influence the immune response to pegloticase.
Plasma uricase activity (pUox), urate concentration (pUA), and clinical response were monitored during up to 5 infusions in 30 patients, including 7 organ transplant recipients. Depending on whether pUA <6 mg/dL was achieved and maintained, patients were classified as non (NR), persistent (PR), or transient (TR) responders. Ab to pegloticase and 10 kDa mPEG were monitored by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and specificity was further defined.
We observed 17 PR, 12 TR, and 1 NR; 21 patients (16 PR, 5 TR) received all 5 infusions. Over the 15-week trial, pUA in PR averaged 1.0 ± 0.4 mg/dL; T½ for pUox was approximately 13 days, and area under the curve after dose 5 was approximately 30% higher than after dose 1. PR showed clinical benefit and in some, tophi resolved. In 11 of 12 TR, pUox fell rapidly and hyperuricemia recurred before dose 2. In all TR and NR, loss of response to pegloticase was accompanied by Ab to PEG, which was pre-existing in half of those who had no prior exposure to pegloticase. No PR, and 1 one out of 7 organ transplant recipients, had a sustained Ab response to pegloticase.
Every 3-week dosing is effective and may enhance the utility of pegloticase for treating refractory gout. Ab to PEG, which were pre-existing or induced by treatment, caused rapid loss of efficacy and increased the risk of infusion reactions. Organ transplant recipients can benefit from pegloticase, and may be less prone than non-recipients to developing anti-PEG Ab. Investigation of immunosuppressive strategies to minimize anti-PEG Ab is warranted.
Trial registration identifier: NCT00111657
PMCID: PMC4060462  PMID: 24602182
6.  CARs: Driving T-cell specificity to enhance anti-tumor immunity 
Adoptive transfer of antigen-specific T cells is a compelling tool to treat cancer. To overcome issues of immune tolerance which limits the endogenous adaptive immune response to tumor-associated antigens, robust systems for the genetic modification and characterization of T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to redirect specificity have been produced. Refinements with regards to persistence and trafficking of the genetically modified T cells are underway to help improve the potency of genetically modified T cells. Clinical trials utilizing this technology demonstrate feasibility, and increasingly, antitumor activity, paving the way for multi-center trials to establish the efficacy of this novel T-cell therapy.
PMCID: PMC3889487  PMID: 22202074
7.  Counseling Customers: Emerging Roles for Genetic Counselors in the Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Market 
Journal of Genetic Counseling  2012;22(2):277-288.
Individuals now have access to an increasing number of internet resources offering personal genomics services. As the direct-to-consumer genetic testing (DTC GT) industry expands, critics have called for pre- and post-test genetic counseling to be included with the product. Several genetic testing companies offer genetic counseling. There has been no examination to date of this service provision, whether it meets critics’ concerns and implications it may have for the genetic counseling profession. Considering the increasing relevance of genetics in healthcare, the complexity of genetic information provided by DTC GT, the mediating role of the internet in counseling, and potential conflicts of interest, this is a topic which deserves further attention. In this paper we offer a discourse analysis of ways in which genetic counseling is represented on DTC GT websites, blogs and other online material. This analysis identified four types of genetic counseling represented on the websites: the integrated counseling product; discretionary counseling; independent counseling; and product advice. Genetic counselors are represented as having the following roles: genetics educator; mediator; lifestyle advisor; risk interpreter; and entrepreneur. We conclude that genetic counseling as represented on DTC GT websites demonstrates shifting professional roles and forms of expertise in genetic counseling. Genetic counselors are also playing an important part in how the genetic testing market is taking shape. Our analysis offers important and timely insights into recent developments in the genetic counseling profession, which have relevance for practitioners, researchers and policy makers concerned with the evolving field of personal genomics.
PMCID: PMC3597267  PMID: 23093333
Genetic counseling; Internet; Direct-to-consumer genetic testing; Discourse analysis
9.  Book Reviews 
Medical History  2011;55(4):573-574.
PMCID: PMC3199650
10.  Use of a laboratory information system driven tool for pre-signout quality assurance of random cytopathology reports 
Quality assurance (QA) programs in cytopathology laboratories in the USA currently primarily involve the review of Pap tests per clinical laboratory improvement amendments of 1988 federal regulations. A pre-signout quality assurance tool (PQAT) at our institution allows the laboratory information system (LIS) to also automatically and randomly select an adjustable percentage of non-gynecological cytopathology cases for review before release of the final report. The aim of this study was to review our experience and the effectiveness of this novel PQAT tool in cytology.
Materials and Methods:
Software modifications in the existing LIS application (CoPathPlus, Cerner) allow for the random QA of 8% of cases prior to signout. Selected cases are assigned to a second QA cytopathologist for review and all agreement and disagreements tracked. Detected errors are rectified before the case is signed out. Data from cases selected for PQAT over an 18-month period were collected and analyzed.
The total number of non-gynecological cases selected for QA review was 1339 (7.45%) out of 17,967 cases signed out during this time period. Most (1304) cases (97.4%) had an agreement in diagnosis. In 2.6% of cases, there were disagreements, including 34 minor and only 1 major disagreement. Average turnaround time of cases selected for review was not significantly altered.
The PQAT provides a prospective QA mechanism in non-gynecological cytopathology to prevent diagnostic errors from occurring. This LIS-driven tool allows for peer review and corrective action to be taken prior to reporting without delaying turnaround time, thereby improving patient safety.
PMCID: PMC3169920  PMID: 21969923
Cytopathology; error; laboratory information system; patient safety; quality assurance
11.  Autologous Umbilical Cord Blood Transfusion in Very Young Children With Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(11):2041-2046.
Interest continues to grow regarding the therapeutic potential for umbilical cord blood therapies to modulate autoimmune disease. We conducted an open-label phase I study using autologous umbilical cord blood infusion to ameliorate type 1 diabetes.
Fifteen patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and for whom autologous umbilical cord blood was stored underwent a single intravenous infusion of autologous cells and completed 1 year of postinfusion follow-up. Intensive insulin regimens were used to optimize glycemic control. Metabolic and immunologic assessments were performed before infusion and at established time periods thereafter.
Median (interquartile range [IQR]) age at infusion was 5.25 (3.1–7.3) years, with a median postdiagnosis time to infusion of 17.7 (10.9–26.5) weeks. No infusion-related adverse events were observed. Metabolic indexes 1 year postinfusion were peak C-peptide median 0.50 ng/ml (IQR 0.26–1.30), P = 0.002; A1C 7.0% (IQR 6.5–7.7), P = 0.97; and insulin dose 0.67 units · kg−1 · day−1 (IQR 0.55–0.77), P = 0.009. One year postinfusion, no changes were observed in autoantibody titers, regulatory T-cell numbers, CD4-to-CD8 ratio, or other T-cell phenotypes.
Autologous umbilical cord blood transfusion in children with type 1 diabetes is safe but has yet to demonstrate efficacy in preserving C-peptide. Larger randomized studies as well as 2-year postinfusion follow-up of this cohort are needed to determine whether autologous cord blood–based approaches can be used to slow the decline of endogenous insulin production in children with type 1 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2768209  PMID: 19875605
12.  Book Review 
Medical History  2010;54(2):v-265.
PMCID: PMC2844274
13.  Inflammatory choroidal neovascular membrane in posterior uveitis—pathogenesis and treatment 
Choroidal neovascular membrane (CNVM) formation is a well-documented sight-threatening complication of posterior segment intraocular inflammation (PSII). The aim of this article is to review the basic and clinical science literature on the pathogenesis of CNVM formation in PSII and to present results of a case series. We searched the literature using the mesh terms- inflammation, CNVM, age-related macular degeneration, immunosuppression, photodynamic therapy, steroids, vascular endothelial growth factors and posterior uveitis. Additionally, we evaluated the visual outcome of and clinical response to our standard treatment protocol involving a combination treatment for young patients with inflammatory CNVM. The development of CNVM in PSII is promulgated by infiltrating myeloid cells as well as choroidal and retinal myeloid cell activation, subsequent vascular endothelial growth factors, cytokine and chemokine production and complement activation acting in consort to mediate angiogenic responses. No clear standard of care currently exists for the treatment of inflammatory CNVM and various combinations have been tried. Using our combination treatment, visual acuity improved in four, stabilized in one and worsened in four patients. Though significant advances have occurred in the understanding of the pathogenesis and management of this condition, optimizing therapeutic regimens will require further well-constructed prospective cohort series.
PMCID: PMC2841372  PMID: 20029141
Choroidal neovascular membrane; immunosuppression; photodynamic therapy; posterior segment intraocular inflammation; posterior uveitis
14.  The DNA sequence of the human X chromosome 
Ross, Mark T. | Grafham, Darren V. | Coffey, Alison J. | Scherer, Steven | McLay, Kirsten | Muzny, Donna | Platzer, Matthias | Howell, Gareth R. | Burrows, Christine | Bird, Christine P. | Frankish, Adam | Lovell, Frances L. | Howe, Kevin L. | Ashurst, Jennifer L. | Fulton, Robert S. | Sudbrak, Ralf | Wen, Gaiping | Jones, Matthew C. | Hurles, Matthew E. | Andrews, T. Daniel | Scott, Carol E. | Searle, Stephen | Ramser, Juliane | Whittaker, Adam | Deadman, Rebecca | Carter, Nigel P. | Hunt, Sarah E. | Chen, Rui | Cree, Andrew | Gunaratne, Preethi | Havlak, Paul | Hodgson, Anne | Metzker, Michael L. | Richards, Stephen | Scott, Graham | Steffen, David | Sodergren, Erica | Wheeler, David A. | Worley, Kim C. | Ainscough, Rachael | Ambrose, Kerrie D. | Ansari-Lari, M. Ali | Aradhya, Swaroop | Ashwell, Robert I. S. | Babbage, Anne K. | Bagguley, Claire L. | Ballabio, Andrea | Banerjee, Ruby | Barker, Gary E. | Barlow, Karen F. | Barrett, Ian P. | Bates, Karen N. | Beare, David M. | Beasley, Helen | Beasley, Oliver | Beck, Alfred | Bethel, Graeme | Blechschmidt, Karin | Brady, Nicola | Bray-Allen, Sarah | Bridgeman, Anne M. | Brown, Andrew J. | Brown, Mary J. | Bonnin, David | Bruford, Elspeth A. | Buhay, Christian | Burch, Paula | Burford, Deborah | Burgess, Joanne | Burrill, Wayne | Burton, John | Bye, Jackie M. | Carder, Carol | Carrel, Laura | Chako, Joseph | Chapman, Joanne C. | Chavez, Dean | Chen, Ellson | Chen, Guan | Chen, Yuan | Chen, Zhijian | Chinault, Craig | Ciccodicola, Alfredo | Clark, Sue Y. | Clarke, Graham | Clee, Chris M. | Clegg, Sheila | Clerc-Blankenburg, Kerstin | Clifford, Karen | Cobley, Vicky | Cole, Charlotte G. | Conquer, Jen S. | Corby, Nicole | Connor, Richard E. | David, Robert | Davies, Joy | Davis, Clay | Davis, John | Delgado, Oliver | DeShazo, Denise | Dhami, Pawandeep | Ding, Yan | Dinh, Huyen | Dodsworth, Steve | Draper, Heather | Dugan-Rocha, Shannon | Dunham, Andrew | Dunn, Matthew | Durbin, K. James | Dutta, Ireena | Eades, Tamsin | Ellwood, Matthew | Emery-Cohen, Alexandra | Errington, Helen | Evans, Kathryn L. | Faulkner, Louisa | Francis, Fiona | Frankland, John | Fraser, Audrey E. | Galgoczy, Petra | Gilbert, James | Gill, Rachel | Glöckner, Gernot | Gregory, Simon G. | Gribble, Susan | Griffiths, Coline | Grocock, Russell | Gu, Yanghong | Gwilliam, Rhian | Hamilton, Cerissa | Hart, Elizabeth A. | Hawes, Alicia | Heath, Paul D. | Heitmann, Katja | Hennig, Steffen | Hernandez, Judith | Hinzmann, Bernd | Ho, Sarah | Hoffs, Michael | Howden, Phillip J. | Huckle, Elizabeth J. | Hume, Jennifer | Hunt, Paul J. | Hunt, Adrienne R. | Isherwood, Judith | Jacob, Leni | Johnson, David | Jones, Sally | de Jong, Pieter J. | Joseph, Shirin S. | Keenan, Stephen | Kelly, Susan | Kershaw, Joanne K. | Khan, Ziad | Kioschis, Petra | Klages, Sven | Knights, Andrew J. | Kosiura, Anna | Kovar-Smith, Christie | Laird, Gavin K. | Langford, Cordelia | Lawlor, Stephanie | Leversha, Margaret | Lewis, Lora | Liu, Wen | Lloyd, Christine | Lloyd, David M. | Loulseged, Hermela | Loveland, Jane E. | Lovell, Jamieson D. | Lozado, Ryan | Lu, Jing | Lyne, Rachael | Ma, Jie | Maheshwari, Manjula | Matthews, Lucy H. | McDowall, Jennifer | McLaren, Stuart | McMurray, Amanda | Meidl, Patrick | Meitinger, Thomas | Milne, Sarah | Miner, George | Mistry, Shailesh L. | Morgan, Margaret | Morris, Sidney | Müller, Ines | Mullikin, James C. | Nguyen, Ngoc | Nordsiek, Gabriele | Nyakatura, Gerald | O’Dell, Christopher N. | Okwuonu, Geoffery | Palmer, Sophie | Pandian, Richard | Parker, David | Parrish, Julia | Pasternak, Shiran | Patel, Dina | Pearce, Alex V. | Pearson, Danita M. | Pelan, Sarah E. | Perez, Lesette | Porter, Keith M. | Ramsey, Yvonne | Reichwald, Kathrin | Rhodes, Susan | Ridler, Kerry A. | Schlessinger, David | Schueler, Mary G. | Sehra, Harminder K. | Shaw-Smith, Charles | Shen, Hua | Sheridan, Elizabeth M. | Shownkeen, Ratna | Skuce, Carl D. | Smith, Michelle L. | Sotheran, Elizabeth C. | Steingruber, Helen E. | Steward, Charles A. | Storey, Roy | Swann, R. Mark | Swarbreck, David | Tabor, Paul E. | Taudien, Stefan | Taylor, Tineace | Teague, Brian | Thomas, Karen | Thorpe, Andrea | Timms, Kirsten | Tracey, Alan | Trevanion, Steve | Tromans, Anthony C. | d’Urso, Michele | Verduzco, Daniel | Villasana, Donna | Waldron, Lenee | Wall, Melanie | Wang, Qiaoyan | Warren, James | Warry, Georgina L. | Wei, Xuehong | West, Anthony | Whitehead, Siobhan L. | Whiteley, Mathew N. | Wilkinson, Jane E. | Willey, David L. | Williams, Gabrielle | Williams, Leanne | Williamson, Angela | Williamson, Helen | Wilming, Laurens | Woodmansey, Rebecca L. | Wray, Paul W. | Yen, Jennifer | Zhang, Jingkun | Zhou, Jianling | Zoghbi, Huda | Zorilla, Sara | Buck, David | Reinhardt, Richard | Poustka, Annemarie | Rosenthal, André | Lehrach, Hans | Meindl, Alfons | Minx, Patrick J. | Hillier, LaDeana W. | Willard, Huntington F. | Wilson, Richard K. | Waterston, Robert H. | Rice, Catherine M. | Vaudin, Mark | Coulson, Alan | Nelson, David L. | Weinstock, George | Sulston, John E. | Durbin, Richard | Hubbard, Tim | Gibbs, Richard A. | Beck, Stephan | Rogers, Jane | Bentley, David R.
Nature  2005;434(7031):325-337.
The human X chromosome has a unique biology that was shaped by its evolution as the sex chromosome shared by males and females. We have determined 99.3% of the euchromatic sequence of the X chromosome. Our analysis illustrates the autosomal origin of the mammalian sex chromosomes, the stepwise process that led to the progressive loss of recombination between X and Y, and the extent of subsequent degradation of the Y chromosome. LINE1 repeat elements cover one-third of the X chromosome, with a distribution that is consistent with their proposed role as way stations in the process of X-chromosome inactivation. We found 1,098 genes in the sequence, of which 99 encode proteins expressed in testis and in various tumour types. A disproportionately high number of mendelian diseases are documented for the X chromosome. Of this number, 168 have been explained by mutations in 113 X-linked genes, which in many cases were characterized with the aid of the DNA sequence.
PMCID: PMC2665286  PMID: 15772651
15.  Control of hyperuricemia in subjects with refractory gout, and induction of antibody against poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), in a phase I trial of subcutaneous PEGylated urate oxidase 
PEG-modified recombinant mammalian urate oxidase (PEG-uricase) is being developed as a treatment for patients with chronic gout who are intolerant of, or refractory to, available therapy for controlling hyperuricemia. In an open-label phase I trial, single subcutaneous injections of PEG-uricase (4 to 24 mg) were administered to 13 such subjects (11 had tophaceous gout), whose plasma uric acid concentration (pUAc) was 11.3 ± 2.1 mg/dl (mean ± SD). By day seven after injection of PEG-uricase, pUAc had declined by an average of 7.9 mg/dl and had normalized in 11 subjects, whose mean pUAc decreased to 2.8 ± 2.2 mg/dl. At doses of 8, 12, and 24 mg, the mean pUAc at 21 days after injection remained no more than 6 mg/dl. In eight subjects, plasma uricase activity was still measurable at 21 days after injection (half-life 10.5 to 19.9 days). In the other five subjects, plasma uricase activity could not be detected beyond ten days after injection; this was associated with the appearance of relatively low-titer IgM and IgG antibodies against PEG-uricase. Unexpectedly, these antibodies were directed against PEG itself rather than the uricase protein. Three PEG antibody-positive subjects had injection-site reactions at 8 to 9 days after injection. Gout flares in six subjects were the only other significant adverse reactions, and PEG-uricase was otherwise well tolerated. A prolonged circulating life and the ability to normalize plasma uric acid in markedly hyperuricemic subjects suggest that PEG-uricase could be effective in depleting expanded tissue stores of uric acid in subjects with chronic or tophaceous gout. The development of anti-PEG antibodies, which may limit efficacy in some patients, is contrary to the general assumption that PEG is non-immunogenic. PEG immunogenicity deserves further investigation, because it has potential implications for other PEGylated therapeutic agents in clinical use.
PMCID: PMC1526556  PMID: 16356199
16.  The Binding Site of Human Adenosine Deaminase for Cd26/Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2000;192(9):1223-1236.
Human, but not murine, adenosine deaminase (ADA) forms a complex with the cell membrane protein CD26/dipeptidyl peptidase IV. CD26-bound ADA has been postulated to regulate extracellular adenosine levels and to modulate the costimulatory function of CD26 on T lymphocytes. Absence of ADA–CD26 binding has been implicated in causing severe combined immunodeficiency due to ADA deficiency. Using human–mouse ADA hybrids and ADA point mutants, we have localized the amino acids critical for CD26 binding to the helical segment 126–143. Arg142 in human ADA and Gln142 in mouse ADA largely determine the capacity to bind CD26. Recombinant human ADA bearing the R142Q mutation had normal catalytic activity per molecule, but markedly impaired binding to a CD26+ ADA-deficient human T cell line. Reduced CD26 binding was also found with ADA from red cells and T cells of a healthy individual whose only expressed ADA has the R142Q mutation. Conversely, ADA with the E217K active site mutation, the only ADA expressed by a severely immunodeficient patient, showed normal CD26 binding. These findings argue that ADA binding to CD26 is not essential for immune function in humans.
PMCID: PMC2193361  PMID: 11067872
adenosine deaminase deficiency; severe combined immunodeficiency; T lymphocyte; protein–protein interaction; adenosine deaminase complexing protein
17.  Mitochondrial Basis for Immune Deficiency 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2000;191(12):2197-2208.
We generated purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP)-deficient mice to gain insight into the mechanism of immune deficiency disease associated with PNP deficiency in humans. Similar to the human disease, PNP deficiency in mice causes an immunodeficiency that affects T lymphocytes more severely than B lymphocytes. PNP knockout mice exhibit impaired thymocyte differentiation, reduced mitogenic and allogeneic responses, and decreased numbers of maturing thymocytes and peripheral T cells. T lymphocytes of PNP-deficient mice exhibit increased apoptosis in vivo and higher sensitivity to gamma irradiation in vitro. We propose that the immune deficiency in PNP deficiency is a result of inhibition of mitochondrial DNA repair due to the accumulation of dGTP in the mitochondria. The end result is increased sensitivity of T cells to spontaneous mitochondrial DNA damage, leading to T cell depletion by apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC2193200  PMID: 10859343
immune deficiency; apoptosis; mitochondria; purine metabolism; T lymphocyte
18.  Autobiologies on YouTube: Narratives of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing 
New Genetics and Society  2014;33(1):60-78.
Despite a growing personal genomics market, little is known about how people engage with the possibilities offered by direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing. In order to help address this gap, this study deploys narrative analysis of YouTube videos posted by individuals who have purchased DTC genetic testing for disease. Genetic testing is said to be contributing to new states of illness, where individuals may become “patients-in-waiting.” In the videos analyzed, we found a new form of storytelling about this ambiguous state of illness, which we refer to as autobiology. Autobiology – the study of, and story about, one's own biology – concerns narratives of sense-making through forms of biological practice, as well as wayfaring narratives which interweave genetic markers and family histories of disease. These autobiologies – part of a broader shift toward public stories about genetics and other healthcare technologies – exhibit playfulness, as well as being bound with consumerist practices.
PMCID: PMC3996527  PMID: 24772003
direct-to-consumer; genetic testing; narrative analysis; new media
19.  The association of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with socioeconomic disadvantage: alternative explanations and evidence 
Studies throughout Northern Europe, the United States and Australia have found an association between childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and family socioeconomic disadvantage. We report further evidence for the association and review potential causal pathways that might explain the link.
Secondary analysis of a UK birth cohort (the Millennium Cohort Study, N = 19,519) was used to model the association of ADHD with socioeconomic disadvantage and assess evidence for several potential explanatory pathways. The case definition of ADHD was a parent-report of whether ADHD had been identified by a medical doctor or health professional when children were 7 years old.
ADHD was associated with a range of indicators of social and economic disadvantage including poverty, housing tenure, maternal education, income, lone parenthood and younger motherhood. There was no evidence to suggest childhood ADHD was a causal factor of socioeconomic disadvantage: income did not decrease for parents of children with ADHD compared to controls over the 7-year study period. No clinical bias towards labelling ADHD in low SES groups was detected. There was evidence to suggest that parent attachment/family conflict mediated the relationship between ADHD and SES.
Although genetic and neurological determinants may be the primary predictors of difficulties with activity level and attention, aetiology appears to be influenced by socioeconomic situation.
PMCID: PMC4263245  PMID: 24274762
ADHD; child development; longitudinal studies; social class; sociocultural influence
20.  Effectiveness of continuous glucose monitoring in pregnant women with diabetes: randomised clinical trial 
Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of continuous glucose monitoring during pregnancy on maternal glycaemic control, infant birth weight, and risk of macrosomia in women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Design Prospective, open label randomised controlled trial.
Setting Two secondary care multidisciplinary obstetric clinics for diabetes in the United Kingdom.
Participants 71 women with type 1 diabetes (n=46) or type 2 diabetes (n=25) allocated to antenatal care plus continuous glucose monitoring (n=38) or to standard antenatal care (n=33).
Intervention Continuous glucose monitoring was used as an educational tool to inform shared decision making and future therapeutic changes at intervals of 4-6 weeks during pregnancy. All other aspects of antenatal care were equal between the groups.
Main outcome measures The primary outcome was maternal glycaemic control during the second and third trimesters from measurements of HbA1c levels every four weeks. Secondary outcomes were birth weight and risk of macrosomia using birthweight standard deviation scores and customised birthweight centiles. Statistical analyses were done on an intention to treat basis.
Results Women randomised to continuous glucose monitoring had lower mean HbA1c levels from 32 to 36 weeks’ gestation compared with women randomised to standard antenatal care: 5.8% (SD 0.6) v 6.4% (SD 0.7). Compared with infants of mothers in the control arm those of mothers in the intervention arm had decreased mean birthweight standard deviation scores (0.9 v 1.6; effect size 0.7 SD, 95% confidence interval 0.0 to 1.3), decreased median customised birthweight centiles (69% v 93%), and a reduced risk of macrosomia (odds ratio 0.36, 95% confidence interval 0.13 to 0.98).
Conclusion Continuous glucose monitoring during pregnancy is associated with improved glycaemic control in the third trimester, lower birth weight, and reduced risk of macrosomia.
Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN84461581.
PMCID: PMC2563261  PMID: 18818254

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