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1.  Clinical Report of a 17q12 Microdeletion with Additionally Unreported Clinical Features 
Case Reports in Genetics  2014;2014:264947.
Copy number variations involving the 17q12 region have been associated with developmental and speech delay, autism, aggression, self-injury, biting and hitting, oppositional defiance, inappropriate language, and auditory hallucinations. We present a tall-appearing 17-year-old boy with marfanoid habitus, hypermobile joints, mild scoliosis, pectus deformity, widely spaced nipples, pes cavus, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and psychiatric manifestations including physical and verbal aggression, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and oppositional defiance. An echocardiogram showed borderline increased aortic root size. An abdominal ultrasound revealed a small pancreas, mild splenomegaly with a 1.3 cm accessory splenule, and normal kidneys and liver. A testing panel for Marfan, aneurysm, and related disorders was negative. Subsequently, a 400 K array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) + SNP analysis was performed which identified a de novo suspected pathogenic deletion on chromosome 17q12 encompassing 28 genes. Despite the limited number of cases described in the literature with 17q12 rearrangements, our proband's phenotypic features both overlap and expand on previously reported cases. Since syndrome-specific DNA sequencing studies failed to provide an explanation for this patient's unusual habitus, we postulate that this case represents an expansion of the 17q12 microdeletion phenotype. Further analysis of the deleted interval is recommended for new genotype-phenotype correlations.
PMCID: PMC4060289  PMID: 24991439
2.  Use of and Occupational Exposure to Indium in the United States 
Indium use has increased greatly in the past decade in parallel with the growth of flat-panel displays, touchscreens, optoelectronic devices, and photovoltaic cells. Much of this growth has been in the use of indium tin oxide (ITO). This increased use has resulted in more frequent and intense exposure of workers to indium. Starting with case reports and followed by epidemiological studies, exposure to ITO has been linked to serious and sometimes fatal lung disease in workers. Much of this research was conducted in facilities that process sintered ITO, including manufacture, grinding, and indium reclamation from waste material. Little has been known about indium exposure to workers in downstream applications. In 2009–2011, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) contacted 89 potential indium-using companies; 65 (73%) responded, and 43 of the 65 responders used an indium material. Our objective was to identify current workplace applications of indium materials, tasks with potential indium exposure, and exposure controls being used. Air sampling for indium was either conducted by NIOSH or companies provided their data for a total of 63 air samples (41 personal, 22 area) across 10 companies. Indium exposure exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) of 0.1 mg/m3 for certain methods of resurfacing ITO sputter targets, cleaning sputter chamber interiors, and in manufacturing some inorganic indium compounds. Indium air concentrations were low in sputter target bonding with indium solder, backside thinning and polishing of fabricated indium phosphide-based semiconductor devices, metal alloy production, and in making indium-based solder pastes. Exposure controls such as containment, local exhaust ventilation (LEV), and tool-mounted LEV can be effective at reducing exposure. In conclusion, occupational hygienists should be aware that the manufacture and use of indium materials can result in indium air concentrations that exceed the NIOSH REL. Given recent findings of adverse health effects in workers, research is needed to determine if the current REL sufficiently protects workers against indium-related diseases.
PMCID: PMC4476525  PMID: 24195539
thin films; photovoltaics; semiconductor; indium tin oxide; copper indium gallium diselenide; indium phosphide
3.  Chromosomal Microarray Analysis of Consecutive Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Learning Disability Presenting for Genetic Services 
Gene  2013;535(1):70-78.
Chromosomal microarray analysis is now commonly used in clinical practice to identify copy number variants (CNVs) in the human genome. We report our experience with the use of the 105K and 180K oligonucleotide microarrays in 215 consecutive patients referred with either autism or autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or developmental delay/learning disability for genetic services at the University of Kansas Medical Center during the past 4 years (2009–2012). Of the 215 patients [140 males and 75 females (male/female ratio = 1.87); 65 with ASD and 150 with learning disability], abnormal microarray results were seen in 45 individuals (21%) with a total of 49 CNVs. Of these findings, 32 represented a known diagnostic CNV contributing to the clinical presentation and 17 represented non-diagnostic CNVs (variants of unknown significance). Thirteen patients with ASD had a total of 14 CNVs, 6 CNVs recognized as diagnostic and 8 as non-diagnostic. The most common chromosome involved in the ASD group was chromosome 15. For those with a learning disability, 32 patients had a total of 35 CNVs. Twenty-six of the 35 CNVs were classified as a known diagnostic CNV, usually a deletion (n = 20). Nine CNVs were classified as an unknown non-diagnostic CNV, usually a duplication (n = 8). For the learning disability subgroup, chromosomes 2 and 22 were most involved. Thirteen out of 65 patients (20%) with ASD had a CNV compared with 32 out of 150 patients (21%) with a learning disability. The frequency of chromosomal microarray abnormalities compared by subject group or gender was not statistically different. A higher percentage of individuals with a learning disability had clinical findings of seizures, dysmorphic features and microcephaly, but not statistically significant. While both groups contained more males than females, a significantly higher percentage of males were present in the ASD group.
PMCID: PMC4423794  PMID: 24188901
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD); Developmental delay; Learning disability; Chromosomal microarray analysis; Copy number variant (CNV)
4.  20q13.2-q13.33 deletion syndrome: A case report 
Journal of pediatric genetics  2014;2(3):157-161.
We report a 32-month-old female of Peruvian ethnicity identified with a rare 20q13.2-q13.33 deletion using microarray analysis. She presented with intellectual disability, absent speech, hypotonia, pre- and post-natal growth retardation and an abnormal face with a unilateral cleft lip. Clinical features and genetic findings with the loss of 30 genes, including GNAS, MC3R, CDH4 and TFAP2C, are described in relationship to the very few cases of 20q13 deletion reported in the literature. Deletion of this region may play an important role in neurodevelopment and function and in causing specific craniofacial features.
PMCID: PMC4203459  PMID: 25339993
Microarray analysis; 20q13 deletion; intellectual disability; atypical development; dysmorphic features; cleft lip
5.  Clinical Presentation and Microarray Analysis of Peruvian Children with Atypical Development and/or Aberrant Behavior 
We report our experience with high resolution microarray analysis in infants and young children with developmental disability and/or aberrant behavior enrolled at the Centro Ann Sullivan del Peru in Lima, Peru, a low income country. Buccal cells were collected with cotton swabs from 233 participants for later DNA isolation and identification of copy number variation (deletions/duplications) and regions of homozygosity (ROH) for estimating consanguinity status in 15 infants and young children (12 males, 3 females; mean age ± SD = 28.1 m ±  7.9 m; age range 14 m–41 m) randomly selected for microarray analysis. An adequate DNA yield was found in about one-half of the enrolled participants. Ten participants showed deletions or duplications containing candidate genes reported to impact behavior or cognitive development. Five children had ROHs which could have harbored recessive gene alleles contributing to their clinical presentation. The coefficient of inbreeding was calculated and three participants showed first-second cousin relationships, indicating consanguinity. Our preliminary study showed that DNA isolated from buccal cells using cotton swabs was suboptimal, but yet in a subset of participants the yield was adequate for high resolution microarray analysis and several genes were found that impact development and behavior and ROHs identified to determine consanguinity status.
PMCID: PMC4221906  PMID: 25400949
6.  Assessment and Treatment in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Focus on Genetics and Psychiatry 
Autism Research and Treatment  2012;2012:242537.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are neurobehavioral disorders characterized by abnormalities in three behavioral domains including social interaction, impaired communication, and repetitive stereotypic behaviors. ASD affects approximately 1% of children and is on the rise with significant genetic mechanisms underlying these disorders. We review the current understanding of the role of genetic and metabolic factors contributing to ASD with the use of new genetic technology. Fifty percent is diagnosed with chromosomal abnormalities, small DNA deletions/duplications, single-gene conditions, or metabolic disturbances. Genetic evaluation is discussed along with psychiatric treatment and approaches for selection of medication to treat associated challenging behaviors or comorbidities seen in ASD. We emphasize the importance of prioritizing treatment based on target symptom clusters and in what order for individuals with ASD, as the treatment may vary from patient to patient.
PMCID: PMC3420490  PMID: 22934170
7.  Cellular and Molecular Bases of the Initiation of Fever 
PLoS Biology  2006;4(9):e284.
All phases of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced fever are mediated by prostaglandin (PG) E2. It is known that the second febrile phase (which starts at ~1.5 h post-LPS) and subsequent phases are mediated by PGE2 that originated in endotheliocytes and perivascular cells of the brain. However, the location and phenotypes of the cells that produce PGE2 triggering the first febrile phase (which starts at ~0.5 h) remain unknown. By studying PGE2 synthesis at the enzymatic level, we found that it was activated in the lung and liver, but not in the brain, at the onset of the first phase of LPS fever in rats. This activation involved phosphorylation of cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) and transcriptional up-regulation of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2. The number of cells displaying COX-2 immunoreactivity surged in the lung and liver (but not in the brain) at the onset of fever, and the majority of these cells were identified as macrophages. When PGE2 synthesis in the periphery was activated, the concentration of PGE2 increased both in the venous blood (which collects PGE2 from tissues) and arterial blood (which delivers PGE2 to the brain). Most importantly, neutralization of circulating PGE2 with an anti-PGE2 antibody both delayed and attenuated LPS fever. It is concluded that fever is initiated by circulating PGE2 synthesized by macrophages of the LPS-processing organs (lung and liver) via phosphorylation of cPLA2 and transcriptional up-regulation of COX-2. Whether PGE2 produced at the level of the blood–brain barrier also contributes to the development of the first phase remains to be clarified.
The authors show that peripherally-produced COX2 plays an important role in the earliest stages of fever.
PMCID: PMC1551923  PMID: 16933973

Results 1-7 (7)