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1.  Clonal Hematopoiesis and Blood-Cancer Risk Inferred from Blood DNA Sequence 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(26):2477-2487.
BACKGROUND
Cancers arise from multiple acquired mutations, which presumably occur over many years. Early stages in cancer development might be present years before cancers become clinically apparent.
METHODS
We analyzed data from whole-exome sequencing of DNA in peripheral-blood cells from 12,380 persons, unselected for cancer or hematologic phenotypes. We identified somatic mutations on the basis of unusual allelic fractions. We used data from Swedish national patient registers to follow health outcomes for 2 to 7 years after DNA sampling.
RESULTS
Clonal hematopoiesis with somatic mutations was observed in 10% of persons older than 65 years of age but in only 1% of those younger than 50 years of age. Detectable clonal expansions most frequently involved somatic mutations in three genes (DNMT3A, ASXL1, and TET2) that have previously been implicated in hematologic cancers. Clonal hematopoiesis was a strong risk factor for subsequent hematologic cancer (hazard ratio, 12.9; 95% confidence interval, 5.8 to 28.7). Approximately 42% of hematologic cancers in this cohort arose in persons who had clonality at the time of DNA sampling, more than 6 months before a first diagnosis of cancer. Analysis of bone marrow–biopsy specimens obtained from two patients at the time of diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia revealed that their cancers arose from the earlier clones.
CONCLUSIONS
Clonal hematopoiesis with somatic mutations is readily detected by means of DNA sequencing, is increasingly common as people age, and is associated with increased risks of hematologic cancer and death. A subset of the genes that are mutated in patients with myeloid cancers is frequently mutated in apparently healthy persons; these mutations may represent characteristic early events in the development of hematologic cancers. (Funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1409405
PMCID: PMC4290021  PMID: 25426838
2.  Evaluation of Exome Sequencing to Estimate Tumor Burden in Plasma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104417.
Accurate estimation of systemic tumor load from the blood of cancer patients has enormous potential. One avenue is to measure the presence of cell-free circulating tumor DNA in plasma. Various approaches have been investigated, predominantly covering hotspot mutations or customized, patient-specific assays. Therefore, we investigated the utility of using exome sequencing to monitor circulating tumor DNA levels through the detection of single nucleotide variants in plasma. Two technologies, claiming to offer efficient library preparation from nanogram levels of DNA, were evaluated. This allowed us to estimate the proportion of starting molecules measurable by sequence capture (<5%). As cell-free DNA is highly fragmented, we designed and provide software for efficient identification of PCR duplicates in single-end libraries with a varying size distribution. On average, this improved sequence coverage by 38% in comparison to standard tools. By exploiting the redundant information in PCR-duplicates the background noise was reduced to ∼1/35000. By applying our optimized analysis pipeline to a simulation analysis, we determined the current sensitivity limit to ∼1/2400, starting with 30 ng of cell-free DNA. Subsequently, circulating tumor DNA levels were assessed in seven breast- and one prostate cancer patient. One patient carried detectable levels of circulating tumor DNA, as verified by break-point specific PCR. These results demonstrate exome sequencing on cell-free DNA to be a powerful tool for disease monitoring of metastatic cancers. To enable a broad implementation in the diagnostic settings, the efficiency limitations of sequence capture and the inherent noise levels of the Illumina sequencing technology must be further improved.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104417
PMCID: PMC4136786  PMID: 25133800
3.  Sequencing of breast cancer stem cell populations indicates a dynamic conversion between differentiation states in vivo 
Introduction
The cancer stem cell model implies a hierarchical organization within breast tumors maintained by cancer stem-like cells (CSCs). Accordingly, CSCs are a subpopulation of cancer cells with capacity for self-renewal, differentiation and tumor initiation. These cells can be isolated through the phenotypic markers CD44+/CD24-, expression of ALDH1 and an ability to form nonadherent, multicellular spheres in vitro. However, controversies to describe the stem cell model exist; it is unclear whether the tumorigenicity of CSCs in vivo is solely a proxy for a certain genotype. Moreover, in vivo evidence is lacking to fully define the reversibility of CSC differentiation.
Methods
In order to answer these questions, we undertook exome sequencing of CSCs from 12 breast cancer patients, along with paired primary tumor samples. As suggested by stem classical cell biology, we assumed that the number of mutations in the CSC subpopulation should be lower and distinct compared to the differentiated tumor cells with higher proliferation.
Results
Our analysis revealed that the majority of somatic mutations are shared between CSCs and bulk primary tumor, with similar frequencies in the two.
Conclusions
The data presented here exclude the possibility that CSCs are only a phenotypic consequence of certain somatic mutations, that is a distinct and non-reversible population of cells. In addition, our results imply that CSCs must be a population of cells that can dynamically switch from differentiated tumor cells, and vice versa. This finding increases our understanding of CSC function in tumor heterogeneity and the importance of identifying drugs to counter de-differentiation rather than targeting CSCs.
doi:10.1186/bcr3687
PMCID: PMC4227057  PMID: 24998755
4.  Genetic markers associated with early cancer-specific mortality following prostatectomy 
Cancer  2013;119(13):10.1002/cncr.27954.
BACKGROUND
To identify novel effectors and markers of localized but potentially life-threatening prostate cancer (PCa), we evaluated chromosomal copy number alterations (CNAs) in tumors from patients who underwent prostatectomy and correlated these with clinicopathologic features and outcome.
METHODS
CNAs in tumor DNAs from 125 prostatectomy patients in the discovery cohort were assayed with high resolution Affymetrix 6.0 SNP microarrays and then analyzed using the Genomic Identification of Significant Targets in Cancer (GISTIC) algorithm.
RESULTS
The assays revealed twenty significant regions of CNAs, four of them novel, and identified the target genes of four of the alterations. By univariate analysis, seven CNAs were significantly associated with early PCa-specific mortality. These included gains of chromosomal regions that contain the genes MYC, ADAR, or TPD52 and losses of sequences that incorporate SERPINB5, USP10, PTEN, or TP53. On multivariate analysis, only the CNAs of PTEN and MYC contributed additional prognostic information independent of that provided by pathologic stage, Gleason score, and initial PSA level. Patients whose tumors had alterations of both genes had a markedly elevated risk of PCa-specific mortality (OR = 53; C.I.= 6.92–405, P = 1 × 10−4). Analyses of 333 tumors from three additional distinct patient cohorts confirmed the relationship between CNAs of PTEN and MYC and lethal PCa.
CONCLUSION
This study identified new CNAs and genes that likely contribute to the pathogenesis of localized PCa and suggests that patients whose tumors have acquired CNAs of PTEN, MYC, or both have an increased risk of early PCa-specific mortality.
doi:10.1002/cncr.27954
PMCID: PMC3863778  PMID: 23609948
prostate cancer death; PTEN; MYC; somatic DNA copy number
5.  Library Preparation and Multiplex Capture for Massive Parallel Sequencing Applications Made Efficient and Easy 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48616.
During the recent years, rapid development of sequencing technologies and a competitive market has enabled researchers to perform massive sequencing projects at a reasonable cost. As the price for the actual sequencing reactions drops, enabling more samples to be sequenced, the relative price for preparing libraries gets larger and the practical laboratory work becomes complex and tedious. We present a cost-effective strategy for simplified library preparation compatible with both whole genome- and targeted sequencing experiments. An optimized enzyme composition and reaction buffer reduces the number of required clean-up steps and allows for usage of bulk enzymes which makes the whole process cheap, efficient and simple. We also present a two-tagging strategy, which allows for multiplex sequencing of targeted regions. To prove our concept, we have prepared libraries for low-pass sequencing from 100 ng DNA, performed 2-, 4- and 8-plex exome capture and a 96-plex capture of a 500 kb region. In all samples we see a high concordance (>99.4%) of SNP calls when comparing to commercially available SNP-chip platforms.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048616
PMCID: PMC3489721  PMID: 23139805
6.  Identification of New Differentially Methylated Genes That Have Potential Functional Consequences in Prostate Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e48455.
Many differentially methylated genes have been identified in prostate cancer (PCa), primarily using candidate gene-based assays. Recently, several global DNA methylation profiles have been reported in PCa, however, each of these has weaknesses in terms of ability to observe global DNA methylation alterations in PCa. We hypothesize that there remains unidentified aberrant DNA methylation in PCa, which may be identified using higher resolution assay methods. We used the newly developed Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip in PCa (n = 19) and adjacent normal tissues (n = 4) and combined these with gene expression data for identifying new DNA methylation that may have functional consequences in PCa development and progression. We also confirmed our methylation results in an independent data set. Two aberrant DNA methylation genes were validated among an additional 56 PCa samples and 55 adjacent normal tissues. A total 28,735 CpG sites showed significant differences in DNA methylation (FDR adjusted P<0.05), defined as a mean methylation difference of at least 20% between PCa and normal samples. Furthermore, a total of 122 genes had more than one differentially methylated CpG site in their promoter region and a gene expression pattern that was inverse to the direction of change in DNA methylation (e.g. decreased expression with increased methylation, and vice-versa). Aberrant DNA methylation of two genes, AOX1 and SPON2, were confirmed via bisulfate sequencing, with most of the respective CpG sites showing significant differences between tumor samples and normal tissues. The AOX1 promoter region showed hypermethylation in 92.6% of 54 tested PCa samples in contrast to only three out of 53 tested normal tissues. This study used a new BeadChip combined with gene expression data in PCa to identify novel differentially methylated CpG sites located within genes. The newly identified differentially methylated genes may be used as biomarkers for PCa diagnosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048455
PMCID: PMC3485209  PMID: 23119026
7.  In Situ Mass Spectrometry Imaging and Ex Vivo Characterization of Renal Crystalline Deposits Induced in Multiple Preclinical Drug Toxicology Studies 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47353.
Drug toxicity observed in animal studies during drug development accounts for the discontinuation of many drug candidates, with the kidney being a major site of tissue damage. Extensive investigations are often required to reveal the mechanisms underlying such toxicological events and in the case of crystalline deposits the chemical composition can be problematic to determine. In the present study, we have used mass spectrometry imaging combined with a set of advanced analytical techniques to characterize such crystalline deposits in situ. Two potential microsomal prostaglandin E synthase 1 inhibitors, with similar chemical structure, were administered to rats over a seven day period. This resulted in kidney damage with marked tubular degeneration/regeneration and crystal deposits within the tissue that was detected by histopathology. Results from direct tissue section analysis by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry imaging were combined with data obtained following manual crystal dissection analyzed by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The chemical composition of the crystal deposits was successfully identified as a common metabolite, bisulphonamide, of the two drug candidates. In addition, an un-targeted analysis revealed molecular changes in the kidney that were specifically associated with the area of the tissue defined as pathologically damaged. In the presented study, we show the usefulness of combining mass spectrometry imaging with an array of powerful analytical tools to solve complex toxicological problems occurring during drug development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047353
PMCID: PMC3479109  PMID: 23110069
9.  Perceived Changes in Communicative Interaction in Atypical Parkinsonism 
ISRN Neurology  2011;2011:256406.
The aim of this study was to examine if atypical parkinsonism affects the communicative ability in conversational interaction. Fifteen persons close to individuals with atypical parkinsonism answered a questionnaire, “Assessment of Change in Communicative Interaction” (ACCI), estimating perceived change in interactive skills compared to before the onset of the disease. The study also examined if perceived change correlated with disease duration. The results showed that at group level, the participants experienced change in many aspects of conversational interaction, particularly regarding the affected person's speech, body communication, response latency, phrase length, word finding, and ability to make themselves understood. There was no correlation between perceived change and disease duration. In conclusion, results indicated that the communicative interaction of individuals with atypical parkinsonism is significantly affected and that information elicited from significant others can help define specific problem areas or foci of concern that need to be targeted in communicative intervention or at least considered in interaction with these persons.
doi:10.5402/2011/256406
PMCID: PMC3263542  PMID: 22389810
10.  Sex-different hepaticglycogen content and glucose output in rats 
BMC Biochemistry  2010;11:38.
Background
Genes involved in hepatic metabolism have a sex-different expression in rodents. To test whether male and female rat livers differ regarding lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, whole-genome transcript profiles were generated and these were complemented by measurements of hepatic lipid and glycogen content, fatty acid (FA) oxidation rates and hepatic glucose output (HGO). The latter was determined in perfusates from in situ perfusion of male and female rat livers. These perfusates were also analysed using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to identify putative sex-differences in other liver-derived metabolites. Effects of insulin were monitored by analysis of Akt-phosphorylation, gene expression and HGO after s.c. insulin injections.
Results
Out of approximately 3 500 gene products being detected in liver, 11% were significantly higher in females, and 11% were higher in males. Many transcripts for the production of triglycerides (TG), cholesterol and VLDL particles were female-predominant, whereas genes for FA oxidation, gluconeogenesis and glycogen synthesis were male-predominant. Sex-differences in mRNA levels related to metabolism were more pronounced during mild starvation (12 h fasting), as compared to the postabsorptive state (4 h fasting). No sex-differences were observed regarding hepatic TG content, FA oxidation rates or blood levels of ketone bodies or glucose. However, males had higher hepatic glycogen content and higher HGO, as well as higher ratios of insulin to glucagon levels. Based on NMR spectroscopy, liver-derived lactate was also higher in males. HGO was inhibited by insulin in parallel with increased phosphorylation of Akt, without any sex-differences in insulin sensitivity. However, the degree of Thr172-phosphorylated AMP kinase (AMPK) was higher in females, indicating a higher degree of AMPK-dependent actions.
Conclusions
Taken together, males had higher ratios of insulin to glucagon levels, higher levels of glycogen, lower degree of AMPK phosphorylation, higher expression of gluconeogenic genes and higher hepatic glucose output. Possibly these sex-differences reflect a higher ability for the healthy male rat liver to respond to increased energy demands.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-11-38
PMCID: PMC2955586  PMID: 20863371
11.  The Gene Expression Profile in the Synovium as a Predictor of the Clinical Response to Infliximab Treatment in Rheumatoid Arthritis 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11310.
Background
Although the use of TNF inhibitors has fundamentally changed the way rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is treated, not all patients respond well. It is desirable to facilitate the identification of responding and non-responding patients prior to treatment, not only to avoid unnecessary treatment but also for financial reasons. In this work we have investigated the transcriptional profile of synovial tissue sampled from RA patients before anti-TNF treatment with the aim to identify biomarkers predictive of response.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Synovial tissue samples were obtained by arthroscopy from 62 RA patients before the initiation of infliximab treatment. RNA was extracted and gene expression profiling was performed using an in-house spotted long oligonucleotide array covering 17972 unique genes. Tissue sections were also analyzed by immunohistochemistry to evaluate cell infiltrates. Response to infliximab treatment was assessed according to the EULAR response criteria. The presence of lymphocyte aggregates dominated the expression profiles and a significant overrepresentation of lymphocyte aggregates in good responding patients confounded the analyses. A statistical model was set up to control for the effect of aggregates, but no differences could be identified between responders and non-responders. Subsequently, the patients were split into lymphocyte aggregate positive- and negative patients. No statistically significant differences could be identified except for 38 transcripts associated with differences between good- and non-responders in aggregate positive patients. A profile was identified in these genes that indicated a higher level of metabolism in good responding patients, which indirectly can be connected to increased inflammation.
Conclusions/Significance
It is pivotal to account for the presence of lymphoid aggregates when studying gene expression patterns in rheumatoid synovial tissue. In spite of our original hypothesis, the data do not support the notion that microarray analysis of whole synovial biopsy specimens can be used in the context of personalized medicine to identify non-responders to anti-TNF therapy before the initiation of treatment.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011310
PMCID: PMC2892481  PMID: 20593016
12.  Signal pathways JNK and NF-κB, identified by global gene expression profiling, are involved in regulation of TNFα-induced mPGES-1 and COX-2 expression in gingival fibroblasts 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:241.
Background
Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is involved in several chronic inflammatory diseases including periodontitis, which causes loss of the gingival tissue and alveolar bone supporting the teeth. We have previously shown that tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) induces PGE2 synthesis in gingival fibroblasts. In this study we aimed to investigate the global gene expression profile of TNFα-stimulated primary human gingival fibroblasts, focusing on signal pathways related to the PGE2-synthesizing enzymes prostaglandin E synthases (PGES), as well as the upstream enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and PGE2 production.
Results
Microarray and western blot analyses showed that the mRNA and protein expression of the inflammatory induced microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) was up-regulated by the cytokine TNFα, accompanied by enhanced expression of COX-2 and increased production of PGE2. In contrast, the expression of the isoenzymes microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-2 (mPGES-2) and cytosolic prostaglandin E synthase (cPGES) was unaffected by TNFα treatment. Using oligonucleotide microarray analysis in a time-course factorial design including time points 1, 3 and 6 h, differentially expressed genes in response to TNFα treatment were identified. Enrichment analysis of microarray data indicated two positively regulated signal transduction pathways: c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB). To evaluate their involvement in the regulation of mPGES-1 and COX-2 expression, we used specific inhibitors as well as phosphorylation analysis. Phosphorylation analysis of JNK (T183/Y185) and NF-κB p65 (S536) showed increased phosphorylation in response to TNFα treatment, which was decreased by specific inhibitors of JNK (SP600125) and NF-κB (Bay 11-7082, Ro 106-9920). Inhibitors of JNK and NF-κB also decreased the TNFα-stimulated up-regulation of mPGES-1 and COX-2 as well as PGE2 production.
Conclusion
In the global gene expression profile, the enrichment analysis of microarray data identified the two signal transduction pathways JNK and NF-κB as positively regulated by the cytokine TNFα. Inhibition of these TNFα-activated signal pathways reduced the expression of mPGES-1 and COX-2 as well as their end product PGE2 in gingival fibroblasts. The involvement of the signal pathways JNK and NF-κB in the regulation of PGE2 induced by TNFα may suggest these two pathways as possible attractive targets in the chronic inflammatory disease periodontitis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-241
PMCID: PMC2873473  PMID: 20398340
13.  Automation of cDNA Synthesis and Labelling Improves Reproducibility 
Background. Several technologies, such as in-depth sequencing and microarrays, enable large-scale interrogation of genomes and transcriptomes. In this study, we asses reproducibility and throughput by moving all laboratory procedures to a robotic workstation, capable of handling superparamagnetic beads. Here, we describe a fully automated procedure for cDNA synthesis and labelling for microarrays, where the purification steps prior to and after labelling are based on precipitation of DNA on carboxylic acid-coated paramagnetic beads. Results. The fully automated procedure allows for samples arrayed on a microtiter plate to be processed in parallel without manual intervention and ensuring high reproducibility. We compare our results to a manual sample preparation procedure and, in addition, use a comprehensive reference dataset to show that the protocol described performs better than similar manual procedures. Conclusions. We demonstrate, in an automated gene expression microarray experiment, a reduced variance between replicates, resulting in an increase in the statistical power to detect differentially expressed genes, thus allowing smaller differences between samples to be identified. This protocol can with minor modifications be used to create cDNA libraries for other applications such as in-depth analysis using next-generation sequencing technologies.
doi:10.1155/2009/396808
PMCID: PMC2763127  PMID: 19841682
14.  Systemic TNF blockade does not modulate synovial expression of the pro-inflammatory mediator HMGB1 in rheumatoid arthritis patients – a prospective clinical study 
Introduction
High-mobility group box chromosomal protein 1 (HMGB1) has recently been identified as an endogenous mediator of arthritis. TNF and IL-1β, pivotal cytokines in arthritis pathogenesis, both have the ability to induce the release of HMGB1 from myeloid and dendritic cells. It was, therefore, decided to investigate whether treatment based on TNF blockade in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects the expression of synovial HMGB1.
Methods
Repeated arthroscopy-guided sampling of synovial tissue was performed in nine patients with RA before and nine weeks after initiation of anti-TNF mAb (infliximab) therapy. Synovial biopsy specimens were analysed for HMGB1 protein by immunohistochemical staining and for HMGB1 mRNA expression by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). Statistical evaluations were based on Wilcoxon's signed rank tests or Spearman rank sum tests.
Results
Aberrant, extranuclear HMGB1 and constitutive nuclear HMGB1 expression, with histological signs of inflammation, were evident in all biopsies obtained before infliximab therapy. Signs of inflammation were still evident in the second biopsies obtained nine weeks after initiation of infliximab therapy. The cytoplasmic and extracellular expression of HMGB1 decreased in five patients, remained unchanged in one patient and increased in three patients, making the overall change in HMGB1 protein expression not significant. No correlation between the clinical response, as measured by disease activity score calculated for 28 joints (DAS28) or the American College of Rheumatology response criteria (ACR 20, 50, and 70), and the direction of change of HMGB1 expression in individual patients could be discerned. In addition, infliximab therapy did not alter HMGB1 mRNA synthesis.
Conclusion
Pro-inflammatory HMGB1 expression during rheumatoid synovitis was not consistently influenced by TNF-blocking therapy with infliximab. This suggests that TNF is not the main inducer of extranuclear HMGB1 during synovitis and that HMGB1 may represent a TNF-independent molecule that could be considered as a possible target for future therapeutic intervention in RA.
doi:10.1186/ar2387
PMCID: PMC2452983  PMID: 18346273
15.  Differential gene expression in femoral bone from red junglefowl and domestic chicken, differing for bone phenotypic traits 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:208.
Background
Osteoporosis is frequently observed among aging hens from egg-producing strains (layers) of domestic chicken. White Leghorn (WL) has been intensively selected for egg production and it manifests striking phenotypic differences for a number of traits including several bone phenotypes in comparison with the wild ancestor of chicken, the red junglefowl (RJ). Previously, we have identified four Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) affecting bone mineral density and bone strength in an intercross between RJ and WL. With the aim of further elucidating the genetic basis of bone traits in chicken, we have now utilized cDNA-microarray technology in order to compare global RNA-expression in femoral bone from adult RJ and WL (five of each sex and population).
Results
When contrasting microarray data for all WL-individuals to that of all RJ-individuals we observed differential expression (False discovery rate adjusted p-values < 0.015) for 604 microarray probes. In corresponding male and female contrasts, differential expression was observed for 410 and 270 probes, respectively. Altogether, the three contrasts between WL and RJ revealed differential expression of 779 unique transcripts, 57 of which are located to previously identified QTL-regions for bone traits. Some differentially expressed genes have previously been attributed roles in bone metabolism and these were: WNT inhibitory factor 1 (WIF1), WD repeat-containing protein 5 (WDR5) and Syndecan 3 (SDC3). Among differentially expressed transcripts, those encoding structural ribosomal proteins were highly enriched and all 15 had lower expression in WL.
Conclusion
We report the identification of 779 differentially expressed transcripts, several residing within QTL-regions for bone traits. Among differentially expressed transcripts, those encoding structural ribosomal proteins were highly enriched and all had lower expression levels in WL. In addition, transcripts encoding four translation initiation and translation elongation factor proteins also had lower expression levels in WL, possibly indicating perturbation of protein biosynthesis pathways between the two populations. Information derived from this study could be relevant to the bone research field and may also aid in further inference of genetic changes accompanying animal domestication.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-208
PMCID: PMC1934367  PMID: 17605776
16.  Transmission of Stress-Induced Learning Impairment and Associated Brain Gene Expression from Parents to Offspring in Chickens 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(4):e364.
Background
Stress influences many aspects of animal behaviour and is a major factor driving populations to adapt to changing living conditions, such as during domestication. Stress can affect offspring through non-genetic mechanisms, but recent research indicates that inherited epigenetic modifications of the genome could possibly also be involved.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Red junglefowl (RJF, ancestors of modern chickens) and domesticated White Leghorn (WL) chickens were raised in a stressful environment (unpredictable light-dark rhythm) and control animals in similar pens, but on a 12/12 h light-dark rhythm. WL in both treatments had poorer spatial learning ability than RJF, and in both populations, stress caused a reduced ability to solve a spatial learning task. Offspring of stressed WL, but not RJF, raised without parental contact, had a reduced spatial learning ability compared to offspring of non-stressed animals in a similar test as that used for their parents. Offspring of stressed WL were also more competitive and grew faster than offspring of non-stressed parents. Using a whole-genome cDNA microarray, we found that in WL, the same changes in hypothalamic gene expression profile caused by stress in the parents were also found in the offspring. In offspring of stressed WL, at least 31 genes were up- or down-regulated in the hypothalamus and pituitary compared to offspring of non-stressed parents.
Conclusions/Significance
Our results suggest that, in WL the gene expression response to stress, as well as some behavioural stress responses, were transmitted across generations. The ability to transmit epigenetic information and behaviour modifications between generations may therefore have been favoured by domestication. The mechanisms involved remain to be investigated; epigenetic modifications could either have been inherited or acquired de novo in the specific egg environment. In both cases, this would offer a novel explanation to rapid evolutionary adaptation of a population.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000364
PMCID: PMC1838921  PMID: 17426812
17.  Effect of infliximab on mRNA expression profiles in synovial tissue of rheumatoid arthritis patients 
We examined the gene expression profiles in arthroscopic biopsies retrieved from 10 rheumatoid arthritis patients before and after anti-TNF treatment with infliximab to investigate whether such profiles can be used to predict responses to the therapy, and to study effects of the therapy on the profiles. Responses to treatment were assessed using European League Against Rheumatism response criteria. Three patients were found to be good responders, five patients to be moderate responders and two patients to be nonresponders. The TNF-α status of the biopsies from each of the patients before treatment was also investigated immunohistochemically, and it was detected in biopsies from four of the patients, including all three of the good responders. The gene expression data demonstrate that all patients had unique gene expression signatures, with low intrapatient variability between biopsies. The data also revealed significant differences between the good responding and nonresponding patients (279 differentially expressed genes were detected, with a false discovery rate < 0.025). Among the identified genes we found that MMP-3 was significantly upregulated in good responders (log2 fold change, 2.95) compared with nonresponders, providing further support for the potential of MMP-3 as a marker for good responses to therapy. An even more extensive list of 685 significantly differentially expressed genes was found between patients in whom TNF-α was found and nonresponders, indicating that TNF-α could be an important biomarker for successful infliximab treatment. Significant differences were also observed between biopsies taken before and after anti-TNF treatment, including 115 differentially expressed genes in the good responding group. Interestingly, the effect was even stronger in the group in which TNF-α was immunohistochemically detected before therapy. Here, 1,058 genes were differentially expressed, including many that were novel in this context (for example, CXCL3 and CXCL14). Subsequent Gene Ontology analysis revealed that several 'themes' were significantly over-represented that are known to be affected by anti-TNF treatment in inflammatory tissue; for example, immune response (GO:0006955), cell communication (GO:0007154), signal transduction (GO:0007165) and chemotaxis (GO:0006935). No genes reached statistical significance in the moderately responding or nonresponding groups. In conclusion, this pilot study suggests that further investigation is warranted on the usefulness of gene expression profiling of synovial tissue to predict and monitor the outcome of rheumatoid arthritis therapies.
doi:10.1186/ar2090
PMCID: PMC1794525  PMID: 17134501
18.  Lamivudine Resistance of Hepatitis B Virus Masked by Coemergence of Mutations in Probe Region of the COBAS AMPLICOR Assay 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2006;44(7):2587-2589.
The COBAS AMPLICOR hepatitis B virus assay targets a conserved region of the genome and is widely used to monitor treatment of hepatitis B in order to identify emerging resistance. However, the assay failed to recognize increasing viremia levels when YMDD mutations were paralleled by mutations in the segment targeted by the COBAS AMPLICOR probe.
doi:10.1128/JCM.00265-06
PMCID: PMC1489515  PMID: 16825388
19.  Variability in synovial inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis investigated by microarray technology 
In recent years microarray technology has been used increasingly to acquire knowledge about the pathogenic processes involved in rheumatoid arthritis. The present study investigated variations in gene expression in synovial tissues within and between patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This was done by applying microarray technology on multiple synovial biopsies obtained from the same knee joints. In this way the relative levels of intra-patient and inter-patient variation could be assessed. The biopsies were obtained from 13 different patients: 7 by orthopedic surgery and 6 by rheumatic arthroscopy. The data show that levels of heterogeneity varied substantially between the biopsies, because the number of genes found to be differentially expressed between pairs of biopsies from the same knee ranged from 6 to 2,133. Both arthroscopic and orthopedic biopsies were examined, allowing us to compare the two sampling methods. We found that the average number of differentially expressed genes between biopsies from the same patient was about three times larger in orthopedic than in arthroscopic biopsies. Using a parallel analysis of the tissues by immunohistochemistry, we also identified orthopedic biopsies that were unsuitable for gene expression analysis of synovial inflammation due to sampling of non-inflamed parts of the tissue. Removing these biopsies reduced the average number of differentially expressed genes between the orthopedic biopsies from 455 to 171, in comparison with 143 for the arthroscopic biopsies. Hierarchical clustering analysis showed that the remaining orthopedic and arthroscopic biopsies had gene expression signatures that were unique for each patient, apparently reflecting patient variation rather than tissue heterogeneity. Subsets of genes found to vary between biopsies were investigated for overrepresentation of biological processes by using gene ontology. This revealed representative 'themes' likely to vary between synovial biopsies affected by inflammatory disease.
doi:10.1186/ar1903
PMCID: PMC1526587  PMID: 16507157
21.  Trigger factors and HL-A antigens in chronic active hepatitis 
British Medical Journal  1975;4(5988):77-79.
Forty-six patients with histologically verified chronic active hepatitis (CAH) were divided into three groups according to whether the CAH was virus-induced, drug-induced, or cryptogenic. The frequency of the HL-A antigens 1 and 8 was increased in the cryptogenic group while the other groups did not differ significantly from healthy controls. Autoantibodies were often found in high titres in the drug-induced and cryptogenic groups but were infrequent in the virus-induced group.
PMCID: PMC1674938  PMID: 1081007

Results 1-21 (21)