Enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2) is the catalytic subunit of Polycomb repressive complex 2 that catalyzes the trimethylation of histone H3 on Lys 27, and represses gene transcription. EZH2 enhances cancer-cell proliferation and regulates stem cell maintenance and differentiation. Here, we demonstrate that EZH2 is highly expressed in medulloblastoma, a highly malignant brain tumor of childhood, and this altered expression is correlated with genomic gain of chromosome 7 in a subset of medulloblastoma. Inhibition of EZH2 by RNAi suppresses medulloblastoma tumor cell growth. We show that 3-deazaneplanocin A, a chemical inhibitor of EZH2, can suppress medulloblastoma cell growth partially by inducing apoptosis. Suppression of EZH2 expression diminishes the ability of tumor cells to form spheres in culture and strongly represses the ability of known oncogenes to transform neural stem cells. These findings establish a role of EZH2 in medulloblastoma and identify EZH2 as a potential therapeutic target especially in high-risk tumors.
EZH2; Medulloblastoma; Polycomb repressive complex 2; histone lysine methylation; DZNEP
Cerebellar mutism syndrome (CMS) is an important medical challenge in the management of pediatric posterior fossa brain tumors, because it occurs in a subset of children following tumor resection. A definitive clinical profile and neuroanatomical substrate associated with CMS remains unclear. We investigated the relationship between presurgical and clinical variables and the incidence of CMS, along with diffusion tensor imaging, to characterize the integrity of cerebello-thalamo-cerebral white matter pathways. Seventeen children with posterior fossa tumors and CMS, 34 children with posterior fossa tumors without CMS, and 28 healthy children were enrolled in this study. Bilateral cerebello-thalamo-cerebral pathways were delineated and segmented into anatomical regions. Mean integrity measures for each region were compared among children with CMS, children without CMS, and healthy children. Left-handedness, medulloblastoma histology, and larger tumor size distinguished between patients with CMS and patients without CMS (P < .04). Right cerebellar white matter within the cerebello-thalamo-cerebral pathway was compromised in children with CMS relative to children without CMS and healthy children (P < .02). We provide a potential schema for CMS risk among children treated for posterior fossa tumors. Left-handed children treated for medulloblastoma may be the most at risk for CMS, and unilateral, localized damage within the cerebello-thalamo-cerebral pathway at the level of the right cerebellum is implicated in the presentation of CMS. This disruption in communication between the right cerebellum and left frontal cortex may contribute to speech-language problems observed in children with CMS. Our findings may be relevant for surgical planning and speech-language therapy to mitigate symptoms of CMS.
cerebellar mutism syndrome; cerebello-thalamo-cerebral pathway; diffusion tensor imaging; posterior fossa syndrome; posterior fossa tumors
Medulloblastomas are malignant brain tumors that arise in the cerebellum in children and disseminate via the cerebrospinal fluid to the leptomeningeal spaces of the brain and spinal cord. Challenged by the poor prognosis for patients with metastatic dissemination, pediatric oncologists have developed aggressive treatment protocols, combining surgery, craniospinal radiation, and high-dose chemotherapy that often cause disabling neurotoxic effects in long-term survivors. Insights into the genetic control of medulloblastoma dissemination have come from transposon insertion mutagenesis studies. Mobilizing the Sleeping Beauty transposon in cerebellar neural progenitor cells caused widespread dissemination of typically nonmetastatic medulloblastomas in Patched+/− mice, in which Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling is hyperactive. Candidate metastasis genes were identified by sequencing the insertion sites and then mapping these sequences back to the mouse genome. To determine whether genes located at transposon insertion sites directly caused medulloblastomas to disseminate, we overexpressed candidate genes in Nestin+ neural progenitors in the cerebella of mice by retroviral transfer in combination with Shh. We show here that ectopic expression of Eras, Lhx1, Ccrk, and Akt shifted the in vivo growth characteristics of Shh-induced medulloblastomas from a localized pattern to a disseminated pattern in which tumor cells seeded the leptomeningeal spaces of the brain and spinal cord.
medulloblastoma; metastasis; leptomeningeal dissemination
Left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC) describes deep trabeculations in the left ventricular (LV) endocardium and a thinned epicardium. LVNC is seen both as a primary cardiomyopathy and as a secondary finding in other syndromes affecting the myocardium such as neuromuscular disorders. The objective of this study is to define the prevalence of LVNC in the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) population and characterize its relationship to global LV function.
Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) was used to assess ventricular morphology and function in 151 subjects: DMD with ejection fraction (EF) > 55% (n = 66), DMD with EF < 55% (n = 30), primary LVNC (n = 15) and normal controls (n = 40). The non-compacted to compacted (NC/C) ratio was measured in each of the 16 standard myocardial segments. LVNC was defined as a diastolic NC/C ratio > 2.3 for any segment.
LVNC criteria were met by 27/96 DMD patients (prevalence of 28%): 11 had an EF > 55% (prevalence of 16.7%), and 16 had an EF < 55% (prevalence of 53.3%). The median maximum NC/C ratio was 1.8 for DMD with EF > 55%, 2.46 for DMD with EF < 55%, 1.54 for the normal subjects, and 3.69 for primary LVNC patients. Longitudinal data for 78 of the DMD boys demonstrated a mean rate of change in NC/C ratio per year of +0.36.
The high prevalence of LVNC in DMD is associated with decreased LV systolic function that develops over time and may represent muscular degeneration versus compensatory remodeling.
Left ventricular noncompaction; Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
The proto-oncogene MYCN is mis-expressed in various types of human brain tumors. To clarify how developmental and regional differences influence transformation, we transduced wild-type or mutationally-stabilized murine N-mycT58A into neural stem cells (NSCs) from perinatal murine cerebellum, brain stem and forebrain. Transplantation of N-mycWT NSCs was insufficient for tumor formation. N-mycT58A cerebellar and brain stem NSCs generated medulloblastoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumors, whereas forebrain NSCs developed diffuse glioma. Expression analyses distinguished tumors generated from these different regions, with tumors from embryonic versus postnatal cerebellar NSCs demonstrating SHH-dependence and SHH-independence, respectively. These differences were regulated in-part by the transcription factor SOX9, activated in the SHH subclass of human medulloblastoma. Our results demonstrate context-dependent transformation of NSCs in response to a common oncogenic signal.
N-MYC; GFAP; SOX9; medulloblastoma; neural stem cells; glioma
Abnormalities in Z-disc proteins cause hypertrophic (HCM), dilated (DCM) and/or restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM), but disease-causing mechanisms are not fully understood. Myopalladin (MYPN) is a Z-disc protein expressed in striated muscle and functions as a structural, signaling and gene expression regulating molecule in response to muscle stress. MYPN was genetically screened in 900 patients with HCM, DCM and RCM, and disease-causing mechanisms were investigated using comparative immunohistochemical analysis of the patient myocardium and neonatal rat cardiomyocytes expressing mutant MYPN. Cardiac-restricted transgenic (Tg) mice were generated and protein–protein interactions were evaluated. Two nonsense and 13 missense MYPN variants were identified in subjects with DCM, HCM and RCM with the average cardiomyopathy prevalence of 1.66%. Functional studies were performed on two variants (Q529X and Y20C) associated with variable clinical phenotypes. Humans carrying the Y20C-MYPN variant developed HCM or DCM, whereas Q529X-MYPN was found in familial RCM. Disturbed myofibrillogenesis with disruption of α-actinin2, desmin and cardiac ankyrin repeat protein (CARP) was evident in rat cardiomyocytes expressing MYPNQ529X. Cardiac-restricted MYPNY20C Tg mice developed HCM and disrupted intercalated discs, with disturbed expression of desmin, desmoplakin, connexin43 and vinculin being evident. Failed nuclear translocation and reduced binding of Y20C-MYPN to CARP were demonstrated using in vitro and in vivo systems. MYPN mutations cause various forms of cardiomyopathy via different protein–protein interactions. Q529X-MYPN causes RCM via disturbed myofibrillogenesis, whereas Y20C-MYPN perturbs MYPN nuclear shuttling and leads to abnormal assembly of terminal Z-disc within the cardiac transitional junction and intercalated disc.
Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant primary pediatric brain tumor. Major research efforts have focused on characterizing and targeting putative brain tumor stem or propagating cell populations from the tumor mass. However, less is known about the relationship between these cells and highly invasive MB cells that evade current therapies. Here, we dissected MB cellular heterogeneity and directly compared invasion and self-renewal. Analysis of higher versus lower self-renewing tumor spheres and stationary versus migrating adherent MB cells revealed differential expression of the cell surface markers CD271 [p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR)] and CD133. Cell sorting demonstrated that CD271 selects for subpopulations with a higher capacity for self-renewal, whereas CD133 selects for cells exhibiting increased invasion in vitro. CD271 expression is higher in human fetal cerebellum and primary samples of the Shh MB molecular variant and lower in the more aggressive, invasive group 3 and 4 subgroups. Global gene expression analysis of higher versus lower self-renewing MB tumor spheres revealed down-regulation of a cell movement transcription program in the higher self-renewing state and a novel potential role for axon guidance signaling in MB-propagating cells. We have identified a cell surface signature based on CD133/CD271 expression that selects for MB cells with a higher self-renewal potential or invasive capacity in vitro. Our study underscores a previously unappreciated role for CD271 in selecting for MB cell phenotypes and suggests that successful treatment of pediatric brain tumors requires concomitant targeting of a spectrum of transitioning self-renewing and highly infiltrative cell subpopulations.
A significant number of medulloblastomas (MBs) originate from abnormal activation of the sonic hedgehog/patched (SHH/PTC) signaling pathway. Although p53 deficiency enhances tumor formation in mice, inactivation of the p53 gene is seen in a minority of MBs. Wild-type p53-induced phosphatase 1 (WIP1) downregulates p53 expression and has been shown to be overexpressed in MBs.
We tested the hypothesis that overexpression of WIP1 enhances tumor formation in an SHH-dependent model of MB.
We used the RCAS/Ntv-a system to study the effect of WIP1 in vitro and in vivo. We transfected A375-TVA cells with RCAS-WIP1 and then exposed these cells to cisplatin to determine the effect on p53 expression. We modeled ectopic WIP1 expression independently and in combination with SHH in the cerebella of newborn mice to assess the effect on tumor formation. Mice were observed for 12 weeks or until neurological symptoms developed. The brains were examined for tumor formation.
A375-TVA cells infected with RCAS-WIP1 demonstrated reduced p53 expression after exposure to cisplatin compared with controls. We detected tumors in 12 of 35 mice (34%) injected with RCAS-WIP1 and RCAS-SHH. Tumors were detected in 3 of 40 mice (8%) injected with RCAS-SHH alone. The difference in tumor formation rates was significant (×2 test, P = < .01). Tumors did not form in mice injected with RCAS-WIP1 alone.
We show that ectopic expression of WIP1 cooperates with SHH to enhance formation of MB, although it is insufficient to induce tumors independently. Our results verify the role of WIP1 in MB formation and provide a crucial link to the inactivation of p53 in MBs.
Brain tumor; Medulloblastoma; Mouse model; p53; Sonic hedgehog; WIP1
Radiation therapy remains the standard of care for many cancers, including the malignant pediatric brain tumor medulloblastoma. Radiation leads to long-term side effects, while radio-resistance contributes to tumor recurrence. Radio-resistant medulloblastoma cells occupy the peri-vascular niche. They express Yes-associated protein (YAP), a Sonic hedgehog (Shh) target markedly elevated in Shh-driven medulloblastomas. Here we report that YAP accelerates tumor growth and confers radio-resistance, promoting ongoing proliferation after radiation. YAP activity enables cells to enter mitosis with un-repaired DNA through driving IGF2 expression and Akt activation, resulting in ATM/Chk2 inactivation and abrogation of cell cycle checkpoints. Our results establish a central role for YAP in counteracting radiation-based therapies and driving genomic instability, and indicate the YAP/IGF2/Akt axis as a therapeutic target in medulloblastoma.
Concerns have been raised regarding environmental manganese exposure since high exposures have been associated with neurological disorders. The USA Environmental Protection Agency most recent human health risk assessment of inhaled manganese conducted in 1993 identified specific areas of uncertainty regarding manganese pharmacokinetics. This led to the development of a test rule under the USA Clean Air Act that required the generation of pharmacokinetic information on the inorganic manganese combustion products of the organometallic fuel additive methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT). The Alternative Tier 2 testing program for MMT, described in this paper, has yielded substantial pharmacokinetic data and has enabled the generation of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models for manganese. These models are capable of predicting tissue manganese concentrations across a variety of dose routes, levels, and durations while accounting for factors such as age, gender, and reproductive status, enabling the consideration of tissue dosimetry in future risk assessments.
Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. Patients whose tumors exhibit overexpression or amplification of the MYC oncogene (c-MYC) usually have an extremely poor prognosis, but there are no animal models of this subtype of the disease. Here we show that cerebellar stem cells expressing Myc and mutant Trp53 (p53) generate aggressive tumors following orthotopic transplantation. These tumors consist of large, pleiomorphic cells and resemble human MYC-driven MB at a molecular level. Notably, antagonists of PI3K/mTOR signaling, but not Hedgehog signaling, inhibit growth of tumor cells. These findings suggest that cerebellar stem cells can give rise to MYC-driven MB, and identify a novel model that can be used to test therapies for this devastating disease.
BMI1 is a potent inducer of neural stem cell self-renewal and neural progenitor cell proliferation during development and in adult tissue homeostasis. It is overexpressed in numerous human cancers – including medulloblastomas, in which its functional role is unclear. We generated transgenic mouse lines with targeted overexpression of Bmi1 in the cerebellar granule cell lineage, a cell type that has been shown to act as a cell of origin for medulloblastomas. Overexpression of Bmi1 in granule cell progenitors (GCPs) led to a decrease in cerebellar size due to decreased GCP proliferation and repression of the expression of cyclin genes, whereas Bmi1 overexpression in postmitotic granule cells improved cell survival in response to stress by altering the expression of genes in the mitochondrial cell death pathway and of Myc and Lef-1. Although no medulloblastomas developed in ageing cohorts of transgenic mice, crosses with Trp53−/− mice resulted in a low incidence of medulloblastoma formation. Furthermore, analysis of a large collection of primary human medulloblastomas revealed that tumours with a BMI1high TP53low molecular profile are significantly enriched in Group 4 human medulloblastomas. Our data suggest that different levels and timing of Bmi1 overexpression yield distinct cellular outcomes within the same cellular lineage. Importantly, Bmi1 overexpression at the GCP stage does not induce tumour formation, suggesting that BMI1 overexpression in GCP-derived human medulloblastomas probably occurs during later stages of oncogenesis and might serve to enhance tumour cell survival.
Medulloblastoma prognosis tends to be poor, despite aggressive therapy, but defining molecular subgroups may identify patients who could benefit from targeted therapies. This study used human gene array and associated clinical data to identify a new molecular subgroup of medulloblastoma characterized by coactivation of the Sonic hedgehog (SHH) and CXCR4 pathways. SHH–CXCR4 tumors were more common in the youngest patients where they were associated with desmoplastic histology. In contrast to tumors activating SHH but not CXCR4, coactivated tumors exhibited greater expression of Math1 and cyclin D1. Treatment with the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 inhibited cyclin D1 expression and maximal tumor growth in vivo. Mechanistic investigations revealed that SHH activation stimulated CXCR4 cell surface localization and effector signaling activity, whereas SHH absence caused CXCR4 to assume an intracellular localization. Taken together, our findings define a new medulloblastoma subgroup characterized by a functional interaction between the SHH and CXCR4 pathways, and they provide a rationale to clinically evaluate combined inhibition of SHH and CXCR4 for medulloblastoma treatment.
Recently, a variety of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models have been developed for the essential element manganese. This paper reviews the development of PBPK models (e.g., adult, pregnant, lactating, and neonatal rats, nonhuman primates, and adult, pregnant, lactating, and neonatal humans) and relevant risk assessment applications. Each PBPK model incorporates critical features including dose-dependent saturable tissue capacities and asymmetrical diffusional flux of manganese into brain and other tissues. Varied influx and efflux diffusion rate and binding constants for different brain regions account for the differential increases in regional brain manganese concentrations observed experimentally. We also present novel PBPK simulations to predict manganese tissue concentrations in fetal, neonatal, pregnant, or aged individuals, as well as individuals with liver disease or chronic manganese inhalation. The results of these simulations could help guide risk assessors in the application of uncertainty factors as they establish exposure guidelines for the general public or workers.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is thought to contribute to both neuroprotection and angiogenesis after stroke. While increased expression of VEGF has been demonstrated in animal models after experimental ischemia, these studies have focused almost exclusively on the infarct and peri-infarct regions. The present study investigated the association of VEGF to neurons in remote cortical areas at three days after an infarct in primary motor cortex (M1). Although these remote areas are outside of the direct influence of the ischemic injury, remote plasticity has been implicated in recovery of function. For this study, intracortical microstimulation techniques identified primary and premotor cortical areas in a non-human primate. A focal ischemic infarct was induced in the M1 hand representation, and neurons and VEGF protein were identified using immunohistochemical procedures. Stereological techniques quantitatively assessed neuronal-VEGF association in the infarct and peri-infarct regions, M1 hindlimb, M1 orofacial, and ventral premotor hand representations, as well as non-motor control regions. The results indicate that VEGF protein significantly increased association to neurons in specific remote cortical areas outside of the infarct and peri-infarct regions. The increased association of VEGF to neurons was restricted to cortical areas that are functionally and/or behaviorally related to the area of infarct. There was no significant increase in M1 orofacial region or in non-motor control regions. We hypothesize that enhancement of neuronal VEGF in these functionally related remote cortical areas may be involved in recovery of function after stroke, through either neuroprotection or the induction of remote angiogenesis.
VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor); neuron; stroke; focal cerebral ischemia; stereology; neuroprotection
Clinical and experimental data support a role for the intact cortex in recovery of function after stroke, particularly ipsilesional areas interconnected to the infarct. There is, however, little understanding of molecular events in the intact cortex, as most studies focus on the infarct and peri-infarct regions. This study investigated neuronal immunoreactivity for hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) in remote cortical areas 3 days after a focal ischemic infarct, as both HIF-1α and VEGFR-2 have been implicated in peri-infarct neuroprotection. For this study, intracortical microstimulation techniques defined primary motor (M1) and premotor areas in squirrel monkeys (genus Saimiri). An infarct was induced in the M1 hand representation, and immunohistochemical techniques identified neurons, HIF-1α and VEGFR-2. Stereologic techniques quantified the total neuronal populations and the neurons immunoreactive for HIF-1α or VEGFR-2. The results indicate that HIF-1α upregulation is confined to the infarct and peri-infarct regions. Increases in VEGFR-2 immunoreactivity occurred; however, in two remote regions: the ventral premotor hand representation and the M1 hindlimb representation. Neurons in these representations were previously shown to undergo significant increases in VEGF protein immunoreactivity, and comparison of the two data sets showed a significant correlation between levels of VEGF and VEGFR-2 immunoreactivity. Thus, while remote areas undergo a molecular response to the infarct, we hypothesize that there is a delay in the initiation of the response, which ultimately may increase the ‘window of opportunity’ for neuroprotective interventions in the intact cortex.
VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor); VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2); HIF-1α (hypoxia inducible factor-1α); stroke; neuron; stereology
It is generally assumed that proprioceptive feedback plays a crucial role in limb posture and movement. However, the role of afferent signals from extraocular muscles (EOM) in the control of eye movement has been a matter of continuous debate. These muscles have atypical sensory receptors in several species and it has been proposed that they are not supported by stretch reXexes. We recorded electromyographic activity of EOM during passive rotations of the eye in sedated rats and squirrel monkeys and observed typical stretch reXexes in these muscles. Results suggest that there is a similarity in the reXexive control of limb and eye movement, despite substantial differences in their biomechanics and sensory receptors. Like in some limb skeletal muscles, the stretch reflex in EOM in the investigated species might be mediated by other length-sensitive receptors, rather than muscle spindles.
Motor control; Sensorimotor integration; Eye movement; Proprioception; Electromyogram
Medulloblastoma, a small blue cell malignancy of the cerebellum, is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in pediatric oncology. Current mechanisms for clinical prognostication and stratification include clinical factors (age, presence of metastases, and extent of resection) as well as histological subgrouping (classic, desmoplastic, and large cell/anaplastic histology). Transcriptional profiling studies of medulloblastoma cohorts from several research groups around the globe have suggested the existence of multiple distinct molecular subgroups that differ in their demographics, transcriptomes, somatic genetic events, and clinical outcomes. Variations in the number, composition, and nature of the subgroups between studies brought about a consensus conference in Boston in the fall of 2010. Discussants at the conference came to a consensus that the evidence supported the existence of four main subgroups of medulloblastoma (Wnt, Shh, Group 3, and Group 4). Participants outlined the demographic, transcriptional, genetic, and clinical differences between the four subgroups. While it is anticipated that the molecular classification of medulloblastoma will continue to evolve and diversify in the future as larger cohorts are studied at greater depth, herein we outline the current consensus nomenclature, and the differences between the medulloblastoma subgroups.
Medulloblastoma; Consensus; Subgroups; SHH; WNT; Group 3; Group 4
Steroid use has prolonged ambulation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and combined with advances in respiratory care overall management has improved such that cardiac manifestations have become the major cause of death. Unfortunately, there is no consensus for DMD-associated cardiac disease management. Our purpose was to assess effects of steroid use alone or in combination with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) or angiotension receptor blocker (ARB) on cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) derived circumferential strain (εcc).
We used CMR to assess effects of corticosteroids alone (Group A) or in combination with ACEI or ARB (Group B) on heart rate (HR), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), mass (LVM), end diastolic volume (LVEDV) and circumferential strain (εcc) in a cohort of 171 DMD patients >5 years of age. Treatment decisions were made independently by physicians at both our institution and referral centers and not based on CMR results.
Patients in Group A (114 studies) were younger than those in Group B (92 studies)(10 ± 2.4 vs. 12.4 ± 3.2 years, p < 0.0001), but HR, LVEF, LVEDV and LVM were not different. Although εcc magnitude was lower in Group B than Group A (-13.8 ± 1.9 vs. -12.8 ± 2.0, p = 0.0004), age correction using covariance analysis eliminated this effect. In a subset of patients who underwent serial CMR exams with an inter-study time of ~15 months, εcc worsened regardless of treatment group.
These results support the need for prospective clinical trials to identify more effective treatment regimens for DMD associated cardiac disease.
Microarray studies indicate medulloblastoma comprises distinct molecular disease subgroups, which offer potential for improved clinical management.
Minimal mRNA expression signatures diagnostic for the Wnt/Wingless (WNT) and Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) subgroups were developed, validated and used to assign subgroup affiliation in 173 tumours from four independent cohorts, alongside a systematic investigation of subgroup clinical and molecular characteristics.
WNT tumours (12% (21/173)) were diagnosed >5 years of age (peak, 10 years), displayed classic histology, CTNNB1 mutation (19/20), associated chromosome 6 loss and have previously been associated with favourable prognosis. SHH cases (24% (42/173)) predominated in infants (<3 years) and showed an age-dependent relationship to desmoplastic/nodular pathology; all infant desmoplastic/nodular cases (previously associated with a good outcome) were SHH-positive, but these relationships broke down in non-infants. PTCH1 mutations were common (34%; 11/32), but PTCH1 exon1c hypermethylation, chromosome 9q and REN (KCTD11) genetic loss were not SHH-associated, and SMO or SUFU mutation, PTCH1 exon1a or SUFU hypermethylation did not play a role, indicating novel activating mechanisms in the majority of SHH cases. SHH tumours were associated with an absence of COL1A2 methylation. WNT/SHH-independent medulloblastomas (64% (110/173)) showed all histologies, peaked at 3-6 years, and were exclusively associated with chromosome 17p loss.
Medulloblastoma subgroups are characterised by distinct genomic, epigenomic and clinico-pathological features, and clinical outcomes. Validated array-independent gene expression assays for the rapid assessment of subgroup affiliation in small biopsies, provide a basis for their routine clinical application, in strategies including molecular disease-risk stratification and delivery of targeted therapeutics.
medulloblastoma; subgroups; diagnosis; biomarkers; molecular mechanisms
Cardiac dysfunction in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a leading cause of death. Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has been shown to dramatically decrease mortality in eligible adult population with congestive heart failure. We hypothesized that mechanical dyssynchrony is present in DMD patients and that cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) may predict CRT efficacy.
DMD patients (n = 236) were stratified into 4 groups based on age, diagnosis of DMD, left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF), and presence of myocardial fibrosis defined as positive late gadolinum enhancement (LGE) compared to normal controls (n = 77). Dyssynchrony indices were calculated based on timing of CMR derived circumferential strain (ecc). The calculated indices included cross-correlation delay (XCD), uniformity of strain (US), regional vector of variance (RVV), time to maximum strain (TTMS) and standard deviation (SD) of TTMS. Abnormal XCD value was defined as > normal + 2SD. US, RVV, TTMS and SD were calculated for patients with abnormal XCD.
There was overall low prevalence of circumferential dyssynchrony in the entire DMD population; it increased to 17.1% for patients with abnormal EF and to 31.2% in the most advanced stage (abnormal EF with fibrosis). All but one DMD patient with mechanical dyssynchrony exhibited normal QRS duration suggesting absence of electrical dyssynchrony. The calculated US and RVV values (0.91 ± 0.09, 1.34 ± 0.48) indicate disperse rather than clustered dyssynchrony.
Mechanical dyssynchrony is frequent in boys with end stage DMD-associated cardiac dysfunction. It is associated with normal QRS complex as well as extensive lateral fibrosis. Based on these findings, it is unlikely that this patient population will benefit from CRT.