The Protein Arginine Deiminases (PADs) catalyze the hydrolysis of peptidyl-arginine to form peptidylcitrulline. Abnormally high PAD activity is observed in a host of human diseases, however, the exact role of protein citrullination in these diseases, as well as the identities of specific citrullinated disease biomarkers, remain unknown, largely due to the lack of readily available chemical probes to detect protein citrullination. For this reason, we developed a citrulline specific chemical probe, rhodamine-phenylglyoxal (Rh-PG), which we show can be used to investigate protein citrullination. This methodology is superior to existing techniques because it possesses higher throughput and excellent sensitivity. Additionally, we demonstrate that this probe can be used to determine the kinetic parameters for a number of protein substrates, monitor drug efficacy, and identify disease biomarkers in an animal model of ulcerative colitis that displays aberrantly increased PAD activity.
Statins are effective for reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and cardiac events, but can produce muscle side effects. We have hypothesized that statin-related muscle complaints are exacerbated by exercise and influenced by factors including mitochondrial dysfunction, membrane disruption and/or calcium handling. The interaction between statins, exercise and muscle symptoms may be more effectively diagnosed and treated as rigorous scientific studies accumulate.
cholesterol-lowering medication; muscle strength; aerobic capacity; myalgia; Vitamin D; HMG CoA Reductase Inhibitor
Understanding the variability of the hippocampus in human brain research is essential. The effect of age on the hippocampus has been explored in several studies that have been focused on either normal aging or neural degeneration. Shape analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides morphological measures for brain structures. This study further investigates the age effects on hippocampal morphology in three groups (104 normal controls, 24 Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and 14 vascular dementia (VaD) patients). By utilizing a parametric shape analysis of hippocampal MRI scans, each individual distance map is generated and analyzed statistically. Specifically, after eliminating similarity parameters (rotation, translation, and scaling) effects for each hippocampus, an individual distance map is generated from parametric hippocampal surfaces and medial axes. Then statistical methods, including regression, and permutation tests, are applied to detect the differences in hippocampal distance maps and volumes under the effect of age in each group. Statistical analyses reveal that the loss of hippocampal volume and changes in shape are more significantly related to aging in the control group than in AD/VaD. The results also show that the asymmetry of hippocampus in healthy subjects is greater than that in either of the disease groups. Our study shows that 3D statistical shape analysis could enhance the understanding of age effects on local areas of hippocampi. However, the sample sizes of disease groups are relatively low; further studies with more AD/VaD data are needed.
Statistical shape analysis; age; hippocampus; Alzheimer’s disease; vascular dementia
The development of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) is under strong genetic control and there is great interest in the genetic variants that confer increased risk. The Alzheimer’s disease risk gene, growth factor receptor bound protein 2-associated protein (GAB2), has been shown to provide a 1.27–1.51 increased odds of developing LOAD for rs7101429 major allele carriers, in case-control analysis. GAB2 is expressed across the brain throughout life, and its role in LOAD pathology is well understood. Recent studies have begun to examine the effect of genetic variation in the GAB2 gene on differences in the brain. However, the effect of GAB2 on the young-adult brain has yet to be considered. Here we found a significant association between the GAB2 gene and morphological brain differences in 755 young-adult twins (469 females) (M = 23.1, SD = 3.1 years), using a gene-based test with principal components regression (PCReg). Detectable differences in brain morphology are therefore associated with variation in the GAB2 gene, even in young adults, long before the typical age of onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
GAB2; imaging genetics; tensor-based morphometry; Alzheimer’s disease
The Protein Arginine Deiminases (PAD), and in particular PAD4, have emerged over the last several years as potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). In this review, we discuss the current evidence linking dysregulated PAD activity to the onset and progression of RA, as well as its potential role in other human diseases, e.g. cancer and multiple sclerosis. We additionally describe the known physiological roles of the PADs, focusing on PAD4, as well as the current state of knowledge regarding PAD structure, catalysis, and inhibition.
Protein Arginine Deiminase; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Multiple Sclerosis; Cancer; Treatment; Inhibitors
Incomplete data present serious problems when integrating largescale brain imaging data sets from different imaging modalities. In the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), for example, over half of the subjects lack cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) measurements; an independent half of the subjects do not have fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) scans; many lack proteomics measurements. Traditionally, subjects with missing measures are discarded, resulting in a severe loss of available information. We address this problem by proposing two novel learning methods where all the samples (with at least one available data source) can be used. In the first method, we divide our samples according to the availability of data sources, and we learn shared sets of features with state-of-the-art sparse learning methods. Our second method learns a base classifier for each data source independently, based on which we represent each source using a single column of prediction scores; we then estimate the missing prediction scores, which, combined with the existing prediction scores, are used to build a multi-source fusion model. To illustrate the proposed approaches, we classify patients from the ADNI study into groups with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and normal controls, based on the multi-modality data. At baseline, ADNI’s 780 participants (172 AD, 397 MCI, 211 Normal), have at least one of four data types: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), FDG-PET, CSF and proteomics. These data are used to test our algorithms. Comprehensive experiments show that our proposed methods yield stable and promising results.
Algorithms; Multi-source feature learning; multi-task learning; incomplete data
Structural brain deficits, especially fronto-temporal volume reduction and ventricular enlargement, have been repeatedly reported in patients with schizophrenia. However, it remains unclear whether brain structural deformations may be attributable to disease-related or genetic factors. In this study, the structural magnetic resonance imaging data of 48 adult-onset schizophrenia patients, 65 first-degree non-psychotic relatives of schizophrenia patients, 27 community comparison (CC) probands and 73 CC relatives were examined using tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to isolate global and localized differences in tissue volume across the entire brain between groups. We found brain tissue contractions most prominently in frontal and temporal regions and expansions in the putamen/ pallidum, and lateral and third ventricles in schizophrenia patients when compared to unrelated CC probands. Results were similar, though less prominent when patients were compared with their non-psychotic relatives. Structural deformations observed in unaffected patient relatives compared to age-similar CC relatives were suggestive of schizophrenia-related genetic liability and were pronounced in the putamen/ pallidum and medial temporal regions. Schizophrenia and genetic liability effects for the putamen/ pallidum were confirmed by regions-of-interest analysis. In conclusion, TBM findings complement reports of frontal, temporal and ventricular dysmorphology in schizophrenia and further indicate that putamen/ pallidum enlargements, originally linked mainly with medication exposure in early studies, also reflect a genetic predisposition for schizophrenia. Thus, brain deformation profiles revealed in this study may help to clarify the role of specific genetic or environmental risk factors towards altered brain morphology in schizophrenia.
The neuropathogenesis of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) is unclear. Candidate gene studies have implicated genetic susceptibility loci within immune-related genes; however, these have not been reliably validated. Here we employed genome-wide association (GWA) methods to discover novel genetic susceptibility loci associated with HAND, and validate susceptibility loci implicated in prior candidate gene studies.
Data from 1287 participants enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study between 1985 and 2010 were used. Genotyping was conducted with Illumina 1M, 1MDuo, or 550K platform. Linear mixed models determined subject-specific slopes for change over time in processing speed and executive functioning, considering all visits including baseline and the most recent study visit. Covariates modeled as fixed effects included: time since the first visit, depression severity, nadir CD4+ T-cell count, Hepatitis C co-infection, substance use, and antiretroviral medication regimen. Prevalence of HIV-associated dementia (HAD) and neurocognitive impairment (NCI) was also examined as neurocognitive phenotypes in a case-control analysis.
No genetic susceptibility loci were associated with decline in processing speed or executive functioning among almost 2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) directly genotyped or imputed. No association between the SNPs and HAD or NCI were found. Previously reported associations between specific genetic susceptibility loci, HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment and HAD were not validated.
In this first GWAS of HAND, no novel or previously identified genetic susceptibility loci were associated with any of the phenotypes examined. Due to the relatively small sample size, future collaborative efforts that incorporate this dataset may still yield important findings.
HIV; NeuroAIDS; HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder; genome-wide association; HIV-associated dementia
To assess upper extremity (UE) capabilities following stroke, the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) measures time to complete 15 UE tasks and 2 strength tasks, but takes 30 to 45 minutes for the clinician to complete.
In an effort to streamline the WMFT, this study evaluated the association between the magnitude of improvement on any timed task of the WMFT and the change score on all other tasks among participants in the Extremity Constraint Induced Therapy Evaluation (EXCITE) trial.
This association was evaluated using regression methods according to chronicity and controlling for key covariates (functional level, gender, concordance) for log mean WMFT scores.
After controlling for covariates, 6 tasks (hand to table (front), hand to box (front), reach and retrieve, lift can, lift pencil, and fold towel) influenced the overall WMFT score for survivors meeting EXCITE criteria and treated within 3 to 9 months poststroke. Six different tasks (extend elbow weight, hand to box (front), lift can, lift pencil, turn key in lock, and fold towel) influenced the overall WMFT score for those receiving constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) 1 year later. The importance of certain tasks relative to others may best represent overall UE function, but this streamlining enables the clinician to prioritize these tasks in the evaluation.
The delineation of those tasks depends on the time poststroke from enrollment to CIMT. This study demonstrates that the WMFT can be streamlined from 17 to 6 tasks.
Wolf Motor Function Test; Streamlined; CIMT therapy; Stroke; Rehabilitation
Efficacy of task-oriented training can be reliably trusted only when the inherent measurement variability is determined. The Actual Amount of Use Test (AAUT) and the Motor Activity Log (MAL) have been used together as measures of spontaneous arm use after an intervention; however, the minimal detectable change (MDC) of AAUT and MAL has not been addressed.
To compare the MDC90 of the AAUT and the MAL in the context of a randomized controlled trial of a neurorehabilitation intervention, the Extremity Constraint-Induced Therapy Evaluation trial.
A preplanned secondary analysis was conducted using pre–post test data from the control group. Estimated MDC90 were normalized to the maximum value of the scale of the AAUT and the MAL for each subscale: amount of use (AAUTa, MALa) and quality of movement (AAUTq, MALq).
The MDC90 of the AAUTq and the MALq were 14.4% and 15.4%, respectively. However, the MDC90 required greater change for the AAUTa (24.2%) than the MALa (16.8%). The training-induced spontaneous arm use exceeded the MDC90 for the MAL but fell below that for the AAUT immediately after the intervention and at 1-year follow-up visit.
The greater variability and insensitivity to treatment effect for the AAUTa is likely because of the low resolution of its scoring system. As such, there is a considerable need to develop valid and reliable tools that capture purposeful arm use outside the laboratory, perhaps through leveraging new sensing technologies with objective activity monitoring.
stroke rehabilitation; upper extremity; outcome assessment; constraint-induced therapy
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are the two most common neurodegenerative dementias. During the early stages, clinical distinction between them is often challenging. Our objective is to compare hippocampal atrophy patterns in mild AD and mild DLB. We hypothesized that DLB subjects have milder hippocampal atrophy relative to AD subjects.
We analyzed the T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging data from 113 subjects: 55 AD, 16 DLB and 42 cognitively normal elderly (NC). Using the hippocampal radial distance technique and multiple linear regression, we analyzed the effect of clinical diagnosis on hippocampal radial distance, while adjusting for gender and age. 3D statistical maps were adjusted for multiple comparisons using permutation-based statistics with a threshold of p<0.01.
Compared to NC, AD exhibited significantly greater atrophy in the Cornu Ammonis (CA) 1, CA2-3 and subicular regions bilaterally while DLB showed left-predominant atrophy in the CA1 region and subiculum. AD and DLB directly compared did not reveal statistically significant differences.
Hippocampal atrophy, while present in mildly impaired DLB subjects, is less severe than atrophy seen in mildly impaired AD subjects, when compared to NC. Both groups show predominant atrophy of the CA1 subfield and subiculum.
Alzheimer's disease; Dementia with Lewy Bodies; hippocampus; MRI; atrophy
This is the first study to examine Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) tasks among EXCITE Trial participants that could not be completed at baseline or 2 weeks later.
Data were collected from participants who received constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) immediately at the time of randomization (CIMT-I, n = 106) and from those for whom there was a delay of 1 year in receiving this intervention (CIMT-D, n = 116). Data were collected at baseline and at a 2-week time point, during which the CIMT-I group received the CIMT intervention and the CIMT-D group did not. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) analyses were used to examine repeated binary data and count values. Group and visit interactions were assessed, adjusting for functional level, affected side, dominant side, age, and gender covariates.
In CIMT-I participants, there was an increase in the proportion of completed tasks at posttest compared with CIMT-D participants, particularly with respect to those tasks requiring dexterity with small objects and total incompletes (P < .0033). Compared with baseline, 120 tasks governing distal limb use for CIMT-I and 58 tasks dispersed across the WMFT for CIMT-D could be completed after 2 weeks. Common movement components that may have contributed to incomplete tasks include shoulder stabilization and flexion, elbow flexion and extension, wrist pronation, supination and ulnar deviation, and pincer grip.
CIMT training should emphasize therapy for those specific movement components in patients who meet the EXCITE criteria for baseline motor control.
constraint-induced therapy; Wolf Motor Function Test; stroke rehabilitation; neuroplasticity; task practice; upper extremity
Tools chosen to measure poststroke upper-extremity rehabilitation outcomes must match contemporary theoretical expectations of motor deficit and recovery because an assessment’s theoretical underpinning forms the conceptual basis for interpreting its score.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the theoretical framework of the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) by (1) determining whether all items measured a single underlying trait and (2) examining the congruency between the hypothesized and the empirically determined item difficulty orders.
Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Rasch analysis were applied to existing WMFT Functional Ability Rating Scale data from 189 participants in the EXCITE (Extremity Constraint-Induced Therapy Evaluation) trial. Fit of a 1-factor CFA model (all items) was compared with the fit of a 2-factor CFA model (factors defined according to item object-grasp requirements) with fit indices, model comparison test, and interfactor correlations.
One item was missing sufficient data and therefore removed from analysis. CFA fit indices and the model-comparison test suggested that both models fit equally well. The 2-factor model yielded a strong interfactor correlation, and 13 of 14 items fit the Rasch model. The Rasch item difficulty order was consistent with the hypothesized item difficulty order.
The results suggest that WMFT items measure a single construct. Furthermore, the results depict an item difficulty hierarchy that may advance the theoretical discussion of the person ability versus task difficulty interaction during stroke recovery.
stroke; rehabilitation; Rasch analysis; Wolf Motor Function Test; motor control; measurement theory
Prior structural neuroimaging studies of the amygdala in patients with bipolar disorder have reported higher or lower volumes, or no difference relative to healthy controls. These inconsistent findings may have resulted from combining subjects in different mood states. The prefrontal cortex has recently been reported to have a lower volume in depressed versus euthymic bipolar patients. Here we examined whether similar mood state-dependent volumetric differences are detectable in the amygdala.
Forty subjects, including 28 with bipolar disorder type I (12 depressed and 16 euthymic), and 12 healthy comparison subjects were scanned on a 3T magnetic resonance image (MRI) scanner. Amygdala volumes were manually traced and compared across subject groups, adjusting for sex and total brain volume.
Statistical analyses found a significant effect of mood state and hemisphere on amygdala volume. Subsequent comparisons revealed that amygdala volumes were significantly lower in the depressed bipolar group compared to both the euthymic bipolar (p=0.005) and healthy control (p=0.043) groups.
Our study was cross-sectional and some patients were medicated.
Our results suggest that mood state influences amygdala volume in subjects with bipolar disorder. Future studies that replicate these findings in unmedicated patient samples scanned longitudinally are needed.
Bipolar Disorder; Depression; Magnetic resonance imaging; MRI; Amygdala
Several common genetic variants have recently been discovered that appear to influence white matter microstructure, as measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Each genetic variant explains only a small proportion of the variance in brain microstructure, so we set out to explore their combined effect on the white matter integrity of the corpus callosum. We measured six common candidate single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the COMT, NTRK1, BDNF, ErbB4, CLU, and HFE genes, and investigated their individual and aggregate effects on white matter structure in 395 healthy adult twins and siblings (age: 20–30 years). All subjects were scanned with 4-tesla 94-direction high angular resolution diffusion imaging. When combined using mixed-effects linear regression, a joint model based on five of the candidate SNPs (COMT, NTRK1, ErbB4, CLU, and HFE) explained ∼6% of the variance in the average fractional anisotropy (FA) of the corpus callosum. This predictive model had detectable effects on FA at 82% of the corpus callosum voxels, including the genu, body, and splenium. Predicting the brain's fiber microstructure from genotypes may ultimately help in early risk assessment, and eventually, in personalized treatment for neuropsychiatric disorders in which brain integrity and connectivity are affected.
neuroimaging; brain structure; DTI; genetics; genetic profiles; prediction; imaging; clinical or preclinical; neuroanatomy; neurogenetics; pharmacogenetics / pharmacogenomics; neuroimaging; brain structure; DTI; genetics; genetic profiles
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder remains prevalent in HIV-infected individuals despite effective antiretroviral therapy. As these individuals age, comorbid cerebrovascular disease will likely impact cognitive function. Effective tools to study this impact are needed. This study used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to characterize brain microstructural changes in HIV-infected individuals with and without cerebrovascular risk factors. Diffusion-weighted MRIs were obtained in 22 HIV-infected subjects aged 50 years or older (mean age = 58 years, standard deviation = 6 years; 19 males, three females). Tensors were calculated to obtain fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) maps. Statistical comparisons accounting for multiple comparisons were made between groups with and without cerebrovascular risk factors. Abnormal glucose metabolism (i.e., impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or diabetes mellitus) was associated with significantly higher MD (false discovery rate (FDR) critical p value = 0.008) and lower FA FDR critical p value = 0.002) in the caudate and lower FA in the hippocampus (FDR critical p value = 0.004). Pearson correlations were performed between DTI measures in the caudate and hippocampus and age- and education-adjusted composite scores of global cognitive function, memory, and psychomotor speed. There were no detectable correlations between the neuroimaging measures and measures of cognition. In summary, we demonstrate that brain microstructural abnormalities are associated with abnormal glucose metabolism in the caudate and hippocampus of HIV-infected individuals. Deep gray matter structures and the hippocampus may be vulnerable in subjects with comorbid abnormal glucose metabolism, but our results should be confirmed in further studies.
HIV; Cerebrovascular disease; Diffusion tensor imaging
Many children born preterm exhibit frontal executive dysfunction, behavioral problems including attentional deficit/hyperactivity disorder and attention related learning disabilities. Anomalies in regional specificity of cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical circuits may underlie deficits in these disorders. Nonspecific volumetric deficits of striatal structures have been documented in these subjects, but little is known about surface deformation in these structures. For the first time, here we found regional surface morphological differences in the preterm neonatal ventral striatum. We performed regional group comparisons of the surface anatomy of the striatum (putamen and globus pallidus) between 17 preterm and 19 term-born neonates at term-equivalent age. We reconstructed striatal surfaces from manually segmented brain magnetic resonance images and analyzed them using our in-house conformal mapping program. All surfaces were registered to a template with a new surface fluid registration method. Vertex-based statistical comparisons between the two groups were performed via four methods: univariate and multivariate tensor-based morphometry, the commonly used medial axis distance, and a combination of the last two statistics. We found statistically significant differences in regional morphology between the two groups that are consistent across statistics, but more extensive for multivariate measures. Differences were localized to the ventral aspect of the striatum. In particular, we found abnormalities in the preterm anterior/inferior putamen, which is interconnected with the medial orbital/prefrontal cortex and the midline thalamic nuclei including the medial dorsal nucleus and pulvinar. These findings support the hypothesis that the ventral striatum is vulnerable, within the cortico-stiato-thalamo-cortical neural circuitry, which may underlie the risk for long-term development of frontal executive dysfunction, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and attention-related learning disabilities in preterm neonates.
Analysis of incomplete data is a big challenge when integrating large-scale brain imaging datasets from different imaging modalities. In the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), for example, over half of the subjects lack cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) measurements; an independent half of the subjects do not have fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) scans; many lack proteomics measurements. Traditionally, subjects with missing measures are discarded, resulting in a severe loss of available information. In this paper, we address this problem by proposing an incomplete Multi-Source Feature (iMSF) learning method where all the samples (with at least one available data source) can be used. To illustrate the proposed approach, we classify patients from the ADNI study into groups with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and normal controls, based on the multi-modality data. At baseline, ADNI’s 780 participants (172 AD, 397 MCI, 211 NC), have at least one of four data types: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), FDG-PET, CSF and proteomics. These data are used to test our algorithm. Depending on the problem being solved, we divide our samples according to the availability of data sources, and we learn shared sets of features with state-of-the-art sparse learning methods. To build a practical and robust system, we construct a classifier ensemble by combining our method with four other methods for missing value estimation. Comprehensive experiments with various parameters show that our proposed iMSF method and the ensemble model yield stable and promising results.
Multi-source feature learning; multi-task learning; incomplete data; ensemble
The overall volume of the brain has been found to be under relatively strong genetic control, but the relative strength of genetic and environmental factors on between-person variations in regional cortical thickness in adolescence is still not well understood. Here, we analyzed structural MRI data from 108 14-year-old healthy twins (54 females/54 males) to determine the relative contributions of genes and the environment toward regional variations in gray matter thickness across the cortex. After extracting cortical thickness values at a high spatial resolution, an A/C/E structural equation model that divides the variations into additive genetic (A), shared (C), and unique (E) environmental components was fitted. There was considerable regional variability in the magnitude of genetic influences on cortical thickness after controlling for sex. Regions with genetic contributions of greater than 80% were observed in the prefrontal cortex, predominantly in the bilateral dorsolateral and mesial superior frontal regions. No region showed prominent shared environmental influences, but unique environmental influences of over 80% were found in parietal association regions. The genetic variance for cortical thickness in adolescents in prefrontal regions overlapped with previous findings in adults. However, the unique environmental effects observed in multimodal parietal association cortices with converging inputs from visual, auditory, somatosensory regions, and neighboring secondary association cortices suggest that these regional variations are more shaped by experience and could form targets for early interventions in youth with behavioral disorders.
adolescent twins; cortical thickness; heritability; MRI
Recent evidence suggests that enhanced neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation activates plasmacytoid dendritic cells and serves as a source of autoantigens in SLE. We propose that aberrant NET formation is also linked to organ damage and to the premature vascular disease characteristic of human SLE. Here, we demonstrate enhanced NET formation in the New Zealand mixed 2328 (NZM) model of murine lupus. NZM mice also developed autoantibodies to NETs as well as the ortholog of human cathelicidin/LL37 (CRAMP), a molecule externalized in the NETs. NZM mice were treated with Cl-amidine, an inhibitor of peptidylarginine deiminases (PAD), to block NET formation and were evaluated for lupus-like disease activity, endothelial function, and prothrombotic phenotype. Cl-amidine treatment inhibited NZM NET formation in vivo and significantly altered circulating autoantibody profiles and complement levels while reducing glomerular IgG deposition. Further, Cl-amidine increased the differentiation capacity of bone marrow endothelial progenitor cells, improved endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation, and markedly delayed time to arterial thrombosis induced by photochemical injury. Overall, these findings suggest that PAD inhibition can modulate phenotypes crucial for lupus pathogenesis and disease activity and may represent an important strategy for mitigating cardiovascular risk in lupus patients.
Rapidly expanding manufacture and use of nanomaterials emphasize the requirements for thorough assessment of health outcomes associated with novel applications. Post-translational protein modifications catalyzed by Ca2+-dependent peptidylargininedeiminases have been shown to trigger immune responses including autoantibody generation, a hallmark of immune complexes deposition in rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, the aim of the study was to assess if nanoparticles are able to promote protein citrullination.
Materials & methods
Human A549 and THP-1 cells were exposed to silicon dioxide, carbon black or single-walled carbon nanotubes. C57BL/6 mice were exposed to respirable single-walled carbon nanotubes. Protein citrullination, peptidylargininedeiminases activity and target proteins were evaluated.
The studied nanoparticles induced protein citrullination both in cultured human cells and mouse lung tissues. Citrullination occurred via the peptidylargininedeiminase-dependent mechanism. Cytokeratines 7, 8, 18 and plectins were identified as intracellular citrullination targets.
Nanoparticle exposure facilitated post-translational citrullination of proteins.
autoimmunity; high content analysis; immune system; inflammation; nanomaterial; nanoparticle; peptidylargininedeiminase; post-translational modification; protein citrullination; rheumatoid arthritis
In an attempt to increase power to detect genetic associations with brain phenotypes derived from human neuroimaging data, we recently conducted a large-scale genome-wide association meta-analysis of hippocampal, brain, and intracranial volume through the Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) consortium. Here we present a freely-available online interactive tool, EnigmaVis, which makes it easy to visualize the association results generated by the consortium alongside allele frequency, genes, and functional annotations. EnigmaVis runs natively within the web browser, and generates plots that show the level of association between brain phenotypes at user-specified genomic positions. Uniquely, EnigmaVis is dynamic; users can interact with elements on the plot in real time. This software will be useful when exploring the effect on brain structure of particular genetic variants influencing neuropsychiatric illness and cognitive function. Future projects of the consortium and updates to EnigmaVis will also be displayed on the site. EnigmaVis is freely available online at http://enigma.loni.ucla.edu/enigma-vis/.
We applied an automated hippocampal segmentation technique based on adaptive boosting (AdaBoost) to the 1.5T MRI baseline and 1-year follow-up data of 243 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 96 with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 145 normal controls (NC) scanned as part of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). MCI subjects with positive maternal history of dementia had smaller hippocampal volumes at baseline and at follow-up, and greater 12-month atrophy rates than subjects with negative maternal history. 3D maps and volumetric multiple regression analyses demonstrated a significant effect of positive maternal history of dementia on hippocampal atrophy in MCI and AD after controlling for age, ApoE4 genotype and paternal history of dementia, resp. ApoE4 showed an independent effect on hippocampal atrophy in MCI and AD and in the pooled sample.
Alzheimer's Disease; AD; Magnetic resonance imaging; MRI; Imaging; Maternal history; Hippocampus; Atrophy; Biomarker; Hereditary; Genetic
Depression has been associated with higher conversion rates from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and may be a potential clinical marker of prodromal AD that can be used to identify individuals with MCI who are most likely to progress to AD. Using tensor-based morphometry (TBM), we examined the longitudinal neuroanatomical changes associated with depressive symptoms in MCI.
243 MCI subjects from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) who had brain MRI scans at baseline and 2-year follow-up were classified into depressed (DEP, n=44), non-depressed with other neuropsychiatric symptoms (OTHER, n=93), and no-symptom (NOSYMP, n=106) groups based on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q). TBM was used to create individual 3D-maps of 2-year brain changes that were compared between groups.
DEP subjects had more frontal (p=0.024), parietal (p=0.030), and temporal (p=0.038) white matter atrophy than NOSYMP subjects. A subset of DEP subjects whose depressive symptoms persisted over 2-years also had higher conversion to AD and more decline on measures of global cognition, language abilities, and executive functioning compared to stable NOSYMP subjects. OTHER and NOSYMP groups exhibited no differences in rates of atrophy.
Depressive symptoms in MCI subjects were associated with greater atrophy in AD-affected regions, increased cognitive decline, and higher rates of conversion to AD. Depression in individuals with MCI may be associated with underlying neuropathological changes including prodromal AD. Thus, assessment of depressive symptoms may be a potentially useful clinical marker in identifying MCI patients who are most likely to progress to AD.
Depression; Mild Cognitive Impairment; Alzheimer’s Disease; Neuropsychiatric Symptoms; Tensor-Based Morphometry; White Matter