Nicastrin (NCSTN) is a component of the γ-secretase complex and therefore potentially a candidate risk gene for Alzheimer's disease. Here, we have developed a novel functional genomics methodology to express common locus haplotypes to assess functional differences. DNA recombination was used to engineer 5 bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) to each express a different haplotype of the NCSTN locus. Each NCSTN-BAC was delivered to knockout nicastrin (Ncstn−/−) cells and clonal NCSTN-BAC+/Ncstn−/− cell lines were created for functional analyses. We showed that all NCSTN-BAC haplotypes expressed nicastrin protein and rescued γ-secretase activity and amyloid beta (Aβ) production in NCSTN-BAC+/Ncstn−/− lines. We then showed that genetic variation at the NCSTN locus affected alternative splicing in human postmortem brain tissue. However, there was no robust functional difference between clonal cell lines rescued by each of the 5 different haplotypes. Finally, there was no statistically significant association of NCSTN with disease risk in the 4 cohorts. We therefore conclude that it is unlikely that common variation at the NCSTN locus is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.
Nicastrin; Haplotype variation; Functional genomics; Alzheimer's disease; γ-Secretase complex
Background Mammographic breast density is a strong breast cancer risk factor but is not used in the clinical setting, partly because of a lack of standardization and automation. We developed an automated and objective measurement of the grayscale value variation within a mammogram, evaluated its association with breast cancer, and compared its performance with that of percent density (PD).
Methods Three clinic-based studies were included: a case–cohort study of 217 breast cancer case subjects and 2094 non-case subjects and two case–control studies comprising 928 case subjects and 1039 control subjects and 246 case subjects and 516 control subjects, respectively. Percent density was estimated from digitized mammograms using the computer-assisted Cumulus thresholding program, and variation was estimated from an automated algorithm. We estimated hazards ratios (HRs), odds ratios (ORs), the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Cox proportional hazards models for the cohort and logistic regression for case–control studies, with adjustment for age and body mass index. We performed a meta-analysis using random study effects to obtain pooled estimates of the associations between the two mammographic measures and breast cancer. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Results The variation measure was statistically significantly associated with the risk of breast cancer in all three studies (highest vs lowest quartile: HR = 7.0 [95% CI = 4.6 to 10.4]; OR = 10.7 [95% CI = 7.5 to 15.3]; OR = 2.6 [95% CI = 1.6 to 4.2]; all P
trend < .001). In two studies, the risk estimates and AUCs for the variation measure were greater than those for percent density (AUCs for variation = 0.71 and 0.76; AUCs for percent density = 0.65 and 0.65), whereas in the third study, these estimates were similar (AUC for variation = 0.60 and AUC for percent density = 0.61). A meta-analysis of the three studies demonstrated a stronger association between variation and breast cancer (highest vs lowest quartile: RR = 3.6, 95% CI = 1.9 to 7.0) than between percent density and breast cancer (highest vs lowest quartile: RR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.9 to 2.9).
Conclusion The association between the automated variation measure and the risk of breast cancer is at least as strong as that for percent density. Efforts to further evaluate and translate the variation measure to the clinical setting are warranted.
We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of antibody levels in a multi-ethnic group of 1,071 healthy smallpox vaccine recipients. In Caucasians, the most prominent association was found with promoter SNP rs10489759 in the LOC647132 pseudogene on chromosome 1 (p=7.77 × 10-8). In African-Americans, we identified eight genetic loci at p< 5 × 10-7. The SNP association with the lowest p-value (rs10508727, p=1.05 × 10-10) was in the Mohawk homeobox (MKX) gene on chromosome 10. Other candidate genes included LOC388460, GPR158, ZHX2, SPIRE1, GREM2, CSMD1, and RUNX1. In Hispanics, the top six associations between genetic variants and antibody levels had p-values less than 5 × 10-7, with p=1.78 × 10-10 for the strongest statistical association (promoter SNP rs12256830 in the PCDH15 gene). In addition, SNP rs4748153 in the immune response gene PRKCQ (protein kinase C, theta) was significantly associated with neutralizing antibody levels (p=2.51 × 10-8). Additional SNP associations in Hispanics (p ≤3.40 × 10-7) were mapped to the KIF6/LOC100131899, CYP2C9, and ANKLE2/GOLGA3 genes. This study has identified candidate SNPs that may be important in regulating humoral immunity to smallpox vaccination. Replication studies, as well as studies elucidating the functional consequences of contributing genes and polymorphisms, are underway.
GWAS; Smallpox Vaccine; Vaccinia Virus; Humoral Immunity; Immunogenetics; SNPs
The risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is strongly determined by genetic factors and recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several genes for the disease risk. In addition to the disease risk, age-at-onset (AAO) of AD has also strong genetic component with an estimated heritability of 42%. Identification of AAO genes may help to understand the biological mechanisms that regulate the onset of the disease. Here we report the first GWAS focused on identifying genes for the AAO of AD. We performed a genome-wide meta analysis on 3 samples comprising a total of 2,222 AD cases. A total of ~2.5 million directly genotyped or imputed SNPs were analyzed in relation to AAO of AD. As expected, the most significant associations were observed in the APOE region on chromosome 19 where several SNPs surpassed the conservative genome-wide significant threshold (P<5E-08). The most significant SNP outside the APOE region was located in the DCHS2 gene on chromosome 4q31.3 (rs1466662; P=4.95E-07). There were 19 additional significant SNPs in this region at P<1E-04 and the DCHS2 gene is expressed in the cerebral cortex and thus is a potential candidate for affecting AAO in AD. These findings need to be confirmed in additional well-powered samples.
Genome-wide association study; age-at-onset; Alzheimer’s disease; single-nucleotide polymorphisms; meta analysis
Obsessions and compulsive (OC) behaviors are a frequent feature of behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), but their structural correlates have not been definitively established.
Patients with bvFTD presenting to the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center were recruited. Each patient’s caregiver was given the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive scale (YBOCS) to document the type and presence of OC behaviors and to rate their severity. All subjects underwent a standardized MRI which was evaluated using VBM. 17 patients with bvFTD were recruited and 11 were included in the study and compared to 11 age and gender matched controls. Six were excluded for lack of MRI at time of survey or a pre-existing neurodegenerative condition.
Nine of the 11 reported OC behaviors, with the most frequent compulsions being checking, hoarding, ordering/arranging, repeating rituals, and cleaning. In the VBM analysis, total YBOCS score correlated with grey matter loss in the bilateral globus pallidus, left putamen, and in the lateral temporal lobe, particularly the left middle and inferior temporal gyri (p<0.001 uncorrected for multiple comparisons).
Obsessive-compulsive behaviors were frequent among these patients. The correlation with basal ganglia atrophy may point to involvement of frontal subcortical neuronal networks. Left lateral temporal lobe volume loss likely reflects the number of MAPT mutation patients included but also provides additional data implicating temporal lobe involvement in OC behaviors.
Frontotemporal dementia; magnetic resonance imaging; obsessive behavior; compulsive behavior
Annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended to decrease disease-related mortality and morbidity. However, one population that responds suboptimally to influenza vaccine is adults over the age of 65 years. The natural aging process is associated with a complex deterioration of multiple components of the host immune system. Research into this phenomenon, known as immunosenescence, has shown that aging alters both the innate and adaptive branches of the immune system. The intricate mechanisms involved in immune response to influenza vaccine, and how these responses are altered with age, have led us to adopt a more encompassing systems biology approach to understand exactly why the response to vaccination diminishes with age. Here, the authors review what changes occur with immunosenescence, and some immunogenetic factors that influence response, and outline the systems biology approach to understand the immune response to seasonal influenza vaccination in older adults.
bioinformatics; immunogenetics; immunosenescence; influenza; seasonal influenza vaccine; systems biology; vaccinomics; vaccine-induced immunity
With a larger, independent cohort and more sophisticated measures, we sought to confirm our work that indicated independence of humoral and cellular immunity following measles vaccination. We recruited an age-stratified random cohort of 764 healthy subjects from all socio-economic strata, all with medical-record documentation of two age-appropriate doses of measles-containing vaccine. We quantified measles-specific neutralizing antibody levels and assayed the IFN-γ ELISPOT response to measles virus. We also measured secreted cytokines from the PBMCs in response to measles virus by performing enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays as secondary measures of cellular immune status. The median antibody level and median IFN-γ ELISPOT response were 844 mIU/mL (IQR: 418 to 1,752) and 36 (IQR: 13.00 to 69.00) spot-forming cells (per 2×105 PBMCs), respectively. We found only a very weak and negative correlation [Spearman’s rs or rho of −0.090 (95 percent confidence interval −0.162 to −0.018)]. We found a similar lack of quantitatively important correlations between the neutralizing antibody level and any of the secondary measures. Our data confirm the independence of humoral and cellular immune responses after the second dose of measles vaccination. As researchers pursue novel measles vaccine and measles vaccine delivery systems, they must not infer that humoral responses predict cellular responses.
Measles Vaccine; Immunity, Humoral; Immunity, Cellular; Antibody Formation; Cytokines
Measles infection and vaccine response are complex biological processes that involve both viral and host genetic factors. We have previously investigated the influence of genetic polymorphisms on vaccine immune response, including measles vaccines, and have shown that polymorphisms in HLA, cytokine, cytokine receptor, and innate immune response genes are associated with variation in vaccine response but do not account for all of the inter-individual variance seen in vaccinated populations. In the current study we report the findings of a multigenic analysis of measles vaccine immunity, indicating a role for the measles virus receptor CD46, innate pattern-recognition receptors (DDX58, TLR2, 4, 5,7 and 8) and intracellular signaling intermediates (MAP3K7, NFKBIA), and key antiviral molecules (VISA, OAS2, MX1, PKR) as well as cytokines (IFNA1, IL4, IL6, IL8, IL12B) and cytokine receptor genes (IL2RB, IL6R, IL8RA) in the genetic control of both humoral and cellular immune responses. This multivariate approach provided additional insights into the genetic control of measles vaccine responses over and above the information gained by our previous univariate SNP association analyses.
measles vaccine; immunogenetics; vaccine response; multigenic SNP association; interferon response; cytokines; Toll-like receptors
Associations between HLA genotypes and measles vaccine humoral and cellular immune responses were examined to better understand immunogenetic drivers of vaccine response. Two independent study cohorts of healthy schoolchildren were examined: cohort one, 346 children between 12–18 years of age; and cohort two, 388 children between 11–19 years of age. All received two age-appropriate doses of measles-containing vaccine. The purpose of this study was to identify and replicate associations between HLA genes and immune responses following measles vaccination found in our first cohort. Associations of comparable magnitudes and with similar p-values were observed between B*3503 (1st cohort p=0.01; 2nd cohort p=0.07), DQA1*0201 (1st cohort p=0.03; 2nd cohort p=0.03), DQB1*0303 (1st cohort p=0.10; 2nd cohort p=0.02), DQB1*0602 (1st cohort p=0.07; 2nd cohort p=0.10), and DRB1*0701 (1st cohort p=0.03; 2nd cohort p=0.07) alleles and measles-specific antibody levels. Suggestive, yet consistent, associations were observed between the B7(1 st cohort p=0.01; 2nd cohort p=0.08) supertype and higher measles antibody levels in both cohorts. Also, in both cohorts, the B*0801 and DRB1*0301 alleles, C*0802 and DPA1*0202 alleles, and DRB1*1303 alleles displayed consistent associations with variations in IFN-γ, IL-2 and IL-10 secretion, respectively. This study emphasizes the importance of replicating HLA associations with measles vaccine-induced humoral and cellular immune responses and increases confidence in the results. These data will inform strategies for functional studies and novel vaccine development, including epitope-based measles vaccines. This is the first HLA association replication study with measles vaccine-specific immune responses to date.
Measles vaccine; HLA genotypes; Haplotypes; Antibodies; Cytokines; Replication study
Measles remains a public health concern due to a lack of vaccine use and vaccine failure. A better understanding of the factors that influence variations in immune responses, including innate/inflammatory and adaptive cellular immune responses, following measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination could increase our knowledge of measles vaccine-induced immunity and potentially lead to better vaccines. Measles-specific innate/inflammatory and adaptive cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses were characterized using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to quantify the levels of secreted IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-α, IFN-γ, IFN-λ1, and TNF-α in PBMC cultures following in vitro stimulation with measles virus (MV) in a cohort of 764 school-aged children. IFN-γ ELISPOT assays were performed to ascertain the number of measles-specific IFN-γ-secreting cells. Cytokine responses were then tested for associations with self-declared demographic data, including gender, race, and ethnicity. Females secreted significantly more TNF-α, IL-6, and IFN-α (p<0.001, p<0.002, p<0.04, respectively) compared to males. Caucasians secreted significantly more IFN-λ1, IL-10, IL-2, TNF-α, IL-6, and IFN-α (p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.003, p<0.01, and p<0.02, respectively) compared to the other racial groups combined. Additionally, Caucasians had a greater number of IFN-γ-secreting cells compared to other racial groups (p<0.001). Ethnicity was not significantly correlated with variations in measles-specific CMI measures. Our data suggest that innate/inflammatory and CMI cytokine responses to measles vaccine vary significantly by gender and race. These data further advance our understanding regarding inter-individual and subgroup variations in immune responses to measles vaccination.
Mammographic density has been established as a strong risk factor for breast cancer, primarily using digitized film mammograms. Full-field digital mammography (FFDM) is replacing film mammography, has different properties than film, and provides both raw and processed clinical display representation images. We evaluated and compared FFDM raw and processed breast density measures and their associations with breast cancer.
A case-control study of 180 cases and 180 controls matched by age, postmenopausal hormone use, and screening history was conducted. Mammograms were acquired from a General Electric Senographe 2000D FFDM unit. Percent density (PD) was assessed for each FFDM representation using the operator-assisted Cumulus method. Reproducibility within image type (n = 80) was assessed using Lin's concordance correlation coefficient (rc). Correlation of PD between image representations (n = 360) was evaluated using Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) on the continuous measures and the weighted kappa statistic (κ) for quartiles. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for the PD and breast cancer associations for both image representations with 95% confidence intervals. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was used to assess the discriminatory accuracy.
Percent density from the two representations provided similar intra-reader reproducibility (rc= 0.92 for raw and rc= 0.87 for processed images) and was correlated (r = 0.82 and κ = 0.64). When controlling for body mass index, the associations of quartiles of PD with breast cancer and discriminatory accuracy were similar for the raw (OR: 1.0 (ref.), 2.6 (1.2 to 5.4), 3.1 (1.4 to 6.8), 4.7 (2.1 to 10.6); AUC = 0.63) and processed representations (OR: 1.0 (ref.), 2.2 (1.1 to 4.1), 2.2 (1.1 to 4.4), 3.1 (1.5 to 6.6); AUC = 0.64).
Percent density measured with an operator-assisted method from raw and processed FFDM images is reproducible and correlated. Both percent density measures provide similar associations with breast cancer.
REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is associated with neurodegenerative disease and particularly with the synucleinopathies. Convenience samples involving subjects with idiopathic RBD have suggested an increased risk of incident mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia (usually dementia with Lewy bodies) or Parkinson’s disease (PD). There is no data on such risk in a population-based sample.
Cognitively normal subjects aged 70–89 in a population-based study of aging who screened positive for probable RBD using the Mayo Sleep Questionnaire were followed at 15 month intervals. In a Cox Proportional Hazards Model, we measured the risk of developing MCI, dementia, PD among the exposed (pRBD+) and unexposed (pRBD−) cohorts.
Forty-four subjects with pRBD+ at enrollment (median duration of pRBD features was 7.5 years), and 607 pRBD− subjects, were followed prospectively for a median of 3.8 years. Fourteen of the pRBD+ subjects developed MCI and one developed PD (15/44=34% developed MCI / PD); none developed dementia. After adjustment for age, sex, education, and medical comorbidity, pRBD+ subjects were at increased risk of MCI / PD [Hazard Ratio (HR) 2.2, 95% Confidence Interval (95%CI) 1.3 – 3.9; p=0.005]. Inclusion of subjects who withdrew from the study produced similar results, as did exclusion of subjects with medication-associated RBD. Duration of pRBD symptoms did not predict the development of MCI / PD (HR 1.05 per 10 years, 95%CI 0.84 – 1.3; p=0.68).
In this population-based cohort study, we observed that pRBD confers a 2.2-fold increased risk of developing MCI / PD over four years.
sleep disorders; parasomnias; dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; dementia with Lewy bodies; parkinsonism; synuclein
High caloric intake has been associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. Total caloric intake is determined by the calories derived from macronutrients. The objective of the study was to investigate the association between percent of daily energy (calories) from macronutrients and incident mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. Participants were a population-based prospective cohort of elderly persons who were followed over a median 3.7 years (interquartile range, 2.5–3.9) of follow-up. At baseline and every 15 months, participants (median age, 79.5 years) were evaluated using the Clinical Dementia Rating scale, a neurological evaluation, and neuropsychological testing for a diagnosis of MCI, normal cognition, or dementia. Participants also completed a 128-item food-frequency questionnaire at baseline; total daily caloric and macronutrient intakes were calculated using an established database. The percent of total daily energy from protein (% protein), carbohydrate (% carbohydrate), and total fat (% fat) was computed. Among 937 subjects who were cognitively normal at baseline, 200 developed incident MCI or dementia. The risk of MCI or dementia (hazard ratio [HR], [95% confidence interval]) was elevated in subjects with high % carbohydrate (upper quartile: 1.89 [1.17–3.06]; P for trend=0.004), but was reduced in subjects with high % fat (upper quartile: 0.56 [0.34–0.91]; P for trend=0.03), and high % protein (upper quartile 0.79 [0.52 – 1.20]; P for trend=0.03) in the fully adjusted models. A dietary pattern with relatively high caloric intake from carbohydrates and low caloric intake from fat and proteins may increase the risk of MCI or dementia in elderly persons.
Mild cognitive impairment; dementia; dietary proteins; dietary fats; dietary carbohydrates; caloric intake; energy intake; prospective studies; community-based
p16, a nuclear protein encoded by the p16INK4a gene, is a regulator of cell cycle regulation. Previous studies have shown that expression of p16 in tissue biopsies of patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, particularly when considered in combination with other markers such as Ki67 and COX2. Here we evaluated how expression of p16 in breast tissue biopsies of women with atypical hyperplasia (AH), a putative precursor lesion to DCIS, is associated with subsequent development of cancer. p16 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in archival sections from 233 women with AH diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic. p16 expression in the atypical lesions was scored by percent of cells positive and intensity of staining. We also studied coexpression of p16, with Ki67 and COX2, biomarkers of progression in AH. Risk factor and follow-up data were obtained via study questionnaire and medical records. Forty-seven patients (20%) developed breast cancer with a median follow-up of 14.5 years. Staining of p16 was increased in older patients relative to younger patients (p=0.0025). While risk of developing breast cancer was not associated with increased p16 expression, joint overexpression of Ki67 and COX2 was found to convey stronger risk of BC in the first 10 years after diagnosis as compared to one negative marker (p<0.01). However, the addition of p16 levels did not strengthen this association. p16 overexpression, either alone or in combination with COX2 and Ki67, does not significantly stratify breast cancer risk in women with AH.
atypical hyperplasia; breast cancer risk; p16; immunohistochemistry
Mitotic regulatory pathways ensure proper timing of mitotic entry, sister chromatid cohesion and separation, and cytokinesis. Disruption of this process results in inappropriate chromosome segregation and aneuploidy and appears to contribute to cancer. Specifically, disregulation and somatic mutation of mitotic regulators has been observed in human cancers, and overexpression of mitotic regulators is common in aggressive and late stage tumors. However, the role of germline variation in mitotic pathways and risk of cancer is not well understood. We tested 1,084 haplotype-tagging and functional variants from 164 genes in mitotic regulatory pathways in 791 Caucasian women with breast cancer and 843 healthy controls for association with risk of overall and high grade breast cancer. Sixty-one single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 40 genes were associated (p<0.05) with risk of breast cancer in a log-additive model. In addition 60 SNPs were associated (p<0.05) with risk of high grade breast cancer. However, none of these associations were significant after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. In gene-level analyses, CDC25C, SCC1/RAD21, TLK2, and SMC6L1 were associated (p<0.05) with overall breast cancer risk, CDC6, CDC27, SUMO3, RASSF1, KIF2, and CDC14A were associated with high grade breast cancer risk, and EIF3S10 and CDC25A were associated with both. Further investigation in breast and other cancers are needed to understand the influence of inherited variation in mitotic genes on tumor grade and cancer risk.
breast cancer; genetics; mitotic; grade
The most recent late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) genome-wide association study revealed genome-wide significant association of two new loci: rs744373 near BIN1 (p=1.6×10−11) and rs597668 near EXOC3L2/BLOC1S3/MARK4 (p=6.5×10−9). We have genotyped these variants in a large (3,287 LOAD, 4,396 controls), independent dataset comprising eleven case-control series from the USA and Europe. We performed meta-analyses of the association of these variants with LOAD and also tested for association using logistic regression adjusted by age-at-diagnosis, sex and APOE ε4 status. Meta-analysis results showed no evidence of series heterogeneity and logistic regression analysis successfully replicated the association of BIN1 (rs744373) with LOAD with an odds ratio (OR=1.17, p=1.1×10−4) comparable to that previously reported (OR=1.15). The variant near EXOC3L2 (rs597668) showed only suggestive association with LOAD (p=0.09) after correcting for the presence of the APOE ε4 allele. Addition of our follow-up data to the results previously reported increased the strength of evidence for association with BIN1 (11,825 LOAD, 32,570 controls, rs744373 Fisher combined p=3.8×10−20). We also tested for epistatic interaction between these variants and APOEε4 as well as with the previously replicated LOAD GWAS genes (CLU: rs11136000, CR1; rs3818361, and PICALM: rs3851179). No significant interactions between these genes were detected. In summary, we provide additional evidence for the variant near BIN1 (rs744373) as a LOAD risk modifier, but our results indicate that the effect of EXOC3L2 independent of APOE ε4 should be studied further.
Alzheimer Disease; Late Onset; Heterogeneity; Meta-Analysis; Case-Control Studies
To examine the association between computer use, physical exercise, aging, and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Patients and Methods
The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging is a population-based study of aging and MCI in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The study sample consists of a random sample of 926 nondemented individuals aged 70 to 93 years who completed self-reported questionnaires on physical exercise, computer use, and caloric intake within 1 year of the date of interview. The study was conducted from April 1, 2006, through November 30, 2008. An expert consensus panel classified each study participant as cognitively normal or having MCI on the basis of published criteria.
Using a multivariable logistic regression model, we examined the impact of the presence during the study period of 2 lifestyle factors (physical exercise and computer use) after adjusting for a third lifestyle factor (caloric intake) on aging and MCI. We also adjusted for age, sex, education, medical comorbidity, and depression. The median daily caloric intake was significantly higher in participants with MCI than in controls (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.06; P=.001). Participants who engaged in both moderate physical exercise and computer use had significantly decreased odds of having MCI (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 0.36 [0.20-0.68]) compared with the reference group. In the interaction analyses, there was an additive interaction (P=.012) but not multiplicative interaction (P=.780).
In this population-based sample, the presence of both physical exercise and computer use as assessed via survey was associated with decreased odds of having MCI, after adjustment for caloric intake and traditional confounders.
CDR, Clinical Dementia Rating; CI, confidence interval; MCI, mild cognitive impairment; OR, odds ratio
Previously we found Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) associations with humoral immunity following a single dose of measles-containing vaccine. In this study, we sought to determine if HLA associations exist with humoral and cellular immunity following a second dose of measles-containing vaccine and if the associations we found with humoral immunity after the first dose persist following a second dose.
We recruited a population-based sample of 346 schoolchildren, all who previously received two doses of a measles-containing vaccine. Molecular HLA class I and II typing as well as humoral and cellular immune assays (measles-specific IgG antibody levels and lymphoproliferative response) were performed in these subjects.
We found significant associations with class I HLA-B (p=0.05) as well as class II HLA-DPB1 (p=0.01) and -DPA1 (p=0.03) genes for measles vaccine-induced antibody levels after the second dose. Similarly, we found significant associations with class II HLA-DQB1 (p=0.05) and -DRB1 (p=0.01) genes for measles-specific lymphoproliferation after the second dose.
While we found HLA associations after the second dose that we previously found after the first dose of measles containing vaccine, fewer alleles had statistically significant associations, suggesting that the second dose had a dampening or extinguishing effect on the HLA associations. It appears that the second dose overcomes HLA restriction through an as yet unknown mechanism. Future studies of HLA associations should consider both the effect of dose and the role that subsequent doses might play on genetic associations found with the response to a first dose.
Antibody Formation; Histocompatibility Antigens Class I; Histocompatibility Antigens Class II; Immunogenetics; Lymphocyte Activation; Measles Antibody; Measles Vaccine; Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine
Identification of host genetic determinants of measles vaccine-induced immunity can be used to design better vaccines and ultimately predict immune responses to vaccination. We performed a comprehensive candidate gene association study across 801 genetic markers in 56 cytokine/cytokine receptor genes, in a racially diverse cohort of 745 schoolchildren after two doses of MMR vaccine. Using linear regression methodologies we examined associations between SNPs/haplotypes and measles virus-specific immunity.
Forty-eight significant SNP associations with variations in neutralizing antibodies and measles-specific IFNγ Elispot responses were identified (p<0.05). Our study replicated an important previously found association of a functional IL12B genetic variant rs3212227 with variations in measles-specific humoral immunity (p=0.037). Similarly, two previously reported promoter IL10 and IL2 polymorphisms (rs1800890 and rs2069762) demonstrated associations with measles-specific cellular immunity in Caucasians (p≤0.034). Multiple IL7R polymorphisms, including a non-synonymous functional SNP (rs6897932/Thr244Ile), were associated with humoral (p≤0.024) and/or cellular (IFNγ Elispot, p≤0.023) measles-specific immune responses in Caucasians, but not African-Americans. Haplotype level analysis confirmed the association of IL7R genetic variants with measles vaccine-induced immunity in the Caucasian group (global p-value=0.003). Our results validate previous findings and identify new plausible genetic determinants, including IL7R polymorphisms, regulating measles vaccine-induced immunity in a race-specific manner.
Measles vaccine; Immunity; Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms; Haplotypes; Cytokine; Cytokine receptor
Widespread vaccination with vaccinia virus (VACV) resulted in the eradication of smallpox; however, the licensed VACV-containing vaccines are associated with adverse events (AEs), making them unsuitable for certain high-risk populations. A better understanding of the host immune response following smallpox vaccination could result in vaccines with similar immunogenicity profiles to pre-eradication vaccines with a lower incidence of AEs. To study the immune response to VACV, we recruited 1,076 armed forces members who had been vaccinated with one dose of Dryvax®. We measured multiple VACV-specific immune responses: neutralizing antibody titer, the level of 12 secreted cytokines in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures (IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-12p70, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IFN-α, IFN-β, and IL-18), and the number of IFN-γ- and CD8+ IFN-γ-secreting cells. We analyzed these data to determine correlations between immune response measures. We detected a strong proinflammatory response in concert with a Th-1-like cytokine response pattern at a median time point of 15.3 mo following primary vaccination. We also detected correlations between neutralizing antibody titer and secreted IL-2, as well as secreted IFN-γ (p=0.009 and p=0.0007, respectively). We also detected strong correlations between the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-12p40 (p<0.0001). These results further advance our knowledge of vaccinia-specific cellular immune responses. Notably, vaccine-induced proinflammatory responses were not correlated with neutralizing antibody titers, suggesting that further attenuation to reduce inflammatory immune responses may result in decreased AEs without sacrificing VACV immunogenicity and population seropositivity.
Studies from selected candidate genes suggest that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) involved in glutathione metabolism, DNA repair, or inflammatory responses may affect overall survival (OS) in stages I-II or low stage non-small cell lung cancer (LS-NSCLC); however, results are inconclusive. In this study, we took a systematic pathway-based approach to simultaneously evaluate the impact of genetic variation from these three pathways on OS following LS-NSCLC diagnosis.
DNA from 647 patients with LS-NSCLC was genotyped for 480 SNPs (tagSNPs) tagging 57 genes from the three candidate pathways. Associations of tagSNPs with OS were assessed at the individual SNP and whole gene levels, adjusting for age, tumor stage, surgery type, and adjuvant therapy. The genotype combinations of the SNPs associated with OS was also estimated.
Among the 412 tagSNPs that were successfully genotyped and passed multi-step quality assessments, 28 showed association with OS (p<0.05). Two of the 28 were estimated to have less than a 20% chance of being false positives (rs3768490 in GSTM4 gene: p=1.32×10-4, q=0.06; rs1729786 in ABCC4 gene: p=9.25×10-4, q=0.20). Gene-based analysis suggested that, in addition to GSTM4 and ABCC4, variation in two other genes, PTGS2 and GSTA2, was also associated with OS.
We describe further evidence that variations in genes involved in the glutathione and inflammatory response pathways are associated with OS in patients with LS-NSCLC. Further studies are warranted to verify our findings and elucidate their functional mechanisms and clinical utility leading to improved survival for lung cancer patients.
glutathione metabolism; DNA repair; inflammation response; genetic polymorphisms; non-small-cell lung cancer; survival analysis
Background. Identifying genetic factors that influence poxvirus immunity across races may assist in the development of better vaccines and approaches for vaccine development.
Methods. We performed an extensive candidate-gene genetic screen (across 32 cytokine and cytokine receptor genes) in a racially diverse cohort of 1056 healthy adults after a single dose of smallpox vaccine. Associations between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)/haplotypes and vaccinia virus–specific neutralizing antibodies were assessed using linear regression methodologies.
Results. The combined analysis identified 63 associations between candidate SNPs and antibody levels after smallpox vaccination with P < .05. Thirty-one of these were within the IL18R1 and IL18 genes. Five IL18R1 SNPs, including a coding synonymous polymorphism rs1035130 (Phe251Phe) and 2 promoter SNPs (rs6710885, rs2287037), all in linkage disequilibrium, were associated with significant variations in antibody levels in both Caucasians (P ≤ .016) and African Americans (P ≤ .025). Similarly, associations with 2 intronic IL18 SNPs (rs2043055 and rs5744280) were consistent in the Caucasian (P ≤ .023) and African American samples (P ≤ .014). Haplotype analysis revealed highly significant associations between IL18R1 haplotypes and vaccinia virus–specific antibody levels (P < .001, by combined analysis) that were consistent across races.
Conclusions. Our study provides evidence for IL18 and IL18R1 genes as plausible genes regulating the humoral immune response to smallpox vaccine in both Caucasians and African Americans.
Investigations of breast carcinogenesis often rely upon comparisons between cancer tissue and nonmalignant breast tissue. It is unclear how well common reference sources of nonmalignant breast tissues reflect normal breast tissue.
Breast tissue samples were evaluated from three sources: 1) normal donor tissues in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Tissue Bank at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center (KTB), 2) women who underwent reduction mammaplasty (RM) at Mayo Clinic Rochester, and 3) the Mayo Clinic Benign Breast Disease Cohort Study (BBD). Samples were examined histologically and assessed for proliferative disease and degree of lobular involution. Univariate comparisons were performed among the study groups, and multivariate analyses were performed with logistic regression to assess the association between study group and the presence of epithelial proliferative disease and complete lobular involution.
Histologic data were collected for 455 KTB samples, 259 RM samples, and 319 BBD samples. Histologic findings and the frequency of epithelial proliferation were significantly different among the groups. Histologic abnormalities were seen in a minority of the KTB samples (35%), whereas an abnormality was present in 88% of RM tissues and 97.5% of BBD samples. The presence of proliferative disease (with or without atypical hyperplasia) was present in 3.3% of normal donors (3.3%), 17% of RM samples, and 34.9% of BBD samples, (p<0.0001 for each comparison). Multivariate analyses confirmed that these differences remained significant and also showed higher likelihood of complete lobular involution in the normal donor samples compared to RM and BBD tissues.
Compared to benign breast disease tissues and reduction mammaplasty tissues, breast tissue samples from normal donors have significantly fewer histologic abnormalities and a higher frequency of more complete lobular involution. Breast tissue samples from normal donors represent a unique tissue resource with histologic features consistent with lower breast cancer risk.
The measurement of measles-specific neutralizing antibodies, directed against the surface measles virus hemagglutinin and fusion proteins, is considered the gold standard in measles serology. We assessed functional measles-specific neutralizing antibody levels in a racially diverse cohort of 763 young healthy adolescents after receipt of two doses of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, by the use of an automated plaque reduction microneutralization (PRMN) assay, and evaluated their relevance to protective antibody levels, as well as their associations with demographic and clinical variables. We also concurrently assessed measles-specific IFNγ Elispot responses and their relation to the observed antibody concentrations.
The geometric mean titer for our cohort was 832 mIU/mL (95% CIs: 776; 891). Sixty-eight subjects (8.9%) had antibody concentrations of less than the protective threshold of 210 mIU/mL (corresponding to PRMN titer of 120; suggesting protection against symptomatic disease), and 177 subjects (23.2%) demonstrated persisting antibody concentrations above 1,841 mIU/mL (corresponding to PRMN titer of 1,052; suggesting total protection against viral infection), 7.4 years after vaccination, in the absence of wild-type virus boosting. The mean measles-specific IFNγ Elispot response for our cohort was 46 (95% CIs: 43; 49) IFNγ-positive spots per 200,000 cells with no relation of cellular immunity measures to the observed antibody concentrations. No significant associations between antibody titers and demographic and clinical variables, including gender and race, were observed in our study.
In conclusion, in a large observational study of measles immunity, we used an automated high-throughput measles virus-specific neutralization assay to measure humoral immunity, and concurrently determined measles-specific cellular immunity to aid the assessment of potential susceptibility to measles in vaccinated populations.
measles; vaccine; neutralizing antibodies; cellular immunity; plaque reduction microneutralization
Background. The role of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes in mediating adaptive immune responses to smallpox vaccine remains unknown.
Methods. We determined genotypes for a group of individuals (n = 1071) who received a single dose of smallpox vaccine (Dryvax, Wyeth Laboratories) and examined associations between HLA alleles and 15 immune outcomes to smallpox vaccine on a per-locus and a per-allele level.
Results. We found significant associations between the HLA-B and HLA - DQB1 loci and vaccinia-induced antibodies (P = .04 for each locus), with the HLA-B*1302 (P = .036), B*3802 (P = .011), DQB1*0302 (P = .015), and DQB1*0604 (P = .017) alleles being associated with higher levels. Significant global associations were identified between vaccinia-specific interferon (IFN)–γ and DQA1 (P = .003), interleukin (IL)–1β and HLA-B (P = .004), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)–α and HLA-B (P = .006), and IL-6 and HLA-B locus (P = .016) for secreted cytokines, as well as between CD8α+ IFN-γ Elispot responses and DQB1 (P = .027). Subjects carrying B*3906 (P = .006) and B*5701 (P < .001) secreted higher levels of IL-1β than did subjects who did not carry these alleles. Subjects carrying the B*5301 (P = .047) and B*5601 (P = .008) alleles secreted less IL-1β, compared with subjects who did not carry these alleles. The B*3502 (P = .009), B*5601 (P = .004), and B*5701 (P < .001) alleles were significantly associated with variations in TNF-α secretion.
Conclusions. These data suggest that variations in antibody and cellular IFN-γ, IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6 immune responses after receipt of smallpox vaccine are genetically controlled by HLA genes or genes in close linkage disequilibrium to these alleles.