Background: Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) is a thiol isomerase secreted by vascular cells that is required for thrombus formation. Quercetin flavonoids inhibit PDI activity and block platelet accumulation and fibrin generation at the site of a vascular injury in mouse models but the clinical effect of targeting extracellular PDI in humans has not been studied. Methods: We conducted a multi-center phase 2 trial of sequential dosing cohorts to evaluate the efficacy of targeting PDI with isoquercetin to reduce hypercoagulability in cancer patients at high risk for thrombosis. Patients received isoquercetin at 500 mg (cohort A, N=28) or 1000 mg (cohort B, N=29) daily for 56 days with laboratory assays performed at baseline and end-of-study, along with bilateral lower extremity compression ultrasound. The primary efficacy endpoint was a reduction in D-dimer and the primary clinical endpoint included pulmonary embolism or proximal deep vein thrombosis. Results: The administration of isoquercetin 1000 mg decreased D-dimer plasma concentrations by a median of -21.9% (P=0.0002). There were no primary VTE events or major hemorrhages observed in either cohort. Isoquercetin increased PDI inhibitory activity in plasma (37.0% in cohort A, N=25, P<0.001; 73.3% in cohort B, N=22, P<0.001, respectively). Corroborating the antithrombotic efficacy, we also observed a significant decrease in platelet-dependent thrombin generation (cohort A median decrease -31.1%, P=0.007; cohort B median decrease -57.2%, P=0.004) and circulating soluble P-selectin at the 1000 mg isoquercetin dose (median decrease -57.9%, P<0.0001). Conclusions: Isoquercetin represents first-in-class inhibitor of PDI demonstrating efficacy in improving markers of coagulation in advanced cancer patients. Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02195232
Jeffrey I. Zwicker, Benjamin L. Schlechter, Jack D. Stopa, Howard Liebman, Anita Aggarwal, Maneka Puligandla, Thomas Caughey, Kenneth A. Bauer, Nancy Kuemmerle, Ellice Wong, Ted Wun, Marilyn McLaughlin, Manuel Hidalgo, Donna Neuberg, Bruce Furie, Robert Flaumenhaft
BACKGROUND. The West African Ebola virus epidemic from 2014–2016 highlighted the lack of knowledge about the pathogenicity of the virus and the factors responsible for outcome. A performant and rapid diagnosis is of crucial importance, as is overcoming the difficulty of providing high-quality patient management during such an extensive outbreak. Here, we propose to study the role of the immune mediators during Ebola virus disease and to define some molecules of importance in the outcome. METHODS. Plasma from Guinean patients sampled during the outbreak were analyzed using RT-qPCR, magnetic bead assay, ELISA, and high-quality statistical analyses. We also performed a transcriptomic analysis in leukocytes samples. Therefore, we deeply characterized the immune responses involved in Ebola virus disease. RESULTS. We evaluated the immune patterns depending on the outcome of the disease. Survivors presented an efficient and well-balanced immune response, whereas fatalities were characterized by an intense inflammatory response, overexpression of multiple cytokines, and a “chemokine storm.” The plasma concentration of most of the parameters tested increased until death. Statistical analyses also allowed us to define a panel of markers highly predictive of outcome. CONCLUSION. The immune response observed in fatalities was highly similar to that characterizing septic shock syndrome. Our results suggest that immune responses can play a major pathogenic role during severe Ebola virus infection and argue in favor of therapeutic approaches that act on both viral replication and the induction of shock syndrome. FUNDING. French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Agence Française de Développement, and the Institut Pasteur.
Stéphanie Reynard, Alexandra Journeaux, Emilie Gloaguen, Justine Schaeffer, Hugo Varet, Natalia Pietrosemoli, Mathieu Mateo, Nicolas Baillet, Cédric Laouenan, Hervé Raoul, Jimmy Mullaert, Sylvain Baize
BACKGROUND. Increasing evidence indicates a role for EBV in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). EBV-infected autoreactive B cells might accumulate in the CNS because of defective cytotoxic CD8+ T cell immunity. We sought to determine the feasibility and safety of treating progressive MS patients with autologous EBV-specific T cell therapy. METHODS. An open-label phase I trial was designed to treat 5 patients with secondary progressive MS and 5 patients with primary progressive MS with 4 escalating doses of in vitro–expanded autologous EBV-specific T cells targeting EBV nuclear antigen 1, latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), and LMP2A. Following adoptive immunotherapy, we monitored the patients for safety and clinical responses. RESULTS. Of the 13 recruited participants, 10 received the full course of T cell therapy. There were no serious adverse events. Seven patients showed improvement, with 6 experiencing both symptomatic and objective neurological improvement, together with a reduction in fatigue, improved quality of life, and, in 3 patients, reduced intrathecal IgG production. All 6 patients receiving T cells with strong EBV reactivity showed clinical improvement, whereas only 1 of the 4 patients receiving T cells with weak EBV reactivity showed improvement (P = 0.033, Fisher’s exact test). CONCLUSION. EBV-specific adoptive T cell therapy was well tolerated. Clinical improvement following treatment was associated with the potency of EBV-specific reactivity of the administered T cells. Further clinical trials are warranted to determine the efficacy of EBV-specific T cell therapy in MS. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12615000422527. FUNDING. MS Queensland, MS Research Australia, Perpetual Trustee Company Ltd., and donations from private individuals who wish to remain anonymous.
Michael P. Pender, Peter A. Csurhes, Corey Smith, Nanette L. Douglas, Michelle A. Neller, Katherine K. Matthews, Leone Beagley, Sweera Rehan, Pauline Crooks, Tracey J. Hopkins, Stefan Blum, Kerryn A. Green, Zara A. Ioannides, Andrew Swayne, Blake T. Aftab, Kaye D. Hooper, Scott R. Burrows, Kate M. Thompson, Alan Coulthard, Rajiv Khanna
BACKGROUND. Resting brain connectivity is a crucial component of human behavior demonstrated by disruptions in psychosexual and emotional disorders. Kisspeptin, a recently identified critical reproductive hormone, can alter activity in certain brain structures but its effects on resting brain connectivity and networks in humans remain elusive. METHODS. We determined the effects of kisspeptin on resting brain connectivity (using functional neuroimaging) and behavior (using psychometric analyses) in healthy men, in a randomized double-blinded 2-way placebo-controlled study. RESULTS. Kisspeptin’s modulation of the default mode network (DMN) correlated with increased limbic activity in response to sexual stimuli (globus pallidus r = 0.500, P = 0.005; cingulate r = 0.475, P = 0.009). Furthermore, kisspeptin’s DMN modulation was greater in men with less reward drive (r = –0.489, P = 0.008) and predicted reduced sexual aversion (r = –0.499, P = 0.006), providing key functional significance. Kisspeptin also enhanced key mood connections including between the amygdala-cingulate, hippocampus-cingulate, and hippocampus–globus pallidus (all P < 0.05). Consistent with this, kisspeptin’s enhancement of hippocampus–globus pallidus connectivity predicted increased responses to negative stimuli in limbic structures (including the thalamus and cingulate [all P < 0.01]). CONCLUSION. Taken together, our data demonstrate a previously unknown role for kisspeptin in the modulation of functional brain connectivity and networks, integrating these with reproductive hormones and behaviors. Our findings that kisspeptin modulates resting brain connectivity to enhance sexual and emotional processing and decrease sexual aversion, provide foundation for kisspeptin-based therapies for associated disorders of body and mind. FUNDING. NIHR, MRC, and Wellcome Trust.
Alexander N. Comninos, Lysia Demetriou, Matthew B. Wall, Amar J. Shah, Sophie A. Clarke, Shakunthala Narayanaswamy, Alexander Nesbitt, Chioma Izzi-Engbeaya, Julia K. Prague, Ali Abbara, Risheka Ratnasabapathy, Lisa Yang, Victoria Salem, Gurjinder M. Nijher, Channa N. Jayasena, Mark Tanner, Paul Bassett, Amrish Mehta, John McGonigle, Eugenii A. Rabiner, Stephen R. Bloom, Waljit S. Dhillo
BACKGROUND. Because injury is universal in organ transplantation, heart transplant endomyocardial biopsies present an opportunity to explore response to injury in heart parenchyma. Histology has limited ability to assess injury, potentially confusing it with rejection, whereas molecular changes have potential to distinguish injury from rejection. Building on previous studies of transcripts associated with T cell–mediated rejection (TCMR) and antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR), we explored transcripts reflecting injury. METHODS. Microarray data from 889 prospectively collected endomyocardial biopsies from 454 transplant recipients at 14 centers were subjected to unsupervised principal component analysis and archetypal analysis to detect variation not explained by rejection. The resulting principal component and archetype scores were then examined for their transcript, transcript set, and pathway associations and compared to the histology diagnoses and left ventricular function. RESULTS. Rejection was reflected by principal components PC1 and PC2, and by archetype scores S2TCMR, and S3ABMR, with S1normal indicating normalness. PC3 and a new archetype score, S4injury, identified unexplained variation correlating with expression of transcripts inducible in injury models, many expressed in macrophages and associated with inflammation in pathway analysis. S4injury scores were high in recent transplants, reflecting donation-implantation injury, and both S4injury and S2TCMR were associated with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. CONCLUSION. Assessment of injury is necessary for accurate estimates of rejection and for understanding heart transplant phenotypes. Biopsies with molecular injury but no molecular rejection were often misdiagnosed rejection by histology. TRAIL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02670408 FUNDING. Roche Organ Transplant Research Foundation, the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation, and Alberta Health Services.
Philip F. Halloran, Jeff Reeve, Arezu Z. Aliabadi, Martin Cadeiras, Marisa G. Crespo-Leiro, Mario Deng, Eugene C. Depasquale, Johannes Goekler, Xavier Jouven, Daniel H. Kim, Jon Kobashigawa, Alexandre Loupy, Peter Macdonald, Luciano Potena, Andreas Zuckermann, Michael D. Parkes
BACKGROUND. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) results from loss of immune regulation, leading to the development of autoimmunity to pancreatic β cells, involving autoreactive T effector cells (Teffs). Tregs, which prevent autoimmunity, require IL-2 for maintenance of immunosuppressive functions. Using a response-adaptive design, we aimed to determine the optimal regimen of aldesleukin (recombinant human IL-2) to physiologically enhance Tregs while limiting expansion of Teffs. METHODS. DILfrequency is a nonrandomized, open-label, response-adaptive study of participants, aged 18–70 years, with T1D. The initial learning phase allocated 12 participants to 6 different predefined regimens. Then, 3 cohorts of 8 participants were sequentially allocated dose frequencies, based on repeated interim analyses of all accumulated trial data. The coprimary endpoints were percentage change in Tregs and Teffs and CD25 (α subunit of the IL-2 receptor) expression by Tregs, from baseline to steady state. RESULTS. Thirty-eight participants were enrolled, with thirty-six completing treatment. The optimal regimen to maintain a steady-state increase in Tregs of 30% and CD25 expression of 25% without Teff expansion is 0.26 × 106 IU/m2 (95% CI –0.007 to 0.485) every 3 days. Tregs and CD25 were dose-frequency responsive, Teffs were not. The commonest adverse event was injection site reaction (464 of 694 events). CONCLUSIONS. Using a response-adaptive design, aldesleukin treatment can be optimized. Our methodology can generally be employed to immediately access proof of mechanism, thereby leading to more efficient and safe drug development. TRIAL REGISTRATION. International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register, ISRCTN40319192; ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02265809. FUNDING. Sir Jules Thorn Trust, the Swiss National Science Foundation, Wellcome, JDRF, and NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.
Eleonora Seelig, James Howlett, Linsey Porter, Lucy Truman, James Heywood, Jane Kennet, Emma L. Arbon, Katerina Anselmiova, Neil M. Walker, Ravinder Atkar, Marcin L. Pekalski, Ed Rytina, Mark Evans, Linda S. Wicker, John A. Todd, Adrian P. Mander, Simon Bond, Frank Waldron-Lynch
BACKGROUND. Neutrophils and their inflammatory mediators are key pathogenic components in multiple autoimmune diseases, while their role in human type 1 diabetes (T1D), a disease that progresses sequentially through identifiable stages prior to the clinical onset, is not well understood. We previously reported that the number of circulating neutrophils is reduced in patients with T1D and in presymptomatic at-risk subjects. The aim of the present work was to identify possible changes in circulating and pancreas-residing neutrophils throughout the disease course to better elucidate neutrophil involvement in human T1D. METHODS. Data collected from 389 subjects at risk of developing T1D, and enrolled in 4 distinct studies performed by TrialNet, were analyzed with comprehensive statistical approaches to determine whether the number of circulating neutrophils correlates with pancreas function. To obtain a broad analysis of pancreas-infiltrating neutrophils throughout all disease stages, pancreas sections collected worldwide from 4 different cohorts (i.e., nPOD, DiViD, Siena, and Exeter) were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. Finally, circulating neutrophils were purified from unrelated nondiabetic subjects and donors at various T1D stages and their transcriptomic signature was determined by RNA sequencing. RESULTS. Here, we show that the decline in β cell function is greatest in individuals with the lowest peripheral neutrophil numbers. Neutrophils infiltrate the pancreas prior to the onset of symptoms and they continue to do so as the disease progresses. Of interest, a fraction of these pancreas-infiltrating neutrophils also extrudes neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), suggesting a tissue-specific pathogenic role. Whole-transcriptome analysis of purified blood neutrophils revealed a unique molecular signature that is distinguished by an overabundance of IFN-associated genes; despite being healthy, said signature is already present in T1D-autoantibody-negative at-risk subjects. CONCLUSIONS. These results reveal an unexpected abnormality in neutrophil disposition both in the circulation and in the pancreas of presymptomatic and symptomatic T1D subjects, implying that targeting neutrophils might represent a previously unrecognized therapeutic modality. FUNDING. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), NIH, Diabetes UK.
Federica Vecchio, Nicola Lo Buono, Angela Stabilini, Laura Nigi, Matthew J. Dufort, Susan Geyer, Paola Maria Rancoita, Federica Cugnata, Alessandra Mandelli, Andrea Valle, Pia Leete, Francesca Mancarella, Peter S. Linsley, Lars Krogvold, Kevan C. Herold, Helena Elding Larsson, Sarah J. Richardson, Noel G. Morgan, Knut Dahl-Jørgensen, Guido Sebastiani, Francesco Dotta, Emanuele Bosi, the DRI_Biorepository Group, the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group, Manuela Battaglia
BACKGROUND. Plasma lipidomic measures may enable improved prediction of cardiovascular outcomes in secondary prevention. The aim of this study is to determine the association of plasma lipidomic measurements with cardiovascular events and assess their potential to predict such events. METHODS. Plasma lipids (n = 342) were measured in a retrospective subcohort (n = 5,991) of the LIPID study. Proportional hazards regression was used to identify lipids associated with future cardiovascular events (nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or cardiovascular death) and cardiovascular death. Multivariable models adding lipid species to traditional risk factors were created using lipid ranking established from the Akaike information criterion within a 5-fold cross-validation framework. The results were tested on a diabetic case cohort from the ADVANCE study (n = 3,779). RESULTS. Specific ceramide species, sphingolipids, phospholipids, and neutral lipids containing omega-6 fatty acids or odd-chain fatty acids were associated with future cardiovascular events (106 species) and cardiovascular death (139 species). The addition of 7 lipid species to a base model (11 conventional risk factors) resulted in an increase in the C-statistics from 0.629 (95% CI, 0.628–0.630) to 0.654 (95% CI, 0.653–0.656) for prediction of cardiovascular events and from 0.673 (95% CI, 0.671–0.675) to 0.727 (95% CI, 0.725–0.728) for prediction of cardiovascular death. Categorical net reclassification improvements for cardiovascular events and cardiovascular death were 0.083 (95% CI, 0.081–0.086) and 0.166 (95% CI, 0.162–0.170), respectively. Evaluation on the ADVANCE case cohort demonstrated significant improvement on the base models. CONCLUSIONS. The improvement in the prediction of cardiovascular outcomes, above conventional risk factors, demonstrates the potential of plasma lipidomic profiles as biomarkers for cardiovascular risk stratification in secondary prevention. FUNDING. Bristol-Myers Squibb, the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (grants 211086, 358395, and 1029754), and the Operational Infrastructure Support Program of the Victorian government of Australia.
Piyushkumar A. Mundra, Christopher K. Barlow, Paul J. Nestel, Elizabeth H. Barnes, Adrienne Kirby, Peter Thompson, David R. Sullivan, Zahir H. Alshehry, Natalie A. Mellett, Kevin Huynh, Kaushala S. Jayawardana, Corey Giles, Malcolm J. McConville, Sophia Zoungas, Graham S. Hillis, John Chalmers, Mark Woodward, Gerard Wong, Bronwyn A. Kingwell, John Simes, Andrew M. Tonkin, Peter J. Meikle, LIPID Study Investigators
BACKGROUND. The extent of weight loss among patients undergoing bariatric surgery is highly variable. Herein, we tested the contribution of genetic background to such interindividual variability after biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. METHODS. Percentage of excess body weight loss (%EBWL) was monitored in 865 patients over a period of 48 months after bariatric surgery, and two polygenic risk scores were constructed with 186 and 11 (PRS186 and PRS11) single nucleotide polymorphisms previously associated with body mass index (BMI). RESULTS. The accuracy of the %EBWL logistic prediction model — including initial BMI, age, sex, and surgery modality, and assessed as the area under the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve adjusted for optimism (AUCadj = 0.867) — significantly increased after the inclusion of PRS186 (ΔAUCadj = 0.021; 95% CI of the difference [95% CIdiff] = 0.005–0.038) but not PRS11 (ΔAUCadj= 0.008; 95% CIdiff= –0.003–0.019). The overall fit of the longitudinal linear mixed model for %EBWL showed a significant increase after addition of PRS186 (–2 log-likelihood = 12.3; P = 0.002) and PRS11 (–2 log-likelihood = 9.9; P = 0.007). A significant interaction with postsurgery time was found for PRS186 (β = –0.003; P = 0.008) and PRS11 (β = –0.008; P = 0.03). The inclusion of PRS186 and PRS11 in the model improved the cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery by reducing the percentage of false negatives from 20.4% to 10.9% and 10.2%, respectively. CONCLUSION. These results revealed that genetic background has a significant impact on weight loss after biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. Likewise, the improvement in weight loss prediction after addition of polygenic risk scores is cost-effective, suggesting that genetic testing could potentially be used in the presurgical assessment of patients with severe obesity. FUNDING. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (G-17-0016627) and Canada Research Chair in Genomics Applied to Nutrition and Metabolic Health (no. 950-231-580).
Juan de Toro-Martín, Frédéric Guénard, André Tchernof, Louis Pérusse, Simon Marceau, Marie-Claude Vohl
BACKGROUND. There is currently no clinical distinction between different TP53 mutations, despite increasing evidence that not all mutations have equally deleterious effects on the activity of the encoded tumor suppressor protein p53. The objective of this study was to determine whether these biological differences have clinical significance. METHODS. This retrospective cohort analysis included 2,074 patients with sporadic TP53 mutations (403 unique mutations) and 1,049 germline TP53 mutation carriers (188 unique mutations). Survival was projected by stratifying patients according to their p53 mutant–specific residual transcriptional activity scores. RESULTS. Pan-cancer survival analyses revealed a strong association between increased mutant p53 residual activity and improved survival in males with glioma and gastric adenocarcinoma (P = 0.002 and P = 0.02) that was not present in the female cohorts (P = 0.16 and P = 0.50). Male glioma and gastric cancer patients with TP53 mutations resulting in >5% transcriptional activity had 3.1-fold (95% CI, 2.4–3.8; P = 0.002; multivariate analysis hazard ratio [HR]) and 4.6-fold (95% CI, 3.7–5.6; P = 0.001; multivariate analysis HR) lower risk of death as compared with patients harboring inactive (0% activity) p53 mutants. The correlation between mutant p53 residual activity with survival was recapitulated in the dataset of germline TP53 mutation carriers (HR = 3.0, 95% CI, 2.7–3.4, P < 0.001 [females]; HR = 2.2, 95% CI, 1.8–2.6, P < 0.001 [males]), where brain and gastric tumors were more common among males (P < 0.001 and P = 0.001, respectively). CONCLUSION. The retention of mutant p53 transcriptional activity prognosticates superior survival for men with glioma and gastric adenocarcinoma harboring sporadic TP53 mutations. Among germline TP53 mutation carriers, increased residual transcriptional activity is correlated with prolonged lifetime cancer survival and delayed tumor onset, and males are more prone to develop brain and gastric tumors. FUNDING. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (no. 148556).
Nicholas W. Fischer, Aaron Prodeus, Jean Gariépy
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