BACKGROUND. Our goal was to identify changes in the metabolome in multiple sclerosis (MS) and how vitamin D supplementation alters metabolic profiles in MS patients and healthy controls. METHODS. We applied global untargeted metabolomics to plasma from a cross-sectional cohort of age- and sex-matched MS patients and controls and a second longitudinal cohort of MS patients and healthy controls who received 5,000 IU cholecalciferol daily for 90 days. We applied partial least squares discriminant analysis, weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA), and pathway analysis to the metabolomics data. Generalized estimating equations models were used to assess change in WGCNA-identified module scores or metabolite pathways with vitamin D supplementation. RESULTS. Utilizing multiple analytical techniques, we identified metabolic alterations in oxidative stress (γ-glutamyl amino acid, glutathione) and xenobiotic metabolism (benzoate, caffeine) in MS patients compared with healthy controls in the first cohort. In the vitamin D supplementation cohort, we identified two sets of metabolites altered differentially between MS patients and healthy controls with vitamin D supplementation. The first included markers of oxidative stress and protein oxidation (P = 0.006), while the second contained lysolipids and fatty acids (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS. Using metabolomics, we identified alterations in oxidative stress and xenobiotic metabolism in MS patients and subsequently demonstrated a reduction of oxidative stress markers with vitamin D supplementation in healthy controls but not in MS patients. We demonstrate the utility of metabolomics in identifying aberrant metabolic processes and in monitoring the ability of therapeutic interventions to correct these abnormalities. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01667796. FUNDING. This study was supported by NIH grant K23 NS067055, grants from the Race to Erase MS, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Academy of Neurology, and North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis.
Pavan Bhargava, Kathryn C. Fitzgerald, Peter A. Calabresi, Ellen M. Mowry
BACKGROUND. HIV-infected individuals, even well controlled with combined antiretroviral therapy (cART), have systemic inflammation and comorbidities. Substance P (SP) is an undecapeptide, which mediates neurotransmission and inflammation through its cognate neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R). Plasma SP levels are elevated in HIV-infected individuals. The FDA-approved antiemetic aprepitant, an NK1R antagonist, has anti-HIV effects and antiinflammatory actions. We evaluated the safety, pharmacokinetics, and antiinflammatory properties of aprepitant in HIV-positive individuals receiving cART. METHODS. We conducted a phase 1B study of 12 HIV-positive individuals on a ritonavir-containing regimen (HIV viral load less than 40 copies/ml and CD4 > 400 cells/μl). Participants received open-label aprepitant 375 mg per day for 28 days and were followed for an additional 30 days. Changes in plasma levels of proinflammatory markers were assessed using flow cytometry, ELISA, luminex, and SOMAscan assays. RESULTS. The mean peak aprepitant plasma concentration was 30.7 ± 15.3 μg/ml at day 14 and 23.3 ± 12.3 μg/ml at day 28. Aprepitant treatment resulted in decreased plasma SP levels and affected 176 plasma proteins (56 after FDR) and several metabolic pathways, including inflammation and lipid metabolism. No change in soluble CD163 was observed. Aprepitant treatment was associated with a moderate increases in total and HDL cholesterol and affected select hematologic and metabolic markers, which returned to baseline levels 30 days after aprepitant treatment was stopped. There were 12 mild and 10 moderate adverse events (AE). CONCLUSIONS. Aprepitant is safe and well tolerated. The antiinflammatory properties of aprepitant make it a possible adjunctive therapy for comorbid conditions associated with HIV infection. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02154360). FUNDING. This research was funded by NIH UO1 MH090325, P30 MH097488, and PO1 MH105303.
Sergei Spitsin, Pablo Tebas, Jeffrey S. Barrett, Vasiliki Pappa, Deborah Kim, Deanne Taylor, Dwight L. Evans, Steven D. Douglas
BACKGROUND. Neuronal remodeling in human heart disease is not well understood. METHODS. Stellate ganglia from patients with cardiomyopathy (CMY) and refractory ventricular arrhythmias undergoing cardiac sympathetic denervation (n = 8), and from organ donors with normal hearts (n = 8) collected at the time of organ procurement were compared. Clinical data on all subjects were reviewed. Electron microscopy (EM), histologic, and immunohistochemical assessments of neurotransmitter profiles, glial activation and distribution, and lipofuscin deposition, a marker of oxidative stress, were quantified. RESULTS. In CMY specimens, lipofuscin deposits were larger, and present in more neurons (26.3% ± 6.3% vs. 16.7% ± 7.6%, P < 0.043), than age-matched controls. EM analysis revealed extensive mitochondrial degeneration in CMY specimens. T cell (CD3+) infiltration was identified in 60% of the CMY samples, with one case having large inflammatory nodules, while none were identified in controls. Myeloperoxidase-immunoreactive neutrophils were also identified at parenchymal sites distinct from inflammatory foci in CMY ganglia, but not in controls. The adrenergic phenotype of pathologic samples revealed a decrease in tyrosine hydroxylase staining intensity compared with controls. Evaluation of cholinergic phenotype by staining for the vesicular acetylcholine transporter revealed a low but comparable number of cholinergic neurons in ganglia from both groups and demonstrated that preganglionic cholinergic innervation was maintained in CMY ganglia. S100 staining (a glial cell marker) demonstrated no differences in glial distribution and relationship to neurons; however, glial activation demonstrated by glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) staining was substantially increased in pathologic specimens compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS. Stellate ganglia from patients with CMY and arrhythmias demonstrate inflammation, neurochemical remodeling, oxidative stress, and satellite glial cell activation. These changes likely contribute to excessive and dysfunctional efferent sympathetic tone, and provide a rationale for sympathectomy as a treatment for arrhythmias in this population. FUNDING. This work was made possible by support from NIH grants HL125730 to OAA, GM107949 to DBH, and HL084261 and OT2OD023848 to KS.
Olujimi A. Ajijola, Donald B. Hoover, Thomas M. Simerly, T. Christopher Brown, Jane Yanagawa, Reshma M. Biniwale, Jay M. Lee, Ali Sadeghi, Negar Khanlou, Jeffrey L. Ardell, Kalyanam Shivkumar
BACKGROUND. Inflammation and monocytes are thought to be important to human malaria pathogenesis. However, the relationship of inflammation and various monocyte functions to acute malaria, recovery from acute malaria, and asymptomatic parasitemia in endemic populations is poorly understood. METHODS. We evaluated plasma cytokine levels, monocyte subsets, monocyte functional responses, and monocyte inflammatory transcriptional profiles of 1- to 10-year-old Kenyan children at the time of presentation with acute uncomplicated malaria and at recovery 6 weeks later; these results were compared with analogous data from asymptomatic children and adults in the same community. RESULTS. Acute malaria was marked by elevated levels of proinflammatory and regulatory cytokines and expansion of the inflammatory “intermediate” monocyte subset that returned to levels of healthy asymptomatic children 6 weeks later. Monocytes displayed activated phenotypes during acute malaria, with changes in surface expression of markers important to innate and adaptive immunity. Functionally, acute malaria monocytes and monocytes from asymptomatic infected children had impaired phagocytosis of P. falciparum–infected erythrocytes relative to asymptomatic children with no blood-stage infection. Monocytes from both acute malaria and recovery time points displayed strong and equivalent cytokine responsiveness to innate immune agonists that were independent of infection status. Monocyte transcriptional profiles revealed regulated and balanced proinflammatory and antiinflammatory and altered phagocytosis gene expression patterns distinct from malaria-naive monocytes. CONCLUSION. These observations provide insights into monocyte functions and the innate immune response during uncomplicated malaria and suggest that asymptomatic parasitemia in children is not clinically benign. FUNDING. Support for this work was provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R01AI095192-05), the Burroughs Wellcome Fund/American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation.
Katherine R. Dobbs, Paula Embury, John Vulule, Peter S. Odada, Bruce A. Rosa, Makedonka Mitreva, James W. Kazura, Arlene E. Dent
BACKGROUND. In obese subjects with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) may be linked to systemic and adipose tissue inflammation. METHODS. We obtained abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies from OSA and non-OSA obese (BMI > 35) subjects at baseline and after 24 weeks (T1) of weight-loss intervention plus continuous positive airway pressure (c-PAP) or weight-loss intervention alone, respectively. OSA subjects were grouped according to good (therapeutic) or poor (subtherapeutic) adherence to c-PAP. RESULTS. At baseline, anthropometric and metabolic parameters, serum cytokines, and adipose tissue mRNA levels of obesity-associated chemokines and inflammatory markers were not different in OSA and non-OSA subjects. At T1, body weight was significantly reduced in all groups. Serum concentrations of IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, MCP-1, PDGFβ, and VEGFα were reduced by therapeutic c-PAP in OSA subjects and remained unaltered in non-OSA and subtherapeutic c-PAP groups. Similarly, adipose tissue mRNA levels of macrophage-specific (CD68, CD36) and ER stress (ATF4, CHOP, ERO-1) gene markers, as well as of IL-6, PDGFβ, and VEGFα, were decreased only in the therapeutic c-PAP group. CONCLUSION. CIH does not represent an additional factor increasing systemic and adipose tissue inflammation in morbid obesity. However, in subjects with OSA, an effective c-PAP therapy improves systemic and obesity-associated inflammatory markers. FUNDING. Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca and Progetti di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale.
Sebastio Perrini, Angelo Cignarelli, Vitaliano Nicola Quaranta, Vito Antonio Falcone, Stella Kounaki, Stefania Porro, Alessandro Ciavarella, Romina Ficarella, Maria Barbaro, Valentina Annamaria Genchi, Pasquale Nigro, Pierluigi Carratù, Annalisa Natalicchio, Luigi Laviola, Onofrio Resta, Francesco Giorgino
BACKGROUND. The impact of resistance exercise training (RE-T) across the life span is poorly defined. METHODS. To resolve this, we recruited three distinct age cohorts of young (18–28 years; n = 11), middle-aged (45–55 years; n = 20), and older (nonsarcopenic; 65–75 years; n = 17) individuals to a cross-sectional intervention study. All subjects participated in 20 weeks of fully supervised whole-body progressive RE-T, undergoing assessment of body composition, muscle and vascular function, and metabolic health biomarkers before and after RE-T. Individuals also received stable isotope tracer infusions to ascertain muscle protein synthesis (MPS). RESULTS. There was an age-related increase in adiposity, but only young and middle-age groups demonstrated reductions following RE-T. Increases in blood pressure with age were attenuated by RE-T in middle-aged, but not older, individuals, while age-related increases in leg vascular conductance were unaffected by RE-T. The index of insulin sensitivity was reduced by RE-T in older age. Despite being matched at baseline, only younger individuals increased muscle mass in response to RE-T, and there existed a negative correlation between age and muscle growth; in contrast, increases in mechanical quality were preserved across ages. Acute increases in MPS (upon feeding plus acute RE-T) were enhanced only in younger individuals, perhaps explaining greater hypertrophy. CONCLUSION. Our data indicate that RE-T offsets some, but not all, negative characteristics of ageing — some of which are apparent in midlife. FUNDING. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/C516779/1).
Bethan E. Phillips, John P. Williams, Paul L. Greenhaff, Kenneth Smith, Philip J. Atherton
BACKGROUND. Lack of investigatory and diagnostic tools has been a major contributing factor to the failure to mechanistically understand lymphedema and other lymphatic disorders in order to develop effective drug and surgical therapies. One difficulty has been understanding the true changes in lymph vessel pathology from standard 2D tissue sections. METHODS. VIPAR (volume information-based histopathological analysis by 3D reconstruction and data extraction), a light-sheet microscopy–based approach for the analysis of tissue biopsies, is based on digital reconstruction and visualization of microscopic image stacks. VIPAR allows semiautomated segmentation of the vasculature and subsequent nonbiased extraction of characteristic vessel shape and connectivity parameters. We applied VIPAR to analyze biopsies from healthy lymphedematous and lymphangiomatous skin. RESULTS. Digital 3D reconstruction provided a directly visually interpretable, comprehensive representation of the lymphatic and blood vessels in the analyzed tissue volumes. The most conspicuous features were disrupted lymphatic vessels in lymphedematous skin and a hyperplasia (4.36-fold lymphatic vessel volume increase) in the lymphangiomatous skin. Both abnormalities were detected by the connectivity analysis based on extracted vessel shape and structure data. The quantitative evaluation of extracted data revealed a significant reduction of lymphatic segment length (51.3% and 54.2%) and straightness (89.2% and 83.7%) for lymphedematous and lymphangiomatous skin, respectively. Blood vessel length was significantly increased in the lymphangiomatous sample (239.3%). CONCLUSION. VIPAR is a volume-based tissue reconstruction data extraction and analysis approach that successfully distinguished healthy from lymphedematous and lymphangiomatous skin. Its application is not limited to the vascular systems or skin. FUNDING. Max Planck Society, DFG (SFB 656), and Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence EXC 1003.
René Hägerling, Dominik Drees, Aaron Scherzinger, Cathrin Dierkes, Silvia Martin-Almedina, Stefan Butz, Kristiana Gordon, Michael Schäfers, Klaus Hinrichs, Pia Ostergaard, Dietmar Vestweber, Tobias Goerge, Sahar Mansour, Xiaoyi Jiang, Peter S. Mortimer, Friedemann Kiefer
BACKGROUND. Noninvasive detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) with high specificity and sensitivity can greatly facilitate identification of at-risk populations for earlier, more effective intervention. AD patients exhibit a myriad of retinal pathologies, including hallmark amyloid β-protein (Aβ) deposits. METHODS. Burden, distribution, cellular layer, and structure of retinal Aβ plaques were analyzed in flat mounts and cross sections of definite AD patients and controls (n = 37). In a proof-of-concept retinal imaging trial (n = 16), amyloid probe curcumin formulation was determined and protocol was established for retinal amyloid imaging in live patients. RESULTS. Histological examination uncovered classical and neuritic-like Aβ deposits with increased retinal Aβ42 plaques (4.7-fold; P = 0.0063) and neuronal loss (P = 0.0023) in AD patients versus matched controls. Retinal Aβ plaque mirrored brain pathology, especially in the primary visual cortex (P = 0.0097 to P = 0.0018; Pearson’s r = 0.84–0.91). Retinal deposits often associated with blood vessels and occurred in hot spot peripheral regions of the superior quadrant and innermost retinal layers. Transmission electron microscopy revealed retinal Aβ assembled into protofibrils and fibrils. Moreover, the ability to image retinal amyloid deposits with solid-lipid curcumin and a modified scanning laser ophthalmoscope was demonstrated in live patients. A fully automated calculation of the retinal amyloid index (RAI), a quantitative measure of increased curcumin fluorescence, was constructed. Analysis of RAI scores showed a 2.1-fold increase in AD patients versus controls (P = 0.0031). CONCLUSION. The geometric distribution and increased burden of retinal amyloid pathology in AD, together with the feasibility to noninvasively detect discrete retinal amyloid deposits in living patients, may lead to a practical approach for large-scale AD diagnosis and monitoring. FUNDING. National Institute on Aging award (AG044897) and The Saban and The Marciano Family Foundations.
Yosef Koronyo, David Biggs, Ernesto Barron, David S. Boyer, Joel A. Pearlman, William J. Au, Shawn J. Kile, Austin Blanco, Dieu-Trang Fuchs, Adeel Ashfaq, Sally Frautschy, Gregory M. Cole, Carol A. Miller, David R. Hinton, Steven R. Verdooner, Keith L. Black, Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui
BACKGROUND. Cross-reactive immunological material–negative (CRIM-negative) infantile Pompe disease (IPD) patients develop an immune response against enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with alglucosidase alfa that nullifies ERT efficacy. Prophylactic immune tolerance induction (ITI) with rituximab, methotrexate, and IVIG successfully prevents development of deleterious rhGAA IgG antibodies; however, safety, likelihood of success, and long-term efficacy of ITI in a larger cohort remain unknown. METHODS. Clinical data were analyzed for 19 CRIM-negative IPD patients who received ITI with rituximab, methotrexate, and IVIG in the ERT-naive setting (ERT+ITI) and compared to a historical cohort of 10 CRIM-negative IPD patients on ERT monotherapy. RESULTS. ITI was safely tolerated, although infections were reported in 4 patients. Fourteen (74%) ERT+ITI patients were alive, with a median age of 44.2 months at their final assessment. The eldest survivor was 103.9 months old, with 100.2 months of follow-up after initiation of ERT+ITI. Death (n = 5) occurred at a median age of 29.2 months and was unrelated to the administration of ITI. Fifteen patients either did not seroconvert (n = 8) or maintained low titers (n = 7; defined as titers of ≤6,400 throughout the course of ERT) following ERT+ITI. Only one patient developed high and sustained antibody titers (defined as titers of ≥51,200 at or beyond 6 months on ERT). Left ventricular mass index (LVMI) decreased from a median of 248.5 g/m2 at baseline to 76.8 g/m2 at a median time from ERT+ITI initiation to 59 weeks. ERT+ITI significantly improved overall survival (P = 0.001), eliminated/reduced antibodies at values of ≤6,400 at week 52 on ERT (P = 0.0004), and improved LVMI at week 52 on ERT (P = 0.02) when compared with ERT monotherapy. CONCLUSION. Evidence from this international cohort of CRIM-negative IPD patients further supports the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of ITI in the prevention of immune responses to ERT. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01665326. FUNDING. This research was supported in part by the Lysosomal Disease Network, a part of NIH Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network, and by a grant from Genzyme, a Sanofi company.
Zoheb B. Kazi, Ankit K. Desai, Kathryn L. Berrier, R. Bradley Troxler, Raymond Y. Wang, Omar A. Abdul-Rahman, Pranoot Tanpaiboon, Nancy J. Mendelsohn, Eli Herskovitz, David Kronn, Michal Inbar-Feigenberg, Catherine Ward-Melver, Michelle Polan, Punita Gupta, Amy S. Rosenberg, Priya S. Kishnani
BACKGROUND. Deficiency of IL-1 receptor antagonist (DIRA) is a rare autoinflammatory disease that presents with life-threatening systemic inflammation, aseptic multifocal osteomyelitis, and pustulosis responsive to IL-1–blocking treatment. This study was performed (a) to investigate rilonacept, a long-acting IL-1 inhibitor, in maintaining anakinra-induced inflammatory remission in DIRA patients, (b) to determine doses needed to maintain remission, and (c) to evaluate the safety and pharmacokinetics of rilonacept in young children (<12 years). METHODS. Six mutation-positive DIRA patients (children, ages 3–6 years), treated with daily anakinra, were enrolled into an open-label pilot study of subcutaneous rilonacept for 24 months. Clinical symptoms and inflammatory blood parameters were measured at all visits. A loading dose (4.4 mg/kg) was administered, followed by once weekly injections (2.2 mg/kg) for 12 months. Dose escalation (4.4 mg/kg) was allowed if inflammatory remission was not maintained. Subjects in remission at 12 months continued rilonacept for an additional 12 months. RESULTS. Five of six patients required dose escalation for findings of micropustules. Following dose escalation, all patients were in remission on weekly rilonacept administration, with stable laboratory parameters for the entire study period of 24 months. All children are growing at normal rates and have normal heights and weights. Quality of life improved while on rilonacept. No serious adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION. Rilonacept was found to maintain inflammatory remission in DIRA patients. The once weekly injection was well tolerated and correlated with increased quality of life, most likely related to the lack of daily injections. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01801449. FUNDING. NIH, NIAMS, and NIAID.
Megha Garg, Adriana A. de Jesus, Dawn Chapelle, Paul Dancey, Ronit Herzog, Rafael Rivas-Chacon, Theresa L. Wampler Muskardin, Ann Reed, James C. Reynolds, Raphaela Goldbach-Mansky, Gina A. Montealegre Sanchez
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