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
BACKGROUND. The duration and patterns of β cell dysfunction during type 1 diabetes (T1D) development have not been fully defined. METHODS. Metabolic measures derived from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) were compared between autoantibody-positive (aAb+) individuals followed in the TrialNet Pathway to Prevention study who developed diabetes after 5 or more years or less than 5 years of longitudinal follow-up (Progressors≥5, n = 75; Progressors<5, n = 474) and 144 aAb-negative (aAb–) relatives. RESULTS. Mean age at study entry was 15.0 ± 12.6 years for Progressors≥5; 12.0 ± 9.1 for Progressors<5; and 16.3 ± 10.4 for aAb– relatives. At baseline, Progressors≥5 already exhibited significantly lower fasting C-peptide (P < 0.01), C-peptide AUC (P < 0.001), and early C-peptide responses (30- to 0-minute C-peptide; P < 0.001) compared with aAb– relatives, while 2-hour glucose (P = 0.03), glucose AUC (<0.001), and Index60 (<0.001) were all higher. Despite significant baseline impairment, metabolic measures in Progressors≥5 were relatively stable until 2 years prior to T1D diagnosis, when there was accelerated C-peptide decline and rising glycemia from 2 years until diabetes diagnosis. Remarkably, patterns of progression within 3 years of diagnosis were nearly identical between Progressors≥5 and Progressors<5. CONCLUSION. These data provide insight into the chronicity of β cell dysfunction in T1D and indicate that β cell dysfunction may precede diabetes diagnosis by more than 5 years in a subset of aAb+ individuals. Even among individuals with varying lengths of aAb positivity, our findings indicate that patterns of metabolic decline are uniform within the last 3 years of progression to T1D. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00097292. FUNDING. The Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group is a clinical trials network currently funded by the NIH through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Carmella Evans-Molina, Emily K. Sims, Linda A. DiMeglio, Heba M. Ismail, Andrea K. Steck, Jerry P. Palmer, Jeffrey P. Krischer, Susan Geyer, Ping Xu, Jay M. Sosenko, the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group
BACKGROUND. Disruption of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) anion channel function causes cystic fibrosis (CF), and lung disease produces most of the mortality. Loss of CFTR-mediated HCO3– secretion reduces the pH of airway surface liquid (ASL) in vitro and in neonatal humans and pigs in vivo. However, we previously found that, in older children and adults, ASL pH does not differ between CF and non-CF. Here, we tested whether the pH of CF ASL increases with time after birth. Finding that it did suggested that adaptations by CF airways increase ASL pH. This conjecture predicted that increasing CFTR activity in CF airways would further increase ASL pH and also that increasing CFTR activity would correlate with increases in ASL pH. METHODS. To test for longitudinal changes, we measured ASL pH in newborns and then at 3-month intervals. We also studied people with CF (bearing G551D or R117H mutations), in whom we could acutely stimulate CFTR activity with ivacaftor. To gauge changes in CFTR activity, we measured changes in sweat Cl– concentration immediately before and 48 hours after starting ivacaftor. RESULTS. Compared with that in the newborn period, ASL pH increased by 6 months of age. In people with CF bearing G551D or R117H mutations, ivacaftor did not change the average ASL pH; however reductions in sweat Cl– concentration correlated with elevations of ASL pH. Reductions in sweat Cl– concentration also correlated with improvements in pulmonary function. CONCLUSIONS. Our results suggest that CFTR-independent mechanisms increase ASL pH in people with CF. We speculate that CF airway disease, which begins soon after birth, is responsible for the adaptation. FUNDING. Vertex Inc., the NIH (P30DK089507, 1K08HL135433, HL091842, HL136813, K24HL102246), the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (SINGH17A0 and SINGH15R0), and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.
Mahmoud H. Abou Alaiwa, Jan L. Launspach, Brenda Grogan, Suzanne Carter, Joseph Zabner, David A. Stoltz, Pradeep K. Singh, Edward F. McKone, Michael J. Welsh
BACKGROUND. Exercise has profound pleiotropic health benefits, yet the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Endocrine FGF21, bile acids (BAs), and BA-induced FGF19 have emerged as metabolic signaling molecules. Here, we investigated if dissimilar modes of exercise, resistance exercise (RE) and endurance exercise (EE), regulate plasma BAs, FGF19, and FGF21 in humans. METHODS. Ten healthy, moderately trained males were enrolled in a randomized crossover study of 1 hour of bicycling at 70% of VO2peak (EE) and 1 hour of high-volume RE. Hormones and metabolites were measured in venous blood and sampled before and after exercise and at 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 180 minutes after exercise. RESULTS. We observed exercise mode–specific changes in plasma concentrations of FGF19 and FGF21. Whereas FGF19 decreased following RE (P < 0.001), FGF21 increased in response to EE (P < 0.001). Total plasma BAs decreased exclusively following RE (P < 0.05), but the composition of BAs changed in response to both types of exercise. Notably, circulating levels of the potent TGR5 receptor agonist, lithocholic acid, increased with both types of exercise (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION. This study reveals divergent effects of EE and RE on circulating concentrations of the BA species, FGF19, and FGF21. We identify temporal relationships between decreased BA and FGF19 following RE and a sharp disparity in FGF21 concentrations, with EE eliciting a clear increase parallel to that of glucagon. FUNDING. The Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF17OC0026114) and the Lundbeck Foundation (R238-2016-2859).
Thomas Morville, Ronni E. Sahl, Samuel A.J. Trammell, Jens S. Svenningsen, Matthew P. Gillum, Jørn W. Helge, Christoffer Clemmensen
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