BACKGROUND. Metformin reduces plasma glucose and has been shown to increase glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) secretion. Whether this is a direct action of metformin on GLP-1 release, and whether some of the glucose-lowering effect of metformin occurs due to GLP-1 release, is unknown. The current study investigated metformin-induced GLP-1 secretion and its contribution to the overall glucose-lowering effect of metformin and underlying mechanisms in patients with type 2 diabetes. METHODS. Twelve patients with type 2 diabetes were included in this placebo-controlled, double-blinded study. On 4 separate days, the patients received metformin (1,500 mg) or placebo suspended in a liquid meal, with subsequent i.v. infusion of the GLP-1 receptor antagonist exendin9-39 (Ex9-39) or saline. During 240 minutes, blood was sampled. The direct effect of metformin on GLP-1 secretion was tested ex vivo in human ileal and colonic tissue with and without dorsomorphin-induced inhibiting of the AMPK activity. RESULTS. Metformin increased postprandial GLP-1 secretion compared with placebo (P = 0.014), and the postprandial glucose excursions were significantly smaller after metformin + saline compared with metformin + Ex9-39 (P = 0.004). Ex vivo metformin acutely increased GLP-1 secretion (colonic tissue, P < 0.01; ileal tissue, P < 0.05), but the effect was abolished by inhibition of AMPK activity. CONCLUSIONS. Metformin has a direct and AMPK-dependent effect on GLP-1–secreting L cells and increases postprandial GLP-1 secretion, which seems to contribute to metformin’s glucose-lowering effect and mode of action. TRIAL REGISTRATION. NCT02050074 (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02050074). FUNDING. This study received grants from the A.P. Møller Foundation, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Danish Medical Association research grant, the Australian Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council, and Pfizer Inc.
Emilie Bahne, Emily W. L. Sun, Richard L. Young, Morten Hansen, David P. Sonne, Jakob S. Hansen, Ulrich Rohde, Alice P. Liou, Margaret L. Jackson, Dayan de Fontgalland, Philippa Rabbitt, Paul Hollington, Luigi Sposato, Steven Due, David A. Wattchow, Jens F. Rehfeld, Jens J. Holst, Damien J. Keating, Tina Vilsbøll, Filip K. Knop
BACKGROUND. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a prevalent disease with significant mortality for which no effective pharmacologic therapy exists. Low-dose inhaled carbon monoxide (iCO) confers cytoprotection in preclinical models of sepsis and ARDS. METHODS. We conducted a phase I dose escalation trial to assess feasibility and safety of low-dose iCO administration in patients with sepsis-induced ARDS. Twelve participants were randomized to iCO or placebo air 2:1 in two cohorts. Four subjects each were administered iCO (100 ppm in cohort 1 or 200 ppm in cohort 2) or placebo for 90 minutes for up to 5 consecutive days. Primary outcomes included the incidence of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) level ≥10%, prespecified administration-associated adverse events (AEs), and severe adverse events (SAEs). Secondary endpoints included the accuracy of the Coburn-Forster-Kane (CFK) equation to predict COHb levels, biomarker levels, and clinical outcomes. RESULTS. No participants exceeded a COHb level of 10%, and there were no administration-associated AEs or study-related SAEs. CO-treated participants had a significant increase in COHb (3.48% ± 0.7% [cohort 1]; 4.9% ± 0.28% [cohort 2]) compared with placebo-treated subjects (1.97% ± 0.39%). The CFK equation was highly accurate at predicting COHb levels, particularly in cohort 2 (R2 = 0.9205; P < 0.0001). Circulating mitochondrial DNA levels were reduced in iCO-treated participants compared with placebo-treated subjects. CONCLUSION. Precise administration of low-dose iCO is feasible, well-tolerated, and appears to be safe in patients with sepsis-induced ARDS. Excellent agreement between predicted and observed COHb should ensure that COHb levels remain in the target range during future efficacy trials. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02425579. FUNDING. NIH grants P01HL108801, KL2TR002385, K08HL130557, and K08GM102695.
Laura E. Fredenburgh, Mark A. Perrella, Diana Barragan-Bradford, Dean R. Hess, Elizabeth Peters, Karen E. Welty-Wolf, Bryan D. Kraft, R. Scott Harris, Rie Maurer, Kiichi Nakahira, Clara Oromendia, John D. Davies, Angelica Higuera, Kristen T. Schiffer, Joshua A. Englert, Paul B. Dieffenbach, David A. Berlin, Susan Lagambina, Mark Bouthot, Andrew I. Sullivan, Paul F. Nuccio, Mamary T. Kone, Mona J. Malik, Maria Angelica Pabon Porras, Eli Finkelsztein, Tilo Winkler, Shelley Hurwitz, Charles N. Serhan, Claude A. Piantadosi, Rebecca M. Baron, B. Taylor Thompson, Augustine M.K. Choi
BACKGROUND. Hypophosphatemia can complicate intravenous iron therapy, but no head-to-head trials compared the effects of newer intravenous iron formulations on risks and mediators of hypophosphatemia. METHODS. In a randomized, double-blinded, controlled trial of adults with iron deficiency anemia from February 2016 to January 2017, we compared rates of hypophosphatemia in response to a single FDA-approved course of ferric carboxymaltose (n = 1,000) or ferumoxytol (n = 997). To investigate pathophysiological mediators of intravenous iron-induced hypophosphatemia, we nested within the parent trial a physiological substudy (ferric carboxymaltose, n = 98; ferumoxytol, n = 87) in which we measured fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), calcitriol, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) at baseline and 1, 2, and 5 weeks later. RESULTS. The incidence of hypophosphatemia was significantly higher in the ferric carboxymaltose versus the ferumoxytol group (<2.0 mg/dl, 50.8% vs. 0.9%; <1.3 mg/dl, 10.0% vs. 0.0%; P < 0.001), and hypophosphatemia persisted through the end of the 5-week study period in 29.1% of ferric carboxymaltose–treated patients versus none of the ferumoxytol-treated patients (P < 0.001). Ferric carboxymaltose, but not ferumoxytol, increased circulating concentrations of biologically active FGF23 (mean within-patient percentage change from baseline to week 2 peak: +302.8 ± 326.2% vs. +10.1 ± 61.0%; P < 0.001), which was significantly associated with contemporaneous hypophosphatemia, renal phosphate wasting, and decreased serum calcitriol and calcium, and increased PTH concentrations. CONCLUSIONS. Ferric carboxymaltose rapidly increases biologically active FGF23 in patients with iron deficiency anemia. Paralleling hereditary and other acquired syndromes of hypophosphatemic rickets/osteomalacia, ferric carboxymaltose–induced FGF23 elevation triggers a pathophysiological cascade of renal phosphate wasting, calcitriol deficiency, and secondary hyperparathyroidism that frequently culminates in hypophosphatemia. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02694978 FUNDING. AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Role of the funding source: This study was supported by AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The academic investigators designed the clinical trial, performed the analyses, and authored the manuscript with input from the coauthors from AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Myles Wolf, Glenn M. Chertow, Iain C. Macdougall, Robert Kaper, Julie Krop, William Strauss
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. Matrix metalloprotease 9 (MMP-9) is associated with inflammation and lung remodeling in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We hypothesized that elevated circulating MMP-9 represents a potentially novel biomarker that identifies a subset of individuals with COPD with an inflammatory phenotype who are at increased risk for acute exacerbation (AECOPD). METHODS. We analyzed Subpopulations and Intermediate Outcome Measures in COPD Study (SPIROMICS) and Genetic Epidemiology of COPD (COPDGene) cohorts for which baseline and prospective data were available. Elevated MMP-9 was defined based on >95th percentile plasma values from control (non-COPD) sample in SPIROMICS. COPD subjects were classified as having elevated or nonelevated MMP-9. Logistic, Poisson, and Kaplan-Meier analyses were used to identify associations with prospective AECOPD in both cohorts. RESULTS. Elevated MMP-9 was present in 95/1,053 (9%) of SPIROMICS and 41/140 (29%) of COPDGene participants with COPD. COPD subjects with elevated MMP-9 had a 13%–16% increased absolute risk for AECOPD and a higher median (interquartile range; IQR) annual AECOPD rate (0.33 [0–0.74] versus 0 [0–0.80] events/year and 0.9 [0.5–2] versus 0.5 [0–1.4] events/year for SPIROMICS and COPDGene, respectively). In adjusted models within each cohort, elevated MMP-9 was associated with increased odds (odds ratio [OR], 1.71; 95%CI, 1.00–2.90; and OR, 3.03; 95%CI, 1.02–9.01), frequency (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.45; 95%CI, 1.23–1.7; and IRR, 1.24; 95%CI, 1.03–1.49), and shorter time-to-first AECOPD (21.7 versus 31.7 months and 14 versus 21 months) in SPIROMICS and COPDGene, respectively. CONCLUSIONS. Elevated MMP-9 was independently associated with AECOPD risk in 2 well-characterized COPD cohorts. These findings provide evidence for MMP-9 as a prognostic biomarker and potential therapeutic target in COPD. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01969344 (SPIROMICS) and NCT00608764 (COPDGene). FUNDING. This work was funded by K08 HL123940 to JMW; R01HL124233 to PJC; Merit Review I01 CX000911 to JLC; R01 (R01HL102371, R01HL126596) and VA Merit (I01BX001756) to AG. SPIROMICS (Subpopulations and Intermediate Outcomes in COPD Study) is funded by contracts from the NHLBI (HHSN268200900013C, HHSN268200900014C,HHSN268200900015C HHSN268200900016C, HHSN268200900017C, HHSN268200900018C, HHSN268200900019C, and HHSN268200900020C) and a grant from the NIH/NHLBI (U01 HL137880), and supplemented by contributions made through the Foundation for the NIH and the COPD Foundation from AstraZeneca/MedImmune; Bayer; Bellerophon Therapeutics; Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Chiesi Farmaceutici; Forest Research Institute Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline; Grifols Therapeutics Inc.; Ikaria Inc.; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Nycomed GmbH; ProterixBio; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Sanofi; Sunovion; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company; and Theravance Biopharma and Mylan. COPDGene is funded by the NHLBI (R01 HL089897 and R01 HL089856) and by the COPD Foundation through contributions made to an Industry Advisory Board composed of AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pfizer, Siemens, and Sunovion.
J. Michael Wells, Margaret M. Parker, Robert A. Oster, Russ P. Bowler, Mark T. Dransfield, Surya P. Bhatt, Michael H. Cho, Victor Kim, Jeffrey L. Curtis, Fernando J. Martinez, Robert Paine III, Wanda O’Neal, Wassim W. Labaki, Robert J. Kaner, Igor Barjaktarevic, MeiLan K. Han, Edwin K. Silverman, James D. Crapo, R. Graham Barr, Prescott Woodruff, Peter J. Castaldi, Amit Gaggar, the SPIROMICS and COPDGene Investigators
BACKGROUND. Inflammation helps regulate normal growth and tissue repair. Although bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and inflammation are known contributors to abnormal bone formation, how these pathways interact in ossification remains unclear. METHODS. We examined this potential link in patients with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), a genetic condition of progressive heterotopic ossification caused by activating mutations in the Activin A type I receptor (ACVR1/ALK2). FOP patients show exquisite sensitivity to trauma, suggesting that BMP pathway activation may alter immune responses. We studied primary blood, monocyte, and macrophage samples from control and FOP subjects using multiplex cytokine, gene expression, and protein analyses; examined CD14+ primary monocyte and macrophage responses to TLR ligands; and assayed BMP, TGF-β activated kinase 1 (TAK1), and NF-κB pathways. RESULTS. FOP subjects at baseline without clinically evident heterotopic ossification showed increased serum IL-3, IL-7, IL-8, and IL-10. CD14+ primary monocytes treated with the TLR4 activator LPS showed increased CCL5, CCR7, and CXCL10; abnormal cytokine/chemokine secretion; and prolonged activation of the NF-κB pathway. FOP macrophages derived from primary monocytes also showed abnormal cytokine/chemokine secretion, increased TGF-β production, and p38MAPK activation. Surprisingly, SMAD phosphorylation was not significantly changed in the FOP monocytes/macrophages. CONCLUSIONS. Abnormal ACVR1 activity causes a proinflammatory state via increased NF-κB and p38MAPK activity. Similar changes may contribute to other types of heterotopic ossification, such as in scleroderma and dermatomyositis; after trauma; or with recombinant BMP-induced bone fusion. Our findings suggest that chronic antiinflammatory treatment may be useful for heterotopic ossification.
Emilie Barruet, Blanca M. Morales, Corey J. Cain, Amy N. Ton, Kelly L. Wentworth, Tea V. Chan, Tania A. Moody, Mariëlle C. Haks, Tom H.M. Ottenhoff, Judith Hellman, Mary C. Nakamura, Edward C. Hsiao
BACKGROUND. The molecular understanding of the progression from acute to chronic organ injury is limited. Ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) triggered during kidney transplantation can contribute to progressive allograft dysfunction. METHODS. Protocol biopsies (n = 163) were obtained from 42 kidney allografts at 4 time points after transplantation. RNA sequencing–mediated (RNA-seq–mediated) transcriptional profiling and machine learning computational approaches were employed to analyze the molecular responses to IRI and to identify shared and divergent transcriptional trajectories associated with distinct clinical outcomes. The data were compared with the response to IRI in a mouse model of the acute to chronic kidney injury transition. RESULTS. In the first hours after reperfusion, all patients exhibited a similar transcriptional program under the control of immediate-early response genes. In the following months, we identified 2 main transcriptional trajectories leading to kidney recovery or to sustained injury with associated fibrosis and renal dysfunction. The molecular map generated by this computational approach highlighted early markers of kidney disease progression and delineated transcriptional programs associated with the transition to chronic injury. The characterization of a similar process in a mouse IRI model extended the relevance of our findings beyond transplantation. CONCLUSIONS. The integration of multiple transcriptomes from serial biopsies with advanced computational algorithms overcame the analytical hurdles related to variability between individuals and identified shared transcriptional elements of kidney disease progression in humans, which may prove as useful predictors of disease progression following kidney transplantation and kidney injury. This generally applicable approach opens the way for an unbiased analysis of human disease progression. FUNDING. The study was supported by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Pietro E. Cippà, Bo Sun, Jing Liu, Liang Chen, Maarten Naesens, Andrew P. McMahon
BACKGROUND. Tumor content in circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is a promising biomarker, but longitudinal dynamics of tumor-derived and non–tumor-derived cfDNA through multiple courses of therapy have not been well described. METHODS. CfDNA from 663 plasma samples from 140 patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) was subject to sparse whole genome sequencing. Tumor fraction (TFx) estimated using the computational tool ichorCNA was correlated with clinical features and responses to therapy. RESULTS. TFx associated with the number of bone metastases (median TFx = 0.014 with no bone metastases, 0.047 with 1–3 bone metastases, 0.190 for 4+ bone metastases; P < 0.0001) and with visceral metastases (P < 0.0001). In multivariable analysis, TFx remained associated with metastasis location (P = 0.042); TFx was positively correlated with alkaline phosphatase (P = 0.0227) and negatively correlated with hemoglobin (Hgb) (P < 0.001), but it was not correlated with prostate specific antigen (PSA) (P = 0.75). Tumor-derived and non–tumor-derived cfDNA track together and do not increase with generalized tissue damage from chemotherapy or radiation at the time scales examined. All new treatments that led to ≥30% PSA decline at 6 weeks were associated with TFx decline when baseline TFx was >7%; however, TFx in patients being subsequently maintained on secondary hormonal therapy was quite dynamic. CONCLUSION. TFx correlates with clinical features associated with overall survival in CRPC, and TFx decline is a promising biomarker for initial therapeutic response. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) protocol no. 18-135. FUNDING. Wong Family Award in Translational Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute Medical Oncology grant, Gerstner Family Foundation, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Koch Institute Support (core) grant P30-CA14051 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Atish D. Choudhury, Lillian Werner, Edoardo Francini, Xiao X. Wei, Gavin Ha, Samuel S. Freeman, Justin Rhoades, Sarah C. Reed, Gregory Gydush, Denisse Rotem, Christopher Lo, Mary-Ellen Taplin, Lauren C. Harshman, Zhenwei Zhang, Edward P. O’Connor, Daniel G. Stover, Heather A. Parsons, Gad Getz, Matthew Meyerson, J. Christopher Love, William C. Hahn, Viktor A. Adalsteinsson
BACKGROUND. Our understanding of phenotypic and functional signatures of CD8+ T cell dysfunction in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is limited. Deciphering these deranged T cell functional states and how they are impacted by induction chemotherapy is essential for incorporation of novel immune-based strategies to restore and maintain antileukemia immunity. METHODS. We utilized high-dimensional immunophenotyping, gene expression, and functional studies to characterize peripheral blood and bone marrow CD8+ T cells in 72 AML patients at diagnosis and after induction chemotherapy. RESULTS. Our data suggest that multiple aspects of deranged T cell function are operative in AML at diagnosis, with exhaustion and senescence being the dominant processes. Following treatment, the phenotypic and transcriptional profile of CD8+ T cells diverged between responders and nonresponders. Response to therapy correlated with upregulation of costimulatory, and downregulation of apoptotic and inhibitory, T cell signaling pathways, indicative of restoration of T cell function. In functional studies, AML blasts directly altered CD8+ T cell viability, expansion, co-signaling and senescence marker expression. This CD8+ T cell dysfunction was in part reversible upon PD-1 blockade or OX40 costimulation in vitro. CONCLUSION. Our findings highlight the uniqueness of AML in sculpting CD8+ T cell responses and the plasticity of their signatures upon chemotherapy response, providing a compelling rationale for integration of novel immunotherapies to augment antileukemia immunity. FUNDING. This work was supported by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society grant no. 6449-13; NIH grants UM1-CA186691 and R01-HL110907-01; the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation New Investigator Award/Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation; the Vienna Fund for Innovative Cancer Research; and by fellowships from the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Swedish Society for Medical Research.
Hanna A. Knaus, Sofia Berglund, Hubert Hackl, Amanda L. Blackford, Joshua F. Zeidner, Raúl Montiel-Esparza, Rupkatha Mukhopadhyay, Katrina Vanura, Bruce R. Blazar, Judith E. Karp, Leo Luznik, Ivana Gojo
The most severe manifestation of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is critical limb ischemia (CLI). CLI patients suffer high rates of amputation and mortality; accordingly, there remains a clear need both to better understand CLI and to develop more effective treatments. Gastrocnemius muscle was obtained from 32 older (51–84 years) non-PAD controls, 27 claudicating PAD patients (ankle-brachial index [ABI] 0.65 ± 0.21 SD), and 19 CLI patients (ABI 0.35 ± 0.30 SD) for whole transcriptome sequencing and comprehensive mitochondrial phenotyping. Comparable permeabilized myofiber mitochondrial function was paralleled by both similar mitochondrial content and related mRNA expression profiles in non-PAD control and claudicating patient tissues. Tissues from CLI patients, despite being histologically intact and harboring equivalent mitochondrial content, presented a unique bioenergetic signature. This signature was defined by deficits in permeabilized myofiber mitochondrial function and a unique pattern of both nuclear and mitochondrial encoded gene suppression. Moreover, isolated muscle progenitor cells retained both mitochondrial functional deficits and gene suppression observed in the tissue. These findings indicate that muscle tissues from claudicating patients and non-PAD controls were similar in both their bioenergetics profile and mitochondrial phenotypes. In contrast, CLI patient limb skeletal muscles harbor a unique skeletal muscle mitochondriopathy that represents a potentially novel therapeutic site for intervention.
Terence E. Ryan, Dean J. Yamaguchi, Cameron A. Schmidt, Tonya N. Zeczycki, Saame Raza Shaikh, Patricia Brophy, Thomas D. Green, Michael D. Tarpey, Reema Karnekar, Emma J. Goldberg, Genevieve C. Sparagna, Maria J. Torres, Brian H. Annex, P. Darrell Neufer, Espen E. Spangenburg, Joseph M. McClung
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