BACKGROUND. There are very few studies investigating metabolic biomarkers to predict acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Metabolic models can provide a framework for analyzing the information-rich omics data sets in this setting. METHODS. Four hundred and fifty-six samples from one hundred and fourteen consecutive patients who underwent HSCT from January 2012 to May 2014 were collected for this study. The changes in serum metabolite levels were investigated using a gas chromatography–mass spectrometry–based metabolomics approach and underwent statistical analysis. RESULTS. Significant metabolic changes were observed on day 7. The stearic acid/palmitic acid (SA/PA) ratio was effective in the diagnosis of grade II–IV aGVHD. Multivariate analysis showed that patients with high SA/PA ratios on day 7 after HSCT were less likely to develop II–IV aGVHD than patients with low SA/PA ratios (odds ratio [OR] = 0.06, 95% CI 0.02–0.18, P < 0.001). After the adjustment for clinical characteristics, the SA/PA ratio had no significant effect on overall survival (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.95, 95% CI 0.92–4.14, P = 0.08), and patients in the high SA/PA ratio group were significantly more likely to relapse than those in the low ratio group (HR = 2.26, 95% CI 1.04–4.91, P = 0.04). CONCLUSION. Our findings suggest that the SA/PA ratio on day 7 after HSCT is an excellent biomarker to predict both aGVHD and relapse. The serum SA/PA ratio measured on day 7 after transplantation may improve risk stratification for aGVHD and relapse after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. FUNDING. National Natural Science Foundation of China (81470346, 81773361), Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, Jiangsu Natural Science Foundation (BK20161204), Innovation Capability Development Project of Jiangsu Province (BM2015004), Jiangsu Medical Junior Talent Person award (QNRC2016707), and NIH (AI129582 and NS106170).
Xiaojin Wu, Yiyu Xie, Chang Wang, Yue Han, Xiebing Bao, Shoubao Ma, Ahmet Yilmaz, Bingyu Yang, Yuhan Ji, Jinge Xu, Hong Liu, Suning Chen, Jianying Zhang, Jianhua Yu, Depei Wu
BACKGROUND. Optimal management of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) requires monitoring of treatment response, but minimal residual disease (MRD) may escape detection. We sought to identify distinctive features of AML cells for universal MRD monitoring. METHODS. We compared genome-wide gene expression of AML cells from 157 patients with that of normal myeloblasts. Markers encoded by aberrantly expressed genes, including some previously associated with leukemia stem cells, were studied by flow cytometry in 240 patients with AML and in nonleukemic myeloblasts from 63 bone marrow samples. RESULTS. Twenty-two (CD9, CD18, CD25, CD32, CD44, CD47, CD52, CD54, CD59, CD64, CD68, CD86, CD93, CD96, CD97, CD99, CD123, CD200, CD300a/c, CD366, CD371, and CX3CR1) markers were aberrantly expressed in AML. Leukemia-associated profiles defined by these markers extended to immature CD34+CD38– AML cells; expression remained stable during treatment. The markers yielded MRD measurements matching those of standard methods in 208 samples from 52 patients undergoing chemotherapy and revealed otherwise undetectable MRD. They allowed MRD monitoring in 129 consecutive patients, yielding prognostically significant results. Using a machine-learning algorithm to reduce high-dimensional data sets to 2-dimensional data, the markers allowed a clear visualization of MRD and could detect 1 leukemic cell among more than 100,000 normal cells. CONCLUSION. The markers uncovered in this study allow universal and sensitive monitoring of MRD in AML. In combination with contemporary analytical tools, the markers improve the discrimination between leukemic and normal cells, thus facilitating data interpretation and, hence, the reliability of MRD results. FUNDING. National Cancer Institute (CA60419 and CA21765); American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities; National Medical Research Council of Singapore (1299/2011); Viva Foundation for Children with Cancer, Children’s Cancer Foundation, Tote Board & Turf Club, and Lee Foundation of Singapore.
Elaine Coustan-Smith, Guangchun Song, Sheila Shurtleff, Allen Eng-Juh Yeoh, Wee Joo Chng, Siew Peng Chen, Jeffrey E. Rubnitz, Ching-Hon Pui, James R. Downing, Dario Campana
BACKGROUND. The neuropeptide kisspeptin stimulates luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in healthy adults but not in adults with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. We hypothesized that, in children presenting with delayed or stalled puberty, kisspeptin would elicit LH secretion in those children found on detailed nighttime neuroendocrine profiling to have evidence of emerging reproductive endocrine function. METHODS. Eleven boys and four girls were admitted overnight to assess LH secretion at baseline, after a single intravenous bolus of kisspeptin, and after a single intravenous bolus of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Subjects then received exogenous pulsatile GnRH for 6 days and returned for a second visit to measure responses to kisspeptin and GnRH after this pituitary “priming.” Responses to kisspeptin and GnRH were also measured in 5 healthy men. RESULTS. Of the 15 children with delayed/stalled puberty, 6 exhibited at least one spontaneous LH pulse overnight; all of these subjects had clear responses to kisspeptin, as did one additional subject. Seven subjects had no response to kisspeptin, and one subject exhibited an intermediate response. In the children who responded to kisspeptin, the responses had features comparable to those of adult men. CONCLUSION. In this first report of kisspeptin administration to pediatric subjects to our knowledge, children with delayed/stalled puberty showed a wide range of responses, with some showing a robust response and others showing little to no response. Further follow-up will determine whether responses to kisspeptin predict future pubertal entry for children with delayed puberty. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01438034 and NCT01952782. FUNDING. NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD043341, R01 HD090071, P50 HD028138), NIH National Center for Advancing Translational (UL1 TR001102), NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (T32 DK007028), the Massachusetts General Hospital Executive Committee on Research Fund for Medical Discovery, Harvard Catalyst, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (award 2013110), Charles H. Hood Foundation, Robert and Laura Reynolds MGH Research Scholar Program, and Harvard University. These funding sources had no role in the design of this study and did not have any role in conducting the study, analyses, interpretation of the data, or the decision to submit results.
Yee-Ming Chan, Margaret F. Lippincott, Temitope O. Kusa, Stephanie B. Seminara
BACKGROUND. Sodium glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are the most recently approved class of drugs for type 2 diabetes and provide both glycemic efficacy and cardiovascular risk reduction. A number of safety issues have been identified, including treatment-emergent bone fractures. To understand the overall clinical profile, these safety issues must be balanced against an attractive efficacy profile. Our study was designed to investigate pathophysiological mechanisms mediating treatment-emergent adverse effects on bone health. METHODS. We conducted a single-blind randomized crossover study in hospitalized healthy adults (n = 25) receiving either canagliflozin (300 mg/d) or placebo for 5 days. The primary end-point was the drug-induced change in AUC for plasma intact fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) immunoactivity between 24 and 72 hours. RESULTS. Canagliflozin administration increased placebo-subtracted mean levels of serum phosphorus (+16%), plasma FGF23 (+20%), and plasma parathyroid hormone (PTH) (+25%), while decreasing the level of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (–10%). There was substantial interindividual variation in the magnitude of each of these pharmacodynamic responses. The increase in plasma FGF23 was correlated with the increase in serum phosphorus, and the decrease in plasma 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D was correlated with the increase in plasma FGF23. CONCLUSIONS. Canagliflozin induced a prompt increase in serum phosphorus, which triggers downstream changes in FGF23, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and PTH, with potential to exert adverse effects on bone health. These pharmacodynamic data provide a foundation for future research to elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms of adverse effects on bone health, with the objective of devising therapeutic strategies to mitigate the drug-associated fracture risk. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrial.gov (NCT02404870). FUNDING. Supported by the Intramural Program of NIDDK.
Jenny E. Blau, Viviana Bauman, Ellen M. Conway, Paolo Piaggi, Mary F. Walter, Elizabeth C. Wright, Shanna Bernstein, Amber B. Courville, Michael T. Collins, Kristina I. Rother, Simeon I. Taylor
BACKGROUND. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with enhanced risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease not explained by Framingham risk score (FRS). Immune dysregulation associated to a distinct subset of lupus proinflammatory neutrophils (low density granulocytes; LDGs) may play key roles in conferring enhanced CV risk. This study assessed if lupus LDGs are associated with in vivo vascular dysfunction and inflammation and coronary plaque. METHODS. SLE subjects and healthy controls underwent multimodal phenotyping of vascular disease by quantifying vascular inflammation (18F-fluorodeoxyglucose–PET/CT [18F-FDG–PET/CT]), arterial dysfunction (EndoPAT and cardio-ankle vascular index), and coronary plaque burden (coronary CT angiography). LDGs were quantified by flow cytometry. Cholesterol efflux capacity was measured in high-density lipoprotein–exposed (HDL-exposed) radioactively labeled cell lines. Whole blood RNA sequencing was performed to assess associations between transcriptomic profiles and vascular phenotype. RESULTS. Vascular inflammation, arterial stiffness, and noncalcified plaque burden (NCB) were increased in SLE compared with controls even after adjustment for traditional risk factors. In SLE, NCB directly associated with LDGs and associated negatively with cholesterol efflux capacity in fully adjusted models. A neutrophil gene signature reflective of the most upregulated genes in lupus LDGs associated with vascular inflammation and NCB. CONCLUSION. Individuals with SLE demonstrate vascular inflammation, arterial dysfunction, and NCB, which may explain the higher reported risk for acute coronary syndromes. The association of LDGs and neutrophil genes with vascular disease supports the hypothesis that distinct neutrophil subsets contribute to vascular damage and unstable coronary plaque in SLE. Results also support previous observations that neutrophils may disrupt HDL function and thereby promote atherogenesis. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00001372 FUNDING. Intramural Research Program NIAMS/NIH (ZIA AR041199) and Lupus Research Institute
Philip M. Carlucci, Monica M. Purmalek, Amit K. Dey, Yenealem Temesgen-Oyelakin, Simantini Sakhardande, Aditya A. Joshi, Joseph B. Lerman, Alice Fike, Michael Davis, Jonathan H. Chung, Martin P. Playford, Mohammad Naqi, Pragnesh Mistry, Gustavo Gutierrez-Cruz, Stefania Dell’Orso, Faiza Naz, Taufiq Salahuddin, Balaji Natarajan, Zerai Manna, Wanxia L. Tsai, Sarthak Gupta, Peter Grayson, Heather Teague, Marcus Y. Chen, Hong-Wei Sun, Sarfaraz Hasni, Nehal N. Mehta, Mariana J. Kaplan
BACKGROUND. Multiple myeloma is usually fatal due to serial relapses that become progressively refractory to therapy. CD19 is typically absent on the dominant multiple myeloma cell population but may be present on minor subsets with unique myeloma-propagating properties. To target myeloma-propagating cells, we clinically evaluated autologous T cells transduced with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) against CD19 (CTL019). METHODS. Subjects received CTL019 following salvage high-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). All subjects had relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and had previously undergone ASCT with less than 1 year progression-free survival (PFS). RESULTS. ASCT + CTL019 was safe and feasible, with most toxicity attributable to ASCT and no severe cytokine release syndrome. Two of 10 subjects exhibited significantly longer PFS after ASCT + CTL019 compared with prior ASCT (479 vs. 181 days; 249 vs. 127 days). Correlates of favorable clinical outcome included peak CTL019 frequency in bone marrow and emergence of humoral and cellular immune responses against the stem-cell antigen Sox2. Ex vivo treatment of primary myeloma samples with a combination of CTL019 and CAR T cells against the plasma cell antigen BCMA reliably inhibited myeloma colony formation in vitro, whereas treatment with either CAR alone inhibited colony formation inconsistently. CONCLUSION. CTL019 may improve duration of response to standard multiple myeloma therapies by targeting and precipitating secondary immune responses against myeloma-propagating cells. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02135406. FUNDING. Novartis, NIH, Conquer Cancer Foundation.
Alfred L. Garfall, Edward A. Stadtmauer, Wei-Ting Hwang, Simon F. Lacey, Jan Joseph Melenhorst, Maria Krevvata, Martin P. Carroll, William H. Matsui, Qiuju Wang, Madhav V. Dhodapkar, Kavita Dhodapkar, Rituparna Das, Dan T. Vogl, Brendan M. Weiss, Adam D. Cohen, Patricia A. Mangan, Emily C. Ayers, Selene Nunez-Cruz, Irina Kulikovskaya, Megan M. Davis, Anne Lamontagne, Karen Dengel, Naseem D.S. Kerr, Regina M. Young, Donald L. Siegel, Bruce L. Levine, Michael C. Milone, Marcela V. Maus, Carl H. June
BACKGROUND. The effect of gene expression data on diagnosis remains limited. Here, we show how diagnosis and classification of growth hormone deficiency (GHD) can be achieved from a single blood sample using a combination of transcriptomics and random forest analysis. METHODS. Prepubertal treatment-naive children with GHD (n = 98) were enrolled from the PREDICT study, and controls (n = 26) were acquired from online data sets. Whole blood gene expression was correlated with peak growth hormone (GH) using rank regression and a random forest algorithm tested for prediction of the presence of GHD and in classification of GHD as severe (peak GH <4 μg/l) and nonsevere (peak ≥4 μg/l). Performance was assessed using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC-ROC). RESULTS. Rank regression identified 347 probe sets in which gene expression correlated with peak GH concentrations (r = ± 0.28, P < 0.01). These 347 probe sets yielded an AUC-ROC of 0.95 for prediction of GHD status versus controls and an AUC-ROC of 0.93 for prediction of GHD severity. CONCLUSION. This study demonstrates highly accurate diagnosis and disease classification for GHD using a combination of transcriptomics and random forest analysis. TRIAL REGISTRATION. NCT00256126 and NCT00699855. FUNDING. Merck and the National Institute for Health Research (CL-2012-06-005).
Philip G. Murray, Adam Stevens, Chiara De Leonibus, Ekaterina Koledova, Pierre Chatelain, Peter E. Clayton
BACKGROUND. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a population of immature immune cells with several protumorigenic functions. CD38 is a transmembrane receptor–ectoenzyme expressed by MDSCs in murine models of esophageal cancer. We hypothesized that CD38 could be expressed on MDSCs in human colorectal cancer (CRC), which might allow for a new perspective on therapeutic targeting of human MDSCs with anti-CD38 monoclonal antibodies in this cancer. METHODS. Blood samples were collected from 41 CRC patients and 8 healthy donors, followed by peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) separation. Polymorphonuclear (PMN-) and monocytic (M-) MDSCs and CD38 expression levels were quantified by flow cytometry. The immunosuppressive capacity of M-MDSCs from 10 CRC patients was validated in a mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) assay. RESULTS. A significant expansion of CD38+ M-MDSCs and a trend of expansion of CD38+ PMN-MDSCs (accompanied by a trend of increased CD38 expression on both M- and PMN-MDSCs) were observed in PBMCs of CRC patients when compared with healthy donors. The CD38+ M-MDSCs from CRC patients were found to be immunosuppressive when compared with mature monocytes. CD38+ M- and PMN-MDSC frequencies were significantly higher in CRC patients who previously received treatment when compared with treatment-naive patients. CONCLUSIONS. This study provides a rationale for an attempt to target M-MDSCs with an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody in metastatic CRC patients. FUNDING. NCI P01-CA14305603, the American Cancer Society, Scott and Suzi Lustgarten Family Colon Cancer Research Fund, Hansen Foundation, and Janssen Research and Development.
Tatiana A. Karakasheva, George A. Dominguez, Ayumi Hashimoto, Eric W. Lin, Christopher Chiu, Kate Sasser, Jae W. Lee, Gregory L. Beatty, Dmitry I. Gabrilovich, Anil K. Rustgi
BACKGROUND. HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets) syndrome is a severe variant of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy affecting approximately 1% of all pregnancies, and has significant maternal and fetal morbidity. Previously, we showed that upregulation of the alternative pathway of complement (APC) plays a role in HELLP syndrome. We hypothesize that HELLP syndrome follows a 2-hit disease model similar to atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), requiring both genetic susceptibility and an environmental risk factor. Our objective was to perform a comparative analysis of the frequency of APC activation and germline mutations in affected women and to create a predictive model for identifying HELLP syndrome. METHODS. Pregnant women with HELLP syndrome, and healthy controls after 23 weeks of gestation were recruited, along with aHUS and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura participants. We performed a functional assay, the mHam, and targeted genetic sequencing in all groups. RESULTS. Significantly more participants with rare germline mutations in APC genes were present in the HELLP cohort compared with controls (46% versus 8%, P = 0.01). In addition, significantly more HELLP participants were positive for the mHam when compared with controls (62% versus 16%, P = 0.009). Testing positive for both a germline mutation and the mHam was highly predictive for the diagnosis of HELLP syndrome. CONCLUSION. HELLP syndrome is characterized by both activation of the APC and frequent germline mutations in APC genes. Similar to aHUS, treatment via complement inhibition to mitigate maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality may be possible. FUNDING. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute grants T32HL007525 and R01HL133113.
Arthur J. Vaught, Evan M. Braunstein, Jagar Jasem, Xuan Yuan, Igor Makhlin, Solange Eloundou, Andrea C. Baines, Samuel A. Merrill, Shruti Chaturvedi, Karin Blakemore, C. John Sperati, Robert A. Brodsky
BACKGROUND. Cirrhosis is associated with gut microbial changes, but current 16S rDNA techniques sequence both dead and live bacteria. We aimed to determine the rRNA content compared with DNA from the same stool sample to evaluate cirrhosis progression and predict hospitalizations. METHODS. Cirrhotics and controls provided stool for RNA and DNA analysis. Comparisons were made between cirrhotics/controls and within cirrhosis (compensated/decompensated, infected/uninfected, renal dysfunction/not, rifaximin use/not) with respect to DNA and RNA bacterial content using linear discriminant analysis. A separate group was treated with omeprazole for 14 days with longitudinal microbiota evaluation. Patients were followed for 90 days for hospitalizations. Multivariable models for hospitalizations with clinical data with and without DNA and RNA microbial data were created. RESULTS. Twenty-six controls and 154 cirrhotics (54 infected, 62 decompensated, 20 renal dysfunction, 18 rifaximin) were included. RNA and DNA analysis showed differing potentially pathogenic taxa but similar autochthonous taxa composition. Thirty subjects underwent the omeprazole study, which demonstrated differences between RNA and DNA changes. Thirty-six patients were hospitalized within 90 days. In the RNA model, MELD score and Enterococcus were independently predictive of hospitalizations, while in the DNA model MELD was predictive and Roseburia protective. In both models, adding microbiota significantly added to the MELD score in predicting hospitalizations. CONCLUSION. DNA and RNA analysis of the same stool sample demonstrated differing microbiota composition, which independently predicts the hospitalization risk in cirrhosis. RNA and DNA content of gut microbiota in cirrhosis are modulated differentially with disease severity, infections, and omeprazole use. TRIAL REGISTRATION. NCT01458990. FUNDING. VA Merit I0CX001076.
Jasmohan S. Bajaj, Leroy R. Thacker, Andrew Fagan, Melanie B. White, Edith A. Gavis, Phillip B. Hylemon, Robert Brown, Chathur Acharya, Douglas M. Heuman, Michael Fuchs, Swati Dalmet, Masoumeh Sikaroodi, Patrick M. Gillevet
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