BACKGROUND. Right-sided heart failure is the leading cause of death in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Similar to left heart failure, sympathetic overactivation and β-adrenoreceptor (βAR) abnormalities are found in PAH. Based on successful therapy of left heart failure with β-blockade, the safety and benefits of the nonselective β-blocker/vasodilator carvedilol were evaluated in PAH. METHODS. PAH Treatment with Carvedilol for Heart Failure (PAHTCH) is a single-center, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Following 1-week run-in, 30 participants were randomized to 1 of 3 arms for 24 weeks: placebo, low-fixed-dose, or dose-escalating carvedilol. Outcomes included clinical measures and mechanistic biomarkers. RESULTS. Decreases in heart rate and blood pressure with carvedilol were well tolerated; heart rate correlated with carvedilol dose. Carvedilol-treated groups had no decrease in exercise capacity measured by 6-minute walk, but had lower heart rates at peak and after exercise, and faster heart rate recovery. Dose-escalating carvedilol was associated with reduction in right ventricular (RV) glycolytic rate and increase in βAR levels. There was no evidence of RV functional deterioration; rather, cardiac output was maintained. CONCLUSIONS. Carvedilol is likely safe in PAH over 6 months of therapy and has clinical and mechanistic benefits associated with improved outcomes. The data provide support for longer and larger studies to establish guidelines for use of β-blockers in PAH. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01586156 FUNDING. This project was supported by NIH R01HL115008 and R01HL60917 and in part by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, UL1TR000439.
Samar Farha, Didem Saygin, Margaret M. Park, Hoi I. Cheong, Kewal Asosingh, Suzy A.A. Comhair, Olivia R. Stephens, Emir C. Roach, Jacqueline Sharp, Kristin B. Highland, Frank P. DiFilippo, Donald R. Neumann, W.H. Wilson Tang, Serpil C. Erzurum
BACKGROUND. Food intake is guided by homeostatic needs and by the reward value of food, yet the exact relation between the two remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of different metabolic states and hormonal satiety signaling on responses in neural reward networks. METHODS. Twenty-three healthy participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a task distinguishing between the anticipation and the receipt of either food- or monetary-related reward. Every participant was scanned twice in a counterbalanced fashion, both during a fasted state (after 24 hours fasting) and satiety. A functional connectivity analysis was performed to investigate the influence of satiety signaling on activation in neural reward networks. Blood samples were collected to assess hormonal satiety signaling. RESULTS. Fasting was associated with sensitization of the striatal reward system to the anticipation of food reward irrespective of reward magnitude. Furthermore, during satiety, individual ghrelin levels were associated with increased neural processing during the expectation of food-related reward. CONCLUSIONS. Our findings show that physiological hunger stimulates food consumption by specifically increasing neural processing during the expectation (i.e., incentive salience) but not the receipt of food-related reward. In addition, these findings suggest that ghrelin signaling influences hedonic-driven food intake by increasing neural reactivity during the expectation of food-related reward. These results provide insights into the neurobiological underpinnings of motivational processing and hedonic evaluation of food reward. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03081585. FUNDING. This work was supported by the German Competence Network on Obesity, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (FKZ 01GI1122E).
Joe J. Simon, Anne Wetzel, Maria Hamze Sinno, Mandy Skunde, Martin Bendszus, Hubert Preissl, Paul Enck, Wolfgang Herzog, Hans-Christoph Friederich
BACKGROUND. Dysregulated lipid and glucose metabolism in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) has been implicated in disease progression, and whole tumor tissue–based assessment of these changes is challenged by the tumor heterogeneity. We studied a noninvasive quantitative MRI method that predicts metabolic alterations in the whole tumor. METHODS. We applied Dixon-based MRI for in vivo quantification of lipid accumulation (fat fraction [FF]) in targeted regions of interest of 45 primary ccRCCs and correlated these MRI measures to mass spectrometry–based lipidomics and metabolomics of anatomically colocalized tissue samples isolated from the same tumor after surgery. RESULTS. In vivo tumor FF showed statistically significant (P < 0.0001) positive correlation with histologic fat content (Spearman correlation coefficient, ρ = 0.79), spectrometric triglycerides (ρ = 0.56) and cholesterol (ρ = 0.47); it showed negative correlation with free fatty acids (ρ = –0.44) and phospholipids (ρ = –0.65). We observed both inter- and intratumoral heterogeneity in lipid accumulation within the same tumor grade, whereas most aggressive tumors (International Society of Urological Pathology [ISUP] grade 4) exhibited reduced lipid accumulation. Cellular metabolites in tumors were altered compared with adjacent renal parenchyma. CONCLUSION. Our results support the use of noninvasive quantitative Dixon-based MRI as a biomarker of reprogrammed lipid metabolism in ccRCC, which may serve as a predictor of tumor aggressiveness before surgical intervention. FUNDING. NIH R01CA154475 (YZ, MF, PK, IP), NIH P50CA196516 (IP, JB, RJD, JAC, PK), Welch Foundation I-1832 (JY), and NIH P01HL020948 (JGM).
Yue Zhang, Durga Udayakumar, Ling Cai, Zeping Hu, Payal Kapur, Eun-Young Kho, Andrea Pavía-Jiménez, Michael Fulkerson, Alberto Diaz de Leon, Qing Yuan, Ivan E. Dimitrov, Takeshi Yokoo, Jin Ye, Matthew A. Mitsche, Hyeonwoo Kim, Jeffrey G. McDonald, Yin Xi, Ananth J. Madhuranthakam, Durgesh K. Dwivedi, Robert E. Lenkinski, Jeffrey A. Cadeddu, Vitaly Margulis, James Brugarolas, Ralph J. DeBerardinis, Ivan Pedrosa
BACKGROUND. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is an obesity-driven condition of pandemic proportions that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Pathophysiological mechanisms are poorly understood, though inflammation has been implicated in MetS pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of galantamine, a centrally acting acetylcholinesterase inhibitor with antiinflammatory properties, on markers of inflammation implicated in insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk, and other metabolic and cardiovascular indices in subjects with MetS. METHODS. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, subjects with MetS (30 per group) received oral galantamine 8 mg daily for 4 weeks, followed by 16 mg daily for 8 weeks or placebo. The primary outcome was inflammation assessed through plasma levels of cytokines and adipokines associated with MetS. Secondary endpoints included body weight, fat tissue depots, plasma glucose, insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL), triglycerides, BP, heart rate, and heart rate variability (HRV). RESULTS. Galantamine resulted in lower plasma levels of proinflammatory molecules TNF (–2.57 pg/ml [95% CI –4.96 to –0.19]; P = 0.035) and leptin (–12.02 ng/ml [95% CI –17.71 to –6.33]; P < 0.0001), and higher levels of the antiinflammatory molecules adiponectin (2.71 μg/ml [95% CI 1.93 to 3.49]; P < 0.0001) and IL-10 (1.32 pg/ml, [95% CI 0.29 to 2.38]; P = 0.002) as compared with placebo. Galantamine also significantly lowered plasma insulin and HOMA-IR values, and altered HRV. CONCLUSION. Low-dose galantamine alleviates inflammation and insulin resistance in MetS subjects. These findings support further study of galantamine in MetS therapy. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02283242. FUNDING. Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Brazil, and the NIH.
Fernanda M. Consolim-Colombo, Carine T. Sangaleti, Fernando O. Costa, Tercio L. Morais, Heno F. Lopes, Josiane M. Motta, Maria C. Irigoyen, Luiz A. Bortoloto, Carlos Eduardo Rochitte, Yael Tobi Harris, Sanjaya K. Satapathy, Peder S. Olofsson, Meredith Akerman, Sangeeta S. Chavan, Meggan MacKay, Douglas P. Barnaby, Martin L. Lesser, Jesse Roth, Kevin J. Tracey, Valentin A. Pavlov
BACKGROUND. Programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibition activates partially exhausted cytotoxic T lymphocytes (peCTLs) and induces tumor regression. We previously showed that the peCTL fraction predicts response to anti–PD-1 monotherapy. Here, we sought to correlate peCTL and regulatory T lymphocyte (Treg) levels with response to combination immunotherapy, and with demographic/disease characteristics, in metastatic melanoma patients. METHODS. Pretreatment melanoma samples underwent multiparameter flow cytometric analysis. Patients were treated with anti–PD-1 monotherapy or combination therapy, and responses determined by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1 (RECIST v1.1) criteria. peCTL and Treg levels across demographic/disease variables were compared. Low versus high peCTL (≤20% vs. >20%) were defined from a previous study. RESULTS. One hundred and two melanoma patients were identified. The peCTL fraction was higher in responders than nonresponders. Low peCTL correlated with female sex and liver metastasis, but not with lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), tumor stage, or age. While overall response rates (ORRs) to anti–PD-1 monotherapy and combination therapy were similar in high-peCTL patients, low-peCTL patients given combination therapy demonstrated higher ORRs than those who received monotherapy. Treg levels were not associated with these factors nor with response. CONCLUSION. In melanoma, pretreatment peCTL fraction is reduced in women and in patients with liver metastasis. In low-peCTL patients, anti–PD-1 combination therapy is associated with significantly higher ORR than anti–PD-1 monotherapy. Fewer tumor-infiltrating peCTLs may be required to achieve response to combination immunotherapy. TRIAL REGISTRATION. UCSF IRB Protocol 138510 FUNDING. NIH DP2-AR068130, K08-AR062064, AR066821, and Burroughs Wellcome CAMS-1010934 (M.D.R.). Amoroso and Cook Fund, and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (A.I.D.).
Kimberly Loo, Katy K. Tsai, Kelly Mahuron, Jacqueline Liu, Mariela L. Pauli, Priscila M. Sandoval, Adi Nosrati, James Lee, Lawrence Chen, Jimmy Hwang, Lauren S. Levine, Matthew F. Krummel, Alain P. Algazi, Michael D Alvarado, Michael D. Rosenblum, Adil I. Daud
BACKGROUND. In health, inflammation resolution is an active process governed by specialized proresolving mediators and receptors. ALX/FPR2 receptors (ALX) are targeted by both proresolving and proinflammatory ligands for opposing signaling events, suggesting pivotal roles for ALX in the fate of inflammatory responses. Here, we determined if ALX expression and ligands were linked to severe asthma (SA). METHODS. ALX expression and levels of proresolving ligands (lipoxin A4 [LXA4], 15-epi-LXA4, and annexin A1 [ANXA1]), and a proinflammatory ligand (serum amyloid A [SAA]) were measured in bronchoscopy samples collected in Severe Asthma Research Program-3 (SA [n = 69], non-SA [NSA, n = 51] or healthy donors [HDs, n = 47]). RESULTS. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid LXA4 and 15-epi-LXA4 were decreased and SAA was increased in SA relative to NSA. BAL macrophage ALX expression was increased in SA. Subjects with LXA4loSAAhi levels had increased BAL neutrophils, more asthma symptoms, lower lung function, increased relative risk for asthma exacerbation, sinusitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, and were assigned more frequently to SA clinical clusters. SAA and aliquots of LXA4loSAAhi BAL fluid induced IL-8 production by lung epithelial cells expressing ALX receptors, which was inhibited by coincubation with 15-epi-LXA4. CONCLUSIONS. Together, these findings have established an association between select ALX receptor ligands and asthma severity that define a potentially new biochemical endotype for asthma and support a pivotal functional role for ALX signaling in the fate of lung inflammation. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Severe Asthma Research Program-3 (SARP-3; ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01606826) FUNDING Sources. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the NIH, and the German Society of Pediatric Pneumology.
Isabell Ricklefs, Ioanna Barkas, Melody G. Duvall, Manuela Cernadas, Nicole L. Grossman, Elliot Israel, Eugene R. Bleecker, Mario Castro, Serpil C. Erzurum, John V. Fahy, Benjamin M. Gaston, Loren C. Denlinger, David T. Mauger, Sally E. Wenzel, Suzy A. Comhair, Andrea M. Coverstone, Merritt L. Fajt, Annette T. Hastie, Mats W. Johansson, Michael C. Peters, Brenda R. Phillips, Bruce D. Levy, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s Severe Asthma Research Program-3 Investigators
BACKGROUND. Induction of insulin resistance is a key pathway through which obesity increases risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular events. Although the detrimental effects of obesity on insulin sensitivity are incompletely understood, accumulation of visceral, subcutaneous, and liver fat and impairment of insulin-induced muscle microvascular recruitment (MVR) may be involved. As these phenotypic changes often coincide in obesity, we aimed to unravel whether they independently contribute to insulin resistance and thus constitute separate targets for intervention. METHODS. We measured visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) volumes and intrahepatic lipid (IHL) content by MRI, and whole body glucose disposal (WBGD) and MVR (using contrast-enhanced ultrasound) responses to a euglycemic insulin clamp in lean (n = 25) and abdominally obese men (n = 52). Abdominally obese men were randomized to dietary weight loss intervention or habitual diet. RESULTS. Obesity-associated increases in VAT, SAT, and IHL, along with the decrease in MVR, contributed independently to insulin resistance. Moreover, a dietary weight loss intervention reduced insulin resistance, and mediation analyses showed that decreased IHL and insulin-induced MVR, but not decreased VAT or SAT volumes, independently contributed to improved insulin resistance seen with weight loss. CONCLUSION. Quantifying the mutually independent contributions of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue, intrahepatic lipid, and insulin-induced muscle microvascular recruitment reveals distinct targets for treating obesity-associated insulin resistance. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01675401. FUNDING. Funding was from the Top Institute Food and Nutrition.
Yvo H.A.M. Kusters, Casper G. Schalkwijk, Alfons J.H.M. Houben, M. Eline Kooi, Lucas Lindeboom, Jos Op ’t Roodt, Peter J. Joris, Jogchum Plat, Ronald P. Mensink, Eugene J. Barrett, Coen D.A. Stehouwer
BACKGROUND. Both seasonal and novel avian influenza viruses can result in severe infections requiring hospitalization. Anti-influenza antibodies (Abs) with Fc-mediated effector functions, such as Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), are of growing interest in control of influenza but have not previously been studied during severe human infections. As such, the objective of this study was to examine Fc-mediated Ab functions in humans hospitalized with influenza infection. METHODS. Serum Ab response was studied in subjects hospitalized with either pandemic H7N9 avian influenza virus in China (n = 18) or circulating seasonal influenza viruses in Melbourne, Australia (n = 16). Recombinant soluble Fc receptor dimer ELISAs, natural killer (NK) cell activation assays, and Ab-dependent killing assays with influenza-infected target cells were used to assess the Fc functionality of anti-influenza hemagglutinin (HA) Abs during severe human influenza infection. RESULTS. We found that the peak generation of Fc functional HA Abs preceded that of neutralizing Abs for both severe H7N9 and seasonal influenza infections. Subjects who succumbed to complications of H7N9 infection demonstrated reduced HA-specific Fc receptor–binding Abs (in magnitude and breadth) immediately prior to death compared with those who survived. Subjects who recovered from H7N9 and severe seasonal influenza infections demonstrated increased Fc receptor–binding Abs not only against the homologous infecting strain but against HAs from different influenza A subtypes. CONCLUSION. Collectively, survivors of severe influenza infection rapidly generate a functional Ab response capable of mediating ADCC against divergent influenza viruses. Broadly binding HA Abs with Fc-mediated functions may be a useful component of protective immunity to severe influenza infection. FUNDING. The National Health and Medical Research Council ([NHMRC] grants 1023294, 1041832, and 1071916), the Australian Department of Health, and the joint University of Melbourne/Fudan University International Research and Research Training Fund provided funding for this study.
Hillary A. Vanderven, Lu Liu, Fernanda Ana-Sosa-Batiz, Thi H.O. Nguyen, Yanmin Wan, Bruce Wines, P. Mark Hogarth, Danielle Tilmanis, Arnold Reynaldi, Matthew S. Parsons, Aeron C. Hurt, Miles P. Davenport, Tom Kotsimbos, Allen C. Cheng, Katherine Kedzierska, Xiaoyan Zhang, Jianqing Xu, Stephen J. Kent
BACKGROUND. Plasmodium vivax is the most widespread human malaria geographically; however, no effective vaccine exists. Red blood cell invasion by the P. vivax merozoite depends on an interaction between the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC) and region II of the parasite’s Duffy-binding protein (PvDBP_RII). Naturally acquired binding-inhibitory antibodies against this interaction associate with clinical immunity, but it is unknown whether these responses can be induced by human vaccination. METHODS. Safety and immunogenicity of replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus serotype 63 (ChAd63) and modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) viral vectored vaccines targeting PvDBP_RII (Salvador I strain) were assessed in an open-label dose-escalation phase Ia study in 24 healthy UK adults. Vaccines were delivered by the intramuscular route in a ChAd63-MVA heterologous prime-boost regimen using an 8-week interval. RESULTS. Both vaccines were well tolerated and demonstrated a favorable safety profile in malaria-naive adults. PvDBP_RII–specific ex-vivo IFN-γ T cell, antibody-secreting cell, memory B cell, and serum IgG responses were observed after the MVA boost immunization. Vaccine-induced antibodies inhibited the binding of vaccine homologous and heterologous variants of recombinant PvDBP_RII to the DARC receptor, with median 50% binding-inhibition titers greater than 1:100. CONCLUSION. We have demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge that strain-transcending antibodies can be induced against the PvDBP_RII antigen by vaccination in humans. These vaccine candidates warrant further clinical evaluation of efficacy against the blood-stage P. vivax parasite. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01816113. FUNDING. Support was provided by the UK Medical Research Council, UK National Institute of Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, and the Wellcome Trust.
Ruth O. Payne, Sarah E. Silk, Sean C. Elias, Kathryn H. Milne, Thomas A. Rawlinson, David Llewellyn, A. Rushdi Shakri, Jing Jin, Geneviève M. Labbé, Nick J. Edwards, Ian D. Poulton, Rachel Roberts, Ryan Farid, Thomas Jørgensen, Daniel G.W. Alanine, Simone C. de Cassan, Matthew K. Higgins, Thomas D. Otto, James S. McCarthy, Willem A. de Jongh, Alfredo Nicosia, Sarah Moyle, Adrian V.S. Hill, Eleanor Berrie, Chetan E. Chitnis, Alison M. Lawrie, Simon J. Draper
BACKGROUND. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive phytocannabinoid used in multiple sclerosis and intractable epilepsies. Preclinical studies show CBD has numerous cardiovascular benefits, including a reduced blood pressure (BP) response to stress. The aim of this study was to investigate if CBD reduces BP in humans. METHODS. Nine healthy male volunteers were given 600 mg of CBD or placebo in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Cardiovascular parameters were monitored using a finometer and laser Doppler. RESULTS. CBD reduced resting systolic BP (–6 mmHg; P < 0.05) and stroke volume (–8 ml; P < 0.05), with increased heart rate (HR) and maintained cardiac output. Subjects who had taken CBD had lower BP (–5 mmHg; P < 0.05, especially before and after stress), increased HR (+10 bpm; P < 0.01), decreased stroke volume (–13 ml; P < 0.01), and a blunted forearm skin blood flow response to isometric exercise. In response to cold stress, subjects who had taken CBD had blunted BP (–6 mmHg; P < 0.01) and increased HR (+7 bpm; P < 0.05), with lower total peripheral resistance. CONCLUSIONS. This data shows that acute administration of CBD reduces resting BP and the BP increase to stress in humans, associated with increased HR. These hemodynamic changes should be considered for people taking CBD. Further research is required to establish whether CBD has a role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders.
Khalid A. Jadoon, Garry D. Tan, Saoirse E. O’Sullivan
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