Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications

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    Rapid Assessment of Lipidomics Sample Purity and Quantity Using Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
    Robinson, H ; Molendijk, J ; Shah, AK ; Rahman, T ; Anderson, GJ ; Hill, MM (MDPI, 2022-09-01)
    Despite the increasing popularity of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based lipidomics, there is a lack of accepted and validated methods for lipid extract quality and quantity assessment prior to LC-MS. Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) has been reported for quantification of pure lipids. However, the impact of complex lipid sample complexity and purity on total lipid quantification accuracy has not been investigated. Here, we report comprehensive assessment of the sample matrix on the accuracy of lipid quantification using Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR)-FTIR and establish a simple workflow for lipidomics sample quantification. We show that both pure and complex lipids show characteristic FTIR vibrations of CH- and C=O-stretching vibrations, with a quantitative range of 40-3000 ng and a limit of detection of 12 ng, but sample extraction method and local baseline subtraction during FTIR spectral processing significantly impact lipid quantification via CH stretching. To facilitate sample quality screening, we developed the Lipid Quality (LiQ) score from a spectral library of common contaminants, using a ratio of peak heights between CH stretching vibrations maxima and the collective vibrations from amide/amine, CH-stretching minima and sugar moieties. Taking all tested parameters together, we propose a rapid FTIR workflow for routine lipidomics sample quality and quantity assessment and tested this workflow by comparing to the total LC-MS intensity of targeted lipidomics of 107 human plasma lipid extracts. Exclusion of poor-quality samples based on LiQ score improved the correlation between FTIR and LC-MS quantification. The uncertainty of absolute quantification by FTIR was estimated using a 795 ng SPLASH LipidoMix standard to be <10%. With low sample requirement, we anticipate this simple and rapid method will enhance lipidomics workflow by enabling accurate total lipid quantification and normalization of lipid quantity for MS analysis.
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    How and Why Diets Change Post-Migration: A Qualitative Exploration of Dietary Acculturation among Recent Chinese Immigrants in Australia
    Lee, SD ; Kellow, NJ ; Huggins, CE ; Choi, TST (MDPI, 2022-09-01)
    Chinese immigrants living in Western countries are at increased risk for cardiometabolic diseases. Dietary acculturation has been implicated as a potential contributor, but little is known about why diets change post-migration. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore how and why diets change post-migration for Chinese immigrants living in Australia. Eleven participants undertook semi-structured interviews exploring and comparing their diets when they lived in China to their post-migration diets. Thematic analysis revealed that participants exhibited changed social structures of meal preparation, and made unacknowledged dietary changes, such as recipe modification, to maintain their traditional Chinese diet post-migration. Implications of both deliberate and unrecognized dietary changes post-migration include connections to increased risk for metabolic disease post-migration.
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    Ocular Lymphatic and Glymphatic Systems: Implications for Retinal Health and Disease.
    Uddin, N ; Rutar, M (MDPI AG, 2022-09-04)
    Clearance of ocular fluid and metabolic waste is a critical function of the eye in health and disease. The eye has distinct fluid outflow pathways in both the anterior and posterior segments. Although the anterior outflow pathway is well characterized, little is known about posterior outflow routes. Recent studies suggest that lymphatic and glymphatic systems play an important role in the clearance of fluid and waste products from the posterior segment of the eye. The lymphatic system is a vascular network that runs parallel to the blood circulatory system. It plays an essential role in maintenance of fluid homeostasis and immune surveillance in the body. Recent studies have reported lymphatics in the cornea (under pathological conditions), ciliary body, choroid, and optic nerve meninges. The evidence of lymphatics in optic nerve meninges is, however, limited. An alternative lymphatic system termed the glymphatic system was recently discovered in the rodent eye and brain. This system is a glial cell-based perivascular network responsible for the clearance of interstitial fluid and metabolic waste. In this review, we will discuss our current knowledge of ocular lymphatic and glymphatic systems and their role in retinal degenerative diseases.
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    Cognitive function with evolocumab in pediatric heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.
    Gaudet, D ; Ruzza, A ; Bridges, I ; Maruff, P ; Schembri, A ; Hamer, A ; Mach, F ; Bergeron, J ; Gaudet, I ; Pierre, JS ; Kastelein, JJP ; Hovingh, GK ; Wiegman, A ; Raal, FJ ; Santos, RD (Elsevier BV, 2022)
    BACKGROUND: Evolocumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody inhibitor of PCSK9 approved for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in adults and pediatric patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The cognitive safety of evolocumab has been established in adults but has not yet been described in pediatric patients. OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of evolocumab on cognitive function in pediatric heterozygous FH. METHODS: Cognitive function was assessed during a 24-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (HAUSER-RCT) evaluating the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of 24 weeks of monthly subcutaneous injections of evolocumab in pediatric patients with FH. Cognitive safety endpoints included changes from baseline to week 24 in test scores in domains of psychomotor function, attention, visual learning, and executive function. Between-group differences in age-standardized mean test score changes were analyzed using analysis of covariance models and point estimates with 95% confidence interval (CI). Magnitudes of difference between treatment groups (Cohen's d) and reliable change indices were calculated for each cognitive function test. RESULTS: At week 24, changes from baseline in age-standardized cognitive test scores were similar between the treatment groups. Differences (95% CI) between the evolocumab and placebo groups in mean test score changes for the Groton Maze Learning, One-Card Learning, Identification, and Detection tests were 0.1 (-0.2, 0.4), -0.1 (-0.5, 0.4), 0.3 (0.0, 0.7), 0.3 (-0.1, 0.8), respectively. For all tests, abnormal and clinically important cognitive decline occurred with lesser frequency in the evolocumab group. CONCLUSION: In pediatric patients with FH, 24-week treatment with evolocumab did not negatively influence cognition. FUNDING: This study was funded and designed by Amgen.
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    Kidney omics in hypertension: from statistical associations to biological mechanisms and clinical applications.
    Tomaszewski, M ; Morris, AP ; Howson, JMM ; Franceschini, N ; Eales, JM ; Xu, X ; Dikalov, S ; Guzik, TJ ; Humphreys, BD ; Harrap, S ; Charchar, FJ (Elsevier BV, 2022-09)
    Hypertension is a major cardiovascular disease risk factor and contributor to premature death globally. Family-based investigations confirmed a significant heritable component of blood pressure (BP), whereas genome-wide association studies revealed >1000 common and rare genetic variants associated with BP and/or hypertension. The kidney is not only an organ of key relevance to BP regulation and the development of hypertension, but it also acts as the tissue mediator of genetic predisposition to hypertension. The identity of kidney genes, pathways, and related mechanisms underlying the genetic associations with BP has started to emerge through integration of genomics with kidney transcriptomics, epigenomics, and other omics as well as through applications of causal inference, such as Mendelian randomization. Single-cell methods further enabled mapping of BP-associated kidney genes to cell types, and in conjunction with other omics, started to illuminate the biological mechanisms underpinning associations of BP-associated genetic variants and kidney genes. Polygenic risk scores derived from genome-wide association studies and refined on kidney omics hold the promise of enhanced diagnostic prediction, whereas kidney omics-informed drug discovery is likely to contribute new therapeutic opportunities for hypertension and hypertension-mediated kidney damage.
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    Multi-omics analysis from archival neonatal dried blood spots: limitations and opportunities
    Zhuang, Y-J ; Mangwiro, Y ; Wake, M ; Saffery, R ; Greaves, RF (WALTER DE GRUYTER GMBH, 2022-06-08)
    Newborn screening (NBS) programs operate in many countries, processing millions of dried bloodspot (DBS) samples annually. In addition to early identification of various adverse health outcomes, these samples have considerable potential as a resource for population-based research that could address key questions related to child health. The feasibility of archival DBS samples for emerging targeted and untargeted multi-omics analysis has not been previously explored in the literature. This review aims to critically evaluate the latest advances to identify opportunities and challenges of applying omics analyses to NBS cards in a research setting. Medline, Embase and PubMed databases were searched to identify studies utilizing DBS for genomic, proteomic and metabolomic assays. A total of 800 records were identified after removing duplicates, of which 23 records were included in this review. These papers consisted of one combined genomic/metabolomic, four genomic, three epigenomic, four proteomic and 11 metabolomic studies. Together they demonstrate that the increasing sensitivity of multi-omic analytical techniques makes the broad use of NBS samples achievable for large cohort studies. Maintaining the pre-analytical integrity of the DBS sample through storage at temperatures below -20 °C will enable this important resource to be fully realized in a research capacity.
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    mafba and mafbb differentially regulate lymphatic endothelial cell migration in topographically distinct manners
    Arnold, H ; Panara, V ; Hussmann, M ; Filipek-Gorniok, B ; Skoczylas, R ; Ranefall, P ; Gloger, M ; Allalou, A ; Hogan, BM ; Schulte-Merker, S ; Koltowska, K (CELL PRESS, 2022-06-21)
    Lymphangiogenesis, formation of lymphatic vessels from pre-existing vessels, is a dynamic process that requires cell migration. Regardless of location, migrating lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) progenitors probe their surroundings to form the lymphatic network. Lymphatic-development regulation requires the transcription factor MAFB in different species. Zebrafish Mafba, expressed in LEC progenitors, is essential for their migration in the trunk. However, the transcriptional mechanism that orchestrates LEC migration in different lymphatic endothelial beds remains elusive. Here, we uncover topographically different requirements of the two paralogs, Mafba and Mafbb, for LEC migration. Both mafba and mafbb are necessary for facial lymphatic development, but mafbb is dispensable for trunk lymphatic development. On the molecular level, we demonstrate a regulatory network where Vegfc-Vegfd-SoxF-Mafba-Mafbb is essential in facial lymphangiogenesis. We identify that mafba and mafbb tune the directionality of LEC migration and vessel morphogenesis that is ultimately necessary for lymphatic function.
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    Engineered AAVs for non-invasive gene delivery to rodent and non-human primate nervous systems
    Chen, X ; Kumar, SR ; Adams, CD ; Yang, D ; Wang, T ; Wolfe, DA ; Arokiaraj, CM ; Ngo, V ; Campos, LJ ; Griffiths, JA ; Ichiki, T ; Mazmanian, SK ; Osborne, PB ; Keast, JR ; Miller, CT ; Fox, AS ; Chiu, IM ; Gradinaru, V (CELL PRESS, 2022-07-20)
    Gene therapy offers great promise in addressing neuropathologies associated with the central and peripheral nervous systems (CNS and PNS). However, genetic access remains difficult, reflecting the critical need for the development of effective and non-invasive gene delivery vectors across species. To that end, we evolved adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) capsid in mice and validated two capsids, AAV-MaCPNS1 and AAV-MaCPNS2, across rodent species (mice and rats) and non-human primate (NHP) species (marmosets and rhesus macaques). Intravenous administration of either AAV efficiently transduced the PNS in rodents and both the PNS and CNS in NHPs. Furthermore, we used AAV-MaCPNS1 in mice to systemically deliver the following: (1) the neuronal sensor jGCaMP8s to record calcium signal dynamics in nodose ganglia and (2) the neuronal actuator DREADD to dorsal root ganglia to mediate pain. This conclusively demonstrates the translatability of these two systemic AAVs across four species and their functional utility through proof-of-concept studies in mice.
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    Screening, Diagnosis and Management of Sarcopenia and Frailty in Hospitalized Older Adults: Recommendations from the Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research (ANZSSFR) Expert Working Group
    Daly, RM ; Iuliano, S ; Fyfe, JJ ; Scott, D ; Kirk, B ; Thompson, MQ ; Dent, E ; Fetterplace, K ; Wright, ORL ; Lynch, GS ; Zanker, J ; Yu, S ; Kurrle, S ; Visvanathan, R ; Maier, AB (SPRINGER FRANCE, 2022-05-31)
    Sarcopenia and frailty are highly prevalent conditions in older hospitalized patients, which are associated with a myriad of adverse clinical outcomes. This paper, prepared by a multidisciplinary expert working group from the Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research (ANZSSFR), provides an up-to-date overview of current evidence and recommendations based on a narrative review of the literature for the screening, diagnosis, and management of sarcopenia and frailty in older patients within the hospital setting. It also includes suggestions on potential pathways to implement change to encourage widespread adoption of these evidence-informed recommendations within hospital settings. The expert working group concluded there was insufficient evidence to support any specific screening tool for sarcopenia and recommends an assessment of probable sarcopenia/sarcopenia using established criteria for all older (≥65 years) hospitalized patients or in younger patients with conditions (e.g., comorbidities) that may increase their risk of sarcopenia. Diagnosis of probable sarcopenia should be based on an assessment of low muscle strength (grip strength or five times sit-to-stand) with sarcopenia diagnosis including low muscle mass quantified from dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, bioelectrical impedance analysis or in the absence of diagnostic devices, calf circumference as a proxy measure. Severe sarcopenia is represented by the addition of impaired physical performance (slow gait speed). All patients with probable sarcopenia or sarcopenia should be investigated for causes (e.g., chronic/acute disease or malnutrition), and treated accordingly. For frailty, it is recommended that all hospitalized patients aged 70 years and older be screened using a validated tool [Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS), Hospital Frailty Risk Score, the FRAIL scale or the Frailty Index]. Patients screened as positive for frailty should undergo further clinical assessment using the Frailty Phenotype, Frailty Index or information collected from a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA). All patients identified as frail should receive follow up by a health practitioner(s) for an individualized care plan. To treat older hospitalized patients with probable sarcopenia, sarcopenia, or frailty, it is recommended that a structured and supervised multi-component exercise program incorporating elements of resistance (muscle strengthening), challenging balance, and functional mobility training be prescribed as early as possible combined with nutritional support to optimize energy and protein intake and correct any deficiencies. There is insufficient evidence to recommend pharmacological agents for the treatment of sarcopenia or frailty. Finally, to facilitate integration of these recommendations into hospital settings organization-wide approaches are needed, with the Spread and Sustain framework recommended to facilitate organizational culture change, with the help of 'champions' to drive these changes. A multidisciplinary team approach incorporating awareness and education initiatives for healthcare professionals is recommended to ensure that screening, diagnosis and management approaches for sarcopenia and frailty are embedded and sustained within hospital settings. Finally, patients and caregivers' education should be integrated into the care pathway to facilitate adherence to prescribed management approaches for sarcopenia and frailty.
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    Renin-Angiotensin System Inhibitors in Patients With COVID-19: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials Led by the International Society of Hypertension.
    Gnanenthiran, SR ; Borghi, C ; Burger, D ; Caramelli, B ; Charchar, F ; Chirinos, JA ; Cohen, JB ; Cremer, A ; Di Tanna, GL ; Duvignaud, A ; Freilich, D ; Gommans, DHF ; Gracia-Ramos, AE ; Murray, TA ; Pelorosso, F ; Poulter, NR ; Puskarich, MA ; Rizas, KD ; Rothlin, R ; Schlaich, MP ; Schreinlecher, M ; Steckelings, UM ; Sharma, A ; Stergiou, GS ; Tignanelli, CJ ; Tomaszewski, M ; Unger, T ; van Kimmenade, RRJ ; Wainford, RD ; Williams, B ; Rodgers, A ; Schutte, AE ; COVID‐METARASI Consortium, (Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2022-09-06)
    Background Published randomized controlled trials are underpowered for binary clinical end points to assess the safety and efficacy of renin-angiotensin system inhibitors (RASi) in adults with COVID-19. We therefore performed a meta-analysis to assess the safety and efficacy of RASi in adults with COVID-19. Methods and Results MEDLINE, EMBASE, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the Cochrane Controlled Trial Register were searched for randomized controlled trials that randomly assigned patients with COVID-19 to RASi continuation/commencement versus no RASi therapy. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality at ≤30 days. A total of 14 randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria and enrolled 1838 participants (aged 59 years, 58% men, mean follow-up 26 days). Of the trials, 11 contributed data. We found no effect of RASi versus control on all-cause mortality (7.2% versus 7.5%; relative risk [RR], 0.95; [95% CI, 0.69-1.30]) either overall or in subgroups defined by COVID-19 severity or trial type. Network meta-analysis identified no difference between angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors versus angiotensin II receptor blockers. RASi users had a nonsignificant reduction in acute myocardial infarction (2.1% versus 3.6%; RR, 0.59; [95% CI, 0.33-1.06]), but increased risk of acute kidney injury (7.0% versus 3.6%; RR, 1.82; [95% CI, 1.05-3.16]), in trials that initiated and continued RASi. There was no increase in need for dialysis or differences in congestive cardiac failure, cerebrovascular events, venous thromboembolism, hospitalization, intensive care admission, inotropes, or mechanical ventilation. Conclusions This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials evaluating angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers versus control in patients with COVID-19 found no difference in all-cause mortality, a borderline decrease in myocardial infarction, and an increased risk of acute kidney injury with RASi. Our findings provide strong evidence that RASi can be used safely in patients with COVID-19.