Medicine (Austin & Northern Health) - Research Publications

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    Alagebrium Reduces Glomerular Fibrogenesis and Inflammation Beyond Preventing RAGE Activation in Diabetic Apolipoprotein E Knockout Mice
    Watson, AMD ; Gray, SP ; Jiaze, L ; Soro-Paavonen, A ; Wong, B ; Cooper, ME ; Bierhaus, A ; Pickering, R ; Tikellis, C ; Tsorotes, D ; Thomas, MC ; Jandeleit-Dahm, KAM (AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2012-08-01)
    Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are important mediators of diabetic nephropathy that act through the receptor for AGEs (RAGE), as well as other mechanisms, to promote renal inflammation and glomerulosclerosis. The relative contribution of RAGE-dependent and RAGE-independent signaling pathways has not been previously studied in vivo. In this study, diabetic RAGE apoE double-knockout (KO) mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes were treated with the AGE inhibitor, alagebrium (1 mg/kg/day), or the ACE inhibitor, quinapril (30 mg/kg/day), for 20 weeks, and renal parameters were assessed. RAGE deletion attenuated mesangial expansion, glomerular matrix accumulation, and renal oxidative stress associated with 20 weeks of diabetes. By contrast, inflammation and AGE accumulation associated with diabetes was not prevented. However, treatment with alagebrium in diabetic RAGE apoE KO mice reduced renal AGE levels and further reduced glomerular matrix accumulation. In addition, even in the absence of RAGE expression, alagebrium attenuated cortical inflammation, as denoted by the reduced expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, intracellular adhesion molecule-1, and the macrophage marker cluster of differentiation molecule 11b. These novel findings confirm the presence of important RAGE-independent as well as RAGE-dependent signaling pathways that may be activated in the kidney by AGEs. This has important implications for the design of optimal therapeutic strategies for the prevention of diabetic nephropathy.
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    Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band in an obese unrelated living donor prior to kidney transplantation: a case report.
    Koshy, AN ; Wilkinson, S ; Coombes, JS ; Fassett, RG (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2010-04-19)
    INTRODUCTION: Obese living donors who undergo donor nephrectomy have higher rates of intra-operative and post-operative complications. Many centres exclude obese donors from living donor transplant programs. Diet, exercise and medication are often ineffective weight loss interventions for donors, hence bariatric surgery should be considered. CASE PRESENTATION: We report the case of a 53-year-old Caucasian woman who underwent laparoscopically adjustable gastric banding. The procedure enabled her to lose sufficient weight to gain eligibility for kidney donation. After losing weight, she had an uncomplicated laparoscopic donor nephrectomy surgery, and the recipient underwent successful kidney transplantation. CONCLUSION: Laparoscopically adjustable gastric banding should be considered for obese potential living kidney donors whenever transplantation units restrict access to donor nephrectomy based on the increased surgical risk for donors.
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    Genetics of type 1 diabetes: what's next?
    Pociot, F ; Akolkar, B ; Concannon, P ; Erlich, HA ; Julier, C ; Morahan, G ; Nierras, CR ; Todd, JA ; Rich, SS ; Nerup, J (American Diabetes Association, 2010-07)
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    Tests for genetic interactions in type 1 diabetes: linkage and stratification analyses of 4,422 affected sib-pairs.
    Morahan, G ; Mehta, M ; James, I ; Chen, W-M ; Akolkar, B ; Erlich, HA ; Hilner, JE ; Julier, C ; Nerup, J ; Nierras, C ; Pociot, F ; Todd, JA ; Rich, SS ; Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium, (American Diabetes Association, 2011-03)
    OBJECTIVE: Interactions between genetic and environmental factors lead to immune dysregulation causing type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune disorders. Recently, many common genetic variants have been associated with type 1 diabetes risk, but each has modest individual effects. Familial clustering of type 1 diabetes has not been explained fully and could arise from many factors, including undetected genetic variation and gene interactions. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: To address this issue, the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium recruited 3,892 families, including 4,422 affected sib-pairs. After genotyping 6,090 markers, linkage analyses of these families were performed, using a novel method and taking into account factors such as genotype at known susceptibility loci. RESULTS: Evidence for linkage was robust at the HLA and INS loci, with logarithm of odds (LOD) scores of 398.6 and 5.5, respectively. There was suggestive support for five other loci. Stratification by other risk factors (including HLA and age at diagnosis) identified one convincing region on chromosome 6q14 showing linkage in male subjects (corrected LOD = 4.49; replication P = 0.0002), a locus on chromosome 19q in HLA identical siblings (replication P = 0.006), and four other suggestive loci. CONCLUSIONS: This is the largest linkage study reported for any disease. Our data indicate there are no major type 1 diabetes subtypes definable by linkage analyses; susceptibility is caused by actions of HLA and an apparently random selection from a large number of modest-effect loci; and apart from HLA and INS, there is no important susceptibility factor discoverable by linkage methods.
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    Confirmation of novel type 1 diabetes risk loci in families.
    Cooper, JD ; Howson, JMM ; Smyth, D ; Walker, NM ; Stevens, H ; Yang, JHM ; She, J-X ; Eisenbarth, GS ; Rewers, M ; Todd, JA ; Akolkar, B ; Concannon, P ; Erlich, HA ; Julier, C ; Morahan, G ; Nerup, J ; Nierras, C ; Pociot, F ; Rich, SS ; Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium, (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2012-04)
    AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Over 50 regions of the genome have been associated with type 1 diabetes risk, mainly using large case/control collections. In a recent genome-wide association (GWA) study, 18 novel susceptibility loci were identified and replicated, including replication evidence from 2,319 families. Here, we, the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium (T1DGC), aimed to exclude the possibility that any of the 18 loci were false-positives due to population stratification by significantly increasing the statistical power of our family study. METHODS: We genotyped the most disease-predicting single-nucleotide polymorphisms at the 18 susceptibility loci in 3,108 families and used existing genotype data for 2,319 families from the original study, providing 7,013 parent-child trios for analysis. We tested for association using the transmission disequilibrium test. RESULTS: Seventeen of the 18 susceptibility loci reached nominal levels of significance (p < 0.05) in the expanded family collection, with 14q24.1 just falling short (p = 0.055). When we allowed for multiple testing, ten of the 17 nominally significant loci reached the required level of significance (p < 2.8 × 10(-3)). All susceptibility loci had consistent direction of effects with the original study. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: The results for the novel GWA study-identified loci are genuine and not due to population stratification. The next step, namely correlation of the most disease-associated genotypes with phenotypes, such as RNA and protein expression analyses for the candidate genes within or near each of the susceptibility regions, can now proceed.
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    Evidence of gene-gene interaction and age-at-diagnosis effects in type 1 diabetes.
    Howson, JMM ; Cooper, JD ; Smyth, DJ ; Walker, NM ; Stevens, H ; She, J-X ; Eisenbarth, GS ; Rewers, M ; Todd, JA ; Akolkar, B ; Concannon, P ; Erlich, HA ; Julier, C ; Morahan, G ; Nerup, J ; Nierras, C ; Pociot, F ; Rich, SS ; Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium, (American Diabetes Association, 2012-11)
    The common genetic loci that independently influence the risk of type 1 diabetes have largely been determined. Their interactions with age-at-diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, sex, or the major susceptibility locus, HLA class II, remain mostly unexplored. A large collection of more than 14,866 type 1 diabetes samples (6,750 British diabetic individuals and 8,116 affected family samples of European descent) were genotyped at 38 confirmed type 1 diabetes-associated non-HLA regions and used to test for interaction of association with age-at-diagnosis, sex, and HLA class II genotypes using regression models. The alleles that confer susceptibility to type 1 diabetes at interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL2/4q27 (rs2069763) and renalase, FAD-dependent amine oxidase (RNLS)/10q23.31 (rs10509540), were associated with a lower age-at-diagnosis (P = 4.6 × 10⁻⁶ and 2.5 × 10⁻⁵, respectively). For both loci, individuals carrying the susceptible homozygous genotype were, on average, 7.2 months younger at diagnosis than those carrying the protective homozygous genotypes. In addition to protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor type 22 (PTPN22), evidence of statistical interaction between HLA class II genotypes and rs3087243 at cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4)/2q33.2 was obtained (P = 7.90 × 10⁻⁵). No evidence of differential risk by sex was obtained at any loci (P ≥ 0.01). Statistical interaction effects can be detected in type 1 diabetes although they provide a relatively small contribution to our understanding of the familial clustering of the disease.
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    Comparison of sequence variants in transcriptomic control regions across 17 mouse genomes.
    Nguyen, C ; Baten, A ; Morahan, G (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2014)
    The laboratory mouse is the most widely used mammalian model organism in biomedical research, so a thorough annotation of functional variation in the mouse genome would be of significant value. In this study, we compared sequence variation in a comprehensive list of functional elements (e.g. promoters, enhancers and CTCF binding sites) across 17 inbred mouse strains. Sequences were derived for ∼300,000 functional elements experimentally identified by the mouse ENCODE project as regulating gene expression in 19 different tissue sources. We aligned sequences for each predicted cis-regulatory element to genomes of 17 mouse strains. This yielded a database comprising ∼5 million aligned sequences, allowing interrogation of sequence variation of functional elements for each of the 19 tissues/cell types in commonly used mouse strains. We also developed an online tool to visualize the genome around each predicted cis-regulatory element in each tissue context and which allows efficient comparison of variation between any two sets of strains. This will be particularly useful in the context of the Collaborative Cross (CC), which was conceived as a powerful new systems genetics resource to accelerate gene discovery. Comprising a large number of inbred strains derived from eight genetically diverse founders, the CC offers rapid mapping and identification of genes that mediate complex traits. We show that, among the 17 sequenced strains, the set of CC founder strains captures the most variability in the ENCODE elements, further emphasizing the value of this resource. Database URL: www.sysgen.org/ecco.
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    Functionally distinct PI 3-kinase pathways regulate myelination in the peripheral nervous system.
    Heller, BA ; Ghidinelli, M ; Voelkl, J ; Einheber, S ; Smith, R ; Grund, E ; Morahan, G ; Chandler, D ; Kalaydjieva, L ; Giancotti, F ; King, RH ; Fejes-Toth, AN ; Fejes-Toth, G ; Feltri, ML ; Lang, F ; Salzer, JL (Rockefeller University Press, 2014-03-31)
    The PI 3-kinase (PI 3-K) signaling pathway is essential for Schwann cell myelination. Here we have characterized PI 3-K effectors activated during myelination by probing myelinating cultures and developing nerves with an antibody that recognizes phosphorylated substrates for this pathway. We identified a discrete number of phospho-proteins including the S6 ribosomal protein (S6rp), which is down-regulated at the onset of myelination, and N-myc downstream-regulated gene-1 (NDRG1), which is up-regulated strikingly with myelination. We show that type III Neuregulin1 on the axon is the primary activator of S6rp, an effector of mTORC1. In contrast, laminin-2 in the extracellular matrix (ECM), signaling through the α6β4 integrin and Sgk1 (serum and glucocorticoid-induced kinase 1), drives phosphorylation of NDRG1 in the Cajal bands of the abaxonal compartment. Unexpectedly, mice deficient in α6β4 integrin signaling or Sgk1 exhibit hypermyelination during development. These results identify functionally and spatially distinct PI 3-K pathways: an early, pro-myelinating pathway driven by axonal Neuregulin1 and a later-acting, laminin-integrin-dependent pathway that negatively regulates myelination.
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    Status and access to the Collaborative Cross population.
    Welsh, CE ; Miller, DR ; Manly, KF ; Wang, J ; McMillan, L ; Morahan, G ; Mott, R ; Iraqi, FA ; Threadgill, DW ; de Villena, FP-M (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2012-10)
    The Collaborative Cross (CC) is a panel of recombinant inbred lines derived from eight genetically diverse laboratory inbred strains. Recently, the genetic architecture of the CC population was reported based on the genotype of a single male per line, and other publications reported incompletely inbred CC mice that have been used to map a variety of traits. The three breeding sites, in the US, Israel, and Australia, are actively collaborating to accelerate the inbreeding process through marker-assisted inbreeding and to expedite community access of CC lines deemed to have reached defined thresholds of inbreeding. Plans are now being developed to provide access to this novel genetic reference population through distribution centers. Here we provide a description of the distribution efforts by the University of North Carolina Systems Genetics Core, Tel Aviv University, Israel and the University of Western Australia.
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    A novel mutation causing nephronophthisis in the Lewis polycystic kidney rat localises to a conserved RCC1 domain in Nek8.
    McCooke, JK ; Appels, R ; Barrero, RA ; Ding, A ; Ozimek-Kulik, JE ; Bellgard, MI ; Morahan, G ; Phillips, JK (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2012-08-16)
    BACKGROUND: Nephronophthisis (NPHP) as a cause of cystic kidney disease is the most common genetic cause of progressive renal failure in children and young adults. NPHP is characterized by abnormal and/or loss of function of proteins associated with primary cilia. Previously, we characterized an autosomal recessive phenotype of cystic kidney disease in the Lewis Polycystic Kidney (LPK) rat. RESULTS: In this study, quantitative trait locus analysis was used to define a ~1.6 Mbp region on rat chromosome 10q25 harbouring the lpk mutation. Targeted genome capture and next-generation sequencing of this region identified a non-synonymous mutation R650C in the NIMA (never in mitosis gene a)- related kinase 8 ( Nek8) gene. This is a novel Nek8 mutation that occurs within the regulator of chromosome condensation 1 (RCC1)-like region of the protein. Specifically, the R650C substitution is located within a G[QRC]LG repeat motif of the predicted seven bladed beta-propeller structure of the RCC1 domain. The rat Nek8 gene is located in a region syntenic to portions of human chromosome 17 and mouse 11. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed abnormally long cilia on LPK kidney epithelial cells, and fluorescence immunohistochemistry for Nek8 protein revealed altered cilia localisation. CONCLUSIONS: When assessed relative to other Nek8 NPHP mutations, our results indicate the whole propeller structure of the RCC1 domain is important, as the different mutations cause comparable phenotypes. This study establishes the LPK rat as a novel model system for NPHP and further consolidates the link between cystic kidney disease and cilia proteins.