Physiology - Research Publications

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    EpiMetal: an open-source graphical web browser tool for easy statistical analyses in epidemiology and metabolomics
    Ekholm, J ; Ohukainen, P ; Kangas, AJ ; Kettunen, J ; Wang, Q ; Karsikas, M ; Khan, AA ; Kingwell, BA ; Kahonen, M ; Lehtimaki, T ; Raitakari, OT ; Jarvelin, M-R ; Meikle, PJ ; Ala-Korpela, M (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2020-08-01)
    MOTIVATION: An intuitive graphical interface that allows statistical analyses and visualizations of extensive data without any knowledge of dedicated statistical software or programming. IMPLEMENTATION: EpiMetal is a single-page web application written in JavaScript, to be used via a modern desktop web browser. GENERAL FEATURES: Standard epidemiological analyses and self-organizing maps for data-driven metabolic profiling are included. Multiple extensive datasets with an arbitrary number of continuous and category variables can be integrated with the software. Any snapshot of the analyses can be saved and shared with others via a www-link. We demonstrate the usage of EpiMetal using pilot data with over 500 quantitative molecular measures for each sample as well as in two large-scale epidemiological cohorts (N >10 000). AVAILABILITY: The software usage exemplar and the pilot data are open access online at [http://EpiMetal.computationalmedicine.fi]. MIT licensed source code is available at the Github repository at [https://github.com/amergin/epimetal].
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    Plasma Docosahexaenoic Acid and Eicosapentaenoic Acid Concentrations Are Positively Associated with Brown Adipose Tissue Activity in Humans
    Xiang, AS ; Giles, C ; Loh, RKC ; Formosa, MF ; Eikelis, N ; Lambert, GW ; Meikle, PJ ; Kingwell, BA ; Carey, AL (MDPI, 2020-10-01)
    Brown adipose tissue (BAT) activation is a possible therapeutic strategy to increase energy expenditure and improve metabolic homeostasis in obesity. Recent studies have revealed novel interactions between BAT and circulating lipid species-in particular, the non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) and oxylipin lipid classes. This study aimed to identify individual lipid species that may be associated with cold-stimulated BAT activity in humans. A panel of 44 NEFA and 41 oxylipin species were measured using mass-spectrometry-based lipidomics in the plasma of fourteen healthy male participants before and after 90 min of mild cold exposure. Lipid measures were correlated with BAT activity measured via 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), along with norepinephrine (NE) concentration (a surrogate marker of sympathetic activity). The study identified a significant increase in total NEFA concentration following cold exposure that was positively associated with NE concentration change. Individually, 33 NEFA and 11 oxylipin species increased significantly in response to cold exposure. The concentration of the omega-3 NEFA, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) at baseline was significantly associated with BAT activity, and the cold-induced change in 18 NEFA species was significantly associated with BAT activity. No significant associations were identified between BAT activity and oxylipins.
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    Sedentary Behavior and Public Health: Integrating the Evidence and Identifying Potential Solutions
    Owen, N ; Healy, GN ; Dempsey, PC ; Salmon, J ; Timperio, A ; Clark, BK ; Goode, AD ; Koorts, H ; Ridgers, ND ; Hadgraft, NT ; Lambert, G ; Eakin, EG ; Kingwell, BA ; Dunstan, DW ; Fielding, JE (ANNUAL REVIEWS, 2020-01-01)
    In developed and developing countries, social, economic, and environmental transitions have led to physical inactivity and large amounts of time spent sitting. Research is now unraveling the adverse public health consequences of too much sitting. We describe improvements in device-based measurement that are providing new insights into sedentary behavior and health. We consider the implications of research linking evidence from epidemiology and behavioral science with mechanistic insights into the underlying biology of sitting time. Such evidence has led to new sedentary behavior guidelines and initiatives. We highlight ways that this emerging knowledge base can inform public health strategy: First, we consider epidemiologic and experimental evidence on the health consequences of sedentary behavior; second, we describe solutions-focused research from initiatives in workplaces and schools. To inform a broad public health strategy, researchers need to pursue evidence-informed collaborations with occupational health, education, and other sectors.