Medicine and Radiology - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 244
Hybrid diamond/ carbon fiber microelectrodes enable multimodal electrical/chemical neural interfacing
Implantable medical devices are now in regular use to treat or ameliorate medical conditions, including movement disorders, chronic pain, cardiac arrhythmias, and hearing or vision loss. Aside from offering alternatives to pharmaceuticals, one major advantage of device therapy is the potential to monitor treatment efficacy, disease progression, and perhaps begin to uncover elusive mechanisms of diseases pathology. In an ideal system, neural stimulation, neural recording, and electrochemical sensing would be conducted by the same electrode in the same anatomical region. Carbon fiber (CF) microelectrodes are the appropriate size to achieve this goal and have shown excellent performance, in vivo. Their electrochemical properties, however, are not suitable for neural stimulation and electrochemical sensing. Here, we present a method to deposit high surface area conducting diamond on CF microelectrodes. This unique hybrid microelectrode is capable of recording single-neuron action potentials, delivering effective electrical stimulation pulses, and exhibits excellent electrochemical dopamine detection. Such electrodes are needed for the next generation of miniaturized, closed-loop implants that can self-tune therapies by monitoring both electrophysiological and biochemical biomarkers.
Sex- and age-specific associations between income and incident major osteoporotic fractures in Canadian men and women: a population-based analysis
(Springer (part of Springer Nature), 2015-01-01)
We investigated sex- and age-specific associations between income and fractures at the hip, humerus, spine, and forearm in adults aged ≥50 years. Compared to men with the highest income, men with the lowest income had an increased fracture risk at all skeletal sites. These associations were attenuated in women. INTRODUCTION: Associations between income and hip fractures are contested, even less is known about other fracture sites. We investigated sex- and age-specific associations between income and major osteoporotic fractures (MOF) at the hip, humerus, spine, and forearm. METHODS: Incident fractures were identified from administrative health data for adults aged ≥50 years in Manitoba, Canada, 2000-2007. Mean neighborhood (postal code area) annual household incomes were extracted from 2006 census files and categorized into quintiles. We calculated age-adjusted and age-specific sex-stratified fracture incidence across income quintiles. We estimated relative risks (RR) and 95% CI for income quintile 1 (Q1, lowest income) vs. income quintile 5 (Q5) and tested the linear trend across quintiles. RESULTS: We identified 15,094 incident fractures (4736 hip, 3012 humerus, 1979 spine, and 5367 forearm) in 2718 men and 6786 women. For males, the RR of fracture for the lowest vs. highest income quintile was 1.63 (95% CI 1.42-1.87) and the negative trend was statistically significant (p < 0.0001); individual skeletal sites showed similar associations. For females, the RR of fracture for the lowest vs. highest income quintile was 1.14 (95% CI 1.01-1.28), with a statistically significant negative trend (p = 0.0291); however, the only skeletal site associated with income in women was the forearm (Q1 vs. Q5 RR 1.09, 95% CI 1.01-1.28). CONCLUSIONS: Compared to men with the highest income, men with the lowest income had an increased fracture risk at all skeletal sites. These associations were attenuated in women. For men, these effect sizes seem large enough to warrant public health concern.
Profiling Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission and the resulting disease burden in the five highest tuberculosis burden countries
BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) control efforts are hampered by an imperfect understanding of TB epidemiology. The true age distribution of disease is unknown because a large proportion of individuals with active TB remain undetected. Understanding of transmission is limited by the asymptomatic nature of latent infection and the pathogen's capacity for late reactivation. A better understanding of TB epidemiology is critically needed to ensure effective use of existing and future control tools. METHODS: We use an agent-based model to simulate TB epidemiology in the five highest TB burden countries-India, Indonesia, China, the Philippines and Pakistan-providing unique insights into patterns of transmission and disease. Our model replicates demographically realistic populations, explicitly capturing social contacts between individuals based on local estimates of age-specific contact in household, school and workplace settings. Time-varying programmatic parameters are incorporated to account for the local history of TB control. RESULTS: We estimate that the 15-19-year-old age group is involved in more than 20% of transmission events in India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Pakistan, despite representing only 5% of the local TB incidence. According to our model, childhood TB represents around one fifth of the incident TB cases in these four countries. In China, three quarters of incident TB were estimated to occur in the ≥ 45-year-old population. The calibrated per-contact transmission risk was found to be similar in each of the five countries despite their very different TB burdens. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents and young adults are a major driver of TB in high-incidence settings. Relying only on the observed distribution of disease to understand the age profile of transmission is potentially misleading.
Clinical Spectrum and Functional Consequences Associated with Bi-Allelic Pathogenic PNPT1 Variants
(MDPI AG, 2019-11-01)
PNPT1 (PNPase-polynucleotide phosphorylase) is involved in multiple RNA processing functions in the mitochondria. Bi-allelic pathogenic PNPT1 variants cause heterogeneous clinical phenotypes affecting multiple organs without any established genotype-phenotype correlations. Defects in PNPase can cause variable combined respiratory chain complex defects. Recently, it has been suggested that PNPase can lead to activation of an innate immune response. To better understand the clinical and molecular spectrum of patients with bi-allelic PNPT1 variants, we captured detailed clinical and molecular phenotypes of all 17 patients reported in the literature, plus seven new patients, including a 78-year-old male with the longest reported survival. A functional follow-up of genomic sequencing by cDNA studies confirmed a splicing defect in a novel, apparently synonymous, variant. Patient fibroblasts showed an accumulation of mitochondrial unprocessed PNPT1 transcripts, while blood showed an increased interferon response. Our findings suggest that functional analyses of the RNA processing function of PNPase are more sensitive than testing downstream defects in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHPOS) enzyme activities. This research extends our knowledge of the clinical and functional consequences of bi-allelic pathogenic PNPT1 variants that may guide management and further efforts into understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms for therapeutic development.
CX-5461 activates the DNA damage response and demonstrates therapeutic efficacy in high-grade serous ovarian cancer
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-05-26)
Acquired resistance to PARP inhibitors (PARPi) is a major challenge for the clinical management of high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). Here, we demonstrate CX-5461, the first-in-class inhibitor of RNA polymerase I transcription of ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA), induces replication stress and activates the DNA damage response. CX-5461 co-operates with PARPi in exacerbating replication stress and enhances therapeutic efficacy against homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair-deficient HGSOC-patient-derived xenograft (PDX) in vivo. We demonstrate CX-5461 has a different sensitivity spectrum to PARPi involving MRE11-dependent degradation of replication forks. Importantly, CX-5461 exhibits in vivo single agent efficacy in a HGSOC-PDX with reduced sensitivity to PARPi by overcoming replication fork protection. Further, we identify CX-5461-sensitivity gene expression signatures in primary and relapsed HGSOC. We propose CX-5461 is a promising therapy in combination with PARPi in HR-deficient HGSOC and also as a single agent for the treatment of relapsed disease.
Regulation of PRMT5-MDM4 axis is critical in the response to CDK4/6 inhibitors in melanoma
(NATL ACAD SCIENCES, 2019-09-03)
Cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6) inhibitors are an established treatment in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and are currently in clinical development in melanoma, a tumor that exhibits high rates of CDK4 activation. We analyzed melanoma cells with acquired resistance to the CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib and demonstrate that the activity of PRMT5, a protein arginine methyltransferase and indirect target of CDK4, is essential for CDK4/6 inhibitor sensitivity. By indirectly suppressing PRMT5 activity, palbociclib alters the pre-mRNA splicing of MDM4, a negative regulator of p53, leading to decreased MDM4 protein expression and subsequent p53 activation. In turn, p53 induces p21, leading to inhibition of CDK2, the main kinase substituting for CDK4/6 and a key driver of resistance to palbociclib. Loss of the ability of palbociclib to regulate the PRMT5-MDM4 axis leads to resistance. Importantly, combining palbociclib with the PRMT5 inhibitor GSK3326595 enhances the efficacy of palbociclib in treating naive and resistant models and also delays the emergence of resistance. Our studies have uncovered a mechanism of action of CDK4/6 inhibitors in regulating the MDM4 oncogene and the tumor suppressor, p53. Furthermore, we have established that palbociclib inhibition of the PRMT5-MDM4 axis is essential for robust melanoma cell sensitivity and provide preclinical evidence that coinhibition of CDK4/6 and PRMT5 is an effective and well-tolerated therapeutic strategy. Overall, our data provide a strong rationale for further investigation of novel combinations of CDK4/6 and PRMT5 inhibitors, not only in melanoma but other tumor types, including breast, pancreatic, and esophageal carcinoma.
Anti-Epileptic Drug Combination Efficacy in an In Vitro Seizure Model - Phenytoin and Valproate, Lamotrigine and Valproate
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2017-01-11)
In this study, we investigated the relative efficacy of different classes of commonly used anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) with different mechanisms of action, individually and in combination, to suppress epileptiform discharges in an in vitro model. Extracellular field potential were recorded in 450 μm thick transverse hippocampal slices prepared from juvenile Wistar rats, in which "epileptiform discharges" (ED's) were produced with a high-K+ (8.5 mM) bicarbonate-buffered saline solution. Single and dual recordings in stratum pyramidale of CA1 and CA3 regions were performed with 3-5 MΩ glass microelectrodes. All drugs-lamotrigine (LTG), phenytoin (PHT) and valproate (VPA)-were applied to the slice by superfusion at a rate of 2 ml/min at 32°C. Effects upon frequency of ED's were assessed for LTG, PHT and VPA applied at different concentrations, in isolation and in combination. We demonstrated that high-K+ induced ED frequency was reversibly reduced by LTG, PHT and VPA, at concentrations corresponding to human therapeutic blood plasma concentrations. With a protocol using several applications of drugs to the same slice, PHT and VPA in combination displayed additivity of effect with 50μM PHT and 350μM VPA reducing SLD frequency by 44% and 24% individually (n = 19), and together reducing SLD frequency by 66% (n = 19). 20μM LTG reduced SLD frequency by 32% and 350μM VPA by 16% (n = 18). However, in combination there was a supra-linear suppression of ED's of 64% (n = 18). In another independent set of experiments, similar results of drug combination responses were also found. In conclusion, a combination of conventional AEDs with different mechanisms of action, PHT and VPA, displayed linear additivity of effect on epileptiform activity. More intriguingly, a combination of LTG and VPA considered particularly efficacious clinically showed a supra-additive suppression of ED's. This approach may be useful as an in vitro platform for assessing drug combination efficacy.
A VOLTAGE-DEPENDENT PERSISTENT SODIUM CURRENT IN MAMMALIAN HIPPOCAMPAL-NEURONS
(ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 1990-06-01)
Currents generated by depolarizing voltage pulses were recorded in neurons from the pyramidal cell layer of the CA1 region of rat or guinea pig hippocampus with single electrode voltage-clamp or tight-seal whole-cell voltage-clamp techniques. In neurons in situ in slices, and in dissociated neurons, subtraction of currents generated by identical depolarizing voltage pulses before and after exposure to tetrodotoxin revealed a small, persistent current after the transient current. These currents could also be recorded directly in dissociated neurons in which other ionic currents were effectively suppressed. It was concluded that the persistent current was carried by sodium ions because it was blocked by TTX, decreased in amplitude when extracellular sodium concentration was reduced, and was not blocked by cadmium. The amplitude of the persistent sodium current varied with clamp potential, being detectable at potentials as negative as -70 mV and reaching a maximum at approximately -40 mV. The maximum amplitude at -40 mV in 21 cells in slices was -0.34 +/- 0.05 nA (mean +/- 1 SEM) and -0.21 +/- 0.05 nA in 10 dissociated neurons. Persistent sodium conductance increased sigmoidally with a potential between -70 and -30 mV and could be fitted with the Boltzmann equation, g = gmax/(1 + exp[(V' - V)/k)]). The average gmax was 7.8 +/- 1.1 nS in the 21 neurons in slices and 4.4 +/- 1.6 nS in the 10 dissociated cells that had lost their processes indicating that the channels responsible are probably most densely aggregated on or close to the soma. The half-maximum conductance occurred close to -50 mV, both in neurons in slices and in dissociated neurons, and the slope factor (k) was 5-9 mV. The persistent sodium current was much more resistant to inactivation by depolarization than the transient current and could be recorded at greater than 50% of its normal amplitude when the transient current was completely inactivated. Because the persistent sodium current activates at potentials close to the resting membrane potential and is very resistant to inactivation, it probably plays an important role in the repetitive firing of action potentials caused by prolonged depolarizations such as those that occur during barrages of synaptic inputs into these cells.
A Collaborative Analysis of Individual Participant Data from 19 Prospective Studies Assesses Circulating Vitamin D and Prostate Cancer Risk
(AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH, 2019-01-01)
Previous prospective studies assessing the relationship between circulating concentrations of vitamin D and prostate cancer risk have shown inconclusive results, particularly for risk of aggressive disease. In this study, we examine the association between prediagnostic concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] and the risk of prostate cancer overall and by tumor characteristics. Principal investigators of 19 prospective studies provided individual participant data on circulating 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D for up to 13,462 men with incident prostate cancer and 20,261 control participants. ORs for prostate cancer by study-specific fifths of season-standardized vitamin D concentration were estimated using multivariable-adjusted conditional logistic regression. 25(OH)D concentration was positively associated with risk for total prostate cancer (multivariable-adjusted OR comparing highest vs. lowest study-specific fifth was 1.22; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-1.31; P trend < 0.001). However, this association varied by disease aggressiveness (Pheterogeneity = 0.014); higher circulating 25(OH)D was associated with a higher risk of nonaggressive disease (OR per 80 percentile increase = 1.24, 1.13-1.36) but not with aggressive disease (defined as stage 4, metastases, or prostate cancer death, 0.95, 0.78-1.15). 1,25(OH)2D concentration was not associated with risk for prostate cancer overall or by tumor characteristics. The absence of an association of vitamin D with aggressive disease does not support the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency increases prostate cancer risk. Rather, the association of high circulating 25(OH)D concentration with a higher risk of nonaggressive prostate cancer may be influenced by detection bias. SIGNIFICANCE: This international collaboration comprises the largest prospective study on blood vitamin D and prostate cancer risk and shows no association with aggressive disease but some evidence of a higher risk of nonaggressive disease.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus, blood cholesterol, triglyceride and colorectal cancer risk in Lynch syndrome
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-11-12)
BACKGROUND: Type 2 diabetes mellitus and high total cholesterol and triglycerides are known to be associated with increased colorectal cancer risk for the general population. These associations are unknown for people with a germline DNA mismatch repair gene mutation (Lynch syndrome), who are at high risk of colorectal cancer. METHODS: This study included 2023 (56.4% female) carriers with a mismatch repair gene mutation (737 in MLH1, 928 in MSH2, 230 in MSH6, 106 in PMS2, 22 in EPCAM) recruited by the Colon Cancer Family Registry between 1998 and 2012. Weighted Cox regression was used to estimate the hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the associations between self-reported type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, triglyceride and colorectal cancer risk. RESULTS: Overall, 802 carriers were diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a median age of 42 years. A higher risk of colorectal cancer was observed in those with self-reported type-2 diabetes (HR 1.92; 95% CI, 1.03-3.58) and high cholesterol (HR 1.76; CI 1.23-2.52) compared with those without these conditions. There was no evidence of high triglyceride being associated with colorectal cancer risk. CONCLUSION: For people with Lynch syndrome, self-reported type-2 diabetes mellitus and high cholesterol were associated with increased colorectal cancer risk.
Cancer Risks for PMS2-Associated Lynch Syndrome
(AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY, 2018-10-10)
PURPOSE: Lynch syndrome due to pathogenic variants in the DNA mismatch repair genes MLH1, MSH2, and MSH6 is predominantly associated with colorectal and endometrial cancer, although extracolonic cancers have been described within the Lynch tumor spectrum. However, the age-specific cumulative risk (penetrance) of these cancers is still poorly defined for PMS2-associated Lynch syndrome. Using a large data set from a worldwide collaboration, our aim was to determine accurate penetrance measures of cancers for carriers of heterozygous pathogenic PMS2 variants. METHODS: A modified segregation analysis was conducted that incorporated both genotyped and nongenotyped relatives, with conditioning for ascertainment to estimates corrected for bias. Hazard ratios (HRs) and corresponding 95% CIs were estimated for each cancer site for mutation carriers compared with the general population, followed by estimation of penetrance. RESULTS: In total, 284 families consisting of 4,878 first- and second-degree family members were included in the analysis. PMS2 mutation carriers were at increased risk for colorectal cancer (cumulative risk to age 80 years of 13% [95% CI, 7.9% to 22%] for males and 12% [95% CI, 6.7% to 21%] for females) and endometrial cancer (13% [95% CI, 7.0%-24%]), compared with the general population (6.6%, 4.7%, and 2.4%, respectively). There was no clear evidence of an increased risk of ovarian, gastric, hepatobiliary, bladder, renal, brain, breast, prostate, or small bowel cancer. CONCLUSION: Heterozygous PMS2 mutation carriers were at small increased risk for colorectal and endometrial cancer but not for any other Lynch syndrome-associated cancer. This finding justifies that PMS2-specific screening protocols could be restricted to colonoscopies. The role of risk-reducing hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy for PMS2 mutation carriers needs further discussion.
Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections of Genetic Heritage: The Legal, Ethical and Practical Considerations of a Dynamic Consent Approach to Decision Making.
(SAGE Publications, 2020)
The article considers whether a Dynamic Consent (DC) approach might be adopted with cultural leadership to support communication, education, deliberation and flexible choices by First Peoples. It posits that the DC model can provide for autonomous and informed choice by donors and their descendants about the treatment of individual samples, cognizant of both the samples’ value for future research and their profound personal and cultural meaning.