Metabolite profiling of Alzheimer's disease cerebrospinal fluid
- Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive loss of cognitive functions. Today the diagnosis of AD relies on clinical evaluations and is only late in the disease. Biomarkers for early detection of the underlying neuropathological changes are still lacking and the biochemical pathways leading to the disease are still not completely understood. The aim of this study was to identify the metabolic changes resulting from the disease phenotype by a thorough and systematic metabolite profiling approach. For this purpose CSF samples from 79 AD patients and 51 healthy controls were analyzed by gas and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS and LC-MS/MS) in conjunction with univariate and multivariate statistical analyses. In total 343 different analytes have been identified. Significant changes in the metabolite profile of AD patients compared to healthy controls have been identified. Increased cortisol levels seemed to be related to the progression of AD and have been detected in more severe forms of AD. Increased cysteine associated with decreased uridine was the best paired combination to identify light AD (MMSE>22) with specificity and sensitivity above 75%. In this group of patients, sensitivity and specificity above 80% were obtained for several combinations of three to five metabolites, including cortisol and various amino acids, in addition to cysteine and uridine.
Minocycline decreases liver injury after hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation in mice
Tom Prakash Theruvath
Eduardo N. Maldonado
Venkat K. Ramshesh
John J. Lemasters
- Patients that survive hemorrhage and resuscitation (H/R) may develop a systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) that leads to dysfunction of vital organs (multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, MODS). SIRS and MODS may involve mitochondrial dysfunction. Under pentobarbital anesthesia, C57BL6 mice were hemorrhaged to 30 mm Hg for 3 h and then resuscitated with shed blood plus half the volume of lactated Ringer’s solution containing minocycline, tetracycline (both 10 mg/kg body weight) or vehicle. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), necrosis, apoptosis and oxidative stress were assessed 6 h after resuscitation. Mitochondrial polarization was assessed by intravital microscopy. After H/R with vehicle or tetracycline, ALT increased to 4538 U/L and 3999 U/L, respectively, which minocycline decreased to 1763 U/L (P<0.01). Necrosis and TUNEL also decreased from 24.5% and 17.7 cells/field, respectively, after vehicle to 8.3% and 8.7 cells/field after minocycline. Tetracycline failed to decrease necrosis (23.3%) but decreased apoptosis to 9 cells/field (P<0.05). Minocycline and tetracycline also decreased caspase-3 activity in liver homogenates. Minocycline but not tetracycline decreased lipid peroxidation after resuscitation by 70% (P<0.05). Intravital microscopy showed that minocycline preserved mitochondrial polarization after H/R (P<0.05). In conclusion, minocycline decreases liver injury and oxidative stress after H/R by preventing mitochondrial dysfunction.
The influence of age, gender and socio-economic status on multimorbidity patterns in primary care : first results from the MultiCare Cohort study
Anne Maren Dahlhaus
Steffi Gerlinde Riedel-Heller
Wolfgang A. Blank
Olaf von dem Knesebeck
Hendrik van den Bussche
Multimorbidity is a phenomenon with high burden and high prevalence in the elderly. Our previous research has shown that multimorbidity can be divided into the multimorbidity patterns of 1) anxiety, depression, somatoform disorders (ADS) and pain, and 2) cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. However, it is not yet known, how these patterns are influenced by patient characteristics. The objective of this paper is to analyze the association of socio-demographic variables, and especially socio-economic status with multimorbidity in general and with each multimorbidity pattern.
The MultiCare Cohort Study is a multicentre, prospective, observational cohort study of 3.189 multimorbid patients aged 65+ randomly selected from 158 GP practices. Data were collected in GP interviews and comprehensive patient interviews. Missing values have been imputed by hot deck imputation based on Gower distance in morbidity and other variables. The association of patient characteristics with the number of chronic conditions is analysed by multilevel mixed-effects linear regression analyses.
Multimorbidity in general is associated with age (+0.07 chronic conditions per year), gender (-0.27 conditions for female), education (-0.26 conditions for medium and -0.29 conditions for high level vs. low level) and income (-0.27 conditions per logarithmic unit). The pattern of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders shows comparable associations with a higher coefficient for gender (-1.29 conditions for female), while multimorbidity within the pattern of ADS and pain correlates with gender (+0.79 conditions for female), but not with age or socioeconomic status.
Our study confirms that the morbidity load of multimorbid patients is associated with age, gender and the socioeconomic status of the patients, but there were no effects of living arrangements and marital status. We could also show that the influence of patient characteristics is dependent on the multimorbidity pattern concerned, i.e. there seem to be at least two types of elderly multimorbid patients. First, there are patients with mainly cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, who are more often male, have an older age and a lower socio-economic status. Second, there are patients mainly with ADS and pain-related morbidity, who are more often female and equally distributed across age and socio-economic groups.
Predictors of dropout in the German disease management program for type 2 diabetes
Ferdinand M. Gerlach
- Background: To improve and assess the effectiveness of disease management programs (DMPs), it is critical to understand how many people drop out of disease management programs and why.
Methods: We used routine data provided by a statutory health insurance fund from the regions North Rhine, North Wurttemberg and Hesse. As part of the German DMP for type 2 diabetes, the insurance fund received regular documentation of all members participating in the program. We followed 10,989 patients who enrolled in the DMP between July 2004 and December 2005 until the end of 2007 to study how many patients dropped out of the program. Dropout was defined based on the discontinuation of program documentation on a particular patient, excluding situations in which the patient died or left the insurance fund. Predictors of dropout, assessed at the time of program enrolment, were explored using logistic regression analysis.
Results: 5.5% of the patients dropped out of the disease management program within the observation period. Predictors of dropout at the time of enrolment were: region; retirement status; the number of secondary diseases; presence of a disabling secondary disease; doctors recommendations to stop smoking or to seek nutritional counselling; and the completion and outcome of the routine foot and eye exams. Different trends of dropout were observed among retired and employed patients: retired patients of old age, who possibly drop out of the program due to other health care priorities and employed people of younger age who have not yet developed many secondary diseases, but were recommended to change their lifestyle.
Conclusions: Overall, dropout rates for the German disease management programs for type 2 diabetes were low compared to other studies. Factors assessed at the time of program enrolment were predictive of later dropout and should be further studied to provide information for future program improvements.
The hereditary angioedema burden of illness study in Europe (HAE-BOIS-Europe): background and methodology
- Background: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare but serious disease marked by swelling attacks in the extremities, face, trunk, airway, or abdominal areas that can be spontaneous or the result of trauma and other triggers. It can be life-threatening due to the risk of asphyxiation. While there have been major advancements in our understanding of the immunogenetics of HAE, there are significant gaps in the literature regarding understanding of the humanistic and economic impact of the disease, particularly in Europe. The purpose of the HAE Burden of Illness Study-Europe (HAE-BOIS-Europe), the development and methodology of which is described here, is to better understand the management and impact of HAE from the patient perspective in Europe.
Methods/Design: This is a cross-sectional study in which retrospective data were also collected being conducted in Denmark, Germany and Spain. The study is open to patients ages 12 and older with a diagnosis of HAE-I or HAE-II. Data collection includes: (i) a survey on individuals’ health care resource use, direct and indirect medical costs, impact on work and school, treatment satisfaction, and emotional functioning (via the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale); and (ii) one-on-one interviews to collect detailed descriptive data and patient testimonials on the impact of HAE on patients’ health-related quality of life.
Discussion: The present manuscript describes the development and plans for implementing a multi-country European study with the aim of characterizing the humanistic and economic burden of HAE from the patient perspective. This study will help raise awareness of HAE as a rare but debilitating condition with wide-ranging impacts.
Seismicity at the Rwenzori Mountains, East African Rift: earthquake distribution, magnitudes and source mechanisms
- We have analysed the microseismic activity within the Rwenzori Mountains area in the western branch of the East African Rift. Seismogram recordings from a temporary array of up to 27 stations reveal approximately 800 events per month with local magnitudes ranging from –0.5 to 5.1. The earthquake distribution is highly heterogeneous. The majority of located events lie within faults zones to the East and West of the Rwenzoris with the highest seismic activity observed in the northeastern area, where the mountains are in contact with the rift shoulders. The hypocentral depth distribution exhibits a pronounced peak of seismic energy release at 15 km depth. The maximum extent of seismicity ranges from 20 to 32 km and correlates well with Moho depths that were derived from teleseismic receiver functions. We observe two general features: (i) beneath the rift shoulders seismicity extends from the surface down to ca. 30 km depth; (ii) beneath the rift valley seismicity is confined to depths greater than 10 km. From the observations there is no indication for a crustal root beneath the Rwenzori Mountains. The magnitude frequency distribution reveals a b-value of 1.1, which is consistent with the hypothesis that part of the seismicity is caused by magmatic processes within the crust. Fault plane solutions of 304 events were derived from P-polarities and SV/P amplitude ratios. More than 70 % of the source mechanisms exhibit pure or predominantly normal faulting. T-axis trends are highly uniform and oriented WNW-ESE, which is perpendicular to the rift axis and in good agreement with kinematic rift models. At the northernmost part of the region we observe a rotation of the T-axis trends to NEN-SWS, which may be indicative of a local perturbation of the regional stress field.
An investigation of horizontal transfer of feed introduced DNA to the aerobic microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract of rats
Kaare Magne Nielsen
Horizontal gene transfer through natural transformation of members of the microbiota of the lower gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of mammals has not yet been described. Insufficient DNA sequence similarity for homologous recombination to occur has been identified as the major barrier to interspecies transfer of chromosomal DNA in bacteria. In this study we determined if regions of high DNA similarity between the genomes of the indigenous bacteria in the GIT of rats and feed introduced DNA could lead to homologous recombination and acquisition of antibiotic resistance genes.
Plasmid DNA with two resistance genes (nptI and aadA) and regions of high DNA similarity to 16S rRNA and 23S rRNA genes present in a broad range of bacterial species present in the GIT, were constructed and added to standard rat feed. Six rats, with a normal microbiota, were fed DNA containing pellets daily over four days before sampling of the microbiota from the different GI compartments (stomach, small intestine, cecum and colon). In addition, two rats were included as negative controls. Antibiotic resistant colonies growing on selective media were screened for recombination with feed introduced DNA by PCR targeting unique sites in the putatively recombined regions. No transformants were identified among 441 tested isolates.
The analyses showed that extensive ingestion of DNA (100 μg plasmid) per day did not lead to increased proportions of kanamycin resistant bacteria, nor did it produce detectable transformants among the aerobic microbiota examined for 6 rats (detection limit < 1 transformant per 1,1 × 108 cultured bacteria). The key methodological challenges to HGT detection in animal feedings trials are identified and discussed. This study is consistent with other studies suggesting natural transformation is not detectable in the GIT of mammals.
Sufficient blood, safe blood: can we have both?
- The decision in September 2011 in the UK to accept blood donations from non-practicing men who have sex with men (MSM) has received significant public attention. Will this rule change substantially boost the number of blood donations or will it make our blood less safe? Clearly, most European countries have a blood procurement problem. Fewer young people are donating, while the population is aging and more invasive therapies are requiring more blood. Yet if that was the reason for allowing non-practicing MSM to donate, clearly re-admission of some other, much larger populations that are currently deferred from donation should likewise be considered. As far as risks for blood safety are concerned, evidence has been provided that the current quality of infectious disease marker testing significantly mitigates against, although does not completely eradicate, risks associated with admission of donors with a high risk of carrying certain blood-transmissible agents. However, it could be argued that more effective recruitment of the non-donor pool, which is substantially larger than the group of currently ineligible donors, would be a better strategy. Recruitment of this group will benefit the availability of blood without jeopardizing the current excellent safety profile of blood.
Selective non-steroidal glucocorticoid receptor agonists attenuate inflammation but do not impair intestinal epithelial cell restitution in vitro
Kerstin C. Reuter
Stefan Marcel Loitsch
Axel Uwe Dignaß
- Introduction: Despite the excellent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive action of glucocorticoids (GCs), their use for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) still carries significant risks in terms of frequently occurring severe side effects, such as the impairment of intestinal tissue repair. The recently-introduced selective glucocorticoid receptor (GR) agonists (SEGRAs) offer anti-inflammatory action comparable to that of common GCs, but with a reduced side effect profile.
Methods: The in vitro effects of the non-steroidal SEGRAs Compound A (CpdA) and ZK216348, were investigated in intestinal epithelial cells and compared to those of Dexamethasone (Dex). GR translocation was shown by immunfluorescence and Western blot analysis. Trans-repressive effects were studied by means of NF-κB/p65 activity and IL-8 levels, trans-activation potency by reporter gene assay. Flow cytometry was used to assess apoptosis of cells exposed to SEGRAs. The effects on IEC-6 and HaCaT cell restitution were determined using an in vitro wound healing model, cell proliferation by BrdU assay. In addition, influences on the TGF-β- or EGF/ERK1/2/MAPK-pathway were evaluated by reporter gene assay, Western blot and qPCR analysis.
Results: Dex, CpdA and ZK216348 were found to be functional GR agonists. In terms of trans-repression, CpdA and ZK216348 effectively inhibited NF-κB activity and IL-8 secretion, but showed less trans-activation potency. Furthermore, unlike SEGRAs, Dex caused a dose-dependent inhibition of cell restitution with no effect on cell proliferation. These differences in epithelial restitution were TGF-β-independent but Dex inhibited the EGF/ERK1/2/MAPK-pathway important for intestinal epithelial wound healing by induction of MKP-1 and Annexin-1 which was not affected by CpdA or ZK216348.
Conclusion: Collectively, our results indicate that, while their anti-inflammatory activity is comparable to Dex, SEGRAs show fewer side effects with respect to wound healing. The fact that SEGRAs did not have a similar effect on cell restitution might be due to a different modulation of EGF/ERK1/2 MAPK signalling.
Using support vector machines with multiple indices of diffusion for automated classification of mild cognitive impairment
Arun L. W. Bokde
Yetunde O. Faluyi
Bernard M. Mazoyer
D. Rónán Collins
- Few studies have looked at the potential of using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in conjunction with machine learning algorithms in order to automate the classification of healthy older subjects and subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Here we apply DTI to 40 healthy older subjects and 33 MCI subjects in order to derive values for multiple indices of diffusion within the white matter voxels of each subject. DTI measures were then used together with support vector machines (SVMs) to classify control and MCI subjects. Greater than 90% sensitivity and specificity was achieved using this method, demonstrating the potential of a joint DTI and SVM pipeline for fast, objective classification of healthy older and MCI subjects. Such tools may be useful for large scale drug trials in Alzheimer’s disease where the early identification of subjects with MCI is critical.