ResearchPad - blood-chemistry https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Environmental exposure to metal mixtures and linear growth in healthy Ugandan children]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14692 Stunting is an indicator of poor linear growth in children and is an important public health problem in many countries. Both nutritional deficits and toxic exposures can contribute to lower height-for-age Z-score (HAZ) and stunting (HAZ < -2).ObjectivesIn a community-based cross-sectional sample of 97 healthy children ages 6–59 months in Kampala, Uganda, we examined whether exposure to Pb, As, Cd, Se, or Zn were associated with HAZ individually or as a mixture.MethodsBlood samples were analyzed for a mixture of metals, which represent both toxins and essential nutrients. The association between HAZ and metal exposure was tested using multivariable linear regression and Weighted Quantile Sum (WQS) regression, which uses mixtures of correlated exposures as a predictor.ResultsThere were 22 stunted children in the sample, mean HAZ was -0.74 (SD = 1.84). Linear regression showed that Pb (β = -0.80, p = 0.021) and Se (β = 1.92, p = 0.005) were significantly associated with HAZ. The WQS models separated toxic elements with a presumed negative effect on HAZ (Pb, As, Cd) from essential nutrients with presumed positive effect on HAZ (Se and Zn). The toxic mixture was significantly associated with lower HAZ (β = -0.47, p = 0.03), with 62% of the effect from Pb. The nutrient WQS index did not reach statistical significance (β = -0.47, p = 0.16).DiscussionHigher blood lead and lower blood selenium level were both associated with lower HAZ. The significant associations by linear regression were reinforced by the WQS models, although not all associations reached statistical significance. These findings suggest that healthy children in this neighborhood of Kampala, Uganda, who have a high burden of toxic exposures, may experience detrimental health effects associated with these exposures in an environment where exposure sources are not well characterized. ]]> <![CDATA[Lead content in wild game shot with lead or non-lead ammunition – Does “state of the art consumer health protection” require non-lead ammunition?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b69466d463d7e3867f4ad0e

The toxicity of lead has been known for a long time, and no safe uptake level can be derived for humans. Consumers’ intake via food should therefore be kept as low as possible. Game meat can contain elevated levels of lead due to the use of lead ammunition for hunting. A risk assessment conducted in 2010 by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment including various consumption scenarios revealed a possible health risk for extreme consumers of game meat hunted with lead ammunition (i.e. hunters and members of hunters’ households). Babies, infants, children and women of childbearing age were identified as vulnerable group with regards to the developmental neurotoxicity of lead. It was noted, that a sound data base was required in order to refine the assessment. Therefore, the research project “Safety of game meat obtained through hunting” (LEMISI) has been conducted in Germany, with the aims of determining the concentrations of lead (as well as of copper and zinc) brought into the edible parts of game meat (roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and wild boar (Sus scrofa)) due to using either lead or non-lead hunting ammunition, whilst concurrently taking geogenic (i.e. “background”) levels of lead into account. Compared to non-lead ammunition, lead ammunition significantly increased lead concentrations in the game meat. The use of both lead and non-lead ammunition deposited copper and zinc in the edible parts of game meat, and the concentrations were in the range of those detected regularly in meat of farm animals. For the average consumer of game meat in Germany the additional uptake of lead only makes a minor contribution to the average alimentary lead exposure. However, for consumers from hunters’ households the resulting uptake of lead–due to lead ammunition—can be several times higher than the average alimentary lead exposure. Non-lead bullets in combination with suitable game meat hygienic measures are therefore recommended in order to ensure “state of the art consumer health protection”.

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<![CDATA[Hemostatic Dysfunction Is Increased in Patients with Hepatosplenic Schistosomiasis Mansoni and Advanced Periportal Fibrosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daceab0ee8fa60bb51bf

Background

Schistosomiasis mansoni is an endemic parasitic disease and a public health problem in Northeast Brazil. In some patients, hepatic abnormalities lead to periportal fibrosis and result in the most severe clinical form, hepatosplenic schistosomiasis. This study aimed to evaluate whether abnormal blood coagulation and liver function tests in patients with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis (n = 55) correlate with the severity of their periportal fibrosis.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Blood samples were used for liver function tests, hemogram and prothrombin time (International Normalized Ratio, INR). The blood coagulation factors (II, VII, VIII, IX and X), protein C and antithrombin IIa (ATIIa), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) and D-dimer were measured by photometry or enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Hyperfibrinolysis was defined on the basis of PAI-1 levels and a D-dimer concentration greater than a standard cut-off of 483 ng/mL. Standard liver function tests were all abnormal in the patient group compared to healthy controls (n = 29), including raised serum transaminases (p<0.001) and lower levels of albumin (p = 0.0156). Platelet counts were 50% lower in patients, while for coagulation factors there was a 40% increase in the INR (p<0.001) and reduced levels of Factor VII and protein C in patients compared to the controls (both p<0.001). Additionally, patients with more advanced fibrosis (n = 38) had lower levels of protein C compared to those with only central fibrosis (p = 0.0124). The concentration of plasma PAI-1 in patients was one-third that of the control group (p<0.001), and D-dimer levels 2.2 times higher (p<0.001) with 13 of the 55 patients having levels above the cut-off.

Conclusion/Significance

This study confirms that hemostatic abnormalities are associated with reduced liver function and increased liver fibrosis. Of note was the finding that a quarter of patients with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis and advanced periportal fibrosis have hyperfibrinolysis, as judged by excessive levels of D-dimer, which may predispose them to gastrointestinal bleeding.

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<![CDATA[Biomarkers of Whale Shark Health: A Metabolomic Approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da81ab0ee8fa60b9a96a

In a search for biomarkers of health in whale sharks and as exploration of metabolomics as a modern tool for understanding animal physiology, the metabolite composition of serum in six whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) from an aquarium collection was explored using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and direct analysis in real time (DART) mass spectrometry (MS). Principal components analysis (PCA) of spectral data showed that individual animals could be resolved based on the metabolite composition of their serum and that two unhealthy individuals could be discriminated from the remaining healthy animals. The major difference between healthy and unhealthy individuals was the concentration of homarine, here reported for the first time in an elasmobranch, which was present at substantially lower concentrations in unhealthy whale sharks, suggesting that this metabolite may be a useful biomarker of health status in this species. The function(s) of homarine in sharks remain uncertain but it likely plays a significant role as an osmolyte. The presence of trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), another well-known protective osmolyte of elasmobranchs, at 0.1–0.3 mol L−1 was also confirmed using both NMR and MS. Twenty-three additional potential biomarkers were identified based on significant differences in the frequency of their occurrence between samples from healthy and unhealthy animals, as detected by DART MS. Overall, NMR and MS provided complementary data that showed that metabolomics is a useful approach for biomarker prospecting in poorly studied species like elasmobranchs.

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<![CDATA[High Abundance Proteins Depletion vs Low Abundance Proteins Enrichment: Comparison of Methods to Reduce the Plasma Proteome Complexity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1dab0ee8fa60bce85b

Background

To date, the complexity of the plasma proteome exceeds the analytical capacity of conventional approaches to isolate lower abundance proteins that may prove to be informative biomarkers. Only complex multistep separation strategies have been able to detect a substantial number of low abundance proteins (<100 ng/ml). The first step of these protocols is generally the depletion of high abundance proteins by the use of immunoaffinity columns or, alternatively, the enrichment of by the use of solid phase hexapeptides ligand libraries.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here we present a direct comparison of these two approaches. Following either approach, the plasma sample was further fractionated by SCX chromatography and analyzed by RP-LC-MS/MS with a Q-TOF mass spectrometer. The depletion of the 20 most abundant plasma proteins allowed the identification of about 25% more proteins than those detectable following low abundance proteins enrichment. The two datasets are partially overlapping and the identified proteins belong to the same order of magnitude in terms of plasma concentration.

Conclusions/Significance

Our results show that the two approaches give complementary results. However, the enrichment of low abundance proteins has the great advantage of obtaining much larger amount of material that can be used for further fractionations and analyses and emerges also as a cheaper and technically simpler approach. Collectively, these data indicate that the enrichment approach seems more suitable as the first stage of a complex multi-step fractionation protocol.

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<![CDATA[Homocysteine and Familial Longevity: The Leiden Longevity Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab2ab0ee8fa60babb1e

Homocysteine concentrations are a read-out of methionine metabolism and have been related to changes in lifespan in animal models. In humans, high homocysteine concentrations are an important predictor of age related disease. We aimed to explore the association of homocysteine with familial longevity by testing whether homocysteine is lower in individuals that are genetically enriched for longevity. We measured concentrations of total homocysteine in 1907 subjects from the Leiden Longevity Study consisting of 1309 offspring of nonagenarian siblings, who are enriched with familial factors promoting longevity, and 598 partners thereof as population controls. We found that homocysteine was related to age, creatinine, folate, vitamin B levels and medical history of hypertension and stroke in both groups (all p<0.001). However, levels of homocysteine did not differ between offspring enriched for longevity and their partners, and no differences in the age-related rise in homocysteine levels were found between groups (p for interaction 0.63). The results suggest that homocysteine metabolism is not likely to predict familial longevity.

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<![CDATA[Requirement of Interaction between Mast Cells and Skin Dendritic Cells to Establish Contact Hypersensitivity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae8ab0ee8fa60bbe528

The role of mast cells (MCs) in contact hypersensitivity (CHS) remains controversial. This is due in part to the use of the MC-deficient Kit W/Wv mouse model, since Kit W/Wv mice congenitally lack other types of cells as a result of a point mutation in c-kit. A recent study indicated that the intronic enhancer (IE) for Il4 gene transcription is essential for MCs but not in other cell types. The aim of this study is to re-evaluate the roles of MCs in CHS using mice in which MCs can be conditionally and specifically depleted. Transgenic Mas-TRECK mice in which MCs are depleted conditionally were newly generated using cell-type specific gene regulation by IE. Using this mouse, CHS and FITC-induced cutaneous DC migration were analyzed. Chemotaxis assay and cytoplasmic Ca2+ imaging were performed by co-culture of bone marrow-derived MCs (BMMCs) and bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs). In Mas-TRECK mice, CHS was attenuated when MCs were depleted during the sensitization phase. In addition, both maturation and migration of skin DCs were abrogated by MC depletion. Consistently, BMMCs enhanced maturation and chemotaxis of BMDC in ICAM-1 and TNF-α dependent manners Furthermore, stimulated BMDCs increased intracellular Ca2+ of MC upon direct interaction and up-regulated membrane-bound TNF-α on BMMCs. These results suggest that MCs enhance DC functions by interacting with DCs in the skin to establish the sensitization phase of CHS.

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<![CDATA[Trophic Enrichment Factors for Blood Serum in the European Badger (Meles meles)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1dab0ee8fa60bcea3b

Ecologists undertaking stable isotopic analyses of animal diets require trophic enrichment factors (TEFs) for the specific animal tissues that they are studying. Such basic data are available for a small number of species, so values from trophically or phylogenetically similar species are often substituted for missing values. By feeding a controlled diet to captive European badgers (Meles meles) we determined TEFs for carbon and nitrogen in blood serum. TEFs for nitrogen and carbon in blood serum were +3.0±0.4‰ and +0.4±0.1‰ respectively. The TEFs for serum in badgers are notably different from those published for the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). There is currently no data for TEFs in the serum of other mustelid species. Our data show that species sharing similar niches (red fox) do not provide adequate proxy values for TEFs of badgers. Our findings emphasise the importance of having species-specific data when undertaking trophic studies using stable isotope analysis.

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<![CDATA[The SNP rs961253 in 20p12.3 Is Associated with Colorectal Cancer Risk: A Case-Control Study and a Meta-Analysis of the Published Literature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5aab0ee8fa60b8fb99

Background

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third common cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs961253 located in 20p12, was firstly described to be associated with the increased risk of CRC in a genome-wide association study; however, more recent replication studies yielded controversial results.

Methodology/Principal Findings

A hospital-based case-control study in a Chinese population was firstly performed, and then a meta-analysis combining the current and previously published studies were conducted to explore the real effect of rs961253 in CRC susceptibility. In the Chinese population including 641 cases and 1037 controls, per-A-allele conferred an OR of 1.60 (95% CI = 1.26–2.02) under additive model. In the meta-analysis including 29859 cases and 29696 controls, per-A-allele have an OR of 1.13 (95% CI = 1.09–1.18) under a random-effects model due to heterogeneity (P = 0.019). Nevertheless, the heterogeneity can be totally explained by ethnicity, with the tau2reduced to 0 after including ethnicity in meta-regression model. In stratified analysis by ethnicity, per-A-allele had ORs of 1.34 (95% CI = 1.20–1.50) and 1.11 (95% CI = 1.08–1.14) for Asian and European, respectively, without heterogeneity. Modest influence of each study was observed on overall estimate in sensitive analysis, and evident tendency to significant association was seen in cumulative analysis over time, together indicating the robust stability of the current results.

Conclusions/Significance

The results from our study and the meta-analysis provided firm evidence that rs961253 significantly contributed to CRC risk in both Asian and European population.

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<![CDATA[Associations between Ionomic Profile and Metabolic Abnormalities in Human Population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f5ab0ee8fa60b6fff0

Background

Few studies assessed effects of individual and multiple ions simultaneously on metabolic outcomes, due to methodological limitation.

Methodology/Principal Findings

By combining advanced ionomics and mutual information, a quantifying measurement for mutual dependence between two random variables, we investigated associations of ion modules/networks with overweight/obesity, metabolic syndrome (MetS) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in 976 middle-aged Chinese men and women. Fasting plasma ions were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. Significant ion modules were selected by mutual information to construct disease related ion networks. Plasma copper and phosphorus always ranked the first two among three specific ion networks associated with overweight/obesity, MetS and T2DM. Comparing the ranking of ion individually and in networks, three patterns were observed (1) “Individual ion,” such as potassium and chrome, which tends to work alone; (2) “Module ion,” such as iron in T2DM, which tends to act in modules/network; and (3) “Module-individual ion,” such as copper in overweight/obesity, which seems to work equivalently in either way.

Conclusions

In conclusion, by using the novel approach of the ionomics strategy and the information theory, we observed potential associations of ions individually or as modules/networks with metabolic disorders. Certainly, these findings need to be confirmed in future biological studies.

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<![CDATA[An Observational Cohort Study of the Kynurenine to Tryptophan Ratio in Sepsis: Association with Impaired Immune and Microvascular Function]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db02ab0ee8fa60bc6ef1

Both endothelial and immune dysfunction contribute to the high mortality rate in human sepsis, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. In response to infection, interferon-γ activates indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) which metabolizes the essential amino acid tryptophan to the toxic metabolite kynurenine. IDO can be expressed in endothelial cells, hepatocytes and mononuclear leukocytes, all of which contribute to sepsis pathophysiology. Increased IDO activity (measured by the kynurenine to tryptophan [KT] ratio in plasma) causes T-cell apoptosis, vasodilation and nitric oxide synthase inhibition. We hypothesized that IDO activity in sepsis would be related to plasma interferon-γ, interleukin-10, T cell lymphopenia and impairment of microvascular reactivity, a measure of endothelial nitric oxide bioavailability. In an observational cohort study of 80 sepsis patients (50 severe and 30 non-severe) and 40 hospital controls, we determined the relationship between IDO activity (plasma KT ratio) and selected plasma cytokines, sepsis severity, nitric oxide-dependent microvascular reactivity and lymphocyte subsets in sepsis. Plasma amino acids were measured by high performance liquid chromatography and microvascular reactivity by peripheral arterial tonometry. The plasma KT ratio was increased in sepsis (median 141 [IQR 64–235]) compared to controls (36 [28–52]); p<0.0001), and correlated with plasma interferon-γ and interleukin-10, and inversely with total lymphocyte count, CD8+ and CD4+ T-lymphocytes, systolic blood pressure and microvascular reactivity. In response to treatment of severe sepsis, the median KT ratio decreased from 162 [IQR 100–286] on day 0 to 89 [65–139] by day 7; p = 0.0006) and this decrease in KT ratio correlated with a decrease in the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score (p<0.0001). IDO-mediated tryptophan catabolism is associated with dysregulated immune responses and impaired microvascular reactivity in sepsis and may link these two fundamental processes in sepsis pathophysiology.

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<![CDATA[Perfluorinated Compounds in Umbilical Cord Blood and Adverse Birth Outcomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0eab0ee8fa60b787c3

Background

Previous animal studies have shown that perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have adverse impacts on birth outcomes, but the results have been inconclusive in humans. We investigated associations between prenatal exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUA) and birth outcomes.

Methods

In total, 429 mother-infant pairs were recruited from the Taiwan Birth Panel Study (TBPS). Demographic data were obtained by interviewing mothers using a structured questionnaire and birth outcomes were extracted from medical records. Cord blood was collected for PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, and PFUA analysis by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry.

Results

The geometric mean (standard deviation) levels of PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, and PFUA in cord blood plasma were 1.84 (2.23), 5.94 (1.95), 2.36(4.74), and 10.26 (3.07) ng/mL, respectively. Only PFOS levels were found to be inversely associated with gestational age, birth weight, and head circumference [per ln unit: adjusted β (95% confidence interval, CI) = −0.37 (−0.60, −0.13) wks, −110.2 (−176.0, −44.5) gm and −0.25 (−0.46, −0.05) cm]. Additionally, the odds ratio of preterm birth, low birth weight, and small for gestational age increased with PFOS exposure [per ln unit: adjusted odds ratio (OR) (95%CI) = 2.45 (1.47, 4.08), 2.61(0.85, 8.03) and 2.27 (1.25, 4.15)]. When PFOS levels were divided into quartiles, a dose-response relation was observed. However, PFOA, PFNA, and PFUA were not observed to have any convincing impact on birth outcomes.

Conclusions

An adverse dose-dependent association was observed between prenatal PFOS exposure and birth outcomes. However, no associations were found for the other examined PFCs.

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<![CDATA[Severe Exercise and Exercise Training Exert Opposite Effects on Human Neutrophil Apoptosis via Altering the Redox Status]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daebab0ee8fa60bbf0ce

Neutrophil spontaneous apoptosis, a process crucial for immune regulation, is mainly controlled by alterations in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondria integrity. Exercise has been proposed to be a physiological way to modulate immunity; while acute severe exercise (ASE) usually impedes immunity, chronic moderate exercise (CME) improves it. This study aimed to investigate whether and how ASE and CME oppositely regulate human neutrophil apoptosis. Thirteen sedentary young males underwent an initial ASE and were subsequently divided into exercise and control groups. The exercise group (n = 8) underwent 2 months of CME followed by 2 months of detraining. Additional ASE paradigms were performed at the end of each month. Neutrophils were isolated from blood specimens drawn at rest and immediately after each ASE for assaying neutrophil spontaneous apoptosis (annexin-V binding on the outer surface) along with redox-related parameters and mitochondria-related parameters. Our results showed that i) the initial ASE immediately increased the oxidative stress (cytosolic ROS and glutathione oxidation), and sequentially accelerated the reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential, the surface binding of annexin-V, and the generation of mitochondrial ROS; ii) CME upregulated glutathione level, retarded spontaneous apoptosis and delayed mitochondria deterioration; iii) most effects of CME were unchanged after detraining; and iv) CME blocked ASE effects and this capability remained intact even after detraining. Furthermore, the ASE effects on neutrophil spontaneous apoptosis were mimicked by adding exogenous H2O2, but not by suppressing mitochondrial membrane potential. In conclusion, while ASE induced an oxidative state and resulted in acceleration of human neutrophil apoptosis, CME delayed neutrophil apoptosis by maintaining a reduced state for long periods of time even after detraining.

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<![CDATA[Non-Dipping Blood Pressure Profile in Narcolepsy with Cataplexy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da16ab0ee8fa60b7b737

Background

Patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy (NC) mostly exhibit undetectable hypocretin levels. Hypocretin system is one of the key players in the complex interaction between sleep and the cardiovascular system. We tested the hypothesis that hypocretin deficiency affects cardiovascular risk factors by measuring nighttime and daytime ambulatory blood pressure (BP) and the night-to-day BP ratio as well as endothelial dysfunction by the digital pulse amplitude response in drug-free patients with NC compared to controls.

Methodology

Sleep, clinical and biological cardiovascular risk factors, fingertip peripheral arterial tonometry, and 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring were recorded in 50 drug-free patients with NC and 42 healthy control subjects, except for BP monitoring available in all controls but in 36 patients with NC.

Principal Findings

More patients than controls were smokers, obese and with dyslipidemia. One-third of patients with NC were “non-dippers” (defined as <10% drop in BP during sleep) compared to only 3% of controls. The diastolic non-dipper BP profile had up to 12-fold higher odds of being associated with NC. We noted negative correlations between mean diastolic BP fall during night, REM sleep percentage and number of sleep onset REM periods, and a positive correlation with mean sleep latency on the MSLT. The digital pulse amplitude response measured by fingertip was similar between NC and controls.

Conclusion

We found a high percentage of non-dippers in patients with NC with association with REM sleep dysregulation. The blunted sleep-related BP dip in NC may be of clinical relevance, as it may indicate increased risk for cardiovascular events.

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<![CDATA[Differences between Human Plasma and Serum Metabolite Profiles]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db48ab0ee8fa60bd965a

Background

Human plasma and serum are widely used matrices in clinical and biological studies. However, different collecting procedures and the coagulation cascade influence concentrations of both proteins and metabolites in these matrices. The effects on metabolite concentration profiles have not been fully characterized.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We analyzed the concentrations of 163 metabolites in plasma and serum samples collected simultaneously from 377 fasting individuals. To ensure data quality, 41 metabolites with low measurement stability were excluded from further analysis. In addition, plasma and corresponding serum samples from 83 individuals were re-measured in the same plates and mean correlation coefficients (r) of all metabolites between the duplicates were 0.83 and 0.80 in plasma and serum, respectively, indicating significantly better stability of plasma compared to serum (p = 0.01). Metabolite profiles from plasma and serum were clearly distinct with 104 metabolites showing significantly higher concentrations in serum. In particular, 9 metabolites showed relative concentration differences larger than 20%. Despite differences in absolute concentration between the two matrices, for most metabolites the overall correlation was high (mean r = 0.81±0.10), which reflects a proportional change in concentration. Furthermore, when two groups of individuals with different phenotypes were compared with each other using both matrices, more metabolites with significantly different concentrations could be identified in serum than in plasma. For example, when 51 type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients were compared with 326 non-T2D individuals, 15 more significantly different metabolites were found in serum, in addition to the 25 common to both matrices.

Conclusions/Significance

Our study shows that reproducibility was good in both plasma and serum, and better in plasma. Furthermore, as long as the same blood preparation procedure is used, either matrix should generate similar results in clinical and biological studies. The higher metabolite concentrations in serum, however, make it possible to provide more sensitive results in biomarker detection.

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<![CDATA[Integrin αIIb-Mediated PI3K/Akt Activation in Platelets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa8ab0ee8fa60ba872a

Integrin αIIbβ3 mediated bidirectional signaling plays a critical role in thrombosis and haemostasis. Signaling mediated by the β3 subunit has been extensively studied, but αIIb mediated signaling has not been characterized. Previously, we reported that platelet granule secretion and TxA2 production induced by αIIb mediated outside-in signaling is negatively regulated by the β3 cytoplasmic domain residues R724KEFAKFEEER734. In this study, we identified part of the signaling pathway utilized by αIIb mediated outside-in signaling. Platelets from humans and gene deficient mice, and genetically modified CHO cells as well as a variety of kinase inhibitors were used for this work. We found that aggregation of TxA2 production and granule secretion by β3Δ724 human platelets initiated by αIIb mediated outside-in signaling was inhibited by the Src family kinase inhibitor PP2 and the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin, respectively, but not by the MAPK inhibitor U0126. Also, PP2 and wortmannin, and the palmitoylated β3 peptide R724KEFAKFEEER734, each inhibited the phosphorylation of Akt residue Ser473 and prevented TxA2 production and storage granule secretion. Similarly, Akt phosphorylation in mouse platelets stimulated by the PAR4 agonist peptide AYPGKF was αIIbβ3-dependent, and blocked by PP2, wortmannin and the palmitoylated peptide p-RKEFAKFEEER. Akt was also phosphorylated in response to mAb D3 plus Fg treatment of CHO cells in suspension expressing αIIbβ3-Δ724 or αIIbβ3E724AERKFERKFE734, but not in cells expressing wild type αIIbβ3. In summary, SFK(s) and PI3K/Akt signaling is utilized by αIIb-mediated outside-in signaling to activate platelets even in the absence of all but 8 membrane proximal residues of the β3 cytoplasmic domain. Our results provide new insight into the signaling pathway used by αIIb-mediated outside-in signaling in platelets.

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<![CDATA[Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Patients with Huntington's Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ebab0ee8fa60b6c7fb

Reduced Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) levels have been described in a number of patho-physiological conditions, most notably, in Huntington's disease (HD), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Since BDNF is also produced in blood, we have undertaken the measurement of its peripheral levels in the attempt to identify a possible link with HD prognosis and/or its progression. Here we evaluated BDNF level in 398 blood samples including 138 controls, 56 preHD, and 204 HD subjects. We found that BDNF protein levels were not reliably different between groups, whether measured in plasma (52 controls, 26 preHD, 105 HD) or serum (39 controls, 5 preHD, 29 HD). Our experience, and a re-analysis of the literature highlighted that intra-group variability and methodological aspects affect this measurement, especially in serum. We also assessed BDNF mRNA levels in blood samples from 47 controls, 25 preHD, and 70 HD subjects, and found no differences among the groups. We concluded that levels of BDNF in human blood were not informative (mRNA levels or plasma protein level) nor reliable (serum protein levels) as HD biomarkers. We also wish to warn the scientific community in interpreting the significance of changes measured in BDNF protein levels in serum from patients suffering from different conditions.

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<![CDATA[Cardiovascular Effect Is Independent of Hemolytic Toxicity of Tentacle-Only Extract from the Jellyfish Cyanea capillata]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9daab0ee8fa60b6744d

Our previous studies have confirmed that the crude tentacle-only extract (cTOE) from the jellyfish Cyanea capillata (Cyaneidae) exhibits hemolytic and cardiovascular toxicities simultaneously. So, it is quite difficult to discern the underlying active component responsible for heart injury caused by cTOE. The inactivation of the hemolytic toxicity from cTOE accompanied with a removal of plenty of precipitates would facilitate the separation of cardiovascular component and the investigation of its cardiovascular injury mechanism. In our research, after the treatment of one-step alkaline denaturation followed by twice dialysis, the protein concentration of the treated tentacle-only extract (tTOE) was about 1/3 of cTOE, and SDS-PAGE showed smaller numbers and lower density of protein bands in tTOE. The hemolytic toxicity of tTOE was completely lost while its cardiovascular toxicity was well retained. The observations of cardiac function, histopathology and ultrastructural pathology all support tTOE with significant cardiovascular toxicity. Blood gas indexes and electrolytes changed far less by tTOE than those by cTOE, though still with significant difference from normal. In summary, the cardiovascular toxicity of cTOE can exist independently of the hemolytic toxicity and tTOE can be employed as a better venom sample for further purification and mechanism research on the jellyfish cardiovascular toxic proteins.

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<![CDATA[ApoB100/LDLR-/- Hypercholesterolaemic Mice as a Model for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Neuronal Damage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5fab0ee8fa60b90b89

Recent clinical findings support the notion that the progressive deterioration of cholesterol homeostasis is a central player in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Epidemiological studies suggest that high midlife plasma total cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of AD. This paper reports the plasma cholesterol concentrations, cognitive performance, locomotor activity and neuropathological signs in a murine model (transgenic mice expressing apoB100 but knockout for the LDL receptor [LDLR]) of human familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). From birth, these animals have markedly elevated LDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein B100 (apoB100) levels. These transgenic mice were confirmed to have higher plasma cholesterol concentrations than wild-type mice, an effect potentiated by aging. Further, 3-month-old transgenic mice showed cholesterol (total and fractions) concentrations considerably higher than those of 18-month-old wild-type mice. The hypercholesterolaemia of the transgenic mice was associated with a clear locomotor deficit (as determined by rotarod, grip strength and open field testing) and impairment of the episodic-like memory (determined by the integrated memory test). This decline in locomotor activity and cognitive status was associated with neuritic dystrophy and/or the disorganization of the neuronal microtubule network, plus an increase in astrogliosis and lipid peroxidation in the brain regions associated with AD, such as the motor and lateral entorhinal cortex, the amygdaloid basal nucleus, and the hippocampus. Aortic atherosclerotic lesions were positively correlated with age, although potentiated by the transgenic genotype, while cerebral β-amyloidosis was positively correlated with genetic background rather than with age. These findings confirm hypercholesterolaemia as a key biomarker for monitoring mild cognitive impairment, and shows these transgenic mice can be used as a model for cognitive and psycho-motor decline.

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<![CDATA[UV-Light Exposure of Insulin: Pharmaceutical Implications upon Covalent Insulin Dityrosine Dimerization and Disulphide Bond Photolysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da33ab0ee8fa60b856d5

In this work we report the effects of continuous UV-light (276 nm, ∼2.20 W.m−2) excitation of human insulin on its absorption and fluorescence properties, structure and functionality. Continuous UV-excitation of the peptide hormone in solution leads to the progressive formation of tyrosine photo-product dityrosine, formed upon tyrosine radical cross-linkage. Absorbance, fluorescence emission and excitation data confirm dityrosine formation, leading to covalent insulin dimerization. Furthermore, UV-excitation of insulin induces disulphide bridge breakage. Near- and far-UV-CD spectroscopy shows that UV-excitation of insulin induces secondary and tertiary structure losses. In native insulin, the A and B chains are held together by two disulphide bridges. Disruption of either of these bonds is likely to affect insulin’s structure. The UV-light induced structural changes impair its antibody binding capability and in vitro hormonal function. After 1.5 and 3.5 h of 276 nm excitation there is a 33.7% and 62.1% decrease in concentration of insulin recognized by guinea pig anti-insulin antibodies, respectively. Glucose uptake by human skeletal muscle cells decreases 61.7% when the cells are incubated with pre UV-illuminated insulin during 1.5 h. The observations presented in this work highlight the importance of protecting insulin and other drugs from UV-light exposure, which is of outmost relevance to the pharmaceutical industry. Several drug formulations containing insulin in hexameric, dimeric and monomeric forms can be exposed to natural and artificial UV-light during their production, packaging, storage or administration phases. We can estimate that direct long-term exposure of insulin to sunlight and common light sources for indoors lighting and UV-sterilization in industries can be sufficient to induce irreversible changes to human insulin structure. Routine fluorescence and absorption measurements in laboratory experiments may also induce changes in protein structure. Structural damage includes insulin dimerization via dityrosine cross-linking or disulphide bond disruption, which affects the hormone’s structure and bioactivity.

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