ResearchPad - blood-plasma https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A modified arginine-depleting enzyme NEI-01 inhibits growth of pancreatic cancer cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11227 Arginine deprivation cancer therapy targets certain types of malignancies with positive result in many studies and clinical trials. NEI-01 was designed as a novel arginine-depleting enzyme comprising an albumin binding domain capable of binding to human serum albumin to lengthen its half-life. In the present work, NEI-01 is shown to bind to serum albumin from various species, including mice, rat and human. Single intraperitoneal administration of NEI-01 to mice reduced plasma arginine to undetectable level for at least 9 days. Treatment of NEI-01 specifically inhibited cell viability of MIA PaCa-2 and PANC-1 cancer cell lines, which were ASS1 negative. Using a human pancreatic mouse xenograft model, NEI-01 treatment significantly reduced tumor volume and weight. Our data provides proof of principle for a cancer treatment strategy using NEI-01.

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<![CDATA[Methamphetamine administration increases hepatic CYP1A2 but not CYP3A activity in female guinea pigs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7848 Methamphetamine use has increased over the past decade and the first use of methamphetamine is most often when women are of reproductive age. Methamphetamine accumulates in the liver; however, little is known about the effect of methamphetamine use on hepatic drug metabolism. Methamphetamine was administered on 3 occassions to female Dunkin Hartley guinea pigs of reproductive age, mimicking recreational drug use. Low doses of test drugs caffeine and midazolam were administered after the third dose of methamphetamine to assess the functional activity of cytochrome P450 1A2 and 3A, respectively. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the mRNA expression of factors involved in glucocorticoid signalling, inflammation, oxidative stress and drug transporters. This study showed that methamphetamine administration decreased hepatic CYP1A2 mRNA expression, but increased CYP1A2 enzyme activity. Methamphetamine had no effect on CYP3A enzyme activity. In addition, we found that methamphetamine may also result in changes in glucocorticoid bioavailability, as we found a decrease in 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 mRNA expression, which converts inactive cortisone into active cortisol. This study has shown that methamphetamine administration has the potential to alter drug metabolism via the CYP1A2 metabolic pathway in female guinea pigs. This may have clinical implications for drug dosing in female methamphetamine users of reproductive age.

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<![CDATA[Plasma Galectin-3 predicts deleterious vascular dysfunction affecting post-myocardial infarction patients: An explanatory study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7712 In a previous analysis of a post-myocardial infarction (MI) cohort, abnormally high systemic vascular resistances (SVR) were shown to be frequently revealed by MRI during the healing period, independently of MI severity, giving evidence of vascular dysfunction and limiting further recovery of cardiac function. The present ancillary and exploratory analysis of the same cohort was aimed at characterizing those patients suffering from high SVR remotely from MI with a large a panel of cardiovascular MRI parameters and blood biomarkers.MethodsMRI and blood sampling were performed 2–4 days after a reperfused MI and 6 months thereafter in 121 patients. SVR were monitored with a phase-contrast MRI sequence and patients with abnormally high SVR at 6-months were characterized through MRI parameters and blood biomarkers, including Galectin-3, an indicator of cardiovascular inflammation and fibrosis after MI. SVR were normal at 6-months in 90 patients (SVR-) and abnormally high in 31 among whom 21 already had high SVR at the acute phase (SVR++) while 10 did not (SVR+).ResultsWhen compared with SVR-, both SVR+ and SVR++ exhibited lower recovery in cardiac function from baseline to 6-months, while baseline levels of Galectin-3 were significantly different in both SVR+ (median: 14.4 (interquartile range: 12.3–16.7) ng.mL-1) and SVR++ (13.0 (11.7–19.4) ng.mL-1) compared to SVR- (11.7 (9.8–13.5) ng.mL-1, both p < 0.05). Plasma Galectin-3 was an independent baseline predictor of high SVR at 6-months (p = 0.002), together with the baseline levels of SVR and left ventricular end-diastolic volume, whereas indices of MI severity and left ventricular function were not. In conclusion, plasma Galectin-3 predicts a deleterious vascular dysfunction affecting post-MI patients, an observation that could lead to consider new therapeutic targets if confirmed through dedicated prospective studies. ]]> <![CDATA[The adipokine vaspin is associated with decreased coronary in-stent restenosis <i>in vivo</i> and inhibits migration of human coronary smooth muscle cells <i>in vitro</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7692 Percutaneous coronary intervention represents the most important treatment modality of coronary artery stenosis. In-stent restenosis (ISR) is still a limitation for the long-term outcome despite the introduction of drug eluting stents. It has been shown that adipokines directly influence vessel wall homeostasis by influencing the function of endothelial cells and arterial smooth muscle cells. Visceral adipose tissue-derived serpin vaspin was recently identified as a member of serine protease inhibitor family and serveral studies could demonstrate a relation to metabolic diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate a role of vaspin in the development of in-stent restenosis in vivo and on migration of smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells in vitro.MethodsWe studied 85 patients with stable coronary artery disease who underwent elective and successful PCI with implatation of drug eluting stents. Blood samples were taken directly before PCI. Vaspin plasma levels were measured by specific ELISA. ISR was evaluated eight months later by coronary angiography. Human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) migration was analyzed by an in-vitro migration assay with different concentrations (0.004ng/mL up to 40ng/mL) of vaspin as well as by an scratch assay. For proliferation an impedance measurement with specialiced E-Plates was performed.ResultsDuring the follow up period, 14 patients developed ISR. Patients with ISR had significantly lower vaspin plasma levels compared to patients without ISR (0.213 ng/ml vs 0.382 ng/ml; p = 0.001). In patients with plasma vaspin levels above 1.35 ng/ml we could not observe any restenosis. There was also a significant correlation of plasma vaspin levels and late lumen loss in the stented coronary segments. Further we could demonstrate that vaspin nearly abolishes serum induced migration of HCASMC (100% vs. 9%; p<0.001) in a biphasic manner but not migration of HUVEC. Proliferation of HCASMC and HUVEC was not modulated by vaspin treatment.ConclusionWe were able to show that the adipokine vaspin selectively inhibits human coronary SMC migration in vitro and has no effect on HUVEC migration. Vaspin had no effect on proliferation of HUVEC which is an important process of the healing of the stented vessel. In addition, the occurrence of ISR after PCI with implantation of drug eluting stents was significantly associated with low vaspin plasma levels before intervention. Determination of vaspin plasma levels before PCI might be helpful in the identification of patients with high risk for development of ISR after stent implantation. In addition, the selective effects of vaspin on smooth muscle cell migration could potentially be used to reduce ISR without inhibition of re-endothelialization of the stented segment. ]]> <![CDATA[Identification of miRNA signatures associated with radiation-induced late lung injury in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7641 Acute radiation exposure of the thorax can lead to late serious, and even life-threatening, pulmonary and cardiac damage. Sporadic in nature, late complications tend to be difficult to predict, which prompted this investigation into identifying non-invasive, tissue-specific biomarkers for the early detection of late radiation injury. Levels of circulating microRNA (miRNA) were measured in C3H and C57Bl/6 mice after whole thorax irradiation at doses yielding approximately 70% mortality in 120 or 180 days, respectively (LD70/120 or 180). Within the first two weeks after exposure, weight gain slowed compared to sham treated mice along with a temporary drop in white blood cell counts. 52% of C3H (33 of 64) and 72% of C57Bl/6 (46 of 64) irradiated mice died due to late radiation injury. Lung and heart damage, as assessed by computed tomography (CT) and histology at 150 (C3H mice) and 180 (C57Bl/6 mice) days, correlated well with the appearance of a local, miRNA signature in the lung and heart tissue of irradiated animals, consistent with inherent differences in the C3H and C57Bl/6 strains in their propensity for developing radiation-induced pneumonitis or fibrosis, respectively. Radiation-induced changes in the circulating miRNA profile were most prominent within the first 30 days after exposure and included miRNA known to regulate inflammation and fibrosis. Importantly, early changes in plasma miRNA expression predicted survival with reasonable accuracy (88–92%). The miRNA signature that predicted survival in C3H mice, including miR-34a-5p, -100-5p, and -150-5p, were associated with pro-inflammatory NF-κB-mediated signaling pathways, whereas the signature identified in C57Bl/6 mice (miR-34b-3p, -96-5p, and -802-5p) was associated with TGF-β/SMAD signaling. This study supports the hypothesis that plasma miRNA profiles could be used to identify individuals at high risk of organ-specific late radiation damage, with applications for radiation oncology clinical practice or in the context of a radiological incident.

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<![CDATA[Baloxavir treatment of ferrets infected with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus reduces onward transmission]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nca8f7add-a1d9-4373-9c77-344aec55ea94

Influenza viruses cause seasonal outbreaks and pose a continuous pandemic threat. Although vaccines are available for influenza control, their efficacy varies each season and a vaccine for a novel pandemic virus manufactured using current technology will not be available fast enough to mitigate the effect of the first pandemic wave. Antivirals can be effective against many different influenza viruses but have not thus far been used extensively for outbreak control. Baloxavir, a recently licensed antiviral drug that targets the influenza virus endonuclease, has been shown to reduce virus shedding more effectively than oseltamivir, a widely used neuraminidase inhibitor drug. Thus it is possible that treatment with baloxavir might also interrupt onward virus transmission. To test this, we utilized the ferret model, which is the most commonly used animal model to study influenza virus transmission. We established a subcutaneous baloxavir administration method in ferrets which achieved similar pharmacokinetics to the approved human oral dose. Transmission studies were then conducted in two different locations with different experimental setups to compare the onward transmission of A(H1N1)pdm09 virus from infected ferrets treated with baloxavir, oseltamivir or placebo to naïve sentinel ferrets exposed either indirectly in adjacent cages or directly by co-housing. We found that baloxavir treatment reduced infectious viral shedding in the upper respiratory tract of ferrets compared to placebo, and reduced the frequency of transmission amongst sentinels in both experimental setups, even when treatment was delayed until 2 days post-infection. In contrast, oseltamivir treatment did not substantially affect viral shedding or transmission compared to placebo. We did not detect the emergence of baloxavir-resistant variants in treated animals or in untreated sentinels. Our results support the concept that antivirals which decrease viral shedding could also reduce influenza transmission in the community.

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<![CDATA[Opposing effects of HNP1 (α-defensin-1) on plasma cholesterol and atherogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndf7081dd-c312-4392-aa9c-ddf6cf67dfa0

Atherosclerosis, the predominant cause of death in well-resourced countries, may develop in the presence of plasma lipid levels within the normal range. Inflammation may contribute to lesion development in these individuals, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Transgenic mice expressing α-def-1 released from activated neutrophils develop larger lipid and macrophage-rich lesions in the proximal aortae notwithstanding hypocholesterolemia caused by accelerated clearance of α-def-1/low-density lipoprotein (LDL) complexes from the plasma. The phenotype does not develop when the release of α-def-1 is prevented with colchicine. However, ApoE-/- mice crossed with α-def-1 mice or given exogenous α-def-1 develop smaller aortic lesions associated with reduced plasma cholesterol, suggesting a protective effect of accelerated LDL clearance. Experiments were performed to address this seeming paradox and to determine if α-def-1 might provide a means to lower cholesterol and thereby attenuate atherogenesis. We confirmed that exposing ApoE-/- mice to α-def-1 lowers total plasma cholesterol and decreases lesion size. However, lesion size was larger than in mice with total plasma cholesterol lowered to the same extent by inhibiting its adsorption or by ingesting a low-fat diet. Furthermore, α-def-1 levels correlated independently with lesion size in ApoE-/- mice. These studies show that α-def-1 has competing effects on atherogenesis. Although α-def-1 accelerates LDL clearance from plasma, it also stimulates deposition and retention of LDL in the vasculature, which may contribute to development of atherosclerosis in individuals with normal or even low plasma levels of cholesterol. Inhibiting α-def-1 may attenuate the impact of chronic inflammation on atherosclerotic vascular disease.

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<![CDATA[Detection of microbial cell-free DNA in maternal and umbilical cord plasma in patients with chorioamnionitis using next generation sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N85cfbb28-a074-423a-88cd-d5e05af52830

Background

Chorioamnionitis has been linked to spontaneous preterm labor and complications such as neonatal sepsis. We hypothesized that microbial cell-free (cf) DNA would be detectable in maternal plasma in patients with chorioamnionitis and could be the basis for a non-invasive method to detect fetal exposure to microorganisms.

Objective

The purpose of this study was to determine whether next generation sequencing could detect microbial cfDNA in maternal plasma in patients with chorioamnionitis.

Study design

Maternal plasma (n = 94) and umbilical cord plasma (n = 120) were collected during delivery at gestational age 28–41 weeks. cfDNA was extracted and sequenced. Umbilical cord plasma samples with evidence of contamination were excluded. The prevalence of microorganisms previously implicated in choriomanionitis, neonatal sepsis and intra-amniotic infections, as described in the literature, were examined to determine if there was enrichment of these microorganisms in this cohort. Specific microbial cfDNA associated with chorioamnionitis was first detected in umbilical cord plasma and confirmed in the matched maternal plasma samples (n = 77 matched pairs) among 14 cases of histologically confirmed chorioamnionitis and one case of clinical chorioamnionitis; 63 paired samples were used as controls. A correlation of rank of a given microorganism across maternal plasma and matched umbilical cord plasma was used to assess whether signals found in umbilical cord plasma were also present in maternal plasma.

Results

Microbial DNA sequences associated with clinical and/or histological chorioamnionitis were enriched in maternal plasma in cases with suspected chorioamnionitis when compared to controls (12/14 microorganisms, p = 0.02). Analysis of the microbial cfDNA in umbilical cord plasma among the 1,251 microorganisms detectable with this assay identified Streptococcus mitis, Ureaplasma spp., and Mycoplasma spp. in cases of suspected chorioamnionitis. This assay also detected cfDNA from Lactobacillus spp. in controls. Comparison between maternal plasma and umbilical cord plasma confirmed these signatures were also present in maternal plasma. Unbiased analysis of microorganisms with significantly correlated signal between matched maternal plasma and umbilical cord plasma identified the above listed 3 microorganisms, all of which have previously been implicated in patients with chorioamnionitis (Mycoplasma hominis p = 0.0001; Ureaplasma parvum p = 0.002; Streptococcus mitis p = 0.007). These data show that the pathogen signal relevant for chorioamnionitis can be identified in both maternal and umbilical cord plasma.

Conclusion

This is the first report showing the detection of relevant microbial cell-free cfDNA in maternal plasma and umbilical cord plasma in patients with clinical and/or histological chorioamnionitis. These results may lead to the development of a specific assay to detect perinatal infections for targeted therapy to reduce early neonatal sepsis complications.

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<![CDATA[Thermopneumatic suction integrated microfluidic blood analysis system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accd4d5eed0c4849900d3

Blood tests provide crucial diagnostic information regarding several diseases. A key factor that affects the precision and accuracy of blood tests is the interference of red blood cells; however, the conventional methods of blood separation are often complicated and time consuming. In this study, we devised a simple but high-efficiency blood separation system on a self-strained microfluidic device that separates 99.7 ± 0.3% of the plasma in only 6 min. Parameters, such as flow rate, design of the filter trench, and the relative positions of the filter trench and channel, were optimized through microscopic monitoring. Moreover, this air-difference-driven device uses a cost-effective and easy-to-use heater device that creates a low-pressure environment in the microchannel within minutes. With the aforementioned advantages, this blood separation device could be another platform choice for point-of-care testing.

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<![CDATA[Lower plasma insulin levels during overnight closed-loop in school children with type 1 diabetes: Potential advantage? A randomized cross-over trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c197ad5eed0c484b4d740

Background

Studies have shown that overnight closed-loop insulin delivery can improve glucose control and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and hence may improve metabolic outcomes and reduce burden for children with type 1 diabetes and their families. However, research so far has not reported insulin levels while comparing closed-loop to open-loop insulin delivery in children. Therefore, in this study we obtained glucose levels as well as plasma insulin levels in children with type 1 diabetes to evaluate the efficacy of a model—based closed-loop algorithm compared to an open-loop administration.

Methods

Fifteen children with type 1 diabetes, 6–12 years, participated in this open-label single center study. We used a randomized cross over design in which we compared overnight closed-loop insulin delivery with sensor augmented pump therapy for two nights in both the hospital and at home (i.e., 1 night in-patient stay and at home per treatment condition). Only during the in-patient stay, hourly plasma insulin and blood glucose levels were assessed and are reported in this paper.

Results

Results of paired sample t-tests revealed that although plasma insulin levels were significantly lower during the closed-loop than in the open-loop (Mean difference 36.51 pmol/l; t(13) = 2.13, p = .03, effect size d = 0.57), blood glucose levels did not vary between conditions (mean difference 0.76 mmol/l; t(13) = 1.24, p = .12, d = 0.37). The administered dose of insulin was significantly lower during the closed-loop compared with the open-loop (mean difference 0.10 UI; t(12) = 2.45, p = .02, d = 0.68).

Conclusions

Lower insulin doses were delivered in the closed-loop, resulting in lower plasma insulin levels, whereby glucose levels were not affected negatively. This suggests that the closed-loop administration is better targeted and hence could be more effective.

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<![CDATA[Comparative performance of four rapid Ebola antigen-detection lateral flow immunoassays during the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acc8bd5eed0c48498f9b7

Background

Without an effective vaccine, as was the case early in the 2014–2016 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa, disease control depends entirely on interrupting transmission through early disease detection and prompt patient isolation. Lateral Flow Immunoassays (LFI) are a potential supplement to centralized reference laboratory testing for the early diagnosis of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

The goal of this study was to assess the performance of commercially available simple and rapid antigen detection LFIs, submitted for review to the WHO via the Emergency Use Assessment and Listing procedure. The study was performed in an Ebola Treatment Centre laboratory involved in EVD testing in Sierra Leone.

In light of the current Ebola outbreak in May 2018 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which highlights the lack of clarity in the global health community about appropriate Ebola diagnostics, our findings are increasingly critical.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess comparative performance of four LFIs for detecting EVD. LFIs were assessed against the same 328 plasma samples and 100 whole EDTA blood samples, using the altona RealStar Filovirus Screen real-time RT-PCR as the bench mark assay. The performance of the Public Health England (PHE) in-house Zaire ebolavirus-specific real time RT-PCR Trombley assay was concurrently assessed. Statistical analysis using generalized estimating equations was conducted to compare LFI performance.

Findings

Sensitivity and specificity varied between the LFIs, with specificity found to be significantly higher for whole EDTA blood samples compared to plasma samples in at least 2 LFIs (P≤0.003). Using the altona RT-PCR assay as the bench mark, sensitivities on plasma samples ranged from 79.53% (101/127, 95% CI: 71.46–86.17%) for the DEDIATEST EBOLA (SD Biosensor) to 98.43% (125/127, 95% CI: 94.43–99.81%) for the One step Ebola test (Intec). Specificities ranged from 80.20% (158/197, 95% CI: 74.07–88.60%) for plasma samples using the ReEBOV Antigen test Kit (Corgenix) to 100.00% (98/98, 95% CI: 96.31–100.00%) for whole blood samples using the DEDIATEST EBOLA (SD Biosensor) and SD Ebola Zaire Ag (SD Biosensor). Results also showed the Trombley RT-PCR assay had a lower limit of detection than the altona assay, with some LFIs having higher sensitivity than the altona assay when the Trombley assay was the bench mark.

Interpretation

All of the tested EVD LFIs may be considered suitable for use in an outbreak situation (i.e. rule out testing in communities), although they had variable performance characteristics, with none possessing both high sensitivity and specificity. The non-commercial Trombley Zaire ebolavirus RT-PCR assay warrants further investigation, as it appeared more sensitive than the current gold standard, the altona Filovirus Screen RT-PCR assay.

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<![CDATA[Citrulline protects mice from experimental cerebral malaria by ameliorating hypoargininemia, urea cycle changes and vascular leak]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c194bd5eed0c484b4d370

Clinical and model studies indicate that low nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability due in part to profound hypoargininemia contributes to cerebral malaria (CM) pathogenesis. Protection against CM pathogenesis may be achieved by altering the diet before infection with Plasmodium falciparum infection (nutraceutical) or by administering adjunctive therapy that decreases CM mortality (adjunctive therapy). This hypothesis was tested by administering citrulline or arginine in experimental CM (eCM). We report that citrulline injected as prophylaxis immediately post infection (PI) protected virtually all mice by ameliorating (i) hypoargininemia, (ii) urea cycle impairment, and (iii) disruption of blood brain barrier. Citrulline prophylaxis inhibited plasma arginase activity. Parasitemia was similar in citrulline- and vehicle control-groups, indicating that protection from pathogenesis was not due to decreased parasitemia. Both citrulline and arginine administered from day 1 PI in the drinking water significantly protected mice from eCM. These observations collectively indicate that increasing dietary citrulline or arginine decreases eCM mortality. Citrulline injected ip on day 4 PI with quinine-injected ip on day 6 PI partially protected mice from eCM; citrulline plus scavenging of superoxide with pegylated superoxide dismutase and pegylated catalase protected all recipients from eCM. These findings indicate that ameliorating hypoargininemia with citrulline plus superoxide scavenging decreases eCM mortality.

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<![CDATA[An antibody-free sample pretreatment method for osteopontin combined with MALDI-TOF MS/MS analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c990284d5eed0c484b9802d

Osteopontin is an osteoblast-secreted protein with an aspartic acid-rich, highly phosphorylated, and glycosylated structure. Osteopontin can easily bind to integrins, tumor cells, extracellular matrix and calcium, and is related to bone diseases, various cancers, inflammation etc. Here, DEAE-Cibacron blue 3GA was used to extract recombinant osteopontin from human plasma, and to deplete abundant plasma proteins with an antibody-free method. Using selected buffer systems, osteopontin and human serum albumin could be bound to DEAE-Cibacron blue 3GA, while immunoglobulin G was excluded. The bound osteopontin could then be separated from albumin by using different sequential elution buffers. By this method, 1 μg/mL recombinant osteopontin could be separated from the major part of the most abundant proteins in human plasma. After trypsin digestion, the extracted osteopontin could be successfully detected and identified by MALDI-TOF MS/MS using the m/z 1854.898 peptide and its fragments.

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<![CDATA[Plasma sphingomyelins increase in pre-diabetic Korean men with abdominal obesity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823f3d5eed0c4846393cb

Abdominal or visceral obesity is a well-known risk factor for metabolic diseases. However, whether abdominal obesity significantly affects plasma lipid profile during the development of type 2 diabetes has not been fully elucidated. We investigated the differences in plasma lipid concentrations in 63 participants categorized into six groups (middle-aged Korean men); Normal, Pre-diabetes (pre-DM), and Diabetes mellitus (DM) with or without abdominal obesity (AO or lean). The lipidomic profiles were determined by using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Sphingomyelin (SM) levels in plasma were significantly higher in the pre-DM with AO than in pre-DM with lean (p = 0.021). SM concentrations correlated positively with waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) (r = 0.256, p = 0.044), cholesteryl ester (CE) (r = 0.483, p < 0.0001), ceramide (r = 0.489, p < 0.0001) and plasmanyl phosphatidylcholine (PC) (r = 0.446, p < 0.0001). The present study found that pre-diabetic patients with AO were characterized by increased plasma concentrations of SM. Plasma SM levels in individuals with AO may be an early prognostic biomarker to better predict the progression toward type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

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<![CDATA[Quantitation of 5-methyltetraydrofolic acid in plasma for determination of folate status and clinical studies by stable isotope dilution assays]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c785012d5eed0c484007c22

Folates play a key role in the prevention of neural tube defects in newborns. Thus, it is important to reliably determine the bioavailability of folates from various foods. Accurate analytical methods are essential for quantifying blood-folates, especially in human studies. Here, we present the development and validation of a sensitive method using stable isotope dilution liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry for determining various folates in plasma. Moreover, this study reports the applicability of the developed method to a human pilot study using strawberries as a test food. Validation of the assay revealed the precision, sensitivity, and accuracy of the method in determining the predominant 5-methyltetrahydrofolate in plasma. This method was also applicable for the screening of individual folate status using finger prick blood and for monitoring the post-absorptive plasma-concentration curve. Moreover, the human study revealed a high recovery of strawberry folates with a calculated relative bioavailability of 96.2%. Thus, the developed method enables prospective bioavailability studies. This work also confirmed, via human studies, that strawberries are a rich and natural source of folates that are available for human metabolism.

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<![CDATA[Baseline high-sensitivity C-reactive protein predicts the risk of incident ankylosing spondylitis: Results of a community-based prospective study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706756d5eed0c4847c6e7f

Background

A hospitalized-based cohort study suggested that elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are associated with radiographic sacroiliitis progression in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients. However, data from community-based populations are limited.

Objective

We sought to determine the association between elevated CRP levels and AS diagnosis in a prospective community-based study of 129,681 Chinese adults over a follow-up period of 8 years.

Methods

We measured the plasma CRP concentration at baseline and every 2 years thereafter with the high-sensitivity (hs)-CRP test. Incident AS cases were confirmed on the basis of modified New York diagnostic criteria after review of medical records. We used Cox proportional-hazard models to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for AS on the basis of hs-CRP concentrations, adjusting for age, sex, education, income, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, body mass index, blood-pressure status, blood glucose status, total cholesterol, history of cardiovascular disease, and use of antihypertensives, lipid-lowering agents, and aspirin.

Results

During 1,033,609 person-years (average 7.97 ± 1.36 years per person) of follow-up, we identified 55 incident AS cases. Baseline hs-CRP was positively associated with the risk of future AS. Compared with hs-CRP <1 mg/L, the HR was 1.28 (95% CI 0.54–3.08) for hs-CRP of 1.00–2.99 mg/L, 4.71 (95% CI 2.26–9.81) for hs-CRP of 3.00–9.99 mg/L, and 19.8 (95% CI 9.6–40.9) for hs-CRP ≥10.00 mg/L (P-trend <0.001) after adjustment for potential confounders. We found similar results after excluding AS cases that occurred in the first 2 years of follow-up, and using the cumulative average hs-CRP concentration as a predictor.

Conclusion

This is the first study in a community-based cohort to demonstrate that CRP plasma concentrations predict the risk of future AS, thus providing a test that is easy to routinely perform in the clinic to assess for AS risk.

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<![CDATA[Analytical characterization and reference interval of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for active von Willebrand factor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9d4d5eed0c48452a285

Background

Interaction of von Willebrand factor (VWF) with platelets requires a conformational change that exposes an epitope within the VWF A1 domain, enabling platelet glycoprotein Ibα binding. Quantification of this ‘‘active” conformation of VWF has been shown to provide pathophysiological insight into conditions characterized by excessive VWF-platelet interaction.

Methods

We developed an immunosorbent assay based on a variable heavy chain antibody fragment against the VWF A1 domain as a capture antibody. Assay performance in terms of specificity (binding to active R1306W- and sheared VWF), precision, accuracy, linearity, limits of detection and stability were determined. Active VWF, VWF antigen, VWF ristocetin cofactor activity, VWF:GP1bM and VWF propeptide were measured in citrated plasma and platelet-VWF binding in whole blood from 120 healthy individuals to establish a reference interval for active VWF and to assess associations with other VWF parameters.

Results

Intra- and inter-assay CVs were between 2.4–7.2% and 4.1–9.4%, depending on the level. Mean recovery of spiked recombinant R1306W VWF was 103±3%. The assay was linear in the range of 90.1–424.5% and had a limit of quantification of 101%. The reference interval for active VWF was 91.6–154.8% of NPP. Significant, positive correlations between active VWF and all other VWF parameters were found, with the strongest correlation with VWF:GP1bM binding.

Conclusions

We developed and validated an immunosorbent assay for the accurate detection of active VWF levels in plasma. The assay fulfilled all analytical criteria in this study and a reference interval was established, allowing its use to quantify active VWF in pathological conditions for future research.

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<![CDATA[Metabolomic profiling reveals correlations between spermiogram parameters and the metabolites present in human spermatozoa and seminal plasma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe4fd5eed0c484e5b889

In 50% of all infertility cases, the male is subfertile or infertile, however, the underlying mechanisms are often unknown. Even when assisted reproductive procedures such as in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection are performed, the causes of male factor infertility frequently remain elusive. Since the overall activity of cells is closely linked to their metabolic capacity, we analyzed a panel of 180 metabolites in human sperm and seminal plasma and elucidated their associations with spermiogram parameters. Therefore, metabolites from a group of 20 healthy donors were investigated using a targeted LC-MS/MS approach. The correlation analyses of the amino acids, biogenic amines, acylcarnitines, lysophosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins and sugars from sperm and seminal plasma with standard spermiogram parameters revealed that metabolites in sperm are closely related to sperm motility, whereas those in seminal plasma are closely related to sperm concentration and morphology. This study provides essential insights into the metabolome of human sperm and seminal plasma and its associations with sperm functions. This metabolomics technique could be a promising screening tool to detect the factors of male infertility in cases where the cause of infertility is unclear.

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<![CDATA[Quantitative systems pharmacology of interferon alpha administration: A multi-scale approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9aad5eed0c484529f9d

The therapeutic effect of a drug is governed by its pharmacokinetics which determine the downstream pharmacodynamic response within the cellular network. A complete understanding of the drug-effect relationship therefore requires multi-scale models which integrate the properties of the different physiological scales. Computational modelling of these individual scales has been successfully established in the past. However, coupling of the scales remains challenging, although it will provide a unique possibility of mechanistic and holistic analyses of therapeutic outcomes for varied treatment scenarios. We present a methodology to combine whole-body physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models with mechanistic intracellular models of signal transduction in the liver for therapeutic proteins. To this end, we developed a whole-body distribution model of IFN-α in human and a detailed intracellular model of the JAK/STAT signalling cascade in hepatocytes and coupled them at the liver of the whole-body human model. This integrated model infers the time-resolved concentration of IFN-α arriving at the liver after intravenous injection while simultaneously estimates the effect of this dose on the intracellular signalling behaviour in the liver. In our multi-scale physiologically-based pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PBPK/PD) model, receptor saturation is seen at low doses, thus giving mechanistic insights into the pharmacodynamic (PD) response. This model suggests a fourfold lower intracellular response after administration of a typical IFN-α dose to an individual as compared to the experimentally observed responses in in vitro setups. In conclusion, this work highlights clear differences between the observed in vitro and in vivo drug effects and provides important suggestions for future model-based study design.

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<![CDATA[Salivary and plasma levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and myeloperoxidase at rest and after acute physical exercise in patients with coronary artery disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d46d5eed0c484c82427

Background

Low-grade systemic inflammation is a predictor of recurrent cardiac events in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Plasma proteins such as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and myeloperoxidase (MPO) have been shown to reflect basal as well as stress-induced inflammation in CAD. Measurements of MMP-9 and MPO in saliva might pose several advantages. Therefore, we investigated whether salivary levels of MMP-9 and MPO corresponded to plasma levels in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), both at rest and after acute physical exercise.

Methods

A bicycle ergometer test was used as a model for stress-induced inflammation. Twenty-three CAD patients performed the test on two occasions 3–6 months apart. Whole unstimulated saliva was collected before, directly after and 30 min after exercise while plasma was collected before and after 30 min. MMP-9 and MPO in saliva and plasma were determined by Luminex.

Results

MMP-9 and MPO levels were 2- to 4-fold higher in saliva than in plasma. Amongst the saliva samples, and also to a great extent amongst the plasma samples, the levels of both types of protein showed strong intercorrelations between the levels at rest and after exercise during the two visits. However, there were no (or weak) correlations between salivary and plasma MMP-9 and none between salivary and plasma MPO.

Conclusion

We conclude that salivary diagnostics cannot be used to assess systemic levels of MMP-9 and MPO in CAD patients, neither at rest nor after acute physical exercise.

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