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Human Challenge Model

George Taylor-Walker, Savannah A Lynn, Eloise Keeling, Rosie Munday, David A Johnston, Anton Page, Jennifer A Scott, Srini Goverdhan, Andrew J Lotery, J Arjuna Ratnayaka
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a common, irreversible blinding condition that leads to the loss of central vision. AMD has a complex aetiology with both genetic as well as environmental risks factors, and share many similarities with Alzheimer's disease. Recent findings have contributed significantly to unravelling its genetic architecture that is yet to be matched by molecular insights. Studies are made more challenging by observations that aged and AMD retinas accumulate the highly pathogenic Alzheimer's-related Amyloid beta (Aβ) group of peptides, for which there appears to be no clear genetic basis...
October 14, 2016: Experimental Eye Research
Aliye Uc, Dana K Andersen, Melena D Bellin, Jason I Bruce, Asbjørn M Drewes, John F Engelhardt, Christopher E Forsmark, Markus M Lerch, Mark E Lowe, Brent A Neuschwander-Tetri, Stephen J OʼKeefe, Tonya M Palermo, Pankaj Pasricha, Ashok K Saluja, Vikesh K Singh, Eva M Szigethy, David C Whitcomb, Dhiraj Yadav, Darwin L Conwell
A workshop was sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to focus on research gaps and opportunities in chronic pancreatitis (CP) and its sequelae. This conference marked the 20th year anniversary of the discovery of the cationic trypsinogen (PRSS1) gene mutation for hereditary pancreatitis. The event was held on July 27, 2016, and structured into 4 sessions: (1) pathophysiology, (2) exocrine complications, (3) endocrine complications, and (4) pain. The current state of knowledge was reviewed; many knowledge gaps and research needs were identified that require further investigation...
November 2016: Pancreas
Suman Pradhan, Christine Pellino, Kayleigh MacMaster, Dennis Coyle, Alison A Weiss
Seizures and neurologic involvement have been reported in patients infected with Shiga toxin (Stx) producing E. coli, and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) with neurologic involvement is associated with more severe outcome. We investigated the extent of renal and neurologic damage in mice following injection of the highly potent form of Stx, Stx2a, and less potent Stx1. As observed in previous studies, Stx2a brought about moderate to acute tubular necrosis of proximal and distal tubules in the kidneys. Brain sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) appeared normal, although some red blood cell congestion was observed...
2016: Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Egidio Iorio, Maria José Caramujo, Serena Cecchetti, Francesca Spadaro, Giulia Carpinelli, Rossella Canese, Franca Podo
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), defined as lack of estrogen and progesterone receptors in the absence of protein overexpression/gene amplification of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, is still a clinical challenge despite progress in breast cancer care. (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy allows identification and non-invasive monitoring of TNBC metabolic aberrations and elucidation of some key mechanisms underlying tumor progression. Thus, it has the potential to improve in vivo diagnosis and follow-up and also to identify new targets for treatment...
2016: Frontiers in Oncology
Ming Sun, Yue Li, Huiwen Zheng, Yiming Shao
The recent discoveries of broadly potent neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies represent a new generation of antiretrovirals for the treatment and prophylaxis. Antibodies are generally considered more effective and safer and have been proved to provide passive protection against mucosal challenge in humanized mice and macaques. Several neutralizing Abs could protect animals against HIV-1 but are not effective when used in an established infected model for therapy. In order to overcome the limitation of antiviral activities, multiple antibody-engineering technologies have been explored to generate "the better" neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 since bNAbs attack viral entry by various mechanisms...
2016: Frontiers in Immunology
Laura A Thompson, Tracy A Romano
Increased pressure, associated with diving, can alter cell function through several mechanisms and has been shown to impact immune functions performed by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in humans. While marine mammals possess specific adaptations which protect them from dive related injury, it is unknown how their immune system is adapted to the challenges associated with diving. The purpose of this study was to measure PBMC activation (IL2R expression) and Concanavalin A induced lymphocyte proliferation (BrdU incorporation) in belugas following in vitro pressure exposures during baseline, Out of Water Examination (OWE) and capture/release conditions...
2016: Frontiers in Physiology
Paul M Arnaboldi, Mariya Sambir, Christina D'Arco, Lauren A Peters, Jos F M L Seegers, Lloyd Mayer, Alison A McCormick, Raymond J Dattwyler
Yersinia pestis, one of history's deadliest pathogens, has killed millions over the course of human history. It has attributes that make it an ideal choice to produce mass casualties and is a prime candidate for use as a biological weapon. When aerosolized, Y. pestis causes pneumonic plague, a pneumonia that is 100% lethal if not promptly treated with effective antibiotics. Currently, there is no FDA approved plague vaccine. The current lead vaccine candidate, a parenterally administered protein subunit vaccine comprised of the Y...
October 13, 2016: Vaccine
Kevin Patrick, Eric B Hekler, Deborah Estrin, David C Mohr, Heleen Riper, David Crane, Job Godino, William T Riley
This paper addresses the rapid pace of change in the technologies that support digital interventions; the complexity of the health problems they aim to address; and the adaptation of scientific methods to accommodate the volume, velocity, and variety of data and interventions possible from these technologies. Information, communication, and computing technologies are now part of every societal domain and support essentially every facet of human activity. Ubiquitous computing, a vision articulated fewer than 30 years ago, has now arrived...
November 2016: American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Juan Lv, Qiaoying Zhu, Xuemei Jia, Ningzhu Yu, Qian Li
BACKGROUND Endometriosis can cause dysmenorrhea and infertility. Its pathogenesis has not yet been clarified and its treatment continues to pose enormous challenges. The protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTEN) gene is a tumor suppressor gene. The aim of this study was to investigate the role and significance of PTEN protein in the occurrence, development, and treatment of endometriosis through changes in apoptosis rate, cell cycle, and angiogenesis. MATERIAL AND METHODS PTEN was overexpressed and silenced in lentiviral vectors and inserted into primary endometrial cells...
October 16, 2016: Medical Science Monitor: International Medical Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research
Brett K Beaulieu-Jones, Casey S Greene
Patient interactions with health care providers result in entries to electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs were built for clinical and billing purposes but contain many data points about an individual. Mining these records provides opportunities to extract electronic phenotypes, which can be paired with genetic data to identify genes underlying common human diseases. This task remains challenging: high quality phenotyping is costly and requires physician review; many fields in the records are sparsely filled; and our definitions of diseases are continuing to improve over time...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Biomedical Informatics
Jonathan C Niclis, Carlos W Gantner, Walaa F Alsanie, Stuart J McDougall, Chris R Bye, Andrew G Elefanty, Edouard G Stanley, John M Haynes, Colin W Pouton, Lachlan H Thompson, Clare L Parish
: : Recent studies have shown evidence for the functional integration of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived ventral midbrain dopamine (vmDA) neurons in animal models of Parkinson's disease. Although these cells present a sustainable alternative to fetal mesencephalic grafts, a number of hurdles require attention prior to clinical translation. These include the persistent use of xenogeneic reagents and challenges associated with scalability and storage of differentiated cells. In this study, we describe the first fully defined feeder- and xenogeneic-free protocol for the generation of vmDA neurons from hPSCs and utilize two novel reporter knock-in lines (LMX1A-eGFP and PITX3-eGFP) for in-depth in vitro and in vivo tracking...
October 14, 2016: Stem Cells Translational Medicine
Natasha M Rogers, Maryam Sharifi-Sanjani, Mingyi Yao, Kedar Ghimire, Raquel Bienes-Martinez, Stephanie M Mutchler, Heather E Knupp, Jeffrey Baust, Enrico M Novelli, Mark Ross, Claudette St Croix, Johannes C Kutten, Caitlin A Czajka, John C Sembrat, Mauricio Rojas, David Labrousse-Arias, Timothy N Bachman, Rebecca R Vanderpool, Brian S Zuckerbraun, Hunter C Champion, Ana L Mora, Adam C Straub, Richard A Bilonick, Maria J Calzada, Jeffrey S Isenberg
AIMS: Thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) is a ligand for CD47 and TSP1(-/-) mice are protected from pulmonary hypertension (PH). We hypothesized the TSP1-CD47 axis is upregulated in human PH and promotes pulmonary arterial vasculopathy. METHODS AND RESULTS: We analyzed the molecular signature and functional response of lung tissue and distal pulmonary arteries (PAs) from individuals with (n=23) and without (n=16) PH. Compared to controls, lungs and distal PAs from PH patients showed induction of TSP1-CD47 and endothelin-1/endothelin A receptor (ET-1/ETA) protein and mRNA...
October 13, 2016: Cardiovascular Research
Yuan Chen, Enrico Dall Ara, Erika Sales, Krishnagoud Manda, Robert Wallace, Pankaj Pankaj, Marco Viceconti
Non-destructive 3D micro-computed tomography (microCT) based finite element (microFE) models are used to estimate bone mechanical properties at tissue level. However, their validation remains challenging. Recent improvements in the quantification of displacements in bone tissue biopsies subjected to staged compression, using refined Digital Volume Correlation (DVC) techniques, now provide a full field displacement information accurate enough to be used for microFE validation. In this study, three specimens (two humans and one bovine) were tested with two different experimental set-ups, and the resulting data processed with the same DVC algorithm...
September 17, 2016: Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Shakoor Hajat, Ceri Whitmore, Christophe Sarran, Andy Haines, Brian Golding, Harriet Gordon-Brown, Anthony Kessel, Lora E Fleming
BACKGROUND: Improved data linkages between diverse environment and health datasets have the potential to provide new insights into the health impacts of environmental exposures, including complex climate change processes. Initiatives that link and explore big data in the environment and health arenas are now being established. OBJECTIVES: To encourage advances in this nascent field, this article documents the development of a web browser application to facilitate such future research, the challenges encountered to date, and how they were addressed...
October 11, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Houlin Tang, Zunyou Wu, Yurong Mao, Javier Cepeda, Jamie Morano
BACKGROUND: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) and condom use have been proven to reduce the risk of sexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among HIV sero-different couples, but its full implementation remains a challenge. This study aims to assess HIV seroconversion rate of HIV-negative spouse and its associated risk factors among HIV sero-different couples in rural China. METHODS: An open cohort of HIV sero-different couples enrolled in 30 counties in China between October 1, 2010, and September 30, 2012, and followed-up to December 31, 2012, was constructed retrospectively...
2016: PloS One
Rahul Krishnan, David Ko, Clarence E Foster, Wendy Liu, A M Smink, Bart de Haan, Paul De Vos, Jonathan R T Lakey
Transplantation of alginate-encapsulated islets has the potential to treat patients suffering from type I diabetes, a condition characterized by an autoimmune attack against insulin-secreting beta cells. However, there are multiple immunological challenges associated with this procedure, all of which must be adequately addressed prior to translation from trials in small animal and nonhuman primate models to human clinical trials. Principal threats to graft viability include immune-mediated destruction triggered by immunogenic alginate impurities, unfavorable polymer composition and surface characteristics, and release of membrane-permeable antigens, as well as damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) by the encapsulated islets themselves...
2017: Methods in Molecular Biology
Nayan Lamba, Daniel Holsgrove, Marike L Broekman
BACKGROUND: Since the turn of the last century, the prospect of head transplantation has captured the imagination of scientists and the general public. Recently, head transplant has regained attention in popular media, as neurosurgeons have proposed performing this procedure in 2017. Given the potential impact of such a procedure, we were interested in learning the history of the technical hurdles that need to be overcome, and determine if it is even technically possible to perform such a procedure on humans today...
October 14, 2016: Acta Neurochirurgica
Michele Porcu, Antonella Balestrieri, Paolo Siotto, Pierleone Lucatelli, Michele Anzidei, Jasjit S Suri, Fulvio Zaccagna, Giovanni Maria Argiolas, Luca Saba
Mood disorders (MD) are important and frequent psychiatric pathologies, and the management of the patients affected by thes conditions represent an important factor of disability and a huge problem in socialterms and an economic burden. The "in-vivo" studies can help researchers to understand the first events at the base of the development of the pathology and to identify the molecular and non-molecular targets of therapies, but theyhave strong limitations due to the fact that human brain circuitsthem selvesare difficult to be reproduced in animal models...
October 10, 2016: Neuroscience Letters
Anthony C Y Yau, Rikard Holmdahl
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory joint disorder characterised by erosive inflammation of the articular cartilage and by destruction of the synovial joints. It is regulated by both genetic and environmental factors, and, currently, there is no preventative treatment or cure for this disease. Genome-wide association studies have identified ∼100 new loci associated with rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to the already known locus within the major histocompatibility complex II region. However, together, these loci account for only a modest fraction of the genetic variance associated with this disease and very little is known about the pathogenic roles of most of the risk loci identified...
October 1, 2016: Disease Models & Mechanisms
Vincent Ng, Mengyang Cao, Herbert W Marsh, Louis Tay, Martin E P Seligman
The factor structure of the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS; Peterson & Seligman, 2004) has not been well established as a result of methodological challenges primarily attributable to a global positivity factor, item cross-loading across character strengths, and questions concerning the unidimensionality of the scales assessing character strengths. We sought to overcome these methodological challenges by applying exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) at the item level using a bifactor analytic approach to a large sample of 447,573 participants who completed the VIA-IS with all 240 character strengths items and a reduced set of 107 unidimensional character strength items...
October 13, 2016: Psychological Assessment
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