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UC San Diego School of Medicine, established in 1968, is the San Diego region’s only medical school. As a top-tier academic medical center, its role is to improve health through innovative research, education and patient care.

School of Medicine

There are 19940 publications in this collection, published between 1981 and 2024.
Independent Study Projects (269)

Ultrasound education in Cusco, Peru and increasing ultrasound gel sterility in low-resource environments

To characterize the utilization of ultrasound in the urgent and emergency department setting at CRH before and after an educational ultrasound curriculum is implemented. Rates of utilization, body part examined, gender of patient, age of patient and chief complaint will be captured before and after the educational intervention.

The Relative Strength of Association of Ankle-Brachial vs. Toe-Brachial Index with Cardiovascular Mortality in Individuals With and Without Diabetes Mellitus.

Among diabetic individuals with clinically suspected PAD, both those with low and high ABI scores are at higher risk of CVD death. In contrast, a linear relationship was observed between TBI scores and CVD death irrespective of diabetes status. These findings suggest that stiffened ankle arteries may limit the predictive value of ABI scores in individuals with diabetes; a limitation that may be overcome by measurement of the TBI.

Associations of cardiovascular disease risk factors with density and volume components of coronary artery calcium (CAC): the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Background: Coronary artery calcium (CAC) predicts incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) beyond traditional risk factors. While higher CAC volume is associated with higher CVD risk, higher CAC density is associated with lower CVD risk. Whether risk factors for CAC volume and CAC density are similar or distinct is unknown. We sought to evaluate the independent associations of CVD risk factors with CAC volume an CAC density. Methods: Baseline measurements from 6,814 participants free of clinical CVD were collected for the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis between 2000 and 2002. Participants with no CAC )n=3,416) and missing data were excluded, for a final analytic sample of 3.375 participants. Multivariable linear regression models were used to evaluate independent predictors of CAC density and CAC volume. Conclusions: Whereas most CVD risk factors were associated with higher CAC volume, the same risk factors were assocated with lower CAC density. For example, diabetes was associated with higher natural logarithm (ln) transformed CAC volume (standardized [beta]=0.44 ln-units, p<0.01) but lower CAC density ([beta]=-0.07 Hounsfield unit (Hu) category unit, p<0.01). Relative to Non-Hispanic White, Chinese, African-American, and Hispanic race/ethnicities were associated with lower ln CAC volume ([beta]=-0.62, -0.52, and -0.40 ln-units, respectively, p<0.01 for each), and higher CAC density ([beta]=0.41, 0.18, and 0.21 Hu category units, respectively, p<0.01 for each). CAC density and CAC volume were also differentially associated with race/ethnicity.

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Department of Anesthesiology - Open Access Policy Deposits (431)

The role of endogenous opioids in mindfulness and sham mindfulness-meditation for the direct alleviation of evoked chronic low back pain: a randomized clinical trial

Chronic low back pain (cLBP) is the most prevalent chronic pain condition. There are no treatments that haven been found to directly assuage evoked cLBP. To this extent, mindfulness-meditation is a promising pain therapy. Yet, it is unclear if meditation can be utilized to directly attenuate evoked chronic pain through endogenous opioids. A double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical trial with a drug crossover design examined if mindfulness-meditation, as compared to sham mindfulness-meditation, attenuated straight leg-raise test evoked chronic pain during intravenous (0.15 mg/kg bolus + 0.15 mg/kg/hour maintenance) naloxone (opioid antagonist) and placebo-saline infusion. Fifty-nine individuals with cLBP (mean age = 46 years; 30 females) completed all study procedures. After the pre-intervention pain testing session, patients were randomized to a four-session (20-min/session) mindfulness (n = 30) or sham mindfulness-meditation (n = 29) intervention. After the interventions, mindfulness and sham mindfulness-meditation were associated with significant reductions in back pain during saline and naloxone infusion when compared to rest (non-meditation) in response to the cLBP-evoking straight leg-raise test. These results indicate that meditation directly reduces evoked chronic pain through non-opioidergic processes. Importantly, after the interventions, the mindfulness group reported significantly lower straight leg-raise induced pain than the sham mindfulness-meditation group during rest (non-meditation) and meditation. Mindfulness and sham mindfulness-meditation training was also associated with significantly lower Brief Pain Inventory severity and interference scores. The pain-relieving effects of mindfulness meditation were more pronounced than a robust sham-mindfulness meditation intervention, suggesting that non-reactive appraisal processes may be uniquely associated with improvements in chronic low-back pain.Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04034004.

fMRI findings in MTBI patients with headaches following rTMS

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) patients with persistent headaches are known to have diminished supraspinal modulatory connectivity from their prefrontal cortices. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is able to alleviate MTBI-related headache (MTBI-HA). This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study assessed supraspinal correlates associated with the headache analgesic effect of rTMS at left prefrontal cortex (LPFC), hypothesizing real rTMS would significantly increase modulatory functions at LPFC in comparison to sham treatment. Subjects with MTBI-HA were randomized to receive either real or sham rTMS treatments and subjected to pre- and post-treatment resting state and evoked heat-pain fMRI as described in a prior study. Real rTMS consisted of 2000 pulses delivered at 10 Hz and 80% of the resting motor threshold at left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, whereas sham treatment was delivered with same figure-of-eight coil turned 180 degrees. Follow-up fMRI was performed one-week post-treatment. All fMRI data was processed using BrainVoyager QX Software. 14 subjects receiving real and 12 subjects receiving sham treatments completed the study. The REAL group demonstrated significant (P < 0.02) decreases in headache frequency and intensity at one week following treatment. fMRI scans in the REAL group showed increased evoked heat pain activity (P < 0.002) and resting functional connectivity (P < 0.0001) at the LPFC after rTMS. Neither this significant analgesic effect nor these fMRI findings were seen in the sham group. Sham treatment was, however, associated with a decrease in resting state activity at the LPFC (P < 0.0001). This study correlates the demonstrated analgesic effect of rTMS in the treatment of MTBI-HA with enhanced supraspinal functional connectivity in the left prefrontal cortex, which is known to be involved in "top-down" pain inhibition along the descending midbrain-thalamic-cingulate pathway. Trial Registration: This study was registered on September 24, 2013, on ClinicalTrials.gov with the identifier: NCT01948947. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01948947 .

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Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine - Open Access Policy Deposits (885)

Sequential regulatory loops as key gatekeepers for neuronal reprogramming in human cells

Direct conversion of somatic cells into neurons holds great promise for regenerative medicine. However, neuronal conversion is relatively inefficient in human cells compared to mouse cells. It has been unclear what might be the key barriers to reprogramming in human cells. We recently elucidated an RNA program mediated by the polypyrimidine tract binding protein PTB to convert mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) into functional neurons. In human adult fibroblasts (HAFs), however, we unexpectedly found that invoking the documented PTB-REST-miR-124 loop generates only immature neurons. We now report that the functionality requires sequential inactivation of PTB and the PTB paralog nPTB in HAFs. Inactivation of nPTB triggers another self-enforcing loop essential for neuronal maturation, which comprises nPTB, the transcription factor BRN2, and miR-9. These findings suggest that two separate gatekeepers control neuronal conversion and maturation and consecutively overcoming these gatekeepers enables deterministic reprogramming of HAFs into functional neurons.

Cryptic splicing of stathmin-2 and UNC13A mRNAs is a pathological hallmark of TDP-43-associated Alzheimers disease.

Nuclear clearance and cytoplasmic accumulations of the RNA-binding protein TDP-43 are pathological hallmarks in almost all patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and up to 50% of patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Alzheimers disease. In Alzheimers disease, TDP-43 pathology is predominantly observed in the limbic system and correlates with cognitive decline and reduced hippocampal volume. Disruption of nuclear TDP-43 function leads to abnormal RNA splicing and incorporation of erroneous cryptic exons in numerous transcripts including Stathmin-2 (STMN2, also known as SCG10) and UNC13A, recently reported in tissues from patients with ALS and FTD. Here, we identify both STMN2 and UNC13A cryptic exons in Alzheimers disease patients, that correlate with TDP-43 pathology burden, but not with amyloid-β or tau deposits. We also demonstrate that processing of the STMN2 pre-mRNA is more sensitive to TDP-43 loss of function than UNC13A. In addition, full-length RNAs encoding STMN2 and UNC13A are suppressed in large RNA-seq datasets generated from Alzheimers disease post-mortem brain tissue. Collectively, these results open exciting new avenues to use STMN2 and UNC13A as potential therapeutic targets in a broad range of neurodegenerative conditions with TDP-43 proteinopathy including Alzheimers disease.

Mechanisms for U2AF to define 3′ splice sites and regulate alternative splicing in the human genome

The U2AF heterodimer has been well studied for its role in defining functional 3' splice sites in pre-mRNA splicing, but many fundamental questions still remain unaddressed regarding the function of U2AF in mammalian genomes. Through genome-wide analysis of U2AF-RNA interactions, we report that U2AF has the capacity to directly define ~88% of functional 3' splice sites in the human genome, but numerous U2AF binding events also occur in intronic locations. Mechanistic dissection reveals that upstream intronic binding events interfere with the immediate downstream 3' splice site associated either with the alternative exon, to cause exon skipping, or with the competing constitutive exon, to induce exon inclusion. We further demonstrate partial functional impairment with leukemia-associated mutations in U2AF35, but not U2AF65, in regulated splicing. These findings reveal the genomic function and regulatory mechanism of U2AF in both normal and disease states.

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Department of Dermatology - Open Access Policy Deposits (252)

Dermal white adipose tissue: a new component of the thermogenic response

Recent literature suggests that the layer of adipocytes embedded in the skin below the dermis is far from being an inert spacer material. Instead, this layer of dermal white adipose tissue (dWAT) is a regulated lipid layer that comprises a crucial environmental defense. Among all the classes of biological molecules, lipids have the lowest thermal conductance and highest insulation potential. This property can be exploited by mammals to reduce heat loss, suppress brown adipose tissue activation, reduce the activation of thermogenic programs, and increase metabolic efficiency. Furthermore, this layer responds to bacterial challenge to provide a physical barrier and antimicrobial disinfection, and its expansion supports the growth of hair follicles and regenerating skin. In sum, this dWAT layer is a key defensive player with remarkable potential for modifying systemic metabolism, immune function, and physiology. In this review, we discuss the key literature illustrating the properties of this recently recognized adipose depot.

Isotretinoin and Timing of Procedural Interventions: A Systematic Review With Consensus Recommendations

Importance

The notion that systemic isotretinoin taken within 6 to 12 months of cutaneous surgery contributes to abnormal scarring or delayed wound healing is widely taught and practiced; however, it is based on 3 small case series from the mid-1980s.

Objective

To evaluate the body of literature to provide evidence-based recommendations regarding the safety of procedural interventions performed either concurrently with, or immediately following the cessation of systemic isotretinoin therapy.

Evidence review

A panel of national experts in pediatric dermatology, procedural/cosmetic dermatology, plastic surgery, scars, wound healing, acne, and isotretinoin was convened. A systematic PubMed review of English-language articles published from 1982 to 2017 was performed using the following search terms: isotretinoin, 13-cis-retinoic acid, Accutane, retinoids, acitretin, surgery, surgical, laser, ablative laser, nonablative laser, laser hair removal, chemical peel, dermabrasion, wound healing, safety, scarring, hypertrophic scar, and keloid. Evidence was graded, and expert consensus was obtained.

Findings

Thirty-two relevant publications reported 1485 procedures. There was insufficient evidence to support delaying manual dermabrasion, superficial chemical peels, cutaneous surgery, laser hair removal, and fractional ablative and nonablative laser procedures for patients currently receiving or having recently completed isotretinoin therapy. Based on the available literature, mechanical dermabrasion and fully ablative laser are not recommended in the setting of systemic isotretinoin treatment.

Conclusions and relevance

Physicians and patients may have an evidence-based discussion regarding the known risk of cutaneous surgical procedures in the setting of systemic isotretinoin therapy. For some patients and some conditions, an informed decision may lead to earlier and potentially more effective interventions.

A Precision Microbiome Approach Using Sucrose for Selective Augmentation of Staphylococcus epidermidis Fermentation against Propionibacterium acnes

Acne dysbiosis happens when there is a microbial imbalance of the over-growth of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) in the acne microbiome. In our previous study, we demonstrated that Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis, a probiotic skin bacterium) can exploit glycerol fermentation to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which have antimicrobial activities to suppress the growth of P. acnes. Unlike glycerol, sucrose is chosen here as a selective fermentation initiator (SFI) that can specifically intensify the fermentation activity of S. epidermidis, but not P. acnes. A co-culture of P. acnes and fermenting S. epidermidis in the presence of sucrose significantly led to a reduction in the growth of P. acnes. The reduction was abolished when P. acnes was co-cultured with non-fermenting S. epidermidis. Results from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis revealed four SCFAs (acetic acid, butyric acid, lactic acid, and succinic acid) were detectable in the media of S. epidermidis sucrose fermentation. To validate the interference of S. epidermidis sucrose fermentation with P. acnes, mouse ears were injected with both P. acnes and S. epidermidis plus sucrose or phosphate buffered saline (PBS). The level of macrophage-inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2) and the number of P. acnes in ears injected with two bacteria plus sucrose were considerably lower than those in ears injected with two bacteria plus PBS. Our results demonstrate a precision microbiome approach by using sucrose as a SFI for S. epidermidis, holding future potential as a novel modality to equilibrate dysbiotic acne.

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Department of Emergency Medicine - Open Access Policy Deposits (162)

A Review of Bicarbonate Use in Common Clinical Scenarios

Background

The use of sodium bicarbonate to treat metabolic acidosis is intuitive, yet data suggest that not all patients benefit from this therapy.

Objective

In this narrative review, we describe the physiology behind commonly encountered nontoxicologic causes of metabolic acidosis, highlight potential harm from the indiscriminate administration of sodium bicarbonate in certain scenarios, and provide evidence-based recommendations to assist emergency physicians in the rational use of sodium bicarbonate.

Discussion

Sodium bicarbonate can be administered as a hypertonic push, as a resuscitation fluid, or as an infusion. Lactic acidosis and cardiac arrest are two common scenarios where there is limited benefit to routine use of sodium bicarbonate, although certain circumstances, such as patients with concomitant acute kidney injury and lactic acidosis may benefit from sodium bicarbonate. Patients with cardiac arrest secondary to sodium channel blockade or hyperkalemia also benefit from sodium bicarbonate therapy. Recent data suggest that the use of sodium bicarbonate in diabetic ketoacidosis does not confer improved patient outcomes and may cause harm in pediatric patients. Available evidence suggests that alkalinization of urine in rhabdomyolysis does not improve patient-centered outcomes. Finally, patients with a nongap acidosis benefit from sodium bicarbonate supplementation.

Conclusions

Empiric use of sodium bicarbonate in patients with nontoxicologic causes of metabolic acidosis is not warranted and likely does not improve patient-centered outcomes, except in select scenarios. Emergency physicians should reserve use of this medication to conditions with clear benefit to patients.

Observation unit use among patients with cancer following emergency department visits: Results of a multicenter prospective cohort from CONCERN.

PURPOSE: Emergency department (ED) visits by patients with cancer frequently end in hospitalization. As concerns about ED and hospital crowding increase, observation unit care may be an important strategy to deliver safe and efficient treatment for eligible patients. In this investigation, we compared the prevalence and clinical characteristics of cancer patients who received observation unit care with those who were admitted to the hospital from the ED. METHODS: We performed a multicenter prospective cohort study of patients with cancer presenting to an ED affiliated with one of 18 hospitals of the Comprehensive Oncologic Emergency Research Network (CONCERN) between March 1, 2016 and January 30, 2017. We compared patient characteristics with the prevalence of observation unit care usage, hospital admission, and length of stay. RESULTS: Of 1051 enrolled patients, 596 (56.7%) were admitted as inpatients, and 72 (6.9%) were placed in an observation unit. For patients admitted as inpatients, 23.7% had a length of stay ≤2 days. The conversion rate from observation to inpatient was 17.1% (95% CI 14.6-19.4) among those receiving care in an observation unit. The average observation unit length of stay was 14.7 h. Patient factors associated ED disposition to observation unit care were female gender and low Charlson Comorbidity Index. CONCLUSION: In this multicenter prospective cohort study, the discrepancy between observation unit care use and short inpatient hospitalization may represent underutilization of this resource and a target for process change.

The Optimal Timing of Step 1 in Medical Education Following the Transition to Pass/Fail: A Unique Perspective from Post-clerkship Step 1 Schools

The National Board of Medical Examiners' decision to change Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) from a three-digit score to Pass/Fail (P/F) represents a disruptive change for students, faculty, and leaders in the academic community. In the context of this change, some schools may re-consider the optimal timing of Step 1 as they strive to align their assessment practices with sound educational principles. Currently, over 20 schools administer USMLE Step 1 after the core clerkships. In this commentary, we review the educational rationale for a post-clerkship Step 1, highlighting how adult learning theories support this placement. We discuss some short-term challenges post-clerkship Step 1 schools may encounter due to the proposed timing of the change in scoring, which creates three unique scenarios for learners that can introduce inequity in the system and provoke anxiety. We review outcomes of potentially heightened importance when Step 1 is P/F, including lower clinical subject exam scores in some clerkships, lower failure rates on Step 1 and stable Step 2 Clinical Knowledge scores with implications for the residency match. We outline the future potential for performance-based time-variable Step 1 study periods that are facilitated by post-clerkship placement of the exam. Finally, we discuss opportunities to achieve the goal of enhancing student well-being, which was a major rationale for eliminating the three-digit score.

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Department of Medicine - Open Access Policy Deposits (6731)

DATS, the data tag suite to enable discoverability of datasets.

Today's science increasingly requires effective ways to find and access existing datasets that are distributed across a range of repositories. For researchers in the life sciences, discoverability of datasets may soon become as essential as identifying the latest publications via PubMed. Through an international collaborative effort funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)'s Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, we have designed and implemented the DAta Tag Suite (DATS) model to support the DataMed data discovery index. DataMed's goal is to be for data what PubMed has been for the scientific literature. Akin to the Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) used in PubMed, the DATS model enables submission of metadata on datasets to DataMed. DATS has a core set of elements, which are generic and applicable to any type of dataset, and an extended set that can accommodate more specialized data types. DATS is a platform-independent model also available as an annotated serialization in schema.org, which in turn is widely used by major search engines like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex.

Effect of Rectal Hygiene on Sexually Transmitted Infections Among HIV-Negative Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)

Abstract: Background: Rectal gonorrhea (NG) and chlamydia (Connecticut) infections are common among men who have sex with men (MSM). Rectal douching/enema (RDE) is a common practice among MSM that can affect the rectal microbiome. It is unclear if this practice is associated with acquiring rectal infections (RI) with either NG or CT. Methods: From 2013–2015, 398 adult HIV-negative MSM and transwomen were enrolled in a randomized controlled study on text messaging for adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Participants were surveyed on sexual behavior, frequency of RDE, drug use, and nutritional habits in conjunction with routine sexually transmitted infection testing. Pearson’s χ 2 and two sample t-tests were used to measure significance of RDE and other risk factors with RI. Multivariable logistic regression model was used to control for confounding and assess the association of RDE with RIs. Confounders (i.e., age, number anal receptive sex, number sex partners) were selected a priori for inclusion in the final model based on a causal model and statistical significance. Results: Of 397 participants, 262 (67%) performed RDE and 132 (33%) had at least one NG or CT rectal infection over 48 weeks. Number of condomless anal receptive sex acts (mean = 19, P < 0.001), condom use for anal receptive sex (P = 0.017), number of male sex partners in past 3 months (mean = 14, P = 0.001), and the use of poppers (P < 0.001) were associated with RI. There was no significant association between nutritional habits, probiotic foods or supplements and RI, with the exception of energy bars (P = 0.029). Controlling for confounders, RI was associated with RDE less than weekly with OR = 1.02 (95% CI 0.52–1.99) while RDE weekly or more had OR = 2.08 (95% CI 1.03–4.17). Stratified by number of partners, MSMs with more than the median (>6) number of partners had OR = 4.96 (95% CI 1.29–19.03) if performing RDE less than weekly, and OR = 6.03 (95% CI 1.55–23.49) if weekly or more. Conclusion: Rectal hygiene with douching/enemas is a common practice among MSMs on PrEP, which increases the odds of acquiring rectal NG and/or CT. This finding is suggestive for the use of rectal hygiene products/practices as potential targets for sexually transmitted infection prevention. Disclosures: All authors: No reported disclosures.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus transmission by HIV Risk Group and Along the HIV Care Continuum: A Contrast of 6 US Cities.

Background

Understanding the sources of HIV transmission provides a basis for prioritizing HIV prevention resources in specific geographic regions and populations. This study estimated the number, proportion, and rate of HIV transmissions attributable to individuals along the HIV care continuum within different HIV transmission risk groups in 6 US cities.

Methods

We used a dynamic, compartmental HIV transmission model that draws on racial behavior-specific or ethnic behavior-specific and risk behavior-specific linkage to HIV care and use of HIV prevention services from local, state, and national surveillance sources. We estimated the rate and number of HIV transmissions attributable to individuals in the stage of acute undiagnosed HIV, nonacute undiagnosed HIV, HIV diagnosed but antiretroviral therapy (ART) naïve, off ART, and on ART, stratified by HIV transmission group for the 2019 calendar year.

Results

Individuals with undiagnosed nonacute HIV infection accounted for the highest proportion of total transmissions in every city, ranging from 36.8% (26.7%-44.9%) in New York City to 64.9% (47.0%-71.6%) in Baltimore. Individuals who had discontinued ART contributed to the second highest percentage of total infections in 4 of 6 cities. Individuals with acute HIV had the highest transmission rate per 100 person-years, ranging from 76.4 (58.9-135.9) in Miami to 160.2 (85.7-302.8) in Baltimore.

Conclusion

These findings underline the importance of both early diagnosis and improved ART retention for ending the HIV epidemic in the United States. Differences in the sources of transmission across cities indicate that localized priority setting to effectively address diverse microepidemics at different stages of epidemic control is necessary.

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Department of Neurosciences - Open Access Policy Deposits (2157)

DATS, the data tag suite to enable discoverability of datasets.

Today's science increasingly requires effective ways to find and access existing datasets that are distributed across a range of repositories. For researchers in the life sciences, discoverability of datasets may soon become as essential as identifying the latest publications via PubMed. Through an international collaborative effort funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)'s Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, we have designed and implemented the DAta Tag Suite (DATS) model to support the DataMed data discovery index. DataMed's goal is to be for data what PubMed has been for the scientific literature. Akin to the Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) used in PubMed, the DATS model enables submission of metadata on datasets to DataMed. DATS has a core set of elements, which are generic and applicable to any type of dataset, and an extended set that can accommodate more specialized data types. DATS is a platform-independent model also available as an annotated serialization in schema.org, which in turn is widely used by major search engines like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex.

Wolfram Syndrome protein, Miner1, regulates sulphydryl redox status, the unfolded protein response, and Ca2+ homeostasis

Miner1 is a redox-active 2Fe2S cluster protein. Mutations in Miner1 result in Wolfram Syndrome, a metabolic disease associated with diabetes, blindness, deafness, and a shortened lifespan. Embryonic fibroblasts from Miner1(-/-) mice displayed ER stress and showed hallmarks of the unfolded protein response. In addition, loss of Miner1 caused a depletion of ER Ca(2+) stores, a dramatic increase in mitochondrial Ca(2+) load, increased reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, an increase in the GSSG/GSH and NAD(+)/NADH ratios, and an increase in the ADP/ATP ratio consistent with enhanced ATP utilization. Furthermore, mitochondria in fibroblasts lacking Miner1 displayed ultrastructural alterations, such as increased cristae density and punctate morphology, and an increase in O2 consumption. Treatment with the sulphydryl anti-oxidant N-acetylcysteine reversed the abnormalities in the Miner1 deficient cells, suggesting that sulphydryl reducing agents should be explored as a treatment for this rare genetic disease.

Cognitive and Neuronal Link With Inflammation: A Longitudinal Study in People With and Without HIV Infection.

Background

Across many settings, lack of virologic control remains common in people with HIV (PWH) because of late presentation and lack of retention in care. This contributes to neuronal damage and neurocognitive impairment, which remains prevalent. More evidence is needed to understand these outcomes in both PWH and people without HIV (PWOH).

Methods

We recruited PWH initiating antiretroviral therapy and PWOH at 2 sites in the United States. One hundred eight adults were enrolled (56 PWOH and 52 PWH), most of whom had a second assessment at least 24 weeks later (193 total assessments). Tumor necrosis factor alpha, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), neopterin, soluble CD14, and neurofilament light chain protein (NFL) were measured in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Using multivariate models including Bayesian model averaging, we analyzed factors associated with global neuropsychological performance (NPT-9) and CSF NFL at baseline and over time.

Results

At baseline, higher CSF MCP-1 and plasma sCD14 were associated with worse NPT-9 in PWH, while CSF HIV RNA decrease was the only marker associated with improved NPT-9 over time. Among PWH, higher CSF neopterin was most closely associated with higher NFL. Among PWOH, higher CSF MCP-1 was most closely associated with higher NFL. After antiretroviral therapy initiation, decrease in CSF MCP-1 was most closely associated with NFL decrease.

Conclusion

Monocyte-associated CSF biomarkers are highly associated with neuronal damage in both PWH and PWOH. More research is needed to evaluate whether therapies targeting monocyte-associated inflammation may ameliorate HIV-associated neurobehavioral diseases.

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Department of OB/GYN & Reproductive Sciences - Open Access Policy Deposits (527)

Concise Review: Embryonic Stem Cells Derived by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer: A Horse in the Race?

Embryonic stem cells (ESC) hold promise for the treatment of human medical conditions but are allogeneic. Here, we consider the differences between autologous pluripotent stem cells produced by nuclear transfer (NT-ESCs) and transcription factor-mediated, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that impact the desirability of each of these cell types for clinical use. The derivation of NT-ESCs is more cumbersome and requires donor oocytes; however, the use of oocyte cytoplasm as the source of reprogramming factors is linked to a key advantage of NT-ESCs-the ability to replace mutant mitochondrial DNA in a patient cell (due to either age or inherited disease) with healthy donor mitochondria from an oocyte. Moreover, in epigenomic and transcriptomic comparisons between isogenic iPSCs and NT-ESCs, the latter produced cells that more closely resemble bona fide ESCs derived from fertilized embryos. Thus, although NT-ESCs are more difficult to generate than iPSCs, the ability of somatic cell nuclear transfer to replace aged or diseased mitochondria and the closer epigenomic and transcriptomic similarity between NT-ESCs and bona fide ESCs may make NT-ESCs superior for future applications in regenerative medicine. Stem Cells 2017;35:26-34.

Cord Blood Adductomics Reveals Oxidative Stress Exposure Pathways of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

Fetal and neonatal exposures to perinatal oxidative stress (OS) are key mediators of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). To characterize these exposures, adductomics is an exposure science approach that captures electrophilic addition products (adducts) in blood protein. Adducts are bound to the nucleophilic cysteine loci of human serum albumin (HSA), which has a prolonged half-life. We conducted targeted and untargeted adductomics to test the hypothesis that adducts of OS vary with BPD. We studied 205 preterm infants (≤28 weeks) and 51 full-term infants from an ongoing birth cohort. Infant plasma was collected at birth (cord blood), 1-week, 1-month, and 36-weeks postmenstrual age. HSA was isolated from plasma, trypsin digested, and analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to quantify previously annotated (known) and unknown adducts. We identified 105 adducts in cord and postnatal blood. A total of 51 known adducts (small thiols, direct oxidation products, and reactive aldehydes) were increased with BPD. Postnatally, serial concentrations of several known OS adducts correlated directly with supplemental oxygen exposure. The application of large-scale adductomics elucidated OS-mediated pathways of BPD. This is the first study to investigate the "neonatal-perinatal exposome" and to identify oxidative stress-related exposure biomarkers that may inform antioxidant strategies to protect the health of future generations of infants.

The female continence mechanism measured by high resolution manometry: Urethral bulking versus midurethral sling

AIMS:Traditional technology to characterize urethral pressure changes during dynamic conditions is limited by slow response times or artifact-inducing withdrawal maneuvers. The 8F high-resolution manometry (HRM) catheter (ManoScan™ ESO, Covidien) has advantages of fast response times and the ability to measure urethral pressures along the urethral length without withdrawal. Our objective was to determine static and dynamic maximum urethral closure pressures (MUCPs) and resting functional urethral length (FUL) in women using HRM before and after transurethral bulking and compare results to other women who underwent midurethral sling (MUS). METHODS:We recorded rest, cough, and strain MUCPs and FUL in 24 women before and after transurethral bulking with polydimethylsiloxane (Macroplastique®) using the HRM catheter and compared these changes to HRM values from 26 women who had the same measures before and after MUS. RESULTS:At rest, MUCPs increased minimally after both urethral bulking and MUS (3 vs 0.4 cm H2 O respectively, P = 0.4). Under dynamic conditions there were statistically insignificant small increases in MUCP and these increases were markedly less than after MUS (cough: 1.5 vs 63.8 cm H2 O, P < 0.001 and strain: 11.5 vs 57.7 cm H2 O, P < 0.001). FUL increased by 0.5 cm after transurethral bulking (P = 0.003), and decreased by 0.25 cm after MUS placement (P = 0.012). CONCLUSIONS:The mechanism of continence after urethral bulking differs from MUS. While MUS increases dynamic MUCP, bulking may rely on increasing the length of the continence zone.

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Department of Ophthalmology - Open Access Policy Deposits (618)

Identification of a Novel Mutation in the CDHR1 Gene in a Family With Recessive Retinal Degeneration

Objectives

To describe the clinical phenotype and identify the molecular basis of disease in a consanguineous family of Palestinian origin with autosomal recessive retinal degeneration.

Methods

Eight family members were evaluated with visual acuity and perimetry tests, color fundus photographs, full-field electroretinography, and optical coherence tomography. Cone photoreceptors surrounding the fovea were imaged in 2 members, using adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. Exome was captured using probes and sequenced. Readings were mapped to reference hg19. Variant calls and annotations were performed, using published protocols. Confirmation of variants and segregation analysis was performed using dideoxy sequencing.

Results

Analysis detected 24 037 single-nucleotide variants in one affected family member, of which 3622 were rare and potentially damaging to encoded proteins. Further analysis revealed a novel homozygous nonsense change, c.1381 C>T, p.Gln461X in exon 13 of the CDHR1 gene, which segregated with retinal degeneration in this family. Affected members had night blindness beginning during adolescence with progressive visual acuity and field loss and unmeasurable electroretinographic responses, as well as macular outer retinal loss, although residual cones with increased cone spacing were observed in the youngest individual.

Conclusions

Exome analysis revealed a novel CDHR1 nonsense mutation segregating with progressive retinal degeneration causing severe central vision loss by the fourth decade of life. High-resolution retinal imaging revealed outer retinal changes suggesting that CDHR1 is important for normal photoreceptor structure and survival.

Clinical relevance

Exome sequencing is a powerful technique that may identify causative genetic variants in families with autosomal recessive retinal degeneration.

Frequency Doubling Technology Perimetry and Changes in Quality of Life of Glaucoma Patients: A Longitudinal Study

Purpose

To evaluate the relationship between rates of change on frequency doubling technology (FDT) perimetry and longitudinal changes in quality of life (QoL) of glaucoma patients.

Design

Prospective observational cohort study.

Methods

One hundred fifty-two subjects (127 glaucoma and 25 healthy) were followed for an average of 3.2 ± 1.1 years. All subjects were evaluated with National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25), FDT, and standard automated perimetry (SAP). Glaucoma patients had a median of 3 NEI VFQ-25, 8 FDT, and 8 SAP tests during follow-up. Mean sensitivities of the integrated binocular visual fields were estimated for FDT and SAP and used to calculate rates of change. A joint longitudinal multivariable mixed model was used to investigate the association between change in binocular mean sensitivities and change in NEI VFQ-25 Rasch-calibrated scores.

Results

There was a statistically significant correlation between change in binocular mean sensitivity for FDT and change in NEI VFQ-25 scores during follow-up in the glaucoma group. In multivariable analysis with the confounding factors, each 1 dB/year change in binocular FDT mean sensitivity corresponded to a change of 0.8 units per year in the NEI VFQ-25 scores (P = .001). For binocular SAP mean sensitivity, each 1 dB/year change was associated with 2.4 units per year change in NEI VFQ-25 scores (P < .001). The multivariable model containing baseline and rate of change information from SAP had stronger ability to predict change in NEI VFQ-25 scores compared to the equivalent model for FDT (R(2) of 50% and 30%, respectively; P = .001).

Conclusion

SAP performed significantly better than FDT in predicting change in NEI VFQ-25 scores in our population, suggesting that it may still be the preferable perimetric technique for predicting risk of disability from the disease.

HIGH-DOSE HIGH-FREQUENCY AFLIBERCEPT FOR RECALCITRANT NEOVASCULAR AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION

Purpose

To determine the efficacy of monthly (0.1 mL/4 mg) aflibercept for refractory neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet age-related macular degeneration).

Methods

This was a retrospective interventional case series in which patients with wet age-related macular degeneration were treated with stepwise dose escalation. Nonvitrectomized patients resistant to monthly (Q4W) ranibizumab/bevacizumab were switched to 2 mg aflibercept every 8 weeks. With resistance, they were escalated to Q4W 2 mg aflibercept, then Q4W 4 mg (high dose high frequency, 4Q4W) aflibercept. Resistance was defined as ≥2 recurrences after being dry following ≥3 injections or persistent exudation on treatment of ≥5 injections.

Results

Thirty-three eyes of 28 patients were treated with 4Q4W aflibercept and followed for a mean of 16 months. A dry retina (no intraretinal or subretinal fluid) was achieved after initiating 4Q4W aflibercept treatment at a mean of 3.8 months. Central foveal thickness, maximum foveal thickness, intraretinal fluid, subretinal fluid, and retinal pigment detachment height decreased significantly at 1 month after initiating the 4Q4W aflibercept, and the morphologic therapeutic effect was sustained until the last visit. Forty-five percent of eyes had one or more lines of vision improvement. New geographic atrophy developed in 9% of eyes during follow-up. No ocular or systemic adverse events occurred after initiating 4Q4W aflibercept.

Conclusion

Intravitreal high-dose high-frequency aflibercept is an effective treatment for patients with refractory wet age-related macular degeneration.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery - Open Access Policy Deposits (246)

Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC): Mapping the Dynamic Responses to Exercise

Exercise provides a robust physiological stimulus that evokes cross-talk among multiple tissues that when repeated regularly (i.e., training) improves physiological capacity, benefits numerous organ systems, and decreases the risk for premature mortality. However, a gap remains in identifying the detailed molecular signals induced by exercise that benefits health and prevents disease. The Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) was established to address this gap and generate a molecular map of exercise. Preclinical and clinical studies will examine the systemic effects of endurance and resistance exercise across a range of ages and fitness levels by molecular probing of multiple tissues before and after acute and chronic exercise. From this multi-omic and bioinformatic analysis, a molecular map of exercise will be established. Altogether, MoTrPAC will provide a public database that is expected to enhance our understanding of the health benefits of exercise and to provide insight into how physical activity mitigates disease.

Novel magnetic resonance technique for characterizing mesoscale structure of trabecular bone

Osteoporosis, characterized by increased fracture risk and bone fragility, impacts millions of adults worldwide, but effective, non-invasive and easily accessible diagnostic tests of the disease remain elusive. We present a magnetic resonance (MR) technique that overcomes the motion limitations of traditional MR imaging to acquire high-resolution frequency-domain data to characterize the texture of biological tissues. This technique does not involve obtaining full two-dimensional or three-dimensional images, but can probe scales down to the order of 40 μm and in particular uncover structural information in trabecular bone. Using micro-computed tomography data of vertebral trabecular bone, we computationally validate this MR technique by simulating MR measurements of a 'ratio metric' determined from a few k-space values corresponding to trabecular thickness and spacing. We train a support vector machine classifier on ratio metric values determined from healthy and simulated osteoporotic bone data, which we use to accurately classify osteoporotic bone.

Heterogeneous muscle gene expression patterns in patients with massive rotator cuff tears.

Detrimental changes in the composition and function of rotator cuff (RC) muscles are hallmarks of RC disease progression. Previous studies have demonstrated both atrophic and degenerative muscle loss in advanced RC disease. However, the relationship between gene expression and RC muscle pathology remains poorly defined, in large part due to a lack of studies correlating gene expression to tissue composition. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine how tissue composition relates to gene expression in muscle biopsies from patients undergoing reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA). Gene expression related to myogenesis, atrophy and cell death, adipogenesis and metabolism, inflammation, and fibrosis was measured in 40 RC muscle biopsies, including 31 biopsies from reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) cases that had available histology data and 9 control biopsies from patients with intact RC tendons. After normalization to reference genes, linear regression was used to identify relationships between gene expression and tissue composition. Hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis (PCA) identified unique clusters, and fold-change analysis was used to determine significant differences in expression between clusters. We found that gene expression profiles were largely dependent on muscle presence, with muscle fraction being the only histological parameter that was significantly correlated to gene expression by linear regression. Similarly, samples with histologically-confirmed muscle distinctly segregated from samples without muscle. However, two sub-groups within the muscle-containing RSA biopsies suggest distinct phases of disease, with one group expressing markers of both atrophy and regeneration, and another group not significantly different from either control biopsies or biopsies lacking muscle. In conclusion, this study provides context for the interpretation of gene expression in heterogeneous and degenerating muscle, and provides further evidence for distinct stages of RC disease in humans.

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Department of Pathology - Open Access Policy Deposits (1200)

HIV-1 drug resistance before initiation or re-initiation of first-line ART in eight regions of Mexico: a sub-nationally representative survey

Background

HIV pretreatment drug resistance (PDR) to NNRTIs in persons initiating ART is increasing in Mexico.

Objectives

To compare HIV PDR in eight sub-regions of Mexico.

Patients and methods

A large PDR survey was implemented in Mexico (September 2017-March 2018) across eight sub-regions. All larger clinics (which provide ART to 90% of all initiators) were included, allocating sample size using the probability-proportional-to-size method. Both antiretroviral-naive and prior antiretroviral-exposed persons were included. HIV PDR levels were estimated from pol Sanger sequences obtained at a WHO-designated laboratory.

Results

A total of 2006 participants were enrolled from 74 clinics. PDR to NNRTIs was higher than to other drug classes (P < 0.0001), crossing the 10% threshold in the North-East, East, South-West and South-East. NNRTI PDR was higher in the South-West (P = 0.02), coinciding with the highest proportion of restarters in this sub-region (14%). We observed higher PDR prevalence to any drug in women compared with men (16.5% versus 12.2%, P = 0.04). After multivariable adjustment, higher NNRTI PDR remained significantly associated with previous antiretroviral exposure in the Centre-North, North-West, South-West and South-East [adjusted OR (aOR): 21, 5, 8 and 25, respectively; P < 0.05]. Genetic network analyses showed high assortativity by sub-region (P < 0.0001), with evidence of drug resistance mutation transmission within local clusters.

Conclusions

Diversification of the public health response to HIV drug resistance based on sub-regional characteristics could be considered in Mexico. Higher NNRTI PDR levels were associated with poorer regions, suggesting opportunities to strengthen local HIV programmes. Price and licensing negotiations of drug regimens containing integrase inhibitors are warranted.

Mechanisms for U2AF to define 3′ splice sites and regulate alternative splicing in the human genome

The U2AF heterodimer has been well studied for its role in defining functional 3' splice sites in pre-mRNA splicing, but many fundamental questions still remain unaddressed regarding the function of U2AF in mammalian genomes. Through genome-wide analysis of U2AF-RNA interactions, we report that U2AF has the capacity to directly define ~88% of functional 3' splice sites in the human genome, but numerous U2AF binding events also occur in intronic locations. Mechanistic dissection reveals that upstream intronic binding events interfere with the immediate downstream 3' splice site associated either with the alternative exon, to cause exon skipping, or with the competing constitutive exon, to induce exon inclusion. We further demonstrate partial functional impairment with leukemia-associated mutations in U2AF35, but not U2AF65, in regulated splicing. These findings reveal the genomic function and regulatory mechanism of U2AF in both normal and disease states.

Neutralizing Antibody Responses After Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 Infection Do Not Neutralize BA.4 and BA.5 and Can Be Blunted by Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir Treatment

The factors contributing to the rapid emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants in populations that experienced recent surges of BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 infections are not understood. Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) are likely to protect against severe disease if present in sufficient quantity. We found that after BA.2 or BA.2.12.1 infection, NAb responses were largely cross-neutralizing but were much less effective against BA.5. In addition, individuals who were infected and treated early with nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) had lower NAb levels than untreated individuals.

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Department of Pediatrics - Open Access Policy Deposits (2778)

Siglec-14 Enhances NLRP3-Inflammasome Activation in Macrophages

Pathogenic microorganisms are sensed by the inflammasome, resulting in the release of the pro-immune and proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β). In humans, the paired sialic acid-binding Ig-like lectin receptors Siglec-5 (inhibitory) and Siglec-14 (activating) have been shown to have reciprocal roles in regulating macrophage immune responses, but their interaction with IL-1β signaling and the inflammasome has not been characterized. Here we show that in response to known inflammasome activators (ATP, nigericin) or the sialic acid-expressing human bacterial pathogen group B Streptococcus (GBS), the presence of Siglec-14 enhances, whereas Siglec-5 reduces, inflammasome activation and macrophage IL-1β release. Human THP-1 macrophages stably transfected with Siglec-14 exhibited increased caspase-1 activation, IL-1β release and pyroptosis after GBS infection, in a manner blocked by a specific inhibitor of nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich repeat protein 3 (NLRP3), a protein involved in inflammasome assembly. Another leading pathogen, Streptococcus pneumoniae, lacks sialic acid but rather prominently expresses a sialidase, which cleaves sialic acid from macrophages, eliminating cis- interactions with the lectin receptor, thus attenuating Siglec-14 induced IL-1β secretion. Vimentin, a cytoskeletal protein released during macrophage inflammatory activation is known to induce the inflammasome. We found that vimentin has increased interaction with Siglec-14 compared to Siglec-5, and this interaction heightened IL-1β production by Siglec-14-expressing cells. Siglec-14 is absent from some humans because of a SIGLEC5/14 fusion polymorphism, and we found increased IL-1β expression in primary macrophages from SIGLEC14+/+ individuals compared to those with the SIGLEC14-/+ and SIGLEC14-/- genotypes. Collectively, our results identify a new immunoregulatory role of Siglec-14 as a positive regulator of NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

Location-specific signatures of Crohn’s disease at a multi-omics scale

Background

Crohn's disease (CD), an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) subtype, results from pathologic interactions between host cells and its resident gut microbes. CD manifests in both isolated disease locations (ileum or colon) or a combination of locations (ileocolonic). To date, a comprehensive understanding of how isolated CD subtypes influence molecular profiles remains outstanding. To address this, we sought to define CD location signatures by leveraging a large cross-sectional feature set captured from the stool of over 200 IBD patients and healthy controls using metaproteomics, shotgun metagenomics, 16S rRNA sequencing, metabolomic profiling, and host genetics paired with clinical endoscopic assessments.

Results

Neither metagenomic nor host genetics alone distinguished CD location subtypes. In contrast, ileal and colonic CD were distinguished using mass spectrometry-based methods (metabolomics or metaproteomics) or a combined multi-omic feature set. This multi-omic feature set revealed colonic CD was strongly associated with neutrophil-related proteins. Additionally, colonic CD displayed a disease-severity-related association with Bacteroides vulgatus. Colonic CD and ulcerative colitis profiles harbored strikingly similar feature enrichments compared to ileal CD, including neutrophil-related protein enrichments. Compared to colonic CD, ileal CD profiles displayed increased primary and secondary bile acid levels and concomitant shifts in taxa with noted sensitivities such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii or affinities for bile acid-rich environments, including Gammaproteobacteria and Blautia sp. Having shown robust molecular and microbial distinctions tied to CD locations, we leveraged these profiles to generate location-specific disease severity biomarkers that surpass the performance of Calprotectin.

Conclusions

When compared using multi-omics features, colonic- and ileal-isolated CD subtypes display striking differences that suggest separate location-specific pathologies. Colonic CD's strong similarity to ulcerative colitis, including neutrophil and Bacteroides vulgatus involvement, is also evidence of a shared pathology for colonic-isolated IBD subtypes, while ileal CD maintains a unique, bile acid-driven profile. More broadly, this study demonstrates the power of multi-omics approaches for IBD biomarker discovery and elucidating the underlying biology. Video Abstract.

Urocortin 3 Marks Mature Human Primary and Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Pancreatic Alpha and Beta Cells

The peptide hormone Urocortin 3 (Ucn 3) is abundantly and exclusively expressed in mouse pancreatic beta cells where it regulates insulin secretion. Here we demonstrate that Ucn 3 first appears at embryonic day (E) 17.5 and, from approximately postnatal day (p) 7 and onwards throughout adult life, becomes a unifying and exclusive feature of mouse beta cells. These observations identify Ucn 3 as a potential beta cell maturation marker. To determine whether Ucn 3 is similarly restricted to beta cells in humans, we conducted comprehensive immunohistochemistry and gene expression experiments on macaque and human pancreas and sorted primary human islet cells. This revealed that Ucn 3 is not restricted to the beta cell lineage in primates, but is also expressed in alpha cells. To substantiate these findings, we analyzed human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived pancreatic endoderm that differentiates into mature endocrine cells upon engraftment in mice. Ucn 3 expression in hESC-derived grafts increased robustly upon differentiation into mature endocrine cells and localized to both alpha and beta cells. Collectively, these observations confirm that Ucn 3 is expressed in adult beta cells in both mouse and human and appears late in beta cell differentiation. Expression of Pdx1, Nkx6.1 and PC1/3 in hESC-derived Ucn 3(+) beta cells supports this. However, the expression of Ucn 3 in primary and hESC-derived alpha cells demonstrates that human Ucn 3 is not exclusive to the beta cell lineage but is a general marker for both the alpha and beta cell lineages. Ucn 3(+) hESC-derived alpha cells do not express Nkx6.1, Pdx1 or PC1/3 in agreement with the presence of a separate population of Ucn 3(+) alpha cells. Our study highlights important species differences in Ucn 3 expression, which have implications for its utility as a marker to identify mature beta cells in (re)programming strategies.

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Department of Pharmacology - Open Access Policy Deposits (1267)

Wolfram Syndrome protein, Miner1, regulates sulphydryl redox status, the unfolded protein response, and Ca2+ homeostasis

Miner1 is a redox-active 2Fe2S cluster protein. Mutations in Miner1 result in Wolfram Syndrome, a metabolic disease associated with diabetes, blindness, deafness, and a shortened lifespan. Embryonic fibroblasts from Miner1(-/-) mice displayed ER stress and showed hallmarks of the unfolded protein response. In addition, loss of Miner1 caused a depletion of ER Ca(2+) stores, a dramatic increase in mitochondrial Ca(2+) load, increased reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, an increase in the GSSG/GSH and NAD(+)/NADH ratios, and an increase in the ADP/ATP ratio consistent with enhanced ATP utilization. Furthermore, mitochondria in fibroblasts lacking Miner1 displayed ultrastructural alterations, such as increased cristae density and punctate morphology, and an increase in O2 consumption. Treatment with the sulphydryl anti-oxidant N-acetylcysteine reversed the abnormalities in the Miner1 deficient cells, suggesting that sulphydryl reducing agents should be explored as a treatment for this rare genetic disease.

Inhibition of IRF4 in dendritic cells by PRR-independent and -dependent signals inhibit Th2 and promote Th17 responses

Cyclic AMP (cAMP) is involved in many biological processes but little is known regarding its role in shaping immunity. Here we show that cAMP-PKA-CREB signaling (a pattern recognition receptor [PRR]-independent mechanism) regulates conventional type-2 Dendritic Cells (cDC2s) in mice and reprograms their Th17-inducing properties via repression of IRF4 and KLF4, transcription factors essential for cDC2-mediated Th2 induction. In mice, genetic loss of IRF4 phenocopies the effects of cAMP on Th17 induction and restoration of IRF4 prevents the cAMP effect. Moreover, curdlan, a PRR-dependent microbial product, activates CREB and represses IRF4 and KLF4, resulting in a pro-Th17 phenotype of cDC2s. These in vitro and in vivo results define a novel signaling pathway by which cDC2s display plasticity and provide a new molecular basis for the classification of novel cDC2 and cDC17 subsets. The findings also reveal that repressing IRF4 and KLF4 pathway can be harnessed for immuno-regulation.

Integrating comparative modeling and accelerated simulations reveals conformational and energetic basis of actomyosin force generation

Muscle contraction is performed by arrays of contractile proteins in the sarcomere. Serious heart diseases, such as cardiomyopathy, can often be results of mutations in myosin and actin. Direct characterization of how small changes in the myosin-actin complex impact its force production remains challenging. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, although capable of studying protein structure-function relationships, are limited owing to the slow timescale of the myosin cycle as well as a lack of various intermediate structures for the actomyosin complex. Here, employing comparative modeling and enhanced sampling MD simulations, we show how the human cardiac myosin generates force during the mechanochemical cycle. Initial conformational ensembles for different myosin-actin states are learned from multiple structural templates with Rosetta. This enables us to efficiently sample the energy landscape of the system using Gaussian accelerated MD. Key myosin loop residues, whose substitutions are related to cardiomyopathy, are identified to form stable or metastable interactions with the actin surface. We find that the actin-binding cleft closure is allosterically coupled to the myosin motor core transitions and ATP-hydrolysis product release from the active site. Furthermore, a gate between switch I and switch II is suggested to control phosphate release at the prepowerstroke state. Our approach demonstrates the ability to link sequence and structural information to motor functions.

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Department of Psychiatry - Open Access Policy Deposits (3807)

Effect of Rectal Hygiene on Sexually Transmitted Infections Among HIV-Negative Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)

Abstract: Background: Rectal gonorrhea (NG) and chlamydia (Connecticut) infections are common among men who have sex with men (MSM). Rectal douching/enema (RDE) is a common practice among MSM that can affect the rectal microbiome. It is unclear if this practice is associated with acquiring rectal infections (RI) with either NG or CT. Methods: From 2013–2015, 398 adult HIV-negative MSM and transwomen were enrolled in a randomized controlled study on text messaging for adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Participants were surveyed on sexual behavior, frequency of RDE, drug use, and nutritional habits in conjunction with routine sexually transmitted infection testing. Pearson’s χ 2 and two sample t-tests were used to measure significance of RDE and other risk factors with RI. Multivariable logistic regression model was used to control for confounding and assess the association of RDE with RIs. Confounders (i.e., age, number anal receptive sex, number sex partners) were selected a priori for inclusion in the final model based on a causal model and statistical significance. Results: Of 397 participants, 262 (67%) performed RDE and 132 (33%) had at least one NG or CT rectal infection over 48 weeks. Number of condomless anal receptive sex acts (mean = 19, P < 0.001), condom use for anal receptive sex (P = 0.017), number of male sex partners in past 3 months (mean = 14, P = 0.001), and the use of poppers (P < 0.001) were associated with RI. There was no significant association between nutritional habits, probiotic foods or supplements and RI, with the exception of energy bars (P = 0.029). Controlling for confounders, RI was associated with RDE less than weekly with OR = 1.02 (95% CI 0.52–1.99) while RDE weekly or more had OR = 2.08 (95% CI 1.03–4.17). Stratified by number of partners, MSMs with more than the median (>6) number of partners had OR = 4.96 (95% CI 1.29–19.03) if performing RDE less than weekly, and OR = 6.03 (95% CI 1.55–23.49) if weekly or more. Conclusion: Rectal hygiene with douching/enemas is a common practice among MSMs on PrEP, which increases the odds of acquiring rectal NG and/or CT. This finding is suggestive for the use of rectal hygiene products/practices as potential targets for sexually transmitted infection prevention. Disclosures: All authors: No reported disclosures.

Data-Driven vs Consensus Diagnosis of MCI

Background and objectives

Given prior work demonstrating that mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can be empirically differentiated into meaningful cognitive subtypes, we applied actuarial methods to comprehensive neuropsychological data from the University of California San Diego Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) in order to identify cognitive subgroups within ADRC participants without dementia and to examine cognitive, biomarker, and neuropathologic trajectories.

Methods

Cluster analysis was performed on baseline neuropsychological data (n = 738; mean age 71.8). Survival analysis examined progression to dementia (mean follow-up 5.9 years). CSF Alzheimer disease (AD) biomarker status and neuropathologic findings at follow-up were examined in a subset with available data.

Results

Five clusters were identified: optimal cognitively normal (CN; n = 130) with above-average cognition, typical CN (n = 204) with average cognition, nonamnestic MCI (naMCI; n = 104), amnestic MCI (aMCI; n = 216), and mixed MCI (mMCI; n = 84). Progression to dementia differed across MCI subtypes (mMCI > aMCI > naMCI), with the mMCI group demonstrating the highest rate of CSF biomarker positivity and AD pathology at autopsy. Actuarial methods classified 29.5% more of the sample with MCI and outperformed consensus diagnoses in capturing those who had abnormal biomarkers, progressed to dementia, or had AD pathology at autopsy.

Discussion

We identified subtypes of MCI and CN with differing cognitive profiles, clinical outcomes, CSF AD biomarkers, and neuropathologic findings over more than 10 years of follow-up. Results demonstrate that actuarial methods produce reliable cognitive phenotypes, with data from a subset suggesting unique biological and neuropathologic signatures. Findings indicate that data-driven algorithms enhance diagnostic sensitivity relative to consensus diagnosis for identifying older adults at risk for cognitive decline.

Development of a new multidimensional individual and interpersonal resilience measure for older adults†

Objectives

Develop an empirically grounded measure that can be used to assess family and individual resilience in a population of older adults (aged 50-99).

Methods

Cross-sectional, self-report data from 1006 older adults were analyzed in two steps. The total sample was split into two subsamples and the first step identified the underlying latent structure through principal component exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The second step utilized the second half of the sample to validate the derived latent structure through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).

Results

EFA produced an eight-factor structure that appeared clinically relevant for measuring the multidimensional nature of resilience. Factors included self-efficacy, access to social support network, optimism, perceived economic and social resources, spirituality and religiosity, relational accord, emotional expression and communication, and emotional regulation. CFA confirmed the eight-factor structure previously achieved with covariance between each of the factors. Based on these analyses we developed the multidimensional individual and interpersonal resilience measure, a broad assessment of resilience for older adults.

Conclusion

This study highlights the multidimensional nature of resilience and introduces an individual and interpersonal resilience measure developed for older adults which is grounded in the individual and family resilience literature.

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Department of Radiation Medicine & Applied Science - Open Access Policy Deposits (475)

Housing Insecurity Among Patients With Cancer

Social determinants of health are the economic and environmental conditions under which people are born, live, work, and age that affect health. These structural factors underlie many of the long-standing inequities in cancer care and outcomes that vary by geography, socioeconomic status, and race and ethnicity in the United States. Housing insecurity, including lack of safe, affordable, and stable housing, is a key social determinant of health that can influence-and be influenced by-cancer care across the continuum, from prevention to screening, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. During 2021, the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine sponsored a series of webinars addressing social determinants of health, including food, housing, and transportation insecurity, and their associations with cancer care and patient outcomes. This dissemination commentary summarizes the formal presentations and panel discussions from the webinar devoted to housing insecurity. It provides an overview of housing insecurity and health care across the cancer control continuum, describes health system interventions to minimize the impact of housing insecurity on patients with cancer, and identifies challenges and opportunities for addressing housing insecurity and improving health equity. Systematically identifying and addressing housing insecurity to ensure equitable access to cancer care and reduce health disparities will require ongoing investment at the practice, systems, and broader policy levels.

Disruption of the HER3-PI3K-mTOR oncogenic signaling axis and PD-1 blockade as a multimodal precision immunotherapy in head and neck cancer

Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy has revolutionized head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treatment, but <20% of patients achieve durable responses. Persistent activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling circuitry represents a key oncogenic driver in HNSCC; however, the potential immunosuppressive effects of PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors may limit the benefit of their combination with ICB. Here we employ an unbiased kinome-wide siRNA screen to reveal that HER3, is essential for the proliferation of most HNSCC cells that do not harbor PIK3CA mutations. Indeed, we find that persistent tyrosine phosphorylation of HER3 and PI3K recruitment underlies aberrant PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling in PIK3CA wild type HNSCCs. Remarkably, antibody-mediated HER3 blockade exerts a potent anti-tumor effect by suppressing HER3-PI3K-AKT-mTOR oncogenic signaling and concomitantly reversing the immune suppressive tumor microenvironment. Ultimately, we show that HER3 inhibition and PD-1 blockade may provide a multimodal precision immunotherapeutic approach for PIK3CA wild type HNSCC, aimed at achieving durable cancer remission.

Prostate cancer risk stratification improvement across multiple ancestries with new polygenic hazard score

Background

Prostate cancer risk stratification using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) demonstrates considerable promise in men of European, Asian, and African genetic ancestries, but there is still need for increased accuracy. We evaluated whether including additional SNPs in a prostate cancer polygenic hazard score (PHS) would improve associations with clinically significant prostate cancer in multi-ancestry datasets.

Methods

In total, 299 SNPs previously associated with prostate cancer were evaluated for inclusion in a new PHS, using a LASSO-regularized Cox proportional hazards model in a training dataset of 72,181 men from the PRACTICAL Consortium. The PHS model was evaluated in four testing datasets: African ancestry, Asian ancestry, and two of European Ancestry-the Cohort of Swedish Men (COSM) and the ProtecT study. Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated to compare men with high versus low PHS for association with clinically significant, with any, and with fatal prostate cancer. The impact of genetic risk stratification on the positive predictive value (PPV) of PSA testing for clinically significant prostate cancer was also measured.

Results

The final model (PHS290) had 290 SNPs with non-zero coefficients. Comparing, for example, the highest and lowest quintiles of PHS290, the hazard ratios (HRs) for clinically significant prostate cancer were 13.73 [95% CI: 12.43-15.16] in ProtecT, 7.07 [6.58-7.60] in African ancestry, 10.31 [9.58-11.11] in Asian ancestry, and 11.18 [10.34-12.09] in COSM. Similar results were seen for association with any and fatal prostate cancer. Without PHS stratification, the PPV of PSA testing for clinically significant prostate cancer in ProtecT was 0.12 (0.11-0.14). For the top 20% and top 5% of PHS290, the PPV of PSA testing was 0.19 (0.15-0.22) and 0.26 (0.19-0.33), respectively.

Conclusions

We demonstrate better genetic risk stratification for clinically significant prostate cancer than prior versions of PHS in multi-ancestry datasets. This is promising for implementing precision-medicine approaches to prostate cancer screening decisions in diverse populations.

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Department of Radiology - Open Access Policy Deposits (1338)

Imaging for the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma: A systematic review and meta‐analysis

Multiphasic computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are both used for noninvasive diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with cirrhosis. To determine if there is a relative diagnostic benefit of one over the other, we synthesized evidence regarding the relative performance of CT, extracellular contrast-enhanced MRI, and gadoxetate-enhanced MRI for diagnosis of HCC in patients with cirrhosis. We also assessed whether liver biopsy versus follow-up with the same versus alternative imaging is best for CT-indeterminate or MRI-indeterminate liver nodules in patients with cirrhosis. We searched multiple databases from inception to April 27, 2016, for studies comparing CT with extracellular contrast-enhanced MRI or gadoxetate-enhanced MRI in adults with cirrhosis and suspected HCC. Two reviewers independently selected studies and extracted data. Of 33 included studies, 19 were comprehensive, while 14 reported sensitivity only. For all tumor sizes, the 19 comprehensive comparisons showed significantly higher sensitivity (0.82 versus 0.66) and lower negative likelihood ratio (0.20 versus 0.37) for MRI over CT. The specificities of MRI versus CT (0.91 versus 0.92) and the positive likelihood ratios (8.8 versus 8.1) were not different. All three modalities performed better for HCCs ≥2 cm. Performance was poor for HCCs <1 cm. No studies examined whether adults with cirrhosis and an indeterminate nodule are best evaluated using biopsy, repeated imaging, or alternative imaging. Concerns about publication bias, inconsistent study results, increased risk of bias, and clinical factors precluded support for exclusive use of either gadoxetate-enhanced or extracellular contrast-enhanced MRI over CT.

Conclusion

CT, extracellular contrast-enhanced MRI, or gadoxetate-enhanced MRI could not be definitively preferred for HCC diagnosis in patients with cirrhosis; in patients with cirrhosis and an indeterminate mass, there were insufficient data comparing biopsy to repeat cross-sectional imaging or alternative imaging. (Hepatology 2018;67:401-421).

Assessment of Hepatic Steatosis in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease by Using Quantitative US.

Background Advanced confounder-corrected chemical shift-encoded MRI-derived proton density fat fraction (PDFF) is a leading parameter for fat fraction quantification in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Because of the limited availability of this MRI technique, there is a need to develop and validate alternative parameters to assess liver fat. Purpose To assess relationship of quantitative US parameters to MRI PDFF and to develop multivariable quantitative US models to detect hepatic steatosis and quantify hepatic fat. Materials and Methods Adults with known NAFLD or who were suspected of having NAFLD were prospectively recruited between August 2015 and February 2019. Participants underwent quantitative US and chemical shift-encoded MRI liver examinations. Liver biopsies were performed if clinically indicated. The correlation between seven quantitative US parameters and MRI PDFF was evaluated. By using leave-one-out cross validation, two quantitative US multivariable models were evaluated: a classifier to differentiate participants with NAFLD versus participants without NAFLD and a fat fraction estimator. Classifier performance was summarized by area under the receiver operating characteristic curve and area under the precision-recall curve. Fat fraction estimator performance was evaluated by correlation, linearity, and bias. Results Included were 102 participants (mean age, 52 years ± 13 [standard deviation]; 53 women), 78 with NAFLD (MRI PDFF ≥ 5%). A two-variable classifier yielded a cross-validated area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.89 (95% confidence interval: 0.82, 0.96) and an area under the precision-recall curve of 0.96 (95% confidence interval: 0.93, 0.99). The cross-validated fat fraction predicted by a two-variable fat fraction estimator was correlated with MRI PDFF (Spearman ρ = 0.82 [P < .001]; Pearson r = 0.76 [P < .001]). The mean bias was 0.02% (P = .97), and 95% limits of agreement were ±12.0%. The predicted fat fraction was linear with MRI PDFF (R 2 = 0.63; slope, 0.69; intercept, 4.3%) for MRI PDFF of 34% or less. Conclusion A multivariable quantitative US approach yielded excellent correlation with MRI proton density fat fraction for hepatic steatosis assessment in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. © RSNA, 2020 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of resveratrol for Alzheimer disease

Objective

A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter 52-week phase 2 trial of resveratrol in individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease (AD) examined its safety and tolerability and effects on biomarker (plasma Aβ40 and Aβ42, CSF Aβ40, Aβ42, tau, and phospho-tau 181) and volumetric MRI outcomes (primary outcomes) and clinical outcomes (secondary outcomes).

Methods

Participants (n = 119) were randomized to placebo or resveratrol 500 mg orally once daily (with dose escalation by 500-mg increments every 13 weeks, ending with 1,000 mg twice daily). Brain MRI and CSF collection were performed at baseline and after completion of treatment. Detailed pharmacokinetics were performed on a subset (n = 15) at baseline and weeks 13, 26, 39, and 52.

Results

Resveratrol and its major metabolites were measurable in plasma and CSF. The most common adverse events were nausea, diarrhea, and weight loss. CSF Aβ40 and plasma Aβ40 levels declined more in the placebo group than the resveratrol-treated group, resulting in a significant difference at week 52. Brain volume loss was increased by resveratrol treatment compared to placebo.

Conclusions

Resveratrol was safe and well-tolerated. Resveratrol and its major metabolites penetrated the blood-brain barrier to have CNS effects. Further studies are required to interpret the biomarker changes associated with resveratrol treatment.

Classification of evidence

This study provides Class II evidence that for patients with AD resveratrol is safe, well-tolerated, and alters some AD biomarker trajectories. The study is rated Class II because more than 2 primary outcomes were designated.

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Disruption of the HER3-PI3K-mTOR oncogenic signaling axis and PD-1 blockade as a multimodal precision immunotherapy in head and neck cancer

Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy has revolutionized head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treatment, but <20% of patients achieve durable responses. Persistent activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling circuitry represents a key oncogenic driver in HNSCC; however, the potential immunosuppressive effects of PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors may limit the benefit of their combination with ICB. Here we employ an unbiased kinome-wide siRNA screen to reveal that HER3, is essential for the proliferation of most HNSCC cells that do not harbor PIK3CA mutations. Indeed, we find that persistent tyrosine phosphorylation of HER3 and PI3K recruitment underlies aberrant PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling in PIK3CA wild type HNSCCs. Remarkably, antibody-mediated HER3 blockade exerts a potent anti-tumor effect by suppressing HER3-PI3K-AKT-mTOR oncogenic signaling and concomitantly reversing the immune suppressive tumor microenvironment. Ultimately, we show that HER3 inhibition and PD-1 blockade may provide a multimodal precision immunotherapeutic approach for PIK3CA wild type HNSCC, aimed at achieving durable cancer remission.

Omitting axillary staging in selected patients: Rationale of Choosing Wisely in breast cancer treatment.

Axillary surgery for breast cancer has continually evolved, with sentinel lymph node biopsy for clinically node-negative women with invasive breast cancer having long replaced axillary lymph node dissection. The information obtained from axillary staging has been important in providing prognostic information and guiding adjuvant treatment recommendations. However, recent studies suggest that sentinel lymph node biopsy should be omitted in select low-risk patients whose axillary surgery provides minimal prognostic value. This was highlighted by the Society of Surgical Oncology Choosing Wisely Guidelines, advocating against routine axillary staging in older women with early-stage hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Since the guideline release, ongoing research has continued to identify the subset of low-risk patients who would benefit from the omission of axillary staging and improve adherence to Choosing Wisely to prevent overtreatment in older people.

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