A sensor capable of continuously measuring specific molecules in the bloodstream in vivo would give clinicians a valuable window into patients’ health and their response to therapeutics. Such technology would enable truly personalized medicine, wherein therapeutic agents could be tailored with optimal doses for each patient to maximize efficacy and minimize side effects. Unfortunately, continuous, real-time measurement is currently only possible for a handful of targets, such as glucose, lactose, and oxygen, and the few existing platforms for continuous measurement are not generalizable for the monitoring of other analytes, such as small-molecule therapeutics. In response, we have developed a real-time biosensor capable of continuously tracking a wide range of circulating drugs in living subjects. Our microfluidic electrochemical detector for in vivo continuous monitoring (MEDIC) requires no exogenous reagents, operates at room temperature, and can be reconfigured to measure different target molecules by exchanging probes in a modular manner. To demonstrate the system's versatility, we measured therapeutic in vivo concentrations of doxorubicin (a chemotherapeutic) and kanamycin (an antibiotic) in live rats and in human whole blood for several hours with high sensitivity and specificity at sub-minute temporal resolution. Importantly, we show that MEDIC can also obtain pharmacokineticparameters for individual animals in real-time. Accordingly, just as continuous glucose monitoring technology is currently revolutionizing diabetes care, we believe MEDIC could be a powerful enabler for personalized medicine by ensuring delivery of optimal drug doses for individual patients based on direct detection of physiological parameters.
Exposure to particulate matter (PM) in the ambient air and its interactions with APOE alleles may contribute to the acceleration of brain aging and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Neurodegenerative effects of particulate air pollutants were examined in a US-wide cohort of older women from the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) and in experimental mouse models. Residing in places with fine PM exceeding EPA standards increased the risks for global cognitive decline and all-cause dementia respectively by 81 and 92%, with stronger adverse effects in APOE ɛ4/4 carriers. Female EFAD transgenic mice (5xFAD+/−/human APOE ɛ3 or ɛ4+/+) with 225 h exposure to urban nanosized PM (nPM) over 15 weeks showed increased cerebral β-amyloid by thioflavin S for fibrillary amyloid and by immunocytochemistry for Aβ deposits, both exacerbated by APOE ɛ4. Moreover, nPM exposure increased Aβ oligomers, caused selective atrophy of hippocampal CA1 neurites, and decreased the glutamate GluR1 subunit. Wildtype C57BL/6 female mice also showed nPM-induced CA1 atrophy and GluR1 decrease. In vitro nPM exposure of neuroblastoma cells (N2a-APP/swe) increased the pro-amyloidogenic processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). We suggest that airborne PM exposure promotes pathological brain aging in older women, with potentially a greater impact in ɛ4 carriers. The underlying mechanisms may involve increased cerebral Aβ production and selective changes in hippocampal CA1 neurons and glutamate receptor subunits.
Asthma is a chronic and genetically complex respiratory disease that affects over 300 million people worldwide. Here, we report a genome-wide analysis for asthma using data from the UK Biobank and the Trans-National Asthma Genetic Consortium. We identify 66 previously unknown asthma loci and demonstrate that the susceptibility alleles in these regions are, either individually or as a function of cumulative genetic burden, associated with risk to a greater extent in men than women. Bioinformatics analyses prioritize candidate causal genes at 52 loci, including CD52, and demonstrate that asthma-associated variants are enriched in regions of open chromatin in immune cells. Lastly, we show that a murine anti-CD52 antibody mimics the immune cell-depleting effects of a clinically used human anti-CD52 antibody and reduces allergen-induced airway hyperreactivity in mice. These results further elucidate the genetic architecture of asthma and provide important insight into the immunological and sex-specific relevance of asthma-associated risk variants.
BackgroundExposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) is associated with accelerated cognitive aging and higher dementia risk in human populations. Rodent brains respond to TRAP with activation of astrocytes and microglia, increased inflammatory cytokines, and neurite atrophy. A role for Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) was suggested in mouse TLR4-knockouts, which had attenuated lung macrophage responses to air pollution.MethodsTo further analyze these mechanisms, we examined mixed glial cultures (astrocytes and microglia) for RNA responses to nanoscale particulate matter (nPM; diameter <0.2 μm), a well-characterized nanoscale particulate matter subfraction of TRAP collected from a local freeway (Morgan et al. Environ Health Perspect 2011; 119,1003–1009, 2011). The nPM was compared with responses to the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a classic TLR4 ligand, using Affymetrix whole genome microarray in rats. Expression patterns were analyzed by significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) for fold change and by weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) to identify modules of shared responses between nPM and LPS. Finally, we examined TLR4 activation in hippocampal tissue from mice chronically exposed to nPM.ResultsSAM and WGCNA analyses showed strong activation of TLR4 and NF-κB by both nPM and LPS. TLR4 siRNA attenuated TNFα and other inflammatory responses to nPM in vitro, via the MyD88-dependent pathway. In vivo, mice chronically exposed to nPM showed increased TLR4, MyD88, TNFα, and TNFR2 RNA, and decreased NF-κB and TRAF6 RNA TLR4 and NF-κB responses in the hippocampus.ConclusionsThese results show TLR4 activation is integral in brain inflammatory responses to air pollution, and warrant further study of TLR4 in accelerated cognitive aging by air pollution.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12974-017-0858-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Portal vein embolisation (PVE) is used to increase the remnant liver volume before major liver resection for colorectal metastases. The resection rate after PVE is 60 -70%, mainly limited by disease progression. The effect of PVE on tumour growth rate has not been investigated. The objective of this study was to compare the growth characteristics of resected colorectal liver metastases in patients undergoing pre-operative PVE with those of matched controls who had not undergone PVE. There were 22 patients who had undergone preoperative PVE and 20 matched controls. Tumour growth rate was calculated by the change in tumour volume (CT/MRI volumetric assessment) from diagnosis to resection. Resected histological specimens were examined by two histopathologists independently for cell differentiation, percentage tumour cell necrosis and mitotic rate. Immunochemical staining with Ki67 was carried out using the MIB-1 monoclonal antibody and quantified using a Glasgow cell-counting graticule. The groups were comparable in demographics, stage of primary disease, volume of liver metastases at presentation and chemotherapy received. The tumour growth rate calculated from imaging was more rapid in the PVE group compared with that in controls (control: 0.05 ± 0.25 ml day À1 , PVE: 0.36 ± 0.68 ml day À1 , P ¼ 0.06). Histology showed no difference in the degree of differentiation, extent of necrosis or apoptosis between the two groups. However, mitotic rate was higher post PVE, as was the proliferation index Ki67 (P ¼ 0.04). This study has confirmed that tumour growth rate increased following PVE and that this is related to increased tumour cell division.
Traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) is associated with lower cognition and reduced white matter volume in older adults, specifically for particulate matter <2.5 μm diameter (PM2.5). Rodents exposed to TRAP have shown microglial activation and neuronal atrophy. We further investigated age differences of TRAP exposure, with focus on hippocampus for neuritic atrophy, white matter degeneration, and microglial activation. Young and middle-aged mice (3 and 18 month female C57BL/6J) were exposed to nanoscale-PM (nPM, <0.2 μm diameter). Young mice showed selective changes in the hippocampal CA1 region, with neurite atrophy (−25%), decreased MBP (−50%), and increased Iba1 (+50%), with dentate gyrus relatively unaffected. Exposure to nPM of young mice decreased GluA1 protein (−40%) and increased TNFa mRNA (10×). Older controls had age changes approximating nPM effects on young, with no response to nPM, suggesting an age ceiling effect. The CA1 selective vulnerability in young mice parallels CA1 vulnerability in Alzheimer’s disease. We propose that TRAP associated human cognitive and white matter changes involve hippocampal responses to nPM that begin at younger ages.
Exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) is associated with a range of neurodevelopmental disorders in human populations. In rodent models, prenatal TRAP exposure increased depressive behaviors and increased brain microglial activity. To identify cellular mechanisms, we examined adult neurogenesis and the blood–brain barrier (BBB) in relation to cognition and motivated behaviors in rats that were exposed to a nano-sized TRAP subfraction from gestation into adulthood. At age 5 months, exposed male rats had 70% fewer newly generated neurons in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus. Microglia were activated in DG and CA1 subfields (35% more Iba1). The BBB was altered, with a 75% decrease of the tight junction protein ZO-1 in the CA1 layer, and twofold more iron deposits, a marker of microhemorrhages. The exposed rats had impaired contextual memory (novel object in context), reduced food-seeking behavior, and increased depressive behaviors (forced swim). Deficits of de novo neurogenesis were inversely correlated with depressive behavior, whereas increased microbleeds were inversely correlated with deficits in contextual memory. These findings give the first evidence that prenatal and early life exposure to TRAP impairs adult hippocampal neurogenesis and increases microbleeds in association with behavioral deficits.
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