Sample records for human disease gtpch

  1. Brain transplantation of human neural stem cells transduced with tyrosine hydroxylase and GTP cyclohydrolase 1 provides functional improvement in animal models of Parkinson disease. (United States)

    Kim, Seung U; Park, In H; Kim, Tae H; Kim, Kwang S; Choi, Hyun B; Hong, Seok H; Bang, Jung H; Lee, Myung A; Joo, In S; Lee, Chong S; Kim, Yong S


    Parkinson disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons resulting in movement disorder. Neural stem cells (NSC) of the CNS have recently aroused a great deal of interest, not only because of their importance in basic research of neural development, but also for their therapeutic potential in neurological disorders. We have recently generated an immortalized human NSC cell line, HB1.F3, via retrovirus-mediated v-myc transfer. This line is capable of self-renewal, is multipotent, and expresses cell specific markers for NSC, ATP-binding cassettes transporter (ABCG2) and nestin. Next, we co-transduced the F3 NSC line with genes encoding tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and GTP cyclohydrolase 1 (GTPCH1) in order to generate dopamine-producing NSC. The F3.TH.GTPCH human NSC line expresses TH and GTPCH phenotypes as determined by RT-PCR, western blotting and immunocytochemistry, and shows a 800 to 2000-fold increase in production of L-dihydroxyphenyl alanine in HPLC analysis. A marked improvement in amphetamine-induced turning behavior was observed in parkinsonian rats implanted with F3.TH.GTPCH cells, but not in control rats receiving F3 NSC. In the animals showing functional improvement, a large number of TH-positive F3.TH.GTPCH NSC were found at injection sites. These results indicate that human NSC, genetically transduced with TH and GTPCH1 genes, have great potential in clinical utility for cell replacement therapy in patients suffering from Parkinson disease.

  2. [Autosomal recessive GTPCH 1 deficiency: the importance of the analysis of neurotransmitters in cerebrospinal fluid]. (United States)

    Moreno-Medinilla, E E; Mora-Ramirez, M D; Calvo-Medina, R; Martinez-Anton, J


    Introduccion. El deficit de la enzima trifosfato de guanosina ciclohidrolasa 1 (GTPCH 1) origina una disminucion de la sintesis de la tetrahidrobiopterina (BH4), cofactor indispensable en la sintesis de la tirosina, la dopamina y la serotonina. Es una enfermedad poco frecuente que produce un retraso o regresion psicomotora y trastornos del movimiento, y en la que el tratamiento puede mejorar o incluso corregir la clinica. Caso clinico. Niña afecta de deficit de GTPCH con herencia autosomica recesiva, diagnosticada a los 14 meses con estudio del liquido cefalorraquideo con deficit de pterinas, HVA y 5-HIAA, test de sobrecarga de fenilalanina y estudio genetico positivos. La clinica comenzo a los 5 meses con temblor cefalico y de las extremidades superiores, en reposo e intencional, intermitente, que desaparecio en un mes. El desarrollo psicomotor era normal, destacaba una hipotonia axial leve en la exploracion y las pruebas complementarias realizadas fueron normales. Posteriormente presento regresion psicomotora con perdida del sosten cefalico, disminucion de los movimientos activos, dificultad para la manipulacion bimanual, hipomimia e hipotonia global grave, lo que motivo el estudio de una encefalopatia progresiva. Tras el diagnostico de deficit de GTPCH, inicio tratamiento sustitutivo con levodopa/carbidopa, OH triptofano y BH4, con muy buena evolucion tanto motora como cognitiva. Actualmente, la paciente tiene 5 años, presenta un desarrollo psicomotor adecuado a su edad, cursa tercer curso de educacion infantil y ha alcanzado el nivel de su clase. Conclusion. Hay que destacar en este caso la mejoria tan satisfactoria, tanto motora como cognitiva, tras iniciar el tratamiento sustitutivo, ya que el nivel cognitivo suele quedar afectado en muchos casos.

  3. Human Environmental Disease Network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taboureau, Olivier; Audouze, Karine


    During the past decades, many epidemiological, toxicological and biological studies have been performed to assess the role of environmental chemicals as potential toxicants for diverse human disorders. However, the relationships between diseases based on chemical exposure have been rarely studied...... by computational biology. We developed a human environmental disease network (EDN) to explore and suggest novel disease-disease and chemical-disease relationships. The presented scored EDN model is built upon the integration on systems biology and chemical toxicology using chemical contaminants information...

  4. Retroviruses and human disease.



    Over the past 25 years animal retroviruses have been favoured subjects of research by virologists, oncologists, and molecular biologists. Retroviruses have given us reverse transcriptase, oncogenes, and cloning vectors that may one day be exploited for human gene therapy. They have also given us leukaemia and the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Kawasaki disease and tropical spastic paraparesis are thought to be associated with retrovirus infection, and other diseases such as de Qu...

  5. Genetic Mapping in Human Disease


    Altshuler, David; Daly, Mark J; Lander, Eric S.


    Genetic mapping provides a powerful approach to identify genes and biological processes underlying any trait influenced by inheritance, including human diseases. We discuss the intellectual foundations of genetic mapping of Mendelian and complex traits in humans, examine lessons emerging from linkage analysis of Mendelian diseases and genome-wide association studies of common diseases, and discuss questions and challenges that lie ahead.

  6. Viral diseases and human evolution



    The interaction of man with viral agents was possibly a key factor shaping human evolution, culture and civilization from its outset. Evidence of the effect of disease, since the early stages of human speciation, through pre-historical times to the present suggest that the types of viruses associated with man changed in time. As human populations progressed technologically, they grew in numbers and density. As a consequence different viruses found suitable conditions to thrive and establish l...

  7. Viral diseases and human evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leal Élcio de Souza


    Full Text Available The interaction of man with viral agents was possibly a key factor shaping human evolution, culture and civilization from its outset. Evidence of the effect of disease, since the early stages of human speciation, through pre-historical times to the present suggest that the types of viruses associated with man changed in time. As human populations progressed technologically, they grew in numbers and density. As a consequence different viruses found suitable conditions to thrive and establish long-lasting associations with man. Although not all viral agents cause disease and some may in fact be considered beneficial, the present situation of overpopulation, poverty and ecological inbalance may have devastating effets on human progress. Recently emerged diseases causing massive pandemics (eg., HIV-1 and HCV, dengue, etc. are becoming formidable challenges, which may have a direct impact on the fate of our species.

  8. Linking Microbiota to Human Diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wu, Hao; Tremaroli, Valentina; Bäckhed, F


    diabetes (T2D), and irritable bowel syndrome, and some animal experiments have suggested causality. However, few studies have validated causality in humans and the underlying mechanisms remain largely to be elucidated. We discuss how systems biology approaches combined with new experimental technologies......The human gut microbiota encompasses a densely populated ecosystem that provides essential functions for host development, immune maturation, and metabolism. Alterations to the gut microbiota have been observed in numerous diseases, including human metabolic diseases such as obesity, type 2...... may disentangle some of the mechanistic details in the complex interactions of diet, microbiota, and host metabolism and may provide testable hypotheses for advancing our current understanding of human-microbiota interaction....

  9. Chromatin remodeling and human disease. (United States)

    Huang, Cheng; Sloan, Emily A; Boerkoel, Cornelius F


    In the past few years, there has been a nascent convergence of scientific understanding of inherited human diseases with epigenetics. Identified epigenetic processes involved in human disease include covalent DNA modifications, covalent histone modifications, and histone relocation. Each of these processes influences chromatin structure and thereby regulates gene expression and DNA methylation, replication, recombination, and repair. The importance of these processes for nearly all aspects of normal growth and development is illustrated by the array of multi-system disorders and neoplasias caused by their dysregulation.

  10. Proteins aggregation and human diseases (United States)

    Hu, Chin-Kun


    Many human diseases and the death of most supercentenarians are related to protein aggregation. Neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntington's disease (HD), Parkinson's disease (PD), frontotemporallobar degeneration, etc. Such diseases are due to progressive loss of structure or function of neurons caused by protein aggregation. For example, AD is considered to be related to aggregation of Aβ40 (peptide with 40 amino acids) and Aβ42 (peptide with 42 amino acids) and HD is considered to be related to aggregation of polyQ (polyglutamine) peptides. In this paper, we briefly review our recent discovery of key factors for protein aggregation. We used a lattice model to study the aggregation rates of proteins and found that the probability for a protein sequence to appear in the conformation of the aggregated state can be used to determine the temperature at which proteins can aggregate most quickly. We used molecular dynamics and simple models of polymer chains to study relaxation and aggregation of proteins under various conditions and found that when the bending-angle dependent and torsion-angle dependent interactions are zero or very small, then protein chains tend to aggregate at lower temperatures. All atom models were used to identify a key peptide chain for the aggregation of insulin chains and to find that two polyQ chains prefer anti-parallel conformation. It is pointed out that in many cases, protein aggregation does not result from protein mis-folding. A potential drug from Chinese medicine was found for Alzheimer's disease.

  11. Chagas disease and human migration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Guhl


    Full Text Available Human Chagas disease is a purely accidental occurrence. As humans came into contact with the natural foci of infection might then have become infected as a single addition to the already extensive host range of Trypanosoma cruzi that includes other primates. Thus began a process of adaptation and domiciliation to human habitations through which the vectors had direct access to abundant food as well as protection from climatic changes and predators. Our work deals with the extraction and specific amplification by polymerase chain reaction of T. cruzi DNA obtained from mummified human tissues and the positive diagnosis of Chagas disease in a series of 4,000-year-old Pre-Hispanic human mummies from the northern coast of Chile. The area has been inhabited at least for 7,000 years, first by hunters, fishers and gatherers, and then gradually by more permanent settlements. The studied specimens belonged to the Chinchorro culture, a people inhabiting the area now occupied by the modern city of Arica. These were essentially fishers with a complex religious ideology, which accounts for the preservation of their dead in the way of mummified bodies, further enhanced by the extremely dry conditions of the desert. Chinchorro mummies are, perhaps, the oldest preserved bodies known to date.

  12. [Alzheimer's disease and human memory]. (United States)

    Eustache, F; Giffard, B; Rauchs, G; Chételat, G; Piolino, P; Desgranges, B


    Memory disorders observed in Alzheimer's disease gave rise, from the eighties, to a detailed analysis into the framework of cognitive neuropsychology which aimed at describing the deficits of very specific processes. Beyond their clinical interest, these studies contributed to the modelisation of human memory thanks to the characterization of different memory systems and their relationships. The first part of this paper gives an overview of the memory deficits in Alzheimer's disease and insists on particular cognitive phenomena. Hence, several examples are developed in the domains of semantic memory (such as hyperpriming and hypopriming effects) and autobiographical memory. Recent results highlight the existence of severe autobiographical amnesia observed in all neurodegenerative diseases, though with contrasting profiles: Ribot's gradient in Alzheimer's disease (showing that remote memories are better preserved than recent ones), reverse gradient in semantic dementia and no clear gradient in the frontal variant of frontotemporal dementia. The second part of this article presents advances in cognitive neuroscience searching to disclose the cerebral substrates of these cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease. The studies using functional imaging techniques are the most informative regarding this problematic. While showing the dysfunctions of an extended network, they emphasize the selectivity of cerebral damages that are at the root of very specific cognitive dysfunctions, coming close in that way to the conceptions of cognitive neuropsychology. These neuroimaging studies unravel the existence of compensatory mechanisms, which until recently were clearly missing in the literature on neurodegenerative diseases. These different researches lead to a wide conception of human memory, not just limited to simple instrumental processes (encoding, storage, retrieval), but necessarily covering models of identity and continuity of the subject, which interact in a dynamic way

  13. Transfer RNA and human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie A Abbott


    Full Text Available Pathological mutations in tRNA genes and tRNA processing enzymes are numerous and result in very complicated clinical phenotypes. Mitochondrial tRNA (mt-tRNA genes are hotspots for pathological mutations and over 200 mt-tRNA mutations have been linked to various disease states. Often these mutations prevent tRNA aminoacylation. Disrupting this primary function affects protein synthesis and the expression, folding, and function of oxidative phosphorylation enzymes. Mitochondrial tRNA mutations manifest in a wide panoply of diseases related to cellular energetics, including COX deficiency (cytochrome C oxidase, mitochondrial myopathy, MERRF (Myoclonic Epilepsy with Ragged Red Fibers, and MELAS (mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes. Diseases caused by mt-tRNA mutations can also affect very specific tissue types, as in the case of neurosensory non-syndromic hearing loss and pigmentary retinopathy, diabetes mellitus, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Importantly, mitochondrial heteroplasmy plays a role in disease severity and age of onset as well. Not surprisingly, mutations in enzymes that modify cytoplasmic and mitochondrial tRNAs are also linked to a diverse range of clinical phenotypes. In addition to compromised aminoacylation of the tRNAs, mutated modifying enzymes can also impact tRNA expression and abundance, tRNA modifications, tRNA folding, and even tRNA maturation (e.g., splicing. Some of these pathological mutations in tRNAs and processing enzymes are likely to affect non-canonical tRNA functions, and contribute to the diseases without significantly impacting on translation. This chapter will review recent literature on the relation of mitochondrial and cytoplasmic tRNA, and enzymes that process tRNAs, to human disease. We explore the mechanisms involved in the clinical presentation of these various diseases with an emphasis on neurological disease.

  14. Human Microbiota and Ophthalmic Disease. (United States)

    Lu, Louise J; Liu, Ji


    The human ocular surface, consisting of the cornea and conjunctiva, is colonized by an expansive, diverse microbial community. Molecular-based methods, such as 16S rRNA sequencing, has allowed for more comprehensive and precise identification of the species composition of the ocular surface microbiota compared to traditional culture-based methods. Evidence suggests that the normal microbiota plays a protective immunological role in preventing the proliferation of pathogenic species and thus, alterations in the homeostatic microbiome may be linked to ophthalmic pathologies. Further investigation of the ocular surface microbiome, as well as the microbiome of other areas of the body such as the oral mucosa and gut, and their role in the pathophysiology of diseases is a significant, emerging field of research, and may someday enable the development of novel probiotic approaches for the treatment and prevention of ophthalmic diseases.

  15. Human Cytomegalovirus and Autoimmune Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Halenius


    Full Text Available Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV represents a prototypic pathogenic member of the β-subgroup of the herpesvirus family. A range of HCMV features like its lytic replication in multiple tissues, the lifelong persistence through periods of latency and intermitting reactivation, the extraordinary large proteome, and extensive manipulation of adaptive and innate immunity make HCMV a high profile candidate for involvement in autoimmune disorders. We surveyed the available literature for reports on HCMV association with onset or exacerbation of autoimmune disease. A causative linkage between HCMV and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, systemic sclerosis (SSc, diabetes mellitus type 1, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA is suggested by the literature. However, a clear association of HCMV seroprevalence and disease could not be established, leaving the question open whether HCMV could play a coresponsible role for onset of disease. For convincing conclusions population-based prospective studies must be performed in the future. Specific immunopathogenic mechanisms by which HCMV could contribute to the course of autoimmune disease have been suggested, for example, molecular mimicry by UL94 in SSc and UL83/pp65 in SLE patients, as well as aggravation of joint inflammation by induction and expansion of CD4+/CD28− T-cells in RA patients. Further studies are needed to validate these findings and to lay the grounds for targeted therapeutic intervention.

  16. Aluminium and human breast diseases. (United States)

    Darbre, P D; Pugazhendhi, D; Mannello, F


    The human breast is exposed to aluminium from many sources including diet and personal care products, but dermal application of aluminium-based antiperspirant salts provides a local long-term source of exposure. Recent measurements have shown that aluminium is present in both tissue and fat of the human breast but at levels which vary both between breasts and between tissue samples from the same breast. We have recently found increased levels of aluminium in noninvasively collected nipple aspirate fluids taken from breast cancer patients (mean 268 ± 28 μg/l) compared with control healthy subjects (mean 131 ± 10 μg/l) providing evidence of raised aluminium levels in the breast microenvironment when cancer is present. The measurement of higher levels of aluminium in type I human breast cyst fluids (median 150 μg/l) compared with human serum (median 6 μg/l) or human milk (median 25 μg/l) warrants further investigation into any possible role of aluminium in development of this benign breast disease. Emerging evidence for aluminium in several breast structures now requires biomarkers of aluminium action in order to ascertain whether the presence of aluminium has any biological impact. To this end, we report raised levels of proteins that modulate iron homeostasis (ferritin, transferrin) in parallel with raised aluminium in nipple aspirate fluids in vivo, and we report overexpression of mRNA for several S100 calcium binding proteins following long-term exposure of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells in vitro to aluminium chlorhydrate.

  17. Genetically Modified Pig Models for Human Diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nana Fan; Liangxue Lai


    Genetically modified animal models are important for understanding the pathogenesis of human disease and developing therapeutic strategies.Although genetically modified mice have been widely used to model human diseases,some of these mouse models do not replicate important disease symptoms or pathology.Pigs are more similar to humans than mice in anatomy,physiology,and genome.Thus,pigs are considered to be better animal models to mimic some human diseases.This review describes genetically modified pigs that have been used to model various diseases including neurological,cardiovascular,and diabetic disorders.We also discuss the development in gene modification technology that can facilitate the generation of transgenic pig models for human diseases.

  18. Uncovering disease-disease relationships through the incomplete human interactome (United States)

    Menche, Jörg; Sharma, Amitabh; Kitsak, Maksim; Ghiassian, Susan; Vidal, Marc; Loscalzo, Joseph; Barabási, Albert-László


    According to the disease module hypothesis the cellular components associated with a disease segregate in the same neighborhood of the human interactome, the map of biologically relevant molecular interactions. Yet, given the incompleteness of the interactome and the limited knowledge of disease-associated genes, it is not obvious if the available data has sufficient coverage to map out modules associated with each disease. Here we derive mathematical conditions for the identifiability of disease modules and show that the network-based location of each disease module determines its pathobiological relationship to other diseases. For example, diseases with overlapping network modules show significant co-expression patterns, symptom similarity, and comorbidity, while diseases residing in separated network neighborhoods are clinically distinct. These tools represent an interactome-based platform to predict molecular commonalities between clinically related diseases, even if they do not share disease genes. PMID:25700523

  19. Does biodiversity protect humans against infectious disease? (United States)

    Wood, Chelsea L; Lafferty, Kevin D; DeLeo, Giulio; Young, Hillary S; Hudson, Peter J; Kuris, Armand M


    Control of human infectious disease has been promoted as a valuable ecosystem service arising from the conservation of biodiversity. There are two commonly discussed mechanisms by which biodiversity loss could increase rates of infectious disease in a landscape. First, loss of competitors or predators could facilitate an increase in the abundance of competent reservoir hosts. Second, biodiversity loss could disproportionately affect non-competent, or less competent reservoir hosts, which would otherwise interfere with pathogen transmission to human populations by, for example, wasting the bites of infected vectors. A negative association between biodiversity and disease risk, sometimes called the "dilution effect hypothesis," has been supported for a few disease agents, suggests an exciting win-win outcome for the environment and society, and has become a pervasive topic in the disease ecology literature. Case studies have been assembled to argue that the dilution effect is general across disease agents. Less touted are examples in which elevated biodiversity does not affect or increases infectious disease risk for pathogens of public health concern. In order to assess the likely generality of the dilution effect, we review the association between biodiversity and public health across a broad variety of human disease agents. Overall, we hypothesize that conditions for the dilution effect are unlikely to be met for most important diseases of humans. Biodiversity probably has little net effect on most human infectious diseases but, when it does have an effect, observation and basic logic suggest that biodiversity will be more likely to increase than to decrease infectious disease risk.

  20. Parasitic diseases in humans transmitted by vectors. (United States)

    Cholewiński, Marcin; Derda, Monika; Hadaś, Edward


    Despite the considerable progress of medicine, parasitic diseases still pose a great threat to human health and life. Among parasitic diseases, those transmitted by vectors, mainly arthropods, play a particular role. These diseases occur most frequently in the poorest countries and affect a vast part of the human population. They include malaria, babesiosis, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis and filariasis. This study presents those vector-transmitted diseases that are responsible for the greatest incidence and mortality of people on a global scale. Attention is focused primarily on diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, flies, Hemiptera and ticks.

  1. Stem cell differentiation and human liver disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wen-Li Zhou; Claire N Medine; Liang Zhu; David C Hay


    Human stem cells are scalable cell populations capable of cellular differentiation.This makes them a very attractive in vitro cellular resource and in theory provides unlimited amounts of primary cells.Such an approach has the potential to improve our understanding of human biology and treating disease.In the future it may be possible to deploy novel stem cell-based approaches to treat human liver diseases.In recent years,efficient hepatic differentiation from human stem cells has been achieved by several research groups including our own.In this review we provide an overview of the field and discuss the future potential and limitations of stem cell technology.

  2. Reduced penetrance in human inherited disease

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Rabah M. Shawky


    Jan 31, 2014 ... tant role in cellular senescence, tumorigenesis and in several diseases ... A correlation between epigenetic DNA modifications and human life span ... Most studies demonstrated that aging is associated with a relaxation in ...

  3. Protein Misfolding and Human Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gregersen, Niels; Bross, Peter Gerd; Vang, Søren


    phenylketonuria, Parkinson's disease, α-1-antitrypsin deficiency, familial neurohypophyseal diabetes insipidus, and short-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency. Despite the differences, an emerging paradigm suggests that the cellular effects of protein misfolding provide a common framework that may contribute......Protein misfolding is a common event in living cells. In young and healthy cells, the misfolded protein load is disposed of by protein quality control (PQC) systems. In aging cells and in cells from certain individuals with genetic diseases, the load may overwhelm the PQC capacity, resulting...... in accumulation of misfolded proteins. Dependent on the properties of the protein and the efficiency of the PQC systems, the accumulated protein may be degraded or assembled into toxic oligomers and aggregates. To illustrate this concept, we discuss a number of very different protein misfolding diseases including...

  4. Physiochemical basis of human degenerative disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeliger Harold I.


    Full Text Available The onset of human degenerative diseases in humans, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental disease and neurodegenerative disease has been shown to be related to exposures to persistent organic pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorinated pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and others, as well as to polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, bisphenol-A and other aromatic lipophilic species. The onset of these diseases has also been related to exposures to transition metal ions. A physiochemical mechanism for the onset of degenerative environmental disease dependent upon exposure to a combination of lipophilic aromatic hydrocarbons and transition metal ions is proposed here. The findings reported here also, for the first time, explain why aromatic hydrocarbons exhibit greater toxicity than aliphatic hydrocarbons of equal carbon numbers.

  5. Human Echinococcosis: A Neglected Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    António Menezes da Silva


    Full Text Available Echinococcosis is among the most neglected parasitic diseases. Development of new drugs and other treatment modalities receives very little attention, if any. In most developed countries, Cystic Echinococcosis (CE is an imported disease of very low incidence and prevalence and is found almost exclusively in migrants from endemic regions. In endemic regions, predominantly settings with limited resources, patient numbers are high. Whole communities do not have access to appropriate treatment. The choice of treatment modalities is limited because of poor infrastructure and shortage of equipment and drugs. In this context, CE meets the criteria for a neglected disease. Furthermore, the terminology related to the designations around the parasite, its evolution and some therapeutic procedures is not uniform and sometimes inappropriate terms and wrong designations are used based on incorrect concepts. Although all of us know the different aspects of the disease it is pertinent to remember some important points and, above all, to clarify some aspects concerning the hydatid cyst's nomenclature in order to understand better the therapeutic options in the liver locations, particularly the different surgical approaches.

  6. Molecular Pathology of Human Prion Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)


    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative conditions in humans and animals. In this review, we summarize the molecular background of phenotypic variability, relation of prion protein (PrP to other proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases, and pathogenesis of neuronal vulnerability. PrP exists in different forms that may be present in both diseased and non-diseased brain, however, abundant disease-associated PrP together with tissue pathology characterizes prion diseases and associates with transmissibility. Prion diseases have different etiological background with distinct pathogenesis and phenotype. Mutations of the prion protein gene are associated with genetic forms. The codon 129 polymorphism in combination with the Western blot pattern of PrP after proteinase K digestion serves as a basis for molecular subtyping of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Tissue damage may result from several parallel, interacting or subsequent pathways that involve cellular systems associated with synapses, protein processing, oxidative stress, autophagy, and apoptosis.

  7. [Primary human demodicosis. A disease sui generis]. (United States)

    Hsu, C-K; Zink, A; Wei, K-J; Dzika, E; Plewig, G; Chen, W


    Human Demodex mites (Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis) are unique in that they are an obligate human ectoparasite that can inhabit the pilosebaceous unit lifelong without causing obvious host immune response in most cases. The mode of symbiosis between humans and human Demodex mites is unclear, while the pathogenicity of human Demodex mites in many inflammatory skin diseases is now better understood. Primary human demodicosis is a skin disease sui generis not associated with local or systemic immunosuppression. Diagnosis is often underestimated and differentiation from folliculitis, papulopustular rosacea and perioral dermatitis is not always straightforward. Dependent on the morphology and degree of inflammation, the clinical manifestations can be classified into spinulate, papulopustular, nodulocystic, crustic and fulminant demodicosis. Therapy success can be achieved only with acaricides/arachidicides. The effective doses, optimal regimen and antimicrobial resistance remain to be determined.

  8. Global biogeography of human infectious diseases. (United States)

    Murray, Kris A; Preston, Nicholas; Allen, Toph; Zambrana-Torrelio, Carlos; Hosseini, Parviez R; Daszak, Peter


    The distributions of most infectious agents causing disease in humans are poorly resolved or unknown. However, poorly known and unknown agents contribute to the global burden of disease and will underlie many future disease risks. Existing patterns of infectious disease co-occurrence could thus play a critical role in resolving or anticipating current and future disease threats. We analyzed the global occurrence patterns of 187 human infectious diseases across 225 countries and seven epidemiological classes (human-specific, zoonotic, vector-borne, non-vector-borne, bacterial, viral, and parasitic) to show that human infectious diseases exhibit distinct spatial grouping patterns at a global scale. We demonstrate, using outbreaks of Ebola virus as a test case, that this spatial structuring provides an untapped source of prior information that could be used to tighten the focus of a range of health-related research and management activities at early stages or in data-poor settings, including disease surveillance, outbreak responses, or optimizing pathogen discovery. In examining the correlates of these spatial patterns, among a range of geographic, epidemiological, environmental, and social factors, mammalian biodiversity was the strongest predictor of infectious disease co-occurrence overall and for six of the seven disease classes examined, giving rise to a striking congruence between global pathogeographic and "Wallacean" zoogeographic patterns. This clear biogeographic signal suggests that infectious disease assemblages remain fundamentally constrained in their distributions by ecological barriers to dispersal or establishment, despite the homogenizing forces of globalization. Pathogeography thus provides an overarching context in which other factors promoting infectious disease emergence and spread are set.

  9. Cis-regulatory mutations in human disease. (United States)

    Epstein, Douglas J


    Cis-acting regulatory sequences are required for the proper temporal and spatial control of gene expression. Variation in gene expression is highly heritable and a significant determinant of human disease susceptibility. The diversity of human genetic diseases attributed, in whole or in part, to mutations in non-coding regulatory sequences is on the rise. Improvements in genome-wide methods of associating genetic variation with human disease and predicting DNA with cis-regulatory potential are two of the major reasons for these recent advances. This review will highlight select examples from the literature that have successfully integrated genetic and genomic approaches to uncover the molecular basis by which cis-regulatory mutations alter gene expression and contribute to human disease. The fine mapping of disease-causing variants has led to the discovery of novel cis-acting regulatory elements that, in some instances, are located as far away as 1.5 Mb from the target gene. In other cases, the prior knowledge of the regulatory landscape surrounding the gene of interest aided in the selection of enhancers for mutation screening. The success of these studies should provide a framework for following up on the large number of genome-wide association studies that have identified common variants in non-coding regions of the genome that associate with increased risk of human diseases including, diabetes, autism, Crohn's, colorectal cancer, and asthma, to name a few.

  10. The complement system in human cardiometabolic disease. (United States)

    Hertle, E; Stehouwer, C D A; van Greevenbroek, M M J


    The complement system has been implicated in obesity, fatty liver, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Complement factors are produced in adipose tissue and appear to be involved in adipose tissue metabolism and local inflammation. Thereby complement links adipose tissue inflammation to systemic metabolic derangements, such as low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia. Furthermore, complement has been implicated in pathophysiological mechanisms of diet- and alcohol induced liver damage, hyperglycaemia, endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis and fibrinolysis. In this review, we summarize current evidence on the role of the complement system in several processes of human cardiometabolic disease. C3 is the central component in complement activation, and has most widely been studied in humans. C3 concentrations are associated with insulin resistance, liver dysfunction, risk of the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and CVD. C3 can be activated by the classical, the lectin and the alternative pathway of complement activation; and downstream activation of C3 activates the terminal pathway. Complement may also be activated via extrinsic proteases of the coagulation, fibrinolysis and the kinin systems. Studies on the different complement activation pathways in human cardiometabolic disease are limited, but available evidence suggests that they may have distinct roles in processes underlying cardiometabolic disease. The lectin pathway appeared beneficial in some studies on type 2 diabetes and CVD, while factors of the classical and the alternative pathway were related to unfavourable cardiometabolic traits. The terminal complement pathway was also implicated in insulin resistance and liver disease, and appears to have a prominent role in acute and advanced CVD. The available human data suggest a complex and potentially causal role for the complement system in human cardiometabolic disease. Further, preferably longitudinal studies are needed to

  11. Engineering large animal models of human disease. (United States)

    Whitelaw, C Bruce A; Sheets, Timothy P; Lillico, Simon G; Telugu, Bhanu P


    The recent development of gene editing tools and methodology for use in livestock enables the production of new animal disease models. These tools facilitate site-specific mutation of the genome, allowing animals carrying known human disease mutations to be produced. In this review, we describe the various gene editing tools and how they can be used for a range of large animal models of diseases. This genomic technology is in its infancy but the expectation is that through the use of gene editing tools we will see a dramatic increase in animal model resources available for both the study of human disease and the translation of this knowledge into the clinic. Comparative pathology will be central to the productive use of these animal models and the successful translation of new therapeutic strategies.

  12. Modeling human muscle disease in zebrafish


    Guyon, Jeffrey R.; Steffen, Leta S; Howell, Melanie H.; Pusack, Timothy J; Lawrence, Chris; Kunkel, Louis M


    Modeling human muscle disease in zebrafish correspondence: Corresponding author. Children's Hospital Boston, Enders Bldg, Rm 570, 300 Longwood Ave Boston, MA 02115. Tel.: +1 617 355 7576. (Kunkel, Louis M.) (Kunkel, Louis M.) Program in Genomics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Children's Hospital Boston - Boston--> , MA 02115--> - UNITED STATES (Guyon, Jeffrey R.) Program in Genomics a...

  13. [Human prion diseases in the Czech Republic]. (United States)

    Rohan, Z; Rusina, R; Marešová, M; Matěj, R


    Human prion diseases are a group of very rare diseases with a unique pathogenesis and, due to an inauspicious prognosis and unavailability of therapy, with fatal consequences. The etiopathogenetic background is the presence of pathologically misfolded prion protein, highly resistant to denaturation, the aggregation and presence of which in the brain tissue causes irreversible neuronal damage. The most frequent prion disease in humans is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) which occurs in sporadic, hereditary/familial, or acquired/infectious/iatrogenic forms. A new form of CJD, variant CJD, is considered to be linked to dietary exposure to beef products from cattle infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and to infection via blood transfusion. The clinical picture of these diseases is characterized by a rapidly progressing dementia, cerebellar and extrapyramidal symptoms, and rather specific MRI, EEG, and CSF findings. Clinically, the diagnosis is described as possible or probable prion disease and needs to be confirmed by neuropathological or immunological investigation of the brain tissue. Epidemiological data from the Czech Republic spanning the last decade are presented.

  14. Human lagochilascariasis-A rare helminthic disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dulcinea Maria Barbosa Campos


    Full Text Available Lagochilascariasis is a parasitic disease caused by a helminth of the order Ascaroidea, genus Lagochilascaris that comprises 6 species, among which only Lagochilascaris minor Leiper, 1909, is implicated in the human form of the disease. It is remarkable that the majority of cases of human lagochilascariasis in the Americas have been reported in Brazil. The natural definitive hosts of this parasite seem to be wild felines and canines. Lagochilascariasis is mostly a chronic human disease that can persist for several years, in which the parasite burrows into the subcutaneous tissues of the neck, paranasal sinuses, and mastoid. L. minor exhibits remarkable ability to migrate through the tissues of its hosts, destroying even bone tissue. Fatal cases have been described in which the parasite was found in the lungs or central nervous system. Treatment is often palliative, with recurrence of lesions. This paper summarizes the main features of the disease and its etiologic agent, including prevalence, life cycle, clinical course, and treatment.

  15. Heartworm disease in animals and humans. (United States)

    McCall, John W; Genchi, Claudio; Kramer, Laura H; Guerrero, Jorge; Venco, Luigi


    Heartworm disease due to Dirofilaria immitis continues to cause severe disease and even death in dogs and other animals in many parts of the world, even though safe, highly effective and convenient preventatives have been available for the past two decades. Moreover, the parasite and vector mosquitoes continue to spread into areas where they have not been reported previously. Heartworm societies have been established in the USA and Japan and the First European Dirofilaria Days (FEDD) Conference was held in Zagreb, Croatia, in February of 2007. These organizations promote awareness, encourage research and provide updated guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heartworm disease. The chapter begins with a review of the biology and life cycle of the parasite. It continues with the prevalence and distribution of the disease in domestic and wild animals, with emphasis on more recent data on the spreading of the disease and the use of molecular biology techniques in vector studies. The section on pathogenesis and immunology also includes a discussion of the current knowledge of the potential role of the Wolbachia endosymbiont in inflammatory and immune responses to D. immitis infection, diagnostic use of specific immune responses to the bacteria, immunomodulatory activity and antibiotic treatment of infected animals. Canine, feline and ferret heartworm disease are updated with regard to the clinical presentation, diagnosis, prevention, therapy and management of the disease, with special emphasis on the recently described Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD) Syndrome in cats. The section devoted to heartworm infection in humans also includes notes on other epizootic filariae, particularly D. repens in humans in Europe. The chapter concludes with a discussion on emerging strategies in heartworm treatment and control, highlighting the potential role of tetracycline antibiotics in adulticidal therapy.

  16. Unsolved issues related to human mitochondrial diseases. (United States)

    Lombès, Anne; Auré, Karine; Bellanné-Chantelot, Christine; Gilleron, Mylène; Jardel, Claude


    Human mitochondrial diseases, defined as the diseases due to a mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation defect, represent a large group of very diverse diseases with respect to phenotype and genetic causes. They present with many unsolved issues, the comprehensive analysis of which is beyond the scope of this review. We here essentially focus on the mechanisms underlying the diversity of targeted tissues, which is an important component of the large panel of these diseases phenotypic expression. The reproducibility of genotype/phenotype expression, the presence of modifying factors, and the potential causes for the restricted pattern of tissular expression are reviewed. Special emphasis is made on heteroplasmy, a specific feature of mitochondrial diseases, defined as the coexistence within the cell of mutant and wild type mitochondrial DNA molecules. Its existence permits unequal segregation during mitoses of the mitochondrial DNA populations and consequently heterogeneous tissue distribution of the mutation load. The observed tissue distributions of recurrent human mitochondrial DNA deleterious mutations are diverse but reproducible for a given mutation demonstrating that the segregation is not a random process. Its extent and mechanisms remain essentially unknown despite recent advances obtained in animal models.

  17. The role of formins in human disease. (United States)

    DeWard, Aaron D; Eisenmann, Kathryn M; Matheson, Stephen F; Alberts, Arthur S


    Formins are a conserved family of proteins that play key roles in cytoskeletal remodeling. They nucleate and processively elongate non-branched actin filaments and also modulate microtubule dynamics. Despite their significant contributions to cell biology and development, few studies have directly implicated formins in disease pathogenesis. This review highlights the roles of formins in cell division, migration, immunity, and microvesicle formation in the context of human disease. In addition, we discuss the importance of controlling formin activity and protein expression to maintain cell homeostasis.

  18. Human papillomavirus-associated diseases and cancers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lan Yang; Jianbo Zhu Co-first author; Xiaoyue Song; Yan Qi; Xiaobin Cui; Feng Li 


    Human papilomaviruses (HPVs) have been detected in cervical cancer cels and skin papiloma cels, which have a variety of types, including low-risk and high-risk types. HPV genome replication requires the host cel’s DNA synthesis machinery, and HPVs encode proteins that maintain diferentiated epithelial cels in a replication-competent state. HPV types are tissue-specific and generaly produce diferent types of le-sions, either benign or malignant. This review examines diferent HPV types and their associated diseases and presents therapeutic options for the treatment of HPV-positive diseases.

  19. [Human hantavirus diseases - still neglected zoonoses?]. (United States)

    Vrbovská, V; Chalupa, P; Straková, P; Hubálek, Z; Rudolf, I


    Hantavirus disease is the most common rodent-borne viral infection in the Czech Republic, with a mean annual incidence of 0.02 cases per 100 000 population and specific antibodies detected in 1% of the human population. Four hantaviruses (Puumala, Dobrava-Belgrade, Tula, and Seewis) circulate in this country, of which Puumala virus (responsible for a mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome called nephropathia epidemica) and Dobrava-Belgrade virus (causing haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome) have been proven to cause human disease. The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive review of the hantaviruses occurring in the Czech Republic, based on the literature published during the past three decades, including their geographical distribution and clinical symptoms. The recent detection of Tula virus in an immunocompromised person as well as reports of Seoul virus infections in Europe highlight the possible emergence of neglected hantavirus infections in the foreseeable future.

  20. Molecular biology of human muscle disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunne, P.W.; Epstein, H.F. (Baylor Coll. of Medicine, Houston, TX (United States))


    The molecular revolution that is transforming the entire biomedical field has had far-reaching impact in its application to inherited human muscle disease. The gene for Duchenne muscular dystrophy was one of the first cloned without knowledge of the defective protein product. This success was based upon the availability of key chromosomal aberrations that provided molecular landmarks for the disease locus. Subsequent discoveries regarding the mode of expression for this gene, the structure and localization of its protein product dystrophin, and molecular diagnosis of affected and carrier individuals constitute a paradigm for investigation of human genetics. Finding the gene for myotonic muscular dystrophy is requiring the brute force approach of cloning several million bases of DNA, identifying expressed sequences, and characterizing candidate genes. The gene that causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has been found serendipitously to be one of the genetic markers on chromosome 14, the {beta} myosin heavy chain.

  1. The role of chemerin in human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena Stojek


    Full Text Available Adipose tissue is not merely a storage depot of triacylglycerols but also a major endocrine organ. Its cells, including adipocytes, synthesize and secrete a range of biologically active molecules termed adipokines. Adipokines that display the properties of cytokines are often called adipocytokines. In recent years there has been increasing interest in a new adipokine called chemerin. Chemerin is a protein synthesized mostly by the adipose tissue and the liver as inactive pre-pro-chemerin. After the intracellular hydrolytic cutting off of the 20-amino-acid N-terminal polypeptide, it is secreted into the bloodstream as inactive pro-chemerin. Biologically active chemerin is then derived from pro-chemerin after cleavage of the C-terminal fragment by serum proteases involved in inflammation, coagulation and fibrinolysis. Proteolytic cleavage leads to formation of several chemerin-derived peptides, both biologically active (often with opposing functions and inactive.Within the last decade, there has been a growing number of publications regarding the role of chemerin in human disease. It seems to be implicated in the inflammatory response, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and alimentary tract disorders. The article presents the most recent information on the role of chemerin in human disease, and specifically alimentary tract disorders. The available evidence suggests that chemerin is an important link between adipose tissue mass, metabolic processes, the immune system and inflammation, and therefore plays a major role in human pathophysiology.

  2. Genes of periodontopathogens expressed during human disease. (United States)

    Song, Yo-Han; Kozarov, Emil V; Walters, Sheila M; Cao, Sam Linsen; Handfield, Martin; Hillman, Jeffrey D; Progulske-Fox, Ann


    Since many bacterial genes are environmentally regulated, the screening for virulence-associated factors using classical genetic and molecular biology approaches can be biased under laboratory growth conditions of a given pathogen, because the required conditions for expression of many virulence factors may not occur during in vitro growth. Thus, technologies have been developed during the past several years to identify genes that are expressed during disease using animal models of human disease. However, animal models are not always truly representative of human disease, and with many pathogens, there is no appropriate animal model. A new technology, in vivo-induced antigen technology (IVIAT) was thus engineered and tested in our laboratory to screen for genes of pathogenic organisms induced specifically in humans, without the use of animal or artificial models of infection. This technology uses pooled sera from patients to probe for genes expressed exclusively in vivo (or ivi, in vivo-induced genes). IVIAT was originally designed for the study of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans pathogenesis, but we have now extended it to other oral pathogens including Porphyromonas gingivalis. One hundred seventy-one thousand (171,000) clones from P. gingivalis strain W83 were screened and 144 were confirmed positive. Over 300,000 A. actinomycetemcomitans clones were probed, and 116 were confirmed positive using a quantitative blot assay. MAT has proven useful in identifying previously unknown in vivo-induced genes that are likely involved in virulence and are thus excellent candidates for use in diagnostic : and therapeutic strategies, including vaccine design.

  3. Mitochondria: impaired mitochondrial translation in human disease. (United States)

    Boczonadi, Veronika; Horvath, Rita


    Defects of the mitochondrial protein synthesis cause a subgroup of mitochondrial diseases, which are usually associated with decreased activities of multiple respiratory chain (RC) enzymes. The clinical presentations of these disorders are often disabling, progressive or fatal, affecting the brain, liver, skeletal muscle, heart and other organs. Currently there are no effective cures for these disorders and treatment is at best symptomatic. The diagnosis in patients with multiple respiratory chain complex defects is particularly difficult because of the massive number of nuclear genes potentially involved in intra-mitochondrial protein synthesis. Many of these genes are not yet linked to human disease. Whole exome sequencing rapidly changed the diagnosis of these patients by identifying the primary defect in DNA, and preventing the need for invasive and complex biochemical testing. Better understanding of the mitochondrial protein synthesis apparatus will help us to explore disease mechanisms and will provide clues for developing novel therapies.

  4. Humanized Mouse Model of Ebola Virus Disease Mimics the Immune Responses in Human Disease. (United States)

    Bird, Brian H; Spengler, Jessica R; Chakrabarti, Ayan K; Khristova, Marina L; Sealy, Tara K; Coleman-McCray, JoAnn D; Martin, Brock E; Dodd, Kimberly A; Goldsmith, Cynthia S; Sanders, Jeanine; Zaki, Sherif R; Nichol, Stuart T; Spiropoulou, Christina F


    Animal models recapitulating human Ebola virus disease (EVD) are critical for insights into virus pathogenesis. Ebola virus (EBOV) isolates derived directly from human specimens do not, without adaptation, cause disease in immunocompetent adult rodents. Here, we describe EVD in mice engrafted with human immune cells (hu-BLT). hu-BLT mice developed EVD following wild-type EBOV infection. Infection with high-dose EBOV resulted in rapid, lethal EVD with high viral loads, alterations in key human antiviral immune cytokines and chemokines, and severe histopathologic findings similar to those shown in the limited human postmortem data available. A dose- and donor-dependent clinical course was observed in hu-BLT mice infected with lower doses of either Mayinga (1976) or Makona (2014) isolates derived from human EBOV cases. Engraftment of the human cellular immune system appeared to be essential for the observed virulence, as nonengrafted mice did not support productive EBOV replication or develop lethal disease. hu-BLT mice offer a unique model for investigating the human immune response in EVD and an alternative animal model for EVD pathogenesis studies and therapeutic screening.

  5. Human Genome Sequencing in Health and Disease (United States)

    Gonzaga-Jauregui, Claudia; Lupski, James R.; Gibbs, Richard A.


    Following the “finished,” euchromatic, haploid human reference genome sequence, the rapid development of novel, faster, and cheaper sequencing technologies is making possible the era of personalized human genomics. Personal diploid human genome sequences have been generated, and each has contributed to our better understanding of variation in the human genome. We have consequently begun to appreciate the vastness of individual genetic variation from single nucleotide to structural variants. Translation of genome-scale variation into medically useful information is, however, in its infancy. This review summarizes the initial steps undertaken in clinical implementation of personal genome information, and describes the application of whole-genome and exome sequencing to identify the cause of genetic diseases and to suggest adjuvant therapies. Better analysis tools and a deeper understanding of the biology of our genome are necessary in order to decipher, interpret, and optimize clinical utility of what the variation in the human genome can teach us. Personal genome sequencing may eventually become an instrument of common medical practice, providing information that assists in the formulation of a differential diagnosis. We outline herein some of the remaining challenges. PMID:22248320

  6. Conditional Lineage Ablation to Model Human Diseases (United States)

    Lee, Paul; Morley, Gregory; Huang, Qian; Fischer, Avi; Seiler, Stephanie; Horner, James W.; Factor, Stephen; Vaidya, Dhananjay; Jalife, Jose; Fishman, Glenn I.


    Cell loss contributes to the pathogenesis of many inherited and acquired human diseases. We have developed a system to conditionally ablate cells of any lineage and developmental stage in the mouse by regulated expression of the diphtheria toxin A (DTA) gene by using tetracycline-responsive promoters. As an example of this approach, we targeted expression of DTA to the hearts of adult mice to model structural abnormalities commonly observed in human cardiomyopathies. Induction of DTA expression resulted in cell loss, fibrosis, and chamber dilatation. As in many human cardiomyopathies, transgenic mice developed spontaneous arrhythmias in vivo, and programmed electrical stimulation of isolated-perfused transgenic hearts demonstrated a strikingly high incidence of spontaneous and inducible ventricular tachycardia. Affected mice showed marked perturbations of cardiac gap junction channel expression and localization, including a subset with disorganized epicardial activation patterns as revealed by optical action potential mapping. These studies provide important insights into mechanisms of arrhythmogenesis and suggest that conditional lineage ablation may have wide applicability for studies of disease pathogenesis.

  7. Uniparental disomy and human disease: an overview. (United States)

    Yamazawa, Kazuki; Ogata, Tsutomu; Ferguson-Smith, Anne C


    Uniparental disomy (UPD) refers to the situation in which both homologues of a chromosomal region/segment have originated from only one parent. This can involve the entire chromosome or only a small segment. As a consequence of UPD, or uniparental duplication/deficiency of part of a chromosome, there are two types of developmental risk: aberrant dosage of genes regulated by genomic imprinting and homozygosity of a recessive mutation. UPD models generated by reciprocal and Robertsonian translocation heterozygote intercrosses have been a powerful tool to investigate genomic imprinting in mice, whereas novel UPD patients such as those with cystic fibrosis and Prader-Willi syndrome, triggered the clarification of recessive diseases and genomic imprinting disorders in human. Newly developed genomic technologies as well as conventional microsatellite marker methods have been contributing to the functional and mechanistic investigation of UPD, leading to not only the acquisition of clinically valuable information, but also the further clarification of diverse genetic processes and disease pathogenesis.

  8. Mitochondrial Fusion Proteins and Human Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michela Ranieri


    Full Text Available Mitochondria are highly dynamic, complex organelles that continuously alter their shape, ranging between two opposite processes, fission and fusion, in response to several stimuli and the metabolic demands of the cell. Alterations in mitochondrial dynamics due to mutations in proteins involved in the fusion-fission machinery represent an important pathogenic mechanism of human diseases. The most relevant proteins involved in the mitochondrial fusion process are three GTPase dynamin-like proteins: mitofusin 1 (MFN1 and 2 (MFN2, located in the outer mitochondrial membrane, and optic atrophy protein 1 (OPA1, in the inner membrane. An expanding number of degenerative disorders are associated with mutations in the genes encoding MFN2 and OPA1, including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A and autosomal dominant optic atrophy. While these disorders can still be considered rare, defective mitochondrial dynamics seem to play a significant role in the molecular and cellular pathogenesis of more common neurodegenerative diseases, for example, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. This review provides an overview of the basic molecular mechanisms involved in mitochondrial fusion and focuses on the alteration in mitochondrial DNA amount resulting from impairment of mitochondrial dynamics. We also review the literature describing the main disorders associated with the disruption of mitochondrial fusion.

  9. Human brain disease recreated in mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marx, J.


    In the early 1980s, neurologist Stanley Prusiner suggested that scrapie, an apparently infectious degenerative brain disease of sheep, could be transmitted by prions, infectious particles made just of protein - and containing no nucleic acids. But prion research has come a long way since then. In 1985, the cloning of the gene encoding the prion protein proved that it does in fact exist. And the gene turned out to be widely expressed in the brains of higher organisms, a result suggesting that the prion protein has a normal brain function that can somehow be subverted, leading to brain degeneration. Then studies done during the past 2 years suggested that specific mutations in the prion gene might cause two similar human brain diseases, Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS) and Creutzfelt-Jakob disease. Now, Prusiner's group at the University of California, San Francisco, has used genetic engineering techniques to recreate GSS by transplanting the mutated prion gene into mice. Not only will the animal model help neurobiologists answer the many remaining questions about prions and how they work, but it may also shed some light on other neurodegenerative diseases as well.

  10. The Microbiota, Chemical Symbiosis, and Human Disease (United States)

    Redinbo, Matthew R.


    Our understanding of mammalian-microbial mutualism has expanded by combing microbial sequencing with evolving molecular and cellular methods, and unique model systems. Here, the recent literature linking the microbiota to diseases of three of the key mammalian mucosal epithelial compartments – nasal, lung and gastrointestinal (GI) tract – is reviewed with a focus on new knowledge about the taxa, species, proteins and chemistry that promote health and impact progression toward disease. The information presented is further organized by specific diseases now associated with the microbiota:, Staphylococcus aureus infection and rhinosinusitis in the nasal-sinus mucosa; cystic fibrosis (CF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and asthma in the pulmonary tissues. For the vast and microbially dynamic GI compartment, several disorders are considered, including obesity, atherosclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, drug toxicity, and even autism. Our appreciation of the chemical symbiosis ongoing between human systems and the microbiota continues to grow, and suggest new opportunities for modulating this symbiosis using designed interventions. PMID:25305474

  11. Human prion diseases in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert C Holman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Prion diseases are a family of rare, progressive, neurodegenerative disorders that affect humans and animals. The most common form of human prion disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD, occurs worldwide. Variant CJD (vCJD, a recently emerged human prion disease, is a zoonotic foodborne disorder that occurs almost exclusively in countries with outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. This study describes the occurrence and epidemiology of CJD and vCJD in the United States. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Analysis of CJD and vCJD deaths using death certificates of US residents for 1979-2006, and those identified through other surveillance mechanisms during 1996-2008. Since CJD is invariably fatal and illness duration is usually less than one year, the CJD incidence is estimated as the death rate. During 1979 through 2006, an estimated 6,917 deaths with CJD as a cause of death were reported in the United States, an annual average of approximately 247 deaths (range 172-304 deaths. The average annual age-adjusted incidence for CJD was 0.97 per 1,000,000 persons. Most (61.8% of the CJD deaths occurred among persons >or=65 years of age for an average annual incidence of 4.8 per 1,000,000 persons in this population. Most deaths were among whites (94.6%; the age-adjusted incidence for whites was 2.7 times higher than that for blacks (1.04 and 0.40, respectively. Three patients who died since 2004 were reported with vCJD; epidemiologic evidence indicated that their infection was acquired outside of the United States. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Surveillance continues to show an annual CJD incidence rate of about 1 case per 1,000,000 persons and marked differences in CJD rates by age and race in the United States. Ongoing surveillance remains important for monitoring the stability of the CJD incidence rates, and detecting occurrences of vCJD and possibly other novel prion diseases in the United States.

  12. HIV and the spectrum of human disease. (United States)

    Lucas, Sebastian; Nelson, Ann Marie


    Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes systemic T cell destruction and reduced cell-mediated immunity that leads to a wide range of opportunistic infections and cancers. Second, it directly damages many tissues - gut, brain, lung - through mononuclear cell infection and activation. Third, through immune activation and effects on endothelia, it can cause more subtle systemic organ damage, such as chronic cardiovascular, hepatic, pulmonary and central nervous system disease. Antiretroviral treatment has enabled HIV-infected persons to live with chronic infection, although with some side-effects and mortality, including reactions due to the immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). As cohorts of infected people get older, age-related diseases will combine with chronic HIV infection to produce disabilities whose scale is not yet understood. HIV is detectable in tissues by immunohistochemistry when infection loads are high, such as at first presentation. Pathologists should proactively consider HIV disease in routine diagnostic work, so as to identify more HIV-infected patients and enable their optimal management.

  13. Blood type biochemistry and human disease. (United States)

    Ewald, D Rose; Sumner, Susan C J


    Associations between blood type and disease have been studied since the early 1900s when researchers determined that antibodies and antigens are inherited. In the 1950s, the chemical identification of the carbohydrate structure of surface antigens led to the understanding of biosynthetic pathways. The blood type is defined by oligosaccharide structures, which are specific to the antigens, thus, blood group antigens are secondary gene products, while the primary gene products are various glycosyltransferase enzymes that attach the sugar molecules to the oligosaccharide chain. Blood group antigens are found on red blood cells, platelets, leukocytes, plasma proteins, certain tissues, and various cell surface enzymes, and also exist in soluble form in body secretions such as breast milk, seminal fluid, saliva, sweat, gastric secretions, urine, and amniotic fluid. Recent advances in technology, biochemistry, and genetics have clarified the functional classifications of human blood group antigens, the structure of the A, B, H, and Lewis determinants and the enzymes that produce them, and the association of blood group antigens with disease risks. Further research to identify differences in the biochemical composition of blood group antigens, and the relationship to risks for disease, can be important for the identification of targets for the development of nutritional intervention strategies, or the identification of druggable targets. WIREs Syst Biol Med 2016, 8:517-535. doi: 10.1002/wsbm.1355 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  14. HECT E3s and human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Staub Olivier


    Full Text Available Abstract In a simplified view, members of the HECT E3 family have a modular structure consisting of the C-terminal HECT domain, which is catalytically involved in the attachment of ubiquitin to substrate proteins, and N-terminal extensions of variable length and sequence that mediate the substrate specificity of the respective HECT E3. Although the physiologically relevant substrates of most HECT E3s have remained elusive, it is becoming increasingly clear that HECT E3s play an important role in sporadic and hereditary human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular (Liddle's syndrome and neurological (Angelman syndrome disorders, and/or in disease-relevant processes including bone homeostasis, immune response and retroviral budding. Thus, molecular approaches to target the activity of distinct HECT E3s, regulators thereof, and/or of HECT E3 substrates could prove valuable in the treatment of the respective diseases. Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb;

  15. Diet, disease and pigment variation in humans. (United States)

    Khan, R; Khan, B S Razib


    There are several hypotheses which explain the de-pigmentation of humans. The most prominent environmental explanation is that reduced endogenous vitamin D production due to diminished radiation at higher latitudes had a deleterious impact on fitness. This drove de-pigmentation as an adaptive response. A model of natural selection explains the high correlations found between low vitamin D levels and ill health, as vitamin D's role in immune response has clear evolutionary implications. But recent genomic techniques have highlighted the likelihood that extreme de-pigmentation in Eurasia is a feature of the last 10,000years, not the Upper Pleistocene, when modern humans first settled northern Eurasia. Additionally the data imply two independent selection events in eastern and western Eurasia. Therefore new parameters must be added to the model of natural selection so as to explain the relatively recent and parallel adaptive responses. I propose a model of gene-culture co-evolution whereby the spread of agriculture both reduced dietary vitamin D sources and led to more powerful selection on immune response because of the rise of infectious diseases with greater population densities. This model explains the persistence of relatively dark-skinned peoples at relatively high latitudes and the existence of relatively light-skinned populations at low latitudes. It also reinforces the importance of vitamin D as a micronutrient because of the evidence of extremely powerful fitness implications in the recent human past of pigmentation. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Evolutionary history of human disease genes reveals phenotypic connections and comorbidity among genetic diseases. (United States)

    Park, Solip; Yang, Jae-Seong; Kim, Jinho; Shin, Young-Eun; Hwang, Jihye; Park, Juyong; Jang, Sung Key; Kim, Sanguk


    The extent to which evolutionary changes have impacted the phenotypic relationships among human diseases remains unclear. In this work, we report that phenotypically similar diseases are connected by the evolutionary constraints on human disease genes. Human disease groups can be classified into slowly or rapidly evolving classes, where the diseases in the slowly evolving class are enriched with morphological phenotypes and those in the rapidly evolving class are enriched with physiological phenotypes. Our findings establish a clear evolutionary connection between disease classes and disease phenotypes for the first time. Furthermore, the high comorbidity found between diseases connected by similar evolutionary constraints enables us to improve the predictability of the relative risk of human diseases. We find the evolutionary constraints on disease genes are a new layer of molecular connection in the network-based exploration of human diseases.

  17. Human KATP channelopathies: diseases of metabolic homeostasis (United States)


    Assembly of an inward rectifier K+ channel pore (Kir6.1/Kir6.2) and an adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding regulatory subunit (SUR1/SUR2A/SUR2B) forms ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channel heteromultimers, widely distributed in metabolically active tissues throughout the body. KATP channels are metabolism-gated biosensors functioning as molecular rheostats that adjust membrane potential-dependent functions to match cellular energetic demands. Vital in the adaptive response to (patho)physiological stress, KATP channels serve a homeostatic role ranging from glucose regulation to cardioprotection. Accordingly, genetic variation in KATP channel subunits has been linked to the etiology of life-threatening human diseases. In particular, pathogenic mutations in KATP channels have been identified in insulin secretion disorders, namely, congenital hyperinsulinism and neonatal diabetes. Moreover, KATP channel defects underlie the triad of developmental delay, epilepsy, and neonatal diabetes (DEND syndrome). KATP channelopathies implicated in patients with mechanical and/or electrical heart disease include dilated cardiomyopathy (with ventricular arrhythmia; CMD1O) and adrenergic atrial fibrillation. A common Kir6.2 E23K polymorphism has been associated with late-onset diabetes and as a risk factor for maladaptive cardiac remodeling in the community-at-large and abnormal cardiopulmonary exercise stress performance in patients with heart failure. The overall mutation frequency within KATP channel genes and the spectrum of genotype–phenotype relationships remain to be established, while predicting consequences of a deficit in channel function is becoming increasingly feasible through systems biology approaches. Thus, advances in molecular medicine in the emerging field of human KATP channelopathies offer new opportunities for targeted individualized screening, early diagnosis, and tailored therapy. PMID:20033705

  18. Major trends in human parasitic diseases in China. (United States)

    Li, Ting; He, Shenyi; Zhao, Hong; Zhao, Guanghui; Zhu, Xing-Quan


    Tremendous progress has been made in the control and prevention of human parasitic diseases in mainland China in the past 30 years because of China's Reform and Opening to the Outside Policies initiated in 1978. However, parasitic diseases remain a major human health problem, with significant morbidity and mortality as well as adverse socioeconomic consequences. Although soil-transmitted parasitic diseases are in the process of being gradually controlled, food-borne parasitic diseases and emerging parasitic diseases are becoming the focus of new campaigns for control and prevention. This article reviews major trends in human parasitic diseases in mainland China, with perspectives for control.

  19. Wolbachia endosymbionts and human disease control. (United States)

    Slatko, Barton E; Luck, Ashley N; Dobson, Stephen L; Foster, Jeremy M


    Most human filarial nematode parasites and arthropods are hosts for a bacterial endosymbiont, Wolbachia. In filaria, Wolbachia are required for normal development, fertility and survival, whereas in arthropods, they are largely parasitic and can influence development and reproduction, but are generally not required for host survival. Due to their obligate nature in filarial parasites, Wolbachia have been a target for drug discovery initiatives using several approaches including diversity and focused library screening and genomic sequence analysis. In vitro and in vivo anti-Wolbachia antibiotic treatments have been shown to have adulticidal activity, a long sought goal of filarial parasite drug discovery. In mosquitoes, it has been shown that the presence of Wolbachia can inhibit the transmission of certain viruses, such as Dengue, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever, West Nile, as well as the infectivity of the malaria-causing protozoan, Plasmodium and filarial nematodes. Furthermore, Wolbachia can cause a form of conditional sterility that can be used to suppress populations of mosquitoes and additional medically important insects. Thus Wolbachia, a pandemic endosymbiont offers great potential for elimination of a wide-variety of devastating human diseases.

  20. MicroRNAs in Human Diseases: From Autoimmune Diseases to Skin, Psychiatric and Neurodegenerative Diseases. (United States)

    Ha, Tai-You


    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA molecules that negatively regulate gene expression via degradation or translational repression of their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that miRNAs play critical roles in several biologic processes, including cell cycle, differentiation, cell development, cell growth, and apoptosis and that miRNAs are highly expressed in regulatory T (Treg) cells and a wide range of miRNAs are involved in the regulation of immunity and in the prevention of autoimmunity. It has been increasingly reported that miRNAs are associated with various human diseases like autoimmune disease, skin disease, neurological disease and psychiatric disease. Recently, the identification of mi- RNAs in skin has added a new dimension in the regulatory network and attracted significant interest in this novel layer of gene regulation. Although miRNA research in the field of dermatology is still relatively new, miRNAs have been the subject of much dermatological interest in skin morphogenesis and in regulating angiogenesis. In addition, miRNAs are moving rapidly onto center stage as key regulators of neuronal development and function in addition to important contributions to neurodegenerative disorder. Moreover, there is now compelling evidence that dysregulation of miRNA networks is implicated in the development and onset of human neruodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Tourette's syndrome, Down syndrome, depression and schizophrenia. In this review, I briefly summarize the current studies about the roles of miRNAs in various autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, psychoneurological disorders and mental stress.

  1. Heart Disease: A Price Humans Pay for Fertility? (United States)

    ... page: Heart Disease: A Price Humans Pay for Fertility? Study finds ... 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Certain genes linked to heart disease may also improve your chances of having children, ...

  2. Reg gene family and human diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yu-Wei Zhang; Liu-Song Ding; Mao-De Lai


    Regenerating gene (Reg or REG) family, within the superfamily of C-type lectin, is mainly involved in the liver,pancreatic, gastric and intestinal cell proliferation or differentiation. Considerable attention has focused on Reg family and its structurally related molecules. Over the last 15 years, 17 members of the Reg family have been cloned and sequenced. They have been considered as members of a conserved protein family sharing structural and some functional properties being involved in injury, inflammation,diabetes and carcinogenesis. We previously identified Reg Ⅳ as a strong candidate for a gene that was highly expressed in colorectal adenoma when compared to normal mucosa based on suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH),reverse Northern blot, semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR)and Northern blot. In situ hybridization results further support that overexpression of Reg Ⅳ may be an early event in colorectal carcinogenesis. We suggest that detection of Reg Ⅳ overexpression might be useful in the early diagnosis of carcinomatous transformation of adenoma.This review summarizes the roles of Reg family in diseases in the literature as well as our recent results of Reg Ⅳ in colorectal cancer. The biological properties of Reg family and its possible roles in human diseases are discussed. We particularly focus on the roles of Reg family as sensitive reactants of tissue injury, prognostic indicators of tumor survival and early biomarkers of carcinogenesis. In addition to our current understanding of Reg gene functions, we postulate that there might be relationships between Reg family and microsatellite instability, apoptosis and cancer with a poor prognosis. Investigation of the correlation between tumor Reg expression and survival rate, and analysis of the Reg gene status in human maliganancies, are required to elucidate the biologic consequences of Reg gene expression, the implications for Reg gene regulation of cell growth, tumorigenesis

  3. Intensity of human prion disease surveillance predicts observed disease incidence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G.M. Klug (Genevieve); H. Wand (Handan); M. Simpson (Marion); A. Boyd (Alison); M. Law (Matthew); C. Masters (Colin); R. Mateǰ (Radoslav); R. Howley (Rachel); M. Farrell (Michael); M. Breithaupt; I. Zerr (Inga); C.M. van Duijn (Cock); C.A. Ibrahim-Verbaas (Carla); J. Mackenzie; R.G. Will (Robert); J-P. Brandel (Jean-Philippe); A. Alperovitch (Annick); H. Budka (Herbert); G.G. Kovacs (Gabor); G.H. Jansen (Gerard); M. Coulthard (Michael); S.J. Collins (Steven)


    textabstractBackground: Prospective national screening and surveillance programmes serve a range of public health functions. Objectively determining their adequacy and impact on disease may be problematic for rare disorders. We undertook to assess whether objective measures of disease surveillance

  4. Recent efforts to model human diseases in vivo in Drosophila. (United States)

    Pfleger, Cathie M; Reiter, Lawrence T


    Upon completion of sequencing the Drosophila genome, it was estimated that 61% of human disease-associated genes had sequence homologs in flies, and in some diseases such as cancer, the number was as high as 68%. We now know that as many as 75% of the genes associated with genetic disease have counterparts in Drosophila. Using better tools for mutation detection, association studies and whole genome analysis the number of human genes associated with genetic disease is steadily increasing. These detection efforts are outpacing the ability to assign function and understand the underlying cause of the disease at the molecular level. Drosophila models can therefore advance human disease research in a number of ways by: establishing the normal role of these gene products during development, elucidating the mechanism underlying disease pathology, and even identifying candidate therapeutic agents for the treatment of human disease. At the 49(th) Annual Drosophila Research Conference in San Diego this year, a number of labs presented their exciting findings on Drosophila models of human disease in both platform presentations and poster sessions. Here we can only briefly review some of these developments, and we apologize that we do not have the time or space to review all of the findings presented which use Drosophila to understand human disease etiology.

  5. Human pluripotent stem cells: applications and challenges in neurological diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youssef eHIBAOUI


    Full Text Available The ability to generate human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs holds great promise for the understanding and the treatment of human neurological diseases in modern medicine. The hPSCs are considered for their in vitro use as research tools to provide relevant cellular model for human diseases, drug discovery and toxicity assays and for their in vivo use in regenerative medicine applications. In this review, we highlight recent progress, promises and challenges of hPSC applications in human neurological disease modelling and therapies.

  6. Modeling human disease using organotypic cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schweiger, Pawel J; Jensen, Kim B


    Reliable disease models are needed in order to improve quality of healthcare. This includes gaining better understanding of disease mechanisms, developing new therapeutic interventions and personalizing treatment. Up-to-date, the majority of our knowledge about disease states comes from in vivo...

  7. Multinational corporations and infectious disease: Embracing human rights management techniques. (United States)

    Salcito, Kendyl; Singer, Burton H; Weiss, Mitchell G; Winkler, Mirko S; Krieger, Gary R; Wielga, Mark; Utzinger, Jürg


    Global health institutions have called for governments, international organisations and health practitioners to employ a human rights-based approach to infectious diseases. The motivation for a human rights approach is clear: poverty and inequality create conditions for infectious diseases to thrive, and the diseases, in turn, interact with social-ecological systems to promulgate poverty, inequity and indignity. Governments and intergovernmental organisations should be concerned with the control and elimination of these diseases, as widespread infections delay economic growth and contribute to higher healthcare costs and slower processes for realising universal human rights. These social determinants and economic outcomes associated with infectious diseases should interest multinational companies, partly because they have bearing on corporate productivity and, increasingly, because new global norms impose on companies a responsibility to respect human rights, including the right to health. We reviewed historical and recent developments at the interface of infectious diseases, human rights and multinational corporations. Our investigation was supplemented with field-level insights at corporate capital projects that were developed in areas of high endemicity of infectious diseases, which embraced rights-based disease control strategies. Experience and literature provide a longstanding business case and an emerging social responsibility case for corporations to apply a human rights approach to health programmes at global operations. Indeed, in an increasingly globalised and interconnected world, multinational corporations have an interest, and an important role to play, in advancing rights-based control strategies for infectious diseases. There are new opportunities for governments and international health agencies to enlist corporate business actors in disease control and elimination strategies. Guidance offered by the United Nations in 2011 that is widely embraced

  8. Extracellular RNAs: development as biomarkers of human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph F. Quinn


    Full Text Available Ten ongoing studies designed to test the possibility that extracellular RNAs may serve as biomarkers in human disease are described. These studies, funded by the NIH Common Fund Extracellular RNA Communication Program, examine diverse extracellular body fluids, including plasma, serum, urine and cerebrospinal fluid. The disorders studied include hepatic and gastric cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, neurodegenerative disease, brain tumours, intracranial haemorrhage, multiple sclerosis and placental disorders. Progress to date and the plans for future studies are outlined.

  9. Protein kinase CK2 in human diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerra, Barbara; Issinger, Olaf-Georg


    in various disease processes including cancer has been gained in recent years, and the present review may help to further elucidate its aberrant role in many disease states. Its peculiar structural features [3-9] may be advantageous in designing tailor-made compounds with the possibility to specifically...

  10. The genus Malassezia and human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inamadar A


    Full Text Available Sabouraud's Pityrosporum is now recognized as Malassezia. With taxonomic revision of the genus, newer species have been included. The role of this member of the normal human skin flora in different cutaneous and systemic disorders is becoming clearer. The immunological responses it induces in the human body are conflicting and their relevance to clinical features is yet to be explored.

  11. Statistical insights into major human muscular diseases. (United States)

    Gupta, Shakti; Kim, Sung-Min; Wang, Yu; Dinasarapu, Ashok Reddy; Subramaniam, Shankar


    Muscular diseases lead to muscle fiber degeneration, impairment of mobility, and in some cases premature death. Many of these muscular diseases are largely idiopathic. The goal of this study was to identify biomarkers based on their functional role and possible mechanisms of pathogenesis, specific to individual muscular disease. We analyzed the muscle transcriptome from five major muscular diseases: acute quadriplegic myopathy (AQM), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS), dermatomyositis (DM) and polymyositis (PM) using pairwise statistical comparison to identify uniquely regulated genes in each muscular disease. The genome-wide information encoded in the transcriptome provided biomarkers and functional insights into dysregulation in each muscular disease. The analysis showed that the dysregulation of genes in forward membrane pathway, responsible for transmitting action potential from neural excitation, is unique to AQM, while the dysregulation of myofibril genes, determinant of the mechanical properties of muscle, is unique to ALS, dysregulation of ER protein processing, responsible for correct protein folding, is unique to DM, and upregulation of immune response genes is unique to PM. We have identified biomarkers specific to each muscular disease which can be used for diagnostic purposes.

  12. Metatranscriptomics of the human oral microbiome during health and disease. (United States)

    Jorth, Peter; Turner, Keith H; Gumus, Pinar; Nizam, Nejat; Buduneli, Nurcan; Whiteley, Marvin


    The human microbiome plays important roles in health, but when disrupted, these same indigenous microbes can cause disease. The composition of the microbiome changes during the transition from health to disease; however, these changes are often not conserved among patients. Since microbiome-associated diseases like periodontitis cause similar patient symptoms despite interpatient variability in microbial community composition, we hypothesized that human-associated microbial communities undergo conserved changes in metabolism during disease. Here, we used patient-matched healthy and diseased samples to compare gene expression of 160,000 genes in healthy and diseased periodontal communities. We show that health- and disease-associated communities exhibit defined differences in metabolism that are conserved between patients. In contrast, the metabolic gene expression of individual species was highly variable between patients. These results demonstrate that despite high interpatient variability in microbial composition, disease-associated communities display conserved metabolic profiles that are generally accomplished by a patient-specific cohort of microbes. IMPORTANCE The human microbiome project has shown that shifts in our microbiota are associated with many diseases, including obesity, Crohn's disease, diabetes, and periodontitis. While changes in microbial populations are apparent during these diseases, the species associated with each disease can vary from patient to patient. Taking into account this interpatient variability, we hypothesized that specific microbiota-associated diseases would be marked by conserved microbial community behaviors. Here, we use gene expression analyses of patient-matched healthy and diseased human periodontal plaque to show that microbial communities have highly conserved metabolic gene expression profiles, whereas individual species within the community do not. Furthermore, disease-associated communities exhibit conserved changes

  13. Human Milk and Allergic Diseases: An Unsolved Puzzle (United States)

    Peroni, Diego G.; Boix-Amorós, Alba; Hsu, Peter S.; Van’t Land, Belinda; Skevaki, Chrysanthi; Collado, Maria Carmen; Garssen, Johan; Geddes, Donna T.; Nanan, Ralph; Slupsky, Carolyn; Wegienka, Ganesa; Kozyrskyj, Anita L.; Warner, John O.


    There is conflicting evidence on the protective role of breastfeeding in relation to the development of allergic sensitisation and allergic disease. Studies vary in methodology and definition of outcomes, which lead to considerable heterogeneity. Human milk composition varies both within and between individuals, which may partially explain conflicting data. It is known that human milk composition is very complex and contains variable levels of immune active molecules, oligosaccharides, metabolites, vitamins and other nutrients and microbial content. Existing evidence suggests that modulation of human breast milk composition has potential for preventing allergic diseases in early life. In this review, we discuss associations between breastfeeding/human milk composition and allergy development. PMID:28817095

  14. Mental stress and human cardiovascular disease. (United States)

    Esler, Murray


    The London physician and neuroanatomist Thomas Willis in the 17th century correctly attributed the source of emotions to the brain, not the heart as believed in antiquity. Contemporary research documents the phenomenon of "triggered" heart disease, when the autonomic nervous system control of the heart by the brain goes awry, producing heart disease of sudden onset, precipitated by acute emotional upheaval. This can take the form of, variously, cardiac arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and sudden death. Chronic psychological distress also can have adverse cardiovascular consequences, in the causal linkage of depressive illness to heart disease, and in the probable causation of atherosclerosis and hypertension by chronic mental stress. In patients with essential hypertension, stress biomarkers are present. The sympathetic nervous system is the usual mediator between these acute and chronic psychological substrates and cardiovascular disease.

  15. Disease Human - MDC_CLRDMortality2006 (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — Polygon feature class based on Zip Code boundaries showing the rate of deaths per 100,000 residents due to Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (CLRD) in Miami-Dade...

  16. "Miniguts" from plucked human hair meet Crohn's disease. (United States)

    Hohwieler, M; Renz, S; Liebau, S; Lin, Q; Lechel, A; Klaus, J; Perkhofer, L; Zenke, M; Seufferlein, T; Illing, A; Müller, M; Kleger, A


    Human pluripotent stem cells represent a powerful tool to study human embryonic development and disease but also open up novel strategies for cell replacement therapies. Their capacity to give rise to every cell type of the human body, meanwhile, enables researchers to generate high yields of mesodermal, ectodermal, but also endodermal-derived tissues such as hepatic, pancreatic, or intestinal cells. Another progress in the field came with the advent of 3-dimensional culture conditions, so-called organoids, which facilitate maturation of stem cells and in turn more faithfully recapitulate human tissue architecture. While several studies reported the derivation of organoid cultures from adult intestinal tissue, the derivation of intestinal organoids derived from plucked human hair of Crohn's disease patients has not been reported. The current research project reports such successful generation and characterization of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from hair sheet keratinocyte cultures of a patient with Crohn's disease. Stepwise differentiation along the intestinal lineage showed no differences in intermediate stages such as definitive endoderm formation. We also directed the patterned primitive gut tube toward intestinal organoids resembling the cellular architecture of human "miniguts". As expected from current pathophysiological knowledge on Crohn's disease, there were no obvious morphological differences in the "miniguts" derived from healthy control and diseased patient-induced pluripotent stem cells. Taken together, our platform will enable for detailed and complementary phenotyping of the pathophysiology of Crohn's disease in a novel disease-in-a-dish format.

  17. Genomic responses in mouse models poorly mimic human inflammatory diseases. (United States)

    Seok, Junhee; Warren, H Shaw; Cuenca, Alex G; Mindrinos, Michael N; Baker, Henry V; Xu, Weihong; Richards, Daniel R; McDonald-Smith, Grace P; Gao, Hong; Hennessy, Laura; Finnerty, Celeste C; López, Cecilia M; Honari, Shari; Moore, Ernest E; Minei, Joseph P; Cuschieri, Joseph; Bankey, Paul E; Johnson, Jeffrey L; Sperry, Jason; Nathens, Avery B; Billiar, Timothy R; West, Michael A; Jeschke, Marc G; Klein, Matthew B; Gamelli, Richard L; Gibran, Nicole S; Brownstein, Bernard H; Miller-Graziano, Carol; Calvano, Steve E; Mason, Philip H; Cobb, J Perren; Rahme, Laurence G; Lowry, Stephen F; Maier, Ronald V; Moldawer, Lyle L; Herndon, David N; Davis, Ronald W; Xiao, Wenzhong; Tompkins, Ronald G


    A cornerstone of modern biomedical research is the use of mouse models to explore basic pathophysiological mechanisms, evaluate new therapeutic approaches, and make go or no-go decisions to carry new drug candidates forward into clinical trials. Systematic studies evaluating how well murine models mimic human inflammatory diseases are nonexistent. Here, we show that, although acute inflammatory stresses from different etiologies result in highly similar genomic responses in humans, the responses in corresponding mouse models correlate poorly with the human conditions and also, one another. Among genes changed significantly in humans, the murine orthologs are close to random in matching their human counterparts (e.g., R(2) between 0.0 and 0.1). In addition to improvements in the current animal model systems, our study supports higher priority for translational medical research to focus on the more complex human conditions rather than relying on mouse models to study human inflammatory diseases.

  18. Genomic responses in mouse models poorly mimic human inflammatory diseases (United States)

    Seok, Junhee; Warren, H. Shaw; Cuenca, Alex G.; Mindrinos, Michael N.; Baker, Henry V.; Xu, Weihong; Richards, Daniel R.; McDonald-Smith, Grace P.; Gao, Hong; Hennessy, Laura; Finnerty, Celeste C.; López, Cecilia M.; Honari, Shari; Moore, Ernest E.; Minei, Joseph P.; Cuschieri, Joseph; Bankey, Paul E.; Johnson, Jeffrey L.; Sperry, Jason; Nathens, Avery B.; Billiar, Timothy R.; West, Michael A.; Jeschke, Marc G.; Klein, Matthew B.; Gamelli, Richard L.; Gibran, Nicole S.; Brownstein, Bernard H.; Miller-Graziano, Carol; Calvano, Steve E.; Mason, Philip H.; Cobb, J. Perren; Rahme, Laurence G.; Lowry, Stephen F.; Maier, Ronald V.; Moldawer, Lyle L.; Herndon, David N.; Davis, Ronald W.; Xiao, Wenzhong; Tompkins, Ronald G.; Abouhamze, Amer; Balis, Ulysses G. J.; Camp, David G.; De, Asit K.; Harbrecht, Brian G.; Hayden, Douglas L.; Kaushal, Amit; O’Keefe, Grant E.; Kotz, Kenneth T.; Qian, Weijun; Schoenfeld, David A.; Shapiro, Michael B.; Silver, Geoffrey M.; Smith, Richard D.; Storey, John D.; Tibshirani, Robert; Toner, Mehmet; Wilhelmy, Julie; Wispelwey, Bram; Wong, Wing H


    A cornerstone of modern biomedical research is the use of mouse models to explore basic pathophysiological mechanisms, evaluate new therapeutic approaches, and make go or no-go decisions to carry new drug candidates forward into clinical trials. Systematic studies evaluating how well murine models mimic human inflammatory diseases are nonexistent. Here, we show that, although acute inflammatory stresses from different etiologies result in highly similar genomic responses in humans, the responses in corresponding mouse models correlate poorly with the human conditions and also, one another. Among genes changed significantly in humans, the murine orthologs are close to random in matching their human counterparts (e.g., R2 between 0.0 and 0.1). In addition to improvements in the current animal model systems, our study supports higher priority for translational medical research to focus on the more complex human conditions rather than relying on mouse models to study human inflammatory diseases. PMID:23401516

  19. Human papillomavirus infection and disease in men: Impact of HIV ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Human papillomavirus infection and disease in men: Impact of HIV. ... Journal Home > Vol 14, No 4 (2013) > ... HIV infection increases HPV prevalence, incidence and persistence and is strongly associated with the development of anogenital ...

  20. Human copy number variation and complex genetic disease. (United States)

    Girirajan, Santhosh; Campbell, Catarina D; Eichler, Evan E


    Copy number variants (CNVs) play an important role in human disease and population diversity. Advancements in technology have allowed for the analysis of CNVs in thousands of individuals with disease in addition to thousands of controls. These studies have identified rare CNVs associated with neuropsychiatric diseases such as autism, schizophrenia, and intellectual disability. In addition, copy number polymorphisms (CNPs) are present at higher frequencies in the population, show high diversity in copy number, sequence, and structure, and have been associated with multiple phenotypes, primarily related to immune or environmental response. However, the landscape of copy number variation still remains largely unexplored, especially for smaller CNVs and those embedded within complex regions of the human genome. An integrated approach including characterization of single nucleotide variants and CNVs in a large number of individuals with disease and normal genomes holds the promise of thoroughly elucidating the genetic basis of human disease and diversity.

  1. The human microbiome in rheumatic autoimmune diseases: A comprehensive review. (United States)

    Coit, Patrick; Sawalha, Amr H


    The human microbiome consists of the total diversity of microbiota and their genes. High-throughput sequencing has allowed for inexpensive and rapid evaluation of taxonomic representation and functional capability of the microbiomes of human body sites. Autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic diseases are characterized by dysbiosis of the microbiome. Microbiome dysbiosis can be influenced by host genetics and environmental factors. Dysbiosis is also associated with shifts in certain functional pathways. The goal of this article is to provide a current and comprehensive review of the unique characteristics of the microbiome of patients with autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic diseases, measured using high-throughput sequencing. We also highlight the need for broader studies utilizing a longitudinal approach to better understand how the human microbiome contributes to disease susceptibility, and to characterize the role of the interaction between host genetics and microbial diversity in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, disease manifestations, and progression.

  2. Discoidin Domain Receptors Role in Human Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iker BADIOLA


    Full Text Available Discoidin Domain Receptor 1 and Discodin Domain Receptor 2 are the two only members of the DDR family. The DDR family is a Tyrosine Kinase Receptor (TKR family with some peculiarities compared with other Tyrosine Kinase Receptors such as their natural ligand; which in this case is the fibrillar collagen; or the slow phosphorylation pattern. These peculiarities confer a special role to the receptors present in many diseases development processes as cancer, cirrhosis or lung fibrosis. In this review it is described the overview of the DDRs structure and their role in the different disease development and the possibility to consider them as therapeutic targets.

  3. Advances in chromatin remodeling and human disease. (United States)

    Cho, Kyoung Sang; Elizondo, Leah I; Boerkoel, Cornelius F


    Epigenetic factors alter phenotype without changing genotype. A primary molecular mechanism underlying epigenetics is the alteration of chromatin structure by covalent DNA modifications, covalent histone modifications, and nucleosome reorganization. Remodeling of chromatin structure regulates DNA methylation, replication, recombination, and repair as well as gene expression. As these functions would predict, dysfunction of the proteins that remodel chromatin causes an array of multi-system disorders and neoplasias. Insights from these diseases suggest that during embryonic and fetal life, environmental distortions of chromatin remodeling encode a 'molecular memory' that predispose the individual to diseases in adulthood.

  4. Protein kinase CK2 in human diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerra, Barbara; Issinger, Olaf-Georg


    in various disease processes including cancer has been gained in recent years, and the present review may help to further elucidate its aberrant role in many disease states. Its peculiar structural features [3-9] may be advantageous in designing tailor-made compounds with the possibility to specifically...... target this protein kinase [10]. Since not all the aspects of what has been published on CK2 can be covered in this review, we would like to recommend the following reviews; (i) for general information on CK2 [11-18] and (ii) with a focus on aberrant CK2 [19-22]....

  5. Polymorphisms of the Toll-like receptors and human disease. (United States)

    Schwartz, David A; Cook, Donald N


    The Toll-like receptor (TLR) family regulates both innate and adaptive immune responses. Given its broad effect on immunity, the function of TLRs in various human diseases has been investigated largely by comparing the incidence of disease among persons with different polymorphisms in the genes that participate in TLR signaling. These studies demonstrate that TLR function affects several diseases, including sepsis, immunodeficiencies, atherosclerosis, and asthma. These findings have resulted in new opportunities to study the pathogenesis of disease, identify subpopulations at greater risk of disease, and, potentially, identify novel therapeutic approaches.

  6. Immunoregulatory networks in human Chagas disease (United States)

    Dutra, Walderez O.; Menezes, Cristiane A.S.; Magalhães, Luisa M. D.; Gollob, Kenneth J.


    Summary Chagas disease, caused by the infection with Trypanosoma cruzi, is endemic in all Latin America. Due to the increase in population migration, Chagas disease has spread worldwide and is now considered a health issue not only in endemic countries. While most chronically infected individuals remain asymptomatic, approximately 30% of the patients develop a potentially deadly cardiomyopathy. The exact mechanisms that underlie the establishment and maintenance of the cardiac pathology are not clear. However, there is consistent evidence that immunoregulatory cytokines are critical for orchestrating the immune response and, thus, influence disease development or control. While the asymptomatic (indeterminate) form represents a state of balance between the host and the parasite, the establishment of the cardiac form represents the loss of this balance. Analysis of data obtained from several studies have led to the hypothesis that the indeterminate form is associated with an anti-inflammatory cytokine profile, represented by high expression of IL-10, while cardiac form is associated with a high production of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha in relation to IL-10, leading to an inflammatory profile. Here, we discuss the immunoregulatory events that might influence disease outcome, as well as the mechanisms that influence the establishment of these complex immunoregulatory networks. PMID:24611805

  7. Cognitive impairment in human chronic Chagas' disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.A. Mangone


    Full Text Available We proposed to investigate subclinical cognitive impairment secondary to chronic Chagas' disease (CCD. No similar study was previously done. The neuropsychological performance of 45 chronic Chagasic patients and 26 matched controls (age, education place and years of residency in endemic area was compared using the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE, Weschler Memory Scale (WMS and the Weschler Adult Intelligent Scale (WAIS. Non-parametric tests and Chi2 were used to compare group means and multivariate statistics in two way frequency tables for measures of independence and association of categorical variables with the disease. Results: Chagasic patients showed lower MMSE scores (p<004, poor orientation (p<.004, and attention (p<.007. Lower WMS MQ were associated with CCD (Chi2 5.9; p<.01; Fisher test p<.02. Lower WAIS IQ were associated with CCD (Chi2 6.3, p<.01; Fisher test p<.01 being the digit symbol (p<.03, picture completion (p<.03, picture arrangement (p<.01 and object assembly (p<.03 subtests the most affected. The impairment in non-verbal reasoning, speed of information processing, problem solving, learning and sequencing observed in chronic Chagas disease patients resembles the cognitive dysfunction associated with white matter disease.

  8. The DNA-damage response in human biology and disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jackson, Stephen P; Bartek, Jiri


    , signal its presence and mediate its repair. Such responses, which have an impact on a wide range of cellular events, are biologically significant because they prevent diverse human diseases. Our improving understanding of DNA-damage responses is providing new avenues for disease management....

  9. Skin Diseases: Cross-section of human skin (United States)

    Skip Navigation Bar Home Current Issue Past Issues Skin Diseases Cross-section of human skin Past Issues / Fall 2008 Table of Contents For ... Logical Images, Inc. I n the areas of skin health and skin diseases, the NIH's National Institute ...

  10. Genetics and epigenetics of repeat derepression in human disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thijssen, P.E.


    A large part of the human genome consists of repetitive DNA. In this thesis two human diseases have been studied in which deregulation of repetitive DNA is a central feature: facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and immunodeficiency, centromere instability and facial anomalies (ICF) syndrom

  11. DEGAS: de novo discovery of dysregulated pathways in human diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Ulitsky

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Molecular studies of the human disease transcriptome typically involve a search for genes whose expression is significantly dysregulated in sick individuals compared to healthy controls. Recent studies have found that only a small number of the genes in human disease-related pathways show consistent dysregulation in sick individuals. However, those studies found that some pathway genes are affected in most sick individuals, but genes can differ among individuals. While a pathway is usually defined as a set of genes known to share a specific function, pathway boundaries are frequently difficult to assign, and methods that rely on such definition cannot discover novel pathways. Protein interaction networks can potentially be used to overcome these problems. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We present DEGAS (DysrEgulated Gene set Analysis via Subnetworks, a method for identifying connected gene subnetworks significantly enriched for genes that are dysregulated in specimens of a disease. We applied DEGAS to seven human diseases and obtained statistically significant results that appear to home in on compact pathways enriched with hallmarks of the diseases. In Parkinson's disease, we provide novel evidence for involvement of mRNA splicing, cell proliferation, and the 14-3-3 complex in the disease progression. DEGAS is available as part of the MATISSE software package ( CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The subnetworks identified by DEGAS can provide a signature of the disease potentially useful for diagnosis, pinpoint possible pathways affected by the disease, and suggest targets for drug intervention.

  12. Impacts of Gut Bacteria on Human Health and Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Jie Zhang


    Full Text Available Gut bacteria are an important component of the microbiota ecosystem in the human gut, which is colonized by 1014 microbes, ten times more than the human cells. Gut bacteria play an important role in human health, such as supplying essential nutrients, synthesizing vitamin K, aiding in the digestion of cellulose, and promoting angiogenesis and enteric nerve function. However, they can also be potentially harmful due to the change of their composition when the gut ecosystem undergoes abnormal changes in the light of the use of antibiotics, illness, stress, aging, bad dietary habits, and lifestyle. Dysbiosis of the gut bacteria communities can cause many chronic diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, cancer, and autism. This review summarizes and discusses the roles and potential mechanisms of gut bacteria in human health and diseases.

  13. Connexin mutant embryonic stem cells and human diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kiyomasa; Nishii; Yosaburo; Shibata; Yasushi; Kobayashi


    Intercellular communication via gap junctions allows cells within multicellular organisms to share small molecules. The effect of such interactions has been elucidated using mouse gene knockout strategies. Although several mutations in human gap junction-encoding connexin(Cx) have been described, Cx mutants in mice do not always recapitulate the human disease. Among the 20 mouse Cxs, Cx26, Cx43, and Cx45 play roles in early cardiac or placental development, and disruption of the genes results in lethality that hampers further analyses. Embryonic stem cells(ESCs) that lack Cx43 or Cx45 have made analysis feasible in both in vitro differentiated cell cultures and in vivo chimeric tissues. The success of mouse ESCs studies is leading to the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to learn more about the pathogenesis of human Cx diseases. This review summarizes the current status of mouse Cx disruption models and ESC differentiation studies, and discusses their implication for understanding human Cx diseases.

  14. Human Microbiome and its Association With Health and Diseases. (United States)

    Althani, Asmaa A; Marei, Hany E; Hamdi, Wedad S; Nasrallah, Gheyath K; El Zowalaty, Mohamed E; Al Khodor, Souhaila; Al-Asmakh, Maha; Abdel-Aziz, Hassan; Cenciarelli, Carlo


    Human microbiota are distinct communities of microorganisms that resides at different body niches. Exploration of the human microbiome has become a reality due to the availability of powerful metagenomics and metatranscriptomic analysis technologies. Recent advances in sequencing and bioinformatics over the past decade help provide a deep insight into the nature of the host-microbial interactions and identification of potential deriver genes and pathways associated with human health, well-being, and predisposition to different diseases. In the present review, we outline recent studies devoted to elucidate the possible link between the microbiota and various type of diseases. The present review also highlights the potential utilization of microbiota as a potential therapeutic option to treat a wide array of human diseases. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 1688-1694, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Connexin mutant embryonic stem cells and human diseases. (United States)

    Nishii, Kiyomasa; Shibata, Yosaburo; Kobayashi, Yasushi


    Intercellular communication via gap junctions allows cells within multicellular organisms to share small molecules. The effect of such interactions has been elucidated using mouse gene knockout strategies. Although several mutations in human gap junction-encoding connexin (Cx) have been described, Cx mutants in mice do not always recapitulate the human disease. Among the 20 mouse Cxs, Cx26, Cx43, and Cx45 play roles in early cardiac or placental development, and disruption of the genes results in lethality that hampers further analyses. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) that lack Cx43 or Cx45 have made analysis feasible in both in vitro differentiated cell cultures and in vivo chimeric tissues. The success of mouse ESCs studies is leading to the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to learn more about the pathogenesis of human Cx diseases. This review summarizes the current status of mouse Cx disruption models and ESC differentiation studies, and discusses their implication for understanding human Cx diseases.

  16. MicroRNA in human cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. (United States)

    Kanwar, Jagat R; Mahidhara, Ganesh; Kanwar, Rupinder K


    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are the non-coding RNAs that act as post-translational regulators to their complimentary messenger RNAs (mRNA). Due to their specific gene silencing property, miRNAs have been implicated in a number of cellular and developmental processes. Also, it has been proposed that a particular set of miRNA spectrum is expressed only in a particular type of tissue. Many interesting findings related to the differential expression of miRNAs in various human diseases including several types of cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic diseases have been reported. Deregulation of miRNA expression in different types of human diseases and the roles various miRNAs play as tumour suppressors as well as oncogenes, suggest their contribution to cancer and/or in other disease development. These findings have possible implications in the development of diagnostics and/or therapeutics in human malignancies. In this review, we discuss various miRNAs that are differentially expressed in human chronic inflammatory diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and the further prospective development of miRNA based diagnostics and therapeutics.

  17. Natural selection on genes that underlie human disease susceptibility (United States)

    Blekhman, Ran; Man, Orna; Herrmann, Leslie; Boyko, Adam R.; Indap, Amit; Kosiol, Carolin; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Teshima, Kosuke M.; Przeworski, Molly


    What evolutionary forces shape genes that contribute to the risk of human disease? Do similar selective pressures act on alleles that underlie simple vs. complex disorders? [1-3]. Answers to these questions will shed light on the origin of human disorders (e.g., [4]), and help to predict the population frequencies of alleles that contribute to disease risk, with important implications for the efficient design of mapping studies [5-7]. As a first step towards addressing them, we created a hand-curated version of the Mendelian Inheritance in Man database (OMIM). We then examined selective pressures on Mendelian disease genes, genes that contribute to complex disease risk and genes known to be essential in mouse, by analyzing patterns of human polymorphism and of divergence between human and rhesus macaque. We find that Mendelian disease genes appear to be under widespread purifying selection, especially when the disease mutations are dominant (rather than recessive). In contrast, the class of genes that influence complex disease risk shows little signs of evolutionary conservation, possibly because this category includes both targets of purifying and positive selection. PMID:18571414

  18. Integrated Genomic and Network-Based Analyses of Complex Diseases and Human Disease Network. (United States)

    Al-Harazi, Olfat; Al Insaif, Sadiq; Al-Ajlan, Monirah A; Kaya, Namik; Dzimiri, Nduna; Colak, Dilek


    A disease phenotype generally reflects various pathobiological processes that interact in a complex network. The highly interconnected nature of the human protein interaction network (interactome) indicates that, at the molecular level, it is difficult to consider diseases as being independent of one another. Recently, genome-wide molecular measurements, data mining and bioinformatics approaches have provided the means to explore human diseases from a molecular basis. The exploration of diseases and a system of disease relationships based on the integration of genome-wide molecular data with the human interactome could offer a powerful perspective for understanding the molecular architecture of diseases. Recently, subnetwork markers have proven to be more robust and reliable than individual biomarker genes selected based on gene expression profiles alone, and achieve higher accuracy in disease classification. We have applied one of these methodologies to idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM) data that we have generated using a microarray and identified significant subnetworks associated with the disease. In this paper, we review the recent endeavours in this direction, and summarize the existing methodologies and computational tools for network-based analysis of complex diseases and molecular relationships among apparently different disorders and human disease network. We also discuss the future research trends and topics of this promising field.

  19. Long Non-Coding RNAs and Complex Human Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changning Liu


    Full Text Available Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs are a heterogeneous class of RNAs that are generally defined as non-protein-coding transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides. Recently, an increasing number of studies have shown that lncRNAs can be involved in various critical biological processes, such as chromatin remodeling, gene transcription, and protein transport and trafficking. Moreover, lncRNAs are dysregulated in a number of complex human diseases, including coronary artery diseases, autoimmune diseases, neurological disorders, and various cancers, which indicates their important roles in these diseases. Here, we reviewed the current understanding of lncRNAs, including their definition and subclassification, regulatory functions, and potential roles in different types of complex human diseases.

  20. Are human endogenous retroviruses triggers of autoimmune diseases?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nexø, Bjørn A; Villesen, Palle; Nissen, Kari K


    Autoimmune diseases encompass a plethora of conditions in which the immune system attacks its own tissue, identifying them as foreign. Multiple factors are thought to contribute to the development of immune response to self, including differences in genotypes, hormonal milieu, and environmental...... manner. In this study by means of genetic epidemiology, we have searched for the involvement of endogenous retroviruses in three selected autoimmune diseases: multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and rheumatoid arthritis. We found that at least one human endogenous retroviral locus...... was associated with each of the three diseases. Although there was a significant overlap, most loci only occurred in one of the studied disease. Remarkably, within each disease, there was a statistical interaction (synergy) between two loci. Additional synergy between retroviral loci and human lymphocyte...

  1. DUF1220 domains, cognitive disease, and human brain evolution. (United States)

    Dumas, L; Sikela, J M


    We have established that human genome sequences encoding a novel protein domain, DUF1220, show a dramatically elevated copy number in the human lineage (>200 copies in humans vs. 1 in mouse/rat) and may be important to human evolutionary adaptation. Copy-number variations (CNVs) in the 1q21.1 region, where most DUF1220 sequences map, have now been implicated in numerous diseases associated with cognitive dysfunction, including autism, autism spectrum disorder, mental retardation, schizophrenia, microcephaly, and macrocephaly. We report here that these disease-related 1q21.1 CNVs either encompass or are directly flanked by DUF1220 sequences and exhibit a dosage-related correlation with human brain size. Microcephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are deletions, whereas macrocephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are duplications. Similarly, 1q21.1 deletions and smaller brain size are linked with schizophrenia, whereas 1q21.1 duplications and larger brain size are associated with autism. Interestingly, these two diseases are thought to be phenotypic opposites. These data suggest a model which proposes that (1) DUF1220 domain copy number may be involved in influencing human brain size and (2) the evolutionary advantage of rapidly increasing DUF1220 copy number in the human lineage has resulted in favoring retention of the high genomic instability of the 1q21.1 region, which, in turn, has precipitated a spectrum of recurrent human brain and developmental disorders.

  2. The Leeuwenhoek Lecture 2001. Animal origins of human infectious disease. (United States)

    Weiss, R A


    Since time immemorial animals have been a major source of human infectious disease. Certain infections like rabies are recognized as zoonoses caused in each case by direct animal-to-human transmission. Others like measles became independently sustained with the human population so that the causative virus has diverged from its animal progenitor. Recent examples of direct zoonoses are variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease arising from bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and the H5N1 avian influenza outbreak in Hong Kong. Epidemics of recent animal origin are the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Some retroviruses jump into and out of the chromosomal DNA of the host germline, so that they oscillate between being inherited Mendelian traits or infectious agents in different species. Will new procedures like animal-to-human transplants unleash further infections? Do microbes become more virulent upon cross-species transfer? Are animal microbes a threat as biological weapons? Will the vast reservoir of immunodeficient hosts due to the HIV pandemic provide conditions permissive for sporadic zoonoses to take off as human-to-human transmissible diseases? Do human infections now pose a threat to endangered primates? These questions are addressed in this lecture.

  3. Interneurons in the human olfactory system in Alzheimer's disease. (United States)

    Saiz-Sanchez, Daniel; Flores-Cuadrado, Alicia; Ubeda-Bañon, Isabel; de la Rosa-Prieto, Carlos; Martinez-Marcos, Alino


    The principal olfactory structures display Alzheimer's disease (AD) related pathology at early stages of the disease. Consequently, olfactory deficits are among the earliest symptoms. Reliable olfactory tests for accurate clinical diagnosis are rarely made. In addition, neuropathological analysis postmortem of olfactory structures is often not made. Therefore, the relationship between the clinical features and the underlying pathology is poorly defined. Traditionally, research into Alzheimer's disease has focused on the degeneration of cortical temporal projection neurons and cholinergic neurons. Recent evidence has demonstrated the neurodegeneration of interneuron populations in AD. This review provides an updated overview of the pathological involvement of interneuron populations in the human olfactory system in Alzheimer's disease.

  4. Part 1: The Human Gut Microbiome in Health and Disease


    Bull, Matthew J.; Plummer, Nigel T.


    The bacterial cells harbored within the human gastrointestinal tract (GIT) outnumber the host’s cells by a factor of 10 and the genes encoded by the bacteria resident within the GIT outnumber their host’s genes by more than 100 times. These human digestive-tract associated microbes are referred to as the gut microbiome. The human gut microbiome and its role in both health and disease has been the subject of extensive research, establishing its involvement in human metabolism, nutrition, physi...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    Environmental mercury continues to be of concern to public health advocates, both in the U.S. and abroad, and new research continues to be published. A recent analysis of potential health benefits of reduced mercury emissions has opened a new area of public health concern: adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, which could account for the bulk of the potential economic benefits. The authors were careful to include caveats about the uncertainties of such impacts, but they cited only a fraction of the applicable health effects literature. That literature includes studies of the potentially harmful ingredient (methylmercury, MeHg) in fish, as well as of a beneficial ingredient, omega-3 fatty acids or ''fish oils''. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently certified that some of these fat compounds that are primarily found in fish ''may be beneficial in reducing coronary heart disease''. This paper briefly summarizes and categorizes the extensive literature on both adverse and beneficial links between fish consumption and cardiovascular health, which are typically based on studies of selected groups of individuals (cohorts). Such studies tend to comprise the ''gold standard'' of epidemiology, but cohorts tend to exhibit a great deal of variability, in part because of the limited numbers of individuals involved and in part because of interactions with other dietary and lifestyle considerations. Note that eating fish will involve exposure to both the beneficial effects of fatty acids and the potentially harmful effects of contaminants like Hg or PCBs, all of which depend on the type of fish but tend to be correlated within a population. As a group, the cohort studies show that eating fish tends to reduce mortality, especially due to heart disease, for consumption rates up to about twice weekly, above which the benefits tend to level off. A Finnish cohort study showed increased mortality risks

  6. Research priorities for Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis. (United States)


    This report provides a review and analysis of the research landscape for three diseases - Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis - that disproportionately afflict poor and remote populations with limited access to health services. It represents the work of the disease reference group on Chagas Disease, Human African Trypanosomiasis and Leishmaniasis (DRG3) which was established to identify key research priorities through review of research evidence and input from stakeholders' consultations. The diseases, which are caused by related protozoan parasites, are described in terms of their epidemiology and diseases burden, clinical forms and pathogenesis, HIV coinfection, diagnosis, drugs and drug resistance, vaccines, vector control, and health-care interventions. Priority areas for research are identified based on criteria such as public health relevance, benefit and impact on poor populations and equity, and feasibility. The priorities are found in the areas of diagnostics, drugs, vector control, asymptomatic infection, economic analysis of treatment and vector control methods, and in some specific issues such as surveillance methods or transmission-blocking vaccines for particular diseases. This report will be useful to researchers, policy and decision-makers, funding bodies, implementation organizations, and civil society. This is one of ten disease and thematic reference group reports that have come out of the TDR Think Tank, all of which have contributed to the development of the Global Report for Research on Infectious Diseases of Poverty, available at:

  7. Infectious prion diseases in humans: cannibalism, iatrogenicity and zoonoses. (United States)

    Haïk, Stéphane; Brandel, Jean-Philippe


    In contrast with other neurodegenerative disorders associated to protein misfolding, human prion diseases include infectious forms (also called transmitted forms) such as kuru, iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The transmissible agent is thought to be solely composed of the abnormal isoform (PrP(Sc)) of the host-encoded prion protein that accumulated in the central nervous system of affected individuals. Compared to its normal counterpart, PrP(Sc) is β-sheet enriched and aggregated and its propagation is based on an autocatalytic conversion process. Increasing evidence supports the view that conformational variations of PrP(Sc) encoded the biological properties of the various prion strains that have been isolated by transmission studies in experimental models. Infectious forms of human prion diseases played a pivotal role in the emergence of the prion concept and in the characterization of the very unconventional properties of prions. They provide a unique model to understand how prion strains are selected and propagate in humans. Here, we review and discuss how genetic factors interplay with strain properties and route of transmission to influence disease susceptibility, incubation period and phenotypic expression in the light of the kuru epidemics due to ritual endocannibalism, the various series iatrogenic diseases secondary to extractive growth hormone treatment or dura mater graft and the epidemics of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease linked to dietary exposure to the agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

  8. Spectroscopy techniques for human disease diagnosis (United States)

    Navas-Moreno, Maria


    Modern medicine would benefit from the pursuit of new, more specific and easier to implement diagnosis tools. In recent years, Raman scattering, surface-enhanced Raman scattering and fluorescence spectroscopy have proven to be successful diagnostic techniques for a wide range of diseases including atherosclerosis, kidney stones, bone diseases, diabetes, and a wide collection of neoplasms. Optical spectroscopy has several advantages over more traditional diagnostic methods (i.e., histopathology, quantitative PCR, etc.) such as faster data analysis, nonspecific sample preparation, nonspecific labels/reagents/antibodies usage requirements, and immediate on-site implementation. In the present work, label-free in vitro fluorescence and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy have been used to differentiate between blood cells of patients affected with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) and those of healthy subjects. The SERS technique has also been applied to hemoglobin variants as well as to serum obtained from patients affected with chronic heart failure who positively or negatively responded to the seasonal influenza vaccine. We found that spectral ratios of the background fluorescence intensity that accompanies the SERS spectra of granulocytes serve as excellent markers for the presence of MPNs. In addition, we also found expression dysregulation of two hypoxia induced factor regulated genes, which correlates with our results obtained by SERS spectroscopy assay in MPN patients and supports the presence of the Warburg effect in MPNs. We hypothesize that SERS measures metabolic change in granulocytes through two possible mechanisms: (i) Changes in dielectric properties of the environment surrounding the silver-cell interface; and (ii) changes in flavin adenine dinucleotide concentrations, which in turn changes the relative contribution of the autofluorescence to the emission spectrum. These hypotheses are supported by SERS measurement of 2-deoxy

  9. Early Stage Disease Diagnosis System Using Human Nail Image Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trupti S. Indi


    Full Text Available Human’s hand nail is analyzed to identify many diseases at early stage of diagnosis. Study of person hand nail color helps in identification of particular disease in healthcare domain. The proposed system guides in such scenario to take decision in disease diagnosis. The input to the proposed system is person nail image. The system will process an image of nail and extract features of nail which is used for disease diagnosis. Human nail consist of various features, out of which proposed system uses nail color changes for disease diagnosis. Here, first training set data is prepared using Weka tool from nail images of patients of specific diseases. A feature extracted from input nail image is compared with the training data set to get result. In this experiment we found that using color feature of nail image average 65% results are correctly matched with training set data during three tests conducted.

  10. Modelling Neurodegenerative Diseases Using Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hall, Vanessa J.


    Neurodegenerative diseases are being modelled in-vitro using human patient-specific, induced pluripotent stem cells and transgenic embryonic stem cells to determine more about disease mechanisms, as well as to discover new treatments for patients. Current research in modelling Alzheimer’s disease......, frontotemporal dementia and Parkinson’s disease using pluripotent stem cells is described, along with the advent of gene-editing, which has been the complimentary tool for the field. Current methods used to model these diseases are predominantly dependent on 2D cell culture methods. Outcomes reveal that only...... that includes studying more complex 3D cell cultures, as well as accelerating aging of the neurons, may help to yield stronger phenotypes in the cultured cells. Thus, the use and application of pluripotent stem cells for modelling disease have already shown to be a powerful approach for discovering more about...

  11. Rare human diseases: 9p deletion syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galagan V.O.


    Full Text Available Objective of the study was to review the anamnesis, pheno - and genotype in patients with rare chromosome disorders such as 9p deletion syndrome. Genetic methods of investigation (clinical and genealogical, cytogenetic, FISH- method, paraclinical and instrumental methods of examination were used. Karyotyping was performed by the G-method of differential staining of chromosomes. Only three cases of pathology were diagnosed in the Medical Genetics Center over the last 10 years. By anamnesis data nobody in the probands’ families had bad habits, was exposed to occupational hazards, took part in the elimination of the Chernobyl accident or lived in contaminated areas. Clinical signs of diseases have not been identified in probands’ parents. All probands had trigonocephaly, bilateral epicanthal folds, ocular hypertelorism, downslanting palpebral fissures, long philtrum, flat face and nasal bridge, low set ears with malformed auricles. Two patients of three ones had exophthalmos, contracture of the second and third fingers, abnormal external genitalia. In all three cases there was monosomy of chromosome 9 of critical segment p 24. Normal karyotypes were seen in all parents, so there were three cases of new mutations of 9p deletion syndrome. Retardation of physical, psycho-spech, mental development in proband with or without congenital anomalies requires medical genetic counseling in a specialized institution. Cases of reproductive loss in anamnesis require cytogenetic investigation of fetal membranes and amniotic fluid.

  12. Human Disease Diagnosis Using a Fuzzy Expert System

    CERN Document Server

    Hasan, Mir Anamul; Chowdhury, Ahsan Raja


    Human disease diagnosis is a complicated process and requires high level of expertise. Any attempt of developing a web-based expert system dealing with human disease diagnosis has to overcome various difficulties. This paper describes a project work aiming to develop a web-based fuzzy expert system for diagnosing human diseases. Now a days fuzzy systems are being used successfully in an increasing number of application areas; they use linguistic rules to describe systems. This research project focuses on the research and development of a web-based clinical tool designed to improve the quality of the exchange of health information between health care professionals and patients. Practitioners can also use this web-based tool to corroborate diagnosis. The proposed system is experimented on various scenarios in order to evaluate it's performance. In all the cases, proposed system exhibits satisfactory results.

  13. Human Disease Insight: An integrated knowledge-based platform for disease-gene-drug information. (United States)

    Tasleem, Munazzah; Ishrat, Romana; Islam, Asimul; Ahmad, Faizan; Hassan, Md Imtaiyaz


    The scope of the Human Disease Insight (HDI) database is not limited to researchers or physicians as it also provides basic information to non-professionals and creates disease awareness, thereby reducing the chances of patient suffering due to ignorance. HDI is a knowledge-based resource providing information on human diseases to both scientists and the general public. Here, our mission is to provide a comprehensive human disease database containing most of the available useful information, with extensive cross-referencing. HDI is a knowledge management system that acts as a central hub to access information about human diseases and associated drugs and genes. In addition, HDI contains well-classified bioinformatics tools with helpful descriptions. These integrated bioinformatics tools enable researchers to annotate disease-specific genes and perform protein analysis, search for biomarkers and identify potential vaccine candidates. Eventually, these tools will facilitate the analysis of disease-associated data. The HDI provides two types of search capabilities and includes provisions for downloading, uploading and searching disease/gene/drug-related information. The logistical design of the HDI allows for regular updating. The database is designed to work best with Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome and is freely accessible at

  14. Antisense Oligonucleotides: Translation from Mouse Models to Human Neurodegenerative Diseases. (United States)

    Schoch, Kathleen M; Miller, Timothy M


    Multiple neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by single-protein dysfunction and aggregation. Treatment strategies for these diseases have often targeted downstream pathways to ameliorate consequences of protein dysfunction; however, targeting the source of that dysfunction, the affected protein itself, seems most judicious to achieve a highly effective therapeutic outcome. Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) are small sequences of DNA able to target RNA transcripts, resulting in reduced or modified protein expression. ASOs are ideal candidates for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, given numerous advancements made to their chemical modifications and delivery methods. Successes achieved in both animal models and human clinical trials have proven ASOs both safe and effective. With proper considerations in mind regarding the human applicability of ASOs, we anticipate ongoing in vivo research and clinical trial development of ASOs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Exploring human disease using the Rat Genome Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Shimoyama


    Full Text Available Rattus norvegicus, the laboratory rat, has been a crucial model for studies of the environmental and genetic factors associated with human diseases for over 150 years. It is the primary model organism for toxicology and pharmacology studies, and has features that make it the model of choice in many complex-disease studies. Since 1999, the Rat Genome Database (RGD; has been the premier resource for genomic, genetic, phenotype and strain data for the laboratory rat. The primary role of RGD is to curate rat data and validate orthologous relationships with human and mouse genes, and make these data available for incorporation into other major databases such as NCBI, Ensembl and UniProt. RGD also provides official nomenclature for rat genes, quantitative trait loci, strains and genetic markers, as well as unique identifiers. The RGD team adds enormous value to these basic data elements through functional and disease annotations, the analysis and visual presentation of pathways, and the integration of phenotype measurement data for strains used as disease models. Because much of the rat research community focuses on understanding human diseases, RGD provides a number of datasets and software tools that allow users to easily explore and make disease-related connections among these datasets. RGD also provides comprehensive human and mouse data for comparative purposes, illustrating the value of the rat in translational research. This article introduces RGD and its suite of tools and datasets to researchers – within and beyond the rat community – who are particularly interested in leveraging rat-based insights to understand human diseases.

  16. Exploring human disease using the Rat Genome Database (United States)

    Laulederkind, Stanley J. F.; De Pons, Jeff; Nigam, Rajni; Smith, Jennifer R.; Tutaj, Marek; Petri, Victoria; Hayman, G. Thomas; Wang, Shur-Jen; Ghiasvand, Omid; Thota, Jyothi; Dwinell, Melinda R.


    ABSTRACT Rattus norvegicus, the laboratory rat, has been a crucial model for studies of the environmental and genetic factors associated with human diseases for over 150 years. It is the primary model organism for toxicology and pharmacology studies, and has features that make it the model of choice in many complex-disease studies. Since 1999, the Rat Genome Database (RGD; has been the premier resource for genomic, genetic, phenotype and strain data for the laboratory rat. The primary role of RGD is to curate rat data and validate orthologous relationships with human and mouse genes, and make these data available for incorporation into other major databases such as NCBI, Ensembl and UniProt. RGD also provides official nomenclature for rat genes, quantitative trait loci, strains and genetic markers, as well as unique identifiers. The RGD team adds enormous value to these basic data elements through functional and disease annotations, the analysis and visual presentation of pathways, and the integration of phenotype measurement data for strains used as disease models. Because much of the rat research community focuses on understanding human diseases, RGD provides a number of datasets and software tools that allow users to easily explore and make disease-related connections among these datasets. RGD also provides comprehensive human and mouse data for comparative purposes, illustrating the value of the rat in translational research. This article introduces RGD and its suite of tools and datasets to researchers – within and beyond the rat community – who are particularly interested in leveraging rat-based insights to understand human diseases. PMID:27736745

  17. Linking Microbiota to Human Diseases: A Systems Biology Perspective. (United States)

    Wu, Hao; Tremaroli, Valentina; Bäckhed, Fredrik


    The human gut microbiota encompasses a densely populated ecosystem that provides essential functions for host development, immune maturation, and metabolism. Alterations to the gut microbiota have been observed in numerous diseases, including human metabolic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and irritable bowel syndrome, and some animal experiments have suggested causality. However, few studies have validated causality in humans and the underlying mechanisms remain largely to be elucidated. We discuss how systems biology approaches combined with new experimental technologies may disentangle some of the mechanistic details in the complex interactions of diet, microbiota, and host metabolism and may provide testable hypotheses for advancing our current understanding of human-microbiota interaction.

  18. DNA Aptamers in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Human Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qinchang Zhu


    Full Text Available Aptamers have a promising role in the field of life science and have been extensively researched for application as analytical tools, therapeutic agents and as vehicles for targeted drug delivery. Compared with RNA aptamers, DNA aptamers have inherent advantages in stability and facility of generation and synthesis. To better understand the specific potential of DNA aptamers, an overview of the progress in the generation and application of DNA aptamers in human disease diagnosis and therapy are presented in this review. Special attention is given to researches that are relatively close to practical application. DNA aptamers are expected to have great potential in the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.

  19. Beyond membrane channelopathies: alternative mechanisms underlying complex human disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Konstantinos Dean BOUDOULAS; Peter J MOHLER


    Over the past fifteen years, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human disease has flourished in large part due to the discovery of gene mutations linked with membrane ion channels and transporters. In fact, ion channel defects ("channelopathies" - the focus of this review series) have been associated with a spectrum of serious human disease phenotypes including cystic fibrosis, cardiac arrhythmia, diabetes, skeletal muscle defects, and neurological disorders. However, we now know that human disease, particularly excitable cell disease, may be caused by defects in non-ion channel polypeptides including in cellular components residing well beneath the plasma membrane. For example, over the past few years, a new class of potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias has been linked with cytoplasmic proteins that include sub-membrane adapters such as ankyrin-B (ANK2),ankyrin-G (ANK3), and alpha-1 syntrophin, membrane coat proteins including caveolin-3 (CAV3), signaling platforms including yotiao (AKAPg), and cardiac enzymes (GPD1L). The focus of this review is to detail the exciting role of lamins, yet another class of gene products that have provided elegant new insight into human disease.

  20. Role of Epigenetics in Biology and Human Diseases


    Moosavi, Azam; Ardekani, Ali Motevalizadeh


    For a long time, scientists have tried to describe disorders just by genetic or environmental factors. However, the role of epigenetics in human diseases has been considered from a half of century ago. In the last decade, this subject has attracted many interests, especially in complicated disorders such as behavior plasticity, memory, cancer, autoimmune disease, and addiction as well as neurodegenerative and psychological disorders. This review first explains the history and classification o...

  1. Linking adult hippocampal neurogenesis with human physiology and disease. (United States)

    Bowers, Megan; Jessberger, Sebastian


    We here review the existing evidence linking adult hippocampal neurogenesis and human brain function in physiology and disease. Furthermore, we aim to point out where evidence is missing, highlight current promising avenues of investigation, and suggest future tools and approaches to foster the link between life-long neurogenesis and human brain function. Developmental Dynamics 245:702-709, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Therapy of Human Papillomavirus-Related Disease (United States)

    Stern, Peter L.; van der Burg, Sjoerd H.; Hampson, Ian N.; Broker, Thomas; Fiander, Alison; Lacey, Charles J.; Kitchener, Henry C.; Einstein, Mark H.


    This chapter reviews the current treatment of chronic and neoplastic HPV-associated conditions and the development of novel therapeutic approaches. Surgical excision of HPV-associated lower genital tract neoplasia is very successful but largely depends on secondary prevention programmes for identification of disease. Only high-risk HPV-driven chronic, preneoplastic lesions and some very early cancers cannot be successfully treated by surgical procedures alone. Chemoradiation therapy of cervical cancer contributes to the 66–79% cervical cancer survival at 5 years. Outlook for those patients with persistent or recurrent cervical cancer following treatment is very poor. Topical agents such as imiquimod (immune response modifier), cidofovir (inhibition of viral replication; induction apoptosis) or photodynamic therapy (direct damage of tumour and augmentation of anti-tumour immunity) have all shown some useful efficacy (~50–60%) in treatment of high grade vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia. Provider administered treatments of genital warts include cryotherapy, trichloracetic acid, or surgical removal which has the highest primary clearance rate. Patient applied therapies include podophyllotoxin and imiquimod. Recurrence after “successful” treatment is 30–40%. Further improvements could derive from a rational combination of current therapy with new drugs targeting molecular pathways mediated by HPV in cancer. Small molecule inhibitors targeting the DNA binding activities of HPV E1/E2 or the anti-apoptotic consequences of E6/E7 oncogenes are in preclinical development. Proteasome and histone deacetylase inhibitors, which can enhance apoptosis in HPV positive tumour cells, are being tested in early clinical trials. Chronic high-risk HPV infection/neoplasia is characterised by systemic and/or local immune suppressive regulatory or escape factors. Recently two E6/E7 vaccines have shown some clinical efficacy in high grade VIN patients and this correlated with strong

  3. Genome editing of human pluripotent stem cells to generate human cellular disease models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiran Musunuru


    Full Text Available Disease modeling with human pluripotent stem cells has come into the public spotlight with the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2012 to Drs John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent. This discovery has opened the door for the generation of pluripotent stem cells from individuals with disease and the differentiation of these cells into somatic cell types for the study of disease pathophysiology. The emergence of genome-editing technology over the past few years has made it feasible to generate and investigate human cellular disease models with even greater speed and efficiency. Here, recent technological advances in genome editing, and its utility in human biology and disease studies, are reviewed.

  4. Genome editing of human pluripotent stem cells to generate human cellular disease models. (United States)

    Musunuru, Kiran


    Disease modeling with human pluripotent stem cells has come into the public spotlight with the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2012 to Drs John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent. This discovery has opened the door for the generation of pluripotent stem cells from individuals with disease and the differentiation of these cells into somatic cell types for the study of disease pathophysiology. The emergence of genome-editing technology over the past few years has made it feasible to generate and investigate human cellular disease models with even greater speed and efficiency. Here, recent technological advances in genome editing, and its utility in human biology and disease studies, are reviewed.

  5. Human prion diseases: surgical lessons learned from iatrogenic prion transmission. (United States)

    Bonda, David J; Manjila, Sunil; Mehndiratta, Prachi; Khan, Fahd; Miller, Benjamin R; Onwuzulike, Kaine; Puoti, Gianfranco; Cohen, Mark L; Schonberger, Lawrence B; Cali, Ignazio


    The human prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, have captivated our imaginations since their discovery in the Fore linguistic group in Papua New Guinea in the 1950s. The mysterious and poorly understood "infectious protein" has become somewhat of a household name in many regions across the globe. From bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly identified as mad cow disease, to endocannibalism, media outlets have capitalized on these devastatingly fatal neurological conditions. Interestingly, since their discovery, there have been more than 492 incidents of iatrogenic transmission of prion diseases, largely resulting from prion-contaminated growth hormone and dura mater grafts. Although fewer than 9 cases of probable iatrogenic neurosurgical cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) have been reported worldwide, the likelihood of some missed cases and the potential for prion transmission by neurosurgery create considerable concern. Laboratory studies indicate that standard decontamination and sterilization procedures may be insufficient to completely remove infectivity from prion-contaminated instruments. In this unfortunate event, the instruments may transmit the prion disease to others. Much caution therefore should be taken in the absence of strong evidence against the presence of a prion disease in a neurosurgical patient. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have devised risk assessment and decontamination protocols for the prevention of iatrogenic transmission of the prion diseases, incidents of possible exposure to prions have unfortunately occurred in the United States. In this article, the authors outline the historical discoveries that led from kuru to the identification and isolation of the pathological prion proteins in addition to providing a brief description of human prion diseases and iatrogenic forms of CJD, a brief history of prion disease nosocomial transmission

  6. Oral lesions associated with human immunodeficiency virus disease. (United States)

    Patton, Lauren L


    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated oral disease among people living with HIV infection includes oral candidiasis, oral hairy leukoplakia, Kaposi sarcoma, oral warts, herpes simplex virus ulcers, major aphthous ulcers or ulcers not otherwise specified, HIV salivary gland disease, and atypical gingival and periodontal diseases. Diagnosis of some oral lesions is based on clinical appearance and behavior, whereas others require biopsy, culture, or imaging for definitive diagnosis. Management strategies including pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic approaches are discussed in this article. Dentists also need to be cognizant of the potential oral side effects of HIV antiretroviral medications.

  7. Reverse engineering human neurodegenerative disease using pluripotent stem cell technology. (United States)

    Liu, Ying; Deng, Wenbin


    With the technology of reprogramming somatic cells by introducing defined transcription factors that enables the generation of "induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)" with pluripotency comparable to that of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), it has become possible to use this technology to produce various cells and tissues that have been difficult to obtain from living bodies. This advancement is bringing forth rapid progress in iPSC-based disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine. More and more studies have demonstrated that phenotypes of adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders could be rather faithfully recapitulated in iPSC-derived neural cell cultures. Moreover, despite the adult-onset nature of the diseases, pathogenic phenotypes and cellular abnormalities often exist in early developmental stages, providing new "windows of opportunity" for understanding mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders and for discovering new medicines. The cell reprogramming technology enables a reverse engineering approach for modeling the cellular degenerative phenotypes of a wide range of human disorders. An excellent example is the study of the human neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using iPSCs. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of upper and lower motor neurons (MNs), culminating in muscle wasting and death from respiratory failure. The iPSC approach provides innovative cell culture platforms to serve as ALS patient-derived model systems. Researchers have converted iPSCs derived from ALS patients into MNs and various types of glial cells, all of which are involved in ALS, to study the disease. The iPSC technology could be used to determine the role of specific genetic factors to track down what's wrong in the neurodegenerative disease process in the "disease-in-a-dish" model. Meanwhile, parallel experiments of targeting the same specific genes in human ESCs could also be performed to control

  8. Disease modeling and drug screening for neurological diseases using human induced pluripotent stem cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-hong XU; Zhong ZHONG


    With the general decline of pharmaceutical research productivity,there are concerns that many components of the drug discovery process need to be redesigned and optimized.For example,the human immortalized cell lines or animal primary cells commonly used in traditional drug screening may not faithfully recapitulate the pathological mechanisms of human diseases,leading to biases in assays,targets,or compounds that do not effectively address disease mechanisms.Recent advances in stem cell research,especially in the development of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology,provide a new paradigm for drug screening by permitting the use of human cells with the same genetic makeup as the patients without the typical quantity constraints associated with patient primary cells.In this article,we will review the progress made to date on cellular disease models using human stem cells,with a focus on patient-specific iPSCs for neurological diseases.We will discuss the key challenges and the factors that associated with the success of using stem cell models for drug discovery through examples from monogenic diseases,diseases with various known genetic components,and complex diseases caused by a combination of genetic,environmental and other factors.

  9. Disease modeling and drug screening for neurological diseases using human induced pluripotent stem cells. (United States)

    Xu, Xiao-hong; Zhong, Zhong


    With the general decline of pharmaceutical research productivity, there are concerns that many components of the drug discovery process need to be redesigned and optimized. For example, the human immortalized cell lines or animal primary cells commonly used in traditional drug screening may not faithfully recapitulate the pathological mechanisms of human diseases, leading to biases in assays, targets, or compounds that do not effectively address disease mechanisms. Recent advances in stem cell research, especially in the development of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology, provide a new paradigm for drug screening by permitting the use of human cells with the same genetic makeup as the patients without the typical quantity constraints associated with patient primary cells. In this article, we will review the progress made to date on cellular disease models using human stem cells, with a focus on patient-specific iPSCs for neurological diseases. We will discuss the key challenges and the factors that associated with the success of using stem cell models for drug discovery through examples from monogenic diseases, diseases with various known genetic components, and complex diseases caused by a combination of genetic, environmental and other factors.

  10. Human gene therapy and imaging in neurological diseases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacobs, Andreas H.; Winkler, Alexandra [Max Planck-Institute for Neurological Research, Center of Molecular Medicine (CMMC) and Department of Neurology, Cologne (Germany); MPI for Neurological Research, Laboratory for Gene Therapy and Molecular Imaging, Cologne (Germany); Castro, Maria G.; Lowenstein, Pedro [University of California Los Angeles (United States). Department of Medicine


    Molecular imaging aims to assess non-invasively disease-specific biological and molecular processes in animal models and humans in vivo. Apart from precise anatomical localisation and quantification, the most intriguing advantage of such imaging is the opportunity it provides to investigate the time course (dynamics) of disease-specific molecular events in the intact organism. Further, molecular imaging can be used to address basic scientific questions, e.g. transcriptional regulation, signal transduction or protein/protein interaction, and will be essential in developing treatment strategies based on gene therapy. Most importantly, molecular imaging is a key technology in translational research, helping to develop experimental protocols which may later be applied to human patients. Over the past 20 years, imaging based on positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been employed for the assessment and ''phenotyping'' of various neurological diseases, including cerebral ischaemia, neurodegeneration and brain gliomas. While in the past neuro-anatomical studies had to be performed post mortem, molecular imaging has ushered in the era of in vivo functional neuro-anatomy by allowing neuroscience to image structure, function, metabolism and molecular processes of the central nervous system in vivo in both health and disease. Recently, PET and MRI have been successfully utilised together in the non-invasive assessment of gene transfer and gene therapy in humans. To assess the efficiency of gene transfer, the same markers are being used in animals and humans, and have been applied for phenotyping human disease. Here, we review the imaging hallmarks of focal and disseminated neurological diseases, such as cerebral ischaemia, neurodegeneration and glioblastoma multiforme, as well as the attempts to translate gene therapy's experimental knowledge into clinical applications and the way in which this process is being

  11. Modeling Human Graft-Versus-Host Disease in Immunocompromised Mice. (United States)

    Norelli, Margherita; Camisa, Barbara; Bondanza, Attilio


    Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) from an allogeneic donor is an effective form of cancer immunotherapy, especially for acute leukemias. HSCT is however frequently complicated by the occurrence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Immunocompromised mice infused with human T cells often develop a clinical syndrome resembling human GVHD (xenogeneic or X-GVHD). Herein, we describe a method for inducing X-GVHD in a highly reproducible manner. Given the human nature of immune effectors, this xenogeneic model can be routinely adopted for screening the efficacy of new treatments for GVHD.

  12. Mapping gene associations in human mitochondria using clinical disease phenotypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Curt Scharfe


    Full Text Available Nuclear genes encode most mitochondrial proteins, and their mutations cause diverse and debilitating clinical disorders. To date, 1,200 of these mitochondrial genes have been recorded, while no standardized catalog exists of the associated clinical phenotypes. Such a catalog would be useful to develop methods to analyze human phenotypic data, to determine genotype-phenotype relations among many genes and diseases, and to support the clinical diagnosis of mitochondrial disorders. Here we establish a clinical phenotype catalog of 174 mitochondrial disease genes and study associations of diseases and genes. Phenotypic features such as clinical signs and symptoms were manually annotated from full-text medical articles and classified based on the hierarchical MeSH ontology. This classification of phenotypic features of each gene allowed for the comparison of diseases between different genes. In turn, we were then able to measure the phenotypic associations of disease genes for which we calculated a quantitative value that is based on their shared phenotypic features. The results showed that genes sharing more similar phenotypes have a stronger tendency for functional interactions, proving the usefulness of phenotype similarity values in disease gene network analysis. We then constructed a functional network of mitochondrial genes and discovered a higher connectivity for non-disease than for disease genes, and a tendency of disease genes to interact with each other. Utilizing these differences, we propose 168 candidate genes that resemble the characteristic interaction patterns of mitochondrial disease genes. Through their network associations, the candidates are further prioritized for the study of specific disorders such as optic neuropathies and Parkinson disease. Most mitochondrial disease phenotypes involve several clinical categories including neurologic, metabolic, and gastrointestinal disorders, which might indicate the effects of gene defects

  13. Molecular functions of human endogenous retroviruses in health and disease. (United States)

    Suntsova, Maria; Garazha, Andrew; Ivanova, Alena; Kaminsky, Dmitry; Zhavoronkov, Alex; Buzdin, Anton


    Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) and related genetic elements form 504 distinct families and occupy ~8% of human genome. Recent success of high-throughput experimental technologies facilitated understanding functional impact of HERVs for molecular machinery of human cells. HERVs encode active retroviral proteins, which may exert important physiological functions in the body, but also may be involved in the progression of cancer and numerous human autoimmune, neurological and infectious diseases. The spectrum of related malignancies includes, but not limits to, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, lupus, schizophrenia, multiple cancer types and HIV. In addition, HERVs regulate expression of the neighboring host genes and modify genomic regulatory landscape, e.g., by providing regulatory modules like transcription factor binding sites (TFBS). Indeed, recent bioinformatic profiling identified ~110,000 regulatory active HERV elements, which formed at least ~320,000 human TFBS. These and other peculiarities of HERVs might have played an important role in human evolution and speciation. In this paper, we focus on the current progress in understanding of normal and pathological molecular niches of HERVs, on their implications in human evolution, normal physiology and disease. We also review the available databases dealing with various aspects of HERV genetics.

  14. Molecular Genetic Approaches to Human Diseases Involving Mental Retardation. (United States)

    Latt, Samuel A.; And Others


    Recombinant DNA techniques provide new approaches to the diagnosis and analysis of inherited human diseases associated with mental retardation, such as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, phenylketonauria, the Fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and those associated with deletions or duplications of subchromosomal regions. (Author/CL)

  15. Recognizing filamentous basidiomycetes as agents of human disease: A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chowdhary, A.; Kathuria, S.; Agarwal, K.; Meis, J.F.G.M.


    Filamentous basidiomycetes (BM) are common environmental fungi that have recently emerged as important human pathogens, inciting a wide array of clinical manifestations that include allergic and invasive diseases. We reviewed 218 reported global cases of BM fungi. The most common etiologic agent was

  16. Lyme disease: a unique human model for an infectious etiology of rheumatic disease. (United States)

    Malawista, S. E.; Steere, A. C.; Hardin, J. A.


    Lyme disease is a complex immune-mediated multi-system disorder that is infectious in origin and inflammatory or "rheumatic" in expression. Through its epidemiologic characteristics, large numbers of a seasonally synchronized patient population are readily available for prospective study. Lyme disease has a known clinical onset ("zero time"), marked by the characteristic expanding skin lesion, erythema chronicum migrans, and a clearly defined pre-articular phase. At least some manifestations of the disorder are responsive to antibiotics, and the causative agent--a spirochete--is now known. These advantages make Lyme disease unique as a human model for an infectious etiology of rheumatic disease. PMID:6516449

  17. PXR- and CAR-mediated herbal effect on human diseases. (United States)

    Xu, Chenshu; Huang, Min; Bi, Huichang


    The pregnane X receptor (PXR) and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) are two members of the nuclear receptor superfamily that regulate a broad range of genes involved in drug metabolism and transport. A variety of naturally occurring compounds present in herbal medicines were identified as ligands of PXR and CAR. Recently, accumulative evidences have revealed the PXR- and CAR-mediated herbal effect against multiple human diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), cholestatic liver disease, and jaundice. The current review summarized the recent progress in identifying the expanding libraries of herbal medicine as ligands for PXR and CAR. Moreover, the potential for herbal medicines as promising therapeutic agents which were mainly regulated through PXR/CAR signaling pathways was also discussed. The discovery of herbal medicines as modulators of PXR and CAR, and their PXR- and CAR-mediated effect on human diseases will provide a basis for rational drug design, and eventually be explored as a novel therapeutic approach against human diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Xenobiotic nuclear receptors: New Tricks for An Old Dog, edited by Dr. Wen Xie.

  18. Viral hepatitis E: A disease of humans and animals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kureljušić Branislav


    Full Text Available The hepatitis E virus is ubiquitous in all parts of the world where pig production exists. The infection occurs in several animal species and its course is mostly asymptomatic. Viral strains isolated from pigs and humans are genetically similar, which indicates a potential zoonotic nature of the disease, and the possibility that pigs, and perhaps also other species of animals diseased with viral hepatitis E are a source of infection to humans. The pig hepatitis E virus, which is similar to the hepatitis E virus in humans, was isolated and described for the first time in the USA in 1997. The infection of pigs with hepatitis E virus occurs through faeco-oral transmission, by ingestion of feed and water contaminated with the virus, or through direct contact between infected and healthy animals. The pathogenesis of this infection in pigs differs from its pathogenesis in humans and it has not been sufficiently examined in all its aspects. Even though viral hepatitis E in pigs has been described as a subclinical disease, some authors describe changes in the concentration of certain biochemical parameters in blood serum of the infected pigs. Histologically, a mild to moderate lymphotic-plasma cellular infiltration is observed in livers of infected pigs, as well as focal areas of hepatocyte necrosis. Viral hepatitis E is an endemic disease of humans in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In developed countries, hepatitis E sporadically occurs in humans, but it is becoming of increasing importance in particular in Japan, North America, and Europe, because the populations of these areas travel extensively to the endemic regions or as a result of the consumption of thermally untreated meat of wild boar and products made from thermally untreated meat. Pork products can be contaminated with hepatitis E virus. Further proof that indicates the zoonotic potential of this virus and places this diseases among the group of professional diseases of farmers and

  19. Human genetics of infectious diseases: a unified theory (United States)

    Casanova, Jean-Laurent; Abel, Laurent


    Since the early 1950s, the dominant paradigm in the human genetics of infectious diseases postulates that rare monogenic immunodeficiencies confer vulnerability to multiple infectious diseases (one gene, multiple infections), whereas common infections are associated with the polygenic inheritance of multiple susceptibility genes (one infection, multiple genes). Recent studies, since 1996 in particular, have challenged this view. A newly recognised group of primary immunodeficiencies predisposing the individual to a principal or single type of infection is emerging. In parallel, several common infections have been shown to reflect the inheritance of one major susceptibility gene, at least in some populations. This novel causal relationship (one gene, one infection) blurs the distinction between patient-based Mendelian genetics and population-based complex genetics, and provides a unified conceptual frame for exploring the molecular genetic basis of infectious diseases in humans. PMID:17255931

  20. Leveraging human-centered design in chronic disease prevention. (United States)

    Matheson, Gordon O; Pacione, Chris; Shultz, Rebecca K; Klügl, Martin


    Bridging the knowing-doing gap in the prevention of chronic disease requires deep appreciation and understanding of the complexities inherent in behavioral change. Strategies that have relied exclusively on the implementation of evidence-based data have not yielded the desired progress. The tools of human-centered design, used in conjunction with evidence-based data, hold much promise in providing an optimal approach for advancing disease prevention efforts. Directing the focus toward wide-scale education and application of human-centered design techniques among healthcare professionals will rapidly multiply their effective ability to bring the kind of substantial results in disease prevention that have eluded the healthcare industry for decades. This, in turn, would increase the likelihood of prevention by design.

  1. Impact of climate change on human infectious diseases: Empirical evidence and human adaptation. (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoxu; Lu, Yongmei; Zhou, Sen; Chen, Lifan; Xu, Bing


    Climate change refers to long-term shifts in weather conditions and patterns of extreme weather events. It may lead to changes in health threat to human beings, multiplying existing health problems. This review examines the scientific evidences on the impact of climate change on human infectious diseases. It identifies research progress and gaps on how human society may respond to, adapt to, and prepare for the related changes. Based on a survey of related publications between 1990 and 2015, the terms used for literature selection reflect three aspects--the components of infectious diseases, climate variables, and selected infectious diseases. Humans' vulnerability to the potential health impacts by climate change is evident in literature. As an active agent, human beings may control the related health effects that may be effectively controlled through adopting proactive measures, including better understanding of the climate change patterns and of the compound disease-specific health effects, and effective allocation of technologies and resources to promote healthy lifestyles and public awareness. The following adaptation measures are recommended: 1) to go beyond empirical observations of the association between climate change and infectious diseases and develop more scientific explanations, 2) to improve the prediction of spatial-temporal process of climate change and the associated shifts in infectious diseases at various spatial and temporal scales, and 3) to establish locally effective early warning systems for the health effects of predicated climate change.

  2. Humane killing of animals for disease control purposes. (United States)

    Thornber, P M; Rubira, R J; Styles, D K


    Killing for disease control purposes is an emotional issue for everyone concerned. Large-scale euthanasia or depopulation of animals may be necessary for the emergency control or eradication of animal diseases, to remove animals from a compromised situation (e.g. following flood, storm, fire, drought or a feed contamination event), to effect welfare depopulation when there is an oversupply due to a dysfunctional or closed marketing channel, or to depopulate and dispose of animals with minimal handling to decrease the risk of a zoonotic disease infecting humans. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) developed international standards to provide advice on humane killing for various species and situations. Some fundamental issues are defined, such as competency of animal handling and implementation of humane killing techniques. Some of these methods have been used for many years, but novel approaches for the mass killing of particular species are being explored. Novel vaccines and new diagnostic techniques that differentiate between vaccinated and infected animals will save many animals from being killed as part of biosecurity response measures. Unfortunately, the destruction of affected livestock will still be required to control diseases whilst vaccination programmes are activated or where effective vaccines are not available. This paper reviews the principles of humane destruction and depopulation and explores available techniques with their associated advantages and disadvantages. It also identifies some current issues that merit consideration, such as legislative conflicts (emergency disease legislation versus animal welfare legislation, occupational health and safety), media issues, opinions on the future approaches to killing for disease control, and animal welfare.

  3. Transgenic rabbits as therapeutic protein bioreactors and human disease models. (United States)

    Fan, Jianglin; Watanabe, Teruo


    Genetically modified laboratory animals provide a powerful approach for studying gene expression and regulation and allow one to directly examine structure-function and cause-and-effect relationships in pathophysiological processes. Today, transgenic mice are available as a research tool in almost every research institution. On the other hand, the development of a relatively large mammalian transgenic model, transgenic rabbits, has provided unprecedented opportunities for investigators to study the mechanisms of human diseases and has also provided an alternative way to produce therapeutic proteins to treat human diseases. Transgenic rabbits expressing human genes have been used as a model for cardiovascular disease, AIDS, and cancer research. The recombinant proteins can be produced from the milk of transgenic rabbits not only at lower cost but also on a relatively large scale. One of the most promising and attractive recombinant proteins derived from transgenic rabbit milk, human alpha-glucosidase, has been successfully used to treat the patients who are genetically deficient in this enzyme. Although the pronuclear microinjection is still the major and most popular method for the creation of transgenic rabbits, recent progress in gene targeting and animal cloning has opened new avenues that should make it possible to produce transgenic rabbits by somatic cell nuclear transfer in the future. Based on a computer-assisted search of the studies of transgenic rabbits published in the English literature here, we introduce to the reader the achievements made thus far with transgenic rabbits, with emphasis on the application of these rabbits as human disease models and live bioreactors for producing human therapeutic proteins and on the recent progress in cloned rabbits.

  4. Human glia can both induce and rescue aspects of disease phenotype in Huntington disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benraiss, Abdellatif; Wang, Su; Herrlinger, Stephanie


    (hGPCs), derived from either human embryonic stem cells or mHTT-transduced fetal hGPCs. Here we show that mHTT glia can impart disease phenotype to normal mice, since mice engrafted intrastriatally with mHTT hGPCs exhibit worse motor performance than controls, and striatal neurons in mHTT glial......The causal contribution of glial pathology to Huntington disease (HD) has not been heavily explored. To define the contribution of glia to HD, we established human HD glial chimeras by neonatally engrafting immunodeficient mice with mutant huntingtin (mHTT)-expressing human glial progenitor cells...... survival in R6/2 HD mice. These observations suggest a causal role for glia in HD, and further suggest a cell-based strategy for disease amelioration in this disorder....

  5. Molecular mechanisms of acrolein toxicity: relevance to human disease. (United States)

    Moghe, Akshata; Ghare, Smita; Lamoreau, Bryan; Mohammad, Mohammad; Barve, Shirish; McClain, Craig; Joshi-Barve, Swati


    Acrolein, a highly reactive unsaturated aldehyde, is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and its potential as a serious environmental health threat is beginning to be recognized. Humans are exposed to acrolein per oral (food and water), respiratory (cigarette smoke, automobile exhaust, and biocide use) and dermal routes, in addition to endogenous generation (metabolism and lipid peroxidation). Acrolein has been suggested to play a role in several disease states including spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and neuro-, hepato-, and nephro-toxicity. On the cellular level, acrolein exposure has diverse toxic effects, including DNA and protein adduction, oxidative stress, mitochondrial disruption, membrane damage, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and immune dysfunction. This review addresses our current understanding of each pathogenic mechanism of acrolein toxicity, with emphasis on the known and anticipated contribution to clinical disease, and potential therapies.

  6. Mutations in inhibin and activin genes associated with human disease. (United States)

    Shelling, Andrew N


    Inhibins and activins are members of the transforming growth factor (TGFβ) superfamily, that includes the TGFβs, inhibins and activins, bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and growth and differentiation factors (GDFs). The family members are expressed throughout the human body, and are involved in the regulation of a range of important functions. The precise regulation of the TGFβ pathways is critical, and mutations of individual molecules or even minor alterations of signalling will have a significant affect on function, that may lead to development of disease or predisposition to the development of disease. The inhibins and activins regulate aspects of the male and female reproductive system, therefore, it is not surprising that most of the diseases associated with abnormalities of the inhibin and activin genes are focused on reproductive disorders and reproductive cancers. In this review, I highlight the role of genetic variants in the development of conditions such as premature ovarian failure, pre-eclampsia, and various reproductive cancers. Given the recent advances in human genetic research, such as genome wide association studies and next generation sequencing, it is likely that inhibins and activins will be shown to play more important roles in a range of human genetic diseases in the future.

  7. Human anthrax as a re-emerging disease. (United States)

    Doganay, Mehmet; Demiraslan, Hayati


    Anthrax is primarily a disease of herbivores and the etiological agent is B. anthracis which is a gram-positive, aerobic, spore-forming, and rod shaped bacterium. Bacillus anthracis spores are highly resistant to heat, pressure, ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, chemical agents and disinfectants. For these reasons, B. anthracis spores are an attractive choice as biological agents for the use of bioweapon and/or bioterrorism. Soil is the main reservoir for the infectious agent. The disease most commonly affects wild and domestic mammals. Human are secondarily infected by contact with infected animals and contaminated animal products or directly expose to B. anthracis spores. Anthrax occurs worldwide. This infection is still endemic or hyperendemic in both animals and humans in some part of areas of the world; particularly in Middle East, West Africa, Central Asia, some part of India, South America. However, some countries are claiming free of anthrax, and anthrax has become a re-emerging disease in western countries with the intentional outbreak. Currently, anthrax is classified according to its setting as (1) naturally occurring anthrax, (2) bioterrorism-related anthrax. Vast majority of human anthrax are occurring as naturally occurring anthrax in the world. It is also a threaten disease for western countries. The aim of this paper is to review the relevant patents, short historical perspective, microbiological and epidemiological features, clinical presentations and treatment.

  8. Proteomics in farm animals models of human diseases. (United States)

    Ceciliani, Fabrizio; Restelli, Laura; Lecchi, Cristina


    The need to provide in vivo complex environments to understand human diseases strongly relies on the use of animal models, which traditionally include small rodents and rabbits. It is becoming increasingly evident that the few species utilised to date cannot be regarded as universal. There is a great need for new animal species that are naturally endowed with specific features relevant to human diseases. Farm animals, including pigs, cows, sheep and horses, represent a valid alternative to commonly utilised rodent models. There is an ample scope for the application of proteomic techniques in farm animals, and the establishment of several proteomic maps of plasma and tissue has clearly demonstrated that farm animals provide a disease environment that closely resembles that of human diseases. The present review offers a snapshot of how proteomic techniques have been applied to farm animals to improve their use as biomedical models. Focus will be on specific topics of biomedical research in which farm animal models have been characterised through the application of proteomic techniques.

  9. Noncommunicable diseases and human rights: a promising synergy. (United States)

    Gruskin, Sofia; Ferguson, Laura; Tarantola, Daniel; Beaglehole, Robert


    Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have finally emerged onto the global health and development agenda. Despite the increasingly important role human rights play in other areas of global health, their contribution to NCD prevention and control remains nascent. The recently adopted Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020 is an important step forward, but the lack of concrete attention to human rights is a missed opportunity. With practical implications for policy development, priority setting, and strategic design, human rights offer a logical, robust set of norms and standards; define the legal obligations of governments; and provide accountability mechanisms that can be used to enhance current approaches to NCD prevention and control. Harnessing the power of human rights can strengthen action for NCDs at the local, national, and global levels.

  10. Chronic Inflammatory Periodontal Disease in Patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vania López Rodríguez


    Full Text Available Background: The Chronic Inflammatory Periodontal Disease is related with multiple risk factors. Those patients with human immunodeficiency virus have higher risk of presenting this disease and it is usually more serious in these cases. Objective: To describe the prevalence of Chronic Inflammatory Periodontal Disease in patients with HIV. Methods: Descriptive, observational, cross-sectional study including patients with HIV in Sancti Spiritus province. The occurrence of the disease was determined after the Periodontics Cuban Standards, and oral hygiene was assessed through the simplified oral hygiene index. Other variables were measured, such as smoking habits, T CD4+ lymphocyte counting and virus load. The independent association of each risk factor with the disease was determined through a logistic regression model. Results: The 56, 5 % of the 154 patients presented Chronic Inflammatory Periodontal Disease; 60 (39.0% gingivitis and 27 (17,5% periodontitis. Gingivitis was associated with poor oral hygiene (OR: 3,71 and periodontitis with smoking habit (OR: 5,20. The severe forms of periodontitis occurred mainly in patients with lymphocyte counting lower than 500 cells/mm3 . Conclusions: The prevalence of Chronic Inflammatory Periodontal Disease in patients with HIV in Sancti Spiritus province is linked to known risk factors such as smoking habits and oral hygiene.

  11. Downregulation of sulfotransferase expression and activity in diseased human livers. (United States)

    Yalcin, Emine B; More, Vijay; Neira, Karissa L; Lu, Zhenqiang James; Cherrington, Nathan J; Slitt, Angela L; King, Roberta S


    Sulfotransferase (SULT) function has been well studied in healthy human subjects by quantifying mRNA and protein expression and determining enzyme activity with probe substrates. However, it is not well known if sulfotransferase activity changes in metabolic and liver disease, such as diabetes, steatosis, or cirrhosis. Sulfotransferases have significant roles in the regulation of hormones and excretion of xenobiotics. In the present study of normal subjects with nonfatty livers and patients with steatosis, diabetic cirrhosis, and alcoholic cirrhosis, we sought to determine SULT1A1, SULT2A1, SULT1E1, and SULT1A3 activity and mRNA and protein expression in human liver tissue. In general, sulfotransferase activity decreased significantly with severity of liver disease from steatosis to cirrhosis. Specifically, SULT1A1 and SULT1A3 activities were lower in disease states relative to nonfatty tissues. Alcoholic cirrhotic tissues further contained lower SULT1A1 and 1A3 activities than those affected by either of the two other disease states. SULT2A1, on the other hand, was only reduced in alcoholic cirrhotic tissues. SULT1E1 was reduced both in diabetic cirrhosis and in alcoholic cirrhosis tissues, relative to nonfatty liver tissues. In conclusion, the reduced levels of sulfotransferase expression and activity in diseased versus nondiseased liver tissue may alter the metabolism and disposition of xenobiotics and affect homeostasis of endobiotic sulfotransferase substrates.

  12. Credit scores, cardiovascular disease risk, and human capital. (United States)

    Israel, Salomon; Caspi, Avshalom; Belsky, Daniel W; Harrington, HonaLee; Hogan, Sean; Houts, Renate; Ramrakha, Sandhya; Sanders, Seth; Poulton, Richie; Moffitt, Terrie E


    Credit scores are the most widely used instruments to assess whether or not a person is a financial risk. Credit scoring has been so successful that it has expanded beyond lending and into our everyday lives, even to inform how insurers evaluate our health. The pervasive application of credit scoring has outpaced knowledge about why credit scores are such useful indicators of individual behavior. Here we test if the same factors that lead to poor credit scores also lead to poor health. Following the Dunedin (New Zealand) Longitudinal Study cohort of 1,037 study members, we examined the association between credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk and the underlying factors that account for this association. We find that credit scores are negatively correlated with cardiovascular disease risk. Variation in household income was not sufficient to account for this association. Rather, individual differences in human capital factors—educational attainment, cognitive ability, and self-control—predicted both credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk and accounted for ∼45% of the correlation between credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk. Tracing human capital factors back to their childhood antecedents revealed that the characteristic attitudes, behaviors, and competencies children develop in their first decade of life account for a significant portion (∼22%) of the link between credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk at midlife. We discuss the implications of these findings for policy debates about data privacy, financial literacy, and early childhood interventions.

  13. Credit scores, cardiovascular disease risk, and human capital (United States)

    Israel, Salomon; Caspi, Avshalom; Belsky, Daniel W.; Harrington, HonaLee; Hogan, Sean; Houts, Renate; Ramrakha, Sandhya; Sanders, Seth; Poulton, Richie; Moffitt, Terrie E.


    Credit scores are the most widely used instruments to assess whether or not a person is a financial risk. Credit scoring has been so successful that it has expanded beyond lending and into our everyday lives, even to inform how insurers evaluate our health. The pervasive application of credit scoring has outpaced knowledge about why credit scores are such useful indicators of individual behavior. Here we test if the same factors that lead to poor credit scores also lead to poor health. Following the Dunedin (New Zealand) Longitudinal Study cohort of 1,037 study members, we examined the association between credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk and the underlying factors that account for this association. We find that credit scores are negatively correlated with cardiovascular disease risk. Variation in household income was not sufficient to account for this association. Rather, individual differences in human capital factors—educational attainment, cognitive ability, and self-control—predicted both credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk and accounted for ∼45% of the correlation between credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk. Tracing human capital factors back to their childhood antecedents revealed that the characteristic attitudes, behaviors, and competencies children develop in their first decade of life account for a significant portion (∼22%) of the link between credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk at midlife. We discuss the implications of these findings for policy debates about data privacy, financial literacy, and early childhood interventions. PMID:25404329

  14. Lipidomics of human brain aging and Alzheimer's disease pathology. (United States)

    Naudí, Alba; Cabré, Rosanna; Jové, Mariona; Ayala, Victoria; Gonzalo, Hugo; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Ferrer, Isidre; Pamplona, Reinald


    Lipids stimulated and favored the evolution of the brain. Adult human brain contains a large amount of lipids, and the largest diversity of lipid classes and lipid molecular species. Lipidomics is defined as "the full characterization of lipid molecular species and of their biological roles with respect to expression of proteins involved in lipid metabolism and function, including gene regulation." Therefore, the study of brain lipidomics can help to unravel the diversity and to disclose the specificity of these lipid traits and its alterations in neural (neurons and glial) cells, groups of neural cells, brain, and fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid and plasma, thus helping to uncover potential biomarkers of human brain aging and Alzheimer disease. This review will discuss the lipid composition of the adult human brain. We first consider a brief approach to lipid definition, classification, and tools for analysis from the new point of view that has emerged with lipidomics, and then turn to the lipid profiles in human brain and how lipids affect brain function. Finally, we focus on the current status of lipidomics findings in human brain aging and Alzheimer's disease pathology. Neurolipidomics will increase knowledge about physiological and pathological functions of brain cells and will place the concept of selective neuronal vulnerability in a lipid context. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Plant Polyphenols as Dietary Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanti Bhooshan Pandey


    Full Text Available Polyphenols are secondary metabolites of plants and are generally involved in defense against ultraviolet radiation or aggression by pathogens. In the last decade, there has been much interest in the potential health benefits of dietary plant polyphenols as antioxidant. Epidemiological studies and associated meta-analyses strongly suggest that long term consumption of diets rich in plant polyphenols offer protection against development of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases. Here we present knowledge about the biological effects of plant polyphenols in the context of relevance to human health.

  16. Pulmonary disease in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundgren, J D; Orholm, Marianne; Lundgren, B


    Pulmonary disease is the most important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). All parts of the hospital system are expected to be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of HIV infected patients in the coming years. Many different processes...... cause pulmonary disease alone or in combination. Bilateral interstitial infiltrates are the most frequent chest x-ray abnormality and are most frequently caused by infection with Pneumocystis carinii. Cytomegalovirus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, nonspecific interstitial pneumonitis and pulmonary Kaposi...

  17. Human genetic variation and the gut microbiome in disease. (United States)

    Hall, Andrew Brantley; Tolonen, Andrew C; Xavier, Ramnik J


    Taxonomic and functional changes to the composition of the gut microbiome have been implicated in multiple human diseases. Recent microbiome genome-wide association studies reveal that variants in many human genes involved in immunity and gut architecture are associated with an altered composition of the gut microbiome. Although many factors can affect the microbial organisms residing in the gut, a number of recent findings support the hypothesis that certain host genetic variants predispose an individual towards microbiome dysbiosis. This condition, in which the normal microbiome population structure is disturbed, is a key feature in disorders of metabolism and immunity.

  18. Recent genetic discoveries implicating ion channels in human cardiovascular diseases. (United States)

    George, Alfred L


    The term 'channelopathy' refers to human genetic disorders caused by mutations in genes encoding ion channels or their interacting proteins. Recent advances in this field have been enabled by next-generation DNA sequencing strategies such as whole exome sequencing with several intriguing and unexpected discoveries. This review highlights important discoveries implicating ion channels or ion channel modulators in cardiovascular disorders including cardiac arrhythmia susceptibility, cardiac conduction phenotypes, pulmonary and systemic hypertension. These recent discoveries further emphasize the importance of ion channels in the pathophysiology of human disease and as important druggable targets.

  19. Adult human metapneumonovirus (hMPV) pneumonia mimicking Legionnaire's disease. (United States)

    Cunha, Burke A; Irshad, Nadia; Connolly, James J


    In adults hospitalized with viral pneumonias the main differential diagnostic consideration is influenza pneumonia. The respiratory viruses causing viral influenza like illnesses (ILIs), e.g., RSV may closely resemble influenza. Rarely, extrapulmonary findings of some ILIs may resemble Legionnaire's disease (LD), e.g., adenovirus, human parainfluenza virus (HPIV-3). We present a most unusual case of human metapneumonovirus pneumonia (hMPV) with some characteristic extrapulmonary findings characteristic of LD, e.g., relative bradycardia, as well as mildly elevated serum transaminases and hyphosphatemia. We believe this is the first reported case of hMPV pneumonia in a hospitalized adult that had some features of LD.

  20. Cellular reprogramming for understanding and treating human disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riya Rajan Kanherkar


    Full Text Available In the last two decades we have witnessed a paradigm shift in our understanding of cells so radical that it has rewritten the rules of biology. The study of cellular reprogramming has gone from little more than a hypothesis, to applied bioengineering, with the creation of a variety of important cell types. By way of metaphor, we can compare the discovery of reprogramming with the archaeological discovery of the Rosetta stone. This stone slab made possible the initial decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics because it allowed us to see this language in a way that was previously impossible. We propose that cellular reprogramming will have an equally profound impact on understanding and curing human disease, because it allows us to perceive and study molecular biological processes such as differentiation, epigenetics, and chromatin in ways that were likewise previously impossible. Stem cells could be called cellular Rosetta stones because they allow also us to perceive the connections between development, disease, cancer, aging, and regeneration in novel ways. Here we present a comprehensive historical review of stem cells and cellular reprogramming, and illustrate the developing synergy between many previously unconnected fields. We show how stem cells can be used to create in vitro models of human disease and provide examples of how reprogramming is being used to study and treat such diverse diseases as cancer, aging and accelerated aging syndromes, infectious diseases such as AIDS, and epigenetic diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome. While the technology of reprogramming is being developed and refined there have also been significant ongoing developments in other complementary technologies such as gene editing, progenitor cell production, and tissue engineering. These technologies are the foundations of what is becoming a fully-functional field of regenerative medicine and are converging to a point that will allow us to treat almost any

  1. Grape Polyphenols’ Effects in Human Cardiovascular Diseases and Diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuriñe Rasines-Perea


    Full Text Available The consumption of fruits and vegetables, as well as foods enriched in bioactive compounds and nutraceuticals, has increased due to consumers’ interest in the relevance of food composition for human health. Considerable recent interest has focused on bioactive phenolic compounds in grape, as they possess many biological activities, such as antioxidant, cardioprotective, anticancer, anti-inflammation, anti-ageing and antimicrobial properties. Observational studies indicate that the intake of polyphenol-rich foods improves vascular health, thereby significantly reducing the risk of hypertension, and cardiovascular disease (CVD. Other researchers have described the benefits of a grape polyphenol-rich diet for other types of maladies such as diabetes mellitus. This is a comprehensive review on the consumption of polyphenolic grape compounds, concerning their potential benefits for human health in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

  2. Grape Polyphenols' Effects in Human Cardiovascular Diseases and Diabetes. (United States)

    Rasines-Perea, Zuriñe; Teissedre, Pierre-Louis


    The consumption of fruits and vegetables, as well as foods enriched in bioactive compounds and nutraceuticals, has increased due to consumers' interest in the relevance of food composition for human health. Considerable recent interest has focused on bioactive phenolic compounds in grape, as they possess many biological activities, such as antioxidant, cardioprotective, anticancer, anti-inflammation, anti-ageing and antimicrobial properties. Observational studies indicate that the intake of polyphenol-rich foods improves vascular health, thereby significantly reducing the risk of hypertension, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Other researchers have described the benefits of a grape polyphenol-rich diet for other types of maladies such as diabetes mellitus. This is a comprehensive review on the consumption of polyphenolic grape compounds, concerning their potential benefits for human health in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

  3. Mitochondrial protein import and human health and disease. (United States)

    MacKenzie, James A; Payne, R Mark


    The targeting and assembly of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins are essential processes because the energy supply of humans is dependent upon the proper functioning of mitochondria. Defective import of mitochondrial proteins can arise from mutations in the targeting signals within precursor proteins, from mutations that disrupt the proper functioning of the import machinery, or from deficiencies in the chaperones involved in the proper folding and assembly of proteins once they are imported. Defects in these steps of import have been shown to lead to oxidative stress, neurodegenerative diseases, and metabolic disorders. In addition, protein import into mitochondria has been found to be a dynamically regulated process that varies in response to conditions such as oxidative stress, aging, drug treatment, and exercise. This review focuses on how mitochondrial protein import affects human health and disease.

  4. Assessing the human gut microbiota in metabolic diseases. (United States)

    Karlsson, Fredrik; Tremaroli, Valentina; Nielsen, Jens; Bäckhed, Fredrik


    Recent findings have demonstrated that the gut microbiome complements our human genome with at least 100-fold more genes. In contrast to our Homo sapiens-derived genes, the microbiome is much more plastic, and its composition changes with age and diet, among other factors. An altered gut microbiota has been associated with several diseases, including obesity and diabetes, but the mechanisms involved remain elusive. Here we discuss factors that affect the gut microbiome, how the gut microbiome may contribute to metabolic diseases, and how to study the gut microbiome. Next-generation sequencing and development of software packages have led to the development of large-scale sequencing efforts to catalog the human microbiome. Furthermore, the use of genetically engineered gnotobiotic mouse models may increase our understanding of mechanisms by which the gut microbiome modulates host metabolism. A combination of classical microbiology, sequencing, and animal experiments may provide further insights into how the gut microbiota affect host metabolism and physiology.

  5. Genetic control of human brain transcript expression in Alzheimer disease. (United States)

    Webster, Jennifer A; Gibbs, J Raphael; Clarke, Jennifer; Ray, Monika; Zhang, Weixiong; Holmans, Peter; Rohrer, Kristen; Zhao, Alice; Marlowe, Lauren; Kaleem, Mona; McCorquodale, Donald S; Cuello, Cindy; Leung, Doris; Bryden, Leslie; Nath, Priti; Zismann, Victoria L; Joshipura, Keta; Huentelman, Matthew J; Hu-Lince, Diane; Coon, Keith D; Craig, David W; Pearson, John V; Heward, Christopher B; Reiman, Eric M; Stephan, Dietrich; Hardy, John; Myers, Amanda J


    We recently surveyed the relationship between the human brain transcriptome and genome in a series of neuropathologically normal postmortem samples. We have now analyzed additional samples with a confirmed pathologic diagnosis of late-onset Alzheimer disease (LOAD; final n = 188 controls, 176 cases). Nine percent of the cortical transcripts that we analyzed had expression profiles correlated with their genotypes in the combined cohort, and approximately 5% of transcripts had SNP-transcript relationships that could distinguish LOAD samples. Two of these transcripts have been previously implicated in LOAD candidate-gene SNP-expression screens. This study shows how the relationship between common inherited genetic variants and brain transcript expression can be used in the study of human brain disorders. We suggest that studying the transcriptome as a quantitative endo-phenotype has greater power for discovering risk SNPs influencing expression than the use of discrete diagnostic categories such as presence or absence of disease.

  6. Diagnosis of human heritable diseases--laboratory approaches and outcomes. (United States)

    Dowton, S B; Slaugh, R A


    Detection of mutant human genes is rapidly becoming an integral part of clinical practice. Human disease may arise by genetic deletion, insertion, fusion, point mutation, or amplification of unstable sequences. Such changes in structure may occur in germ cells or somatically. Rapid advances in understanding the complex nuclear and mitochondrial genomes necessitates deployment of a variety of methods to identify aberrant genes. These techniques include polymerase chain reaction, Southern transfer, and allele-specific hybridization studies, as well as methods to unmask mismatches between mutant and normal sequences. Development of protein truncation tests has added a vehicle for assessing larger DNA segments for mutations that cause premature translational termination. Linkage analysis remains an important tool where direct assay of disease-causing mutations is not possible. Considerations of confidentiality, informed consent, and insurability are important whenever genetic testing is used. These issues will assume increasing importance as presymptomatic testing for heritable predispositions emerges for common conditions.

  7. Disease Ontology 2015 update: an expanded and updated database of human diseases for linking biomedical knowledge through disease data. (United States)

    Kibbe, Warren A; Arze, Cesar; Felix, Victor; Mitraka, Elvira; Bolton, Evan; Fu, Gang; Mungall, Christopher J; Binder, Janos X; Malone, James; Vasant, Drashtti; Parkinson, Helen; Schriml, Lynn M


    The current version of the Human Disease Ontology (DO) ( database expands the utility of the ontology for the examination and comparison of genetic variation, phenotype, protein, drug and epitope data through the lens of human disease. DO is a biomedical resource of standardized common and rare disease concepts with stable identifiers organized by disease etiology. The content of DO has had 192 revisions since 2012, including the addition of 760 terms. Thirty-two percent of all terms now include definitions. DO has expanded the number and diversity of research communities and community members by 50+ during the past two years. These community members actively submit term requests, coordinate biomedical resource disease representation and provide expert curation guidance. Since the DO 2012 NAR paper, there have been hundreds of term requests and a steady increase in the number of DO listserv members, twitter followers and DO website usage. DO is moving to a multi-editor model utilizing Protégé to curate DO in web ontology language. This will enable closer collaboration with the Human Phenotype Ontology, EBI's Ontology Working Group, Mouse Genome Informatics and the Monarch Initiative among others, and enhance DO's current asserted view and multiple inferred views through reasoning. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  8. Under the lash: Demodex mites in human diseases. (United States)

    Lacey, Noreen; Kavanagh, Kevin; Tseng, Scheffer C G


    Demodex mites, class Arachnida and subclass Acarina, are elongated mites with clear cephalothorax and abdomens, the former with four pairs of legs. There are more than 100 species of Demodex mite, many of which are obligatory commensals of the pilosebaceous unit of mammals including cats, dogs, sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, deer, bats, hamsters, rats and mice. Among them, Demodex canis, which is found ubiquitously in dogs, is the most documented and investigated. In excessive numbers D. canis causes the inflammatory disease termed demodicosis (demodectic mange, follicular mange or red mange), which is more common in purebred dogs and has a hereditary predisposition in breeding kennels1. Two distinct Demodex species have been confirmed as the most common ectoparasite in man. The larger Demodex folliculorum, about 0.3-0.4 mm long, is primarily found as a cluster in the hair follicle (Figure 1a), while the smaller Demodex brevis, about 0.2-0.3 mm long with a spindle shape and stubby legs, resides solitarily in the sebaceous gland (Figure 1b). These two species are also ubiquitously found in all human races without gender preference. The pathogenic role of Demodex mites in veterinary medicine is not as greatly disputed as in human diseases. In this article, we review the key literature and our joint research experience regarding the pathogenic potential of these two mites in causing inflammatory diseases of human skin and eye. We hope that the evidence summarized herein will invite readers to take a different look at the life of Demodex mites in several common human diseases.

  9. Does biodiversity protect humans against infectious disease? Reply (United States)

    Wood, Chelsea L.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; DeLeo, Giulio; Young, Hillary S.; Hudson, Peter J.; Kuris, Armand M.


    The dilution effect is the sort of idea that everyone wants to be true. If nature protects humans against infectious disease, imagine the implications: nature's value could be tallied in terms of human suffering avoided. This makes a potent argument for conservation, convincing even to those who would otherwise be disinclined to support conservation initiatives. The appeal of the dilution effect has been recognized by others: “the desire to make the case for conservation has led to broad claims regarding the benefits of nature conservation for human health” (Bauch et al. 2015). Randolph and Dobson (2012) were among the first to critique these claims, making the case that promotion of conservation to reduce Lyme disease risk, although well intentioned, was flawed. Along with Randolph and Dobson's critique, there have been several calls for a more nuanced scientific assessment of the relationship between biodiversity and disease transmission (Dunn 2010, Salkeld et al. 2013, Wood and Lafferty 2013, Young et al. 2013). In response, supporters of the dilution effect have instead increased the scope of their generalizations with review papers, press releases, and, like Levi et al. (2015), letters. These responses have been successful; it is not uncommon to read papers that repeat the assertion that biodiversity generally interferes with disease transmission and that conservation will therefore generally benefit human health. Here, we explain how Levi et al. (2015) and other, similar commentaries use selective interpretation and shifting definitions to argue for the generality of the dilution effect hypothesis.

  10. Molecular basis of telomere dysfunction in human genetic diseases. (United States)

    Sarek, Grzegorz; Marzec, Paulina; Margalef, Pol; Boulton, Simon J


    Mutations in genes encoding proteins required for telomere structure, replication, repair and length maintenance are associated with several debilitating human genetic disorders. These complex telomere biology disorders (TBDs) give rise to critically short telomeres that affect the homeostasis of multiple organs. Furthermore, genome instability is often a hallmark of telomere syndromes, which are associated with increased cancer risk. Here, we summarize the molecular causes and cellular consequences of disease-causing mutations associated with telomere dysfunction.

  11. Molecular clocks and the human condition: approaching their characterization in human physiology and disease. (United States)

    Fitzgerald, G A; Yang, G; Paschos, G K; Liang, X; Skarke, C


    Molecular clockworks knit together diverse biological networks and compelling evidence from model systems infers their importance in metabolism, immunological and cardiovascular function. Despite this and the diurnal variation in many aspects of human physiology and the phenotypic expression of disease, our understanding of the role and importance of clock function and dysfunction in humans is modest. There are tantalizing hints of connection across the translational divide and some correlative evidence of gene variation and human disease but most of what we know derives from forced desynchrony protocols in controlled environments. We now have the ability to monitor quantitatively ex vivo or in vivo the genome, metabolome, proteome and microbiome of humans in the wild. Combining this capability, with the power of mobile telephony and the evolution of remote sensing, affords a new opportunity for deep phenotyping, including the characterization of diurnal behaviour and the assessment of the impact of the clock on approved drug function.

  12. Identification of susceptibility genes and genetic modifiers of human diseases (United States)

    Abel, Kenneth; Kammerer, Stefan; Hoyal, Carolyn; Reneland, Rikard; Marnellos, George; Nelson, Matthew R.; Braun, Andreas


    The completion of the human genome sequence enables the discovery of genes involved in common human disorders. The successful identification of these genes is dependent on the availability of informative sample sets, validated marker panels, a high-throughput scoring technology, and a strategy for combining these resources. We have developed a universal platform technology based on mass spectrometry (MassARRAY) for analyzing nucleic acids with high precision and accuracy. To fuel this technology, we generated more than 100,000 validated assays for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) covering virtually all known and predicted human genes. We also established a large DNA sample bank comprised of more than 50,000 consented healthy and diseased individuals. This combination of reagents and technology allows the execution of large-scale genome-wide association studies. Taking advantage of MassARRAY"s capability for quantitative analysis of nucleic acids, allele frequencies are estimated in sample pools containing large numbers of individual DNAs. To compare pools as a first-pass "filtering" step is a tremendous advantage in throughput and cost over individual genotyping. We employed this approach in numerous genome-wide, hypothesis-free searches to identify genes associated with common complex diseases, such as breast cancer, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis, and genes involved in quantitative traits like high density lipoproteins cholesterol (HDL-c) levels and central fat. Access to additional well-characterized patient samples through collaborations allows us to conduct replication studies that validate true disease genes. These discoveries will expand our understanding of genetic disease predisposition, and our ability for early diagnosis and determination of specific disease subtype or progression stage.

  13. Forward-time simulations of human populations with complex diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Peng


    Full Text Available Due to the increasing power of personal computers, as well as the availability of flexible forward-time simulation programs like simuPOP, it is now possible to simulate the evolution of complex human diseases using a forward-time approach. This approach is potentially more powerful than the coalescent approach since it allows simulations of more than one disease susceptibility locus using almost arbitrary genetic and demographic models. However, the application of such simulations has been deterred by the lack of a suitable simulation framework. For example, it is not clear when and how to introduce disease mutants-especially those under purifying selection-to an evolving population, and how to control the disease allele frequencies at the last generation. In this paper, we introduce a forward-time simulation framework that allows us to generate large multi-generation populations with complex diseases caused by unlinked disease susceptibility loci, according to specified demographic and evolutionary properties. Unrelated individuals, small or large pedigrees can be drawn from the resulting population and provide samples for a wide range of study designs and ascertainment methods. We demonstrate our simulation framework using three examples that map genes associated with affection status, a quantitative trait, and the age of onset of a hypothetical cancer, respectively. Nonadditive fitness models, population structure, and gene-gene interactions are simulated. Case-control, sibpair, and large pedigree samples are drawn from the simulated populations and are examined by a variety of gene-mapping methods.

  14. Beyond the zebrafish: diverse fish species for modeling human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manfred Schartl


    Full Text Available In recent years, zebrafish, and to a lesser extent medaka, have become widely used small animal models for human diseases. These organisms have convincingly demonstrated the usefulness of fish for improving our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to pathological conditions, and for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Despite the usefulness of zebrafish and medaka in the investigation of a wide spectrum of traits, there is evidence to suggest that other fish species could be better suited for more targeted questions. With the emergence of new, improved sequencing technologies that enable genomic resources to be generated with increasing efficiency and speed, the potential of non-mainstream fish species as disease models can now be explored. A key feature of these fish species is that the pathological condition that they model is often related to specific evolutionary adaptations. By exploring these adaptations, new disease-causing and disease-modifier genes might be identified; thus, diverse fish species could be exploited to better understand the complexity of disease processes. In addition, non-mainstream fish models could allow us to study the impact of environmental factors, as well as genetic variation, on complex disease phenotypes. This Review will discuss the opportunities that such fish models offer for current and future biomedical research.

  15. Cardiac Disease Associated with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection. (United States)

    Bloomfield, Gerald S; Leung, Claudia


    Over the last 2 decades human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has become a chronic disease requiring long-term management. Aging, antiretroviral therapy, chronic inflammation, and several other factors contribute to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in patients infected with HIV. In low-income and middle-income countries where antiretroviral therapy access is limited, cardiac disease is most commonly related to opportunistic infections and end-stage manifestations of HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, including HIV-associated cardiomyopathy, pericarditis, and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Cardiovascular screening, prevention, and risk factor management are important factors in the management of patients infected with HIV worldwide. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. The human gut microbiome impacts health and disease. (United States)

    Ehrlich, Stanislav Dusko


    The human gut microbiome can now be characterized in unprecedented detail by an approach based on high-throughput sequencing of total stool DNA, that we name quantitative metagenomics. Central to the approach is a catalog that lists all the genes of intestinal microbes that are known - 9.9 millions, identified by the analysis of 1267 stool samples. Beyond the gene list, genetic units that carry them begun to be known; many of these correspond to bacterial species that were never isolated and cultured yet. Quantitative metagenomics allows developing powerful algorithms to diagnose a disease, monitor patients and identify individuals at risk to progress towards a disease. This lays ground for developing new approaches to better restore and even preserve the health by modulation of the altered microbiome, which contributes to promote or aggravate a disease.

  17. Nutrition, epigenetics, and developmental plasticity: implications for understanding human disease. (United States)

    Burdge, Graham C; Lillycrop, Karen A


    There is considerable evidence for induction of differential risk of noncommunicable diseases in humans by variation in the quality of the early life environment. Studies in animal models show that induction and stability of induced changes in the phenotype of the offspring involve altered epigenetic regulation by DNA methylation and covalent modifications of histones. These findings indicate that such epigenetic changes are highly gene specific and function at the level of individual CpG dinucleotides. Interventions using supplementation with folic acid or methyl donors during pregnancy, or folic acid after weaning, alter the phenotype and epigenotype induced by maternal dietary constraint during gestation. This suggests a possible means for reducing risk of induced noncommunicable disease, although the design and conduct of such interventions may require caution. The purpose of this review is to discuss recent advances in understanding the mechanism that underlies the early life origins of disease and to place these studies in a broader life-course context.

  18. DRUMS: a human disease related unique gene mutation search engine. (United States)

    Li, Zuofeng; Liu, Xingnan; Wen, Jingran; Xu, Ye; Zhao, Xin; Li, Xuan; Liu, Lei; Zhang, Xiaoyan


    With the completion of the human genome project and the development of new methods for gene variant detection, the integration of mutation data and its phenotypic consequences has become more important than ever. Among all available resources, locus-specific databases (LSDBs) curate one or more specific genes' mutation data along with high-quality phenotypes. Although some genotype-phenotype data from LSDB have been integrated into central databases little effort has been made to integrate all these data by a search engine approach. In this work, we have developed disease related unique gene mutation search engine (DRUMS), a search engine for human disease related unique gene mutation as a convenient tool for biologists or physicians to retrieve gene variant and related phenotype information. Gene variant and phenotype information were stored in a gene-centred relational database. Moreover, the relationships between mutations and diseases were indexed by the uniform resource identifier from LSDB, or another central database. By querying DRUMS, users can access the most popular mutation databases under one interface. DRUMS could be treated as a domain specific search engine. By using web crawling, indexing, and searching technologies, it provides a competitively efficient interface for searching and retrieving mutation data and their relationships to diseases. The present system is freely accessible at

  19. MORPHIN: a web tool for human disease research by projecting model organism biology onto a human integrated gene network. (United States)

    Hwang, Sohyun; Kim, Eiru; Yang, Sunmo; Marcotte, Edward M; Lee, Insuk


    Despite recent advances in human genetics, model organisms are indispensable for human disease research. Most human disease pathways are evolutionally conserved among other species, where they may phenocopy the human condition or be associated with seemingly unrelated phenotypes. Much of the known gene-to-phenotype association information is distributed across diverse databases, growing rapidly due to new experimental techniques. Accessible bioinformatics tools will therefore facilitate translation of discoveries from model organisms into human disease biology. Here, we present a web-based discovery tool for human disease studies, MORPHIN (model organisms projected on a human integrated gene network), which prioritizes the most relevant human diseases for a given set of model organism genes, potentially highlighting new model systems for human diseases and providing context to model organism studies. Conceptually, MORPHIN investigates human diseases by an orthology-based projection of a set of model organism genes onto a genome-scale human gene network. MORPHIN then prioritizes human diseases by relevance to the projected model organism genes using two distinct methods: a conventional overlap-based gene set enrichment analysis and a network-based measure of closeness between the query and disease gene sets capable of detecting associations undetectable by the conventional overlap-based methods. MORPHIN is freely accessible at

  20. Functions of NOD-like receptors (NLRs in human diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yifei eZhong


    Full Text Available Nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain (NOD-like receptors (NLRs are highly conserved cytosolic pattern recognition receptors that perform critical functions in surveying the intracellular environment for the presence of infection, noxious substances, and metabolic perturbations. Sensing of these danger signals by NLRs leads to their oligomerization into large macromolecular scaffolds and the rapid deployment of effector signaling cascades to restore homeostasis. While some NLRs operate by recruiting and activating inflammatory caspases into inflammasomes, others trigger inflammation via alternative routes including the NF-κB, MAPK and IRF pathways. The critical role of NLRs in development and physiology is demonstrated by their clear implications in human diseases. Mutations in the genes encoding NLRP3 or NLRP12 lead to hereditary periodic fever syndromes, while mutations in CARD15 that encodes NOD2 are linked to Crohn’s disease or Blau’s syndrome. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS have identified a number of risk alleles encompassing NLR genes in a host of diseases including allergic rhinitis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, multi-bacillary leprosy, vitiligo, early-onset menopause, and bone density loss in elderly women. Animal models have allowed the characterization of underlying effector mechanisms in a number of cases. In this review, we highlight the functions of NLRs in health and disease and discuss how the characterization of their molecular mechanisms provides new insights into therapeutic strategies for the management of inflammatory pathologies.

  1. Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease based on disease-specific autoantibody profiles in human sera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Nagele

    Full Text Available After decades of Alzheimer's disease (AD research, the development of a definitive diagnostic test for this disease has remained elusive. The discovery of blood-borne biomarkers yielding an accurate and relatively non-invasive test has been a primary goal. Using human protein microarrays to characterize the differential expression of serum autoantibodies in AD and non-demented control (NDC groups, we identified potential diagnostic biomarkers for AD. The differential significance of each biomarker was evaluated, resulting in the selection of only 10 autoantibody biomarkers that can effectively differentiate AD sera from NDC sera with a sensitivity of 96.0% and specificity of 92.5%. AD sera were also distinguishable from sera obtained from patients with Parkinson's disease and breast cancer with accuracies of 86% and 92%, respectively. Results demonstrate that serum autoantibodies can be used effectively as highly-specific and accurate biomarkers to diagnose AD throughout the course of the disease.

  2. Human Gut Microbiota: Toward an Ecology of Disease (United States)

    Selber-Hnatiw, Susannah; Rukundo, Belise; Ahmadi, Masoumeh; Akoubi, Hayfa; Al-Bizri, Hend; Aliu, Adelekan F.; Ambeaghen, Tanyi U.; Avetisyan, Lilit; Bahar, Irmak; Baird, Alexandra; Begum, Fatema; Ben Soussan, Hélène; Blondeau-Éthier, Virginie; Bordaries, Roxane; Bramwell, Helene; Briggs, Alicia; Bui, Richard; Carnevale, Matthew; Chancharoen, Marisa; Chevassus, Talia; Choi, Jin H.; Coulombe, Karyne; Couvrette, Florence; D'Abreau, Samantha; Davies, Meghan; Desbiens, Marie-Pier; Di Maulo, Tamara; Di Paolo, Sean-Anthony; Do Ponte, Sabrina; dos Santos Ribeiro, Priscyla; Dubuc-Kanary, Laure-Anne; Duncan, Paola K.; Dupuis, Frédérique; El-Nounou, Sara; Eyangos, Christina N.; Ferguson, Natasha K.; Flores-Chinchilla, Nancy R.; Fotakis, Tanya; Gado Oumarou H D, Mariam; Georgiev, Metodi; Ghiassy, Seyedehnazanin; Glibetic, Natalija; Grégoire Bouchard, Julien; Hassan, Tazkia; Huseen, Iman; Ibuna Quilatan, Marlon-Francis; Iozzo, Tania; Islam, Safina; Jaunky, Dilan B.; Jeyasegaram, Aniththa; Johnston, Marc-André; Kahler, Matthew R.; Kaler, Kiranpreet; Kamani, Cedric; Karimian Rad, Hessam; Konidis, Elisavet; Konieczny, Filip; Kurianowicz, Sandra; Lamothe, Philippe; Legros, Karina; Leroux, Sebastien; Li, Jun; Lozano Rodriguez, Monica E.; Luponio-Yoffe, Sean; Maalouf, Yara; Mantha, Jessica; McCormick, Melissa; Mondragon, Pamela; Narayana, Thivaedee; Neretin, Elizaveta; Nguyen, Thi T. T.; Niu, Ian; Nkemazem, Romeo B.; O'Donovan, Martin; Oueis, Matthew; Paquette, Stevens; Patel, Nehal; Pecsi, Emily; Peters, Jackie; Pettorelli, Annie; Poirier, Cassandra; Pompa, Victoria R.; Rajen, Harshvardhan; Ralph, Reginald-Olivier; Rosales-Vasquez, Josué; Rubinshtein, Daria; Sakr, Surya; Sebai, Mohammad S.; Serravalle, Lisa; Sidibe, Fily; Sinnathurai, Ahnjana; Soho, Dominique; Sundarakrishnan, Adithi; Svistkova, Veronika; Ugbeye, Tsolaye E.; Vasconcelos, Megan S.; Vincelli, Michael; Voitovich, Olga; Vrabel, Pamela; Wang, Lu; Wasfi, Maryse; Zha, Cong Y.; Gamberi, Chiara


    Composed of trillions of individual microbes, the human gut microbiota has adapted to the uniquely diverse environments found in the human intestine. Quickly responding to the variances in the ingested food, the microbiota interacts with the host via reciprocal biochemical signaling to coordinate the exchange of nutrients and proper immune function. Host and microbiota function as a unit which guards its balance against invasion by potential pathogens and which undergoes natural selection. Disturbance of the microbiota composition, or dysbiosis, is often associated with human disease, indicating that, while there seems to be no unique optimal composition of the gut microbiota, a balanced community is crucial for human health. Emerging knowledge of the ecology of the microbiota-host synergy will have an impact on how we implement antibiotic treatment in therapeutics and prophylaxis and how we will consider alternative strategies of global remodeling of the microbiota such as fecal transplants. Here we examine the microbiota-human host relationship from the perspective of the microbial community dynamics. PMID:28769880

  3. CRISPR-mediated genome editing and human diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liquan Cai


    Full Text Available CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats technology has emerged as a powerful technology for genome editing and is now widely used in basic biomedical research to explore gene function. More recently, this technology has been increasingly applied to the study or treatment of human diseases, including Barth syndrome effects on the heart, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, β-Thalassemia, and cystic fibrosis. CRISPR/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9 genome editing has been used to correct disease-causing DNA mutations ranging from a single base pair to large deletions in model systems ranging from cells in vitro to animals in vivo. In addition to genetic diseases, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing has also been applied in immunology-focused applications such as the targeting of C-C chemokine receptor type 5, the programmed death 1 gene, or the creation of chimeric antigen receptors in T cells for purposes such as the treatment of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS or promoting anti-tumor immunotherapy. Furthermore, this technology has been applied to the genetic manipulation of domesticated animals with the goal of producing biologic medical materials, including molecules, cells or organs, on a large scale. Finally, CRISPR/Cas9 has been teamed with induced pluripotent stem (iPS cells to perform multiple tissue engineering tasks including the creation of disease models or the preparation of donor-specific tissues for transplantation. This review will explore the ways in which the use of CRISPR/Cas9 is opening new doors to the treatment of human diseases.

  4. Exploring the potential relevance of human-specific genes to complex disease

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    Cooper David N


    Full Text Available Abstract Although human disease genes generally tend to be evolutionarily more ancient than non-disease genes, complex disease genes appear to be represented more frequently than Mendelian disease genes among genes of more recent evolutionary origin. It is therefore proposed that the analysis of human-specific genes might provide new insights into the genetics of complex disease. Cross-comparison with the Human Gene Mutation Database ( revealed a number of examples of disease-causing and disease-associated mutations in putatively human-specific genes. A sizeable proportion of these were missense polymorphisms associated with complex disease. Since both human-specific genes and genes associated with complex disease have often experienced particularly rapid rates of evolutionary change, either due to weaker purifying selection or positive selection, it is proposed that a significant number of human-specific genes may play a role in complex disease.

  5. Zoonotic disease surveillance--inventory of systems integrating human and animal disease information. (United States)

    Wendt, A; Kreienbrock, L; Campe, A


    Although 65% of recent major disease outbreaks throughout the world have a zoonotic origin, there is still a sharp division among the disciplines into the human and animal health sectors. In the last few decades, a global integrative concept, often referred to as 'One Health', has been strongly endorsed. Surveillance and monitoring efforts are major components for effective disease prevention and control. As human health and animal health are inextricably linked, it is assumed that a cross-sectoral data interpretation of zoonotic disease information will improve their prevention, prediction and control. To provide an overview of existing systems throughout the world which integrate information from humans and animals on zoonotic diseases, a literature review was conducted. Twenty projects were identified and described regarding their concepts and realization. They all vary widely depending on their surveillance purpose, their structure and the source of information they use. What they have in common is that they quite often use data which have already been collected for another purpose. Therefore, the challenges of how to make use of such secondary data are of great interest.

  6. Myeloid dendritic cells are potential players in human neurodegenerative diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola eBossù


    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s (AD and Parkinson’s (PD diseases are devastating neurodegenerative disturbances wherein neuroinflammation is a chronic pathogenic process with high therapeutic potential. Major mediators of AD/PD neuroimmune processes are resident immune cells, but immune cells derived from periphery may also participate and to some extent modify neuroinflammation. Specifically, blood borne myeloid cells emerge as crucial components of AD/PD progression and susceptibility. Among these, dendritic cells (DCs are key immune orchestrators and players of brain immune surveillance: we candidate them as potential mediators of both AD and PD and as relevant cell model for unraveling myeloid cell role in neurodegeneration. Hence, we recapitulate and discuss emerging data suggesting that blood-derived DCs play a role in experimental and human neurodegenerative diseases. In humans, in particular, DCs are modified by in vitro culture with neurodegeneration-associated pathogenic factors and dysregulated in AD patients, while the levels of DC precursors are decreased in AD and PD patients’ blood, possibly as an index of their recruitment to the brain. Overall, we emphasize the need to explore the impact of DCs on neurodegeneration to uncover peripheral immune mechanisms of pathogenic importance, recognize potential biomarkers and improve therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases.

  7. Africa: the next frontier for human disease gene discovery? (United States)

    Ramsay, Michèle; Tiemessen, Caroline T; Choudhury, Ananyo; Soodyall, Himla


    The populations of Africa harbour the greatest human genetic diversity following an evolutionary history tracing its beginnings on the continent to time before the emergence of Homo sapiens. Signatures of selection are detectable as responses to ancient environments and cultural practices, modulated by more recent events including infectious epidemics, migrations, admixture and, of course, chance. The age of high-throughput biology is not passing Africa by. African-based cohort studies and networks with an African footprint are ideal springboards for disease-related genetic and genomic studies. Initiatives like HapMap, the 1000 Genomes Project, MalariaGEN, the INDEPTH network and Human Heredity and Health in Africa are catalysts to exploring African genetic diversity and its role in the spectrum from health to disease. The challenges are abundant in dissecting biological questions in the light of linguistic, cultural, geographic and political boundaries and their respective roles in shaping health-related profiles. Will studies based on African populations lead to a new wave of discovery of genetic contributors to disease?

  8. Malarial birds: modeling infectious human disease in animals. (United States)

    Slater, Leo B


    Through the examination of avian malarias as models of infectious human disease, this paper reveals the kinds of claims that scientists and physicians made on the basis of animal models-biological systems in the laboratory and the field-and what characteristics made for congruence between these models and human malaria. The focus is on the period between 1895 and 1945, and on the genesis and trajectory of certain animal models of malaria within specific locations, such as the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore and Bayer (I. G. Farben) in Elberfeld. These exemplars illustrate a diversity of approaches to malaria-as-disease, and the difficulties of framing aspects of this disease complex within an animal or laboratory system. The diversity and nearness to wild types of the birds, protozoan parasites, and mosquitoes that made up these malaria models contributed a great deal to the complexity of the models. Avian malarias, adopted with enthusiasm, were essential to the success of the U.S. antimalarial program during World War II.

  9. Transcriptome Profiling in Human Diseases: New Advances and Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amelia Casamassimi


    Full Text Available In the last decades, transcriptome profiling has been one of the most utilized approaches to investigate human diseases at the molecular level. Through expression studies, many molecular biomarkers and therapeutic targets have been found for several human pathologies. This number is continuously increasing thanks to total RNA sequencing. Indeed, this new technology has completely revolutionized transcriptome analysis allowing the quantification of gene expression levels and allele-specific expression in a single experiment, as well as to identify novel genes, splice isoforms, fusion transcripts, and to investigate the world of non-coding RNA at an unprecedented level. RNA sequencing has also been employed in important projects, like ENCODE (Encyclopedia of the regulatory elements and TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas, to provide a snapshot of the transcriptome of dozens of cell lines and thousands of primary tumor specimens. Moreover, these studies have also paved the way to the development of data integration approaches in order to facilitate management and analysis of data and to identify novel disease markers and molecular targets to use in the clinics. In this scenario, several ongoing clinical trials utilize transcriptome profiling through RNA sequencing strategies as an important instrument in the diagnosis of numerous human pathologies.

  10. Traffic jam: a compendium of human diseases that affect intracellular transport processes. (United States)

    Aridor, M; Hannan, L A


    As sequencing of the human genome nears completion, the genes that cause many human diseases are being identified and functionally described. This has revealed that many human diseases are due to defects of intracellular trafficking. This 'Toolbox' catalogs and briefly describes these diseases.

  11. Network Medicine: A Network-based Approach to Human Diseases (United States)

    Ghiassian, Susan Dina

    With the availability of large-scale data, it is now possible to systematically study the underlying interaction maps of many complex systems in multiple disciplines. Statistical physics has a long and successful history in modeling and characterizing systems with a large number of interacting individuals. Indeed, numerous approaches that were first developed in the context of statistical physics, such as the notion of random walks and diffusion processes, have been applied successfully to study and characterize complex systems in the context of network science. Based on these tools, network science has made important contributions to our understanding of many real-world, self-organizing systems, for example in computer science, sociology and economics. Biological systems are no exception. Indeed, recent studies reflect the necessity of applying statistical and network-based approaches in order to understand complex biological systems, such as cells. In these approaches, a cell is viewed as a complex network consisting of interactions among cellular components, such as genes and proteins. Given the cellular network as a platform, machinery, functionality and failure of a cell can be studied with network-based approaches, a field known as systems biology. Here, we apply network-based approaches to explore human diseases and their associated genes within the cellular network. This dissertation is divided in three parts: (i) A systematic analysis of the connectivity patterns among disease proteins within the cellular network. The quantification of these patterns inspires the design of an algorithm which predicts a disease-specific subnetwork containing yet unknown disease associated proteins. (ii) We apply the introduced algorithm to explore the common underlying mechanism of many complex diseases. We detect a subnetwork from which inflammatory processes initiate and result in many autoimmune diseases. (iii) The last chapter of this dissertation describes the

  12. The possible mechanisms of the human microbiome in allergic diseases. (United States)

    Ipci, Kagan; Altıntoprak, Niyazi; Muluk, Nuray Bayar; Senturk, Mehmet; Cingi, Cemal


    In the present paper, we discuss the importance of the microbiome in allergic disease. In this review paper, the data from the Medline (PubMed) and search engine of Kirikkale University were systematically searched for all relevant articles in June 15th, 2015 for the past 30 years. The keywords of "microbiome", "dysbiosis", "allergy", "allergic rhinitis", "allergic disease", "mechanisms" and "treatment" were used alone or together. In this paper, microbiomes were presented in terms of "Definition", "Influence of \\the human microbiome on health", "The microbiome and allergic diseases", and "Modulation of the gut microbiota in terms of treatment and prevention". Microbiological dysbiosis is also reviewed. The microbiome is the genetic material of all microbes (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses) that live on or in the human body. Microbes outnumber human cells in a 10:1 ratio. Most microbes live in the gut, particularly the large intestine. Changes in the immune function of the respiratory tract are (at least in theory) linked to the immunomodulatory activity of the gut microbiota via the concept of a "common mucosal response". The gut microbiota shapes systemic immunity, thus affecting the lung mucosa. Alternatively, changes in the gut microbiota may reflect alterations in the oropharyngeal microbiota, which may in turn directly affect the lung microbiota and host immune responses via microaspiration. Dysbiosis is defined as qualitative and quantitative changes in the intestinal flora; and modern diet and lifestyle, antibiotics, psychological and physical stress result in alterations in bacterial metabolism, as well as the overgrowth of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. All immune system components are directly or indirectly regulated by the microbiota. The nature of microbial exposure early in life appears to be important for the development of robust immune regulation; disruption of either the microbiota or the host response can trigger chronic

  13. Human RECQ helicases: roles in cancer, aging, and inherited disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sidorova JM


    Full Text Available Julia M Sidorova,1,* Raymond J Monnat Jr,1,2,* 1Department of Pathology, 2Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA *The authors contributed equally to this review Abstract: DNA helicases use the energy of ATP hydrolysis to disrupt DNA base pairing and displace proteins from DNA in order to facilitate replication, recombination, transcription, and repair. This article focuses on the human RECQ helicases, five DNA-dependent helicases that play key roles in cellular physiology and disease. Loss of function of three RECQ helicases causes the cancer predisposition syndromes Bloom syndrome, Werner syndrome, and Rothmund–Thomson and related syndromes. We summarize recent work on these syndromes and proteins and discuss disease pathogenesis in light of RECQ helicase biochemical activities and in vivo functions. Keywords: ATP-dependent DNA helicase, Bloom syndrome, Werner syndrome, Rothmund–Thomson syndrome, DNA replication, DNA repair, genetic instability, cancer predisposition syndrome

  14. Mutations that Cause Human Disease: A Computational/Experimental Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beernink, P; Barsky, D; Pesavento, B


    International genome sequencing projects have produced billions of nucleotides (letters) of DNA sequence data, including the complete genome sequences of 74 organisms. These genome sequences have created many new scientific opportunities, including the ability to identify sequence variations among individuals within a species. These genetic differences, which are known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), are particularly important in understanding the genetic basis for disease susceptibility. Since the report of the complete human genome sequence, over two million human SNPs have been identified, including a large-scale comparison of an entire chromosome from twenty individuals. Of the protein coding SNPs (cSNPs), approximately half leads to a single amino acid change in the encoded protein (non-synonymous coding SNPs). Most of these changes are functionally silent, while the remainder negatively impact the protein and sometimes cause human disease. To date, over 550 SNPs have been found to cause single locus (monogenic) diseases and many others have been associated with polygenic diseases. SNPs have been linked to specific human diseases, including late-onset Parkinson disease, autism, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. The ability to predict accurately the effects of these SNPs on protein function would represent a major advance toward understanding these diseases. To date several attempts have been made toward predicting the effects of such mutations. The most successful of these is a computational approach called ''Sorting Intolerant From Tolerant'' (SIFT). This method uses sequence conservation among many similar proteins to predict which residues in a protein are functionally important. However, this method suffers from several limitations. First, a query sequence must have a sufficient number of relatives to infer sequence conservation. Second, this method does not make use of or provide any information on protein structure, which

  15. [Human and animal parasitic diseases in the New Hebrides]. (United States)

    Bourée, P; Léon, J J


    New-Hebrides Condominium, an archipelago in the South Pacific, is a country with a special socio-political environment, due to the duality of its French-British regime. This state of affairs is felt in all areas including Public Health, where we find French, British and Condominial personnel. The pathology of parasitic diseases is essentially tropical with a strong predominance of paludism, at times fatal, and intestinal nematodes; however we rarely find amibiasis or human hydatid disease. Strongyloidiasis as well as specific ascaris of each species are very frequent in animals. In general cattle is relatively healthy, which is fortunate for a country whose economy is turning more and more to breeding.

  16. Therapeutics Targeting FGF Signaling Network in Human Diseases. (United States)

    Katoh, Masaru


    Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling through its receptors, FGFR1, FGFR2, FGFR3, or FGFR4, regulates cell fate, angiogenesis, immunity, and metabolism. Dysregulated FGF signaling causes human diseases, such as breast cancer, chondrodysplasia, gastric cancer, lung cancer, and X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets. Recombinant FGFs are pro-FGF signaling therapeutics for tissue and/or wound repair, whereas FGF analogs and gene therapy are under development for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoarthritis. FGF traps, anti-FGF/FGFR monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), and small-molecule FGFR inhibitors are anti-FGF signaling therapeutics under development for the treatment of cancer, chondrodysplasia, and rickets. Here, I discuss the benefit-risk and cost-effectiveness issues of precision medicine targeting FGFRs, ALK, EGFR, and FLT3. FGFR-targeted therapy should be optimized for cancer treatment, focusing on genomic tests and recurrence.

  17. Motor unit involvement in human acute Chagas' disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. R. Benavente


    Full Text Available Thirty five patients with acute Chagas' disease who demonstrated parasitaemia at the time of the investigation were submitted to a detailed electromyographical study. With their muscles at rest, 12 patients showed fibrillation potentials and/or positive sharp waves. On volitional contraction, 7 had short duration motor unit potentials (MUPs and low polyphasic MUPs. On motor and sensory nerve fibers conduction studies, 20 disclosed values below the lower control limit within one or more nerves. Finally, 12 patients produced a muscle, decremental response on nerve supramaximal repetitive stimulation. The findings signal that primary muscle involvement, neuropathy and impairement of the neuromuscular transmission, either isolated or combined, may be found in the acute stage of human Chagas' disease.

  18. Human papillomavirus infection and disease in men: Impact of HIV

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sinead Delany-Moretlwe


    Full Text Available There is growing evidence of a significant burden of human papillomavirus (HPV infection and associated disease in men. High rates of HPV infection have been observed in men from sub-Saharan Africa where HIV prevalence is high. HIV infection increases HPV prevalence, incidence and persistence and is strongly associated with the development of anogenital warts and anal, penile and head and neck cancers in men. Despite increasing access to antiretroviral therapy, there appears to be little benefit in preventing the development of these cancers in HIV-positive men, making prevention of infection a priority. New prevention options that are being introduced in many African countries include male circumcision and HPV vaccination. However, more data are needed on the burden of HPV disease in men before boys are included in HPV vaccination programmes.

  19. Mitochondrial regulation of epigenetics and its role in human diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minocherhomji, Sheroy; Tollefsbol, Trygve O; Singh, Keshav K


    Most pathogenic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations induce defects in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). However, phenotypic effects of these mutations show a large degree of variation depending on the tissue affected. These differences are difficult to reconcile with OXPHOS...... as the sole pathogenic factor suggesting that additional mechanisms contribute to lack of genotype and clinical phenotype correlationship. An increasing number of studies have identified a possible effect on the epigenetic landscape of the nuclear genome as a consequence of mitochondrial dysfunction...... to epigenetic changes causing genomic instability in the nuclear genome. We propose that "mitocheckpoint" mediated epigenetic and genetic changes may play key roles in phenotypic variation related to mitochondrial diseases or host of human diseases in which mitochondrial defect plays a primary role....

  20. Human embryonic stem cell therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. (United States)

    Tomaskovic-Crook, Eva; Crook, Jeremy M


    There is a renewed enthusiasm for the clinical translation of human embryonic stem (hES) cells. This is abetted by putative clinically-compliant strategies for hES cell maintenance and directed differentiation, greater understanding of and accessibility to cells through formal cell registries and centralized cell banking for distribution, the revised US government policy on funding hES cell research, and paradoxically the discovery of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Additionally, as we consider the constraints (practical and fiscal) of delivering cell therapies for global healthcare, the more efficient and economical application of allogeneic vs autologous treatments will bolster the clinical entry of hES cell derivatives. Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease are primary candidates for hES cell therapy, although there are significant hurdles to be overcome. The present review considers key advances and challenges to translating hES cells into novel therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, with special consideration given to Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Importantly, despite the focus on degenerative brain disorders and hES cells, many of the issues canvassed by this review are relevant to systemic application of hES cells and other pluripotent stem cells such as iPS cells.

  1. Use of rodents as models of human diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thierry F Vandamme


    Full Text Available Advances in molecular biology have significantly increased the understanding of the biology of different diseases. However, these discoveries have not yet been fully translated into improved treatments for patients with diseases such as cancers. One of the factors limiting the translation of knowledge from preclinical studies to the clinic has been the limitations of in vivo diseases models. In this brief review, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of rodent models that have been developed to simulate human pathologies, focusing in models that employ xenografts and genetic modification. Within the framework of genetically engineered mouse (GEM models, we will review some of the current genetic strategies for modeling diseases in the mouse and the preclinical studies that have already been undertaken. We will also discuss how recent improvements in imaging technologies may increase the information derived from using these GEMs during early assessments of potential therapeutic pathways. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that one of the values of using a mouse model is the very rapid turnover rate of the animal, going through the process of birth to death in a very short timeframe relative to that of larger mammalian species.

  2. Complement regulators in human disease: lessons from modern genetics. (United States)

    K Liszewski, M; Atkinson, J P


    First identified in human serum in the late 19th century as a 'complement' to antibodies in mediating bacterial lysis, the complement system emerged more than a billion years ago probably as the first humoral immune system. The contemporary complement system consists of nearly 60 proteins in three activation pathways (classical, alternative and lectin) and a terminal cytolytic pathway common to all. Modern molecular biology and genetics have not only led to further elucidation of the structure of complement system components, but have also revealed function-altering rare variants and common polymorphisms, particularly in regulators of the alternative pathway, that predispose to human disease by creating 'hyperinflammatory complement phenotypes'. To treat these 'complementopathies', a monoclonal antibody against the initiator of the membrane attack complex, C5, has received approval for use. Additional therapeutic reagents are on the horizon.

  3. Aquaporin water channels: molecular mechanisms for human diseases. (United States)

    Agre, Peter; Kozono, David


    Although water is the major component of all biological fluids, the molecular pathways for water transport across cell membranes eluded identification until the discovery of the aquaporin family of water channels. The atomic structure of mammalian AQP1 illustrates how this family of proteins is freely permeated by water but not protons (hydronium ions, H3O+). Definition of the subcellular sites of expression predicted their physiological functions and potential clinical disorders. Analysis of several human disease states has confirmed that aquaporins are involved in multiple different illnesses including abnormalities of kidney function, loss of vision, onset of brain edema, starvation, and arsenic toxicity.

  4. Melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells: implications for human diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    La Morgia, Chiara; Ross-Cisneros, Fred N; Hannibal, Jens


    interest on these cells, mainly focused on animal models. Only recently, a few studies have started to address the relevance of the mRGC system in humans and related diseases. We recently discovered that mRGCs resist neurodegeneration in two inherited mitochondrial disorders that cause blindness, i.......e. Leber hereditary optic neuropathy and dominant optic atrophy. The mechanism leading to mRGCs sparing in these blinding disorders, characterized by extensive and selective loss of RGCs, is currently unknown and under investigation. Other studies reported on mRGCs in glaucoma, on genetic variation...

  5. Metalloprotein Inhibitors for the Treatment of Human Diseases. (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Hu, Xue-Qin; Li, Qing-Shan; Zhang, Xing-Xing; Ruan, Ban-Feng; Xu, Jun; Liao, Chenzhong


    Metalloproteins have attracted momentous attentions for the treatment of many human diseases, including cancer, HIV, hypertension, etc. This article reviews the progresses that have been made in the field of drug development of metalloprotein inhibitors, putting emphasis on the targets of carbonic anhydrase, histone deacetylase, angiotensin converting enzyme, and HIV-1 integrase. Many other important metalloproteins are also briefly discussed. The binding and coordination modes of different marketed metalloprotein inhibitors are stated, providing insights to design novel metal binding groups and further novel inhibitors for metalloproteins.

  6. Glycogen Storage Disease Type Ia in Canines: A Model for Human Metabolic and Genetic Liver Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Specht


    Full Text Available A canine model of Glycogen storage disease type Ia (GSDIa is described. Affected dogs are homozygous for a previously described M121I mutation resulting in a deficiency of glucose-6-phosphatase-α. Metabolic, clinicopathologic, pathologic, and clinical manifestations of GSDIa observed in this model are described and compared to those observed in humans. The canine model shows more complete recapitulation of the clinical manifestations seen in humans including “lactic acidosis”, larger size, and longer lifespan compared to other animal models. Use of this model in preclinical trials of gene therapy is described and briefly compared to the murine model. Although the canine model offers a number of advantages for evaluating potential therapies for GSDIa, there are also some significant challenges involved in its use. Despite these challenges, the canine model of GSDIa should continue to provide valuable information about the potential for generating curative therapies for GSDIa as well as other genetic hepatic diseases.

  7. Regulatory Role of Small Nucleolar RNAs in Human Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grigory A. Stepanov


    Full Text Available Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs are appreciable players in gene expression regulation in human cells. The canonical function of box C/D and box H/ACA snoRNAs is posttranscriptional modification of ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs, namely, 2′-O-methylation and pseudouridylation, respectively. A series of independent studies demonstrated that snoRNAs, as well as other noncoding RNAs, serve as the source of various short regulatory RNAs. Some snoRNAs and their fragments can also participate in the regulation of alternative splicing and posttranscriptional modification of mRNA. Alterations in snoRNA expression in human cells can affect numerous vital cellular processes. SnoRNA level in human cells, blood serum, and plasma presents a promising target for diagnostics and treatment of human pathologies. Here we discuss the relation between snoRNAs and oncological, neurodegenerative, and viral diseases and also describe changes in snoRNA level in response to artificial stress and some drugs.

  8. Control of human parasitic diseases: Context and overview. (United States)

    Molyneux, David H


    The control of parasitic diseases of humans has been undertaken since the aetiology and natural history of the infections was recognized and the deleterious effects on human health and well-being appreciated by policy makers, medical practitioners and public health specialists. However, while some parasitic infections such as malaria have proved difficult to control, as defined by a sustained reduction in incidence, others, particularly helminth infections can be effectively controlled. The different approaches to control from diagnosis, to treatment and cure of the clinically sick patient, to control the transmission within the community by preventative chemotherapy and vector control are outlined. The concepts of eradication, elimination and control are defined and examples of success summarized. Overviews of the health policy and financing environment in which programmes to control or eliminate parasitic diseases are positioned and the development of public-private partnerships as vehicles for product development or access to drugs for parasite disease control are discussed. Failure to sustain control of parasites may be due to development of drug resistance or the failure to implement proven strategies as a result of decreased resources within the health system, decentralization of health management through health-sector reform and the lack of financial and human resources in settings where per capita government expenditure on health may be less than $US 5 per year. However, success has been achieved in several large-scale programmes through sustained national government investment and/or committed donor support. It is also widely accepted that the level of investment in drug development for the parasitic diseases of poor populations is an unattractive option for pharmaceutical companies. The development of partnerships to specifically address this need provides some hope that the intractable problems of the treatment regimens for the trypanosomiases and

  9. The role of nanotechnology in control of human diseases: perspectives in ocular surface diseases. (United States)

    Rai, Mahendra; Ingle, Avinash P; Gaikwad, Swapnil; Padovani, Felipe Hering; Alves, Monica


    Nanotechnology is the creation and use of materials and devices on the same scale as molecules and intracellular structures, typically less than 100 nm in size. It is an emerging science and has made its way into pharmaceuticals to significantly improve the delivery and efficacy of drugs in a number of therapeutic areas, due to development of various nanoparticle-based products. In recent years, there has been increasing evidence that nanotechnology can help to overcome many of the ocular diseases and hence researchers are keenly interested in this science. Nanomedicines offer promise as viable alternatives to conventional drops, gels or ointments to improve drug delivery to the eye. Because of their small size, they are well tolerated, thus preventing washout, increase bioavailability and also help in specific drug delivery. This review describes the application of nanotechnology in the control of human diseases with special emphasis on various eye and ocular surfaces diseases.

  10. Human keratin diseases: the increasing spectrum of disease and subtlety of the phenotype-genotype correlation. (United States)

    Irvine, A D; McLean, W H


    Keratins are obligate heterodimer proteins that form the intermediate filament cytoskeleton of all epithelial cells. Keratins are tissue and differentiation specific and are expressed in pairs of types I and II proteins. The spectrum of inherited human keratin diseases has steadily increased since the causative role of mutations in the basal keratinocyte keratins 5 and 14 in epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) was first reported in 1991. At the time of writing, mutations in 15 epithelial keratins and two trichocyte keratins have been associated with human diseases which include EBS, bullous congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma, epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma, ichthyosis bullosa of Siemens, diffuse and focal non-epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma, pachyonychia congenita and monilethrix. Mutations in extracutaneous keratins have been reported in oral white sponge naevus and Meesmann's corneal dystrophy. New subtleties of phenotype-genotype correlation are emerging within the keratin diseases with widely varying clinical presentations attributable to similar mutations within the same keratin. Mutations in keratin-associated proteins have recently been reported for the first time. This article reviews clinical, ultrastructural and molecular aspects of all the keratin diseases described to date and delineates potential future areas of research in this field.

  11. DiseaseMeth version 2.0: a major expansion and update of the human disease methylation database (United States)

    Xiong, Yichun; Wei, Yanjun; Gu, Yue; Zhang, Shumei; Lyu, Jie; Zhang, Bin; Chen, Chuangeng; Zhu, Jiang; Wang, Yihan; Liu, Hongbo; Zhang, Yan


    The human disease methylation database (DiseaseMeth, is an interactive database that aims to present the most complete collection and annotation of aberrant DNA methylation in human diseases, especially various cancers. Recently, the high-throughput microarray and sequencing technologies have promoted the production of methylome data that contain comprehensive knowledge of human diseases. In this DiseaseMeth update, we have increased the number of samples from 3610 to 32 701, the number of diseases from 72 to 88 and the disease–gene associations from 216 201 to 679 602. DiseaseMeth version 2.0 provides an expanded comprehensive list of disease–gene associations based on manual curation from experimental studies and computational identification from high-throughput methylome data. Besides the data expansion, we also updated the search engine and visualization tools. In particular, we enhanced the differential analysis tools, which now enable online automated identification of DNA methylation abnormalities in human disease in a case-control or disease–disease manner. To facilitate further mining of the disease methylome, three new web tools were developed for cluster analysis, functional annotation and survival analysis. DiseaseMeth version 2.0 should be a useful resource platform for further understanding the molecular mechanisms of human diseases. PMID:27899673

  12. Economic burden of human papillomavirus-related diseases in Italy.

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    Gianluca Baio

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Human papilloma virus (HPV genotypes 6, 11, 16, and 18 impose a substantial burden of direct costs on the Italian National Health Service that has never been quantified fully. The main objective of the present study was to address this gap: (1 by estimating the total direct medical costs associated with nine major HPV-related diseases, namely invasive cervical cancer, cervical dysplasia, cancer of the vulva, vagina, anus, penis, and head and neck, anogenital warts, and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, and (2 by providing an aggregate measure of the total economic burden attributable to HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 infection. METHODS: For each of the nine conditions, we used available Italian secondary data to estimate the lifetime cost per case, the number of incident cases of each disease, the total economic burden, and the relative prevalence of HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18, in order to estimate the aggregate fraction of the total economic burden attributable to HPV infection. RESULTS: The total direct costs (expressed in 2011 Euro associated with the annual incident cases of the nine HPV-related conditions included in the analysis were estimated to be €528.6 million, with a plausible range of €480.1-686.2 million. The fraction attributable to HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 was €291.0 (range €274.5-315.7 million, accounting for approximately 55% of the total annual burden of HPV-related disease in Italy. CONCLUSIONS: The results provided a plausible estimate of the significant economic burden imposed by the most prevalent HPV-related diseases on the Italian welfare system. The fraction of the total direct lifetime costs attributable to HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 infections, and the economic burden of noncervical HPV-related diseases carried by men, were found to be cost drivers relevant to the making of informed decisions about future investments in programmes of HPV prevention.

  13. Topoisomerase I in Human Disease Pathogenesis and Treatments

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    Min Li


    Full Text Available Mammalian topoisomerase 1 (TOP1 is an essential enzyme for normal development. TOP1 relaxes supercoiled DNA to remove helical constraints that can otherwise hinder DNA replication and transcription and thus block cell growth. Unfortunately, this exact activity can covalently trap TOP1 on the DNA that could lead to cell death or mutagenesis, a precursor for tumorigenesis. It is therefore important for cells to find a proper balance between the utilization of the TOP1 catalytic activity to maintain DNA topology and the risk of accumulating the toxic DNA damages due to TOP1 trapping that prevents normal cell growth. In an apparent contradiction to the negative attribute of the TOP1 activity to genome stability, the detrimental effect of the TOP1-induced DNA lesions on cell survival has made this enzyme a prime target for cancer therapies to kill fast-growing cancer cells. In addition, cumulative evidence supports a direct role of TOP1 in promoting transcriptional progression independent of its topoisomerase activity. The involvement of TOP1 in transcriptional regulation has recently become a focus in developing potential new treatments for a subtype of autism spectrum disorders. Clearly, the impact of TOP1 on human health is multifold. In this review, we will summarize our current understandings on how TOP1 contributes to human diseases and how its activity is targeted for disease treatments.

  14. Topoisomerase I in Human Disease Pathogenesis and Treatments

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Min Li; Yilun Liu


    Mammalian topoisomerase 1 (TOP1) is an essential enzyme for normal development. TOP1 relaxes supercoiled DNA to remove helical constraints that can otherwise hinder DNA repli-cation and transcription and thus block cell growth. Unfortunately, this exact activity can covalently trap TOP1 on the DNA that could lead to cell death or mutagenesis, a precursor for tumorigenesis. It is therefore important for cells to find a proper balance between the utilization of the TOP1 cat-alytic activity to maintain DNA topology and the risk of accumulating the toxic DNA damages due to TOP1 trapping that prevents normal cell growth. In an apparent contradiction to the negative attribute of the TOP1 activity to genome stability, the detrimental effect of the TOP1-induced DNA lesions on cell survival has made this enzyme a prime target for cancer therapies to kill fast-growing cancer cells. In addition, cumulative evidence supports a direct role of TOP1 in pro-moting transcriptional progression independent of its topoisomerase activity. The involvement of TOP1 in transcriptional regulation has recently become a focus in developing potential new treat-ments for a subtype of autism spectrum disorders. Clearly, the impact of TOP1 on human health is multifold. In this review, we will summarize our current understandings on how TOP1 contributes to human diseases and how its activity is targeted for disease treatments.

  15. Human Brucellosis: Still an Unfamiliar and Misdiagnosed Disease in India

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    Smita Mangalgi


    Full Text Available Background: Human brucellosis is a disease with protean clinical manifestations. Despite many awareness programmes, it is still missed or wrongly diagnosed. This leads to chronic morbidity leading to misery and loss of working days. Aim and Objectives: To assess the microbiological, clinical and epidemiological aspects of human brucellosis. Materials and Methods: Patients with positive brucella screening test constituted the study material. A detailed laboratory, clinical, epidemiological study along with response to the treatment was analyzed. Results: Seroprevalence of brucellosis was found to be 1.75%. Brucellosis was clinically diagnosed in only 12.73% of cases. Fever, joint pain and low backache were the commonest symptoms. Close contact with animals and raw milk ingestion were the major sources of infection. Knowledge regarding brucellosis and its prevention was lacking in patients. Brucellosis was not considered as one of the differential diagnosis by the treating physicians. Conclusion: Brucellosis should be considered as one of the differential diagnosis in cases presenting with fever, low backache, arthritis and arthralgia. Laboratories should screen all the serum samples for brucella agglutinins by Rose Bengal Plate Test. Awareness regarding the prevention of brucellosis in the general population and regarding the existence of the disease among the doctors practicing in rural areas is needed

  16. Hsp10: anatomic distribution, functions, and involvement in human disease. (United States)

    David, Sabrina; Bucchieri, Fabio; Corrao, Simona; Czarnecka, Anna M; Campanella, Claudia; Farina, Felicia; Peri, Giovanni; Tomasello, Giovanni; Sciumè, Carmelo; Modica, Giuseppe; La Rocca, Giampiero; Anzalone, Rita; Giuffrè, Mario; Conway De Macario, Everly; Macario, Alberto J L; Cappello, Francesco; Zummo, Giovanni


    There is growing evidence that molecular chaperones/heat shock proteins are involved in the pathogenesis of a number of human diseases, known as chaperonopathies. A better molecular understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms is essential for addressing new strategies in diagnostics, therapeutics and clinical management of chaperonopathies, including those in which Hsp10 is involved. This chaperonin has been studied for a long time as a member of the mitochondrial protein-folding machine. However, although in normal cells Hsp10 is mainly localized in the mitochondrial matrix, it has also been found during and after stress in other subcellular compartments, such as cytosol, vesicles and secretory granules, alone or in combination with other proteins. In these extramitochondrial locales, Hsp10 plays an active role in cell signalling. For example, cancer cells often show altered levels of Hsp10, compared to normal cells. Hsp10 may also be found in the extracellular space and in the bloodstream, with a possible immunomodulatory activity. This minireview focuses on some studies to date on the involvement of Hsp10 in human disease pathogenesis.

  17. Human endogenous retrovirus-K contributes to motor neuron disease. (United States)

    Li, Wenxue; Lee, Myoung-Hwa; Henderson, Lisa; Tyagi, Richa; Bachani, Muzna; Steiner, Joseph; Campanac, Emilie; Hoffman, Dax A; von Geldern, Gloria; Johnson, Kory; Maric, Dragan; Morris, H Douglas; Lentz, Margaret; Pak, Katherine; Mammen, Andrew; Ostrow, Lyle; Rothstein, Jeffrey; Nath, Avindra


    The role of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) in disease pathogenesis is unclear. We show that HERV-K is activated in a subpopulation of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and that its envelope (env) protein may contribute to neurodegeneration. The virus was expressed in cortical and spinal neurons of ALS patients, but not in neurons from control healthy individuals. Expression of HERV-K or its env protein in human neurons caused retraction and beading of neurites. Transgenic animals expressing the env gene developed progressive motor dysfunction accompanied by selective loss of volume of the motor cortex, decreased synaptic activity in pyramidal neurons, dendritic spine abnormalities, nucleolar dysfunction, and DNA damage. Injury to anterior horn cells in the spinal cord was manifested by muscle atrophy and pathological changes consistent with nerve fiber denervation and reinnervation. Expression of HERV-K was regulated by TAR (trans-activation responsive) DNA binding protein 43, which binds to the long terminal repeat region of the virus. Thus, HERV-K expression within neurons of patients with ALS may contribute to neurodegeneration and disease pathogenesis. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. Small teleost fish provide new insights into human skeletal diseases. (United States)

    Witten, P E; Harris, M P; Huysseune, A; Winkler, C


    Small teleost fish such as zebrafish and medaka are increasingly studied as models for human skeletal diseases. Efficient new genome editing tools combined with advances in the analysis of skeletal phenotypes provide new insights into fundamental processes of skeletal development. The skeleton among vertebrates is a highly conserved organ system, but teleost fish and mammals have evolved unique traits or have lost particular skeletal elements in each lineage. Several unique features of the skeleton relate to the extremely small size of early fish embryos and the small size of adult fish used as models. A detailed analysis of the plethora of interesting skeletal phenotypes in zebrafish and medaka pushes available skeletal imaging techniques to their respective limits and promotes the development of new imaging techniques. Impressive numbers of zebrafish and medaka mutants with interesting skeletal phenotypes have been characterized, complemented by transgenic zebrafish and medaka lines. The advent of efficient genome editing tools, such as TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9, allows to introduce targeted deficiencies in genes of model teleosts to generate skeletal phenotypes that resemble human skeletal diseases. This review will also discuss other attractive aspects of the teleost skeleton. This includes the capacity for lifelong tooth replacement and for the regeneration of dermal skeletal elements, such as scales and fin rays, which further increases the value of zebrafish and medaka models for skeletal research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Being human: The role of pluripotent stem cells in regenerative medicine and humanizing Alzheimer's disease models. (United States)

    Sproul, Andrew A


    Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) have the capacity to revolutionize medicine by allowing the generation of functional cell types such as neurons for cell replacement therapy. However, the more immediate impact of PSCs on treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) will be through improved human AD model systems for mechanistic studies and therapeutic screening. This review will first briefly discuss different types of PSCs and genome-editing techniques that can be used to modify PSCs for disease modeling or for personalized medicine. This will be followed by a more in depth analysis of current AD iPSC models and a discussion of the need for more complex multicellular models, including cell types such as microglia. It will finish with a discussion on current clinical trials using PSC-derived cells and the long-term potential of such strategies for treating AD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Universality in human cortical folding in health and disease. (United States)

    Wang, Yujiang; Necus, Joe; Kaiser, Marcus; Mota, Bruno


    The folding of the cortex in mammalian brains across species has recently been shown to follow a universal scaling law that can be derived from a simple physics model. However, it was yet to be determined whether this law also applies to the morphological diversity of different individuals in a single species, in particular with respect to factors, such as age, sex, and disease. To this end, we derived and investigated the cortical morphology from magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of over 1,000 healthy human subjects from three independent public databases. Our results show that all three MRI datasets follow the scaling law obtained from the comparative neuroanatomical data, which strengthens the case for the existence of a common mechanism for cortical folding. Additionally, for comparable age groups, both male and female brains scale in exactly the same way, despite systematic differences in size and folding. Furthermore, age introduces a systematic shift in the offset of the scaling law. In the model, this shift can be interpreted as changes in the mechanical forces acting on the cortex. We also applied this analysis to a dataset derived from comparable cohorts of Alzheimer's disease patients and healthy subjects of similar age. We show a systematically lower offset and a possible change in the exponent for Alzheimer's disease subjects compared with the control cohort. Finally, we discuss implications of the changes in offset and exponent in the data and relate it to existing literature. We, thus, provide a possible mechanistic link between previously independent observations.

  1. Estrogen receptor polymorphisms: significance to human physiology, disease and therapy. (United States)

    Figtree, Gemma A; Noonan, Jonathon E; Bhindi, Ravinay; Collins, Peter


    Other than its well-recognized effects on reproductive physiology, estrogen has important actions in a wide variety of other body systems with important examples including bone, blood vessels and the heart. These effects are seen in both females and males. Investigators have hypothesized those genetic variants in the genes coding for estrogen signaling proteins may cause variable sensitivity to the hormone and influence an individual's estrogen-sensitive phenotypes. The most obvious candidate genes are the estrogen receptors alpha and (ERalpha and beta). However, the regulation of these genes is complex and not well understood. Furthermore, their coding exons, and regulatory sequences are dispersed across large segments of the genome. A number of common polymorphisms have been identified in both ERalpha and ERbeta, with variable degrees of evidence of their direct biological significance and their association with human disease. The identification of genetic variations associated with altered estrogen response is of potential public health importance. Insights may be gained into the pathogenesis of estrogen sensitive diseases such as osteoporosis, breast cancer and cardiovascular disease contributing to the development and application of newer therapies for these disorders. Furthermore, genetic variants that alter sensitivity to estrogen may affect both therapeutic and harmful responses to exogenous estrogen administered in the form of the oral contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy. This clinical significance has led to the publication of a number of patents which will be reviewed.

  2. Workshop meeting report Organs-on-Chips: human disease models. (United States)

    van de Stolpe, Anja; den Toonder, Jaap


    The concept of "Organs-on-Chips" has recently evolved and has been described as 3D (mini-) organs or tissues consisting of multiple and different cell types interacting with each other under closely controlled conditions, grown in a microfluidic chip, and mimicking the complex structures and cellular interactions in and between different cell types and organs in vivo, enabling the real time monitoring of cellular processes. In combination with the emerging iPSC (induced pluripotent stem cell) field this development offers unprecedented opportunities to develop human in vitro models for healthy and diseased organ tissues, enabling the investigation of fundamental mechanisms in disease development, drug toxicity screening, drug target discovery and drug development, and the replacement of animal testing. Capturing the genetic background of the iPSC donor in the organ or disease model carries the promise to move towards "in vitro clinical trials", reducing costs for drug development and furthering the concept of personalized medicine and companion diagnostics. During the Lorentz workshop (Leiden, September 2012) an international multidisciplinary group of experts discussed the current state of the art, available and emerging technologies, applications and how to proceed in the field. Organ-on-a-chip platform technologies are expected to revolutionize cell biology in general and drug development in particular.

  3. Thymic Epithelial Cell Development and Its Dysfunction in Human Diseases

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    Lina Sun


    Full Text Available Thymic epithelial cells (TECs are the key components in thymic microenvironment for T cells development. TECs, composed of cortical and medullary TECs, are derived from a common bipotent progenitor and undergo a stepwise development controlled by multiple levels of signals to be functionally mature for supporting thymocyte development. Tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR family members including the receptor activator for NFκB (RANK, CD40, and lymphotoxin β receptor (LTβR cooperatively control the thymic medullary microenvironment and self-tolerance establishment. In addition, fibroblast growth factors (FGFs, Wnt, and Notch signals are essential for establishment of functional thymic microenvironment. Transcription factors Foxn1 and autoimmune regulator (Aire are powerful modulators of TEC development, differentiation, and self-tolerance. Dysfunction in thymic microenvironment including defects of TEC and thymocyte development would cause physiological disorders such as tumor, infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases. In the present review, we will summarize our current understanding on TEC development and the underlying molecular signals pathways and the involvement of thymus dysfunction in human diseases.

  4. Epidemiology and history of human parasitic diseases in Romania. (United States)

    Neghina, Raul; Neghina, Adriana M; Marincu, Iosif; Iacobiciu, Ioan


    Intestinal parasitic diseases such as enterobiasis, giardiasis, and ascariasis are detected most frequently in Romania, but their importance is definitely surpassed by trichinellosis, cystic echinococcosis, and toxoplasmosis. Malaria was common until its eradication in 1963, and only imported cases are reported nowadays. The aim of this review was to bring together essential data on the epidemiology and history of human parasitoses in Romania. Information on 43 parasitic diseases was collected from numerous sources, most of them unavailable abroad or inaccessible to the international scientific community. Over time, Romanian people of all ages have paid a significant tribute to the pathogenic influences exerted by the parasites. Sanitary and socio-economical consequences of the parasites diseases have great negative impact on the quality of life of affected individuals and the overall well-being of the population. Implementation of efficient public health measures and informative campaigns for the masses as well as changing the inadequate habits that are deeply rooted in the population are mandatory for cutting successfully this Gordian knot.

  5. Ionotropic GABA and Glutamate Receptor Mutations and Human Neurologic Diseases. (United States)

    Yuan, Hongjie; Low, Chian-Ming; Moody, Olivia A; Jenkins, Andrew; Traynelis, Stephen F


    The advent of whole exome/genome sequencing and the technology-driven reduction in the cost of next-generation sequencing as well as the introduction of diagnostic-targeted sequencing chips have resulted in an unprecedented volume of data directly linking patient genomic variability to disorders of the brain. This information has the potential to transform our understanding of neurologic disorders by improving diagnoses, illuminating the molecular heterogeneity underlying diseases, and identifying new targets for therapeutic treatment. There is a strong history of mutations in GABA receptor genes being involved in neurologic diseases, particularly the epilepsies. In addition, a substantial number of variants and mutations have been found in GABA receptor genes in patients with autism, schizophrenia, and addiction, suggesting potential links between the GABA receptors and these conditions. A new and unexpected outcome from sequencing efforts has been the surprising number of mutations found in glutamate receptor subunits, with the GRIN2A gene encoding the GluN2A N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunit being most often affected. These mutations are associated with multiple neurologic conditions, for which seizure disorders comprise the largest group. The GluN2A subunit appears to be a locus for epilepsy, which holds important therapeutic implications. Virtually all α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor mutations, most of which occur within GRIA3, are from patients with intellectual disabilities, suggesting a link to this condition. Similarly, the most common phenotype for kainate receptor variants is intellectual disability. Herein, we summarize the current understanding of disease-associated mutations in ionotropic GABA and glutamate receptor families, and discuss implications regarding the identification of human mutations and treatment of neurologic diseases.

  6. G protein-coupled receptor mutations and human genetic disease. (United States)

    Thompson, Miles D; Hendy, Geoffrey N; Percy, Maire E; Bichet, Daniel G; Cole, David E C


    Genetic variations in G protein-coupled receptor genes (GPCRs) disrupt GPCR function in a wide variety of human genetic diseases. In vitro strategies and animal models have been used to identify the molecular pathologies underlying naturally occurring GPCR mutations. Inactive, overactive, or constitutively active receptors have been identified that result in pathology. These receptor variants may alter ligand binding, G protein coupling, receptor desensitization and receptor recycling. Receptor systems discussed include rhodopsin, thyrotropin, parathyroid hormone, melanocortin, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GNRHR), adrenocorticotropic hormone, vasopressin, endothelin-β, purinergic, and the G protein associated with asthma (GPRA or neuropeptide S receptor 1 (NPSR1)). The role of activating and inactivating calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) mutations is discussed in detail with respect to familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia (FHH) and autosomal dominant hypocalemia (ADH). The CASR mutations have been associated with epilepsy. Diseases caused by the genetic disruption of GPCR functions are discussed in the context of their potential to be selectively targeted by drugs that rescue altered receptors. Examples of drugs developed as a result of targeting GPCRs mutated in disease include: calcimimetics and calcilytics, therapeutics targeting melanocortin receptors in obesity, interventions that alter GNRHR loss from the cell surface in idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and novel drugs that might rescue the P2RY12 receptor congenital bleeding phenotype. De-orphanization projects have identified novel disease-associated receptors, such as NPSR1 and GPR35. The identification of variants in these receptors provides genetic reagents useful in drug screens. Discussion of the variety of GPCRs that are disrupted in monogenic Mendelian disorders provides the basis for examining the significance of common

  7. Proteome analysis of human substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease

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    Werner Cornelius J


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parkinson's disease (PD is the most common neurodegenerative disorder involving the motor system. Although not being the only region involved in PD, affection of the substantia nigra and its projections is responsible for some of the most debilitating features of the disease. To further advance a comprehensive understanding of nigral pathology, we conducted a tissue based comparative proteome study of healthy and diseased human substantia nigra. Results The gross number of differentially regulated proteins in PD was 221. In total, we identified 37 proteins, of which 16 were differentially expressed. Identified differential proteins comprised elements of iron metabolism (H-ferritin and glutathione-related redox metabolism (GST M3, GST P1, GST O1, including novel redox proteins (SH3BGRL. Additionally, many glial or related proteins were found to be differentially regulated in PD (GFAP, GMFB, galectin-1, sorcin, as well as proteins belonging to metabolic pathways sparsely described in PD, such as adenosyl homocysteinase (methylation, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 and cellular retinol-binding protein 1 (aldehyde metabolism. Further differentially regulated proteins included annexin V, beta-tubulin cofactor A, coactosin-like protein and V-type ATPase subunit 1. Proteins that were similarly expressed in healthy or diseased substantia nigra comprised housekeeping proteins such as COX5A, Rho GDI alpha, actin gamma 1, creatin-kinase B, lactate dehydrogenase B, disulfide isomerase ER-60, Rab GDI beta, methyl glyoxalase 1 (AGE metabolism and glutamine synthetase. Interestingly, also DJ-1 and UCH-L1 were expressed similarly. Furthermore, proteins believed to serve as internal standards were found to be expressed in a constant manner, such as 14-3-3 epsilon and hCRMP-2, thus lending further validity to our results. Conclusion Using an approach encompassing high sensitivity and high resolution, we show that alterations of SN in PD include many

  8. Transgenic Nonhuman Primate Models for Human Diseases: Approaches and Contributing Factors

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yongchang Chen; Yuyu Niu; Weizhi Ji


    Nonhuman primates (NHPs) provide powerful experimental models to study human development,cognitive functions and disturbances as well as complex behavior,because of their genetic and physiological similarities to humans.Therefore,NHPs are appropriate models for the study of human diseases,such as neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's,Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases,which occur as a result of genetic mutations.However,such diseass afflicting humans do not occur naturally in NHPs.So transgenic NHPs need to be established to understand the etiology of disease pathology and pathogenesis.Compared to rodent genetic models,the generation of transgenic NHPs for human diseases is inefficient,and only a transgenic monkey model for Huntington's disease has been reported.This review focuses on potential approaches and contributing factors for generating transgenic NHPs to study human diseases.

  9. Network properties of complex human disease genes identified through genome-wide association studies.

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    Fredrik Barrenas

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previous studies of network properties of human disease genes have mainly focused on monogenic diseases or cancers and have suffered from discovery bias. Here we investigated the network properties of complex disease genes identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAs, thereby eliminating discovery bias. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We derived a network of complex diseases (n = 54 and complex disease genes (n = 349 to explore the shared genetic architecture of complex diseases. We evaluated the centrality measures of complex disease genes in comparison with essential and monogenic disease genes in the human interactome. The complex disease network showed that diseases belonging to the same disease class do not always share common disease genes. A possible explanation could be that the variants with higher minor allele frequency and larger effect size identified using GWAs constitute disjoint parts of the allelic spectra of similar complex diseases. The complex disease gene network showed high modularity with the size of the largest component being smaller than expected from a randomized null-model. This is consistent with limited sharing of genes between diseases. Complex disease genes are less central than the essential and monogenic disease genes in the human interactome. Genes associated with the same disease, compared to genes associated with different diseases, more often tend to share a protein-protein interaction and a Gene Ontology Biological Process. CONCLUSIONS: This indicates that network neighbors of known disease genes form an important class of candidates for identifying novel genes for the same disease.

  10. Network properties of complex human disease genes identified through genome-wide association studies. (United States)

    Barrenas, Fredrik; Chavali, Sreenivas; Holme, Petter; Mobini, Reza; Benson, Mikael


    Previous studies of network properties of human disease genes have mainly focused on monogenic diseases or cancers and have suffered from discovery bias. Here we investigated the network properties of complex disease genes identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAs), thereby eliminating discovery bias. We derived a network of complex diseases (n = 54) and complex disease genes (n = 349) to explore the shared genetic architecture of complex diseases. We evaluated the centrality measures of complex disease genes in comparison with essential and monogenic disease genes in the human interactome. The complex disease network showed that diseases belonging to the same disease class do not always share common disease genes. A possible explanation could be that the variants with higher minor allele frequency and larger effect size identified using GWAs constitute disjoint parts of the allelic spectra of similar complex diseases. The complex disease gene network showed high modularity with the size of the largest component being smaller than expected from a randomized null-model. This is consistent with limited sharing of genes between diseases. Complex disease genes are less central than the essential and monogenic disease genes in the human interactome. Genes associated with the same disease, compared to genes associated with different diseases, more often tend to share a protein-protein interaction and a Gene Ontology Biological Process. This indicates that network neighbors of known disease genes form an important class of candidates for identifying novel genes for the same disease.

  11. Human disease resulting from exposure to electromagnetic fields. (United States)

    Carpenter, David O


    Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) include everything from cosmic rays through visible light to the electric and magnetic fields associated with electricity. While the high frequency fields have sufficient energy to cause cancer, the question of whether there are human health hazards associated with communication radiofrequency (RF) EMFs and those associated with use of electricity remains controversial. The issue is more important than ever given the rapid increase in the use of cell phones and other wireless devices. This review summarizes the evidence stating that excessive exposure to magnetic fields from power lines and other sources of electric current increases the risk of development of some cancers and neurodegenerative diseases, and that excessive exposure to RF radiation increases risk of cancer, male infertility, and neurobehavioral abnormalities. The relative impact of various sources of exposure, the great range of standards for EMF exposure, and the costs of doing nothing are also discussed.

  12. Hepcidin modulation in human diseases: From research to clinic

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Alberto Piperno; Raffaella Mariani; Paola Trombini; Domenico Girelli


    By modulating hepcidin production, an organism controls intestinal iron absorption, iron uptake and mobilization from stores to meet body iron need. In recent years there has been important advancement in our knowledge of hepcidin regulation that also has implications for understanding the physiopathology of some human disorders. Since the discovery of hepcidin and the demonstration of its pivotal role in iron homeostasis, there has been a substantial interest in developing a reliable assay of the hormone in biological fluids. Measurement of hepcidin in biological fluids can improve our understanding of iron diseases and be a useful tool for diagnosis and clinical management of these disorders. We reviewed the literature and our own research on hepcidin to give an updated status of the situation in this rapidly evolving field.

  13. Interleukin-33 and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Lessons from Human Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Nunes


    Full Text Available Interleukin- (IL- 33 is a widely expressed cytokine present in different cell types, such as epithelial, mesenchymal, and inflammatory cells, supporting a predominant role in innate immunity. IL-33 can function as a proinflammatory cytokine inducing Th2 type of immune response being involved with the defense against parasitic infections of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, it has been proposed that IL-33 can act as a signaling molecule alerting the immune system of danger or tissue damage. Recently, in the intestinal mucosa, overexpression of IL-33 has been reported in samples from patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD. This review highlights the available data regarding IL-33 in human IBD and discusses emerging roles for IL-33 as a key modulator of intestinal inflammation.

  14. Molecular mechanism of size control in development and human diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaolong Yang; Tian Xu


    How multicellular organisms control their size is a fundamental question that fascinated generations of biologists.In the past 10 years, tremendous progress has been made toward our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying size control. Original studies from Drosophila showed that in addition to extrinsic nutritional and hormonal cues, intrinsic mechanisms also play important roles in the control of organ size during development. Several novel signaling pathways such as insulin and Hippo-LATS signaling pathways have been identified that control organ size by regulating cell size and/or cell number through modulation of cell growth, cell division, and cell death. Later studies using mammalian cell and mouse models also demonstrated that the signaling pathways identified in flies are also conserved in mammals. Significantly, recent studies showed that dysregulation of size control plays important roles in the development of many human diseases sucha as cancer,diabetes,and hypertrophy.

  15. Targeting Splicing in the Treatment of Human Disease

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    Marc Suñé-Pou


    Full Text Available The tightly regulated process of precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA alternative splicing (AS is a key mechanism in the regulation of gene expression. Defects in this regulatory process affect cellular functions and are the cause of many human diseases. Recent advances in our understanding of splicing regulation have led to the development of new tools for manipulating splicing for therapeutic purposes. Several tools, including antisense oligonucleotides and trans-splicing, have been developed to target and alter splicing to correct misregulated gene expression or to modulate transcript isoform levels. At present, deregulated AS is recognized as an important area for therapeutic intervention. Here, we summarize the major hallmarks of the splicing process, the clinical implications that arise from alterations in this process, and the current tools that can be used to deliver, target, and correct deficiencies of this key pre-mRNA processing event.

  16. The chromatin remodeller ATRX: a repeat offender in human disease. (United States)

    Clynes, David; Higgs, Douglas R; Gibbons, Richard J


    The regulation of chromatin structure is of paramount importance for a variety of fundamental nuclear processes, including gene expression, DNA repair, replication, and recombination. The ATP-dependent chromatin-remodelling factor ATRX (α thalassaemia/mental retardation X-linked) has emerged as a key player in each of these processes. Exciting recent developments suggest that ATRX plays a variety of key roles at tandem repeat sequences within the genome, including the deposition of a histone variant, prevention of replication fork stalling, and the suppression of a homologous recombination-based pathway of telomere maintenance. Here, we provide a mechanistic overview of the role of ATRX in each of these processes, and propose how they may be connected to give rise to seemingly disparate human diseases.

  17. High Resolution Discovery Proteomics Reveals Candidate Disease Progression Markers of Alzheimer's Disease in Human Cerebrospinal Fluid.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald C Hendrickson

    Full Text Available Disease modifying treatments for Alzheimer's disease (AD constitute a major goal in medicine. Current trends suggest that biomarkers reflective of AD neuropathology and modifiable by treatment would provide supportive evidence for disease modification. Nevertheless, a lack of quantitative tools to assess disease modifying treatment effects remains a major hurdle. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF biochemical markers such as total tau, p-tau and Ab42 are well established markers of AD; however, global quantitative biochemical changes in CSF in AD disease progression remain largely uncharacterized. Here we applied a high resolution open discovery platform, dMS, to profile a cross-sectional cohort of lumbar CSF from post-mortem diagnosed AD patients versus those from non-AD/non-demented (control patients. Multiple markers were identified to be statistically significant in the cohort tested. We selected two markers SME-1 (p<0.0001 and SME-2 (p = 0.0004 for evaluation in a second independent longitudinal cohort of human CSF from post-mortem diagnosed AD patients and age-matched and case-matched control patients. In cohort-2, SME-1, identified as neuronal secretory protein VGF, and SME-2, identified as neuronal pentraxin receptor-1 (NPTXR, in AD were 21% (p = 0.039 and 17% (p = 0.026 lower, at baseline, respectively, than in controls. Linear mixed model analysis in the longitudinal cohort estimate a decrease in the levels of VGF and NPTXR at the rate of 10.9% and 6.9% per year in the AD patients, whereas both markers increased in controls. Because these markers are detected by mass spectrometry without the need for antibody reagents, targeted MS based assays provide a clear translation path for evaluating selected AD disease-progression markers with high analytical precision in the clinic.

  18. Impacts of environment on human diseases: a web service for the human exposome (United States)

    Karssenberg, Derek; Vaartjes, Ilonca; Kamphuis, Carlijn; Strak, Maciek; Schmitz, Oliver; Soenario, Ivan; de Jong, Kor


    The exposome is the totality of human environmental exposures from conception onwards. Identifying the contribution of the exposome to human diseases and health is a key issue in health research. Examples include the effect of air pollution exposure on cardiovascular diseases, the impact of disease vectors (mosquitos) and surface hydrology exposure on malaria, and the effect of fast food restaurant exposure on obesity. Essential to health research is to disentangle the effects of the exposome and genome on health. Ultimately this requires quantifying the totality of all human exposures, for each individual in the studied human population. This poses a massive challenge to geoscientists, as environmental data are required at a high spatial and temporal resolution, with a large spatial and temporal coverage representing the area inhabited by the population studied and the time span representing several decades. Then, these data need to be combined with space-time paths of individuals to calculate personal exposures for each individual in the population. The Global and Geo Health Data Centre is taking this challenge by providing a web service capable of enriching population data with exposome information. Our web service can generate environmental information either from archived national (up to 5 m spatial and 1 h temporal resolution) and global environmental information or generated on the fly using environmental models running as microservices. On top of these environmental data services runs an individual exposure service enabling health researchers to select different spatial and temporal aggregation methods and to upload space-time paths of individuals. These are then enriched with personal exposures and eventually returned to the user. We illustrate the service in an example of individual exposures to air pollutants calculated from hyper resolution air pollution data and various approaches to estimate space-time paths of individuals.

  19. Acanthamoeba spp. as agents of disease in humans. (United States)

    Marciano-Cabral, Francine; Cabral, Guy


    Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living amebae that inhabit a variety of air, soil, and water environments. However, these amebae can also act as opportunistic as well as nonopportunistic pathogens. They are the causative agents of granulomatous amebic encephalitis and amebic keratitis and have been associated with cutaneous lesions and sinusitis. Immuno compromised individuals, including AIDS patients, are particularly susceptible to infections with Acanthamoeba. The immune defense mechanisms that operate against Acanthamoeba have not been well characterized, but it has been proposed that both innate and acquired immunity play a role. The ameba's life cycle includes an active feeding trophozoite stage and a dormant cyst stage. Trophozoites feed on bacteria, yeast, and algae. However, both trophozoites and cysts can retain viable bacteria and may serve as reservoirs for bacteria with human pathogenic potential. Diagnosis of infection includes direct microscopy of wet mounts of cerebrospinal fluid or stained smears of cerebrospinal fluid sediment, light or electron microscopy of tissues, in vitro cultivation of Acanthamoeba, and histological assessment of frozen or paraffin-embedded sections of brain or cutaneous lesion biopsy material. Immunocytochemistry, chemifluorescent dye staining, PCR, and analysis of DNA sequence variation also have been employed for laboratory diagnosis. Treatment of Acanthamoeba infections has met with mixed results. However, chlorhexidine gluconate, alone or in combination with propamidene isethionate, is effective in some patients. Furthermore, effective treatment is complicated since patients may present with underlying disease and Acanthamoeba infection may not be recognized. Since an increase in the number of cases of Acanthamoeba infections has occurred worldwide, these protozoa have become increasingly important as agents of human disease.

  20. Diagnosis of Parkinson's disease based on disease-specific autoantibody profiles in human sera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Han

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD, hallmarked by a variety of motor disorders and neurological decline, is the second most common neurodegenerative disease worldwide. Currently, no diagnostic test exists to identify sufferers, and physicians must rely on a combination of subjective physical and neurological assessments to make a diagnosis. The discovery of definitive blood-borne biomarkers would be a major step towards early and reliable diagnosis. Despite attention devoted to this search, such biomarkers have remained elusive. In the present study, we used human protein microarrays to reveal serum autoantibodies that are differentially expressed among PD and control subjects. The diagnostic significance of each of these autoantibodies was evaluated, resulting in the selection of 10 autoantibody biomarkers that can effectively differentiate PD sera from control sera with a sensitivity of 93.1% and specificity of 100%. PD sera were also distinguishable from sera obtained from Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer, and multiple sclerosis patients with accuracies of 86.0%, 96.6%, and 100%, respectively. Results demonstrate that serum autoantibodies can be used as highly specific and accurate biomarkers for PD diagnosis throughout the course of the disease.

  1. [Tree shrews under the spot light: emerging model of human diseases]. (United States)

    Xu, Lin; Zhang, Yun; Liang, Bin; Lü, Long-Bao; Chen, Ce-Shi; Chen, Yong-Bin; Zhou, Ju-Min; Yao, Yong-Gang


    Animal models are indispensible in biomedical research and have made tremendous contributions to answer fundamental questions on human biology, disease mechanisms, and to the development of new drugs and diagnostic tools. Due to the limitations of rodent models in translational medicine, tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis), the closest relative of primates, have attracted increasing attention in modeling human diseases and therapeutic responses. Here we discuss the recent progress in tree shrew biology and the development of tree shrews as human disease models including infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, neurological and psychiatric diseases, and cancers. Meanwhile, the current problems and future perspectives of the tree shrew model are explored.

  2. Human borna disease virus infection impacts host proteome and histone lysine acetylation in human oligodendroglia cells

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    Liu, Xia [Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016 (China); Department of Neurology, The Fifth People' s Hospital of Shanghai, School of Medicine, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200240 (China); Zhao, Libo [Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016 (China); Department of Neurology, The Third People' s Hospital of Chongqing, 400014 (China); Yang, Yongtao [Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016 (China); Chongqing Key Laboratory of Neurobiology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016 (China); Institute of Neuroscience, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016 (China); Bode, Liv [Bornavirus Research Group affiliated to the Free University of Berlin, Berlin (Germany); Huang, Hua [Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016 (China); Chongqing Key Laboratory of Neurobiology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016 (China); Institute of Neuroscience, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016 (China); Liu, Chengyu [Chongqing Key Laboratory of Neurobiology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016 (China); Institute of Neuroscience, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016 (China); Huang, Rongzhong [Department of Rehabilitative Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400010 (China); Zhang, Liang [Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016 (China); Chongqing Key Laboratory of Neurobiology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016 (China); Institute of Neuroscience, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016 (China); and others


    Background: Borna disease virus (BDV) replicates in the nucleus and establishes persistent infections in mammalian hosts. A human BDV strain was used to address the first time, how BDV infection impacts the proteome and histone lysine acetylation (Kac) of human oligodendroglial (OL) cells, thus allowing a better understanding of infection-driven pathophysiology in vitro. Methods: Proteome and histone lysine acetylation were profiled through stable isotope labeling for cell culture (SILAC)-based quantitative proteomics. The quantifiable proteome was annotated using bioinformatics. Histone acetylation changes were validated by biochemistry assays. Results: Post BDV infection, 4383 quantifiable differential proteins were identified and functionally annotated to metabolism pathways, immune response, DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcriptional regulation. Sixteen of the thirty identified Kac sites in core histones presented altered acetylation levels post infection. Conclusions: BDV infection using a human strain impacted the whole proteome and histone lysine acetylation in OL cells. - Highlights: • A human strain of BDV (BDV Hu-H1) was used to infect human oligodendroglial cells (OL cells). • This study is the first to reveal the host proteomic and histone Kac profiles in BDV-infected OL cells. • BDV infection affected the expression of many transcription factors and several HATs and HDACs.

  3. Comprehensive Control of Human Papillomavirus Infections and Related Diseases (United States)

    Bosch, F. Xavier; Broker, Thomas R.; Forman, David; Moscicki, Anna-Barbara; Gillison, Maura L.; Doorbar, John; Stern, Peter L.; Stanley, Margaret; Arbyn, Marc; Poljak, Mario; Cuzick, Jack; Castle, Philip E.; Schiller, John T.; Markowitz, Lauri E.; Fisher, William A.; Canfell, Karen; Denny, Lynette A.; Franco, Eduardo L.; Steben, Marc; Kane, Mark A.; Schiffman, Mark; Meijer, Chris J.L.M.; Sankaranarayanan, Rengaswamy; Castellsagué, Xavier; Kim, Jane J.; Brotons, Maria; Alemany, Laia; Albero, Ginesa; Diaz, Mireia; de Sanjosé, Silvia


    Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is recognized as one of the major causes of infection-related cancer worldwide, as well as the causal factor in other diseases. Strong evidence for a causal etiology with HPV has been stated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer for cancers of the cervix uteri, penis, vulva, vagina, anus and oropharynx (including base of the tongue and tonsils). Of the estimated 12.7 million new cancers occurring in 2008 worldwide, 4.8% were attributable to HPV infection, with substantially higher incidence and mortality rates seen in developing versus developed countries. In recent years, we have gained tremendous knowledge about HPVs and their interactions with host cells, tissues and the immune system; have validated and implemented strategies for safe and efficacious prophylactic vaccination against HPV infections; have developed increasingly sensitive and specific molecular diagnostic tools for HPV detection for use in cervical cancer screening; and have substantially increased global awareness of HPV and its many associated diseases in women, men, and children. While these achievements exemplify the success of biomedical research in generating important public health interventions, they also generate new and daunting challenges: costs of HPV prevention and medical care, the implementation of what is technically possible, socio-political resistance to prevention opportunities, and the very wide ranges of national economic capabilities and health care systems. Gains and challenges faced in the quest for comprehensive control of HPV infection and HPV-related cancers and other disease are summarized in this review. The information presented may be viewed in terms of a reframed paradigm of prevention of cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases that will include strategic combinations of at least four major components: 1) routine introduction of HPV vaccines to women in all countries, 2) extension and simplification of

  4. Alkaptonuria is a novel human secondary amyloidogenic disease. (United States)

    Millucci, Lia; Spreafico, Adriano; Tinti, Laura; Braconi, Daniela; Ghezzi, Lorenzo; Paccagnini, Eugenio; Bernardini, Giulia; Amato, Loredana; Laschi, Marcella; Selvi, Enrico; Galeazzi, Mauro; Mannoni, Alessandro; Benucci, Maurizio; Lupetti, Pietro; Chellini, Federico; Orlandini, Maurizio; Santucci, Annalisa


    Alkaptonuria (AKU) is an ultra-rare disease developed from the lack of homogentisic acid oxidase activity, causing homogentisic acid (HGA) accumulation that produces a HGA-melanin ochronotic pigment, of unknown composition. There is no therapy for AKU. Our aim was to verify if AKU implied a secondary amyloidosis. Congo Red, Thioflavin-T staining and TEM were performed to assess amyloid presence in AKU specimens (cartilage, synovia, periumbelical fat, salivary gland) and in HGA-treated human chondrocytes and cartilage. SAA and SAP deposition was examined using immunofluorescence and their levels were evaluated in the patients' plasma by ELISA. 2D electrophoresis was undertaken in AKU cells to evaluate the levels of proteins involved in amyloidogenesis. AKU osteoarticular tissues contained SAA-amyloid in 7/7 patients. Ochronotic pigment and amyloid co-localized in AKU osteoarticular tissues. SAA and SAP composition of the deposits assessed secondary type of amyloidosis. High levels of SAA and SAP were found in AKU patients' plasma. Systemic amyloidosis was assessed by Congo Red staining of patients' abdominal fat and salivary gland. AKU is the second pathology after Parkinson's disease where amyloid is associated with a form of melanin. Aberrant expression of proteins involved in amyloidogenesis has been found in AKU cells. Our findings on alkaptonuria as a novel type II AA amyloidosis open new important perspectives for its therapy, since methotrexate treatment proved to significantly reduce in vitro HGA-induced A-amyloid aggregates.

  5. Demodex species in human ocular disease: new clinicopathological aspects. (United States)

    Nicholls, Stephen G; Oakley, Carmen L; Tan, Andrea; Vote, Brendan J


    Demodex brevis and Demodex folliculorum are likely ubiquitous organisms associated with human eyelashes. However, they have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of external ocular diseases. This article reviews the current literature in regards to life cycle, morphology, pathogenesis and treatment of underlying Demodex spp. infestation and outlines the previously undescribed in vivo behaviour of the mites. Images were obtained from the epilation of lashes from 404 patients seen in clinical practice. Epilated lashes were placed on a microscope slide which had been coated with optically clear hypromellose/carbomer gel (Genteal gel, Novartis pharmaceuticals corporation, East Hanover, New Jersey). Adults were identified with either dark field or standard transmission microscopy at 40-100×. Eggs and other life-cycle stages were examined at 250× magnification, with transmission microscopy giving the best image resolution. The life cycle of the mite has been reviewed and simplified according to clinical observations. Clinical signs suggestive of underlying Demodex spp. infestation have been described, and their pathogenesis was explained based on the micrographic digital images obtained. The problem of symptomatic Demodex spp. disease likely reflects an imbalance in the external ocular ecology; however, the role of Demodex spp. as a commensal should not be overlooked. Treatment should not be aimed at total eradication of the mite but rather restoring the ocular ecology to a balanced state. By revisiting the life cycle of the mite, we can identify areas where possible intervention may be effective.

  6. Immunoglobulin Free Light Chain Dimers in Human Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Batia Kaplan


    Full Text Available Immunoglobulin free light chain (FLC kappa (κ and lambda (λ isotypes exist mainly in monomeric and dimeric forms. Under pathological conditions, the level of FLCs as well as the structure of monomeric and dimeric FLCs and their dimerization properties might be significantly altered. The abnormally high fractions of dimeric FLCs were demonstrated in the serum of patients with multiple myeloma (MM and primary systemic amyloidosis (AL, as well as in the serum of anephric patients. The presence of tetra- and trimolecular complexes formed due to dimer-dimer and dimer-monomer interactions was detected in the myeloma serum. Analysis of the amyloidogenic light chains demonstrated mutations within the dimer interface, thus raising the possibility that these mutations are responsible for amyloidogenicity. Increased κ monomer and dimer levels, as well as a high κ/λ monomer ratio, were typically found in the cerebrospinal fluid from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS. In many MS cases, the elevation of κ FLCs was accompanied by an abnormally high proportion of λ dimers. This review focuses on the disease-related changes of the structure and level of dimeric FLCs, and raises the questions regarding their formation, function, and role in the pathogenesis and diagnosis of human diseases.

  7. Gastrointestinal opportunistic infections in human immunodeficiency virus disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al Anazi Awadh


    Full Text Available Gastrointestinal (GI opportunistic infections (OIs are commonly encountered at various stages of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV disease. In view of the suppressive nature of the virus and the direct contact with the environment, the GI tract is readily accessible and is a common site for clinical expression of HIV. The subject is presented based on information obtained by electronic searches of peer-reviewed articles in medical journals, Cochrane reviews and PubMed sources. The spectrum of GI OIs ranges from oral lesions of Candidiasis, various lesions of viral infections, hepatobiliary lesions, pancreatitis and anorectal lesions. The manifestations of the disease depend on the level of immunosuppression, as determined by the CD4 counts. The advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy has altered the pattern of presentation, resorting mainly to features of antimicrobial-associated colitis and side effects of antiretroviral drugs. The diagnosis of GI OIs in HIV/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients is usually straightforward. However, subtle presentations require that the physicians should have a high index of suspicion when given the setting of HIV infection.

  8. Human behavioral assessments in current research of Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Asakawa, Tetsuya; Fang, Huan; Sugiyama, Kenji; Nozaki, Takao; Kobayashi, Susumu; Hong, Zhen; Suzuki, Katsuaki; Mori, Norio; Yang, Yilin; Hua, Fei; Ding, Guanghong; Wen, Guoqiang; Namba, Hiroki; Xia, Ying


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is traditionally classified as a movement disorder because patients mainly complain about motor symptoms. Recently, non-motor symptoms of PD have been recognized by clinicians and scientists as early signs of PD, and they are detrimental factors in the quality of life in advanced PD patients. It is crucial to comprehensively understand the essence of behavioral assessments, from the simplest measurement of certain symptoms to complex neuropsychological tasks. We have recently reviewed behavioral assessments in PD research with animal models (Asakawa et al., 2016). As a companion volume, this article will systematically review the behavioral assessments of motor and non-motor PD symptoms of human patients in current research. The major aims of this article are: (1) promoting a comparative understanding of various behavioral assessments in terms of the principle and measuring indexes; (2) addressing the major strengths and weaknesses of these behavioral assessments for a better selection of tasks/tests in order to avoid biased conclusions due to inappropriate assessments; and (3) presenting new concepts regarding the development of wearable devices and mobile internet in future assessments. In conclusion we emphasize the importance of improving the assessments for non-motor symptoms because of their complex and unique mechanisms in human PD brains.

  9. Unique human immune signature of Ebola virus disease in Guinea. (United States)

    Ruibal, Paula; Oestereich, Lisa; Lüdtke, Anja; Becker-Ziaja, Beate; Wozniak, David M; Kerber, Romy; Korva, Miša; Cabeza-Cabrerizo, Mar; Bore, Joseph A; Koundouno, Fara Raymond; Duraffour, Sophie; Weller, Romy; Thorenz, Anja; Cimini, Eleonora; Viola, Domenico; Agrati, Chiara; Repits, Johanna; Afrough, Babak; Cowley, Lauren A; Ngabo, Didier; Hinzmann, Julia; Mertens, Marc; Vitoriano, Inês; Logue, Christopher H; Boettcher, Jan Peter; Pallasch, Elisa; Sachse, Andreas; Bah, Amadou; Nitzsche, Katja; Kuisma, Eeva; Michel, Janine; Holm, Tobias; Zekeng, Elsa-Gayle; García-Dorival, Isabel; Wölfel, Roman; Stoecker, Kilian; Fleischmann, Erna; Strecker, Thomas; Di Caro, Antonino; Avšič-Županc, Tatjana; Kurth, Andreas; Meschi, Silvia; Mély, Stephane; Newman, Edmund; Bocquin, Anne; Kis, Zoltan; Kelterbaum, Anne; Molkenthin, Peter; Carletti, Fabrizio; Portmann, Jasmine; Wolff, Svenja; Castilletti, Concetta; Schudt, Gordian; Fizet, Alexandra; Ottowell, Lisa J; Herker, Eva; Jacobs, Thomas; Kretschmer, Birte; Severi, Ettore; Ouedraogo, Nobila; Lago, Mar; Negredo, Anabel; Franco, Leticia; Anda, Pedro; Schmiedel, Stefan; Kreuels, Benno; Wichmann, Dominic; Addo, Marylyn M; Lohse, Ansgar W; De Clerck, Hilde; Nanclares, Carolina; Jonckheere, Sylvie; Van Herp, Michel; Sprecher, Armand; Xiaojiang, Gao; Carrington, Mary; Miranda, Osvaldo; Castro, Carlos M; Gabriel, Martin; Drury, Patrick; Formenty, Pierre; Diallo, Boubacar; Koivogui, Lamine; Magassouba, N'Faly; Carroll, Miles W; Günther, Stephan; Muñoz-Fontela, César


    Despite the magnitude of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, there is still a fundamental lack of knowledge about the pathophysiology of EVD. In particular, very little is known about human immune responses to Ebola virus. Here we evaluate the physiology of the human T cell immune response in EVD patients at the time of admission to the Ebola Treatment Center in Guinea, and longitudinally until discharge or death. Through the use of multiparametric flow cytometry established by the European Mobile Laboratory in the field, we identify an immune signature that is unique in EVD fatalities. Fatal EVD was characterized by a high percentage of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells expressing the inhibitory molecules CTLA-4 and PD-1, which correlated with elevated inflammatory markers and high virus load. Conversely, surviving individuals showed significantly lower expression of CTLA-4 and PD-1 as well as lower inflammation, despite comparable overall T cell activation. Concomitant with virus clearance, survivors mounted a robust Ebola-virus-specific T cell response. Our findings suggest that dysregulation of the T cell response is a key component of EVD pathophysiology.

  10. Newcastle disease virus selectively kills human tumor cells. (United States)

    Reichard, K W; Lorence, R M; Cascino, C J; Peeples, M E; Walter, R J; Fernando, M B; Reyes, H M; Greager, J A


    Newcastle disease virus (NDV), strain 73-T, has previously been shown to be cytolytic to mouse tumor cells. In this study, we have evaluated the ability of NDV to replicate in and kill human tumor cells in culture and in athymic mice. Plaque assays were used to determine the cytolytic activity of NDV on six human tumor cell lines, fibrosarcoma (HT1080), osteosarcoma (KHOS), cervical carcinoma (KB8-5-11), bladder carcinoma (HCV29T), neuroblastoma (IMR32), and Wilm's tumor (G104), and on nine different normal human fibroblast lines. NDV formed plaques on all tumor cells tested as well as on chick embryo cells (CEC), the native host for NDV. Plaques did not form on any of the normal fibroblast lines. To detect NDV replication, virus yield assays were performed which measured virus particles in infected cell culture supernatants. Virus yield increased 10,000-fold within 24 hr in tumor and CEC supernatants. Titers remained near zero in normal fibroblast supernatants. In vivo tumoricidal activity was evaluated in athymic nude Balb-c mice by subcutaneous injection of 9 x 10(6) tumor cells followed by intralesional injection of either live or heat-killed NDV (1.0 x 10(6) plaque forming units [PFU]), or medium. After live NDV treatment, tumor regression occurred in 10 out of 11 mice bearing KB8-5-11 tumors, 8 out of 8 with HT-1080 tumors, and 6 out of 7 with IMR-32 tumors. After treatment with heat-killed NDV no regression occurred (P less than 0.01, Fisher's exact test). Nontumor-bearing mice injected with 1.0 x 10(8) PFU of NDV remained healthy. These results indicate that NDV efficiently and selectively replicates in and kills tumor cells, but not normal cells, and that intralesional NDV causes complete tumor regression in athymic mice with a high therapeutic index.

  11. A clinician's primer on the role of the microbiome in human health and disease. (United States)

    Khanna, Sahil; Tosh, Pritish K


    The importance of the commensal microbiota that colonizes the skin, gut, and mucosal surfaces of the human body is being increasingly recognized through a rapidly expanding body of science studying the human microbiome. Although, at first glance, these discoveries may seem esoteric, the clinical implications of the microbiome in human health and disease are becoming clear. As such, it will soon be important for practicing clinicians to have an understanding of the basic concepts of the human microbiome and its relation to human health and disease. In this Concise Review, we provide a brief introduction to clinicians of the concepts underlying this burgeoning scientific field and briefly explore specific disease states for which the potential role of the human microbiome is becoming increasingly evident, including Clostridium difficile infection, inflammatory bowel disease, colonization with multidrug-resistant organisms, obesity, allergic diseases, autoimmune diseases, and neuropsychiatric illnesses, and we also discuss current and future roles of microbiome restorative therapies.

  12. Human keratin diseases: hereditary fragility of specific epithelial tissues. (United States)

    Corden, L D; McLean, W H


    Keratins are heteropolymeric proteins which form the intermediate filament cytoskeleton in epithelial cells. Since 1991, mutations in several keratin genes have been found to cause a variety of human diseases affecting the epidermis and other epithelial structures. Epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) was the first mechanobullous disease for which the underlying genetic lesion was found, with mutations in both the K5 and K14 genes rendering basal epidermal keratinocytes less resilient to trauma, resulting in skin fragility. The site of mutation in the keratin protein correlates with phenotypic severity in this disorder. Since mutations were identified in the basal cell keratins, the total number of keratin genes associated with diseases has risen to eleven. The rod domains of suprabasal keratins K1 and K10 are mutated in bullous congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma (BCIE; also called epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, EH) and mosaicism for K1/K10 mutations results in a nevoid distribution of EH. An unusual mutation in the VI domain of K1 has also been found to cause diffuse non-epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma (DNEPPK). Mutations in palmoplantar specific keratin K9 cause epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma (EPPK) and mutations in the late differentiation suprabasal keratin K2e cause ichthyosis bullosa of Siemens (IBS). In the last year or so, mutations were discovered in differentiation specific keratins K6a and K16 causing pachyonychia congenita type 1 and K17 mutations occur in pachyonychia congenita type 2. K16 and K17 mutations have also been reported to produce phenotypes with little or no nail changes: K16 mutations can present as focal non-epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma (NEPPK) and K17 mutations can result in a phenotype resembling steatocystoma multiplex. Recently, mutation of mucosal keratin pair K4 and K13 has been shown to underlie white sponge nevus (WSN). This year, the first mutations in a keratin-associated protein, plectin, were shown to

  13. MalaCards: A Comprehensive Automatically-Mined Database of Human Diseases. (United States)

    Rappaport, Noa; Twik, Michal; Nativ, Noam; Stelzer, Gil; Bahir, Iris; Stein, Tsippi Iny; Safran, Marilyn; Lancet, Doron


    Systems medicine provides insights into mechanisms of human diseases, and expedites the development of better diagnostics and drugs. To facilitate such strategies, we initiated MalaCards, a compendium of human diseases and their annotations, integrating and often remodeling information from 64 data sources. MalaCards employs, among others, the proven automatic data-mining strategies established in the construction of GeneCards, our widely used compendium of human genes. The development of MalaCards poses many algorithmic challenges, such as disease name unification, integrated classification, gene-disease association, and disease-targeted expression analysis. MalaCards displays a Web card for each of >19,000 human diseases, with 17 sections, including textual summaries, related diseases, related genes, genetic variations and tests, and relevant publications. Also included are a powerful search engine and a variety of categorized disease lists. This unit describes two basic protocols to search and browse MalaCards effectively.

  14. Genetic Engineering of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Its Application in Human Disease Therapy


    Hodgkinson, Conrad P; Gomez, José A.; Mirotsou, Maria; Dzau, Victor J.


    Hodgkinson and colleagues review the current status of knowledge with respect to the genetic modifications being explored as a means to improve mesenchymal stem cell therapy for human diseases, with a particular focus on cardiovascular diseases.

  15. Effects of environmental pollutants on cellular iron homeostasis and ultimate links to human disease (United States)

    Chronic disease has increased in the last several decades, and environmental pollutants have been implicated. The magnitude and variety of diseases indicate the malfunctioning of some basic mechanism underlying human health. Environmental pollutants demonstrate a capability to co...

  16. 75 FR 6675 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Human... (United States)


    ... HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and... Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announces..., National Center for HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road,...

  17. Biowarfare, bioterrorism, and animal diseases as bioweapons: Chapter 6 in Disease emergence and resurgence: The wildlife-human connection (United States)

    Friend, Milton


    Linkages between disease in humans and the maladies of animals continue to be a focus for those concerned with disease effects on human health. References to animal diseases, particularly zoonoses such as rabies and glanders, are found in the writings of Greek (Hippocrates, Democritus, Aristotle, Galen, Dioscorides), Byzantine (Oribasius, Actius of Amida), and Roman (Pliny the Elder, Celsus) physicians and naturalists.3 Also, early advances in disease knowledge were closely associated with the study of contagions in animals to the extent that “The most complete ancient accounts of the concepts of contagion and contamination are found in treatises on veterinary medicine.”4,5Opportunities for disease transfer between animals and humans have increased during modern times, partly because of advances in animal husbandry and intensive agriculture that result in increased contacts among humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Infectious pathogens exploit these contacts, and must be considered in this era of increased world tensions and international terrorism (Fig. 6.1).Disease emergence and resurgence are generally associated with natural processes and unanticipated outcomes related to human behavior and actions. That perspective has been broadened by recent acts of bioterrorism. A new category of deliberately emerging diseases contains emerging microbes that are developed by humans, usually for nefarious use.211 Included are naturally occurring microbial agents and those altered by bioengineering.This chapter highlights the wildlife component of the pathogen-host-environment triad to focus attention on the potential for bioterrorists to use wildlife as a means for infectious disease attacks against society. The value of this focus is that the underlying causes of disease emergence and the optimal prevention or control response frequently differ for disease emergence, resurgence, and deliberately emerging diseases.211 Differences also exist relative to the potential

  18. Fungal diseases: an emerging threat to human, animal, and plant health : workshop summary

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Olsen, LeighAnne


    "Fungal diseases have contributed to death and disability in humans, triggered global wildlife extinctions and population declines, devastated agricultural crops, and altered forest ecosystem dynamics...

  19. Rome Consensus Conference - statement; human papilloma virus diseases in males. (United States)

    Lenzi, Andrea; Mirone, Vincenzo; Gentile, Vincenzo; Bartoletti, Riccardo; Ficarra, Vincenzo; Foresta, Carlo; Mariani, Luciano; Mazzoli, Sandra; Parisi, Saverio G; Perino, Antonio; Picardo, Mauro; Zotti, Carla Maria


    Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a very resistant, ubiquitous virus that can survive in the environment without a host. The decision to analyse HPV-related diseases in males was due to the broad dissemination of the virus, and, above all, by the need to stress the importance of primary and secondary prevention measures (currently available for women exclusively). The objective of the Consensus Conference was to make evidence-based recommendations that were designed to facilitate the adoption of a standard approach in clinical practice in Italy. The Sponsoring Panel put a series of questions to the members of the Scientific Committee who prepared a summary of the currently available information, relevant for each question, after the review and grading of the existing scientific literature. The summaries were presented to a Jury, also called multidisciplinary Consensus Panel, who drafted a series of recommendations. The prevalence of HPV in males ranges between 1.3-72.9%;. The prevalence curve in males is much higher than that in females and does not tend to decline with age. Women appear to have a higher probability of acquiring HPV genotypes associated with a high oncogenic risk, whereas in males the probability of acquiring low- or high-risk genotypes is similar. The HPV-related diseases that affect males are anogenital warts and cancers of the penis, anus and oropharynx. The quadrivalent vaccine against HPV has proved to be effective in preventing external genital lesions in males aged 16-26 years in 90.4%; (95%; CI: 69.2-98.1) of cases. It has also proved to be effective in preventing precancerous anal lesions in 77.5%; (95%; CI: 39.6-93.3) of cases in a per-protocol analysis and in 91.7%; (95%; CI: 44.6-99.8) of cases in a post-hoc analysis. Early ecological studies demonstrate reduction of genital warts in vaccinated females and some herd immunity in males when vaccine coverage is high, although males who have sex with males gained no benefit at all. Males with

  20. Molecular epidemiology of human oral Chagas disease outbreaks in Colombia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan David Ramírez

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, displays significant genetic variability revealed by six Discrete Typing Units (TcI-TcVI. In this pathology, oral transmission represents an emerging epidemiological scenario where different outbreaks associated to food/beverages consumption have been reported in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela. In Colombia, six human oral outbreaks have been reported corroborating the importance of this transmission route. Molecular epidemiology of oral outbreaks is barely known observing the incrimination of TcI, TcII, TcIV and TcV genotypes. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: High-throughput molecular characterization was conducted performing MLMT (Multilocus Microsatellite Typing and mtMLST (mitochondrial Multilocus Sequence Typing strategies on 50 clones from ten isolates. Results allowed observing the occurrence of TcI, TcIV and mixed infection of distinct TcI genotypes. Thus, a majority of specific mitochondrial haplotypes and allelic multilocus genotypes associated to the sylvatic cycle of transmission were detected in the dataset with the foreseen presence of mitochondrial haplotypes and allelic multilocus genotypes associated to the domestic cycle of transmission. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest the incrimination of sylvatic genotypes in the oral outbreaks occurred in Colombia. We observed patterns of super-infection and/or co-infection with a tailored association with the severe forms of myocarditis in the acute phase of the disease. The transmission dynamics of this infection route based on molecular epidemiology evidence was unraveled and the clinical and biological implications are discussed.

  1. Vibrio cholerae Infection of Drosophilamelanogaster Mimics the Human Disease Cholera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)


    Full Text Available Cholera, the pandemic diarrheal disease caused by the gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholerae, continues to be a major public health challenge in the developing world. Cholera toxin, which is responsible for the voluminous stools of cholera, causes constitutive activation of adenylyl cyclase, resulting in the export of ions into the intestinal lumen. Environmental studies have demonstrated a close association between V. cholerae and many species of arthropods including insects. Here we report the susceptibility of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to oral V. cholerae infection through a process that exhibits many of the hallmarks of human disease: (i death of the fly is dependent on the presence of cholera toxin and is preceded by rapid weight loss; (ii flies harboring mutant alleles of either adenylyl cyclase, Gsalpha, or the Gardos K channel homolog SK are resistant to V. cholerae infection; and (iii ingestion of a K channel blocker along with V. cholerae protects wild-type flies against death. In mammals, ingestion of as little as 25 mug of cholera toxin results in massive diarrhea. In contrast, we found that ingestion of cholera toxin was not lethal to the fly. However, when cholera toxin was co-administered with a pathogenic strain of V. cholerae carrying a chromosomal deletion of the genes encoding cholera toxin, death of the fly ensued. These findings suggest that additional virulence factors are required for intoxication of the fly that may not be essential for intoxication of mammals. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time the mechanism of action of cholera toxin in a whole organism and the utility of D. melanogaster as an accurate, inexpensive model for elucidation of host susceptibility to cholera.

  2. Human onchocerciasis--an overview of the disease. (United States)

    Duke, B O


    The general characteristics of Onchocerca volvulus infection and its transmission are outlined in this overview of human onchocerciasis. The pathogenic role of the microfilariae, producing lesions of the skin, lymphatic system, eye and deep organs, are described, along with the main clinical manifestations of the disease. The global prevalence and distribution of onchocerciasis are given. Best estimates in 1985 gave 86 million persons at risk, 17.8 million infected, 336,400 blind and a like number suffering from severe visual impairment. The vast majority was in Africa. The impact of onchocerciasis on communities in the Sudano-Guinean savanna zone of Africa is outlined, emphasizing the very high blindness rates and the increased mortality among the blind. Communities so affected cannot remain economically viable. They are forced to desert their villages and the fertile land near rivers. The background to the establishment of the Onchocerciasis Control Programme in West Africa (OCP) is given and the successful 10-year results of this campaign, which is based on prolonged, regular Simulium larviciding, are outlined. In the context of the future of the OCP and of the control of onchocerciasis elsewhere in the world, the need for improved chemotherapy is discussed. The prospects for large-scale suppressive therapy have greatly improved following the registration of ivermectin in 1988 for use in human onchocerciasis. The potential and possible uses of this drug, as a single-dose, non-toxic microfilaricide, which excites very little Mazzotti reaction and has a prolonged microfilarial suppressant action, are discussed. It is considered that an effective non-toxic macrofilaricide is still a prime need for onchocerciasis control.

  3. Mitochondrial uncoupling proteins in human physiology and disease. (United States)

    Hagen, T; Vidal-Puig, A


    Uncoupling proteins are mitochondrial carrier proteins that catalyse a regulated proton leak across the inner mitochondrial membrane, diverting free energy from ATP synthesis by the mitochondrial F0F1-ATP synthase to the production of heat. Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), which is exclusively expressed in brown adipose tissue, is the mediator of thermogenesis in response to beta-adrenergic stimulation. Using gene a knockout mouse model, UCP1 has been shown to be required for cold acclimation. Two homologues of UCP1, UCP2 and UCP3, have been identified recently and show a much wider tissue distribution. UCP2 and UCP3 have been postulated to play a role in the regulation of cold acclimation, energy expenditure and diet-induced thermogenesis in humans, who, in contrast to rodents, have very little brown fat in adult life. However, evidence is accumulating that thermogenesis and regulation of body weight may not be the physiological functions of UCP2 and UCP3. For instance, mice deficient for UCP2 or UCP3 are not cold-intolerant and do not develop obesity. Alternative functions were suggested, primarily based on findings in UCP2 and UCP3 gene knockout mice. Both UCP2- and UCP3-deficient mice were found to overproduce reactive oxygen species and UCP2-deficient mice to hypersecrete insulin. Thus, the UCP1 homologues may play a role in regulating mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species and b-cell function. In this review, we discuss the role of UCP1, UCP2 and UCP3 in human physiology and disease, primarily based on findings from the various animal models that have been generated.

  4. Elastic modulus of orbicularis oculi muscle in normal humans, humans with Graves' eye disease, and cynomolgus monkeys. (United States)

    Oestreicher, J H; Frueh, B R


    We built an experimental apparatus to investigate the passive elastic characteristics of orbicularis oculi muscle and examined specimens from normal humans, humans with stable Graves' eye disease, and cynomolgus monkeys. Stress-strain curves were determined and found to be exponential. The elastic modulus (Young's modulus), analogous to the stiffness of the material, was calculated as a function of strain. Elastic modulus as a function of instantaneous stress was linear. Monkey elastic modulus values were determined, but did not allow meaningful interspecies comparison because of the small sample size. No significant difference was found between normal humans and humans with Graves' eye disease with respect to elastic modulus values.

  5. The implications of relationships between human diseases and metabolic subpathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Li

    Full Text Available One of the challenging problems in the etiology of diseases is to explore the relationships between initiation and progression of diseases and abnormalities in local regions of metabolic pathways. To gain insight into such relationships, we applied the "k-clique" subpathway identification method to all disease-related gene sets. For each disease, the disease risk regions of metabolic pathways were then identified and considered as subpathways associated with the disease. We finally built a disease-metabolic subpathway network (DMSPN. Through analyses based on network biology, we found that a few subpathways, such as that of cytochrome P450, were highly connected with many diseases, and most belonged to fundamental metabolisms, suggesting that abnormalities of fundamental metabolic processes tend to cause more types of diseases. According to the categories of diseases and subpathways, we tested the clustering phenomenon of diseases and metabolic subpathways in the DMSPN. The results showed that both disease nodes and subpathway nodes displayed slight clustering phenomenon. We also tested correlations between network topology and genes within disease-related metabolic subpathways, and found that within a disease-related subpathway in the DMSPN, the ratio of disease genes and the ratio of tissue-specific genes significantly increased as the number of diseases caused by the subpathway increased. Surprisingly, the ratio of essential genes significantly decreased and the ratio of housekeeping genes remained relatively unchanged. Furthermore, the coexpression levels between disease genes and other types of genes were calculated for each subpathway in the DMSPN. The results indicated that those genes intensely influenced by disease genes, including essential genes and tissue-specific genes, might be significantly associated with the disease diversity of subpathways, suggesting that different kinds of genes within a disease-related subpathway may play

  6. Interstitial lung disease associated with human papillomavirus vaccination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasushi Yamamoto


    Full Text Available Vaccinations against the human papillomavirus (HPV have been recommended for the prevention of cervical cancer. HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccines (Cervarix are said to have favourable safety profiles. Interstitial lung diseases (ILDs can occur following exposure to a drug or a biological agent. We report a case of ILD associated with a Cervarix vaccination. A woman in her 40's, with a history of conisation, received three inoculations of Cervarix. Three months later, she presented with a cough and shortness of breath. Findings from a computed tomography of the chest and a transbronchial lung biopsy were consistent with non-specific interstitial pneumonia. Workup eliminated all other causes of the ILD, except for the vaccination. Over the 11 months of the follow-up period, her symptoms resolved without steroid therapy. The onset and spontaneous resolution of the ILD showed a chronological association with the HPV vaccination. The semi-quantitative algorithm revealed that the likelihood of an adverse drug reaction to Cervarix was “Probable”. The outcome was relatively good, but more attention should be paid to a potential risk for HPV vaccinations to cause ILDs. Wherever possible, chest radiographic examinations should be performed in order not to overlook any ILDs.

  7. Human leukocyte Antigen-DM polymorphisms in autoimmune diseases. (United States)

    Alvaro-Benito, Miguel; Morrison, Eliot; Wieczorek, Marek; Sticht, Jana; Freund, Christian


    Classical MHC class II (MHCII) proteins present peptides for CD4(+) T-cell surveillance and are by far the most prominent risk factor for a number of autoimmune disorders. To date, many studies have shown that this link between particular MHCII alleles and disease depends on the MHCII's particular ability to bind and present certain peptides in specific physiological contexts. However, less attention has been paid to the non-classical MHCII molecule human leucocyte antigen-DM, which catalyses peptide exchange on classical MHCII proteins acting as a peptide editor. DM function impacts the presentation of both antigenic peptides in the periphery and key self-peptides during T-cell development in the thymus. In this way, DM activity directly influences the response to pathogens, as well as mechanisms of self-tolerance acquisition. While decreased DM editing of particular MHCII proteins has been proposed to be related to autoimmune disorders, no experimental evidence for different DM catalytic properties had been reported until recently. Biochemical and structural investigations, together with new animal models of loss of DM activity, have provided an attractive foundation for identifying different catalytic efficiencies for DM allotypes. Here, we revisit the current knowledge of DM function and discuss how DM function may impart autoimmunity at the organism level.

  8. Reactive Oxygen Species, Apoptosis, Antimicrobial Peptides and Human Inflammatory Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babatunji Emmanuel Oyinloye


    Full Text Available Excessive free radical generation, especially reactive oxygen species (ROS leading to oxidative stress in the biological system, has been implicated in the pathogenesis and pathological conditions associated with diverse human inflammatory diseases (HIDs. Although inflammation which is considered advantageous is a defensive mechanism in response to xenobiotics and foreign pathogen; as a result of cellular damage arising from oxidative stress, if uncontrolled, it may degenerate to chronic inflammation when the ROS levels exceed the antioxidant capacity. Therefore, in the normal resolution of inflammatory reactions, apoptosis is acknowledged to play a crucial role, while on the other hand, dysregulation in the induction of apoptosis by enhanced ROS production could also result in excessive apoptosis identified in the pathogenesis of HIDs. Apparently, a careful balance must be maintained in this complex environment. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs have been proposed in this review as an excellent candidate capable of playing prominent roles in maintaining this balance. Consequently, in novel drug design for the treatment and management of HIDs, AMPs are promising candidates owing to their size and multidimensional properties as well as their wide spectrum of activities and indications of reduced rate of resistance.

  9. Familial Alzheimer's disease: genetic analysis related to disease heterogeneity, Down syndrome and human brain evolution. (United States)

    Schapiro, M B; Rapoport, S I


    Etiologically heterogeneous subgroups of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) exist and need to be distinguished so as to better identify genetic causes of familial cases. Furthermore, the presence of AD neuropathology in Down syndrome (trisomy 21) subjects older than 35 years suggests that AD in some cases is caused by dysregulation of expression of genes on chromosome 21. Cerebral metabolic abnormalities in life, and the distribution of AD neuropathology in the post-mortem brain, indicate that AD involves the association neocortices and subcortical regions with which they evolved during evolution of the human brain. Accordingly, understanding the molecular basis of this evolution should elucidate the genetic basis of AD, whereas knowing the genetics of AD should be informative about the genomic changes which promoted brain evolution.

  10. When the human viral infectome and diseasome networks collide: towards a systems biology platform for the aetiology of human diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Chassey Benoit


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comprehensive understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying viral infection is a major challenge towards the discovery of new antiviral drugs and susceptibility factors of human diseases. New advances in the field are expected from systems-level modelling and integration of the incessant torrent of high-throughput "-omics" data. Results Here, we describe the Human Infectome protein interaction Network, a novel systems virology model of a virtual virus-infected human cell concerning 110 viruses. This in silico model was applied to comprehensively explore the molecular relationships between viruses and their associated diseases. This was done by merging virus-host and host-host physical protein-protein interactomes with the set of genes essential for viral replication and involved in human genetic diseases. This systems-level approach provides strong evidence that viral proteomes target a wide range of functional and inter-connected modules of proteins as well as highly central and bridging proteins within the human interactome. The high centrality of targeted proteins was correlated to their essentiality for viruses' lifecycle, using functional genomic RNAi data. A stealth-attack of viruses on proteins bridging cellular functions was demonstrated by simulation of cellular network perturbations, a property that could be essential in the molecular aetiology of some human diseases. Networking the Human Infectome and Diseasome unravels the connectivity of viruses to a wide range of diseases and profiled molecular basis of Hepatitis C Virus-induced diseases as well as 38 new candidate genetic predisposition factors involved in type 1 diabetes mellitus. Conclusions The Human Infectome and Diseasome Networks described here provide a unique gateway towards the comprehensive modelling and analysis of the systems level properties associated to viral infection as well as candidate genes potentially involved in the molecular aetiology

  11. DMPD: Intracellular TLR signaling: a structural perspective on human disease. [Dynamic Macrophage Pathway CSML Database

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 16785490 Intracellular TLR signaling: a structural perspective on human disease. La...sker MV, Nair SK. J Immunol. 2006 Jul 1;177(1):11-6. (.png) (.svg) (.html) (.csml) Show Intracellular TLR si...gnaling: a structural perspective on human disease. PubmedID 16785490 Title Intracellular TLR signaling: a s

  12. Receptor-mediated endocytosis of α-galactosidase A in human podocytes in Fabry disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prabakaran, Thaneas; Nielsen, Rikke; Larsen, Jakob Vejby;


    Injury to the glomerular podocyte is a key mechanism in human glomerular disease and podocyte repair is an important therapeutic target. In Fabry disease, podocyte injury is caused by the intracellular accumulation of globotriaosylceramide. This study identifies in the human podocyte three endocy...

  13. Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis of α-Galactosidase A in Human Podocytes in Fabry Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prabakaran, Thaneas; Nielsen, Rikke; Larsen, Jakob Vejby;


    Injury to the glomerular podocyte is a key mechanism in human glomerular disease and podocyte repair is an important therapeutic target. In Fabry disease, podocyte injury is caused by the intracellular accumulation of globotriaosylceramide. This study identifies in the human podocyte three endocy...

  14. Attributing the human disease burden of foodborne infections to specific sources.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pires, S.M.; Evers, E.G.; van Pelt, W.; Ayers, T.; Scallan, E.; Angulo, F.J.; Havelaar, A.H.; Hald, T.


    Foodborne diseases are an important cause of human illness worldwide. Humans acquire these infections from a variety of sources and routes of transmission. Many efforts have been made in the last decades to prevent and control foodborne diseases, particularly foodborne zoonoses. However, information

  15. Attributing the human disease burden of foodborne infections to specific sources.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pires, S.M.; Evers, E.G.; van Pelt, W.; Ayers, T.; Scallan, E.; Angulo, F.J.; Havelaar, A.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/072306122; Hald, T.


    Foodborne diseases are an important cause of human illness worldwide. Humans acquire these infections from a variety of sources and routes of transmission. Many efforts have been made in the last decades to prevent and control foodborne diseases, particularly foodborne zoonoses. However, information

  16. The Impact of Evolutionary Driving Forces on Human Complex Diseases: A Population Genetics Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amr T. M. Saeb


    Full Text Available Investigating the molecular evolution of human genome has paved the way to understand genetic adaptation of humans to the environmental changes and corresponding complex diseases. In this review, we discussed the historical origin of genetic diversity among human populations, the evolutionary driving forces that can affect genetic diversity among populations, and the effects of human movement into new environments and gene flow on population genetic diversity. Furthermore, we presented the role of natural selection on genetic diversity and complex diseases. Then we reviewed the disadvantageous consequences of historical selection events in modern time and their relation to the development of complex diseases. In addition, we discussed the effect of consanguinity on the incidence of complex diseases in human populations. Finally, we presented the latest information about the role of ancient genes acquired from interbreeding with ancient hominids in the development of complex diseases.

  17. Interstitial cells of Cajal in human gut and gastrointestinal disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vanderwinden, J M; Rumessen, J J


    of their functional significance. Alterations of ICC reported in achalasia of cardia, infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction, Hirschsprung's disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, slow transit constipation, and some other disorders of GI motility as well as in gastrointestinal...... stromal tumors are reviewed, with emphasis on the place of ICC in the pathophysiology of disease....

  18. Baboons as a model to study genetics and epigenetics of human disease. (United States)

    Cox, Laura A; Comuzzie, Anthony G; Havill, Lorena M; Karere, Genesio M; Spradling, Kimberly D; Mahaney, Michael C; Nathanielsz, Peter W; Nicolella, Daniel P; Shade, Robert E; Voruganti, Saroja; VandeBerg, John L


    A major challenge for understanding susceptibility to common human diseases is determining genetic and environmental factors that influence mechanisms underlying variation in disease-related traits. The most common diseases afflicting the US population are complex diseases that develop as a result of defects in multiple genetically controlled systems in response to environmental challenges. Unraveling the etiology of these diseases is exceedingly difficult because of the many genetic and environmental factors involved. Studies of complex disease genetics in humans are challenging because it is not possible to control pedigree structure and often not practical to control environmental conditions over an extended period of time. Furthermore, access to tissues relevant to many diseases from healthy individuals is quite limited. The baboon is a well-established research model for the study of a wide array of common complex diseases, including dyslipidemia, hypertension, obesity, and osteoporosis. It is possible to acquire tissues from healthy, genetically characterized baboons that have been exposed to defined environmental stimuli. In this review, we describe the genetic and physiologic similarity of baboons with humans, the ability and usefulness of controlling environment and breeding, and current genetic and genomic resources. We discuss studies on genetics of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and intrauterine growth restriction using the baboon as a model for human disease. We also summarize new studies and resources under development, providing examples of potential translational studies for targeted interventions and therapies for human disease.

  19. Attributing the Human Disease Burden of Foodborne Infections to Specific Sources

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pires, Sara Monteiro; Evers, Eric E.; Van Pely, Wilfrid;


    for understanding and improving attribution methodologies and for sharing knowledge within the scientific community. We propose harmonized nomenclature, and describe the various approaches for human illness source attribution and their usefulness to address specific public health questions.......Foodborne diseases are an important cause of human illness worldwide. Humans acquire these infections from a variety of sources and routes of transmission. Many efforts have been made in the last decades to prevent and control foodborne diseases, particularly foodborne zoonoses. However...

  20. Therapeutic Role of Rifaximin in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Clinical Implication of Human Pregnane X Receptor Activation


    Cheng, Jie; Yatrik M. Shah; Ma, Xiaochao; Pang, Xiaoyan; Tanaka, Toshiya; Kodama, Tatsuhiko; Krausz, Kristopher W.; Gonzalez, Frank J.


    Human pregnane X receptor (PXR) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Rifaximin, a human PXR activator, is in clinical trials for treatment of IBD and has demonstrated efficacy in Crohn's disease and active ulcerative colitis. In the current study, the protective and therapeutic role of rifaximin in IBD and its respective mechanism were investigated. PXR-humanized (hPXR), wild-type, and Pxr-null mice were treated with rifaximin in the dextran sulfate sod...

  1. Transgenic knockout mice with exclusively human sickle hemoglobinand sickle cell disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paszty, C.; Brion, C.; Manci, E.; Witkowska, E.; Stevens, M.; Narla, M.; Rubin, E.


    To create mice expressing exclusively human sicklehemoglobin (HbS), transgenic mice expressing human alpha-, gamma-, andbeta[S]-globin were generated and bred with knockout mice that haddeletions of the murine alpha- and beta-globin genes. These sickle cellmice have the major features (irreversibly sickled red cells, anemia,multiorgan pathology) found in humans with sickle cell disease and, assuch, represent a useful in vivo system to accelerate the development ofimproved therapies for this common genetic disease.

  2. Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome, human herpesvirus 8 viremia, and HIV-associated multicentric Castleman disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc O. Siegel


    Full Text Available Kaposi's sarcoma and multicentric Castleman Disease are HIV-related disease processes that are associated with human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8 infection. The development of multicentric Castleman disease can often be a manifestation of the immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome phenomenon and is associated with markedly elevated levels of HHV-8 viremia, as illustrated by this case.

  3. MicroRNAs and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Human Disease Mouse Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chingiz Underbayev


    Full Text Available Human disease animal models are absolutely invaluable tools for our understanding of mechanisms involved in both physiological and pathological processes. By studying various genetic abnormalities in these organisms we can get a better insight into potential candidate genes responsible for human disease development. To this point a mouse represents one of the most used and convenient species for human disease modeling. Hundreds if not thousands of inbred, congenic, and transgenic mouse models have been created and are now extensively utilized in the research labs worldwide. Importantly, pluripotent stem cells play a significant role in developing new genetically engineered mice with the desired human disease-like phenotype. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS cells which represent reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells represent a significant advancement in research armament. The novel application of microRNA manipulation both in the generation of iPS cells and subsequent lineage-directed differentiation is discussed. Potential applications of induced pluripotent stem cell—a relatively new type of pluripotent stem cells—for human disease modeling by employing human iPS cells derived from normal and diseased somatic cells and iPS cells derived from mouse models of human disease may lead to uncovering of disease mechanisms and novel therapies.

  4. Epidemiological studies on Johne’s disease in ruminants and Crohn’s disease in humans in Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Fawzy


    Full Text Available The correlation between Johne’s disease (JD and Crohn’s disease (CD in Egypt was investigated. A total of 371 human and 435 animal sera were collected from the same Egyptian governorates that had a known history of paratuberculosis infection and were subjected to screening for paratuberculosis using ELISA to assess the human/animal risk at a single time point. Five CD patients and five JD clinically infected dairy cattle were also included. Out of 435 animal serum samples, 196 (45.2% were MAP-ELISA positive. Twenty three (6.1% out of 371 human serum samples were MAP-ELISA positive, while 37 (9.9% were positive for anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA ELISAs. There was a very poor agreement between human MAP and ASCA ELISAs (0.036 by kappa statistics. The prevalence of MAP antibodies among humans is clearly lower than in animals. In conclusion there is an increase in Johne’s disease incidence in animals and a very weak relationship between MAP and Crohn’s disease in humans in Egypt.

  5. Large animal models of rare genetic disorders: sheep as phenotypically relevant models of human genetic disease. (United States)

    Pinnapureddy, Ashish R; Stayner, Cherie; McEwan, John; Baddeley, Olivia; Forman, John; Eccles, Michael R


    Animals that accurately model human disease are invaluable in medical research, allowing a critical understanding of disease mechanisms, and the opportunity to evaluate the effect of therapeutic compounds in pre-clinical studies. Many types of animal models are used world-wide, with the most common being small laboratory animals, such as mice. However, rodents often do not faithfully replicate human disease, despite their predominant use in research. This discordancy is due in part to physiological differences, such as body size and longevity. In contrast, large animal models, including sheep, provide an alternative to mice for biomedical research due to their greater physiological parallels with humans. Completion of the full genome sequences of many species, and the advent of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies, means it is now feasible to screen large populations of domesticated animals for genetic variants that resemble human genetic diseases, and generate models that more accurately model rare human pathologies. In this review, we discuss the notion of using sheep as large animal models, and their advantages in modelling human genetic disease. We exemplify several existing naturally occurring ovine variants in genes that are orthologous to human disease genes, such as the Cln6 sheep model for Batten disease. These, and other sheep models, have contributed significantly to our understanding of the relevant human disease process, in addition to providing opportunities to trial new therapies in animals with similar body and organ size to humans. Therefore sheep are a significant species with respect to the modelling of rare genetic human disease, which we summarize in this review.

  6. Human diseases through the lens of network biology. (United States)

    Furlong, Laura I


    One of the challenges raised by next generation sequencing (NGS) is the identification of clinically relevant mutations among all the genetic variation found in an individual. Network biology has emerged as an integrative and systems-level approach for the interpretation of genome data in the context of health and disease. Network biology can provide insightful models for genetic phenomena such as penetrance, epistasis, and modes of inheritance, all of which are integral aspects of Mendelian and complex diseases. Moreover, it can shed light on disease mechanisms via the identification of modules perturbed in those diseases. Current challenges include understanding disease as a result of the interplay between environmental and genetic perturbations and assessing the impact of personal sequence variations in the context of networks. Full realization of the potential of personal genomics will benefit from network biology approaches that aim to uncover the mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis, identify new biomarkers, and guide personalized therapeutic interventions.

  7. [A brief history of the natural causes of human disease]. (United States)

    Lips-Castro, Walter


    In the study of the causes of disease that have arisen during the development of humankind, one can distinguish three major perspectives: the natural, the supernatural, and the artificial. In this paper we distinguish the rational natural causes of disease from the irrational natural causes. Within the natural and rational causal approaches of disease, we can highlight the Egyptian theory of putrid intestinal materials called "wechdu", the humoral theory, the atomistic theory, the contagious theory, the cellular theory, the molecular (genetic) theory, and the ecogenetic theory. Regarding the irrational, esoteric, and mystic causal approaches to disease, we highlight the astrological, the alchemical, the iatrochemical, the iatromechanical, and others (irritability, solidism, brownism, and mesmerism).

  8. Experimental primates and non-human primate (NHP) models of human diseases in China: current status and progress. (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Liang; Pang, Wei; Hu, Xin-Tian; Li, Jia-Li; Yao, Yong-Gang; Zheng, Yong-Tang


    Non-human primates (NHPs) are phylogenetically close to humans, with many similarities in terms of physiology, anatomy, immunology, as well as neurology, all of which make them excellent experimental models for biomedical research. Compared with developed countries in America and Europe, China has relatively rich primate resources and has continually aimed to develop NHPs resources. Currently, China is a leading producer and a major supplier of NHPs on the international market. However, there are some deficiencies in feeding and management that have hampered China's growth in NHP research and materials. Nonetheless, China has recently established a number of primate animal models for human diseases and achieved marked scientific progress on infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, endocrine diseases, reproductive diseases, neurological diseases, and ophthalmic diseases, etc. Advances in these fields via NHP models will undoubtedly further promote the development of China's life sciences and pharmaceutical industry, and enhance China's position as a leader in NHP research. This review covers the current status of NHPs in China and other areas, highlighting the latest developments in disease models using NHPs, as well as outlining basic problems and proposing effective countermeasures to better utilize NHP resources and further foster NHP research in China.

  9. Modeling cognition and disease using human glial chimeric mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goldman, Steven A.; Nedergaard, Maiken; Windrem, Martha S.


    that transplanted hGPCs not only engraft and expand within murine hosts, but dynamically outcompete the resident progenitors so as to ultimately dominate the host brain. The engrafted human progenitor cells proceed to generate parenchymal astrocytes, and when faced with a hypomyelinated environment......, oligodendrocytes as well. As a result, the recipient brains may become inexorably humanized with regards to their resident glial populations, yielding human glial chimeric mouse brains. These brains provide us a fundamentally new tool by which to assess the species-specific attributes of glia in modulating human...... cognition and information processing. In addition, the cellular humanization of these brains permits their use in studying glial infectious and inflammatory disorders unique to humans, and the effects of those disorders on the glial contributions to cognition. Perhaps most intriguingly, by pairing our...

  10. Reflections on the Field of Human Genetics: A Call for Increased Disease Genetics Theory. (United States)

    Schrodi, Steven J


    Development of human genetics theoretical models and the integration of those models with experiment and statistical evaluation are critical for scientific progress. This perspective argues that increased effort in disease genetics theory, complementing experimental, and statistical efforts, will escalate the unraveling of molecular etiologies of complex diseases. In particular, the development of new, realistic disease genetics models will help elucidate complex disease pathogenesis, and the predicted patterns in genetic data made by these models will enable the concurrent, more comprehensive statistical testing of multiple aspects of disease genetics predictions, thereby better identifying disease loci. By theoretical human genetics, I intend to encompass all investigations devoted to modeling the heritable architecture underlying disease traits and studies of the resulting principles and dynamics of such models. Hence, the scope of theoretical disease genetics work includes construction and analysis of models describing how disease-predisposing alleles (1) arise, (2) are transmitted across families and populations, and (3) interact with other risk and protective alleles across both the genome and environmental factors to produce disease states. Theoretical work improves insight into viable genetic models of diseases consistent with empirical results from linkage, transmission, and association studies as well as population genetics. Furthermore, understanding the patterns of genetic data expected under realistic disease models will enable more powerful approaches to discover disease-predisposing alleles and additional heritable factors important in common diseases. In spite of the pivotal role of disease genetics theory, such investigation is not particularly vibrant.

  11. Deciphering the Molecular Basis of Human Cardiovascular Disease through Network Biology (United States)

    Chan, Stephen Y.; White, Kevin; Loscalzo, Joseph


    Purpose of review This review introduces the fundamental concepts of network medicine and explores the feasibility and potential impact of network-based methods on predicting and ameliorating individual manifestations of human cardiovascular disease. Recent findings Complex cardiovascular diseases rarely result from an abnormality in a single molecular effector, but, rather, nearly always are the net result of multiple pathobiological pathways that interact through an interconnected network. In the post-genomic era, a framework has emerged of the potential complexity of the interacting pathways that govern molecular actions in the human cell. As a result, network approaches have been developed to understand more comprehensively those interconnections that influence human disease. “Network medicine” has already led to tangible discoveries of novel disease genes and pathways as well as improved mechanisms for rational drug development. Summary As methodologies evolve, network medicine may better capture the complexity of human pathogenesis and, thus, re-define personalized disease classification and therapies. PMID:22382498

  12. Alzheimer's disease in a dish: promises and challenges of human stem cell models. (United States)

    Young, Jessica E; Goldstein, Lawrence S B


    Human pluripotent stem cells can differentiate into disease-relevant cell types, which capture the unique genome of an individual patient and provide insight into pathological mechanisms of human disease. Recently, human stem cell models for Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common neurodegenerative dementia, have been described. Stem cell-derived neurons from patients with familial and sporadic AD and Down's syndrome recapitulate human disease phenotypes such as amyloid β peptide production, hyperphosphorylation of tau protein and endosomal abnormalities. Treatment of human neurons with small molecules can modulate these phenotypes, demonstrating the utility of this system for drug development and screening. This review will highlight the current AD stem cell models and discuss the remaining challenges and potential future directions of this field.

  13. Human telomere biology: A contributory and interactive factor in aging, disease risks, and protection. (United States)

    Blackburn, Elizabeth H; Epel, Elissa S; Lin, Jue


    Telomeres are the protective end-complexes at the termini of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomere attrition can lead to potentially maladaptive cellular changes, block cell division, and interfere with tissue replenishment. Recent advances in the understanding of human disease processes have clarified the roles of telomere biology, especially in diseases of human aging and in some aging-related processes. Greater overall telomere attrition predicts mortality and aging-related diseases in inherited telomere syndrome patients, and also in general human cohorts. However, genetically caused variations in telomere maintenance either raise or lower risks and progression of cancers, in a highly cancer type-specific fashion. Telomere maintenance is determined by genetic factors and is also cumulatively shaped by nongenetic influences throughout human life; both can interact. These and other recent findings highlight both causal and potentiating roles for telomere attrition in human diseases.

  14. Molecular Mechanism of Adult Neurogenesis and its Association with Human Brain Diseases (United States)

    Liu, He; Song, Ni


    Recent advances in neuroscience challenge the old dogma that neurogenesis occurs only during embryonic development. Mounting evidence suggests that functional neurogenesis occurs throughout adulthood. This review article discusses molecular factors that affect adult neurogenesis, including morphogens, growth factors, neurotransmitters, transcription factors, and epigenetic factors. Furthermore, we summarize and compare current evidence of associations between adult neurogenesis and human brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and brain tumors. PMID:27375363

  15. Human lymphocyte antigens (HLA) and Graves' disease in Turkey. (United States)

    Orhan, Y; Azezli, A; Carin, M; Aral, F; Sencer, E; Molvalilar, S


    To evaluate the association of HLA types with Turkish patients with Graves' disease, HLA typing, clinical findings, and thyroid antibodies were correlated. The HLA types, clinical findings (ophthalmopathy and age at onset), and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor (TRAb) and antithyroid microsomal antibodies (MAb) were analyzed. Seventy Turkish patients with Graves' disease and 306 control subjects were assessed. Serological HLA typing was performed in HLA A, B, C, DR, and DQ loci. There was a significantly increased prevalence of HLA B8, B49, DR3, DR4, and DR10 in Graves' disease. The association of Graves' disease with HLA DR3 was found to be less strong than previously described. The HLA DR4 antigen may contribute to the predisposition of Graves' disease in Turkey. The results suggest that HLA B7, B13, DR7, DQw2, and DQw3 may confer a protective effect for Graves' disease in Turkey. Patients carrying HLA B12, B18, and B44 haplotypes had a tendency to develop the disease at a later age. The difference from the other studies may be the result of the selection of the controls; in part, of the variability in serological typing reagents; and, also, of the rather weak HLA associations with the disease.

  16. Evaluation of high-throughput functional categorization of human disease genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jianrong


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Biological data that are well-organized by an ontology, such as Gene Ontology, enables high-throughput availability of the semantic web. It can also be used to facilitate high throughput classification of biomedical information. However, to our knowledge, no evaluation has been published on automating classifications of human diseases genes using Gene Ontology. In this study, we evaluate automated classifications of well-defined human disease genes using their Gene Ontology annotations and compared them to a gold standard. This gold standard was independently conceived by Valle's research group, and contains 923 human disease genes organized in 14 categories of protein function. Results Two automated methods were applied to investigate the classification of human disease genes into independently pre-defined categories of protein function. One method used the structure of Gene Ontology by pre-selecting 74 Gene Ontology terms assigned to 11 protein function categories. The second method was based on the similarity of human disease genes clustered according to the information-theoretic distance of their Gene Ontology annotations. Compared to the categorization of human disease genes found in the gold standard, our automated methods can achieve an overall 56% and 47% precision with 62% and 71% recall respectively. However, approximately 15% of the studied human disease genes remain without GO annotations. Conclusion Automated methods can recapitulate a significant portion of classification of the human disease genes. The method using information-theoretic distance performs slightly better on the precision with some loss in recall. For some protein function categories, such as 'hormone' and 'transcription factor', the automated methods perform particularly well, achieving precision and recall levels above 75%. In summary, this study demonstrates that for semantic webs, methods to automatically classify or analyze a majority of

  17. Human genetics of infectious diseases: between proof of principle and paradigm (United States)

    Alcaïs, Alexandre; Abel, Laurent; Casanova, Jean-Laurent


    The observation that only a fraction of individuals infected by infectious agents develop clinical disease raises fundamental questions about the actual pathogenesis of infectious diseases. Epidemiological and experimental evidence is accumulating to suggest that human genetics plays a major role in this process. As we discuss here, human predisposition to infectious diseases seems to cover a continuous spectrum from monogenic to polygenic inheritance. Although many studies have provided proof of principle that infectious diseases may result from various types of inborn errors of immunity, the genetic determinism of most infectious diseases in most patients remains unclear. However, in the future, studies in human genetics are likely to establish a new paradigm for infectious diseases. PMID:19729848

  18. Seasonality in human zoonotic enteric diseases: a systematic review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aparna Lal

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although seasonality is a defining characteristic of many infectious diseases, few studies have described and compared seasonal patterns across diseases globally, impeding our understanding of putative mechanisms. Here, we review seasonal patterns across five enteric zoonotic diseases: campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis, vero-cytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC, cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis in the context of two primary drivers of seasonality: (i environmental effects on pathogen occurrence and pathogen-host associations and (ii population characteristics/behaviour. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We systematically reviewed published literature from 1960-2010, resulting in the review of 86 studies across the five diseases. The Gini coefficient compared temporal variations in incidence across diseases and the monthly seasonality index characterised timing of seasonal peaks. Consistent seasonal patterns across transnational boundaries, albeit with regional variations was observed. The bacterial diseases all had a distinct summer peak, with identical Gini values for campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis (0.22 and a higher index for VTEC (Gini  0.36. Cryptosporidiosis displayed a bi-modal peak with spring and summer highs and the most marked temporal variation (Gini = 0.39. Giardiasis showed a relatively small summer increase and was the least variable (Gini = 0.18. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Seasonal variation in enteric zoonotic diseases is ubiquitous, with regional variations highlighting complex environment-pathogen-host interactions. Results suggest that proximal environmental influences and host population dynamics, together with distal, longer-term climatic variability could have important direct and indirect consequences for future enteric disease risk. Additional understanding of the concerted influence of these factors on disease patterns may improve assessment and prediction of enteric disease burden in temperate

  19. How to become a top model: impact of animal experimentation on human Salmonella disease research. (United States)

    Tsolis, Renée M; Xavier, Mariana N; Santos, Renato L; Bäumler, Andreas J


    Salmonella serotypes are a major cause of human morbidity and mortality worldwide. Over the past decades, a series of animal models have been developed to advance vaccine development, provide insights into immunity to infection, and study the pathogenesis of human Salmonella disease. The successive introduction of new animal models, each suited to interrogate previously neglected aspects of Salmonella disease, has ushered in important conceptual advances that continue to have a strong and sustained influence on the ideas driving research on Salmonella serotypes. This article reviews important milestones in the use of animal models to study human Salmonella disease and identify research needs to guide future work.

  20. Pesticides and human chronic diseases: evidences, mechanisms, and perspectives. (United States)

    Mostafalou, Sara; Abdollahi, Mohammad


    Along with the wide use of pesticides in the world, the concerns over their health impacts are rapidly growing. There is a huge body of evidence on the relation between exposure to pesticides and elevated rate of chronic diseases such as different types of cancers, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson, Alzheimer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), birth defects, and reproductive disorders. There is also circumstantial evidence on the association of exposure to pesticides with some other chronic diseases like respiratory problems, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, chronic nephropathies, autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematous and rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and aging. The common feature of chronic disorders is a disturbance in cellular homeostasis, which can be induced via pesticides' primary action like perturbation of ion channels, enzymes, receptors, etc., or can as well be mediated via pathways other than the main mechanism. In this review, we present the highlighted evidence on the association of pesticide's exposure with the incidence of chronic diseases and introduce genetic damages, epigenetic modifications, endocrine disruption, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response (UPR), impairment of ubiquitin proteasome system, and defective autophagy as the effective mechanisms of action. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Properties of human disease genes and the role of genes linked to Mendelian disorders in complex disease aetiology (United States)

    Spataro, Nino; Rodríguez, Juan Antonio; Navarro, Arcadi


    Abstract Do genes presenting variation that has been linked to human disease have different biological properties than genes that have never been related to disease? What is the relationship between disease and fitness? Are the evolutionary pressures that affect genes linked to Mendelian diseases the same to those acting on genes whose variation contributes to complex disorders? The answers to these questions could shed light on the architecture of human genetic disorders and may have relevant implications when designing mapping strategies in future genetic studies. Here we show that, relative to non-disease genes, human disease (HD) genes have specific evolutionary profiles and protein network properties. Additionally, our results indicate that the mutation-selection balance renders an insufficient account of the evolutionary history of some HD genes and that adaptive selection could also contribute to shape their genetic architecture. Notably, several biological features of HD genes depend on the type of pathology (complex or Mendelian) with which they are related. For example, genes harbouring both causal variants for Mendelian disorders and risk factors for complex disease traits (Complex-Mendelian genes), tend to present higher functional relevance in the protein network and higher expression levels than genes associated only with complex disorders. Moreover, risk variants in Complex-Mendelian genes tend to present higher odds ratios than those on genes associated with the same complex disorders but with no link to Mendelian diseases. Taken together, our results suggest that genetic variation at genes linked to Mendelian disorders plays an important role in driving susceptibility to complex disease. PMID:28053046

  2. Human DNA methylomes of neurodegenerative diseases show common epigenomic patterns (United States)

    Sanchez-Mut, J V; Heyn, H; Vidal, E; Moran, S; Sayols, S; Delgado-Morales, R; Schultz, M D; Ansoleaga, B; Garcia-Esparcia, P; Pons-Espinal, M; de Lagran, M M; Dopazo, J; Rabano, A; Avila, J; Dierssen, M; Lott, I; Ferrer, I; Ecker, J R; Esteller, M


    Different neurodegenerative disorders often show similar lesions, such as the presence of amyloid plaques, TAU-neurotangles and synuclein inclusions. The genetically inherited forms are rare, so we wondered whether shared epigenetic aberrations, such as those affecting DNA methylation, might also exist. The studied samples were gray matter samples from the prefrontal cortex of control and neurodegenerative disease-associated cases. We performed the DNA methylation analyses of Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer-like neurodegenerative profile associated with Down's syndrome samples. The DNA methylation landscapes obtained show that neurodegenerative diseases share similar aberrant CpG methylation shifts targeting a defined gene set. Our findings suggest that neurodegenerative disorders might have similar pathogenetic mechanisms that subsequently evolve into different clinical entities. The identified aberrant DNA methylation changes can be used as biomarkers of the disorders and as potential new targets for the development of new therapies. PMID:26784972

  3. Airway vascular reactivity and vascularisation in human chronic airway disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bailey, Simon R; Boustany, Sarah; Burgess, Janette K; Hirst, Stuart J; Sharma, Hari S; Simcock, David E; Suravaram, Padmini R; Weckmann, Markus


    Altered bronchial vascular reactivity and remodelling including angiogenesis are documented features of asthma and other chronic inflammatory airway diseases. Expansion of the bronchial vasculature under these conditions involves both functional (vasodilation, hyperperfusion, increased microvascular

  4. NMR metabolomics of human blood and urine in disease research. (United States)

    Duarte, Iola F; Diaz, Sílvia O; Gil, Ana M


    This paper reviews the main applications of NMR metabolomics of blood and urine in disease research, over the last 5 years. The broad range of disease types addressed attests the increasing interest within the academic and medical communities to explore the recognised potential of metabolomics to (1) provide insight into underlying disease pathogenesis and (2) unveil new metabolic markers for disease diagnosis and follow up. Importantly, most recent studies reveal an increasing awareness of possible limitations and pitfalls of the metabolomics approach, together with efforts for improved study design and statistical validation, which are crucial requisites for the sound development of NMR metabolomics and its progress into the clinical setting. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Modelling Neurodegenerative Diseases Using Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hall, Vanessa Jane


    , frontotemporal dementia and Parkinson’s disease using pluripotent stem cells is described, along with the advent of gene-editing, which has been the complimentary tool for the field. Current methods used to model these diseases are predominantly dependent on 2D cell culture methods. Outcomes reveal that only...... that includes studying more complex 3D cell cultures, as well as accelerating aging of the neurons, may help to yield stronger phenotypes in the cultured cells. Thus, the use and application of pluripotent stem cells for modelling disease have already shown to be a powerful approach for discovering more about...... these diseases, but will lead to even more findings in the future as gene and cell culture technology continues to develop....

  6. [Oral microbiota: a promising predictor of human oral and systemic diseases]. (United States)

    Xin, Xu; Junzhi, He; Xuedong, Zhou


    A human oral microbiota is the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms found in human oral cavity. Oral microbiota exists mostly in the form of a biofilm and maintains a dynamic ecological equilibrium with the host body. However, the disturbance of this ecological balance inevitably causes oral infectious diseases, such as dental caries, apical periodontitis, periodontal diseases, pericoronitis, and craniofacial bone osteomyelitis. Oral microbiota is also correlated with many systemic diseases, including cancer, diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, and preterm birth. Hence, oral microbiota has been considered as a potential biomarker of human diseases. The "Human Microbiome Project" and other metagenomic projects worldwide have advanced our knowledge of the human oral microbiota. The integration of these metadata has been the frontier of oral microbiology to improve clinical translation. By reviewing recent progress on studies involving oral microbiota-related oral and systemic diseases, we aimed to propose the essential role of oral microbiota in the prediction of the onset, progression, and prognosis of oral and systemic diseases. An oral microbiota-based prediction model helps develop a new paradigm of personalized medicine and benefits the human health in the post-metagenomics era.

  7. Pesticides and human chronic diseases: Evidences, mechanisms, and perspectives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mostafalou, Sara; Abdollahi, Mohammad, E-mail: Mohammad.Abdollahi@UToronto.Ca


    Along with the wide use of pesticides in the world, the concerns over their health impacts are rapidly growing. There is a huge body of evidence on the relation between exposure to pesticides and elevated rate of chronic diseases such as different types of cancers, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson, Alzheimer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), birth defects, and reproductive disorders. There is also circumstantial evidence on the association of exposure to pesticides with some other chronic diseases like respiratory problems, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, chronic nephropathies, autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematous and rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and aging. The common feature of chronic disorders is a disturbance in cellular homeostasis, which can be induced via pesticides' primary action like perturbation of ion channels, enzymes, receptors, etc., or can as well be mediated via pathways other than the main mechanism. In this review, we present the highlighted evidence on the association of pesticide's exposure with the incidence of chronic diseases and introduce genetic damages, epigenetic modifications, endocrine disruption, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response (UPR), impairment of ubiquitin proteasome system, and defective autophagy as the effective mechanisms of action. - Highlights: ► There is a link between exposure to pesticides and incidence of chronic diseases. ► Genotoxicity and proteotoxicity are two main involved mechanisms. ► Epigenetic knowledge may help diagnose the relationships. ► Efficient policies on safe use of pesticides should be set up.

  8. A shift in paradigm towards human biology-based systems for cholestatic-liver diseases. (United States)

    Noor, Fozia


    Cholestatic-liver diseases (CLDs) arise from diverse causes ranging from genetic factors to drug-induced cholestasis. The so-called diseases of civilization (obesity, diabetes, metabolic disorders, non-alcoholic liver disease, cardiovascular diseases, etc.) are intricately implicated in liver and gall bladder diseases. Although CLDs have been extensively studied, there seem to be important gaps in the understanding of human disease. Despite the fact that many animal models exist and substantial clinical data are available, translation of this knowledge towards therapy has been disappointingly limited. Recent advances in liver cell culture such as in vivo-like 3D cultivation of human primary hepatic cells, human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes; and cutting-edge analytical techniques such as 'omics' technologies and high-content screenings could play a decisive role in deeper mechanistic understanding of CLDs. This Topical Review proposes a roadmap to human biology-based research using omics technologies providing quantitative information on mechanisms in an adverse outcome/disease pathway framework. With modern sensitive tools, a shift in paradigm in human disease research seems timely and even inevitable to overcome species barriers in translation.

  9. Reactive oxygen species and antioxidant defense in human gastrointestinal diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Patlevič


    Full Text Available Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, known together as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs, and celiac disease are the most common disorders affecting not only adults but also children. Both IBDs and celiac disease are associated with oxidative stress, which may play a significant role in their etiologies. Reactive oxygen species (ROS such as superoxide radicals (O2·−, hydroxyl radicals (·−OH, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, and singlet oxygen (1O2 are responsible for cell death via oxidation of DNA, proteins, lipids, and almost any other cellular constituent. To protect biological systems from free radical toxicity, several cellular antioxidant defense mechanisms exist to regulate the production of ROS, including enzymatic and nonenzymatic pathways. Superoxide dismutase catalyzes the dismutation of O2·− to H2O2 and oxygen. The glutathione redox cycle involves two enzymes: glutathione peroxidase, which uses glutathione to reduce organic peroxides and H2O2; and glutathione reductase, which reduces the oxidized form of glutathione with concomitant oxidation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. In addition to this cycle, GSH can react directly with free radicals. Studies into the effects of free radicals and antioxidant status in patients with IBDs and celiac disease are scarce, especially in pediatric patients. It is therefore very necessary to conduct additional research studies to confirm previous data about ROS status and antioxidant activities in patients with IBDs and celiac disease, especially in children.

  10. Therapeutic potentials of human embryonic stem cells in Parkinson's disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Newman, Mary B; Bakay, Roy A E


    .... The isolation, differentiation, and long-term cultivation of human embryonic stem cells and the therapeutic research discovery made in relation to the beneficial properties of neurotrophic and neural...

  11. Vaccines against diseases transmitted from animals to humans: a one health paradigm. (United States)

    Monath, Thomas P


    This review focuses on the immunization of animals as a means of preventing human diseases (zoonoses). Three frameworks for the use of vaccines in this context are described, and examples are provided of successes and failures. Framework I vaccines are used for protection of humans and economically valuable animals, where neither plays a role in the transmission cycle. The benefit of collaborations between animal health and human health industries and regulators in developing such products is discussed, and one example (West Nile vaccine) of a single product developed for use in animals and humans is described. Framework II vaccines are indicated for domesticated animals as a means of preventing disease in both animals and humans. The agents of concern are transmitted directly or indirectly (e.g. via arthropod vectors) from animals to humans. A number of examples of the use of Framework II vaccines are provided, e.g. against brucellosis, Escherichia coli O157, rabies, Rift Valley fever, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, and Hendra virus. Framework III vaccines are used to immunize wild animals as a means of preventing transmission of disease agents to humans and domesticated animals. Examples are reservoir-targeted, oral bait rabies, Mycobacterium bovis and Lyme disease vaccines. Given the speed and lost cost of veterinary vaccine development, some interventions based on the immunization of animals could lead to rapid and relatively inexpensive advances in public health. Opportunities for vaccine-based approaches to preventing zoonotic and emerging diseases that integrate veterinary and human medicine (the One Health paradigm) are emphasized.

  12. Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng-Lu Liu


    Full Text Available Subtype-specific neurons obtained from adult humans will be critical to modeling neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Here, we show that adult human skin fibroblasts can be directly and efficiently converted into highly pure motor neurons without passing through an induced pluripotent stem cell stage. These adult human induced motor neurons (hiMNs exhibit the cytological and electrophysiological features of spinal motor neurons and form functional neuromuscular junctions (NMJs with skeletal muscles. Importantly, hiMNs converted from ALS patient fibroblasts show disease-specific degeneration manifested through poor survival, soma shrinkage, hypoactivity, and an inability to form NMJs. A chemical screen revealed that the degenerative features of ALS hiMNs can be remarkably rescued by the small molecule kenpaullone. Taken together, our results define a direct and efficient strategy to obtain disease-relevant neuronal subtypes from adult human patients and reveal their promising value in disease modeling and drug identification.

  13. Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients. (United States)

    Liu, Meng-Lu; Zang, Tong; Zhang, Chun-Li


    Subtype-specific neurons obtained from adult humans will be critical to modeling neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here, we show that adult human skin fibroblasts can be directly and efficiently converted into highly pure motor neurons without passing through an induced pluripotent stem cell stage. These adult human induced motor neurons (hiMNs) exhibit the cytological and electrophysiological features of spinal motor neurons and form functional neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) with skeletal muscles. Importantly, hiMNs converted from ALS patient fibroblasts show disease-specific degeneration manifested through poor survival, soma shrinkage, hypoactivity, and an inability to form NMJs. A chemical screen revealed that the degenerative features of ALS hiMNs can be remarkably rescued by the small molecule kenpaullone. Taken together, our results define a direct and efficient strategy to obtain disease-relevant neuronal subtypes from adult human patients and reveal their promising value in disease modeling and drug identification.

  14. The draft genome sequence of the ferret (Mustela putorius furo) facilitates study of human respiratory disease. (United States)

    Peng, Xinxia; Alföldi, Jessica; Gori, Kevin; Eisfeld, Amie J; Tyler, Scott R; Tisoncik-Go, Jennifer; Brawand, David; Law, G Lynn; Skunca, Nives; Hatta, Masato; Gasper, David J; Kelly, Sara M; Chang, Jean; Thomas, Matthew J; Johnson, Jeremy; Berlin, Aaron M; Lara, Marcia; Russell, Pamela; Swofford, Ross; Turner-Maier, Jason; Young, Sarah; Hourlier, Thibaut; Aken, Bronwen; Searle, Steve; Sun, Xingshen; Yi, Yaling; Suresh, M; Tumpey, Terrence M; Siepel, Adam; Wisely, Samantha M; Dessimoz, Christophe; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro; Birren, Bruce W; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Di Palma, Federica; Engelhardt, John F; Palermo, Robert E; Katze, Michael G


    The domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is an important animal model for multiple human respiratory diseases. It is considered the 'gold standard' for modeling human influenza virus infection and transmission. Here we describe the 2.41 Gb draft genome assembly of the domestic ferret, constituting 2.28 Gb of sequence plus gaps. We annotated 19,910 protein-coding genes on this assembly using RNA-seq data from 21 ferret tissues. We characterized the ferret host response to two influenza virus infections by RNA-seq analysis of 42 ferret samples from influenza time-course data and showed distinct signatures in ferret trachea and lung tissues specific to 1918 or 2009 human pandemic influenza virus infections. Using microarray data from 16 ferret samples reflecting cystic fibrosis disease progression, we showed that transcriptional changes in the CFTR-knockout ferret lung reflect pathways of early disease that cannot be readily studied in human infants with cystic fibrosis disease.

  15. Environmental sources of rapid growing nontuberculous mycobacteria causing disease in humans.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ingen, J. van; Boeree, M.J.; Dekhuijzen, P.N.R.; Soolingen, D. van


    Nontuberculous mycobacteria are environmental, opportunistic pathogens whose role in human disease is increasingly recognized, especially regarding the rapid growing mycobacteria (RGM). RGM are recovered from various environmental sources, both natural and man-made. In water systems, RGM can survive

  16. Genomic signatures of human and animal disease in the zoonotic pathogen Streptococcus suis. (United States)

    Weinert, Lucy A; Chaudhuri, Roy R; Wang, Jinhong; Peters, Sarah E; Corander, Jukka; Jombart, Thibaut; Baig, Abiyad; Howell, Kate J; Vehkala, Minna; Välimäki, Niko; Harris, David; Chieu, Tran Thi Bich; Van Vinh Chau, Nguyen; Campbell, James; Schultsz, Constance; Parkhill, Julian; Bentley, Stephen D; Langford, Paul R; Rycroft, Andrew N; Wren, Brendan W; Farrar, Jeremy; Baker, Stephen; Hoa, Ngo Thi; Holden, Matthew T G; Tucker, Alexander W; Maskell, Duncan J


    Streptococcus suis causes disease in pigs worldwide and is increasingly implicated in zoonotic disease in East and South-East Asia. To understand the genetic basis of disease in S. suis, we study the genomes of 375 isolates with detailed clinical phenotypes from pigs and humans from the United Kingdom and Vietnam. Here, we show that isolates associated with disease contain substantially fewer genes than non-clinical isolates, but are more likely to encode virulence factors. Human disease isolates are limited to a single-virulent population, originating in the 1920, s when pig production was intensified, but no consistent genomic differences between pig and human isolates are observed. There is little geographical clustering of different S. suis subpopulations, and the bacterium undergoes high rates of recombination, implying that an increase in virulence anywhere in the world could have a global impact over a short timescale.

  17. Human bulbar conjunctival hemodynamics in hemoglobin SS and SC disease. (United States)

    Wanek, Justin; Gaynes, Bruce; Lim, Jennifer I; Molokie, Robert; Shahidi, Mahnaz


    The known biophysical variations of hemoglobin (Hb) S and Hb C may result in hemodynamic differences between subjects with SS and SC disease. The purpose of this study was to measure and compare conjunctival hemodynamics between subjects with Hb SS and SC hemoglobinopathies. Image sequences of the conjunctival microcirculation were acquired in 9 healthy control subjects (Hb AA), 24 subjects with SC disease, and 18 subjects with SS disease, using a prototype imaging system. Diameter (D) and blood velocity (V) measurements were obtained in multiple venules of each subject. Data were categorized according to venule caliber by averaging V and D for venules with diameters less than (vessel size 1) or greater than (vessel size 2) 15 µm. V in vessel size 2 was significantly greater than V in vessel size 1 in the AA and SS groups (P ≥ 0.009), but not in the SC group (P = 0.1). V was significantly lower in the SC group as compared to the SS group (P = 0.03). In AA and SS groups, V correlated with D (P ≤ 0.005), but the correlation was not statistically significant in the SC group (P = 0.08). V was inversely correlated with hematocrit in the SS group for large vessels (P = 0.03); however, no significant correlation was found in the SC group (P ≥ 0.2). Quantitative assessment of conjunctival microvascular hemodynamics in SS and SC disease may advance understanding of sickle cell disease pathophysiology and thereby improve therapeutic interventions.

  18. Regional and cellular gene expression changes in human Huntington's disease brain



    Huntington's disease (HD) pathology is well understood at a histological level but a comprehensive molecular analysis of the effect of the disease in the human brain has not previously been available. To elucidate the molecular phenotype of HD on a genome-wide scale, we compared mRNA profiles from 44 human HD brains with those from 36 unaffected controls using microarray analysis. Four brain regions were analyzed: caudate nucleus, cerebellum, prefrontal association cortex [Brodmann's area 9 (...

  19. Chronic Inflammatory Periodontal Disease in Patients Diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus/AIDS in Cienfuegos


    Nivia Gontán Quintana; Alain Soto Ugalde; Elena Idaisy Otero Salabarría


    Background: human immunodeficiency virus increases patients´ susceptibility to infections. Consequently, a high incidence of periodontal diseases is observed among them. It is often associated with other lesions of the oral mucous. Objective: to determine the evolution of chronic inflammatory periodontal disease in patients diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS.Methods: a case series study involving HIV-positive patients who attended the Stomatology consultation in Cienfuegos was c...

  20. Prioritising risk pathways of complex human diseases based on functional profiling. (United States)

    Li, Yan; Huang, Teng; Xiao, Yun; Ning, Shangwei; Wang, Peng; Wang, Qianghu; Chen, Xin; Chaohan, Xu; Sun, Donglin; Li, Xia; Li, Yixue


    Analysis of the biological pathways involved in complex human diseases is an important step in elucidating the pathogenesis and mechanism of diseases. Most pathway analysis approaches identify disease-related biological pathways using overlapping genes between pathways and diseases. However, these approaches ignore the functional biological association between pathways and diseases. In this paper, we designed a novel computational framework for prioritising disease-risk pathways based on functional profiling. The disease gene set and biological pathways were translated into functional profiles in the context of GO annotations. We then implemented a semantic similarity measurement for calculating the concordance score between a functional profile of disease genes and a functional profile of pathways (FPP); the concordance score was then used to prioritise and infer disease-risk pathways. A freely accessible web toolkit, 'Functional Profiling-based Pathway Prioritisation' (FPPP), was developed ( During validation, our method successfully identified known disease-pathway pairs with area under the ROC curve (AUC) values of 96.73 and 95.02% in tests using both pathway randomisation and disease randomisation. A robustness analysis showed that FPPP is reliable even when using data containing noise. A case study based on a dilated cardiomyopathy data set indicated that the high-ranking pathways from FPPP are well known to be linked with this disease. Furthermore, we predicted the risk pathways of 413 diseases by using FPPP to build a disease similarity landscape that systematically reveals the global modular organisation of disease associations.

  1. MicroRNA epigenetic signatures in human disease. (United States)

    Piletič, Klara; Kunej, Tanja


    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that act as important regulators of gene expression as part of the epigenetic machinery. In addition to posttranscriptional gene silencing by miRNAs, the epigenetic mechanisms also include DNA methylation, histone modifications and their crosstalk. Epigenetic modifications were reported to play an important role in many disease onsets and progressions and can be used to explain several features of complex diseases, such as late onset and fluctuation of symptoms. However, miRNAs not only function as a part of epigenetic machinery, but are also epigenetically modified by DNA methylation and histone modification like any other protein-coding gene. There is a strong connection between epigenome and miRNome, and any dysregulation of this complex system can result in various physiological and pathological conditions. In addition, miRNAs play an important role in toxicogenomics and may explain the relationship between toxicant exposure and tumorigenesis. The present review provides information on 63 miRNA genes shown to be epigenetically regulated in association with 21 diseases, including 11 cancer types: cardiac fibrosis, cardiovascular disease, preeclampsia, Hirschsprung's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, temporal lobe epilepsy, autism, pulmonary fibrosis, melanoma, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, colorectal, gastric, cervical, ovarian, prostate, lung, breast, and bladder cancer. The review revealed that hsa-miR-34a, hsa-miR-34b, and hsa-miR-34c are the most frequently reported epigenetically dysregulated miRNAs. There is a need to further study molecular mechanisms of various diseases to better understand the crosstalk between epigenetics and gene expression and to develop new therapeutic options and biomarkers.

  2. Locus heterogeneity disease genes encode proteins with high interconnectivity in the human protein interaction network. (United States)

    Keith, Benjamin P; Robertson, David L; Hentges, Kathryn E


    Mutations in genes potentially lead to a number of genetic diseases with differing severity. These disease genes have been the focus of research in recent years showing that the disease gene population as a whole is not homogeneous, and can be categorized according to their interactions. Locus heterogeneity describes a single disorder caused by mutations in different genes each acting individually to cause the same disease. Using datasets of experimentally derived human disease genes and protein interactions, we created a protein interaction network to investigate the relationships between the products of genes associated with a disease displaying locus heterogeneity, and use network parameters to suggest properties that distinguish these disease genes from the overall disease gene population. Through the manual curation of known causative genes of 100 diseases displaying locus heterogeneity and 397 single-gene Mendelian disorders, we use network parameters to show that our locus heterogeneity network displays distinct properties from the global disease network and a Mendelian network. Using the global human proteome, through random simulation of the network we show that heterogeneous genes display significant interconnectivity. Further topological analysis of this network revealed clustering of locus heterogeneity genes that cause identical disorders, indicating that these disease genes are involved in similar biological processes. We then use this information to suggest additional genes that may contribute to diseases with locus heterogeneity.

  3. CIDeR: multifactorial interaction networks in human diseases. (United States)

    Lechner, Martin; Höhn, Veit; Brauner, Barbara; Dunger, Irmtraud; Fobo, Gisela; Frishman, Goar; Montrone, Corinna; Kastenmüller, Gabi; Waegele, Brigitte; Ruepp, Andreas


    The pathobiology of common diseases is influenced by heterogeneous factors interacting in complex networks. CIDeR is a publicly available, manually curated, integrative database of metabolic and neurological disorders. The resource provides structured information on 18,813 experimentally validated interactions between molecules, bioprocesses and environmental factors extracted from the scientific literature. Systematic annotation and interactive graphical representation of disease networks make CIDeR a versatile knowledge base for biologists, analysis of large-scale data and systems biology approaches.

  4. Application of RNA interference in treating human diseases

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S. Abdolhamid Angaji; Sara Sadate Hedayati; Reihane Hosein Poor; Safoura Madani; Sanaz Samad Poor; Samin Panahi


    Gene silencing can occur either through repression of transcription, termed transcriptional gene silencing (TGS), or through translation repression and mRNA degradation, termed posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS). PTGS results from sequence-specific mRNA degradation in the cytoplasm without dramatic changes in transcription of corresponding gene in nucleus. Both TGS and PTGS are used to regulate endogenous genes. Interestingly, mechanisms for gene silencing also protect the genome from transposons and viruses. In this paper, we first review RNAi mechanism and then focus on some of its applications in biomedical research such as treatment for HIV, viral hepatitis, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, metabolic disease, neurodegenerative disorders and cancer.

  5. Human induced pluripotent stem cells in Parkinson's disease: A novel cell source of cell therapy and disease modeling. (United States)

    Li, Wen; Chen, Shengdi; Li, Jia-Yi


    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are two novel cell sources for studying neurodegenerative diseases. Dopaminergic neurons derived from hiPSCs/hESCs have been implicated to be very useful in Parkinson's disease (PD) research, including cell replacement therapy, disease modeling and drug screening. Recently, great efforts have been made to improve the application of hiPSCs/hESCs in PD research. Considerable advances have been made in recent years, including advanced reprogramming strategies without the use of viruses or using fewer transcriptional factors, optimized methods for generating highly homogeneous neural progenitors with a larger proportion of mature dopaminergic neurons and better survival and integration after transplantation. Here we outline the progress that has been made in these aspects in recent years, particularly during the last year, and also discuss existing issues that need to be addressed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Relevance of the Human Genome Project to inherited metabolic disease. (United States)

    Burn, J


    The Human Genome Project is an international effort to identify the complete structure of the human genome. HUGO, the Human Genome Organization, facilitates international cooperation and exchange of information while the Genome Data Base will act as the on-line information retrieval and storage system for the huge amount of information being accumulated. The clinical register MIM (Mendelian Inheritance in Man) established by Victor McKusick is now an on-line resource that will allow biochemists working with inborn errors of metabolism to access the rapidly expanding body of knowledge. Biochemical and molecular genetics are complementary and should draw together to find solutions to the academic and clinical problems posed by inborn errors of metabolism.

  7. Human Endogenous Retrovirus Group E and Its Involvement in Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christelle Le Dantec


    Full Text Available Human endogenous retrovirus group E (HERV-E elements are stably integrated into the human genome, transmitted vertically in a Mendelian manner, and are endowed with transcriptional activity as alternative promoters or enhancers. Such effects are under the control of the proviral long terminal repeats (LTR that are organized into three HERV-E phylogenetic subgroups, namely LTR2, LTR2B, and LTR2C. Moreover, HERV-E expression is tissue-specific, and silenced by epigenetic constraints that may be disrupted in cancer, autoimmunity, and human placentation. Interest in HERV-E with regard to these conditions has been stimulated further by concerns regarding the capacity of HERV-E elements to modify the expression of neighboring genes and/or to produce retroviral proteins, including immunosuppressive env peptides, which in turn may induce (auto-antibody (Ab production. Finally, better understanding of HERV-E elements may have clinical applications for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy.

  8. Alzheimer's disease modeling: ups, downs, and perspectives for human induced pluripotent stem cells. (United States)

    Wojda, Urszula; Kuznicki, Jacek


    Major breakthroughs are required to win the war against the increasing threat of Alzheimer's disease. Until now, however, despite enormous efforts and funds, effective therapies are lacking, and adequate models for drug validation are still unavailable. In this article, we review the available animal and cellular models of different features of human Alzheimer's disease and critically evaluate their usefulness for understanding the mechanisms of the disease. The majority of the presently used models are based on the amyloid-β and hyperphosphorylated tau hypothesis, which resembles features of familial Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately, these models offer limited help for understanding the pathomechanisms of the early stages of sporadic Alzheimer's disease. Thus, new models are needed to discover ways to treat or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease, and we discuss the prospects for such desperately needed models, including human induced pluripotent stem cells and in silico brain models.

  9. Localization of the Wilson's disease protein in human liver

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaefer, M; Roelofsen, H; Wolters, H; Hofmann, WJ; Muller, M; Kuipers, F; Stremmel, W; Vonk, RJ


    Background & Aims: Wilson's disease is an autosomal-recessive disorder of copper metabolism that results from the absence or dysfunction of a copper-transporting P-type adenosine triphosphatase that leads to impaired biliary copper excretion and disturbed holoceruloplasmin synthesis, To gain further

  10. Status quo of annotation of human disease variants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Venselaar, H.; Camilli, F.; Gholizadeh, S.; Snelleman, M.; Brunner, H.G.; Vriend, G.


    BACKGROUND: The ever on-going technical developments in Next Generation Sequencing have led to an increase in detected disease related mutations. Many bioinformatics approaches exist to analyse these variants, and of those the methods that use 3D structure information generally outperform those that

  11. Linking disease associations with regulatory information in the human genome

    KAUST Repository

    Schaub, M. A.


    Genome-wide association studies have been successful in identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with a large number of phenotypes. However, an associated SNP is likely part of a larger region of linkage disequilibrium. This makes it difficult to precisely identify the SNPs that have a biological link with the phenotype. We have systematically investigated the association of multiple types of ENCODE data with disease-associated SNPs and show that there is significant enrichment for functional SNPs among the currently identified associations. This enrichment is strongest when integrating multiple sources of functional information and when highest confidence disease-associated SNPs are used. We propose an approach that integrates multiple types of functional data generated by the ENCODE Consortium to help identify "functional SNPs" that may be associated with the disease phenotype. Our approach generates putative functional annotations for up to 80% of all previously reported associations. We show that for most associations, the functional SNP most strongly supported by experimental evidence is a SNP in linkage disequilibrium with the reported association rather than the reported SNP itself. Our results show that the experimental data sets generated by the ENCODE Consortium can be successfully used to suggest functional hypotheses for variants associated with diseases and other phenotypes.

  12. Therapeutic potential of Galectin-9 in human disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiersma, Valerie R.; de Bruyn, Marco; Helfrich, Wijnand; Bremer, Edwin


    In recent years, an important role has emerged for the glycan-binding protein Galectin-9 (Gal-9) in health and disease. In normal physiology, Gal-9 seems to be a pivotal modulator of T-cell immunity by inducing apoptosis in specific T-cell subpopulations. Because these T-cell populations are associa

  13. Serum Inflammatory Mediators as Markers of Human Lyme Disease Activity (United States)

    Soloski, Mark J.; Crowder, Lauren A.; Lahey, Lauren J.; Wagner, Catriona A.


    Chemokines and cytokines are key signaling molecules that orchestrate the trafficking of immune cells, direct them to sites of tissue injury and inflammation and modulate their states of activation and effector cell function. We have measured, using a multiplex-based approach, the levels of 58 immune mediators and 7 acute phase markers in sera derived from of a cohort of patients diagnosed with acute Lyme disease and matched controls. This analysis identified a cytokine signature associated with the early stages of infection and allowed us to identify two subsets (mediator-high and mediator-low) of acute Lyme patients with distinct cytokine signatures that also differed significantly (pLyme disease (p = 0.01) and the decrease correlates with chemokine levels (p = 0.0375). The levels of CXCL9/10 did not relate to the size or number of skin lesions but elevated levels of serum CXCL9/CXCL10 were associated with elevated liver enzymes levels. Collectively these results indicate that the levels of serum chemokines and the levels of expression of their respective chemokine receptors on T cell subsets may prove to be informative biomarkers for Lyme disease and related to specific disease manifestations. PMID:24740099

  14. Effects of Forest Fragmentation on Human Risk of Lyme Disease (United States)

    Percent forest-herbaceous edge repeatedly explained most of the variability in reported Lyme disease rates within a rural-to-urban study gradient across central Maryland and southeastern Pennsylvania. A one-percent increase in forest-herbaceous edge was associated with an increas...

  15. Dynamics of the human gut microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Halfvarson, Jonas; Brislawn, Colin J.; Lamendella, Regina; Vázquez-Baeza, Yoshiki; Walters, William A.; Bramer, Lisa M.; D' Amato, Mauro; Bonfiglio, Ferdinando; McDonald, Daniel; Gonzalez, Antonio; McClure, Erin E.; Dunklebarger, Mitchell F.; Knight, Rob; Jansson, Janet K.


    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by flares of inflammation with periodic need for increased medication and sometimes even surgery. IBD etiology is partly attributed to a deregulated immune response to gut microbiome dysbiosis. Cross-sectional studies have revealed microbial signatures for different IBD diseases, including ulcerative colitis (UC), colonic Crohn’s Disease (CCD), and ileal CD (ICD). Although IBD is dynamic, microbiome studies have primarily focused on single timepoints or few individuals. Here we dissect the long-term dynamic behavior of the gut microbiome in IBD and differentiate this from normal variation. Microbiomes of IBD subjects fluctuate more than healthy individuals, based on deviation from a newly-defined healthy plane (HP). ICD subjects deviated most from the HP, especially subjects with surgical resection. Intriguingly, the microbiomes of some IBD subjects periodically visited the HP then deviated away from it. Inflammation was not directly correlated with distance to the healthy plane, but there was some correlation between observed dramatic fluctuations in the gut microbiome and intensified medication due to a flare of the disease. These results help guide therapies that will re-direct the gut microbiome towards a healthy state and maintain remission in IBD.

  16. Effects of Forest Fragmentation on Human Risk of Lyme Disease (United States)

    Percent forest-herbaceous edge repeatedly explained most of the variability in reported Lyme disease rates within a rural-to-urban study gradient across central Maryland and southeastern Pennsylvania. A one-percent increase in forest-herbaceous edge was associated with an increas...

  17. Barcoding heat shock proteins to human diseases : looking beyond the heat shock response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kakkar, Vaishali; Meister-Broekema, Melanie; Minoia, Melania; Carra, Serena; Kampinga, Harm H.

    There are numerous human diseases that are associated with protein misfolding and the formation of toxic protein aggregates. Activating the heat shock response (HSR) - and thus generally restoring the disturbed protein homeostasis associated with such diseases - has often been suggested as a

  18. Human neurocysticercosis: immunological features involved in the host's susceptibility to become infected and to develop disease. (United States)

    Sciutto, Edda; Cárdenas, Graciela; Adalid-Peralta, Laura; Fragoso, Gladis; Larralde, Carlos; Fleury, Agnes


    Human neurocysticercosis (NC) is a clinically and radiologically heterogeneous disease caused by the establishment of Taenia solium larvae in the central nervous system. Herein, the immunological and endocrinological features involved in resistance to infection and severe forms of the disease are reviewed, and their clinical relevance is discussed.

  19. A Laser-Assisted Anastomotic Technique : Feasibility on Human Diseased Coronary Arteries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stecher, David; Bronkers, Glenn; Vink, Aryan; Homoet-van der Kraak, Petra H|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/313984166; Helthuis, Jasper; Pasterkamp, Gerard|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/138488304; Buijsrogge, Marc P|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/24420098X


    OBJECTIVE: Atherosclerotic disease might hamper the efficacy of the Excimer laser-assisted Trinity Clip anastomotic connector in coronary arteries. Therefore, its efficacy was evaluated on human diseased coronary arteries (study 1). In addition, the acute laser effects onto the coronary wall were as

  20. Worms under stress: C. elegans stress response and its relevance to complex human disease and aging

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodriguez Sanchez, M.; Snoek, L.B.; Bono, de M.; Kammenga, J.E.


    Many organisms have stress response pathways, components of which share homology with players in complex human disease pathways. Research on stress response in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans has provided detailed insights into the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying complex human d

  1. Proteins induced by telomere dysfunction and DNA damage represent biomarkers of human aging and disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jiang, Hong; Schiffer, Eric; Song, Zhangfa; Wang, Jianwei; Zürbig, Petra; Thedieck, Kathrin; Moes, Suzette; Bantel, Heike; Saal, Nadja; Jantos, Justyna; Brecht, Meiken; Jenö, Paul; Hall, Michael N; Hager, Klaus; Manns, Michael P; Hecker, Hartmut; Ganser, Arnold; Döhner, Konstanze; Bartke, Andrzej; Meissner, Christoph; Mischak, Harald; Ju, Zhenyu; Rudolph, K Lenhard


    Telomere dysfunction limits the proliferative capacity of human cells by activation of DNA damage responses, inducing senescence or apoptosis. In humans, telomere shortening occurs in the vast majority of tissues during aging, and telomere shortening is accelerated in chronic diseases that increase

  2. Identification of the porcine homologous of human disease causing trinucleotide repeat sequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Lone Bruhn; Thomsen, Bo; Sølvsten, Christina Ane Elisabeth


    expansion in the repeat number of intragenic trinucleotide repeats (TNRs) is associated with a variety of inherited human neurodegenerative diseases. To study the compositionof TNRs in a mammalian species representing an evolutionary intermediate between humans and arodents, we describe in this p...

  3. Endothelin converting-enzyme-1 mRNA expression in human cardiovascular disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bohnemeier, H; Pinto, YM; Horkay, F; Toth, M; Juhasz-Nagy, A; Orzechowski, HD; Bohm, M; Paul, M


    Endothelin-1 converting-enzyme (ECE-1) cleaves the precursor, big-endothelin-1, to the active peptide endothelin-1. The aim of this study was to investigate whether ECE-1 mRNA expression is modified in human cardiovascular disease. Tissue samples from the left human atrium were analyzed for ECE-1 ex

  4. The New Human Genetics. How Gene Splicing Helps Researchers Fight Inherited Disease. (United States)

    Pines, Maya

    The science of genetics is perceived to offer hope that a large number of the 3,000 inherited diseases which afflict human beings may be prevented or controlled. This document addresses some of the advances that have been made in this field. It includes an introduction and sections on: "The Beginning of Human Genetics"; "Unlocking the Secrets of…

  5. Disease induction by human microbial pathogens in plant-model systems: potential, problems and prospects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baarlen, van P.; Belkum, van A.; Thomma, B.P.H.J.


    Relatively simple eukaryotic model organisms such as the genetic model weed plant Arabidopsis thaliana possess an innate immune system that shares important similarities with its mammalian counterpart. In fact, some human pathogens infect Arabidopsis and cause overt disease with human symptomology.


    The recent increase in concentrated animal feeding operations in the United States has caused renewed concern regarding the infectious diseases that may be passed from farm animals to humans via the environment. It is also known that more than 20 recent epidemics among humans cou...

  7. Teaching Methods in Nutrition: Free Radicals, Antioxidants, and Human Disease. (United States)

    Janowiak, John J.

    This article presents a teaching methodology for free radical theory and discusses the role of antioxidants in human health. Free radicals are a normal byproduct of respiration, which allows the body to use oxygen, liberate energy, and dispose of harmful substances. The body's antioxidants and nutritional antioxidants quench most of the free…

  8. Differential Changes in Postsynaptic Density Proteins in Postmortem Huntington’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease Human Brains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Fourie


    Full Text Available NMDA and AMPA-type glutamate receptors and their bound membrane-associated guanylate kinases (MAGUKs are critical for synapse development and plasticity. We hypothesised that these proteins may play a role in the changes in synapse function that occur in Huntington’s disease (HD and Parkinson’s disease (PD. We performed immunohistochemical analysis of human postmortem brain tissue to examine changes in the expression of SAP97, PSD-95, GluA2 and GluN1 in human control, and HD- and PD-affected hippocampus and striatum. Significant increases in SAP97 and PSD-95 were observed in the HD and PD hippocampus, and PSD95 was downregulated in HD striatum. We observed a significant increase in GluN1 in the HD hippocampus and a decrease in GluA2 in HD and PD striatum. Parallel immunohistochemistry experiments in the YAC128 mouse model of HD showed no change in the expression levels of these synaptic proteins. Our human data show that major but different changes occur in glutamatergic proteins in HD versus PD human brains. Moreover, the changes in human HD brains differ from those occurring in the YAC128 HD mouse model, suggesting that unique changes occur at a subcellular level in the HD human hippocampus.

  9. Tropical Diseases Screening in Immigrant Patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Spain



    Latent parasitic infections can reactivate because of immunosuppression. We conducted a prospective observational study of all human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected immigrants who visited the Infectious Diseases Department of the Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain, during June 2010–May 2011. Screening of the most prevalent tropical diseases (intestinal parasitosis, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, malaria, schistosomiasis, and strongyloidiasis) was performed according t...

  10. Werner and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndromes: mechanistic basis of human progeroid diseases. (United States)

    Kudlow, Brian A; Kennedy, Brian K; Monnat, Raymond J


    Progeroid syndromes have been the focus of intense research in part because they might provide a window into the pathology of normal ageing. Werner syndrome and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome are two of the best characterized human progeroid diseases. Mutated genes that are associated with these syndromes have been identified, mouse models of disease have been developed, and molecular studies have implicated decreased cell proliferation and altered DNA-damage responses as common causal mechanisms in the pathogenesis of both diseases.

  11. Cross-pollination of research findings, although uncommon, may accelerate discovery of human disease genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duda Marlena


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Technological leaps in genome sequencing have resulted in a surge in discovery of human disease genes. These discoveries have led to increased clarity on the molecular pathology of disease and have also demonstrated considerable overlap in the genetic roots of human diseases. In light of this large genetic overlap, we tested whether cross-disease research approaches lead to faster, more impactful discoveries. Methods We leveraged several gene-disease association databases to calculate a Mutual Citation Score (MCS for 10,853 pairs of genetically related diseases to measure the frequency of cross-citation between research fields. To assess the importance of cooperative research, we computed an Individual Disease Cooperation Score (ICS and the average publication rate for each disease. Results For all disease pairs with one gene in common, we found that the degree of genetic overlap was a poor predictor of cooperation (r2=0.3198 and that the vast majority of disease pairs (89.56% never cited previous discoveries of the same gene in a different disease, irrespective of the level of genetic similarity between the diseases. A fraction (0.25% of the pairs demonstrated cross-citation in greater than 5% of their published genetic discoveries and 0.037% cross-referenced discoveries more than 10% of the time. We found strong positive correlations between ICS and publication rate (r2=0.7931, and an even stronger correlation between the publication rate and the number of cross-referenced diseases (r2=0.8585. These results suggested that cross-disease research may have the potential to yield novel discoveries at a faster pace than singular disease research. Conclusions Our findings suggest that the frequency of cross-disease study is low despite the high level of genetic similarity among many human diseases, and that collaborative methods may accelerate and increase the impact of new genetic discoveries. Until we have a better

  12. Limited Life Expectancy, Human Capital and Health Investments: Evidence from Huntington Disease


    Emily Oster; Ira Shoulson; Ray Dorsey, E.


    One of the most basic predictions of human capital theory is that life expectancy should impact human capital investment. Limited exogenous variation in life expectancy makes this difficult to test, especially in the contexts most relevant to the macroeconomic applications. We estimate the relationship between life expectancy and human capital investments using genetic variation in life expectancy driven by Huntington disease (HD), an inherited degenerative neurological disorder with large im...



    Luz Elena Botero Palacio; Luisa Delgado Serrano; Martha Lucía Cepeda Hernández; Patricia Del Portillo Obando; María Mercedes Zambrano Eder


    ABSTRACTDuring the last decade, there has been increasing awareness of the massive number of microorganisms, collectively known as the human microbiota, that are associated with humans. This microbiota outnumbers the host cells by approximately a factor of ten and contains a large repertoire of microbial genome-encoded metabolic processes. The diverse human microbiota and its associated metabolic potential can provide the host with novel functions that can influence host health and disease st...

  14. Limited Life Expectancy, Human Capital and Health Investments: Evidence from Huntington Disease


    Emily Oster; Ira Shoulson; Ray Dorsey, E


    One of the most basic predictions of human capital theory is that life expectancy should impact human capital investment. Limited exogenous variation in life expectancy makes this difficult to test, especially in the contexts most relevant to the macroeconomic applications. We estimate the relationship between life expectancy and human capital investments using genetic variation in life expectancy driven by Huntington disease (HD), an inherited degenerative neurological disorder with large im...

  15. Analysis of the human diseasome using phenotype similarity between common, genetic, and infectious diseases (United States)

    Hoehndorf, Robert; Schofield, Paul N.; Gkoutos, Georgios V.


    Phenotypes are the observable characteristics of an organism arising from its response to the environment. Phenotypes associated with engineered and natural genetic variation are widely recorded using phenotype ontologies in model organisms, as are signs and symptoms of human Mendelian diseases in databases such as OMIM and Orphanet. Exploiting these resources, several computational methods have been developed for integration and analysis of phenotype data to identify the genetic etiology of diseases or suggest plausible interventions. A similar resource would be highly useful not only for rare and Mendelian diseases, but also for common, complex and infectious diseases. We apply a semantic text-mining approach to identify the phenotypes (signs and symptoms) associated with over 6,000 diseases. We evaluate our text-mined phenotypes by demonstrating that they can correctly identify known disease-associated genes in mice and humans with high accuracy. Using a phenotypic similarity measure, we generate a human disease network in which diseases that have similar signs and symptoms cluster together, and we use this network to identify closely related diseases based on common etiological, anatomical as well as physiological underpinnings.

  16. Analysis of the human diseasome using phenotype similarity between common, genetic, and infectious diseases

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert


    Phenotypes are the observable characteristics of an organism arising from its response to the environment. Phenotypes associated with engineered and natural genetic variation are widely recorded using phenotype ontologies in model organisms, as are signs and symptoms of human Mendelian diseases in databases such as OMIM and Orphanet. Exploiting these resources, several computational methods have been developed for integration and analysis of phenotype data to identify the genetic etiology of diseases or suggest plausible interventions. A similar resource would be highly useful not only for rare and Mendelian diseases, but also for common, complex and infectious diseases. We apply a semantic text-mining approach to identify the phenotypes (signs and symptoms) associated with over 6,000 diseases. We evaluate our text-mined phenotypes by demonstrating that they can correctly identify known disease-associated genes in mice and humans with high accuracy. Using a phenotypic similarity measure, we generate a human disease network in which diseases that have similar signs and symptoms cluster together, and we use this network to identify closely related diseases based on common etiological, anatomical as well as physiological underpinnings.

  17. An atlas of genetic correlations across human diseases and traits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bulik-Sullivan, Brendan; Finucane, Hilary K; Anttila, Verneri;


    Identifying genetic correlations between complex traits and diseases can provide useful etiological insights and help prioritize likely causal relationships. The major challenges preventing estimation of genetic correlation from genome-wide association study (GWAS) data with current methods...... are the lack of availability of individual-level genotype data and widespread sample overlap among meta-analyses. We circumvent these difficulties by introducing a technique-cross-trait LD Score regression-for estimating genetic correlation that requires only GWAS summary statistics and is not biased by sample...... overlap. We use this method to estimate 276 genetic correlations among 24 traits. The results include genetic correlations between anorexia nervosa and schizophrenia, anorexia and obesity, and educational attainment and several diseases. These results highlight the power of genome-wide analyses...

  18. Human Genetic Variation and Parkinson’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun Ju Chung


    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder with multifactorial etiology. In the past decade, the genetic causes of monogenic forms of familial PD have been defined. However, the etiology and pathogenesis of the majority of sporadic PD cases that occur in outbred populations have yet to be clarified. The recent development of resources such as the International HapMap Project and technological advances in high-throughput genotyping have provided new basis for genetic association studies of common complex diseases, including PD. A new generation of genome-wide association studies will soon offer a potentially powerful approach for mapping causal genes and will likely change treatment and alter our perception of the genetic determinants of PD. However, the execution and analysis of such studies will require great care.

  19. What Mendel did not discover: exceptions in Mendelian genetics and their role in inherited human disease. (United States)

    Hern, Laura M; Bidichandani, Sanjay I


    It has been one hundred and thirty-eight years after the initial publication of Mendel's laws of inheritance. Following a couple of decades of unprecedented progress in deciphering the molecular basis of human genetic disease, we have the luxury of hindsight to revisit Mendel's original discoveries in order to recognize variations in the themes that have otherwise endured the test of time. In this article we focus on diseases inherited in a Mendelian (or near Mendelian) fashion and describe deviations from the laws of Mendelian inheritance. We discuss relevant examples of inherited human disease and the underlying molecular mechanisms for the observed variations in Mendelian laws of inheritance.

  20. The Neuropathology of Obesity: Insights from Human Disease


    Lee, Edward B.; Mark P. Mattson


    Obesity, a pathologic state defined by excess adipose tissue, is a significant public health problem as it affects a large proportion of individuals and is linked with increased risk for numerous chronic diseases. Obesity is the result of fundamental changes associated with modern society including overnutrition and sedentary lifestyles. Proper energy homeostasis is dependent on normal brain function as the master metabolic regulator which integrates peripheral signals, modulates autonomic ou...

  1. Serum inflammatory mediators as markers of human Lyme disease activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark J Soloski

    Full Text Available Chemokines and cytokines are key signaling molecules that orchestrate the trafficking of immune cells, direct them to sites of tissue injury and inflammation and modulate their states of activation and effector cell function. We have measured, using a multiplex-based approach, the levels of 58 immune mediators and 7 acute phase markers in sera derived from of a cohort of patients diagnosed with acute Lyme disease and matched controls. This analysis identified a cytokine signature associated with the early stages of infection and allowed us to identify two subsets (mediator-high and mediator-low of acute Lyme patients with distinct cytokine signatures that also differed significantly (p<0.0005 in symptom presentation. In particular, the T cell chemokines CXCL9 (MIG, CXCL10 (IP-10 and CCL19 (MIP3B were coordinately increased in the mediator-high group and levels of these chemokines could be associated with seroconversion status and elevated liver function tests (p = 0.027 and p = 0.021 respectively. There was also upregulation of acute phase proteins including CRP and serum amyloid A. Consistent with the role of CXCL9/CXCL10 in attracting immune cells to the site of infection, CXCR3+ CD4 T cells are reduced in the blood of early acute Lyme disease (p = 0.01 and the decrease correlates with chemokine levels (p = 0.0375. The levels of CXCL9/10 did not relate to the size or number of skin lesions but elevated levels of serum CXCL9/CXCL10 were associated with elevated liver enzymes levels. Collectively these results indicate that the levels of serum chemokines and the levels of expression of their respective chemokine receptors on T cell subsets may prove to be informative biomarkers for Lyme disease and related to specific disease manifestations.

  2. Serum inflammatory mediators as markers of human Lyme disease activity. (United States)

    Soloski, Mark J; Crowder, Lauren A; Lahey, Lauren J; Wagner, Catriona A; Robinson, William H; Aucott, John N


    Chemokines and cytokines are key signaling molecules that orchestrate the trafficking of immune cells, direct them to sites of tissue injury and inflammation and modulate their states of activation and effector cell function. We have measured, using a multiplex-based approach, the levels of 58 immune mediators and 7 acute phase markers in sera derived from of a cohort of patients diagnosed with acute Lyme disease and matched controls. This analysis identified a cytokine signature associated with the early stages of infection and allowed us to identify two subsets (mediator-high and mediator-low) of acute Lyme patients with distinct cytokine signatures that also differed significantly (p<0.0005) in symptom presentation. In particular, the T cell chemokines CXCL9 (MIG), CXCL10 (IP-10) and CCL19 (MIP3B) were coordinately increased in the mediator-high group and levels of these chemokines could be associated with seroconversion status and elevated liver function tests (p = 0.027 and p = 0.021 respectively). There was also upregulation of acute phase proteins including CRP and serum amyloid A. Consistent with the role of CXCL9/CXCL10 in attracting immune cells to the site of infection, CXCR3+ CD4 T cells are reduced in the blood of early acute Lyme disease (p = 0.01) and the decrease correlates with chemokine levels (p = 0.0375). The levels of CXCL9/10 did not relate to the size or number of skin lesions but elevated levels of serum CXCL9/CXCL10 were associated with elevated liver enzymes levels. Collectively these results indicate that the levels of serum chemokines and the levels of expression of their respective chemokine receptors on T cell subsets may prove to be informative biomarkers for Lyme disease and related to specific disease manifestations.

  3. Metabolomics in plants and humans: applications in the prevention and diagnosis of diseases. (United States)

    Gomez-Casati, Diego F; Zanor, Maria I; Busi, María V


    In the recent years, there has been an increase in the number of metabolomic approaches used, in parallel with proteomic and functional genomic studies. The wide variety of chemical types of metabolites available has also accelerated the use of different techniques in the investigation of the metabolome. At present, metabolomics is applied to investigate several human diseases, to improve their diagnosis and prevention, and to design better therapeutic strategies. In addition, metabolomic studies are also being carried out in areas such as toxicology and pharmacology, crop breeding, and plant biotechnology. In this review, we emphasize the use and application of metabolomics in human diseases and plant research to improve human health.

  4. The meaning of aluminium exposure on human health and aluminium-related diseases. (United States)

    Crisponi, Guido; Fanni, Daniela; Gerosa, Clara; Nemolato, Sonia; Nurchi, Valeria M; Crespo-Alonso, Miriam; Lachowicz, Joanna I; Faa, Gavino


    The aim of this review is to attempt to answer extremely important questions related to aluminium-related diseases. Starting from an overview on the main sources of aluminium exposure in everyday life, the principal aspects of aluminium metabolism in humans have been taken into consideration in an attempt to enlighten the main metabolic pathways utilised by trivalent metal ions in different organs. The second part of this review is focused on the available evidence concerning the pathogenetic consequences of aluminium overload in human health, with particular attention to its putative role in bone and neurodegenerative human diseases.

  5. Domesticated animals and human infectious diseases of zoonotic origins: domestication time matters. (United States)

    Morand, Serge; McIntyre, K Marie; Baylis, Matthew


    The rate of emergence for emerging infectious diseases has increased dramatically over the last century, and research findings have implicated wildlife as an importance source of novel pathogens. However, the role played by domestic animals as amplifiers of pathogens emerging from the wild could also be significant, influencing the human infectious disease transmission cycle. The impact of domestic hosts on human disease emergence should therefore be ascertained. Here, using three independent datasets we showed positive relationships between the time since domestication of the major domesticated mammals and the total number of parasites or infectious diseases they shared with humans. We used network analysis, to better visualize the overall interactions between humans and domestic animals (and amongst animals) and estimate which hosts are potential sources of parasites/pathogens for humans (and for all other hosts) by investigating the network architecture. We used centrality, a measure of the connection amongst each host species (humans and domestic animals) in the network, through the sharing of parasites/pathogens, where a central host (i.e. high value of centrality) is the one that is infected by many parasites/pathogens that infect many other hosts in the network. We showed that domesticated hosts that were associated a long time ago with humans are also the central ones in the network and those that favor parasites/pathogens transmission not only to humans but also to all other domesticated animals. These results urge further investigation of the diversity and origin of the infectious diseases of domesticated animals in their domestication centres and the dispersal routes associated with human activities. Such work may help us to better understand how domesticated animals have bridged the epidemiological gap between humans and wildlife.

  6. Mitochondrial aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases in human disease. (United States)

    Konovalova, Svetlana; Tyynismaa, Henna


    Mitochondrial aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (mtARSs) are essential in the process of transferring genetic information from mitochondrial DNA to the complexes of the oxidative phosphorylation system. These synthetases perform an integral step in the initiation of mitochondrial protein synthesis by charging tRNAs with their cognate amino acids. All mtARSs are encoded by nuclear genes, nine of which have recently been described as disease genes for mitochondrial disorders. Unexpectedly, the clinical presentations of these diseases are highly specific to the affected synthetase. Encephalopathy is the most common manifestation but again with gene-specific outcomes. Other clinical presentations include myopathy with anemia, cardiomyopathy, tubulopathy and hearing loss with female ovarian dysgenesis. Here we review the described mutation types and the associated patient phenotypes. The identified mutation spectrum suggests that only mutation types that allow some residual tRNA-charging activity can result in the described mtARS diseases but the molecular mechanisms behind the selective tissue involvement are not currently understood.

  7. Role of alpha-1 antitrypsin in human health and disease. (United States)

    de Serres, F; Blanco, I


    Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is an under-recognized hereditary disorder associated with the premature onset of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, liver cirrhosis in children and adults, and less frequently, relapsing panniculitis, systemic vasculitis and other inflammatory, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases. Severe AAT deficiency mainly affects Caucasian individuals and has its highest prevalence (1 : 2000-1 : 5000 individuals) in Northern, Western and Central Europe. In the USA and Canada, the prevalence is 1: 5000-10 000. Prevalence is five times lower in Latin American countries and is rare or nonexistent in African and Asian individuals. The key to successful diagnosis is by measuring serum AAT, followed by the determination of the phenotype or genotype if low concentrations are found. Case detection allows implementation of genetic counselling and, in selected cases, the application of augmentation therapy. Over the past decade, it has been demonstrated that AAT is a broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-infective and tissue-repair molecule. These new capacities are promoting an increasing number of clinical studies, new pharmacological formulations, new patent applications and the search for alternative sources of AAT (including transgenic and recombinant AAT) to meet the expected demand for treating a large number of diseases, inside and outside the context of AAT deficiency.

  8. Oxidative Stress in Obesity: A Critical Component in Human Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Marseglia


    Full Text Available Obesity, a social problem worldwide, is characterized by an increase in body weight that results in excessive fat accumulation. Obesity is a major cause of morbidity and mortality and leads to several diseases, including metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular, fatty liver diseases, and cancer. Growing evidence allows us to understand the critical role of adipose tissue in controlling the physic-pathological mechanisms of obesity and related comorbidities. Recently, adipose tissue, especially in the visceral compartment, has been considered not only as a simple energy depository tissue, but also as an active endocrine organ releasing a variety of biologically active molecules known as adipocytokines or adipokines. Based on the complex interplay between adipokines, obesity is also characterized by chronic low grade inflammation with permanently increased oxidative stress (OS. Over-expression of oxidative stress damages cellular structures together with under-production of anti-oxidant mechanisms, leading to the development of obesity-related complications. The aim of this review is to summarize what is known in the relationship between OS in obesity and obesity-related diseases.

  9. Plague: A Disease Which Changed the Path of Human Civilization. (United States)

    Bramanti, Barbara; Stenseth, Nils Chr; Walløe, Lars; Lei, Xu


    Plague caused by Yersinia pestis is a zoonotic infection, i.e., it is maintained in wildlife by animal reservoirs and on occasion spills over into human populations, causing outbreaks of different entities. Large epidemics of plague, which have had significant demographic, social, and economic consequences, have been recorded in Western European historical documents since the sixth century. Plague has remained in Europe for over 1400 years, intermittently disappearing, yet it is not clear if there were reservoirs for Y. pestis in Western Europe or if the pathogen was rather reimported on different occasions from Asian reservoirs by human agency. The latter hypothesis thus far seems to be the most plausible one, as it is sustained by both ecological and climatological evidence, helping to interpret the phylogeny of this bacterium.

  10. Natural human mobility patterns and spatial spread of infectious diseases

    CERN Document Server

    Belik, Vitaly; Brockmann, Dirk


    We investigate a model for spatial epidemics explicitly taking into account bi-directional movements between base and destination locations on individual mobility networks. We provide a systematic analysis of generic dynamical features of the model on regular and complex metapopulation network topologies and show that significant dynamical differences exist to ordinary reaction-diffusion and effective force of infection models. On a lattice we calculate an expression for the velocity of the propagating epidemic front and find that in contrast to the diffusive systems, our model predicts a saturation of the velocity with increasing traveling rate. Furthermore, we show that a fully stochastic system exhibits a novel threshold for attack ratio of an outbreak absent in diffusion and force of infection models. These insights not only capture natural features of human mobility relevant for the geographical epidemic spread, they may serve as a starting point for modeling important dynamical processes in human and an...

  11. An everlasting role of animal models in understanding human disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao Yang; Chonglin Yang


    Model organisms have been widely used to dissect important biological phenomena, as well as to explore potential causes and treatments for human disorders. Much of our knowledge on molecular mechanisms underlying the he?redity, development as well as physiology is largely derived from the researches of model organisms.We have witnessed an explosive increase in the development and application of genetic modified model organisms in the last decade.

  12. A previously unknown reovirus of bat origin is associated with an acute respiratory disease in humans. (United States)

    Chua, Kaw Bing; Crameri, Gary; Hyatt, Alex; Yu, Meng; Tompang, Mohd Rosli; Rosli, Juliana; McEachern, Jennifer; Crameri, Sandra; Kumarasamy, Verasingam; Eaton, Bryan T; Wang, Lin-Fa


    Respiratory infections constitute the most widespread human infectious disease, and a substantial proportion of them are caused by unknown etiological agents. Reoviruses (respiratory enteric orphan viruses) were first isolated from humans in the early 1950s and so named because they were not associated with any known disease. Here, we report a previously unknown reovirus (named "Melaka virus") isolated from a 39-year-old male patient in Melaka, Malaysia, who was suffering from high fever and acute respiratory disease at the time of virus isolation. Two of his family members developed similar symptoms approximately 1 week later and had serological evidence of infection with the same virus. Epidemiological tracing revealed that the family was exposed to a bat in the house approximately 1 week before the onset of the father's clinical symptoms. Genome sequence analysis indicated a close genetic relationship between Melaka virus and Pulau virus, a reovirus isolated in 1999 from fruit bats in Tioman Island, Malaysia. Screening of sera collected from human volunteers on the island revealed that 14 of 109 (13%) were positive for both Pulau and Melaka viruses. This is the first report of an orthoreovirus in association with acute human respiratory diseases. Melaka virus is serologically not related to the different types of mammalian reoviruses that were known to infect humans asymptomatically. These data indicate that bat-borne reoviruses can be transmitted to and cause clinical diseases in humans.

  13. An extended set of yeast-based functional assays accurately identifies human disease mutations (United States)

    Sun, Song; Yang, Fan; Tan, Guihong; Costanzo, Michael; Oughtred, Rose; Hirschman, Jodi; Theesfeld, Chandra L.; Bansal, Pritpal; Sahni, Nidhi; Yi, Song; Yu, Analyn; Tyagi, Tanya; Tie, Cathy; Hill, David E.; Vidal, Marc; Andrews, Brenda J.; Boone, Charles; Dolinski, Kara; Roth, Frederick P.


    We can now routinely identify coding variants within individual human genomes. A pressing challenge is to determine which variants disrupt the function of disease-associated genes. Both experimental and computational methods exist to predict pathogenicity of human genetic variation. However, a systematic performance comparison between them has been lacking. Therefore, we developed and exploited a panel of 26 yeast-based functional complementation assays to measure the impact of 179 variants (101 disease- and 78 non-disease-associated variants) from 22 human disease genes. Using the resulting reference standard, we show that experimental functional assays in a 1-billion-year diverged model organism can identify pathogenic alleles with significantly higher precision and specificity than current computational methods. PMID:26975778

  14. Modeling Cardiovascular Diseases with Patient-Specific Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes (United States)

    Burridge, Paul W.; Diecke, Sebastian; Matsa, Elena; Sharma, Arun; Wu, Haodi; Wu, Joseph C.


    The generation of cardiomyocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) provides a source of cells that accurately recapitulate the human cardiac pathophysiology. The application of these cells allows for modeling of cardiovascular diseases, providing a novel understanding of human disease mechanisms and assessment of therapies. Here, we describe a stepwise protocol developed in our laboratory for the generation of hiPSCs from patients with a specific disease phenotype, long-term hiPSC culture and cryopreservation, differentiation of hiPSCs to cardiomyocytes, and assessment of disease phenotypes. Our protocol combines a number of innovative tools that include a codon-optimized mini intronic plasmid (CoMiP), chemically defined culture conditions to achieve high efficiencies of reprogramming and differentiation, and calcium imaging for assessment of cardiomyocyte phenotypes. Thus, this protocol provides a complete guide to use a patient cohort on a testable cardiomyocyte platform for pharmacological drug assessment. PMID:25690476

  15. Prediction of microRNAs Associated with Human Diseases Based on Weighted k Most Similar Neighbors (United States)

    Guo, Maozu; Guo, Yahong; Li, Jinbao; Ding, Jian; Liu, Yong; Dai, Qiguo; Li, Jin; Teng, Zhixia; Huang, Yufei


    Background The identification of human disease-related microRNAs (disease miRNAs) is important for further investigating their involvement in the pathogenesis of diseases. More experimentally validated miRNA-disease associations have been accumulated recently. On the basis of these associations, it is essential to predict disease miRNAs for various human diseases. It is useful in providing reliable disease miRNA candidates for subsequent experimental studies. Methodology/Principal Findings It is known that miRNAs with similar functions are often associated with similar diseases and vice versa. Therefore, the functional similarity of two miRNAs has been successfully estimated by measuring the semantic similarity of their associated diseases. To effectively predict disease miRNAs, we calculated the functional similarity by incorporating the information content of disease terms and phenotype similarity between diseases. Furthermore, the members of miRNA family or cluster are assigned higher weight since they are more probably associated with similar diseases. A new prediction method, HDMP, based on weighted k most similar neighbors is presented for predicting disease miRNAs. Experiments validated that HDMP achieved significantly higher prediction performance than existing methods. In addition, the case studies examining prostatic neoplasms, breast neoplasms, and lung neoplasms, showed that HDMP can uncover potential disease miRNA candidates. Conclusions The superior performance of HDMP can be attributed to the accurate measurement of miRNA functional similarity, the weight assignment based on miRNA family or cluster, and the effective prediction based on weighted k most similar neighbors. The online prediction and analysis tool is freely available at PMID:23950912

  16. Prediction of microRNAs associated with human diseases based on weighted k most similar neighbors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Xuan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The identification of human disease-related microRNAs (disease miRNAs is important for further investigating their involvement in the pathogenesis of diseases. More experimentally validated miRNA-disease associations have been accumulated recently. On the basis of these associations, it is essential to predict disease miRNAs for various human diseases. It is useful in providing reliable disease miRNA candidates for subsequent experimental studies. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: It is known that miRNAs with similar functions are often associated with similar diseases and vice versa. Therefore, the functional similarity of two miRNAs has been successfully estimated by measuring the semantic similarity of their associated diseases. To effectively predict disease miRNAs, we calculated the functional similarity by incorporating the information content of disease terms and phenotype similarity between diseases. Furthermore, the members of miRNA family or cluster are assigned higher weight since they are more probably associated with similar diseases. A new prediction method, HDMP, based on weighted k most similar neighbors is presented for predicting disease miRNAs. Experiments validated that HDMP achieved significantly higher prediction performance than existing methods. In addition, the case studies examining prostatic neoplasms, breast neoplasms, and lung neoplasms, showed that HDMP can uncover potential disease miRNA candidates. CONCLUSIONS: The superior performance of HDMP can be attributed to the accurate measurement of miRNA functional similarity, the weight assignment based on miRNA family or cluster, and the effective prediction based on weighted k most similar neighbors. The online prediction and analysis tool is freely available at

  17. Avian biomodels for use as pharmaceutical bioreactors and for studying human diseases. (United States)

    Song, Gwonhwa; Han, Jae Yong


    Animal-based biotechnologies involve the use of domestic animals for the production of pharmaceuticals and various proteins in milk and eggs, as disease models, as tools for stem cell research and animal cloning, and as sources of organs for xenotransplantation into humans. Avian species offer several advantages over mammalian models, and they have been used historically to advance the fields of embryology, immunology, oncology, virology, and vaccine development. In addition, avian species can be used for studying the etiology of human ovarian cancer and other human diseases such as disorders based on the abnormal metabolism of lipids and as unique mechanisms for the biosynthesis and transport of cholesterol. This review integrates recent progress and insight into the molecular and physiologic mechanisms associated with transgenic birds and gives an overview of the use of avian models as pharmaceutical bioreactors and as tools for studying human diseases. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  18. The human genome, implications for oral health and diseases, and dental education. (United States)

    Slavkin, H C


    We are living in an extraordinary time in human history punctuated by the convergence of major scientific and technological progress in the physical, chemical, and biological ways of knowing. Equally extraordinary are the sparkling intellectual developments at the interface between fields of study. One major example of an emerging influence on the future of oral health education is at the interface between the human genome, information technology, and biotechnology with miniaturizations (nanotechnology), suggesting new oral health professional competencies for a new century. A great deal has recently been learned from human and non-human genomics. Genome databases are being "mined" to prompt hypothesis-driven "postgenomic" or functional genomic science in microbial models such as Candida albicans related to oral candidiasis and in human genomics related to biological processes found in craniofacial, oral, and dental diseases and disorders. This growing body of knowledge is already providing the gene content of many oral microbial and human genomes and the knowledge of genetic variants or polymorphisms related to disease, disease progression, and disease response to therapeutics (pharmacogenomics). The knowledge base from human and non-human genomics, functional genomics, biotechnology, and associated information technologies is serving to revolutionize oral health promotion, risk assessment using biomarkers and disease prevention, diagnostics, treatments, and the full range of therapeutics for craniofacial, oral, and dental diseases and disorders. Education, training, and research opportunities are already transforming the curriculum and pedagogy for undergraduate science majors, predoctoral health professional programs, residency and specialty programs, and graduate programs within the health professions. In the words of Bob Dylan, "the times they are a-changing."

  19. Genetic variation in human disease and a new role for copy number variants. (United States)

    Shelling, Andrew N; Ferguson, Lynnette R


    While complex diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, do not follow distinctive Mendelian inheritance patterns, there is now considerable evidence from twin and pedigree studies to show that there are significant genetic influences in the development of many such diseases. In times past, this type of information was considered to be interesting, and was used mainly to alert other members of the families that they may also be at increased risk of developing the disease. However, with the ability to evaluate the genetic basis of common disease, this information will have important consequences for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the disorder. The genetic basis for common disease is likely to be more complicated than we had previously anticipated, since we now recognise epigenetic causes of disease, and other subtle gene regulatory mechanisms. Copy number variants have been highlighted in this review, as being a phenomenon that we have known about for a long time, but that has not previously been clearly associated with human disease. As complex disease is related to changes in gene expression, any variation in the human genome that alters gene expression is now a candidate for being involved in the disease process.

  20. Targeting ADAM12 in human disease: head, body or tail?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, J; Wewer, U M


    ADAM12/meltrin alpha is a type I transmembrane multidomain protein involved in tumor progression and other severe diseases, including osteoarthritis, and as such could be considered as a potential drug target. In addition to protease activity, ADAM12 possesses cell binding and cell signaling......) and insulin-like growth factor receptor signaling. The body of the protein (consisting of the disintegrin, cysteine-rich, and EGF-like domains) is involved in contacts with the extracellular matrix and other cells through interactions with integrins and syndecans. Finally, the tail of the protein (consisting...

  1. Toward unraveling the complexity of simple epithelial keratins in human disease. (United States)

    Omary, M Bishr; Ku, Nam-On; Strnad, Pavel; Hanada, Shinichiro


    Simple epithelial keratins (SEKs) are found primarily in single-layered simple epithelia and include keratin 7 (K7), K8, K18-K20, and K23. Genetically engineered mice that lack SEKs or overexpress mutant SEKs have helped illuminate several keratin functions and served as important disease models. Insight into the contribution of SEKs to human disease has indicated that K8 and K18 are the major constituents of Mallory-Denk bodies, hepatic inclusions associated with several liver diseases, and are essential for inclusion formation. Furthermore, mutations in the genes encoding K8, K18, and K19 predispose individuals to a variety of liver diseases. Hence, as we discuss here, the SEK cytoskeleton is involved in the orchestration of several important cellular functions and contributes to the pathogenesis of human liver disease.

  2. Telomere and telomerase stability in human diseases and cancer. (United States)

    Chiodi, Ilaria; Mondello, Chiara


    Telomeres are the nucleoprotein structures at the end of linear eukaryotic chromosomes required for genome stability. Telomerase is the specialized enzyme deputed to their elongation. Maintenance of a proper telomere structure, an accurate regulation of telomerase biogenesis and activity, as well as a correct telomere-telomerase interaction and a faithful telomeric DNA replication are all processes that a cell has to precisely control to safeguard its functionality. Here, we review key factors that play a role in the development of these processes and their relationship with human health.

  3. The human oral metaproteome reveals potential biomarkers for caries disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Belda-Ferre, Pedro; Williamson, James; Simón-Soro, Áurea


    diversity. Healthy individuals appeared to have significantly higher amounts of L-lactate dehydrogenase and the arginine deiminase system, both implicated in pH buffering. Other proteins found to be at significantly higher levels in healthy individuals were involved in exopolysaccharide synthesis, iron...... metabolism and immune response. We applied multivariate analysis in order to find the minimum set of proteins that better allows discrimination of healthy and caries-affected dental plaque samples, detecting seven bacterial and five human protein functions that allow determining the health status...

  4. [Detection of human parvovirus B19, human bocavirus and human parvovirus 4 infections in blood samples among 95 patients with liver disease in Nanjing by nested PCR]. (United States)

    Tong, Rui; Zhou, Wei-Min; Liu, Xi-Jun; Wang, Yue; Lou, Yong-Liang; Tan, Wen-Jie


    To analyze the infection of human parvovirus B19, human bocavirus (HBoV) and human parvovirus 4 (PARV4) in blood samples among patients with liver disease in Nanjing by molecular detection. Nested PCR assays were designed and validated to detect B19, HBoV and PARV4, respectively. The assays were used to screen three parvoviruses in blood samples from 95 patients with different liver disease in Nanjing. The parvovirus infection was analyzed statistically. The detection limits were 10 copies of genomic DNA equivalents per reaction for each assays and the good specificity were observed. The frequency of B19 and HBoV were 2/95 (2.1%) and 9/95 (9.5%) in blood samples respectively. No PARV4 was detected. HBoV was detected in 3/5 patients with drug-induced hepatitis. Both B19 and HBoV infection were detected in blood from patients with liver disease.

  5. The human secretome atlas initiative: implications in health and disease conditions. (United States)

    Brown, Kristy J; Seol, Haeri; Pillai, Dinesh K; Sankoorikal, Binu-John; Formolo, Catherine A; Mac, Jenny; Edwards, Nathan J; Rose, Mary C; Hathout, Yetrib


    Proteomic analysis of human body fluids is highly challenging, therefore many researchers are redirecting efforts toward secretome profiling. The goal is to define potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets in the secretome that can be traced back in accessible human body fluids. However, currently there is a lack of secretome profiles of normal human primary cells making it difficult to assess the biological meaning of current findings. In this study we sought to establish secretome profiles of human primary cells obtained from healthy donors with the goal of building a human secretome atlas. Such an atlas can be used as a reference for discovery of potential disease associated biomarkers and eventually novel therapeutic targets. As a preliminary study, secretome profiles were established for six different types of human primary cell cultures and checked for overlaps with the three major human body fluids including plasma, cerebrospinal fluid and urine. About 67% of the 1054 identified proteins in the secretome of these primary cells occurred in at least one body fluid. Furthermore, comparison of the secretome profiles of two human glioblastoma cell lines to this new human secretome atlas enabled unambiguous identification of potential brain tumor biomarkers. These biomarkers can be easily monitored in different body fluids using stable isotope labeled standard proteins. The long term goal of this study is to establish a comprehensive online human secretome atlas for future use as a reference for any disease related secretome study. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: An Updated Secretome.

  6. Regulation of human glia by multiple sclerosis disease modifying therapies. (United States)

    Healy, Luke M; Michell-Robinson, Mackenzie A; Antel, Jack P


    This review focuses on the effects of the agents currently approved (or in late clinical trials) as therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) on the glial cell populations of the central nervous system (CNS). These are comprised of astrocytes, microglia, and oligodendrocytes (OLs), and their progenitors (OPCs). Although the efficacy of these agents is to date established only for the relapsing component of the disease and linked to effects on the systemic immune system, each has been examined with regard to effects on the CNS compartment. The impact of therapies on glia would include modulating these cells immune reactivity, which is considered to underlie the tissue injury process in MS and to any subsequent repair process. As reviewed, these agents can exert their effects either indirectly by modulating the constituents of the systemic immune system or directly depending on their capacity to traverse the blood brain barrier (BBB). Most available data has been derived from administration of these agents in animal models or application to glial cells in vitro. The challenge remains of translating these observations into effective means to impact on the progressive course of disease and reverse existent disabilities.

  7. Localized Knowledge based System for Human Disease Diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adane Nega Tarekegn


    Full Text Available —Knowledge based system can be designed to solve complex medical problems. It incorporates the expert‟s knowledge that has been coded into facts, rules, heuristics and procedures. Incorporation of local languages with the knowledge based system allows endusers communicate with the system in a simpler and easier way. In this study a localized knowledge based system is developed for TB disease diagnosis using Ethiopian national language. To develop the localized knowledge based system, tacit knowledge is acquired from domain experts using interviewing techniques and explicit knowledge is captured from documented sources using relevant documents analysis method. Then the acquired knowledge is modeled using decision tree structure that represents concepts and procedures involved in diagnosis of disease. Production rules are used to represent domain knowledge. The localized knowledge based system is developed using SWI Prolog version 6.4.1 programming language. Prolog supports natural language processing feature to localize the system. As a result, the system is implemented using Amharic language (the national language of Ethiopia user interface. With Localization, users at remote areas and users who are not good in foreign languages are benefited enormously. The system is tested and evaluated to ensure that whether the performance of the system is accurate and the system is usable by physicians and patients. The average performance of the localized knowledge based system has registered 81.5%.

  8. Mechanistic modeling of aberrant energy metabolism in human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vineet eSangar


    Full Text Available Dysfunction in energy metabolism—including in pathways localized to the mitochondria—has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide array of disorders, ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative diseases to type II diabetes. The inherent complexities of energy and mitochondrial metabolism present a significant obstacle in the effort to understand the role that these molecular processes play in the development of disease. To help unravel these complexities, systems biology methods have been applied to develop an array of computational metabolic models, ranging from mitochondria-specific processes to genome-scale cellular networks. These constraint-based models can efficiently simulate aspects of normal and aberrant metabolism in various genetic and environmental conditions. Development of these models leverages—and also provides a powerful means to integrate and interpret—information from a wide range of sources including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and enzyme kinetics. Here, we review a variety of mechanistic modeling studies that explore metabolic functions, deficiency disorders, and aberrant biochemical pathways in mitochondria and related regions in the cell.

  9. Using therapeutic cloning to fight human disease: a conundrum or reality? (United States)

    Hall, Vanessa J; Stojkovic, Petra; Stojkovic, Miodrag


    The development and transplantation of autologous cells derived from nuclear transfer embryonic stem cell (NT-ESC) lines to treat patients suffering from disease has been termed therapeutic cloning. Human NT is still a developing field, with further research required to improve somatic cell NT and human embryonic stem cell differentiation to deliver safe and effective cell replacement therapies. Furthermore, the implications of transferring mitochondrial heteroplasmic cells, which may harbor aberrant epigenetic gene expression profiles, are of concern. The production of human NT-ESC lines also remains plagued by ethical dilemmas, societal concerns, and controversies. Recently, a number of alternate therapeutic strategies have been proposed to circumvent the moral implications surrounding human nuclear transfer. It will be critical to overcome these biological, legislative, and moral restraints to maximize the potential of this therapeutic strategy and to alleviate human disease.

  10. Hallmarks of Alzheimer's Disease in Stem-Cell-Derived Human Neurons Transplanted into Mouse Brain. (United States)

    Espuny-Camacho, Ira; Arranz, Amaia M; Fiers, Mark; Snellinx, An; Ando, Kunie; Munck, Sebastian; Bonnefont, Jerome; Lambot, Laurie; Corthout, Nikky; Omodho, Lorna; Vanden Eynden, Elke; Radaelli, Enrico; Tesseur, Ina; Wray, Selina; Ebneth, Andreas; Hardy, John; Leroy, Karelle; Brion, Jean-Pierre; Vanderhaeghen, Pierre; De Strooper, Bart


    Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) provide a unique entry to study species-specific aspects of human disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, in vitro culture of neurons deprives them of their natural environment. Here we transplanted human PSC-derived cortical neuronal precursors into the brain of a murine AD model. Human neurons differentiate and integrate into the brain, express 3R/4R Tau splice forms, show abnormal phosphorylation and conformational Tau changes, and undergo neurodegeneration. Remarkably, cell death was dissociated from tangle formation in this natural 3D model of AD. Using genome-wide expression analysis, we observed upregulation of genes involved in myelination and downregulation of genes related to memory and cognition, synaptic transmission, and neuron projection. This novel chimeric model for AD displays human-specific pathological features and allows the analysis of different genetic backgrounds and mutations during the course of the disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The suggestion of common cause of disease, characteristics of human body, and medical treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byung-Jun Cho


    Full Text Available Objectives & Methods: This suggestion was attempted to be elevated the recognition of common characteristics in disease. So, we performed to analyze the correlation of common cause of disease, characteristics of human body, and medical treatment. And the results are as follows. Results: 1. The cause of disease is consist of genetic factor, aging, habit, food of not good in health, weather, environment, deficit of the physical activity, stress and so on. 2. Generally, human has common and individual weakness. Individual weakness is appeared similar to the occurrence of volcano and lapse. 3. The correlation of disease and medical treatments is possible to explain using the quotation of the law of motion made by Isaac Newton, the great physicist. 4. When the process of the medical treatment was not progressed, the prognosis is determined by the correlation of the homeostasis(H' in human body and the homeostasis(H of disease. 5. The prognosis of disease is determined by the relationship between the energy of disease(F and medical treatment(F'. 6. The exact diagnosis is possible to predict the treatment sequence, and the facts that homeostasis in human body and disease, relationship between the energy of disease(F and medical treatment(F', action and reaction are important to determine the prognosis. 7. The careful observation of improving response and worsening action of disease becomes available for exact prognosis. Conclusion: The above described contents may be useful in clinical studies, and the concrete clinical reports about this will be made afterward.

  12. An ileal Crohn's disease gene signature based on whole human genome expression profiles of disease unaffected ileal mucosal biopsies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianyi Zhang

    Full Text Available Previous genome-wide expression studies have highlighted distinct gene expression patterns in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD compared to control samples, but the interpretation of these studies has been limited by sample heterogeneity with respect to disease phenotype, disease activity, and anatomic sites. To further improve molecular classification of inflammatory bowel disease phenotypes we focused on a single anatomic site, the disease unaffected proximal ileal margin of resected ileum, and three phenotypes that were unlikely to overlap: ileal Crohn's disease (ileal CD, ulcerative colitis (UC, and control patients without IBD. Whole human genome (Agilent expression profiling was conducted on two independent sets of disease-unaffected ileal samples collected from the proximal margin of resected ileum. Set 1 (47 ileal CD, 27 UC, and 25 Control non-IBD patients was used as the training set and Set 2 was subsequently collected as an independent test set (10 ileal CD, 10 UC, and 10 control non-IBD patients. We compared the 17 gene signatures selected by four different feature-selection methods to distinguish ileal CD phenotype with non-CD phenotype. The four methods yielded different but overlapping solutions that were highly discriminating. All four of these methods selected FOLH1 as a common feature. This gene is an established biomarker for prostate cancer, but has not previously been associated with Crohn's disease. Immunohistochemical staining confirmed increased expression of FOLH1 in the ileal epithelium. These results provide evidence for convergent molecular abnormalities in the macroscopically disease unaffected proximal margin of resected ileum from ileal CD subjects.

  13. Aquaglyceroporins and metalloid transport: implications in human diseases. (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Hiranmoy; Rosen, Barry P; Mukhopadhyay, Rita


    Aquaglyceroporin (AQP) channels facilitate the diffusion of a wide range of neutral solutes, including water, glycerol, and other small uncharged solutes. More recently, AQPs have been shown to allow the passage of trivalent arsenic and antimony compounds. Arsenic and antimony are metalloid elements. At physiological pH, the trivalent metalloids behave as molecular mimics of glycerol, and are conducted through AQP channels. Arsenicals and antimonials are extremely toxic to cells. Despite their toxicity, both metalloids are used as chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer and protozoan parasitic diseases. The metalloid homeostasis property of AQPs can be a mixed blessing. In some cases, AQPs form part of the detoxification pathway, and extrude metalloids from cells. In other instances, AQPs allow the transport of metalloids into cells, thereby conferring sensitivity. Understanding the factors that modulate AQP expression will aid in a better understanding of metalloid toxicity and also provide newer approaches to metalloid based chemotherapy.

  14. Dynamic and reversibility of heterochromatic gene silencing in human disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    In eukaryotic organisms cellular fate and tissue specific gene expression are regulated by the activity of proteins known as transcription factors that by interacting with specific DNA sequences direct the activation or repression of target genes. The post genomic era has shown that transcription factors are not the unique key regulators of gene expression. Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, post-translational modifications of histone proteins,remodeling of nucleosomes and expression of small regulatory RNAs also contribute to regulation of gene expression,determination of cell and tissue specificity and assurance of inheritance of gene expression levels. The relevant contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to a proper cellular function is highlighted by the effects of their deregulation that cooperate with genetic alterations to the development of various diseases and to the establishment and progression of tumors.

  15. Chronic Inflammatory Periodontal Disease in Patients Diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus/AIDS in Cienfuegos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nivia Gontán Quintana


    Full Text Available Background: human immunodeficiency virus increases patients´ susceptibility to infections. Consequently, a high incidence of periodontal diseases is observed among them. It is often associated with other lesions of the oral mucous. Objective: to determine the evolution of chronic inflammatory periodontal disease in patients diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS.Methods: a case series study involving HIV-positive patients who attended the Stomatology consultation in Cienfuegos was conducted. The Russell Periodontal Index and the Simplified Oral Hygiene Index were used. Patients were classified taking into account clinical and immunological categories. Statistical processing was performed through SPSS program version 15.0 and Chi-square tests were applied.Results: a high prevalence of chronic inflammatory periodontal disease was observed in patients with human immunodeficiency virus. Correlation with the oral hygiene of the patients studied was found. CD4 count showed no statistical significance in periodontal disease severity. All patients classified as A2 suffer from some stage of periodontal disease, which was the most affected clinical category in spite of presenting mild immunodeficiency.Conclusions: there is a high prevalence of chronic inflammatory periodontal disease in patients diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Cienfuegos and it is correlated with patient’s oral hygiene.

  16. Brain expression genome-wide association study (eGWAS identifies human disease-associated variants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fanggeng Zou

    Full Text Available Genetic variants that modify brain gene expression may also influence risk for human diseases. We measured expression levels of 24,526 transcripts in brain samples from the cerebellum and temporal cortex of autopsied subjects with Alzheimer's disease (AD, cerebellar n=197, temporal cortex n=202 and with other brain pathologies (non-AD, cerebellar n=177, temporal cortex n=197. We conducted an expression genome-wide association study (eGWAS using 213,528 cisSNPs within ± 100 kb of the tested transcripts. We identified 2,980 cerebellar cisSNP/transcript level associations (2,596 unique cisSNPs significant in both ADs and non-ADs (q<0.05, p=7.70 × 10(-5-1.67 × 10(-82. Of these, 2,089 were also significant in the temporal cortex (p=1.85 × 10(-5-1.70 × 10(-141. The top cerebellar cisSNPs had 2.4-fold enrichment for human disease-associated variants (p<10(-6. We identified novel cisSNP/transcript associations for human disease-associated variants, including progressive supranuclear palsy SLCO1A2/rs11568563, Parkinson's disease (PD MMRN1/rs6532197, Paget's disease OPTN/rs1561570; and we confirmed others, including PD MAPT/rs242557, systemic lupus erythematosus and ulcerative colitis IRF5/rs4728142, and type 1 diabetes mellitus RPS26/rs1701704. In our eGWAS, there was 2.9-3.3 fold enrichment (p<10(-6 of significant cisSNPs with suggestive AD-risk association (p<10(-3 in the Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium GWAS. These results demonstrate the significant contributions of genetic factors to human brain gene expression, which are reliably detected across different brain regions and pathologies. The significant enrichment of brain cisSNPs among disease-associated variants advocates gene expression changes as a mechanism for many central nervous system (CNS and non-CNS diseases. Combined assessment of expression and disease GWAS may provide complementary information in discovery of human disease variants with functional implications. Our findings

  17. [Variations in human parasitic diseases: malaria and schistosomiasis (author's transl)]. (United States)

    Garin, J P


    Until now, not any human vaccine against parasites can't be prepared. However, experimental researches are more and more numerous, with two major aims: Malaria and Schistosomiasis. Three vaccines are considered in Malaria: --sporozoite-vaccine, --merozoite-vaccine, --gametocyte-vaccine. Important advances were realized after the control of new techniques: --in vitro cultivation of malaria parasites, --production of monoclonal antibodies, --industrial breeding of anopheles. But the applications in men still remain a remote object. The vaccines against schistosomiasis can be killed vaccines or live vaccines; the use of radio-vaccines is full of promise. The difficulties of vaccination against protozoal or helminthic parasites are due in part to the misappreciation of real defensive means in the parasited host. A serious progress would be to devise artificial systems drawing near of physiological phenomenons.

  18. Human Genome Epidemiology : A scientific foundation for using genetic information to improve health and prevent disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania Boccia


    Full Text Available

    Human health is determined by the interplay of genetic factors and the environment. In this context the recent advances in human genomics are expected to play a central role in medicine and public health by providing genetic information for disease prediction and prevention.

    After the completion of the human genome sequencing, a fundamental step will be represented by the translation of these discoveries into meaningful actions to improve health and prevent diseases, and the field of epidemiology plays a central role in this effort. These are some of the issues addressed by Human Genome Epidemiology –A scientific foundation for using genetic information to improve health and prevent disease, a volume edited by Prof. M. Khoury, Prof. J. Little, Prof.W. Burke and published by Oxford university Press 2004.

    This book describes the important role that epidemiological methods play in the continuum from gene discovery to the development and application of genetic tests. The Authors calls this continuum human genome epidemiology (HuGE to denote an evolving field of inquiry that uses systematic applications of epidemiological methods to assess the impact of human genetic variation on health and disease.

    The book is divided into four sections and it is structured to allow readers to proceed systematically from the fundamentals of genome technology and discovery, to the epidemiological approaches, to gene characterisation, to the evaluation of genetic tests and their use in health services and public health.

  19. Genetic evidence for common pathways in human age-related diseases. (United States)

    Johnson, Simon C; Dong, Xiao; Vijg, Jan; Suh, Yousin


    Aging is the single largest risk factor for chronic disease. Studies in model organisms have identified conserved pathways that modulate aging rate and the onset and progression of multiple age-related diseases, suggesting that common pathways of aging may influence age-related diseases in humans as well. To determine whether there is genetic evidence supporting the notion of common pathways underlying age-related diseases, we analyzed the genes and pathways found to be associated with five major categories of age-related disease using a total of 410 genomewide association studies (GWAS). While only a small number of genes are shared among all five disease categories, those found in at least three of the five major age-related disease categories are highly enriched for apoliprotein metabolism genes. We found that a more substantial number of gene ontology (GO) terms are shared among the 5 age-related disease categories and shared GO terms include canonical aging pathways identified in model organisms, such as nutrient-sensing signaling, translation, proteostasis, stress responses, and genome maintenance. Taking advantage of the vast amount of genetic data from the GWAS, our findings provide the first direct evidence that conserved pathways of aging simultaneously influence multiple age-related diseases in humans as has been demonstrated in model organisms. © 2015 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. The Human Phenotype Ontology: Semantic Unification of Common and Rare Disease (United States)

    Groza, Tudor; Köhler, Sebastian; Moldenhauer, Dawid; Vasilevsky, Nicole; Baynam, Gareth; Zemojtel, Tomasz; Schriml, Lynn Marie; Kibbe, Warren Alden; Schofield, Paul N.; Beck, Tim; Vasant, Drashtti; Brookes, Anthony J.; Zankl, Andreas; Washington, Nicole L.; Mungall, Christopher J.; Lewis, Suzanna E.; Haendel, Melissa A.; Parkinson, Helen; Robinson, Peter N.


    The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) is widely used in the rare disease community for differential diagnostics, phenotype-driven analysis of next-generation sequence-variation data, and translational research, but a comparable resource has not been available for common disease. Here, we have developed a concept-recognition procedure that analyzes the frequencies of HPO disease annotations as identified in over five million PubMed abstracts by employing an iterative procedure to optimize precision and recall of the identified terms. We derived disease models for 3,145 common human diseases comprising a total of 132,006 HPO annotations. The HPO now comprises over 250,000 phenotypic annotations for over 10,000 rare and common diseases and can be used for examining the phenotypic overlap among common diseases that share risk alleles, as well as between Mendelian diseases and common diseases linked by genomic location. The annotations, as well as the HPO itself, are freely available. PMID:26119816

  1. Systematic review of brucellosis in the Middle East: disease frequency in ruminants and humans and risk factors for human infection. (United States)

    Musallam, I I; Abo-Shehada, M N; Hegazy, Y M; Holt, H R; Guitian, F J


    A systematic review of studies providing frequency estimates of brucellosis in humans and ruminants and risk factors for Brucella spp. seropositivity in humans in the Middle East was conducted to collate current knowledge of brucellosis in this region. Eight databases were searched for peer-reviewed original Arabic, English, French and Persian journal articles; the search was conducted on June 2014. Two reviewers evaluated articles for inclusion based on pre-defined criteria. Of 451 research articles, only 87 articles passed the screening process and provided bacteriological and serological evidence for brucellosis in all Middle Eastern countries. Brucella melitensis and B. abortus have been identified in most countries in the Middle East, supporting the notion of widespread presence of Brucella spp. especially B. melitensis across the region. Of the 87 articles, 49 were used to provide evidence of the presence of Brucella spp. but only 11 provided new knowledge on the frequency of brucellosis in humans and ruminants or on human risk factors for seropositivity and were deemed of sufficient quality. Small ruminant populations in the region show seroprevalence values that are among the highest worldwide. Human cases are likely to arise from subpopulations occupationally exposed to ruminants or from the consumption of unpasteurized dairy products. The Middle East is in need of well-designed observational studies that could generate reliable frequency estimates needed to assess the burden of disease and to inform disease control policies.

  2. Coupling infectious diseases, human preventive behavior, and networks--a conceptual framework for epidemic modeling. (United States)

    Mao, Liang; Yang, Yan


    Human-disease interactions involve the transmission of infectious diseases among individuals and the practice of preventive behavior by individuals. Both infectious diseases and preventive behavior diffuse simultaneously through human networks and interact with one another, but few existing models have coupled them together. This article proposes a conceptual framework to fill this knowledge gap and illustrates the model establishment. The conceptual model consists of two networks and two diffusion processes. The two networks include: an infection network that transmits diseases and a communication network that channels inter-personal influence regarding preventive behavior. Both networks are composed of same individuals but different types of interactions. This article further introduces modeling approaches to formulize such a framework, including the individual-based modeling approach, network theory, disease transmission models and behavioral models. An illustrative model was implemented to simulate a coupled-diffusion process during an influenza epidemic. The simulation outcomes suggest that the transmission probability of a disease and the structure of infection network have profound effects on the dynamics of coupled-diffusion. The results imply that current models may underestimate disease transmissibility parameters, because human preventive behavior has not been considered. This issue calls for a new interdisciplinary study that incorporates theories from epidemiology, social science, behavioral science, and health psychology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Transgenic mice expressing human glucocerebrosidase variants: utility for the study of Gaucher disease. (United States)

    Sanders, Angela; Hemmelgarn, Harmony; Melrose, Heather L; Hein, Leanne; Fuller, Maria; Clarke, Lorne A


    Gaucher disease is an autosomal recessively inherited storage disorder caused by deficiency of the lysosomal hydrolase, acid β-glucosidase. The disease manifestations seen in Gaucher patients are highly heterogeneous as is the responsiveness to therapy. The elucidation of the precise factors responsible for this heterogeneity has been challenging as the development of clinically relevant animal models of Gaucher disease has been problematic. Although numerous murine models for Gaucher disease have been described each has limitations in their specific utility. We describe here, transgenic murine models of Gaucher disease that will be particularly useful for the study of pharmacological chaperones. We have produced stable transgenic mouse strains that individually express wild type, N370S and L444P containing human acid β-glucosidase and show that each of these transgenic lines rescues the lethal phenotype characteristic of acid β-glucosidase null mice. Both the N370S and L444P transgenic models show early and progressive elevations of tissue sphingolipids with L444P mice developing progressive splenic Gaucher cell infiltration. We demonstrate the potential utility of these new transgenic models for the study of Gaucher disease pathogenesis. In addition, since these mice produce only human enzyme, they are particularly relevant for the study of pharmacological chaperones that are specifically targeted to human acid β-glucosidase and the common mutations underlying Gaucher disease.

  4. Dog as a model in studies on human hereditary diseases and their gene therapy. (United States)

    Switonski, Marek


    During the last 15 years spectacular progress has been achieved in knowledge on the dog genome organization and the molecular background of hereditary diseases in this species. A majority of canine genetic diseases have their counterparts in humans and thus dogs are considered as a very important large animal model in human biomedicine. Among canine monogenic diseases with known causative gene mutations there are two large groups classified as retinal dystrophies and lysosomal storage diseases. Specific types of these diseases are usually diagnosed in a single or several breeds. A well known disorder, restricted to a single breed, is congenital stationary night blindness described in Briards. This disease is a counterpart of Leber amaurosis in children. On the other hand, one of the most common monogenic human diseases (Duchenne muscular dystrophy), has its canine counterparts in several breeds (e.g., the Golden retriever, Beagle and German short-haired pointer). For some of the canine diseases gene therapy strategy was successfully applied, e.g., for congenital stationary night blindness, rod-cone dystrophy and muccopolysaccharydoses type I, IIIB and VII. Since phenotypic variability between the breeds is exceptionally high, the dog is an interesting model to study the molecular background of congenital malformations (e.g., dwarfism and osteoporosis imperfecta). Also disorders of sexual development (DSD), especially testicular or ovotesticular DSD (78,XX; SRY-negative), which is widely distributed across dozens of breeds, are of particular interest. Studies on the genetic background of canine cancers, a major health problem in this species, are also quite advanced. On the other hand, genetic studies on canine counterparts of major human complex diseases (e.g., obesity, the metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus) are still in their infancy.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Ernesto Belizario


    Full Text Available The human body is the residence of a large number of commensal (non-pathogenic and pathogenic microbial species that have co-evolved with the human genome, adaptive immune system and diet. With recent advances in DNA-based technologies, we initiated the exploration of bacterial gene functions and their role in human health. The main goal of the human microbiome project is to characterize the abundance, diversity and functionality of the genes present in all microorganisms that permanently live in different sites of the human body. The gut microbiota expresses over 3.3 million bacterial genes, while the human genome expresses only 20 thousand genes. Microbe gene-products exert pivotal functions via the regulation of food digestion and immune system development. Studies are confirming that manipulation of non-pathogenic bacterial strains in the host can stimulate the recovery of the immune response to pathogenic bacteria causing diseases. Different approaches, including the use of nutraceutics (prebiotics and probiotics as well as phages engineered with CRISPR/cas systems and quorum sensing systems have been developed as new therapies for controlling dysbiosis (alterations in microbial community and common diseases (e.g. diabetes and obesity. The designing and production of pharmaceuticals based on our own body’s microbiome is an emerging field and is rapidly growing to be fully explored in the near future. This review provides an outlook on recent findings on the human microbiomes, their impact on health and diseases, and on the development of targeted therapies.

  6. Passive tick surveillance, dog seropositivity, and incidence of human Lyme disease (United States)

    Johnson, J.L.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Zhioua, E.; Whitworth, U.G.; Markowski, D.; Hyland, K.E.; Hu, R.


    Data on nymphal Ixodes scapularis ticks submitted by the public to the University of Rhode Island Tick Research Laboratory for testing from 1991 to 2000 were compared with human case data from the Rhode Island Department of Health to determine the efficacy of passive tick surveillance at assessing human risk of Lyme disease. Numbers of ticks submitted were highly correlated with human cases by county (r = 0.998, n = 5 counties) and by town (r = 0.916, n = 37 towns), as were the numbers of positive ticks submitted (r = 0.989 by county, r = 0.787 by town). Human cases were correlated with ticks submitted by town each year, and with positive ticks in all but 2 years. Thus, passive tick surveillance effectively assessed geographical risk of human Lyme disease. In contrast, tick submissions through time were not correlated with human cases from year to year. Dog seropositivity was significantly correlated with human cases by county in both years tested, but by town in only one of two years. Numbers of ticks submitted were correlated with dog seropositivity by county but not by town, apparently because of high variability among towns with small sample sizes. Our results suggest that passive tick surveillance, using ticks submitted by the public for Lyme spirochete testing, can be used to assess the geographical distribution of Lyme disease risk, but cannot reliably predict Lyme incidence from year to year.

  7. Steroid synthesis by primary human keratinocytes; implications for skin disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hannen, Rosalind F., E-mail: [Centre for Cutaneous Research, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 2AT (United Kingdom); Michael, Anthony E. [Centre for Developmental and Endocrine Signalling, Academic Section of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Division of Clinical Developmental Sciences, 3rd Floor, Lanesborough Wing, St. George' s, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, Tooting, London SW17 0RE (United Kingdom); Jaulim, Adil [Centre for Cutaneous Research, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 2AT (United Kingdom); Bhogal, Ranjit [Life Science, Unilever R and D Colworth House, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire MK44 1LQ (United Kingdom); Burrin, Jacky M. [Centre for Endocrinology, William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ (United Kingdom); Philpott, Michael P. [Centre for Cutaneous Research, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 2AT (United Kingdom)


    Research highlights: {yields} Primary keratinocytes express the steroid enzymes required for cortisol synthesis. {yields} Normal primary human keratinocytes can synthesise cortisol. {yields} Steroidogenic regulators, StAR and MLN64, are expressed in normal epidermis. {yields} StAR expression is down regulated in eczema and psoriatic epidermis. -- Abstract: Cortisol-based therapy is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory treatments available for skin conditions including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Previous studies have investigated the steroidogenic capabilities of keratinocytes, though none have demonstrated that these skin cells, which form up to 90% of the epidermis are able to synthesise cortisol. Here we demonstrate that primary human keratinocytes (PHK) express all the elements required for cortisol steroidogenesis and metabolise pregnenolone through each intermediate steroid to cortisol. We show that normal epidermis and cultured PHK express each of the enzymes (CYP11A1, CYP17A1, 3{beta}HSD1, CYP21 and CYP11B1) that are required for cortisol synthesis. These enzymes were shown to be metabolically active for cortisol synthesis since radiometric conversion assays traced the metabolism of [7-{sup 3}H]-pregnenolone through each steroid intermediate to [7-{sup 3}H]-cortisol in cultured PHK. Trilostane (a 3{beta}HSD1 inhibitor) and ketoconazole (a CYP17A1 inhibitor) blocked the metabolism of both pregnenolone and progesterone. Finally, we show that normal skin expresses two cholesterol transporters, steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), regarded as the rate-determining protein for steroid synthesis, and metastatic lymph node 64 (MLN64) whose function has been linked to cholesterol transport in steroidogenesis. The expression of StAR and MLN64 was aberrant in two skin disorders, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, that are commonly treated with cortisol, suggesting dysregulation of epidermal steroid synthesis in these patients. Collectively these data

  8. Timing of critical genetic changes in human breast disease. (United States)

    Ellsworth, Rachel E; Ellsworth, Darrell L; Deyarmin, Brenda; Hoffman, Laurel R; Love, Brad; Hooke, Jeffrey A; Shriver, Craig D


    Breast cancer development has been characterized as a nonobligatory sequence of histological changes from normal epithelium through invasive malignancy. Although genetic alterations are thought to accumulate stochastically during tumorigenesis, little is known about the timing of critical mutations. This study examined allelic imbalance (AI) in tissue samples representing a continuum of breast cancer development to examine the evolution of genomic instability. Laser-microdissected DNA samples were collected from histologically normal breast specimens (n = 25), atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH, n = 16), ductal carcinoma-in-situ (DCIS, n = 37), and stage I to III invasive carcinomas (n = 72). Fifty-two microsatellite markers representing 26 chromosomal regions commonly deleted in breast cancer were used to assess patterns of AI. AI frequencies were .0001). DCIS lesions contain levels of genomic instability that are characteristic of advanced invasive tumors, and this suggests that the biology of a developing carcinoma may already be predetermined by the in situ stage. Observations that levels of AI in ADH lesions are similar to those in disease-free tissues provide a genomic rationale for why prevention strategies at the ADH level are successful and why cases with ADH involving surgical margins do not require further resection.

  9. Temporal aspects of the pathophysiology of human ulcer disease. (United States)

    Tarquini, B; Vener, K J


    In this paper, a peptic ulcer is considered from the perspective that it is representative of a heterogeneous group of multifactorial determined or influenced disorders having a common pathomorphologic expression. This heterogeneity involves pathophysiological attributes, including both functional (including secretory and motility events and their respective driving mechanisms) and morphologic alterations that relate to mucosal resistance. Patients with duodenal ulcer (DU) have been observed to exhibit alterations, in comparison to normal subjects, in the circadian rhythm characteristics of several gastrointestinal functions. Prominent among these are altered amplitudes of several circadian-organized gastric variables, such as intragastric pH, gastrin, pepsinogen and gastric mitotic index. With respect to any given variable, a reduced group amplitude (a measure of one-half the peak-trough difference of a 24-hr rhythm) could signify an increased dispersion of acrophases (the location of the peak of a circadian rhythm along the 24-hr time scale) reflecting interindividual variation in synchronization schedules, sleep-wake patterns, or chronobiologic alterations. A reduced interindividual amplitude further supports the concept of the heterogeneity of peptic disease. A decrease in the intraindividual amplitude of certain gastric rhythms implies an altered temporal pattern over the 24 hr. This is consistent with the hypothesis of a decrease in the amount of time available for recovery of a given function or set of integrated functions, and hence, increased susceptibility to mucosal injury. Normal high-amplitude variation in gastrointestinal functioning over the 24 hr appears to be required for natural restoration of the gut.

  10. Genetic mapping of complex discrete human diseases by discriminant analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The objective of the present study is to propose and evaluate a novel multivariate approach for genetic mapping of complex categorical diseases. This approach results from an application of standard stepwise discriminant analysis to detect linkage based on the differential marker identity-by-descent (IBD) distributions among the different groups of sib pairs. Two major advantages of this method are that it allows for simultaneously testing all markers, together with other genetic and environmental factors in a single multivariate setting and it avoids explicitly modeling the complex relationship between the affection status of sib pairs and the underlying genetic determinants. The efficiency and properties of the method are demonstrated via simulations. The proposed multivariate approach has successfully located the true position(s) under various genetic scenarios. The more important finding is that using highly densely spaced markers (1~2 cM) leads to only a marginal loss of statistical efficiency of the proposed methods in terms of gene localization and statistical power. These results have well established its utility and advantages as a fine-mapping tool. A unique property of the proposed method is the ability to map multiple linked trait loci to their precise positions due to its sequential nature, as demonstrated via simulations.

  11. Transcriptional networks implicated in human nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. (United States)

    Ye, Hua; Liu, Wei


    The transcriptome of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was investigated in several studies. However, the implications of transcriptional networks in progressive NAFLD are not clear and mechanisms inducing transition from nonalcoholic simple fatty liver (NAFL) to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are still elusive. The aims of this study were to (1) construct networks for progressive NAFLD, (2) identify hub genes and functional modules in these networks and (3) infer potential linkages among hub genes, transcription factors and microRNAs (miRNA) for NAFLD progression. A systems biology approach by combining differential expression analysis and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) was utilized to dissect transcriptional profiles in 19 normal, 10 NAFL and 16 NASH patients. Based on this framework, 3 modules related to chromosome organization, proteasomal ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation and immune response were identified in NASH network. Furthermore, 9 modules of co-expressed genes associated with NAFL/NASH transition were found. Further characterization of these modules defined 13 highly connected hub genes in NAFLD progression network. Interestingly, 11 significantly changed miRNAs were predicted to target 10 of the 13 hub genes. Characterization of modules and hub genes that may be regulated by miRNAs could facilitate the identification of candidate genes and pathways responsible for NAFL/NASH transition and lead to a better understanding of NAFLD pathogenesis. The identified modules and hub genes may point to potential targets for therapeutic interventions.

  12. Epigenetics in Rome: breaking news from the chromatin remodeling and human disease workshop. (United States)

    Gaetano, Carlo; Capogrossi, Maurizio C; Fanciulli, Maurizio; Filetici, Patrizia; Piaggio, Giulia


    In 2009 the Istituto Regina Elena (IRE) and Istituto Dermopatico dell' Immacolata (IDI), joined their efforts to organize the "First IRE Annual Workshop on Chromatin Remodeling and Human Disease, which had place in Rome on the 3-4 of December 2009. The Workshop program listed a number of presentations on various epigenetic phenomena believed to have an impact on human diseases. Internationally recognized leaders in this field from Europe and USA have brilliantly accomplished this highly compelling task. Special emphasis has been placed on emerging understanding of epigenetic mechanisms as they relate to the physiopathology of numerous human diseases. How this field scientifically and technologically recently progressed in this direction, was clearly evident from the presentations and discussions having place during the workshop.

  13. Is the Mouse a Good Model of Human PPARγ-Related Metabolic Diseases? (United States)

    Pap, Attila; Cuaranta-Monroy, Ixchelt; Peloquin, Matthew; Nagy, Laszlo


    With the increasing number of patients affected with metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis and insulin resistance, academic researchers and pharmaceutical companies are eager to better understand metabolic syndrome and develop new drugs for its treatment. Many studies have focused on the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), which plays a crucial role in adipogenesis and lipid metabolism. These studies have been able to connect this transcription factor to several human metabolic diseases. Due to obvious limitations concerning experimentation in humans, animal models—mainly mouse models—have been generated to investigate the role of PPARγ in different tissues. This review focuses on the metabolic features of human and mouse PPARγ-related diseases and the utility of the mouse as a model. PMID:27483259

  14. Kissing bugs in the United States: risk for vector-borne disease in humans. (United States)

    Klotz, Stephen A; Dorn, Patricia L; Mosbacher, Mark; Schmidt, Justin O


    Eleven species of kissing bugs are found in the United States. Their home ranges may be expanding northward, perhaps as a consequence of climate change. At least eight of the species, perhaps all, are reported to harbor Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Because humans are encroaching on kissing bug habitat, there is concern for vector-transmitted Chagas disease in the United States. To date, documented autochthonous cases of Chagas in humans in the United States are rare. Kissing bugs are capable of adapting to new habitats such as human domiciles; however, they do not colonize homes in the United States as in Central and South America. We review the biology, behavior, and medical importance of kissing bugs and the risk they pose for transmission of Chagas disease in the United States. Where possible, descriptions of US species are compared to the epidemiologically important Latin American species.

  15. Perturbation of the Human Microbiome as a Contributor to Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bayan Missaghi


    Full Text Available The human microbiome consist of the composite genome of native flora that have evolved with humanity over millennia and which contains 150-fold more genes than the human genome. A “healthy” microbiome plays an important role in the maintenance of health and prevention of illness, inclusive of autoimmune disease such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD. IBD is a prevalent spectrum of disorders, most notably defined by Crohn’s disease (CD and ulcerative colitis (UC, which are associated with considerable suffering, morbidity, and cost. This review presents an outline of the loss of a normal microbiome as an etiology of immune dysregulation and IBD pathogenesis initiation. We, furthermore, summarize the knowledge on the role of a healthy microbiome in terms of its diversity and important functional elements and, lastly, conclude with some of the therapeutic interventions and modalities that are now being explored as potential applications of microbiome-host interactions.

  16. The Use of Monoclonal Antibodies in Human Prion Disease (United States)

    Bodemer, Walter

    Detection of PrP and its pathological isoform(s) is the key to understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. There is ample evidence that PrP isoforms constitute a major component of an unknown and perhaps unconventional infectious agent. An etiological relationship between human and zoonotic transmissible spongiform encephalopathies may be revealed with monoclonal antibodies. Knowledge of the conformational transition rendering a nonpathogenic, almost ubiquitous cellular protein into a pathogenic one is crucial to defining pathomechanisms. The stepwise or even continuous formation of pathogenic molecules can be monitored. Any improvement in the early diagnosis could help to conceive new therapeutic measures which are not currently available. Determination of PrP isoforms in tissue, cells, or body fluids may be of prognostic value. Many experimental approaches in molecular medicine and molecular biology of the prion protein already rely on monoclonal antibodies. Recombinant antibodies such as the single-chain Fv may soon replace traditional hybridoma techniques. Binding affinity can easily be manipulated by a number of techniques, including in vitro mutagenesis - a step which could never be carried out using the traditional hybridoma technology. Monoclonal antibodies are and will remain an essential support for ongoing research on the prion protein in general and on the unconventional infectious prions.


    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pletscher-Frankild, Sune; Pallejà, Albert; Tsafou, Kalliopi;


    Text mining is a flexible technology that can be applied to numerous different tasks in biology and medicine. We present a system for extracting disease-gene associations from biomedical abstracts. The system consists of a highly efficient dictionary-based tagger for named entity recognition...... of human genes and diseases, which we combine with a scoring scheme that takes into account co-occurrences both within and between sentences. We show that this approach is able to extract half of all manually curated associations with a false positive rate of only 0.16%. Nonetheless, text mining should...... not stand alone, but be combined with other types of evidence. For this reason, we have developed the DISEASES resource, which integrates the results from text mining with manually curated disease-gene associations, cancer mutation data, and genome-wide association studies from existing databases...

  18. Short Tandem Repeats in Human Exons: A Target for Disease Mutations

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    Villesen Palle


    Full Text Available Abstract Background In recent years it has been demonstrated that structural variations, such as indels (insertions and deletions, are common throughout the genome, but the implications of structural variations are still not clearly understood. Long tandem repeats (e.g. microsatellites or simple repeats are known to be hypermutable (indel-rich, but are rare in exons and only occasionally associated with diseases. Here we focus on short (imperfect tandem repeats (STRs which fall below the radar of conventional tandem repeat detection, and investigate whether STRs are targets for disease-related mutations in human exons. In particular, we test whether they share the hypermutability of the longer tandem repeats and whether disease-related genes have a higher STR content than non-disease-related genes. Results We show that validated human indels are extremely common in STR regions compared to non-STR regions. In contrast to longer tandem repeats, our definition of STRs found them to be present in exons of most known human genes (92%, 99% of all STR sequences in exons are shorter than 33 base pairs and 62% of all STR sequences are imperfect repeats. We also demonstrate that STRs are significantly overrepresented in disease-related genes in both human and mouse. These results are preserved when we limit the analysis to STRs outside known longer tandem repeats. Conclusion Based on our findings we conclude that STRs represent hypermutable regions in the human genome that are linked to human disease. In addition, STRs constitute an obvious target when screening for rare mutations, because of the relatively low amount of STRs in exons (1,973,844 bp and the limited length of STR regions.

  19. Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes Afford New Opportunities in Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Modeling

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    Daniel R. Bayzigitov


    Full Text Available Fundamental studies of molecular and cellular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease pathogenesis are required to create more effective and safer methods of their therapy. The studies can be carried out only when model systems that fully recapitulate pathological phenotype seen in patients are used. Application of laboratory animals for cardiovascular disease modeling is limited because of physiological differences with humans. Since discovery of induced pluripotency generating induced pluripotent stem cells has become a breakthrough technology in human disease modeling. In this review, we discuss a progress that has been made in modeling inherited arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies, studying molecular mechanisms of the diseases, and searching for and testing drug compounds using patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.

  20. Dissecting the role of AMP-activated protein kinase in human diseases

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    Jin Li


    Full Text Available AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK, known as a sensor and a master of cellular energy balance, integrates various regulatory signals including anabolic and catabolic metabolic processes. Accompanying the application of genetic methods and a plethora of AMPK agonists, rapid progress has identified AMPK as an attractive therapeutic target for several human diseases, such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury and neurodegenerative disease. The role of AMPK in metabolic and energetic modulation both at the intracellular and whole body levels has been reviewed elsewhere. In the present review, we summarize and update the paradoxical role of AMPK implicated in the diseases mentioned above and put forward the challenge encountered. Thus it will be expected to provide important clues for exploring rational methods of intervention in human diseases.

  1. Human Disease Models in Drosophila melanogaster and the Role of the Fly in Therapeutic Drug Discovery (United States)

    Pandey, Udai Bhan


    The common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a well studied and highly tractable genetic model organism for understanding molecular mechanisms of human diseases. Many basic biological, physiological, and neurological properties are conserved between mammals and D. melanogaster, and nearly 75% of human disease-causing genes are believed to have a functional homolog in the fly. In the discovery process for therapeutics, traditional approaches employ high-throughput screening for small molecules that is based primarily on in vitro cell culture, enzymatic assays, or receptor binding assays. The majority of positive hits identified through these types of in vitro screens, unfortunately, are found to be ineffective and/or toxic in subsequent validation experiments in whole-animal models. New tools and platforms are needed in the discovery arena to overcome these limitations. The incorporation of D. melanogaster into the therapeutic discovery process holds tremendous promise for an enhanced rate of discovery of higher quality leads. D. melanogaster models of human diseases provide several unique features such as powerful genetics, highly conserved disease pathways, and very low comparative costs. The fly can effectively be used for low- to high-throughput drug screens as well as in target discovery. Here, we review the basic biology of the fly and discuss models of human diseases and opportunities for therapeutic discovery for central nervous system disorders, inflammatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. We also provide information and resources for those interested in pursuing fly models of human disease, as well as those interested in using D. melanogaster in the drug discovery process. PMID:21415126

  2. A three-dimensional human neural cell culture model of Alzheimer's disease. (United States)

    Choi, Se Hoon; Kim, Young Hye; Hebisch, Matthias; Sliwinski, Christopher; Lee, Seungkyu; D'Avanzo, Carla; Chen, Hechao; Hooli, Basavaraj; Asselin, Caroline; Muffat, Julien; Klee, Justin B; Zhang, Can; Wainger, Brian J; Peitz, Michael; Kovacs, Dora M; Woolf, Clifford J; Wagner, Steven L; Tanzi, Rudolph E; Kim, Doo Yeon


    Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, characterized by two pathological hallmarks: amyloid-β plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease posits that the excessive accumulation of amyloid-β peptide leads to neurofibrillary tangles composed of aggregated hyperphosphorylated tau. However, to date, no single disease model has serially linked these two pathological events using human neuronal cells. Mouse models with familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) mutations exhibit amyloid-β-induced synaptic and memory deficits but they do not fully recapitulate other key pathological events of Alzheimer's disease, including distinct neurofibrillary tangle pathology. Human neurons derived from Alzheimer's disease patients have shown elevated levels of toxic amyloid-β species and phosphorylated tau but did not demonstrate amyloid-β plaques or neurofibrillary tangles. Here we report that FAD mutations in β-amyloid precursor protein and presenilin 1 are able to induce robust extracellular deposition of amyloid-β, including amyloid-β plaques, in a human neural stem-cell-derived three-dimensional (3D) culture system. More importantly, the 3D-differentiated neuronal cells expressing FAD mutations exhibited high levels of detergent-resistant, silver-positive aggregates of phosphorylated tau in the soma and neurites, as well as filamentous tau, as detected by immunoelectron microscopy. Inhibition of amyloid-β generation with β- or γ-secretase inhibitors not only decreased amyloid-β pathology, but also attenuated tauopathy. We also found that glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) regulated amyloid-β-mediated tau phosphorylation. We have successfully recapitulated amyloid-β and tau pathology in a single 3D human neural cell culture system. Our unique strategy for recapitulating Alzheimer's disease pathology in a 3D neural cell culture model should also serve to facilitate the development of more precise human neural cell

  3. Mineral density volume gradients in normal and diseased human tissues.

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    Sabra I Djomehri

    Full Text Available Clinical computed tomography provides a single mineral density (MD value for heterogeneous calcified tissues containing early and late stage pathologic formations. The novel aspect of this study is that, it extends current quantitative methods of mapping mineral density gradients to three dimensions, discretizes early and late mineralized stages, identifies elemental distribution in discretized volumes, and correlates measured MD with respective calcium (Ca to phosphorus (P and Ca to zinc (Zn elemental ratios. To accomplish this, MD variations identified using polychromatic radiation from a high resolution micro-computed tomography (micro-CT benchtop unit were correlated with elemental mapping obtained from a microprobe X-ray fluorescence (XRF using synchrotron monochromatic radiation. Digital segmentation of tomograms from normal and diseased tissues (N=5 per group; 40-60 year old males contained significant mineral density variations (enamel: 2820-3095 mg/cc, bone: 570-1415 mg/cc, cementum: 1240-1340 mg/cc, dentin: 1480-1590 mg/cc, cementum affected by periodontitis: 1100-1220 mg/cc, hypomineralized carious dentin: 345-1450 mg/cc, hypermineralized carious dentin: 1815-2740 mg/cc, and dental calculus: 1290-1770 mg/cc. A plausible linear correlation between segmented MD volumes and elemental ratios within these volumes was established, and Ca/P ratios for dentin (1.49, hypomineralized dentin (0.32-0.46, cementum (1.51, and bone (1.68 were observed. Furthermore, varying Ca/Zn ratios were distinguished in adapted compared to normal tissues, such as in bone (855-2765 and in cementum (595-990, highlighting Zn as an influential element in prompting observed adaptive properties. Hence, results provide insights on mineral density gradients with elemental concentrations and elemental footprints that in turn could aid in elucidating mechanistic processes for pathologic formations.

  4. Identifying human disease genes: advances in molecular genetics and computational approaches. (United States)

    Bakhtiar, S M; Ali, A; Baig, S M; Barh, D; Miyoshi, A; Azevedo, V


    The human genome project is one of the significant achievements that have provided detailed insight into our genetic legacy. During the last two decades, biomedical investigations have gathered a considerable body of evidence by detecting more than 2000 disease genes. Despite the imperative advances in the genetic understanding of various diseases, the pathogenesis of many others remains obscure. With recent advances, the laborious methodologies used to identify DNA variations are replaced by direct sequencing of genomic DNA to detect genetic changes. The ability to perform such studies depends equally on the development of high-throughput and economical genotyping methods. Currently, basically for every disease whose origen is still unknown, genetic approaches are available which could be pedigree-dependent or -independent with the capacity to elucidate fundamental disease mechanisms. Computer algorithms and programs for linkage analysis have formed the foundation for many disease gene detection projects, similarly databases of clinical findings have been widely used to support diagnostic decisions in dysmorphology and general human disease. For every disease type, genome sequence variations, particularly single nucleotide polymorphisms are mapped by comparing the genetic makeup of case and control groups. Methods that predict the effects of polymorphisms on protein stability are useful for the identification of possible disease associations, whereas structural effects can be assessed using methods to predict stability changes in proteins using sequence and/or structural information.

  5. Human secretory phospholipase A(2), group IB in normal eyes and in eye diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prause, Jan U; Bazan, Nicolas G; Heegaard, Steffen


    study was to identify human GIB (hGIB) in the normal human eye and investigate the pattern of expression in patients with eye diseases involving hGIB-rich cells. METHODS: Human GIB mRNA was identified in the human retina by means of in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction. Antibodies against...... hGIB were obtained and immunohistochemical staining was performed on paraffin-embedded sections of normal and pathological eyes. Donor eyes from patients with descemetization of the cornea, Fuchs' corneal endothelial dystrophy, age-related macular degeneration, malignant choroidal melanoma......, retinitis pigmentosa and glaucoma were evaluated. RESULTS: Expression of hGIB was found in various cells of the eye. The most abundant expression was found in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, the inner photoreceptor segments, ganglion cells and the corneal endothelium. We explored diseases involving...

  6. Using transgenic plants and modified plant viruses for the development of treatments for human diseases. (United States)

    Loh, Hwei-San; Green, Brian J; Yusibov, Vidadi


    Production of proteins in plants for human health applications has become an attractive strategy attributed by their potentials for low-cost production, increased safety due to the lack of human or animal pathogens, scalability and ability to produce complex proteins. A major milestone for plant-based protein production for use in human health was achieved when Protalix BioTherapeutics produced taliglucerase alfa (Elelyso(®)) in suspension cultures of a transgenic carrot cell line for the treatment of patients with Gaucher's disease, was approved by the USA Food and Drug Administration in 2012. In this review, we are highlighting various approaches for plant-based production of proteins and recent progress in the development of plant-made therapeutics and biologics for the prevention and treatment of human diseases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Metalloid transport by aquaglyceroporins: consequences in the treatment of human diseases. (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, Rita; Beitz, Eric


    Metalloids can severely harm human physiology in a toxicological sense if taken up from the environment in acute high doses or chronically. However, arsenic or antimony containing drugs are still being used as treatment and are often the sole regime for certain forms of cancer, mainly types of leukemia and diseases caused by parasites, such as sleeping sickness or leishmaniasis. In this chapter, we give an outline of the positive effects of arsenicals and antimonials against such diseases, we summarize data on uptake pathways through human and parasite aquaglyceroporins and we discuss the progress and options in the development of therapeutic aquaporin and aquaglyceroporin inhibitor compounds.

  8. Understanding rare and common diseases in the context of human evolution. (United States)

    Quintana-Murci, Lluis


    The wealth of available genetic information is allowing the reconstruction of human demographic and adaptive history. Demography and purifying selection affect the purge of rare, deleterious mutations from the human population, whereas positive and balancing selection can increase the frequency of advantageous variants, improving survival and reproduction in specific environmental conditions. In this review, I discuss how theoretical and empirical population genetics studies, using both modern and ancient DNA data, are a powerful tool for obtaining new insight into the genetic basis of severe disorders and complex disease phenotypes, rare and common, focusing particularly on infectious disease risk.

  9. Functional Connectivity under Optogenetic Control Allows Modeling of Human Neuromuscular Disease. (United States)

    Steinbeck, Julius A; Jaiswal, Manoj K; Calder, Elizabeth L; Kishinevsky, Sarah; Weishaupt, Andreas; Toyka, Klaus V; Goldstein, Peter A; Studer, Lorenz


    Capturing the full potential of human pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived neurons in disease modeling and regenerative medicine requires analysis in complex functional systems. Here we establish optogenetic control in human PSC-derived spinal motorneurons and show that co-culture of these cells with human myoblast-derived skeletal muscle builds a functional all-human neuromuscular junction that can be triggered to twitch upon light stimulation. To model neuromuscular disease we incubated these co-cultures with IgG from myasthenia gravis patients and active complement. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder that selectively targets neuromuscular junctions. We saw a reversible reduction in the amplitude of muscle contractions, representing a surrogate marker for the characteristic loss of muscle strength seen in this disease. The ability to recapitulate key aspects of disease pathology and its symptomatic treatment suggests that this neuromuscular junction assay has significant potential for modeling of neuromuscular disease and regeneration. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Focal epithelial hyperplasia (Heck's disease): report of two cases with PCR detection of human papillomavirus DNA. (United States)

    Jayasooriya, P R; Abeyratne, S; Ranasinghe, A W; Tilakaratne, W M


    Focal epithelial hyperplasia (FEH) (Heck's disease) is essentially a benign oral infection produced by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Although this condition is known to exist in numerous populations and ethnic groups, it is relatively rare in South-East Asia. The following report is based on two cases of adult FEH with histopathological features in favour of the disease. In addition, polymerase chain reaction was performed to detect the presence of HPV DNA in the lesions in order to confirm the histopathological diagnosis.

  11. Translational medicine in fish-derived peptides: from fish endocrinology to human physiology and diseases. (United States)

    Takahashi, Kazuhiro


    Recent studies have revealed the importance of fish-derived peptide hormones to human endocrinology. These peptides include melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), urocortins (human urotensin-I), and urotensin-II. MCH, a hypothalamic peptide, is a potent stimulator on appetite. Urocortins, e.g. urocortin 1 and urocortin 3 (stresscopin), are endogenous ligands for the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) receptors, particularly CRF type 2 receptor, that mediates a vasodilator action, a positive inotropic action and a central appetite-inhibiting action. These actions mediated by CRF type 2 receptor may ameliorate the stress response. Human urotensin-II is a potent vasoconstrictor peptide, while it acts as a vasodilator on some arteries. Human urotensin-II is expressed in various types of cells and tissues, including cardiovascular tissues, as well as many types of tumor cells. Thus, these fish-derived peptides appear to play important roles in human physiology, such as appetite regulation, stress response and cardiovascular regulation, and also in diseases, for example, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and tumors. Development of antagonists/agonists against the receptors for these peptides may open new strategies for the treatment of various diseases, including obesity-related diseases, hypertension, heart failure and malignant tumors.

  12. Meganucleases Revolutionize the Production of Genetically Engineered Pigs for the Study of Human Diseases. (United States)

    Redel, Bethany K; Prather, Randall S


    Animal models of human diseases are critically necessary for developing an in-depth knowledge of disease development and progression. In addition, animal models are vital to the development of potential treatments or even cures for human diseases. Pigs are exceptional models as their size, physiology, and genetics are closer to that of humans than rodents. In this review, we discuss the use of pigs in human translational research and the evolving technology that has increased the efficiency of genetically engineering pigs. With the emergence of the clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) protein 9 system technology, the cost and time it takes to genetically engineer pigs has markedly decreased. We will also discuss the use of another meganuclease, the transcription activator-like effector nucleases , to produce pigs with severe combined immunodeficiency by developing targeted modifications of the recombination activating gene 2 (RAG2).RAG2mutant pigs may become excellent animals to facilitate the development of xenotransplantation, regenerative medicine, and tumor biology. The use of pig biomedical models is vital for furthering the knowledge of, and for treating human, diseases.

  13. A Cellular Star Atlas: Using Astrocytes from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells for Disease Studies

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    Robert eKrencik


    Full Text Available What roles do astrocytes play in human disease? This question remains unanswered for nearly every human neurological disorder. Yet, because of their abundance and complexity astrocytes can impact neurological function in many ways. The differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs into neuronal and glial subtypes, including astrocytes, is becoming routine, thus their use as tools for modeling neurodevelopment and disease will provide one important approach to answer this question. When designing experiments, careful consideration must be given to choosing paradigms for differentiation, maturation, and functional analysis of these temporally asynchronous cellular populations in culture. In the case of astrocytes, they display heterogeneous characteristics depending upon species of origin, brain region, developmental stage, environmental factors, and disease states, all of which may render experimental results highly variable. In this review, challenges and future directions are discussed for using hPSC-derived astroglial progenitors and mature astrocytes for neurodevelopmental studies with a focus on exploring human astrocyte effects upon neuronal function. As new technologies emerge to measure the functions of astrocytes in vitro and in vivo, there is also a need for a standardized source of human astrocytes that are most relevant to the diseases of interest.

  14. The human environment and the vitamin D compromise: Scotland as a case study in human biocultural adaptation and disease susceptibility. (United States)

    Chaplin, George; Jablonski, Nina G


    Year-round human habitation of environments with highly seasonal regimes of ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) depended on adaptive complexes of biological and cultural traits to ensure adequacy of vitamin D. Perturbations of such adaptive complexes resulting from changes in the physical environment, human behavior and culture, or both have had unexpected and untoward consequences for health. Scotland is an excellent case study of the changing nature of human biocultural adaptation to low-UVB environments. Occupation of Scotland after the last Pleistocene glaciation event about 14,000 YBP was made possible by maximally depigmented skin, which facilitated cutaneous biosynthesis of vitamin D3, and by a diet that emphasized foods rich in vitamin D. Changes in human subsistence and diet began with the introduction of agriculture and grazing about 5,000 YBP and accelerated greatly in the last 200 years through industrialization and urbanization. The resulting changes in domiciles, patterns of daily activity and behavior, and diet have led to reduced exposure to UVB and reduced consumption of vitamin D-rich foods. This has perturbed the "vitamin D compromise," an adaptive complex established in Scotland during the Mesolithic and Neolithic. We describe the UVB environment of Scotland from remotely sensed data and combine these data with information from the archaeological record to describe the vitamin D compromise in Scotland. Changes in human exposure to UVB and vitamin D consumption, which occurred as the result of urbanization and the dietary shift away from the consumption of oily fish, are traced. Vitamin D deficiency contributes to increased disease prevalence in Scotland, including that of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis, a debilitating neurodegenerative disease caused by demyelination of the central nervous system. These conditions have created an "imperfect storm" of poor health that should command the attention of public health experts and policy makers.

  15. Human case of West Nile neuroinvasive disease in Portugal, summer 2015. (United States)

    Zé-Zé, Líbia; Proença, Paula; Osório, Hugo C; Gomes, Salomé; Luz, Teresa; Parreira, Paulo; Fevereiro, Miguel; Alves, Maria João


    A case of West Nile virus (WNV) infection was reported in the Algarve region, Portugal, in the first week of September 2015. WNV is known to circulate in Portugal, with occasional reports in horses and birds (2004 to 2011) and very sporadically human cases (in 2004 and in 2010). Here we present the clinical and laboratory aspects related to the first human case of West Nile neuroinvasive disease reported in Portugal.

  16. Circular RNAs: Biogenesis, Function and Role in Human Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Greene


    potential disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cancer.

  17. Systematic analysis, comparison, and integration of disease based human genetic association data and mouse genetic phenotypic information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang S Alex


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genetic contributions to human common disorders and mouse genetic models of disease are complex and often overlapping. In common human diseases, unlike classical Mendelian disorders, genetic factors generally have small effect sizes, are multifactorial, and are highly pleiotropic. Likewise, mouse genetic models of disease often have pleiotropic and overlapping phenotypes. Moreover, phenotypic descriptions in the literature in both human and mouse are often poorly characterized and difficult to compare directly. Methods In this report, human genetic association results from the literature are summarized with regard to replication, disease phenotype, and gene specific results; and organized in the context of a systematic disease ontology. Similarly summarized mouse genetic disease models are organized within the Mammalian Phenotype ontology. Human and mouse disease and phenotype based gene sets are identified. These disease gene sets are then compared individually and in large groups through dendrogram analysis and hierarchical clustering analysis. Results Human disease and mouse phenotype gene sets are shown to group into disease and phenotypically relevant groups at both a coarse and fine level based on gene sharing. Conclusion This analysis provides a systematic and global perspective on the genetics of common human disease as compared to itself and in the context of mouse genetic models of disease.

  18. A novel porcine model of ataxia telangiectasia reproduces neurological features and motor deficits of human disease. (United States)

    Beraldi, Rosanna; Chan, Chun-Hung; Rogers, Christopher S; Kovács, Attila D; Meyerholz, David K; Trantzas, Constantin; Lambertz, Allyn M; Darbro, Benjamin W; Weber, Krystal L; White, Katherine A M; Rheeden, Richard V; Kruer, Michael C; Dacken, Brian A; Wang, Xiao-Jun; Davis, Bryan T; Rohret, Judy A; Struzynski, Jason T; Rohret, Frank A; Weimer, Jill M; Pearce, David A


    Ataxia telangiectasia (AT) is a progressive multisystem disorder caused by mutations in the AT-mutated (ATM) gene. AT is a neurodegenerative disease primarily characterized by cerebellar degeneration in children leading to motor impairment. The disease progresses with other clinical manifestations including oculocutaneous telangiectasia, immune disorders, increased susceptibly to cancer and respiratory infections. Although genetic investigations and physiological models have established the linkage of ATM with AT onset, the mechanisms linking ATM to neurodegeneration remain undetermined, hindering therapeutic development. Several murine models of AT have been successfully generated showing some of the clinical manifestations of the disease, however they do not fully recapitulate the hallmark neurological phenotype, thus highlighting the need for a more suitable animal model. We engineered a novel porcine model of AT to better phenocopy the disease and bridge the gap between human and current animal models. The initial characterization of AT pigs revealed early cerebellar lesions including loss of Purkinje cells (PCs) and altered cytoarchitecture suggesting a developmental etiology for AT and could advocate for early therapies for AT patients. In addition, similar to patients, AT pigs show growth retardation and develop motor deficit phenotypes. By using the porcine system to model human AT, we established the first animal model showing PC loss and motor features of the human disease. The novel AT pig provides new opportunities to unmask functions and roles of ATM in AT disease and in physiological conditions.

  19. Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells: A Novel Source for Modeling of Human Genetic Diseases

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    Ivana Antonucci


    Full Text Available In recent years, great interest has been devoted to the use of Induced Pluripotent Stem cells (iPS for modeling of human genetic diseases, due to the possibility of reprogramming somatic cells of affected patients into pluripotent cells, enabling differentiation into several cell types, and allowing investigations into the molecular mechanisms of the disease. However, the protocol of iPS generation still suffers from technical limitations, showing low efficiency, being expensive and time consuming. Amniotic Fluid Stem cells (AFS represent a potential alternative novel source of stem cells for modeling of human genetic diseases. In fact, by means of prenatal diagnosis, a number of fetuses affected by chromosomal or Mendelian diseases can be identified, and the amniotic fluid collected for genetic testing can be used, after diagnosis, for the isolation, culture and differentiation of AFS cells. This can provide a useful stem cell model for the investigation of the molecular basis of the diagnosed disease without the necessity of producing iPS, since AFS cells show some features of pluripotency and are able to differentiate in cells derived from all three germ layers “in vitro”. In this article, we describe the potential benefits provided by using AFS cells in the modeling of human genetic diseases.

  20. A Nonhuman Primate Model of Human Radiation-Induced Venocclusive Liver Disease and Hepatocyte Injury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yannam, Govardhana Rao [Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska (United States); Han, Bing [Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States); Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Xi' an Jiaotong University, Xi' an, Shaanxi (China); Setoyama, Kentaro [Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States); Yamamoto, Toshiyuki [Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska (United States); Ito, Ryotaro; Brooks, Jenna M. [Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States); Guzman-Lepe, Jorge [Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States); Department of Pathology, Children' s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States); Galambos, Csaba [Department of Pathology, Children' s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States); Fong, Jason V. [Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States); Deutsch, Melvin; Quader, Mubina A. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Children' s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States); Yamanouchi, Kosho [Department of Radiation Oncology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (United States); Marion Bessin Liver Research Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (United States); Kabarriti, Rafi; Mehta, Keyur [Department of Radiation Oncology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (United States); Soto-Gutierrez, Alejandro [Department of Pathology, Children' s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States); McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States); and others


    Background: Human liver has an unusual sensitivity to radiation that limits its use in cancer therapy or in preconditioning for hepatocyte transplantation. Because the characteristic veno-occlusive lesions of radiation-induced liver disease do not occur in rodents, there has been no experimental model to investigate the limits of safe radiation therapy or explore the pathogenesis of hepatic veno-occlusive disease. Methods and Materials: We performed a dose-escalation study in a primate, the cynomolgus monkey, using hypofractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy in 13 animals. Results: At doses ≥40 Gy, animals developed a systemic syndrome resembling human radiation-induced liver disease, consisting of decreased albumin, elevated alkaline phosphatase, loss of appetite, ascites, and normal bilirubin. Higher radiation doses were lethal, causing severe disease that required euthanasia approximately 10 weeks after radiation. Even at lower doses in which radiation-induced liver disease was mild or nonexistent, latent and significant injury to hepatocytes was demonstrated by asialoglycoprotein-mediated functional imaging. These monkeys developed hepatic failure with encephalopathy when they received parenteral nutrition containing high concentrations of glucose. Histologically, livers showed central obstruction via an unusual intimal swelling that progressed to central fibrosis. Conclusions: The cynomolgus monkey, as the first animal model of human veno-occlusive radiation-induced liver disease, provides a resource for characterizing the early changes and pathogenesis of venocclusion, for establishing nonlethal therapeutic dosages, and for examining experimental therapies to minimize radiation injury.

  1. Genetic variation in lipid desaturases and its impact on the development of human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mutch David M


    Full Text Available Abstract Perturbations in lipid metabolism characterize many of the chronic diseases currently plaguing our society, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Thus interventions that target plasma lipid levels remain a primary goal to manage these diseases. The determinants of plasma lipid levels are multi-factorial, consisting of both genetic and lifestyle components. Recent evidence indicates that fatty acid desaturases have an important role in defining plasma and tissue lipid profiles. This review will highlight the current state-of-knowledge regarding three desaturases (Scd-1, Fads1 and Fads2 and their potential roles in disease onset and development. Although research in rodent models has provided invaluable insight into the regulation and functions of these desaturases, the extent to which murine research can be translated to humans remains unclear. Evidence emerging from human-based research demonstrates that genetic variation in human desaturase genes affects enzyme activity and, consequently, disease risk factors. Moreover, this genetic variation may have a trans-generational effect via breastfeeding. Therefore inter-individual variation in desaturase function is attributed to both genetic and lifestyle components. As such, population-based research regarding the role of desaturases on disease risk is challenged by this complex gene-lifestyle paradigm. Unravelling the contribution of each component is paramount for understanding the inter-individual variation that exists in plasma lipid profiles, and will provide crucial information to develop personalized strategies to improve health management.

  2. Can the silkworm (Bombyx mori) be used as a human disease model? (United States)

    Tabunoki, Hiroko; Bono, Hidemasa; Ito, Katsuhiko; Yokoyama, Takeshi


    Bombyx mori (silkworm) is the most famous lepidopteran in Japan. B. mori has long been used in the silk industry and also as a model insect for agricultural research. In recent years, B. mori has attracted interest in its potential for use in pathological analysis of model animals. For example, the human macular carotenoid transporter was discovered using information of B. mori carotenoid transporter derived from yellow-cocoon strain. The B. mori carotenoid transport system is useful in human studies. To develop a human disease model, we characterized the human homologs of B. mori, and by constructing KAIKO functional annotation pipeline, and to analyze gene expression profile of a unique B. mori mutant strain using microarray analysis. As a result, we identified a novel molecular network involved in Parkinson's disease. Here we describe the potential use of a spontaneous mutant silkworm strain as a human disease model. We also summarize recent progress in the application of genomic information for annotation of human homologs in B. mori. The B. mori mutant will provide a clue to pathological mechanisms, and the findings will be helpful for the development of therapies and for medical drug discovery.

  3. Graft versus host disease in the bone marrow, liver and thymus humanized mouse model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew B Greenblatt

    Full Text Available Mice bearing a "humanized" immune system are valuable tools to experimentally manipulate human cells in vivo and facilitate disease models not normally possible in laboratory animals. Here we describe a form of GVHD that develops in NOD/SCID mice reconstituted with human fetal bone marrow, liver and thymus (NS BLT mice. The skin, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and parotid glands are affected with progressive inflammation and sclerosis. Although all mice showed involvement of at least one organ site, the incidence of overt clinical disease was approximately 35% by 22 weeks after reconstitution. The use of hosts lacking the IL2 common gamma chain (NOD/SCID/γc(-/- delayed the onset of disease, but ultimately did not affect incidence. Genetic analysis revealed that particular donor HLA class I alleles influenced the risk for the development of GVHD. At a cellular level, GVHD is associated with the infiltration of human CD4+ T cells into the skin and a shift towards Th1 cytokine production. GVHD also induced a mixed M1/M2 polarization phenotype in a dermal murine CD11b+, MHC class II+ macrophage population. The presence of xenogenic GVHD in BLT mice both presents a major obstacle in the use of humanized mice and an opportunity to conduct preclinical studies on GVHD in a humanized model.

  4. The Integrative Human Microbiome Project: dynamic analysis of microbiome-host omics profiles during periods of human health and disease. (United States)


    Much has been learned about the diversity and distribution of human-associated microbial communities, but we still know little about the biology of the microbiome, how it interacts with the host, and how the host responds to its resident microbiota. The Integrative Human Microbiome Project (iHMP,, the second phase of the NIH Human Microbiome Project, will study these interactions by analyzing microbiome and host activities in longitudinal studies of disease-specific cohorts and by creating integrated data sets of microbiome and host functional properties. These data sets will serve as experimental test beds to evaluate new models, methods, and analyses on the interactions of host and microbiome. Here we describe the three models of microbiome-associated human conditions, on the dynamics of preterm birth, inflammatory bowel disease, and type 2 diabetes, and their underlying hypotheses, as well as the multi-omic data types to be collected, integrated, and distributed through public repositories as a community resource. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Telmisartan Ameliorates Fibrocystic Liver Disease in an Orthologous Rat Model of Human Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (United States)

    Yoshihara, Daisuke; Kugita, Masanori; Sasaki, Mai; Horie, Shigeo; Nakanishi, Koichi; Abe, Takaaki; Aukema, Harold M.; Yamaguchi, Tamio; Nagao, Shizuko


    Human autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) produces kidneys which are massively enlarged due to multiple cysts, hypertension, and congenital hepatic fibrosis characterized by dilated bile ducts and portal hypertension. The PCK rat is an orthologous model of human ARPKD with numerous fluid-filled cysts caused by stimulated cellular proliferation in the renal tubules and hepatic bile duct epithelia, with interstitial fibrosis developed in the liver. We previously reported that a peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-γ full agonist ameliorated kidney and liver disease in PCK rats. Telmisartan is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) used widely as an antihypertensive drug and shows partial PPAR-γ agonist activity. It also has nephroprotective activity in diabetes and renal injury and prevents the effects of drug-induced hepatotoxicity and hepatic fibrosis. In the present study, we determined whether telmisartan ameliorates progression of polycystic kidney and fibrocystic liver disease in PCK rats. Five male and 5 female PCK and normal control (+/+) rats were orally administered 3 mg/kg telmisartan or vehicle every day from 4 to 20 weeks of age. Treatment with telmisartan decreased blood pressure in both PCK and +/+ rats. Blood levels of aspartate amino transferase, alanine amino transferase and urea nitrogen were unaffected by telmisartan treatment. There was no effect on kidney disease progression, but liver weight relative to body weight, liver cystic area, hepatic fibrosis index, expression levels of Ki67 and TGF-β, and the number of Ki67- and TGF-β-positive interstitial cells in the liver were significantly decreased in telmisartan-treated PCK rats. Therefore, telmisartan ameliorates congenital hepatic fibrosis in ARPKD, possibly through the inhibition of signaling cascades responsible for cellular proliferation and interstitial fibrosis in PCK rats. The present results support the potential therapeutic use of ARBs for the

  6. Prioritizing Zoonotic Diseases: Differences in Perspectives Between Human and Animal Health Professionals in North America. (United States)

    Ng, V; Sargeant, J M


    Zoonoses pose a significant burden of illness in North America. Zoonoses represent an additional threat to public health because the natural reservoirs are often animals, particularly wildlife, thus eluding control efforts such as quarantine, vaccination and social distancing. As there are limited resources available, it is necessary to prioritize diseases in order to allocate resources to those posing the greatest public health threat. Many studies have attempted to prioritize zoonoses, but challenges exist. This study uses a quantitative approach, conjoint analysis (CA), to overcome some limitations of traditional disease prioritization exercises. We used CA to conduct a zoonoses prioritization study involving a range of human and animal health professionals across North America; these included epidemiologists, public health practitioners, research scientists, physicians, veterinarians, laboratory technicians and nurses. A total of 699 human health professionals (HHP) and 585 animal health professionals (AHP) participated in this study. We used CA to prioritize 62 zoonotic diseases using 21 criteria. Our findings suggest CA can be used to produce reasonable criteria scores for disease prioritization. The fitted models were satisfactory for both groups with a slightly better fit for AHP compared to HHP (84.4% certainty fit versus 83.6%). Human-related criteria were more influential for HHP in their decision to prioritize zoonoses, while animal-related criteria were more influential for AHP resulting in different disease priority lists. While the differences were not statistically significant, a difference of one or two ranks could be considered important for some individuals. A potential solution to address the varying opinions is discussed. The scientific framework for disease prioritization presented can be revised on a regular basis by updating disease criteria to reflect diseases as they evolve over time; such a framework is of value allowing diseases of

  7. Surveillance and control of zoonotic agents prior to disease detection in humans. (United States)

    Childs, James E; Gordon, Elizabeth R


    The majority of newly emerging diseases are zoonoses caused by pathogens transmitted directly or indirectly through arthropod vectors to humans. Transmission chains leading to human infection frequently involve intermediate vertebrate hosts, including wildlife and domestic animals. Animal-based surveillance of domestic and wild animals for zoonotic pathogens is a global challenge. Until recently, there has been no scientific, social, or political consensus that animal-based surveillance for zoonotic pathogens merits significant infrastructural investment, other than the fledgling efforts with avian influenza. National institutions charged with strategic planning for emerging diseases or intentional releases of zoonotic agents emphasize improving diagnostic capabilities for detecting human infections, modifying the immune status of human or domestic animals through vaccines, producing better antiviral or antibacterial drugs, and enhancing human-based surveillance as an early warning system. With the exception of human vaccination, these anthropocentric approaches target post-spillover events, and none of these avenues of research will reduce the risk of additional emergences of pathogens from wildlife. Novel schemes for preventing spillover of human pathogens from animal reservoir hosts can spring only from an understanding of the ecological context and biological interactions that result in zoonotic disease emergence. Although the benefits derived from investments to improve surveillance and knowledge of zoonotic pathogens circulating among wildlife reservoir populations are uncertain, our experience with human immunodeficiency virus and the pandemic influenza inform us of the outcomes that we can expect by relying on detection of post-spillover events among sentinel humans. Mt Sinai J Med 76:421-428, 2009. (c) 2009 Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

  8. RT-ABCDE Strategy for Management and Prevention of Human Diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU Chun-song


    In this article,the authors summarized the RT-ABCDE strategy for the management and prevention of human diseases,which includes ReTrO-ABCDE(Examination regularity,Disease and risk factor control,Changing lifestyrle and reducing pathways of infection and spread,Biochemical and Antagonistic index control and therapeutic treatment as well as RT-Routine and Right Treatment).The RT-ABCDE strategy,a novel concept and an essential method,should be a routine strategy for disease control and prevention.It should be proposed and applied in both clinical and preventive medicine.

  9. Ischemic heart disease induces upregulation of endothelin receptor mRNA in human coronary arteries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wackenfors, Angelica; Emilson, Malin; Ingemansson, Richard;


    and controls using real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR). In addition, the suitability of organ culture as a model mimicking endothelin receptor changes in cardiovascular disease was evaluated by in vitro pharmacology and real-time PCR. Endothelin ETA and ETB receptor mRNA levels were......Endothelin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of ischemic heart disease and congestive heart failure. The aims were to quantify endothelin type A (ETA) and type B (ETB) receptor mRNA levels in human coronary arteries from patients with ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure...

  10. [SWOT Analysis of the National Survey on Current Status of Major Human Parasitic Diseases in China]. (United States)

    ZHU, Hui-hui; ZHOU, Chang-hai; CHEN, Ying-dan; ZANG, Wei; XIAO, Ning; ZHOU, Xiao-nong


    The National Survey on Current Status of Major Human Parasitic Diseases in China has been carried out since 2014 under the organization of the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China. The National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NIPD, China CDC) provided technical support and was responsible for quality control in this survey. This study used SWOT method to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that were encountered by he NIPD, China CDC during the completion of the survey. Accordingly, working strategies were proposed to facilitate the future field work.

  11. Laminopathies: involvement of structural nuclear proteins in the pathogenesis of an increasing number of human diseases. (United States)

    Maraldi, Nadir M; Squarzoni, Stefano; Sabatelli, Patrizia; Capanni, Cristina; Mattioli, Elisabetta; Ognibene, Andrea; Lattanzi, Giovanna


    Just at the beginning of the millennium the neologism laminopathies has been introduced in the scientific vocabulary. An exponential increase of interest on the subject started concomitantly, so that a formerly quite neglected group of rare human diseases is now widely investigated. This review will cover the history of the identification of the molecular basis for fourteen (since now) hereditary diseases arising from defects in genes that encode nuclear envelope and nuclear lamina-associated proteins and will also consider the hypotheses that can account for the role of structural nuclear proteins in the pathogenesis of diseases affecting a wide spectrum of tissues.

  12. Modeling Alzheimer's disease with human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. (United States)

    Mungenast, Alison E; Siegert, Sandra; Tsai, Li-Huei


    In the last decade, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have revolutionized the utility of human in vitro models of neurological disease. The iPS-derived and differentiated cells allow researchers to study the impact of a distinct cell type in health and disease as well as performing therapeutic drug screens on a human genetic background. In particular, clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been failing. Two of the potential reasons are first, the species gap involved in proceeding from initial discoveries in rodent models to human studies, and second, an unsatisfying patient stratification, meaning subgrouping patients based on the disease severity due to the lack of phenotypic and genetic markers. iPS cells overcome this obstacles and will improve our understanding of disease subtypes in AD. They allow researchers conducting in depth characterization of neural cells from both familial and sporadic AD patients as well as preclinical screens on human cells. In this review, we briefly outline the status quo of iPS cell research in neurological diseases along with the general advantages and pitfalls of these models. We summarize how genome-editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 will allow researchers to reduce the problem of genomic variability inherent to human studies, followed by recent iPS cell studies relevant to AD. We then focus on current techniques for the differentiation of iPS cells into neural cell types that are relevant to AD research. Finally, we discuss how the generation of three-dimensional cell culture systems will be important for understanding AD phenotypes in a complex cellular milieu, and how both two- and three-dimensional iPS cell models can provide platforms for drug discovery and translational studies into the treatment of AD.

  13. Linking human diseases to animal models using ontology-based phenotype annotation.

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    Nicole L Washington


    Full Text Available Scientists and clinicians who study genetic alterations and disease have traditionally described phenotypes in natural language. The considerable variation in these free-text descriptions has posed a hindrance to the important task of identifying candidate genes and models for human diseases and indicates the need for a computationally tractable method to mine data resources for mutant phenotypes. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that ontological annotation of disease phenotypes will facilitate the discovery of new genotype-phenotype relationships within and across species. To describe phenotypes using ontologies, we used an Entity-Quality (EQ methodology, wherein the affected entity (E and how it is affected (Q are recorded using terms from a variety of ontologies. Using this EQ method, we annotated the phenotypes of 11 gene-linked human diseases described in Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM. These human annotations were loaded into our Ontology-Based Database (OBD along with other ontology-based phenotype descriptions of mutants from various model organism databases. Phenotypes recorded with this EQ method can be computationally compared based on the hierarchy of terms in the ontologies and the frequency of annotation. We utilized four similarity metrics to compare phenotypes and developed an ontology of homologous and analogous anatomical structures to compare phenotypes between species. Using these tools, we demonstrate that we can identify, through the similarity of the recorded phenotypes, other alleles of the same gene, other members of a signaling pathway, and orthologous genes and pathway members across species. We conclude that EQ-based annotation of phenotypes, in conjunction with a cross-species ontology, and a variety of similarity metrics can identify biologically meaningful similarities between genes by comparing phenotypes alone. This annotation and search method provides a novel and efficient means to identify

  14. PHD fingers in human diseases: Disorders arising from misinterpreting epigenetic marks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baker, Lindsey A. [Rockefeller University, Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics, 1230 York Avenue, Box 78, New York, NY 10065 (United States); Allis, C. David [Rockefeller University, Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics, 1230 York Avenue, Box 78, New York, NY 10065 (United States)], E-mail:; Wang, Gang G. [Rockefeller University, Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics, 1230 York Avenue, Box 78, New York, NY 10065 (United States)], E-mail:


    Histone covalent modifications regulate many, if not all, DNA-templated processes, including gene expression and DNA damage response. The biological consequences of histone modifications are mediated partially by evolutionarily conserved 'reader/effector' modules that bind to histone marks in a modification- and context-specific fashion and subsequently enact chromatin changes or recruit other proteins to do so. Recently, the Plant Homeodomain (PHD) finger has emerged as a class of specialized 'reader' modules that, in some instances, recognize the methylation status of histone lysine residues, such as histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4). While mutations in catalytic enzymes that mediate the addition or removal of histone modifications (i.e., 'writers' and 'erasers') are already known to be involved in various human diseases, mutations in the modification-specific 'reader' proteins are only beginning to be recognized as contributing to human diseases. For instance, point mutations, deletions or chromosomal translocations that target PHD fingers encoded by many genes (such as recombination activating gene 2 (RAG2), Inhibitor of Growth (ING), nuclear receptor-binding SET domain-containing 1 (NSD1) and Alpha Thalassaemia and Mental Retardation Syndrome, X-linked (ATRX)) have been associated with a wide range of human pathologies including immunological disorders, cancers, and neurological diseases. In this review, we will discuss the structural features of PHD fingers as well as the diseases for which direct mutation or dysregulation of the PHD finger has been reported. We propose that misinterpretation of the epigenetic marks may serve as a general mechanism for human diseases of this category. Determining the regulatory roles of histone covalent modifications in the context of human disease will allow for a more thorough understanding of normal and pathological development, and may provide innovative therapeutic strategies

  15. Studying human respiratory disease in animals--role of induced and naturally occurring models. (United States)

    Williams, Kurt; Roman, Jesse


    Respiratory disorders like asthma, emphysema, and pulmonary fibrosis affect millions of Americans and many more worldwide. Despite advancements in medical research that have led to improved understanding of the pathophysiology of these conditions and sometimes to new therapeutic interventions, these disorders are for the most part chronic and progressive; current interventions are not curative and do not halt disease progression. A major obstacle to further advancements relates to the absence of animal models that exactly resemble the human condition, which delays the elucidation of relevant mechanisms of action, the unveiling of biomarkers of disease progression, and identification of new targets for intervention in patients. There are currently many induced animal models of human respiratory disease available for study, and even though they mimic features of human disease, discoveries in these models have not always translated into safe and effective treatments in humans. A major obstacle relates to the genetic, anatomical, and functional variations amongst species, which represents the major challenge to overcome when searching for appropriate models of respiratory disease. Nevertheless, rodents, in particular mice, have become the most common species used for experimentation, due to their relatively low cost, size, and adequate understanding of murine genetics, among other advantages. Less well known is the fact that domestic animals also suffer from respiratory illnesses similar to those found in humans. Asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and pulmonary fibrosis are among the many disorders occurring naturally in dogs, cats, and horses, among other species. These models might better resemble the human condition and are emphasized here, but further investigations are needed to determine their relevance.

  16. Human amniotic fluid stem cells as a model for functional studies of genes involved in human genetic diseases or oncogenesis. (United States)

    Rosner, Margit; Dolznig, Helmut; Schipany, Katharina; Mikula, Mario; Brandau, Oliver; Hengstschläger, Markus


    Besides their putative usage for therapies, stem cells are a promising tool for functional studies of genes involved in human genetic diseases or oncogenesis. For this purpose induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be derived from patients harbouring specific mutations. In contrast to adult stem cells, iPS cells are pluripotent and can efficiently be grown in culture. However, iPS cells are modulated due to the ectopic induction of pluripotency, harbour other somatic mutations accumulated during the life span of the source cells, exhibit only imperfectly cleared epigenetic memory of the source cell, and are often genomically instable. In addition, iPS cells from patients only allow the investigation of mutations, which are not prenatally lethal. Embryonic stem (ES) cells have a high proliferation and differentiation potential, but raise ethical issues. Human embryos, which are not transferred in the course of in vitro fertilization, because of preimplantation genetic diagnosis of a genetic defect, are still rarely donated for the establishment of ES cell lines. In addition, their usage for studies on gene functions for oncogenesis is hampered by the fact the ES cells are already tumorigenic per se. In 2003 amniotic fluid stem (AFS) cells have been discovered, which meanwhile have been demonstrated to harbour the potential to differentiate into cells of all three germ layers. Monoclonal human AFS cell lines derived from amniocenteses have a high proliferative potential, are genomically stable and are not associated with ethical controversies. Worldwide amniocenteses are performed for routine human genetic diagnosis. We here discuss how generation and banking of monoclonal human AFS cell lines with specific chromosomal aberrations or monogenic disease mutations would allow to study the functional consequences of disease causing mutations. In addition, recently a protocol for efficient and highly reproducible siRNA-mediated long-term knockdown of endogenous gene

  17. Hemocultures for the parasitological diagnosis of human chronic Chagas' disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Egler Chiari


    Full Text Available With the purpose of standardization of an hemoculture technique presenting a higher positive rate in the parasitological diagnosis of chronic Chagas' disease in patients with reactive serology (IFT, HA, CFT the following schedule was used. Thirty ml of venous blood was collected with heparin and the plasma was separated by centrifugation (2.000 rpm/30'. The packed cells were washed with LIT medium or PBS which was then removed by centrifugation (2.000 rpm/15'. This material was sampled in 6 screw-tubes 18x200 with 6 ml of LIT medium and incubated at 28°C. These incubated cultures at 28°C were examined after 15, 30, 45 and 60 days. When the hemoculture was not immediately processed after blood collection, the plasma was removed and the sediment enriched with LIT medium and preserved at 4°C. The Xenodiagnosis was performed according to Schenones method used here as a reference technique. Among the various groups of patients examined by both techniques the best results obtained were: 55.08% ofpositivity for hemocultures against 27.5% forxenodiagnosis (X² = 4.54, p = 0.05, with a tubepositivity of 26.6%. Recommendation for screening trials of drug assays is the repetition of method on a same patient 2 or more times in different occasions, as used in xenodiagnosis.Objetivando a padronização de uma técnica de hemoculturas que apresente maior taxa de positividade no diagnóstico da fase crônica da doença de Chagas em pacientes com sorologia reativa (TIF, HA, RFC utilizamos o seguinte esquema: o volume de 30ml de sangue foi colhido heparinizado e o plasma separado por centrifugaçao (200 rpm/30'; o sedimento foi lavado com meio LIT ou salina fisiológica tamponada e removido por nova centrifugação (2000 rpm/15; as células sedimentadas foram distribuídas em 6 tubos tipo "screw" 18 x 200 contendo 6,0 ml de meio LIT; as culturas incubadas a 28°C, foram examinadas após 15, 30, 45 e 60 dias; quando a hemocultura não foi processada

  18. Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife--threats to biodiversity and human health. (United States)

    Daszak, P; Cunningham, A A; Hyatt, A D


    Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) of free-living wild animals can be classified into three major groups on the basis of key epizootiological criteria: (i) EIDs associated with "spill-over" from domestic animals to wildlife populations living in proximity; (ii) EIDs related directly to human intervention, via host or parasite translocations; and (iii) EIDs with no overt human or domestic animal involvement. These phenomena have two major biological implications: first, many wildlife species are reservoirs of pathogens that threaten domestic animal and human health; second, wildlife EIDs pose a substantial threat to the conservation of global biodiversity.

  19. Global burden of human brucellosis: a systematic review of disease frequency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna S Dean

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: This report presents a systematic review of scientific literature published between 1990-2010 relating to the frequency of human brucellosis, commissioned by WHO. The objectives were to identify high quality disease incidence data to complement existing knowledge of the global disease burden and, ultimately, to contribute towards the calculation of a Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY estimate for brucellosis. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Thirty three databases were searched, identifying 2,385 articles relating to human brucellosis. Based on strict screening criteria, 60 studies were selected for quality assessment, of which only 29 were of sufficient quality for data analysis. Data were only available from 15 countries in the regions of Northern Africa and Middle East, Western Europe, Central and South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central Asia. Half of the studies presented incidence data, six of which were longitudinal prospective studies, and half presented seroprevalence data which were converted to incidence rates. Brucellosis incidence varied widely between, and within, countries. Although study biases cannot be ruled out, demographic, occupational, and socioeconomic factors likely play a role. Aggregated data at national or regional levels do not capture these complexities of disease dynamics and, consequently, at-risk populations or areas may be overlooked. In many brucellosis-endemic countries, health systems are weak and passively-acquired official data underestimate the true disease burden. CONCLUSIONS: High quality research is essential for an accurate assessment of disease burden, particularly in Eastern Europe, the Asia-Pacific, Central and South America and Africa where data are lacking. Providing formal epidemiological and statistical training to researchers is essential for improving study quality. An integrated approach to disease surveillance involving both human health and veterinary services would allow a

  20. Type 2 diabetes risk alleles demonstrate extreme directional differentiation among human populations, compared to other diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rong Chen

    Full Text Available Many disease-susceptible SNPs exhibit significant disparity in ancestral and derived allele frequencies across worldwide populations. While previous studies have examined population differentiation of alleles at specific SNPs, global ethnic patterns of ensembles of disease risk alleles across human diseases are unexamined. To examine these patterns, we manually curated ethnic disease association data from 5,065 papers on human genetic studies representing 1,495 diseases, recording the precise risk alleles and their measured population frequencies and estimated effect sizes. We systematically compared the population frequencies of cross-ethnic risk alleles for each disease across 1,397 individuals from 11 HapMap populations, 1,064 individuals from 53 HGDP populations, and 49 individuals with whole-genome sequences from 10 populations. Type 2 diabetes (T2D demonstrated extreme directional differentiation of risk allele frequencies across human populations, compared with null distributions of European-frequency matched control genomic alleles and risk alleles for other diseases. Most T2D risk alleles share a consistent pattern of decreasing frequencies along human migration into East Asia. Furthermore, we show that these patterns contribute to disparities in predicted genetic risk across 1,397 HapMap individuals, T2D genetic risk being consistently higher for individuals in the African populations and lower in the Asian populations, irrespective of the ethnicity considered in the initial discovery of risk alleles. We observed a similar pattern in the distribution of T2D Genetic Risk Scores, which are associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes in the Diabetes Prevention Program cohort, for the same individuals. This disparity may be attributable to the promotion of energy storage and usage appropriate to environments and inconsistent energy intake. Our results indicate that the differential frequencies of T2D risk alleles may

  1. Type 2 diabetes risk alleles demonstrate extreme directional differentiation among human populations, compared to other diseases. (United States)

    Chen, Rong; Corona, Erik; Sikora, Martin; Dudley, Joel T; Morgan, Alex A; Moreno-Estrada, Andres; Nilsen, Geoffrey B; Ruau, David; Lincoln, Stephen E; Bustamante, Carlos D; Butte, Atul J


    Many disease-susceptible SNPs exhibit significant disparity in ancestral and derived allele frequencies across worldwide populations. While previous studies have examined population differentiation of alleles at specific SNPs, global ethnic patterns of ensembles of disease risk alleles across human diseases are unexamined. To examine these patterns, we manually curated ethnic disease association data from 5,065 papers on human genetic studies representing 1,495 diseases, recording the precise risk alleles and their measured population frequencies and estimated effect sizes. We systematically compared the population frequencies of cross-ethnic risk alleles for each disease across 1,397 individuals from 11 HapMap populations, 1,064 individuals from 53 HGDP populations, and 49 individuals with whole-genome sequences from 10 populations. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) demonstrated extreme directional differentiation of risk allele frequencies across human populations, compared with null distributions of European-frequency matched control genomic alleles and risk alleles for other diseases. Most T2D risk alleles share a consistent pattern of decreasing frequencies along human migration into East Asia. Furthermore, we show that these patterns contribute to disparities in predicted genetic risk across 1,397 HapMap individuals, T2D genetic risk being consistently higher for individuals in the African populations and lower in the Asian populations, irrespective of the ethnicity considered in the initial discovery of risk alleles. We observed a similar pattern in the distribution of T2D Genetic Risk Scores, which are associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes in the Diabetes Prevention Program cohort, for the same individuals. This disparity may be attributable to the promotion of energy storage and usage appropriate to environments and inconsistent energy intake. Our results indicate that the differential frequencies of T2D risk alleles may contribute to the observed

  2. A knowledge based approach to matching human neurodegenerative disease and animal models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryann E Martone


    Full Text Available Neurodegenerative diseases present a wide and complex range of biological and clinical features. Animal models are key to translational research, yet typically only exhibit a subset of disease features rather than being precise replicas of the disease. Consequently, connecting animal to human conditions using direct data-mining strategies has proven challenging, particularly for diseases of the nervous system, with its complicated anatomy and physiology. To address this challenge we have explored the use of ontologies to create formal descriptions of structural phenotypes across scales that are machine processable and amenable to logical inference. As proof of concept, we built a Neurodegenerative Disease Phenotype Ontology and an associated Phenotype Knowledge Base using an entity-quality model that incorporates descriptions for both human disease phenotypes and those of animal models. Entities are drawn from community ontologies made available through the Neuroscience Information Framework and qualities are drawn from the Phenotype and Trait Ontology. We generated ~1200 structured phenotype statements describing structural alterations at the subcellular, cellular and gross anatomical levels observed in 11 human neurodegenerative conditions and associated animal models. PhenoSim, an open source tool for comparing phenotypes, was used to issue a series of competency questions to compare individual phenotypes among organisms and to determine which animal models recapitulate phenotypic aspects of the human disease in aggregate. Overall, the system was able to use relationships within the ontology to bridge phenotypes across scales, returning non-trivial matches based on common subsumers that were meaningful to a neuroscientist with an advanced knowledge of neuroanatomy. The system can be used both to compare individual phenotypes and also phenotypes in aggregate. This proof of concept suggests that expressing complex phenotypes using formal

  3. A knowledge based approach to matching human neurodegenerative disease and animal models (United States)

    Maynard, Sarah M.; Mungall, Christopher J.; Lewis, Suzanna E.; Imam, Fahim T.; Martone, Maryann E.


    Neurodegenerative diseases present a wide and complex range of biological and clinical features. Animal models are key to translational research, yet typically only exhibit a subset of disease features rather than being precise replicas of the disease. Consequently, connecting animal to human conditions using direct data-mining strategies has proven challenging, particularly for diseases of the nervous system, with its complicated anatomy and physiology. To address this challenge we have explored the use of ontologies to create formal descriptions of structural phenotypes across scales that are machine processable and amenable to logical inference. As proof of concept, we built a Neurodegenerative Disease Phenotype Ontology (NDPO) and an associated Phenotype Knowledge Base (PKB) using an entity-quality model that incorporates descriptions for both human disease phenotypes and those of animal models. Entities are drawn from community ontologies made available through the Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF) and qualities are drawn from the Phenotype and Trait Ontology (PATO). We generated ~1200 structured phenotype statements describing structural alterations at the subcellular, cellular and gross anatomical levels observed in 11 human neurodegenerative conditions and associated animal models. PhenoSim, an open source tool for comparing phenotypes, was used to issue a series of competency questions to compare individual phenotypes among organisms and to determine which animal models recapitulate phenotypic aspects of the human disease in aggregate. Overall, the system was able to use relationships within the ontology to bridge phenotypes across scales, returning non-trivial matches based on common subsumers that were meaningful to a neuroscientist with an advanced knowledge of neuroanatomy. The system can be used both to compare individual phenotypes and also phenotypes in aggregate. This proof of concept suggests that expressing complex phenotypes using formal

  4. Alternate-day fasting and chronic disease prevention: a review of human and animal trials. (United States)

    Varady, Krista A; Hellerstein, Marc K


    Calorie restriction (CR) and alternate-day fasting (ADF) represent 2 different forms of dietary restriction. Although the effects of CR on chronic disease prevention were reviewed previously, the effects of ADF on chronic disease risk have yet to be summarized. Accordingly, we review here animal and human evidence concerning ADF and the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. We also compare the magnitude of risk reduction resulting from ADF with that resulting from CR. In terms of diabetes risk, animal studies of ADF find lower diabetes incidence and lower fasting glucose and insulin concentrations, effects that are comparable to those of CR. Human trials to date have reported greater insulin-mediated glucose uptake but no effect on fasting glucose or insulin concentrations. In terms of cardiovascular disease risk, animal ADF data show lower total cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations, a lower heart rate, improved cardiac response to myocardial infarction, and lower blood pressure. The limited human evidence suggests higher HDL-cholesterol concentrations and lower triacylglycerol concentrations but no effect on blood pressure. In terms of cancer risk, there is no human evidence to date, yet animal studies found decreases in lymphoma incidence, longer survival after tumor inoculation, and lower rates of proliferation of several cell types. The findings in animals suggest that ADF may effectively modulate several risk factors, thereby preventing chronic disease, and that ADF may modulate disease risk to an extent similar to that of CR. More research is required to establish definitively the consequences of ADF.

  5. A clinico-epidemiological study of ulcerative sexually transmitted diseases with human immunodeficiency virus status. (United States)

    Mehta, Bhavesh


    Genital ulcerative diseases are a major public health problem. The advert of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS over the past 25 years has deepened the scope of morbidity, mortality, and various forms of clinical presentations of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). A total of 50 cases having Genital ulcerative diseases and STD reporting to STD clinic during the period of the year from November 2005 to December 2006 were included and detailed history and clinical examination were carried out and provisional diagnosis is made. Laboratory confirmation of clinically diagnosed cases was done using laboratory tests such as S. HIV, venereal disease research laboratory, Tzanck smear, gram stain, and Giemsa stain. In the present study, the incidence of herpes progenitalis was (38%) followed by primary syphilis (32%), chancroid (26%), lymphogranuloma venereum (02%), and genital scabies (02%). HIV sero-positivity was detected in 12% (n = 6) cases. HIV was found to be more common among genital ulcer disease patients, especially syphilis and genital herpes.

  6. Clinical Data Warehouse on Insect Vector Diseases to Human of Andhra Pradesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr.M. Usha Rani


    Full Text Available The Widespread of Insect Vector Diseases to humans is causing substantial morbidity and economic loss to our nation. The year 2006 is likely to go down as one of the worst years in terms of public health, which has witnessed a high incidence of Insect Vector Diseases such as Malaria, Chikungunya, Dengue, Lymphatic Filariasis, And Japanese Encephalitis. This stressed the need to track the relevant information about these diseases. The reliable and quickly retrievable clinical data on disease wise is a need of the hour with which planners can prepare their strategies to control and curb the diseases. From the aforesaid point of view this particular data warehouse (DWH going to be handy to the planners.

  7. Human infectious disease burdens decrease with urbanization but not with biodiversity (United States)

    Wood, Chelsea L.; McInturff, Alex; Young, Hillary S.; Kim, DoHyung; Lafferty, Kevin D.


    nfectious disease burdens vary from country to country and year to year due to ecological and economic drivers. Recently, Murray et al. (Murray CJ et al. 2012 Lancet 380, 2197–2223. (doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61689-4)) estimated country-level morbidity and mortality associated with a variety of factors, including infectious diseases, for the years 1990 and 2010. Unlike other databases that report disease prevalence or count outbreaks per country, Murray et al. report health impacts in per-person disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), allowing comparison across diseases with lethal and sublethal health effects. We investigated the spatial and temporal relationships between DALYs lost to infectious disease and potential demographic, economic, environmental and biotic drivers, for the 60 intermediate-sized countries where data were available and comparable. Most drivers had unique associations with each disease. For example, temperature was positively associated with some diseases and negatively associated with others, perhaps due to differences in disease agent thermal optima, transmission modes and host species identities. Biodiverse countries tended to have high disease burdens, consistent with the expectation that high diversity of potential hosts should support high disease transmission. Contrary to the dilution effect hypothesis, increases in biodiversity over time were not correlated with improvements in human health, and increases in forestation over time were actually associated with increased disease burden. Urbanization and wealth were associated with lower burdens for many diseases, a pattern that could arise from increased access to sanitation and healthcare in cities and increased investment in healthcare. The importance of urbanization and wealth helps to explain why most infectious diseases have become less burdensome over the past three decades, and points to possible levers for further progress in improving global public health.

  8. Possible roles of transglutaminases in molecular mechanisms responsible for human neurodegenerative diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Gaetano Gatta


    Full Text Available Transglutaminases are a family of Ca2+-dependent enzymes which catalyze post-translational modifications of proteins. The main activity of these enzymes is the cross-linking of glutaminyl residues of a protein/peptide substrate to lysyl residues of a protein/peptide co-substrate. In addition to lysyl residues, other second nucleophilic co-substrates may include monoamines or polyamines (to form mono- or bi-substituted/crosslinked adducts or –OH groups (to form ester linkages. In absence of co-substrates, the nucleophile may be water, resulting in the net deamidation of the glutaminyl residue. Transglutaminase activity has been suggested to be involved in molecular mechanisms responsible for both physiological or pathological processes. In particular, transglutaminase activity has been shown to be responsible for human autoimmune diseases, Celiac Disease is just one of them. Interestingly, neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, supranuclear palsy, Huntington’s Disease and other polyglutamine diseases, are characterized in part by aberrant cerebral transglutaminase activity and by increased cross-linked proteins in affected brains. This review describes the possible molecular mechanisms by which these enzymes could be responsible for such diseases and the possible use of transglutaminase inhibitors for patients with diseases characterized by aberrant transglutaminase activity.

  9. Urine-derived induced pluripotent stem cells as a modeling tool to study rare human diseases. (United States)

    Shi, Liang; Cui, Yazhou; Luan, Jing; Zhou, Xiaoyan; Han, Jinxiang


    Rare diseases with a low prevalence are a key public health issue because the causes of those diseases are difficult to determine and those diseases lack a clearly established or curative treatment. Thus, investigating the molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathology of rare diseases and facilitating the development of novel therapies using disease models is crucial. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are well suited to modeling rare diseases since they have the capacity for self-renewal and pluripotency. In addition, iPSC technology provides a valuable tool to generate patient-specific iPSCs. These cells can be differentiated into cell types that have been affected by a disease. These cells would circumvent ethical concerns and avoid immunological rejection, so they could be used in cell replacement therapy or regenerative medicine. To date, human iPSCs could have been generated from multiple donor sources, such as skin, adipose tissue, and peripheral blood. However, these cells are obtained via invasive procedures. In contrast, several groups of researchers have found that urine may be a better source for producing iPSCs from normal individuals or patients. This review discusses urinary iPSC (UiPSC) as a candidate for modeling rare diseases. Cells obtained from urine have overwhelming advantages compared to other donor sources since they are safely, affordably, and frequently obtained and they are readily obtained from patients. The use of iPSC-based models is also discussed. UiPSCs may prove to be a key means of modeling rare diseases and they may facilitate the treatment of those diseases in the future.

  10. Human pluripotent stem cell-derived acinar/ductal organoids generate human pancreas upon orthotopic transplantation and allow disease modelling. (United States)

    Hohwieler, Meike; Illing, Anett; Hermann, Patrick C; Mayer, Tobias; Stockmann, Marianne; Perkhofer, Lukas; Eiseler, Tim; Antony, Justin S; Müller, Martin; Renz, Susanne; Kuo, Chao-Chung; Lin, Qiong; Sendler, Matthias; Breunig, Markus; Kleiderman, Susanne M; Lechel, André; Zenker, Martin; Leichsenring, Michael; Rosendahl, Jonas; Zenke, Martin; Sainz, Bruno; Mayerle, Julia; Costa, Ivan G; Seufferlein, Thomas; Kormann, Michael; Wagner, Martin; Liebau, Stefan; Kleger, Alexander


    The generation of acinar and ductal cells from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) is a poorly studied process, although various diseases arise from this compartment. We designed a straightforward approach to direct human PSCs towards pancreatic organoids resembling acinar and ductal progeny. Extensive phenotyping of the organoids not only shows the appropriate marker profile but also ultrastructural, global gene expression and functional hallmarks of the human pancreas in the dish. Upon orthotopic transplantation into immunodeficient mice, these organoids form normal pancreatic ducts and acinar tissue resembling fetal human pancreas without evidence of tumour formation or transformation. Finally, we implemented this unique phenotyping tool as a model to study the pancreatic facets of cystic fibrosis (CF). For the first time, we provide evidence that in vitro, but also in our xenograft transplantation assay, pancreatic commitment occurs generally unhindered in CF. Importantly, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) activation in mutated pancreatic organoids not only mirrors the CF phenotype in functional assays but also at a global expression level. We also conducted a scalable proof-of-concept screen in CF pancreatic organoids using a set of CFTR correctors and activators, and established an mRNA-mediated gene therapy approach in CF organoids. Taken together, our platform provides novel opportunities to model pancreatic disease and development, screen for disease-rescuing agents and to test therapeutic procedures. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

  11. High Leptospira Diversity in Animals and Humans Complicates the Search for Common Reservoirs of Human Disease in Rural Ecuador (United States)

    Chiriboga, Jorge; Miller, Erin; Olivas, Sonora; Birdsell, Dawn; Hepp, Crystal; Hornstra, Heidie; Schupp, James M.; Morales, Melba; Gonzalez, Manuel; Reyes, Soraya; de la Cruz, Carmen; Keim, Paul; Hartskeerl, Rudy; Trueba, Gabriel; Pearson, Talima


    Background Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease responsible for high morbidity around the world, especially in tropical and low income countries. Rats are thought to be the main vector of human leptospirosis in urban settings. However, differences between urban and low-income rural communities provide additional insights into the epidemiology of the disease. Methodology/Principal findings Our study was conducted in two low-income rural communities near the coast of Ecuador. We detected and characterized infectious leptospira DNA in a wide variety of samples using new real time quantitative PCR assays and amplicon sequencing. We detected infectious leptospira in a high percentage of febrile patients (14.7%). In contrast to previous studies on leptospirosis risk factors, higher positivity was not found in rats (3.0%) but rather in cows (35.8%) and pigs (21.1%). Six leptospira species were identified (L. borgpetersenii, L kirschnerii, L santarosai, L. interrogans, L noguchii, and an intermediate species within the L. licerasiae and L. wolffii clade) and no significant differences in the species of leptospira present in each animal species was detected (χ2 = 9.89, adj.p-value = 0.27). Conclusions/Significance A large portion of the world’s human population lives in low-income, rural communities, however, there is limited information about leptospirosis transmission dynamics in these settings. In these areas, exposure to peridomestic livestock is particularly common and high prevalence of infectious leptospira in cows and pigs suggest that they may be the most important reservoir for human transmission. Genotyping clinical samples show that multiple species of leptospira are involved in human disease. As these genotypes were also detected in samples from a variety of animals, genotype data must be used in conjunction with epidemiological data to provide evidence of transmission and the importance of different potential leptospirosis reservoirs. PMID:27622673

  12. Oxygen-dependent injury by a human plasma factor associated with minimal change disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cheung, PK; Baller, JFW; Bakker, WW


    The mechanism by which a human plasma factor associated with proteinuria is able to cause experimental glomerular albumin leakage is unknown. This factor (called 100KF) is able to induce glomerular alterations in the rat kidney, similar to those seen in minimal change disease, including loss of glom

  13. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease 38 years after diagnostic use of human growth hormone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E.A. Croes (Esther); G. Roks (Gerwin); G.H. Jansen; P.C. Nijssen; C.M. van Duijn (Cock)


    textabstractA 47 year old man is described who developed pathology proven Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) 38 years after receiving a low dose of human derived growth hormone (hGH) as part of a diagnostic procedure. The patient presented with a cerebellar syndrome, which is compatible with iatrogenic

  14. Bacteria, Yeast, Worms, and Flies: Exploiting Simple Model Organisms to Investigate Human Mitochondrial Diseases (United States)

    Rea, Shane L.; Graham, Brett H.; Nakamaru-Ogiso, Eiko; Kar, Adwitiya; Falk, Marni J.


    The extensive conservation of mitochondrial structure, composition, and function across evolution offers a unique opportunity to expand our understanding of human mitochondrial biology and disease. By investigating the biology of much simpler model organisms, it is often possible to answer questions that are unreachable at the clinical level.…

  15. Bacteria, Yeast, Worms, and Flies: Exploiting Simple Model Organisms to Investigate Human Mitochondrial Diseases (United States)

    Rea, Shane L.; Graham, Brett H.; Nakamaru-Ogiso, Eiko; Kar, Adwitiya; Falk, Marni J.


    The extensive conservation of mitochondrial structure, composition, and function across evolution offers a unique opportunity to expand our understanding of human mitochondrial biology and disease. By investigating the biology of much simpler model organisms, it is often possible to answer questions that are unreachable at the clinical level.…

  16. C-type natriuretic-derived peptides as biomarkers in human disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lippert, Solvej Kølvraa; Goetze, Jens Peter


    and extracellular fluid volume. Atrial natriuretic peptide and B-type natriuretic peptide have gained considerable diagnostic interest as biomarkers in cardiovascular disease. By contrast, C-type natriuretic peptide has not yet been ascribed a role in human diagnostics. This perspective aims at recapitulating...... the present biochemical and clinical issues concerning C-type natriuretic peptide measurement in plasma as a potential biomarker....

  17. How Relevant Are Imaging Findings in Animal Models of Movement Disorders to Human Disease? (United States)

    Bannon, Darryl; Landau, Anne M; Doudet, Doris J


    The combination of novel imaging techniques with the use of small animal models of disease is often used in attempt to understand disease mechanisms, design potential clinical biomarkers and therapeutic interventions, and develop novel methods with translatability to human clinical conditions. However, it is clear that most animal models are deficient when compared to the complexity of human diseases: they cannot sufficiently replicate all the features of multisystem disorders. Furthermore, some practical differences may affect the use or interpretation of animal imaging to model human conditions such as the use of anesthesia, various species differences, and limitations of methodological tools. Nevertheless, imaging animal models allows us to dissect, in interpretable bits, the effects of one system upon another, the consequences of variable neuronal losses or overactive systems, the results of experimental treatments, and we can develop and validate new methods. In this review, we focus on imaging modalities that are easily used in both human subjects and animal models such as positron emission and magnetic resonance imaging and discuss aging and Parkinson's disease as prototypical examples of preclinical imaging studies.

  18. Leveraging Small Aquarium Fishes to Advance Understanding of Environmentally Influenced Human Disorders and Diseases (United States)

    Small aquarium fishes provide a model organism that recapitulates the development, physiology and specific disease processes present in humans without the many limitations of rodent-based models currently in use. Fish models offer advantages in cost, rapid life-cycles, and extern...

  19. New variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob (vCJD disease and other human prion diseases under epidemiological surveillance in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Lúcia Gattás

    Full Text Available Abstract To increase the timeliness of detection of human cases of the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD and to reduce the risk of transmission, the Brazilian Ministry of Health has established and standardized rules and control measures. These include the definition of criteria for suspect cases, reporting, monitoring, and control measures for illness prevention and transmission. Guidelines to be used by the team of health care staff were published and distributed to health workers. A detailed proposal for a simplified system of surveillance for prion diseases was developed and mandatory reporting introduced. Additional effort is necessary to increase vCJD case detection, thus making it necessary to establish a partnership with health care services for best identification of suspected cases and dissemination of information to all involved in the service dealing with vCJD investigation.

  20. Human Induced Pluripotent stem cells and their derivatives for disease modeling and therapeutic applications in Alzheimer's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pires, C.; Hall, V.; Freude, K. K.


    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have recently been generated for various inherited diseases. These hiPSC have the capacity to differentiate into any given cell type withthe help of small compounds and growth factors aiding the process. In Alzheimer’s disease (AD) several specific...... neural subpopulations in the brain are more susceptible to degeneration and apoptosis and hiPSCs can be used in order to generate these subpopulations in cell culture dishes via directed differentiation. Subsequently these cells can be used to optimize small compound screens to identify novel drug...... targets and to study AD pathology on a cellular level. Recently, it has also become possible to repair the genetic defect found in familiar forms of AD (FAD) through the application of CRISPR Cas9 mediated gene editing. Both hiPSC from FAD patients and isogenic controls generated via gene editing provide...

  1. Systems biology from micro-organisms to human metabolic diseases: the role of detailed kinetic models. (United States)

    Bakker, Barbara M; van Eunen, Karen; Jeneson, Jeroen A L; van Riel, Natal A W; Bruggeman, Frank J; Teusink, Bas


    Human metabolic diseases are typically network diseases. This holds not only for multifactorial diseases, such as metabolic syndrome or Type 2 diabetes, but even when a single gene defect is the primary cause, where the adaptive response of the entire network determines the severity of disease. The latter may differ between individuals carrying the same mutation. Understanding the adaptive responses of human metabolism naturally requires a systems biology approach. Modelling of metabolic pathways in micro-organisms and some mammalian tissues has yielded many insights, qualitative as well as quantitative, into their control and regulation. Yet, even for a well-known pathway such as glycolysis, precise predictions of metabolite dynamics from experimentally determined enzyme kinetics have been only moderately successful. In the present review, we compare kinetic models of glycolysis in three cell types (African trypanosomes, yeast and skeletal muscle), evaluate their predictive power and identify limitations in our understanding. Although each of these models has its own merits and shortcomings, they also share common features. For example, in each case independently measured enzyme kinetic parameters were used as input. Based on these 'lessons from glycolysis', we will discuss how to make best use of kinetic computer models to advance our understanding of human metabolic diseases.

  2. mNos2 deletion and human NOS2 replacement in Alzheimer disease models. (United States)

    Colton, Carol A; Wilson, Joan G; Everhart, Angela; Wilcock, Donna M; Puoliväli, Jukka; Heikkinen, Taneli; Oksman, Juho; Jääskeläinen, Olli; Lehtimäki, Kimmo; Laitinen, Teemu; Vartiainen, Nina; Vitek, Michael P


    Understanding the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying Alzheimer disease relies on knowledge of disease onset and the sequence of development of brain pathologies. We present a comprehensive analysis of early and progressive changes in a mouse model that demonstrates a full spectrum of characteristic Alzheimer disease-like pathologies. This model demonstrates an altered immune redox state reminiscent of the human disease and capitalizes on data indicating critical differences between human and mouse immune responses, particularly in nitric oxide levels produced by immune activation of the NOS2 gene. Using the APPSwDI(+)/(+)mNos2(-/-) (CVN-AD) mouse strain, we show a sequence of pathologic events leading to neurodegeneration,which include pathologically hyperphosphorylated tau in the perforant pathway at 6 weeks of age progressing to insoluble tau, early appearance of β-amyloid peptides in perivascular deposits around blood vessels in brain regions known to be vulnerable to Alzheimer disease, and progression to damage and overt loss in select vulnerable neuronal populations in these regions. The role of species differences between hNOS2 and mNos2 was supported by generating mice in which the human NOS2 gene replaced mNos2. When crossed with CVN-AD mice, pathologic characteristics of this new strain (APPSwDI(+)/(-)/HuNOS2(tg+)/(+)/mNos2(-/-)) mimicked the pathologic phenotypes found in the CVN-AD strain.

  3. The Emerging Paradigm of Network Medicine in the Study of Human Disease (United States)

    Chan, Stephen Y.; Loscalzo, Joseph


    The molecular pathways that govern human disease consist of molecular circuits that coalesce into complex, overlapping networks. These network pathways are presumably regulated in a coordinated fashion, but such regulation has been difficult to decipher using only reductionistic principles. The emerging paradigm of “network medicine” proposes to utilize insights garnered from network topology (e.g., the static position of molecules in relation to their neighbors) as well as network dynamics (e.g., the unique flux of information through the network) to understand better the pathogenic behavior of complex molecular interconnections that traditional methods fail to recognize. As methodologies evolve, network medicine has the potential to capture the molecular complexity of human disease while offering computational methods to discern how such complexity controls disease manifestations, prognosis, and therapy. This review introduces the fundamental concepts of network medicine, and explores the feasibility and potential impact of network-based methods for predicting individual manifestations of human disease and designing rational therapies. Wherever possible, we emphasize the application of these principles to cardiovascular disease. PMID:22821909

  4. Non-communicable diseases and human rights: Global synergies, gaps and opportunities. (United States)

    Ferguson, Laura; Tarantola, Daniel; Hoffmann, Michael; Gruskin, Sofia


    The incorporation of human rights in health policy and programmes is known to strengthen responses to health problems and help address disparities created or exacerbated by illness yet this remains underexplored in relation to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Aiming to understand existing synergies and how they might be further strengthened, we assessed the extent to which human rights are considered in global NCD policies and strategies and the degree of attention given to NCDs by select United Nations human rights mechanisms. Across global NCD policies and strategies, rhetorical assertions regarding human rights appear more often than actionable statements, thus limiting their implementation and impact. Although no human rights treaty explicitly mentions NCDs, some human rights monitoring mechanisms have been paying increasing attention to NCDs. This provides important avenues for promoting the incorporation of human rights norms and standards into NCD responses as well as for accountability. Linking NCDs and human rights at the global level is critical for encouraging national-level action to promote better outcomes relating to both health and human rights. The post-2015 development agenda constitutes a key entry point for highlighting these synergies and strengthening opportunities for health and rights action at global, national and local levels.

  5. Monkey-based research on human disease: the implications of genetic differences. (United States)

    Bailey, Jarrod


    Assertions that the use of monkeys to investigate human diseases is valid scientifically are frequently based on a reported 90-93% genetic similarity between the species. Critical analyses of the relevance of monkey studies to human biology, however, indicate that this genetic similarity does not result in sufficient physiological similarity for monkeys to constitute good models for research, and that monkey data do not translate well to progress in clinical practice for humans. Salient examples include the failure of new drugs in clinical trials, the highly different infectivity and pathology of SIV/HIV, and poor extrapolation of research on Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and stroke. The major molecular differences underlying these inter-species phenotypic disparities have been revealed by comparative genomics and molecular biology - there are key differences in all aspects of gene expression and protein function, from chromosome and chromatin structure to post-translational modification. The collective effects of these differences are striking, extensive and widespread, and they show that the superficial similarity between human and monkey genetic sequences is of little benefit for biomedical research. The extrapolation of biomedical data from monkeys to humans is therefore highly unreliable, and the use of monkeys must be considered of questionable value, particularly given the breadth and potential of alternative methods of enquiry that are currently available to scientists.

  6. Decrease in Hurst exponent of human gait with aging and neurodegenerative diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhuang Jian-Jun; Ning Xin-Bao; Yang Xiao-Dong; Hou Feng-Zhen; Huo Cheng-Yu


    In this paper the decrease in the Hurst exponent of human gait with aging and neurodegenerative diseases was observed by using an improved rescaled range (R/S) analysis method. It indicates that the long-range correlations of gait rhythm from young healthy people are stronger than those from the healthy elderly and the diseased.The result further implies that fractal dynamics in human gait will be altered due to weakening or impairment of neural control on locomotion resulting from aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Due to analysing short-term data sequences rather than long datasets required by most nonlinear methods, the algorithm has the characteristics of simplicity and sensitivity, most importantly, fast calculation as well as powerful anti-noise capacities. These findings have implications for modelling locomotor control and also for quantifying gait dynamics in varying physiologic and pathologic states.

  7. Lessons from the analysis of nonhuman primates for understanding human aging and neurodegenerative diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Michel eVERDIER


    Full Text Available Animal models are necessary tools for solving the most serious challenges facing medical research. In aging and neurodegenerative disease studies, rodents occupy a place of choice. However, the most challenging questions about longevity, the complexity and functioning of brain networks or social intelligence can almost only be investigated in nonhuman primates. Beside the fact that their brain structure is much closer to that of humans, they develop highly complex cognitive strategies and they are visually-oriented like humans. For these reasons, they deserve consideration, although their management and care are more complicated and the related costs much higher. Despite these caveats, considerable scientific advances have been possible using nonhuman primates. This review concisely summarizes their role in the study of aging and of the mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative disorders associated mainly with cognitive dysfunctions (Alzheimer’s and prion diseases or motor deficits (Parkinson’s and related diseases.

  8. Decrease in Hurst exponent of human gait with aging and neurodegenerative diseases (United States)

    Zhuang, Jian-Jun; Ning, Xin-Bao; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Hou, Feng-Zhen; Huo, Cheng-Yu


    In this paper the decrease in the Hurst exponent of human gait with aging and neurodegenerative diseases was observed by using an improved rescaled range (R/S) analysis method. It indicates that the long-range correlations of gait rhythm from young healthy people are stronger than those from the healthy elderly and the diseased. The result further implies that fractal dynamics in human gait will be altered due to weakening or impairment of neural control on locomotion resulting from aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Due to analysing short-term data sequences rather than long datasets required by most nonlinear methods, the algorithm has the characteristics of simplicity and sensitivity, most importantly, fast calculation as well as powerful anti-noise capacities. These findings have implications for modelling locomotor control and also for quantifying gait dynamics in varying physiologic and pathologic states.

  9. 3D engineered cardiac tissue models of human heart disease: learning more from our mice. (United States)

    Ralphe, J Carter; de Lange, Willem J


    Mouse engineered cardiac tissue constructs (mECTs) are a new tool available to study human forms of genetic heart disease within the laboratory. The cultured strips of cardiac cells generate physiologic calcium transients and twitch force, and respond to electrical pacing and adrenergic stimulation. The mECT can be made using cells from existing mouse models of cardiac disease, providing a robust readout of contractile performance and allowing a rapid assessment of genotype-phenotype correlations and responses to therapies. mECT represents an efficient and economical extension to the existing tools for studying cardiac physiolo