3,728 research outputs found

    Pack it up, Pack it in: Unraveling H-NS Mediated Genome Packaging

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    Passive immunotherapy against Aβ in aged APP-transgenic mice reverses cognitive deficits and depletes parenchymal amyloid deposits in spite of increased vascular amyloid and microhemorrhage

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    BACKGROUND: Anti-Aβ immunotherapy in transgenic mice reduces both diffuse and compact amyloid deposits, improves memory function and clears early-stage phospho-tau aggregates. As most Alzheimer disease cases occur well past midlife, the current study examined adoptive transfer of anti-Aβ antibodies to 19- and 23-month old APP-transgenic mice. METHODS: We investigated the effects of weekly anti-Aβ antibody treatment on radial-arm water-maze performance, parenchymal and vascular amyloid loads, and the presence of microhemorrhage in the brain. 19-month-old mice were treated for 1, 2 or 3 months while 23-month-old mice were treated for 5 months. Only the 23-month-old mice were subject to radial-arm water-maze testing. RESULTS: After 3 months of weekly injections, this passive immunization protocol completely reversed learning and memory deficits in these mice, a benefit that was undiminished after 5 months of treatment. Dramatic reductions of diffuse Aβ immunostaining and parenchymal Congophilic amyloid deposits were observed after five months, indicating that even well-established amyloid deposits are susceptible to immunotherapy. However, cerebral amyloid angiopathy increased substantially with immunotherapy, and some deposits were associated with microhemorrhage. Reanalysis of results collected from an earlier time-course study demonstrated that these increases in vascular deposits were dependent on the duration of immunotherapy. CONCLUSIONS: The cognitive benefits of passive immunotherapy persist in spite of the presence of vascular amyloid and small hemorrhages. These data suggest that clinical trials evaluating such treatments will require precautions to minimize potential adverse events associated with microhemorrhage

    Dysregulation of Na+/K+ ATPase by amyloid in APP+PS1 transgenic mice

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    BACKGROUND: The pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is comprised of extracellular amyloid plaques, intracellular tau tangles, dystrophic neurites and neurodegeneration. The mechanisms by which these various pathological features arise are under intense investigation. Here, expanding upon pilot gene expression studies, we have further analyzed the relationship between Na+/K+ ATPase and amyloid using APP+PS1 transgenic mice, a model that develops amyloid plaques and memory deficits in the absence of tangle formation and neuronal or synaptic loss. RESULTS: We report that in addition to decreased mRNA expression, there was decreased overall Na+/K+ ATPase enzyme activity in the amyloid-containing hippocampi of the APP+PS1 mice (although not in the amyloid-free cerebellum). In addition, dual immunolabeling revealed an absence of Na+/K+ ATPase staining in a zone surrounding congophilic plaques that was occupied by dystrophic neurites. We also demonstrate that cerebral Na+/K+ ATPase activity can be directly inhibited by high concentrations of soluble Aβ. CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that the reductions in Na+/K+ ATPase activity in Alzheimer tissue may not be purely secondary to neuronal loss, but may results from direct effects of amyloid on this enzyme. This disruption of ion homeostasis and osmotic balance may interfere with normal electrotonic properties of dendrites, blocking intraneuronal signal processing, and contribute to neuritic dystrophia. These results suggest that therapies aimed at enhancing Na+/K+ ATPase activity in AD may improve symptoms and/or delay disease progression

    CD4+CD25+ T Regulatory Cells Dependent on ICOS Promote Regulation of Effector Cells in the Prediabetic Lesion

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    CD4+CD25+ T regulatory cells (Tregs) prevent autoimmune disease, yet little is known about precisely where they exert their influence naturally in a spontaneous autoimmune disorder. Here, we report that Tregs and T effector cells (Teffs) coexist within the pancreatic lesion before type 1 diabetes onset. We find that BDC2.5 T cell receptor transgenic animals contain a small subset of FoxP3 positive CD4+CD25+CD69− cells in the pancreas, actively turning over, expressing the clonotypic receptor, and containing functional regulatory activity. Gene expression profiling confirms that the CD4+CD25+CD69− cells in pancreatic tissue express transcripts diagnostic of regulatory cells, but with significantly higher levels of interleukin 10 and inducible costimulator (ICOS) than their lymph node counterparts. Blockade of ICOS rapidly converts early insulitis to diabetes, which disrupts the balance of Teffs and Tregs and promotes a very broad shift in the expression of the T regulatory–specific profile. Thus, CD4+CD25+69− Tregs operate directly in the autoimmune lesion and are dependent on ICOS to keep it in a nondestructive state

    Modeling payback from research into the efficacy of left-ventricular assist devices as destination therapy

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    Objectives: Ongoing developments in design have improved the outlook for left-ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation as a therapy in end-stage heart failure. Nevertheless, early cost-effectiveness assessments, based on first-generation devices, have not been encouraging. Against this background, we set out (i) to examine the survival benefit that LVADs would need to generate before they could be deemed cost-effective; (ii) to provide insight into the likelihood that this benefit will be achieved; and (iii) from the perspective of a healthcare provider, to assess the value of discovering the actual size of this benefit by means of a Bayesian value of information analysis. Methods: Cost-effectiveness assessments are made from the perspective of the healthcare provider, using current UK norms for the value of a quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). The treatment model is grounded in published analyses of the Randomized Evaluation of Mechanical Assistance for the Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure (REMATCH) trial of first-generation LVADs, translated into a UK cost setting. The prospects for patient survival with second-generation devices is assessed using Bayesian prior distributions, elicited from a group of leading clinicians in the field. Results: Using established thresholds, cost-effectiveness probabilities under these priors are found to be low (.2 percent) for devices costing as much as £60,000. Sensitivity of the conclusions to both device cost and QALY valuation is examined. Conclusions: In the event that the price of the device in use would reduce to £40,000, the value of the survival information can readily justify investment in further trials

    Increased expression of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) in human pituitary tumors

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    PURPOSE: Subsets of pituitary tumors exhibit an aggressive clinical courses and recur despite surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Because modulation of the immune response through inhibition of T-cell checkpoints has led to durable clinical responses in multiple malignancies, we explored whether pituitary adenomas express immune-related biomarkers that could suggest suitability for immunotherapy. Specifically, programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) has emerged as a potential biomarker whose expression may portend more favorable responses to immune checkpoint blockade therapies. We thus investigated the expression of PD-L1 in pituitary adenomas. METHODS: PD-L1 RNA and protein expression were evaluated in 48 pituitary tumors, including functioning and non-functioning adenomas as well as atypical and recurrent tumors. Tumor infiltrating lymphocyte populations were also assessed by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Pituitary tumors express variable levels of PD-L1 transcript and protein. PD-L1 RNA and protein expression were significantly increased in functioning (growth hormone and prolactin-expressing) pituitary adenomas compared to non-functioning (null cell and silent gonadotroph) adenomas. Moreover, primary pituitary adenomas harbored higher levels of PD-L1 mRNA compared to recurrent tumors. Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes were observed in all pituitary tumors and were positively correlated with increased PD-L1 expression, particularly in the functional subtypes. CONCLUSIONS: Human pituitary adenomas harbor PD-L1 across subtypes, with significantly higher expression in functioning adenomas compared to non-functioning adenomas. This expression is accompanied by the presence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes. These findings suggest the existence of an immune response to pituitary tumors and raise the possibility of considering checkpoint blockade immunotherapy in cases refractory to conventional management
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