162 research outputs found

    Comorbidities Associated with Large Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

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    BACKGROUND: Abdominal aortic aneurysm has become increasingly important owing to demographic changes. Some other diseases, for example, cholecystolithiasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and hernias, seem to co-occur with abdominal aortic aneurysm. The aim of this retrospective analysis was to identify new comorbidities associated with abdominal aortic aneurysm. METHODS: We compared 100 patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms and 100 control patients. Their preoperative computed tomographic scans were examined by two investigators independently, for the presence of hernias, diverticulosis, and cholecystolithiasis. Medical records were also reviewed. Statistical analysis was performed using univariate analysis and multiple logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The aneurysm group had a higher frequency of diverticulosis (p = 0.008). There was no significant difference in the occurrence of hernia (p = 0.073) or cholecystolithiasis (p = 1.00). Aneurysm patients had a significantly higher American Society of Anesthesiology score (2.84 vs. 2.63; p = 0.015) and were more likely to have coronary artery disease (p < 0.001), congestive heart failure (p < 0.001), or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (p < 0.001). Aneurysm patients were more likely to be former (p = 0.034) or current (p = 0.006) smokers and had a significantly higher number of pack years (p < 0.001). Aneurysm patients also had a significantly poorer lung function. In multivariate analysis, the following factors were associated with aneurysms: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (odds ratio, OR = 12.24; p = 0.002), current smoking (OR = 4.14; p = 0.002), and coronary artery disease (OR = 2.60; p = 0.020). CONCLUSIONS: Our comprehensive analysis identified several comorbidities associated with abdominal aortic aneurysms. These results could help to recognize aneurysms earlier by targeting individuals with these comorbidities for screening

    High-resolution physical map for chromosome 16q12.1-q13, the Blau syndrome locus

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    BACKGROUND: The Blau syndrome (MIM 186580), an autosomal dominant granulomatous disease, was previously mapped to chromosome 16p12-q21. However, inconsistent physical maps of the region and consequently an unknown order of microsatellite markers, hampered us from further refining the genetic locus for the Blau syndrome. To address this problem, we constructed our own high-resolution physical map for the Blau susceptibility region. RESULTS: We generated a high-resolution physical map that provides more than 90% coverage of a refined Blau susceptibility region. The map consists of four contigs of sequence tagged site-based bacterial artificial chromosomes with a total of 124 bacterial artificial chromosomes, and spans approximately 7.5 Mbp; however, three gaps still exist in this map with sizes of 425, 530 and 375 kbp, respectively, estimated from radiation hybrid mapping. CONCLUSIONS: Our high-resolution map will assist genetic studies of loci in the interval from D16S3080, near D16S409, and D16S408 (16q12.1 to 16q13)

    Challenges and opportunities in abdominal aortic aneurysm research

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    AbstractAbdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAAs) are associated with advanced age, male gender, cigarette smoking, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and genetic predisposition. Basic research studies have led to a better understanding of aneurysm disease over the past two decades. There has also been a growing appreciation that fundamental knowledge regarding the process of aneurysmal degeneration is still somewhat limted. Opportunities in research include: 1) the investigation of potential new mechanism-based pharmacologic interventions; 2) identify the genetic basis for an inherited predisposition; 3) develop and refine noninvasive approaches for the early detection; 4) examine potential novel surgical approaches and design new biomaterials; and 5) initiate and promote awareness programs for diagnosis and treatment of aortic aneurysms. The optimal approach to addressing these issues will require integrative, multidisciplinary research programs that involve basic scientists working in concert with vascular and cardiothoracic surgeons, as well as other clinical specialists with expertise in vascular disease

    Whole genome expression profiling reveals a significant role for immune function in human abdominal aortic aneurysms

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    Abstract Background Abdominal aortic aneurysms are a common disorder with an incompletely understood etiology. We used Illumina and Affymetrix microarray platforms to generate global gene expression profiles for both aneurysmal (AAA) and non-aneurysmal abdominal aorta, and identified genes that were significantly differentially expressed between cases and controls. Results Affymetrix and Illumina arrays included 18,057 genes in common; 11,542 (64%) of these genes were considered to be expressed in either aneurysmal or normal abdominal aorta. There were 3,274 differentially expressed genes with a false discovery rate (FDR) ≤ 0.05. Many of these genes were not previously known to be involved in AAA, including SOST and RUNX3, which were confirmed using Q-RT-PCR (Pearson correlation coefficient for microarray and Q-RT-PCR data = 0.89; p-values for differences in expression between AAA and controls for SOST: 4.87 × 10-4 and for RUNX3: 4.33 × 10-5). Analysis of biological pathways, including Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), indicated extreme overrepresentation of immune related categories. The enriched categories included the GO category Immune Response (GO:0006955; FDR = 2.1 × 10-14), and the KEGG pathways natural killer cell mediated cytotoxicity (hsa04650; FDR = 5.9 × 10-6) and leukocyte transendothelial migration (hsa04670; FDR = 1.1 × 10-5). Conclusion Previous studies have provided evidence for the involvement of the immune system in AAA. The current expression analysis extends these findings by demonstrating broad coordinate gene expression in immunological pathways. A large number of genes involved in immune function were differentially expressed in AAA, and the pathway analysis gave these results a biological context. The data provide valuable insight for future studies to dissect the pathogenesis of human AAA. These pathways might also be used as targets for the development of therapeutic agents for AAA

    Analytical approaches to detect maternal/fetal genotype incompatibilities that increase risk of pre-eclampsia

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>In utero interactions between incompatible maternal and fetal genotypes are a potential mechanism for the onset or progression of pregnancy related diseases such as pre-eclampsia (PE). However, the optimal analytical approach and study design for evaluating incompatible maternal/offspring genotype combinations is unclear.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Using simulation, we estimated the type I error and power of incompatible maternal/offspring genotype models for two analytical approaches: logistic regression used with case-control mother/offspring pairs and the log-linear regression used with case-parent triads. We evaluated a real dataset consisting of maternal/offspring pairs with and without PE for incompatibility effects using the optimal analysis based on the results of the simulation study.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We identified a single coding scheme for the incompatibility effect that was equally or more powerful than all of the alternative analysis models evaluated, regardless of the true underlying model for the incompatibility effect. In addition, the log-linear regression was more powerful than the logistic regression when the heritability was low, and more robust to adjustment for maternal or fetal effects. For the PE data, this analysis revealed three genes, lymphotoxin alpha (<it>LTA</it>), von Willebrand factor (<it>VWF</it>), and alpha 2 chain of type IV collagen (<it>COL4A2</it>) with possible incompatibility effects.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The incompatibility model should be evaluated for complications of pregnancy, such as PE, where the genotypes of two individuals may contribute to the presence of disease.</p

    Systematic Review of Genetic Factors in the Etiology of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in African Populations

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    Background: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), one of the most aggressive cancers, is endemic in Sub-Saharan Africa, constituting a major health burden. It has the most divergence in cancer incidence globally, with high prevalence reported in East Asia, Southern Europe, and in East and Southern Africa. Its etiology is multifactorial, with lifestyle, environmental, and genetic risk factors. Very little is known about the role of genetic factors in ESCC development and progression among African populations. The study aimed to systematically assess the evidence on genetic variants associated with ESCC in African populations. Methods: We carried out a comprehensive search of all African published studies up to April 2019, using PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and African Index Medicus databases. Quality assessment and data extraction were carried out by two investigators. The strength of the associations was measured by odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Results: Twenty-three genetic studies on ESCC in African populations were included in the systematic review. They were carried out on Black and admixed South African populations, as well as on Malawian, Sudanese, and Kenyan populations. Most studies were candidate gene studies and included DNA sequence variants in 58 different genes. Only one study carried out whole-exome sequencing of 59 ESCC patients. Sample sizes varied from 18 to 880 cases and 88 to 939 controls. Altogether, over 100 variants in 37 genes were part of 17 case-control genetic association studies to identify susceptibility loci for ESCC. In these studies, 25 variants in 20 genes were reported to have a statistically significant association. In addition, eight studies investigated changes in cancer tissues and identified somatic alterations in 17 genes and evidence of loss of heterozygosity, copy number variation, and microsatellite instability. Two genes were assessed for both genetic association and somatic mutation. Conclusions: Comprehensive large-scale studies on the genetic basis of ESCC are still lacking in Africa. Sample sizes in existing studies are too small to draw definitive conclusions about ESCC etiology. Only a small number of African populations have been analyzed, and replication and validation studies are missing. The genetic etiology of ESCC in Africa is, therefore, still poorly defined

    Immunohistochemical Analysis of the Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxicity Pathway in Human Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

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    Our previous analysis using genome-wide microarray expression data revealed extreme overrepresentation of immune related genes belonging the Natural Killer (NK) Cell Mediated Cytotoxicity pathway (hsa04650) in human abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). We followed up the microarray studies by immunohistochemical analyses using antibodies against nine members of the NK pathway (VAV1, VAV3, PLCG1, PLCG2, HCST, TYROBP, PTK2B, TNFA, and GZMB) and aortic tissue samples from AAA repair operations (n = 6) and control aortae (n = 8) from age-, sex- and ethnicity-matched donors from autopsies. The results confirmed the microarray results. Two different members of the NK pathway, HCST and GRZB, which act at different steps in the NK-pathway, were actively transcribed and translated into proteins in the same cells in the AAA tissue demonstrated by double staining. Furthermore, double staining with antibodies against CD68 or CD8 together with HCST, TYROBP, PTK2B or PLCG2 revealed that CD68 and CD8 positive cells expressed proteins of the NK-pathway but were not the only inflammatory cells involved in the NK-pathway in the AAA tissue. The results provide strong evidence that the NK Cell Mediated Cytotoxicity Pathway is activated in human AAA and valuable insight for future studies to dissect the pathogenesis of human AAA

    Association of simple renal cysts and chronic kidney disease with large abdominal aortic aneurysm

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    Background: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) primarily affect men over 65 years old who often have many other diseases, with similar risk factors and pathobiological mechanisms to AAA. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of simple renal cysts (SRC), chronic kidney disease (CKD), and other kidney diseases (e.g. nephrolithiasis) among patients presenting with AAA. Methods: Two groups of patients (97 AAA and 100 controls), with and without AAA, from the Surgical Clinic Charité, Berlin, Germany, were selected for the study. The control group consisted of patients who were evaluated for a kidney donation (n = 14) and patients who were evaluated for an early detection of a melanoma recurrence (n = 86). The AAA and control groups were matched for age and sex. Medical records were analyzed and computed tomography scans were reviewed for the presence of SRC and nephrolithiasis. Results: SRC (74% vs. 57%; p<0.016) and CKD (30% vs. 8%; p<0.001) were both more common among AAA than control group patients. On multivariate analysis, CKD, but not SRC, showed a strong association with AAA. Conclusions: Knowledge about pathobiological mechanisms and association between CKD and AAA could provide better diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for these patients

    MicroRNA expression signature in human abdominal aortic aneurysms

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    Background: Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a dilatation of the aorta affecting most frequently elderly men. Histologically AAAs are characterized by inflammation, vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis, and extracellular matrix degradation. The mechanisms of AAA formation, progression, and rupture are currently poorly understood. A previous mRNA expression study revealed a large number of differentially expressed genes between AAA and non-aneurysmal control aortas. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNAs that are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression, could provide a mechanism for the differential expression of genes in AAA. Methods: To determine differences in miRNA levels between AAA (n = 5) and control (n = 5) infrarenal aortic tissues, a microarray study was carried out. Results were adjusted using Benjamini-Hochberg correction (adjusted p\u3c 0.05). Real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) assays with an independent set of 36 AAA and seven control tissues were used for validation. Potential gene targets were retrieved from miRNA target prediction databases Pictar, TargetScan, and MiRTarget2. Networks from the target gene set were generated and examined using the network analysis programs, CytoScape® and Ingenuity Pathway Core Analysis®. Results: A microarray study identified eight miRNAs with significantly different expression levels between AAA and controls (adjusted p \u3c 0.05). Real-time qRT-PCR assays validated the findings for five of the eight miRNAs. A total of 222 predicted miRNA target genes known to be differentially expressed in AAA based on a prior mRNA microarray study were identified. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that several target genes are involved in apoptosis and activation of T cells. Conclusions: Our genome-wide approach revealed several differentially expressed miRNAs in human AAA tissue suggesting that miRNAs play a role in AAA pathogenesis. Keywords: Apoptosis, Microarray analysis, Vascular biology, miRNA-mRNA analysis, Network analysi

    SMAD3 deficiency promotes vessel wall remodeling, collagen fiber reorganization and leukocyte infiltration in an inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysm mouse model

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    TGF-beta signaling plays critical roles in the pathogenesis of aneurysms; however, it is still unclear whether its role is protective or destructive. In this study, we investigate the role of SMAD3 in the pathogenesis of calcium chloride (CaCl2)-induced abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) in Smad3(-/-), Smad3(+/-) and Smad3(+/+) mice. We find that loss of SMAD3 drastically increases wall thickening of the abdominal aorta. Histological analyses show significant vessel wall remodeling with elastic fiber fragmentation. Remarkably, under polarized light, collagen fibers in the hyperplastic adventitia of Smad3(-/-) mice show extensive reorganization accompanied by loosely packed thin and radial collagen fibers. The expressions of matrix metalloproteinases including MMP2, MMP9, and MMP12 and infiltration of macrophage/T cells are drastically enhanced in the vascular wall of Smad3(-/-) mice. We also observe marked increase of NF-kappaB and ERK1/2 signaling as well as the expression of nuclear Smad2, Smad4 and TGF-beta1 in the vessel wall of Smad3(-/-) mice. In addition, we find that SMAD3 expression is reduced in the dedifferentiated medial smooth muscle-like cells of human AAA patients. These findings provide direct in vivo evidence to support the essential roles of SMAD3 in protecting vessel wall integrity and suppressing inflammation in the pathogenesis of AAAs
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