172 research outputs found

    Early age exposure to moisture damage and systemic inflammation at the age of 6 years

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    Cross-sectional studies have shown that exposure to indoor moisture damage and mold may be associated with subclinical inflammation. Our aim was to determine whether early age exposure to moisture damage or mold is prospectively associated with subclinical systemic inflammation or with immune responsiveness in later childhood. Home inspections were performed in children's homes in the first year of life. At age 6 years, subclinical systemic inflammation was measured by serum C-reactive protein(CRP) and blood leucocytes and immune responsiveness by ex vivo production of interleukin 1-beta(IL-1beta), IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha(TNF-alpha) in whole blood cultures without stimulation or after 24h stimulation with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and ionomycin(PI), lipopolysaccharide(LPS) or peptidoglycan(PPG) in 251 to 270 children. Moisture damage in child's main living areas in infancy was not significantly associated with elevated levels of CRP or leucocytes at 6 years. In contrast, there was some suggestion for an effect on immune responsiveness, as moisture damage with visible mold was positively associated with LPS-stimulated production of TNF-alpha and minor moisture damage was inversely associated with PI-stimulated IL-1beta. While early life exposure to mold damage may have some influence on later immune responsiveness, it does not seem to increase subclinical systemic inflammation in later life. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

    Agenesis of the putamen and globus pallidus caused by recessive mutations in the homeobox gene GSX2

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    Basal ganglia are subcortical grey nuclei that play essential roles in controlling voluntary movements, cognition and emotion. While basal ganglia dysfunction is observed in many neurodegenerative or metabolic disorders, congenital malformations are rare. In particular, dysplastic basal ganglia are part of the malformative spectrum of tubulinopathies and X-linked lissencephaly with abnormal genitalia, but neurodevelopmental syndromes characterized by basal ganglia agenesis are not known to date. We ascertained two unrelated children (both female) presenting with spastic tetraparesis, severe generalized dystonia and intellectual impairment, sharing a unique brain malformation characterized by agenesis of putamina and globi pallidi, dysgenesis of the caudate nuclei, olfactory bulbs hypoplasia, and anomaly of the diencephalic-mesencephalic junction with abnormal corticospinal tract course. Whole-exome sequencing identified two novel homozygous variants, c.26C>A; p.(S9*) and c.752A>G; p.(Q251R) in the GSX2 gene, a member of the family of homeobox transcription factors, which are key regulators of embryonic development. GSX2 is highly expressed in neural progenitors of the lateral and median ganglionic eminences, two protrusions of the ventral telencephalon from which the basal ganglia and olfactory tubercles originate, where it promotes neurogenesis while negatively regulating oligodendrogenesis. The truncating variant resulted in complete loss of protein expression, while the missense variant affected a highly conserved residue of the homeobox domain, was consistently predicted as pathogenic by bioinformatic tools, resulted in reduced protein expression and caused impaired structural stability of the homeobox domain and weaker interaction with DNA according to molecular dynamic simulations. Moreover, the nuclear localization of the mutant protein in transfected cells was significantly reduced compared to the wild-type protein. Expression studies on both patients' fibroblasts demonstrated reduced expression of GSX2 itself, likely due to altered transcriptional self-regulation, as well as significant expression changes of related genes such as ASCL1 and PAX6. Whole transcriptome analysis revealed a global deregulation in genes implicated in apoptosis and immunity, two broad pathways known to be involved in brain development. This is the first report of the clinical phenotype and molecular basis associated to basal ganglia agenesis in humans

    Quantification of atopy, lung function and airway hypersensitivity in adults

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Studies in children have shown that concentration of specific serum IgE (sIgE) and size of skin tests to inhalant allergens better predict wheezing and reduced lung function than the information on presence or absence of atopy. However, very few studies in adults have investigated the relationship of quantitative atopy with lung function and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR).</p> <p>Objective</p> <p>To determine the association between lung function and AHR and quantitative atopy in a large sample of adults from the UK.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>FEV<sub>1</sub> and FVC (% predicted) were measured using spirometry and airway responsiveness by methacholine challenge (5-breath dosimeter protocol) in 983 subjects (random sample of 800 parents of children enrolled in a population-based birth cohort enriched with 183 patients with physician-diagnosed asthma). Atopic status was assessed by skin prick tests (SPT) and measurement of sIgE (common inhalant allergens). We also measured indoor allergen exposure in subjects' homes.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Spirometry was completed by 792 subjects and 626 underwent methacholine challenge, with 100 (16.0%) having AHR (dose-response slope>25). Using sIgE as a continuous variable in a multiple linear regression analysis, we found that increasing levels of sIgE to mite, cat and dog were significantly associated with lower FEV<sub>1</sub> (mite p = 0.001, cat p = 0.0001, dog p = 2.95 × 10<sup>-8</sup>). Similar findings were observed when using the size of wheal on skin testing as a continuous variable, with significantly poorer lung function with increasing skin test size (mite p = 8.23 × 10<sup>-8</sup>, cat p = 3.93 × 10<sup>-10</sup>, dog p = 3.03 × 10<sup>-15</sup>, grass p = 2.95 × 10<sup>-9</sup>). The association between quantitative atopy with lung function and AHR remained unchanged when we repeated the analyses amongst subjects defined as sensitised using standard definitions (sIgE>0.35 kUa/l, SPT-3 mm>negative control).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>In the studied population, lung function decreased and AHR increased with increasing sIgE levels or SPT wheal diameter to inhalant allergens, suggesting that atopy may not be a dichotomous outcome influencing lung function and AHR.</p

    Pre-natal and post-natal exposure to respiratory infection and atopic diseases development: a historical cohort study

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    BACKGROUND: According to the hygiene hypothesis, infections in early life protect from allergic diseases. However, in earlier studies surrogate measures of infection rather than clinical infections were associated with decreased frequencies of atopic diseases. Exposure to infection indicating sub-clinical infection rather than clinical infection might protect from atopic diseases. Objective: to investigate whether exposure to acute respiratory infections within pregnancy and the first year of life is associated with atopic conditions at age 5–14 years and to explore when within pregnancy and the first year of life this exposure is most likely to be protective. METHODS: Historical cohort study: Population level data on acute respiratory infections from the routine reporting system of the former German Democratic Republic were linked with individual data from consecutive surveys on atopic diseases in the same region (n = 4672). Statistical analyses included multivariate logistic regression analysis and polynomial distributed lag models. RESULTS: High exposure to acute respiratory infection between pregnancy and age one year was associated with overall reduced odds of asthma, eczema, hay fever, atopic sensitization and total IgE. Exposure in the first 9 months of life showed the most pronounced effect. Adjusted odds ratio's for asthma, hay fever, inhalant sensitization and total IgE were statistical significantly reduced up to around half. CONCLUSION: Exposure to respiratory infection (most likely indicating sub-clinical infection) within pregnancy and the first year of life may be protective in atopic diseases development. The post-natal period thereby seems to be particularly important

    Family eczema-history in 2-year olds with eczema; a prospective, population-based study. The PACT-study, Norway

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>A maternal line of inheritance regarding eczema has been described in several studies, whereas others find associations to both a maternal as well as a paternal line of inheritance. When studying family history of eczema symptoms, cohort studies including siblings are rare. Time point for assessing family eczema-history could be of importance when studying the associations between family eczema-history and children with eczema, as parents with unaffected children may not recall mild symptoms in other siblings or their own disease history. We therefore aimed to study the associations between reported eczema in mother, father and siblings and reported eczema in index child where information on family history was collected at two different ages of index child.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Parents/children participating in The Prevention of Allergy among Children in Trondheim (PACT) study were given questionnaires on reported eczema symptoms in mother, father and siblings at 6 weeks and 1 year. When index child was 2 years of age, a detailed questionnaire on different health issues with emphasize on different allergy related disorders were filled in.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Both maternal and paternal reports on eczema were significantly associated with eczema in index child. Reporting family eczema-history at 1 year (N = 3087), "eczema sibling only" [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 3.13 (2.27-4.33)] as well as all other family-groups containing siblings with eczema were strongly associated with eczema 2 years. When family eczema-history was reported at 6 weeks (N = 2657), reporting of "eczema sibling only" was not associated to reported eczema at 2 years in index child [aOR = 1.31 (0.77-2.23)].</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Having sibling(s) with eczema strengthened the associations between maternal and paternal reports on eczema with eczema in index child only when exposure was reported at 1 year. These findings indicate that results from questionnaires-based studies of family eczema-history depend on whether or not index child has yet developed eczema.</p> <p>Trial registration</p> <p>ISRCTN: <a href="http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN28090297">ISRCTN28090297</a></p

    CD14 C-159T and Toll-Like Receptor 4 Asp299Gly Polymorphisms in Surviving Meningococcal Disease Patients

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    BACKGROUND: Carriage of Neisseria meningitidis occurs approximately in 10% of the population, onset of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) cannot be predicted and differs between ages. It remains unclear, which host factors determine invasion of the bloodstream by the bacteria. Innate immunity has a very important role in the first recognition of invading pathogens. The functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) CD14 C-159T and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) Asp299Gly have been associated with the risk of gram-negative infections. However, their role in development of IMD still remains unclear. Our aim was to investigate the influence of CD14 C-159T and TLR4 Asp299Gly polymorphisms on the risk of IMD. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: It was a retrospective case control study. Surviving Austrian meningococcal disease patients were enrolled by sending buccal swabs for DNA analysis. 185 cases with a proven meningococcal infection and 770 healthy controls were enrolled. In surviving meningococcal disease patients DNA analysis of CD14 C-159T and TLR 4 Asp299Gly polymorphisms was performed, as they are part of the innate immune response to bacterial determinants. CD14 C-159T and TLR4 Asp299Gly SNPs were not significantly associated with the presence of IMD when compared to healthy controls. The odds ratio for CD14 C-159T SNP was 1.14 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.91-1.43; p = 0.266). In TLR4 Asp 299 Gly SNP the odds ratio was 0.78 (CI 0.47-1.43; p = 0.359). CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We could not observe a significant influence of CD14 C-159T and TLR4 Asp299Gly polymorphisms on the risk of developing IMD in surviving meningococcal disease patients. To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating the influence of the CD14 C-159T SNP on the susceptibility to IMD

    MMP-9 gene variants increase the risk for non-atopic asthma in children

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Atopic and non-atopic wheezing may be caused by different etiologies: while eosinophils are more important in atopic asthmatic wheezers, neutrophils are predominantly found in BAL samples of young children with wheezing. Both neutrophils as well as eosinophils may secrete matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9). Considering that MMP-9 plays an important role in airway wall thickening and airway inflammation, it may influence the development of obstructive airway phenotypes in children. In the present study we investigated whether genetic variations in <it>MMP-9 </it>influence the development of different forms of childhood asthma.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Genotyping of four HapMap derived tagging SNPs in the <it>MMP-9 </it>gene was performed using MALDI-TOF MS in three cross sectional study populations of German children (age 9-11; N = 4,264) phenotyped for asthma and atopic diseases according to ISAAC standard procedures. Effects of single SNPs and haplotypes were studied using SAS 9.1.3 and Haploview.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>SNP rs2664538 significantly increased the risk for non-atopic wheezing (OR 2.12, 95%CI 1.40-3.21, p < 0.001) and non-atopic asthma (OR 1.66, 95%CI 1.12-2.46, p = 0.011). Furthermore, the minor allele of rs3918241 may be associated with decreased expiratory flow measurements in non-atopic children. No significant effects on the development of atopy or total serum IgE levels were observed.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Our results have shown that homozygocity for <it>MMP-9 </it>variants increase the risk to develop non-atopic forms of asthma and wheezing, which may be explained by a functional role of MMP-9 in airway remodeling. These results suggest that different wheezing disorders in childhood are affected differently by genetic alterations.</p
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