89 research outputs found

    RANTES/CCL5 and risk for coronary events: Results from the MONICA/KORA Augsburg case-cohort, Athero-express and CARDIoGRAM studies

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    Background: The chemokine RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted)/CCL5 is involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in mice, whereas less is known in humans. We hypothesised that its relevance for atherosclerosis should be reflected by associations between CCL5 gene variants, RANTES serum concentrations and protein levels in atherosclerotic plaques and risk for coronary events. Methods and Findings: We conducted a case-cohort study within the population-based MONICA/KORA Augsburg studies. Baseline RANTES serum levels were measured in 363 individuals with incident coronary events and 1,908 non-cases (mean follow-up: 10.2±

    RANTES/CCL5 and Risk for Coronary Events: Results from the MONICA/KORA Augsburg Case-Cohort, Athero-Express and CARDIoGRAM Studies

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    BACKGROUND: The chemokine RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted)/CCL5 is involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in mice, whereas less is known in humans. We hypothesised that its relevance for atherosclerosis should be reflected by associations between CCL5 gene variants, RANTES serum concentrations and protein levels in atherosclerotic plaques and risk for coronary events. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a case-cohort study within the population-based MONICA/KORA Augsburg studies. Baseline RANTES serum levels were measured in 363 individuals with incident coronary events and 1,908 non-cases (mean follow-up: 10.2±4.8 years). Cox proportional hazard models adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, metabolic factors and lifestyle factors revealed no significant association between RANTES and incident coronary events (HR [95% CI] for increasing RANTES tertiles 1.0, 1.03 [0.75-1.42] and 1.11 [0.81-1.54]). None of six CCL5 single nucleotide polymorphisms and no common haplotype showed significant associations with coronary events. Also in the CARDIoGRAM study (>22,000 cases, >60,000 controls), none of these CCL5 SNPs was significantly associated with coronary artery disease. In the prospective Athero-Express biobank study, RANTES plaque levels were measured in 606 atherosclerotic lesions from patients who underwent carotid endarterectomy. RANTES content in atherosclerotic plaques was positively associated with macrophage infiltration and inversely associated with plaque calcification. However, there was no significant association between RANTES content in plaques and risk for coronary events (mean follow-up 2.8±0.8 years). CONCLUSIONS: High RANTES plaque levels were associated with an unstable plaque phenotype. However, the absence of associations between (i) RANTES serum levels, (ii) CCL5 genotypes and (iii) RANTES content in carotid plaques and either coronary artery disease or incident coronary events in our cohorts suggests that RANTES may not be a novel coronary risk biomarker. However, the potential relevance of RANTES levels in platelet-poor plasma needs to be investigated in further studies

    The global biogeography of tree leaf form and habit

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    Understanding what controls global leaf type variation in trees is crucial for comprehending their role in terrestrial ecosystems, including carbon, water and nutrient dynamics. Yet our understanding of the factors influencing forest leaf types remains incomplete, leaving us uncertain about the global proportions of needle-leaved, broadleaved, evergreen and deciduous trees. To address these gaps, we conducted a global, ground-sourced assessment of forest leaf-type variation by integrating forest inventory data with comprehensive leaf form (broadleaf vs needle-leaf) and habit (evergreen vs deciduous) records. We found that global variation in leaf habit is primarily driven by isothermality and soil characteristics, while leaf form is predominantly driven by temperature. Given these relationships, we estimate that 38% of global tree individuals are needle-leaved evergreen, 29% are broadleaved evergreen, 27% are broadleaved deciduous and 5% are needle-leaved deciduous. The aboveground biomass distribution among these tree types is approximately 21% (126.4 Gt), 54% (335.7 Gt), 22% (136.2 Gt) and 3% (18.7 Gt), respectively. We further project that, depending on future emissions pathways, 17-34% of forested areas will experience climate conditions by the end of the century that currently support a different forest type, highlighting the intensification of climatic stress on existing forests. By quantifying the distribution of tree leaf types and their corresponding biomass, and identifying regions where climate change will exert greatest pressure on current leaf types, our results can help improve predictions of future terrestrial ecosystem functioning and carbon cycling

    The global biogeography of tree leaf form and habit.

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    Understanding what controls global leaf type variation in trees is crucial for comprehending their role in terrestrial ecosystems, including carbon, water and nutrient dynamics. Yet our understanding of the factors influencing forest leaf types remains incomplete, leaving us uncertain about the global proportions of needle-leaved, broadleaved, evergreen and deciduous trees. To address these gaps, we conducted a global, ground-sourced assessment of forest leaf-type variation by integrating forest inventory data with comprehensive leaf form (broadleaf vs needle-leaf) and habit (evergreen vs deciduous) records. We found that global variation in leaf habit is primarily driven by isothermality and soil characteristics, while leaf form is predominantly driven by temperature. Given these relationships, we estimate that 38% of global tree individuals are needle-leaved evergreen, 29% are broadleaved evergreen, 27% are broadleaved deciduous and 5% are needle-leaved deciduous. The aboveground biomass distribution among these tree types is approximately 21% (126.4 Gt), 54% (335.7 Gt), 22% (136.2 Gt) and 3% (18.7 Gt), respectively. We further project that, depending on future emissions pathways, 17-34% of forested areas will experience climate conditions by the end of the century that currently support a different forest type, highlighting the intensification of climatic stress on existing forests. By quantifying the distribution of tree leaf types and their corresponding biomass, and identifying regions where climate change will exert greatest pressure on current leaf types, our results can help improve predictions of future terrestrial ecosystem functioning and carbon cycling

    Constraints on the structure and seasonal variations of Triton's atmosphere from the 5 October 2017 stellar occultation and previous observations

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    Context. A stellar occultation by Neptune's main satellite, Triton, was observed on 5 October 2017 from Europe, North Africa, and the USA. We derived 90 light curves from this event, 42 of which yielded a central flash detection. Aims. We aimed at constraining Triton's atmospheric structure and the seasonal variations of its atmospheric pressure since the Voyager 2 epoch (1989). We also derived the shape of the lower atmosphere from central flash analysis. Methods. We used Abel inversions and direct ray-tracing code to provide the density, pressure, and temperature profiles in the altitude range similar to 8 km to similar to 190 km, corresponding to pressure levels from 9 mu bar down to a few nanobars. Results. (i) A pressure of 1.18 +/- 0.03 mu bar is found at a reference radius of 1400 km (47 km altitude). (ii) A new analysis of the Voyager 2 radio science occultation shows that this is consistent with an extrapolation of pressure down to the surface pressure obtained in 1989. (iii) A survey of occultations obtained between 1989 and 2017 suggests that an enhancement in surface pressure as reported during the 1990s might be real, but debatable, due to very few high S/N light curves and data accessible for reanalysis. The volatile transport model analysed supports a moderate increase in surface pressure, with a maximum value around 2005-2015 no higher than 23 mu bar. The pressures observed in 1995-1997 and 2017 appear mutually inconsistent with the volatile transport model presented here. (iv) The central flash structure does not show evidence of an atmospheric distortion. We find an upper limit of 0.0011 for the apparent oblateness of the atmosphere near the 8 km altitude.J.M.O. acknowledges financial support from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and the European Social Fund (ESF) through the PhD grant SFRH/BD/131700/2017. The work leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Community's H2020 2014-2021 ERC grant Agreement nffi 669416 "Lucky Star". We thank S. Para who supported some travels to observe the 5 October 2017 occultation. T.B. was supported for this research by an appointment to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Post-Doctoral Program at the Ames Research Center administered by Universities Space Research Association (USRA) through a contract with NASA. We acknowledge useful exchanges with Mark Gurwell on the ALMA CO observations. This work has made use of data from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia (https://www.cosmos.esa.int/gaia), processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC, https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/gaia/dpac/consortium).Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions, in particular the institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement. J.L.O., P.S.-S., N.M. and R.D. acknowledge financial support from the State Agency for Research of the Spanish MCIU through the "Center of Excellence Severo Ochoa" award to the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (SEV-2017-0709), they also acknowledge the financial support by the Spanish grant AYA-2017-84637-R and the Proyecto de Excelencia de la Junta de Andalucia J.A. 2012-FQM1776. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under Grant Agreement no. 687378, as part of the project "Small Bodies Near and Far" (SBNAF). P.S.-S. acknowledges financial support by the Spanish grant AYA-RTI2018-098657-J-I00 "LEO-SBNAF". The work was partially based on observations made at the Laboratorio Nacional de Astrofisica (LNA), Itajuba-MG, Brazil. The following authors acknowledge the respective CNPq grants: F.B.-R. 309578/2017-5; R.V.-M. 304544/2017-5, 401903/2016-8; J.I.B.C. 308150/2016-3 and 305917/2019-6; M.A. 427700/20183, 310683/2017-3, 473002/2013-2. This study was financed in part by the Coordenacao de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior -Brasil (CAPES) -Finance Code 001 and the National Institute of Science and Technology of the e-Universe project (INCT do e-Universo, CNPq grant 465376/2014-2). G.B.R. acknowledges CAPES-FAPERJ/PAPDRJ grant E26/203.173/2016 and CAPES-PRINT/UNESP grant 88887.571156/2020-00, M.A. FAPERJ grant E26/111.488/2013 and A.R.G.Jr. FAPESP grant 2018/11239-8. B.E.M. thanks CNPq 150612/2020-6 and CAPES/Cofecub-394/2016-05 grants. Part of the photometric data used in this study were collected in the frame of the photometric observations with the robotic and remotely controlled telescope at the University of Athens Observatory (UOAO; Gazeas 2016). The 2.3 m Aristarchos telescope is operated on Helmos Observatory by the Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens. Observations with the 2.3 m Aristarchos telescope were carried out under OPTICON programme. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730890. This material reflects only the authors views and the Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The 1. 2m Kryoneri telescope is operated by the Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens. The Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley (OAVdA) is managed by the Fondazione Clement Fillietroz-ONLUS, which is supported by the Regional Government of the Aosta Valley, the Town Municipality of Nus and the "Unite des Communes valdotaines Mont-Emilius". The 0.81 m Main Telescope at the OAVdA was upgraded thanks to a Shoemaker NEO Grant 2013 from The Planetary Society. D.C. and J.M.C. acknowledge funds from a 2017 'Research and Education' grant from Fondazione CRT-Cassa di Risparmio di Torino. P.M. acknowledges support from the Portuguese Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia ref. PTDC/FISAST/29942/2017 through national funds and by FEDER through COMPETE 2020 (ref. POCI010145 FEDER007672). F.J. acknowledges Jean Luc Plouvier for his help. S.J.F. and C.A. would like to thank the UCL student support observers: Helen Dai, Elise Darragh-Ford, Ross Dobson, Max Hipperson, Edward Kerr-Dineen, Isaac Langley, Emese Meder, Roman Gerasimov, Javier Sanjuan, and Manasvee Saraf. We are grateful to the CAHA, OSN and La Hita Observatory staffs. This research is partially based on observations collected at Centro Astronomico HispanoAleman (CAHA) at Calar Alto, operated jointly by Junta de Andalucia and Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (IAA-CSIC). This research was also partially based on observation carried out at the Observatorio de Sierra Nevada (OSN) operated by Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (CSIC). This article is also based on observations made with the Liverpool Telescope operated on the island of La Palma by Liverpool John Moores University in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias with financial support from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council. Partially based on observations made with the Tx40 and Excalibur telescopes at the Observatorio Astrofisico de Javalambre in Teruel, a Spanish Infraestructura Cientifico-Tecnica Singular (ICTS) owned, managed and operated by the Centro de Estudios de Fisica del Cosmos de Aragon (CEFCA). Tx40 and Excalibur are funded with the Fondos de Inversiones de Teruel (FITE). A.R.R. would like to thank Gustavo Roman for the mechanical adaptation of the camera to the telescope to allow for the observation to be recorded. R.H., J.F.R., S.P.H. and A.S.L. have been supported by the Spanish projects AYA2015-65041P and PID2019-109467GB-100 (MINECO/FEDER, UE) and Grupos Gobierno Vasco IT1366-19. Our great thanks to Omar Hila and their collaborators in Atlas Golf Marrakech Observatory for providing access to the T60cm telescope. TRAPPIST is a project funded by the Belgian Fonds (National) de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS) under grant PDR T.0120.21. TRAPPIST-North is a project funded by the University of Liege, and performed in collaboration with Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakesh. E.J. is a FNRS Senior Research Associate

    Genetic variants in novel pathways influence blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk.

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    Blood pressure is a heritable trait influenced by several biological pathways and responsive to environmental stimuli. Over one billion people worldwide have hypertension (≥140 mm Hg systolic blood pressure or  ≥90 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure). Even small increments in blood pressure are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. This genome-wide association study of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which used a multi-stage design in 200,000 individuals of European descent, identified sixteen novel loci: six of these loci contain genes previously known or suspected to regulate blood pressure (GUCY1A3-GUCY1B3, NPR3-C5orf23, ADM, FURIN-FES, GOSR2, GNAS-EDN3); the other ten provide new clues to blood pressure physiology. A genetic risk score based on 29 genome-wide significant variants was associated with hypertension, left ventricular wall thickness, stroke and coronary artery disease, but not kidney disease or kidney function. We also observed associations with blood pressure in East Asian, South Asian and African ancestry individuals. Our findings provide new insights into the genetics and biology of blood pressure, and suggest potential novel therapeutic pathways for cardiovascular disease prevention

    Genome-wide association study identifies six new loci influencing pulse pressure and mean arterial pressure.

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    Numerous genetic loci have been associated with systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in Europeans. We now report genome-wide association studies of pulse pressure (PP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP). In discovery (N = 74,064) and follow-up studies (N = 48,607), we identified at genome-wide significance (P = 2.7 × 10(-8) to P = 2.3 × 10(-13)) four new PP loci (at 4q12 near CHIC2, 7q22.3 near PIK3CG, 8q24.12 in NOV and 11q24.3 near ADAMTS8), two new MAP loci (3p21.31 in MAP4 and 10q25.3 near ADRB1) and one locus associated with both of these traits (2q24.3 near FIGN) that has also recently been associated with SBP in east Asians. For three of the new PP loci, the estimated effect for SBP was opposite of that for DBP, in contrast to the majority of common SBP- and DBP-associated variants, which show concordant effects on both traits. These findings suggest new genetic pathways underlying blood pressure variation, some of which may differentially influence SBP and DBP
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