578 research outputs found

    Sensitive periods for the effect of childhood adversity on DNA methylation: Results from a prospective, longitudinal study

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    Background: Exposure to "early life" adversity is known to predict DNA methylation (DNAm) patterns that may be related to psychiatric risk. However, few studies have investigated whether adversity has time-dependent effects based on the age at exposure.Methods: Using a two-stage structured life course modeling approach (SLCMA), we tested the hypothesis that there are sensitive periods when adversity induced greater DNAm changes. We tested this hypothesis in relation to two alternatives: an accumulation hypothesis, in which the effect of adversity increases with the number of occasions exposed, regardless of timing, and a recency model, in which the effect of adversity is stronger for more proximal events. Data came from the Accessible Resource for Integrated Epigenomics Studies (ARIES), a subsample of mother-child pairs from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; n=691-774).Results: After covariate adjustment and multiple testing correction, we identified 38 CpG sites that were differentially methylated at age 7 following exposure to adversity. Most loci (n=35) were predicted by the timing of adversity, namely exposures before age 3. Neither theaccumulation nor recency of the adversity explained considerable variability in DNAm. A standard EWAS of lifetime exposure (vs. no exposure) failed to detect these associations.Conclusions: The developmental timing of adversity explains more variability in DNAm than the accumulation or recency of exposure. Very early childhood appears to be a sensitive period when exposure to adversity predicts differential DNAm patterns. Classification of individuals as exposed vs. unexposed to “early life” adversity may dilute observed effects

    PU.1 controls fibroblast polarization and tissue fibrosis

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    Fibroblasts are polymorphic cells with pleiotropic roles in organ morphogenesis, tissue homeostasis and immune responses. In fibrotic diseases, fibroblasts synthesize abundant amounts of extracellular matrix, which induces scarring and organ failure. By contrast, a hallmark feature of fibroblasts in arthritis is degradation of the extracellular matrix because of the release of metalloproteinases and degrading enzymes, and subsequent tissue destruction. The mechanisms that drive these functionally opposing pro-fibrotic and pro-inflammatory phenotypes of fibroblasts remain unknown. Here we identify the transcription factor PU.1 as an essential regulator of the pro-fibrotic gene expression program. The interplay between transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms that normally control the expression of PU.1 expression is perturbed in various fibrotic diseases, resulting in the upregulation of PU.1, induction of fibrosis-associated gene sets and a phenotypic switch in extracellular matrix-producing pro-fibrotic fibroblasts. By contrast, pharmacological and genetic inactivation of PU.1 disrupts the fibrotic network and enables reprogramming of fibrotic fibroblasts into resting fibroblasts, leading to regression of fibrosis in several organs

    Exposure to early childhood maltreatment and its effect over time on social cognition

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    Social cognitive deficits can have many negative consequences, spanning social withdrawal to psychopathology. Prior work has shown that child maltreatment may associate with poorer social cognitive skills in later life. However, no studies have examined this association from early childhood into adolescence. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; n = 4,438), we examined the association between maltreatment (caregiver physical or emotional abuse; sexual or physical abuse), assessed repeatedly (every 1-3 years) from birth to age 9, and social cognitive skills at ages 7.5, 10.5, and 14 years. We evaluated the role of both the developmental timing (defined by age at exposure) and accumulation of maltreatment (defined as the number of occasions exposed) using a least angle regression variable selection procedure, followed by structural equation modeling. Among females, accumulation of maltreatment explained the most variation in social cognitive skills. For males, no significant associations were found. These findings underscore the importance of early intervention to minimize the accumulation of maltreatment and showcase the importance of prospective studies to understand the development of social cognition over time

    What life course theoretical models best explain the relationship between exposure to childhood adversity and psychopathology symptoms: Recency, accumulation, or sensitive periods?

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    Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018Â. Background Although childhood adversity is a potent determinant of psychopathology, relatively little is known about how the characteristics of adversity exposure, including its developmental timing or duration, influence subsequent mental health outcomes. This study compared three models from life course theory (recency, accumulation, sensitive period) to determine which one(s) best explained this relationship.Methods Prospective data came from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 7476). Four adversities commonly linked to psychopathology (caregiver physical/emotional abuse; sexual/physical abuse; financial stress; parent legal problems) were measured repeatedly from birth to age 8. Using a statistical modeling approach grounded in least angle regression, we determined the theoretical model(s) explaining the most variability (r2) in psychopathology symptoms measured at age 8 using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and evaluated the magnitude of each association.Results Recency was the best fitting theoretical model for the effect of physical/sexual abuse (girls r2 = 2.35%; boys r2 = 1.68%). Both recency (girls r2 = 1.55%) and accumulation (boys r2 = 1.71%) were the best fitting models for caregiver physical/emotional abuse. Sensitive period models were chosen alone (parent legal problems in boys r2 = 0.29%) and with accumulation (financial stress in girls r2 = 3.08%) more rarely. Substantial effect sizes were observed (standardized mean differences = 0.22-1.18).Conclusions Child psychopathology symptoms are primarily explained by recency and accumulation models. Evidence for sensitive periods did not emerge strongly in these data. These findings underscore the need to measure the characteristics of adversity, which can aid in understanding disease mechanisms and determining how best to reduce the consequences of exposure to adversity

    Modelling of the effect of ELMs on fuel retention at the bulk W divertor of JET

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    Effect of ELMs on fuel retention at the bulk W target of JET ITER-Like Wall was studied with multi-scale calculations. Plasma input parameters were taken from ELMy H-mode plasma experiment. The energetic intra-ELM fuel particles get implanted and create near-surface defects up to depths of few tens of nm, which act as the main fuel trapping sites during ELMs. Clustering of implantation-induced vacancies were found to take place. The incoming flux of inter-ELM plasma particles increases the different filling levels of trapped fuel in defects. The temperature increase of the W target during the pulse increases the fuel detrapping rate. The inter-ELM fuel particle flux refills the partially emptied trapping sites and fills new sites. This leads to a competing effect on the retention and release rates of the implanted particles. At high temperatures the main retention appeared in larger vacancy clusters due to increased clustering rate

    Velocity-space sensitivity of the time-of-flight neutron spectrometer at JET

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    The velocity-space sensitivities of fast-ion diagnostics are often described by so-called weight functions. Recently, we formulated weight functions showing the velocity-space sensitivity of the often dominant beam-target part of neutron energy spectra. These weight functions for neutron emission spectrometry (NES) are independent of the particular NES diagnostic. Here we apply these NES weight functions to the time-of-flight spectrometer TOFOR at JET. By taking the instrumental response function of TOFOR into account, we calculate time-of-flight NES weight functions that enable us to directly determine the velocity-space sensitivity of a given part of a measured time-of-flight spectrum from TOFOR

    Overview of the JET ITER-like wall divertor

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    ELM divertor peak energy fluence scaling to ITER with data from JET, MAST and ASDEX upgrade