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Pubmed
Journal: Infection and immunity
December/9/2018
Abstract

The hallmarks of pulmonary Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection are lung granulomas. These organized structures are composed of host immune cells whose purpose is to contain or clear infection, creating a complex hub of immune and bacterial cell activity, as well as limiting pathology in the lungs. Yet, given cellular activity and the potential for frequent interactions between host immune cells and M. tuberculosis-infected cells, we observed a surprisingly low quantity of cytokine-producing T cells (<10% of granuloma T cells) in our recent study of M. tuberculosis infection within nonhuman primate (NHP) granulomas. Various mechanisms could limit T cell function, and one hypothesis is T cell exhaustion. T cell exhaustion is proposed to result from continual antigen stimulation, inducing them to enter a state characterized by low cytokine production, low proliferation, and expression of a series of inhibitory receptors, the most common being PD-1, LAG-3, and CTLA-4. In this work, we characterized the expression of inhibitory receptors on T cells and the functionality of these cells in tuberculosis (TB) lung granulomas. We then used these experimental data to calibrate and inform an agent-based computational model that captures environmental, cellular, and bacterial dynamics within granulomas in lungs during M. tuberculosis infection. Together, the results of the modeling and the experimental work suggest that T cell exhaustion alone is not responsible for the low quantity of M. tuberculosis-responsive T cells observed within TB granulomas and that the lack of exhaustion is likely an intrinsic property of granuloma structure.

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Journal: AMA journal of ethics
December/9/2018
Abstract

We review Kevin Chung and colleagues' 2009 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeryarticle, "A Systematic Review of Ethical Principles in the Plastic Surgery Literature," which shows that only 110 of the more than 100,000 plastic surgery articles clearly focus on ethical principles. The four fundamental ethical principles (i.e., respect for autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice) were differentially emphasized, with respect for autonomy being most common. Despite the number of ethical issues faced by plastic surgeons, this systematic review found that a relatively small fraction of the plastic surgery literature has focused on ethical principles. Here, we highlight the importance of this analysis and discuss how its findings might be extrapolated from plastic surgery ethics to surgical ethics writ large.

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Journal: BMC bioinformatics
December/9/2018
Abstract

Suicide is an alarming public health problem accounting for a considerable number of deaths each year worldwide. Many more individuals contemplate suicide. Understanding the attributes, characteristics, and exposures correlated with suicide remains an urgent and significant problem. As social networking sites have become more common, users have adopted these sites to talk about intensely personal topics, among them their thoughts about suicide. Such data has previously been evaluated by analyzing the language features of social media posts and using factors derived by domain experts to identify at-risk users.

In this work, we automatically extract informal latent recurring topics of suicidal ideation found in social media posts. Our evaluation demonstrates that we are able to automatically reproduce many of the expertly determined risk factors for suicide. Moreover, we identify many informal latent topics related to suicide ideation such as concerns over health, work, self-image, and financial issues.

These informal topics topics can be more specific or more general. Some of our topics express meaningful ideas not contained in the risk factors and some risk factors do not have complimentary latent topics. In short, our analysis of the latent topics extracted from social media containing suicidal ideations suggests that users of these systems express ideas that are complementary to the topics defined by experts but differ in their scope, focus, and precision of language.

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Journal: The Cochrane database of systematic reviews
December/9/2018
Abstract

This is an updated version of the original Cochrane Review published in September 2014. The most common primary brain tumours in adults are gliomas. Gliomas span a spectrum from low to high grade and are graded pathologically on a scale of one to four according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification. High-grade glioma (HGG) carries a poor prognosis. Grade IV glioma is known as glioblastoma and carries a median survival in treated patients of about 15 months. Glioblastomas are rich in blood vessels (i.e. highly vascular) and also rich in a protein known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that promotes new blood vessel formation (the process of angiogenesis). Anti-angiogenic agents inhibit the process of new blood vessel formation and promote regression of existing vessels. Several anti-angiogenic agents have been investigated in clinical trials, both in newly diagnosed and recurrent HGG, showing preliminary promising results. This review was undertaken to report on the benefits and harms associated with the use of anti-angiogenic agents in the treatment of HGGs.

To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of anti-angiogenic therapy in people with high-grade glioma (HGG). The intervention can be used in two broad groups: at first diagnosis as part of 'adjuvant' therapy, or in the setting of recurrent disease.

We conducted updated searches to identify published and unpublished randomised controlled trials (RCTs), including the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2018, Issue 9), MEDLINE and Embase to October 2018. We handsearched proceedings of relevant oncology conferences up to 2018. We also searched trial registries for ongoing studies.

RCTs evaluating the use of anti-angiogenic therapy to treat HGG versus the same therapy without anti-angiogenic therapy.

Review authors screened the search results and reviewed the abstracts of potentially relevant articles before retrieving the full text of eligible articles.

After a comprehensive literature search, we identified 11 eligible RCTs (3743 participants), of which 7 were included in the original review (2987 participants). There was significant design heterogeneity in the included studies, especially in the response assessment criteria used. All eligible studies were restricted to glioblastomas and there were no eligible studies evaluating other HGGs. Ten studies were available as fully published peer-reviewed manuscripts, and one study was available in abstract form. The overall risk of bias in included studies was low. This risk was based upon low rates of selection bias, detection bias, attrition bias and reporting bias. The 11 studies included in this review did not show an improvement in overall survival with the addition of anti-angiogenic therapy (pooled hazard ratio (HR) of 0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.88 to 1.02; P = 0.16; 11 studies, 3743 participants; high-certainty evidence). However, pooled analysis from 10 studies (3595 participants) showed improvement in progression-free survival with the addition of anti-angiogenic therapy (HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.79; P < 0.00001; high-certainty evidence).We carried out additional analyses of overall survival and progression-free survival according to treatment setting and for anti-angiogenic therapy combined with chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone. Pooled analysis of overall survival in either the adjuvant or recurrent setting did not show an improvement (HR 0.93, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.02; P = 0.12; 8 studies, 2833 participants; high-certainty evidence and HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.16; P = 0.90; 3 studies, 910 participants; moderate-certainty evidence, respectively). Pooled analysis of overall survival for anti-angiogenic therapy combined with chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy also did not clearly show an improvement (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.00; P = 0.05; 11 studies, 3506 participants; low-certainty evidence). The progression-free survival in the subgroups all showed findings that demonstrated improvements in progression-free survival with the addition of anti-angiogenic therapy. Pooled analysis of progression-free survival in both the adjuvant and recurrent setting showed an improvement (HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.69 to 0.82; P < 0.00001; 8 studies, 2833 participants; high-certainty evidence and HR 0.64, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.76; P < 0.00001; 2 studies, 762 participants; moderate-certainty evidence, respectively). Pooled analysis of progression-free survival for anti-angiogenic therapy combined with chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone showed an improvement (HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.77; P < 0.00001; 10 studies, 3464 participants). Similar to trials of anti-angiogenic therapies in other solid tumours, adverse events related to this class of therapy included hypertension and proteinuria, poor wound healing, and the potential for thromboembolic events, although generally, the rate of grade 3 and 4 adverse events was low (< 14.1%) and in keeping with the literature. The impact of anti-angiogenic therapy on quality of life varied between studies.

The use of anti-angiogenic therapy does not significantly improve overall survival in newly diagnosed people with glioblastoma. Thus, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of anti-angiogenic therapy for people with newly diagnosed glioblastoma at this time. Overall there is a lack of evidence of a survival advantage for anti-angiogenic therapy over chemotherapy in recurrent glioblastoma. When considering the combination anti-angiogenic therapy with chemotherapy compared with the same chemotherapy alone, there may possibly be a small improvement in overall survival. While there is strong evidence that bevacizumab (an anti-angiogenic drug) prolongs progression-free survival in newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma, the impact of this on quality of life and net clinical benefit for patients remains unclear. Not addressed here is whether subsets of people with glioblastoma may benefit from anti-angiogenic therapies, nor their utility in other HGG histologies.

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Journal: JAMA internal medicine
December/8/2018
Abstract

UNASSIGNED

Widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) in medical care has resulted in increased physician documentation workload and decreased interaction with patients. Despite the increasing use of medical scribes for EHR documentation assistance, few methodologically rigorous studies have examined the use of medical scribes in primary care.

UNASSIGNED

To evaluate the association of use of medical scribes with primary care physician (PCP) workflow and patient experience.

UNASSIGNED

This 12-month crossover study with 2 sequences and 4 periods was conducted from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, in 2 medical center facilities within an integrated health care system and included 18 of 24 eligible PCPs.

UNASSIGNED

The PCPs were randomly assigned to start the first 3-month period with or without scribes and then alternated exposure status every 3 months for 1 year, thereby serving as their own controls. The PCPs completed a 6-question survey at the end of each study period. Patients of participating PCPs were surveyed after scribed clinic visits.

UNASSIGNED

PCP-reported perceptions of documentation burden and visit interactions, objective measures of time spent on EHR activity and required for closing encounters, and patient-reported perceptions of visit quality.

UNASSIGNED

Of the 18 participating PCPs, 10 were women, 12 were internal medicine physicians, and 6 were family practice physicians. The PCPs graduated from medical school a mean (SD) of 13.7 (6.5) years before the study start date. Compared with nonscribed periods, scribed periods were associated with less self-reported after-hours EHR documentation (<1 hour daily during week: adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 18.0 [95% CI, 4.7-69.0]; <1 hour daily during weekend: aOR, 8.7; 95% CI, 2.7-28.7). Scribed periods were also associated with higher likelihood of PCP-reported spending more than 75% of the visit interacting with the patient (aOR, 295.0; 95% CI, 19.7 to >900) and less than 25% of the visit on a computer (aOR, 31.5; 95% CI, 7.3-136.4). Encounter documentation was more likely to be completed by the end of the next business day during scribed periods (aOR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.2-7.1). A total of 450 of 735 patients (61.2%) reported that scribes had a positive bearing on their visits; only 2.4% reported a negative bearing.

UNASSIGNED

Medical scribes were associated with decreased physician EHR documentation burden, improved work efficiency, and improved visit interactions. Our results support the use of medical scribes as one strategy for improving physician workflow and visit quality in primary care.

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Journal: Skeletal radiology
December/8/2018
Abstract

Targeted ultrasound of the median, ulnar, and radial nerves is a well-established technique for suspected upper extremity peripheral neuropathy. However, sonographic imaging of the brachial plexus and smaller peripheral nerve branches is more technically difficult and the anatomy is less familiar to many radiologists. As imaging techniques improve, many clinicians refer patients for imaging of previously less-familiar structures. In addition, some patients may present with injuries that could involve local neurovascular structures. Finally, patients presenting with isolated peripheral neuropathies may be referred for perineural injections with local anesthetic for diagnostic purposes, or steroid for therapeutic reasons. This requires sonologists to have a firm understanding of the courses of these nerves and the surrounding anatomic landmarks that can be used to accurately identify and characterize them. We discuss clinical syndromes referable to specific peripheral nerve branches in the upper extremity, the relevant anatomy, and sonographic technique.

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Journal: AIDS and behavior
December/8/2018
Abstract

We aimed to characterize successful cognitive aging (SCA) among older HIV-infected (HIV+) and HIV-uninfected (HIV-) adults, and to determine associations with positive psychological factors and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Ninety-nine HIV+ and 46 HIV- older adults (≥ 50 years) completed measures of neurocognition, positive psychological factors, and HRQoL. Using study-defined SCA criteria (i.e., no cognitive or everyday impairment or major depressive disorder), we compared positive psychological factors and HRQoL across four groups: HIV+/SCA+, HIV+/SCA-, HIV-/SCA+, HIV-/SCA-. SCA was identified in 29% of the HIV+ sample compared to 61% of the HIV- sample (p < 0.01). HIV+/SCA+ participants had higher scores on 8 of 10 measures of positive psychological factors as well as better HRQoL (ps < 0.05) as compared to the HIV+/SCA- group. Furthermore, the HIV+/SCA+ participants had comparable scores on these factors as HIV- adults. Fewer HIV+ than HIV- participants met SCA criteria; however, the level of positive psychological factors among the HIV+/SCA+ group was comparable to the HIV- sample. Our findings present opportunities for interventions to optimize positive psychological factors and potentially improve SCA among older HIV+ adults.

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Journal: eLife
December/8/2018
Abstract

Transcription-translation feedback loops that comprise eukaryotic circadian clocks rely upon temporal delays that separate the phase of active transcription of clock genes, such as Drosophila period (per) and timeless (tim), from negative feedback by the two proteins. However, our understanding of the mechanisms involved is incomplete. Through an RNA interference screen, we found that pre-mRNA processing 4 (PRP4) kinase, a component of the U4/U5.U6 triple small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (tri-snRNP) spliceosome, and other tri-snRNP components regulate cycling of the molecular clock as well as rest:activity rhythms. Unbiased RNA-Sequencing uncovered an alternatively spliced intron in tim whose increased retention upon prp4 downregulation leads to decreased TIM levels. We demonstrate that the splicing of tim is rhythmic with a phase that parallels delayed accumulation of the protein in a 24 hr cycle. We propose that alternative splicing constitutes an important clock mechanism for delaying the daily accumulation of clock proteins, and thereby negative feedback by them.

UNASSIGNED

This article has been through an editorial process in which the authors decide how to respond to the issues raised during peer review. The Reviewing Editor's assessment is that all the issues have been addressed (see decision letter).

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Journal: Genes & nutrition
December/8/2018
Abstract

UNASSIGNED

Energy homeostasis is regulated by the hypothalamus but fails when animals are fed a high-fat diet (HFD), and leptin insensitivity and obesity develops. To elucidate the possible mechanisms underlying these effects, a microarray-based transcriptomics approach was used to identify novel genes regulated by HFD and leptin in the mouse hypothalamus.

UNASSIGNED

Mouse global array data identified serpinA3N as a novel gene highly upregulated by both a HFD and leptin challenge. In situ hybridisation showed serpinA3N expression upregulation by HFD and leptin in all major hypothalamic nuclei in agreement with transcriptomic gene expression data. Immunohistochemistry and studies in the hypothalamic clonal neuronal cell line, mHypoE-N42 (N42), confirmed that alpha 1-antichymotrypsin (α1AC), the protein encoded by serpinA3, is localised to neurons and revealed that it is secreted into the media. SerpinA3N expression in N42 neurons is upregulated by palmitic acid and by leptin, together with IL-6 and TNFα, and all three genes are downregulated by the anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fat, oleic acid. Additionally, palmitate upregulation of serpinA3 in N42 neurons is blocked by the NFκB inhibitor, BAY11, and the upregulation of serpinA3N expression in the hypothalamus by HFD is blunted in IL-1 receptor 1 knockout (IL-1R1 -/- ) mice.

UNASSIGNED

These data demonstrate that serpinA3 expression is implicated in nutritionally mediated hypothalamic inflammation.

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Journal: Urology
December/8/2018
Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess the relative contributions of patient and surgeon factors for predicting selection of ileal conduit (IC), neobladder (NB), or continent pouch (CP) urinary diversions (UD) for patients diagnosed with muscle-invasive/high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. This information is needed to enhance research comparing cancer survivors' outcomes across different surgical treatment options.

METHODS

Bladder cancer patients age ≥21 years with cystectomy/UD performed from 1/2010 to 6/2015 in three Kaiser Permanente regions were included. All patient and surgeon data were obtained from electronic health records. A mixed effects logistic regression model was used treating surgeon as a random effect and region as a fixed effect.

RESULTS

Of 991 eligible patients, 794 (80%) received IC. 169 surgeons performed the surgeries and accounted for a sizeable proportion of the variability in patient receipt of UD (ICC=.26). The multilevel model with only patient factors showed good fit (AUC=.93, Hosmer-Lemeshow test p=.44), and older age, female sex, eGFR<45, 4+ comorbidity index score, and stage III/IV tumors were associated with higher odds of receiving an IC vs. NB/CP. However, including surgeon factors (annual cystectomy volume, specialty training, clinical tenure) had no association (p=.29).

CONCLUSIONS

In this community setting, patient factors were major predictors of UD received. Surgeons also played a substantial role, yet clinical training and experience were not major predictors. Surgeon factors such as beliefs about UD options and outcomes should be explored.

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Journal: Pilot and feasibility studies
December/8/2018
Abstract

UNASSIGNED

Limited outdoor walking is a marker of frailty and a risk factor for decline in mobility and self-care functioning, social isolation, and reduced health-related quality of life (HRQL). Objectives were to evaluate the safety, feasibility, and preliminary effect of a supervised outdoor walking group and interactive workshop compared to the workshop alone in increasing outdoor walking activity and identify an optimal method for estimating outdoor walking activity among older adults who infrequently walk outdoors.

UNASSIGNED

A pilot 2-parallel-group randomized controlled trial was conducted. Adults aged ≥ 65 years who reported walking ≤ 20 min/week outdoors were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive the GO-OUT program (1-day workshop and 9-week outdoor walking group), or the workshop alone. An external site conducted the randomization after workshop completion. The eight workshop activity stations aimed to build knowledge and skills to safely walk outdoors. The group-based outdoor walking program consisted of repetitive practice of mobility tasks at local parks. The primary outcome of outdoor walking activity used an activity monitor and GPS; secondary outcomes included aerobic, balance, and walking capacity; physical activity; participation; mood; and HRQL. Blinded outcome assessors evaluated participants at 0, 3, and 6 months. Qualitative interviews occurred after 3 months; data were analyzed with qualitative description. Quantitative data were summarized using descriptive statistics.

UNASSIGNED

Forty-eight individuals were screened; 9 were eligible and randomized to the GO-OUT (n = 6) or workshop (n = 3) group. Data from 9 participants were analyzed. Mean age was 77 and 74 years in the GO-OUT and workshop groups, respectively. No falls occurred during the workshop and outdoor walking program. Average attendance of the walking group was 61%. All participants attended the evaluations and workshop. An analysis method combining data from activity monitors and GPS was developed to estimate outdoor walking. Themes from the qualitative analysis included the barriers to outdoor walking, impact of the workshop and GO-OUT walking group, and feasibility and acceptance of the assessment and intervention strategies.

UNASSIGNED

The trial protocol was deemed safe and feasible. Results were used to inform changes to the protocol to conduct a full-scale study.

UNASSIGNED

Clinical Trials.gov: NCT02339467.

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Journal: Journal of biomaterials science. Polymer edition
December/7/2018
Abstract

A promising component of biomaterial constructs for neural tissue engineering are electrospun fibers, which differentiate stem cells and neurons as well as direct neurite growth. However, means of protecting neurons, glia, and stem cells seeded on electrospun fibers between lab and surgical suite have yet to be developed. Here we report an effort to accomplish this using cell-encapsulating hydrogel fibers made by interfacial polyelectrolyte complexation (IPC). IPC-hydrogel fibers were created by interfacing acid-soluble chitosan (AsC) and cell-containing alginate and spinning them on bundles of aligned electrospun fibers. Primary spinal astrocytes, cortical neurons, or L929 fibroblasts were mixed into alginate hydrogels prior to IPC-fiber spinning. The viability of each cell type was assessed at 30 min, 4 h, 1 d, and 7 d after encapsulation in IPC hydrogels. Some neurons were encapsulated in IPC-hydrogel fibers made from water-soluble chitosan (WsC). Neurons were also stained with Tuj1 and assessed for neurite extension. Neuron survival in AsC-fibers was worse than astrocytes in AsC-fibers (p < 0.05) and neurons in WsC-fibers (p < 0.05). As expected, neuron and glia survival was worse than L929 fibroblasts (p < 0.05). Neurons in IPC-hydrogel fibers fabricated with WsC extended neurites robustly, while none in AsC fibers did. Neurons remaining inside IPC-hydrogel fibers extended neurites inside them, while others de-encapsulated, extending neurites on electrospun fibers, which did not fully integrate with IPC-hydrogel fibers. This study demonstrates that primary neurons and astrocytes can be encapsulated in IPC-hydrogel fibers at good percentages of survival. IPC hydrogel technology may be a useful tool for encapsulating neural and other cells on electrospun fiber scaffolds.

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Journal: Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
December/6/2018
Abstract

Transition toward peptide mimetics of reduced size is an important objective of peptide macrocyclization. We have previously shown that PLH∗SpT (2a) (where H∗ indicates the presence of a -(CH2)8Ph group at the N(π) position and pT indicates phosphothreonine) is an extremely high affinity ligand of the polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) polo-box domain (PBD). Herein we report that C-terminal macrocyclization of 2a employing N(π),N(τ)-bis-alkylated His residues as ring junctions can be achieved in a very direct fashion. The resulting macrocycles are highly potent in biochemical assays and maintain good target selectivity for the Plk1 PBD versus the PBDs of Plk2 and Plk3. Importantly, as exemplified by 5d, our current approach permits deletion of the N-terminal "Pro-Leu" motif to yield tripeptide ligands with decreased molecular weight, which retain high affinity and show improved target selectivity. These findings could fundamentally impact the future development of peptide macrocycles in general and Plk1 PBD-binding peptide mimetics in particular.

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Journal: Drug and alcohol dependence
December/6/2018
Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Medical marijuana use may substitute prescription opioid use, whereas nonmedical marijuana use may be a risk factor of prescription opioid misuse. This study examined the associations between recreational marijuana legalization and prescription opioids received by Medicaid enrollees.

METHODS

State-level quarterly prescription drug utilization records for Medicaid enrollees during 2010-2017 were obtained from Medicaid State Drug Utilization Data. The primary outcome, opioid prescriptions received, was measured in three population-adjusted variables: number of opioid prescriptions, total doses of opioid prescriptions in morphine milligram equivalents, and related Medicaid spending, per quarter per 100 enrollees. Two difference-in-difference models were used to test the associations: eight states and DC that legalized recreational marijuana during the study period were first compared among themselves, then compared to six states with medical marijuana legalized before the study period. Schedule II and III opioids were analyzed separately.

RESULTS

In models comparing eight states and DC, legalization was not associated with Schedule II opioid outcomes; having recreational marijuana legalization effective in 2015 was associated with reductions in number of prescriptions, total doses, and spending of Schedule III opioids by 32% (95% CI: (-49%, -15%), p = 0.003), 30% ((-55%, -4.4%), p = 0.027), and 31% ((-59%, -3.6%), p = 0.031), respectively. In models comparing eight states and DC to six states with medical marijuana legalization, recreational marijuana legalization was not associated with any opioid outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

No evidence suggested that recreational marijuana legalization increased prescription opioids received by Medicaid enrollees. There was some evidence in some states for reduced Schedule III opioids following the legalization.

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Journal: British journal of cancer
December/6/2018
Abstract

The BCL-2-specific BH3-mimetic ABT-199 (venetoclax) has been reported to be principally active against favourable-risk multiple myeloma (MM) cells, prompting efforts to extend its activity to include more resistant, higher-risk MM subsets.

Effects of the CDK9 inhibitor flavopiridol (FP; alvocidib) on responses to ABT-199 were examined in MM cells. Cell death and protein expression were evaluated by western blot and immunofluorescence. Xenograft models were used to study combination effects in vivo.

FP synergistically increased ABT-199 lethality in both ABT-199-sensitive and insensitive MM cells. FP blocked CDK9 activation/positive transcription elongation factor B phosphorylation, downregulated MCL-1, increased BCL-2/MCL-1 ratios, and upregulated BIM. MCL-1 ectopic expression or knockdown in MM cells significantly diminished or increased ABT-199 sensitivity, respectively. CDK9 knockdown triggered MCL-1 downregulation and increased ABT-199 activity, whereas BIM knockdown significantly reduced FP/ABT-199 lethality. FP also enhanced ABT-199 lethality in unfavourable prognosis primary MM cells. HS-5 cell co-culture failed to protect MM cells from the FP/ABT-199 regimen, suggesting circumvention of microenvironmental signals. Finally, FP/ABT-199 significantly increased survival in systemic xenograft and immune-competent MM models while exhibiting minimal toxicity.

These findings argue that CDK9 inhibitors, for example, FP may increase the antimyeloma activity of ABT-199, including in unfavourable-risk MM minimally responsive to ABT-199 alone.

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Journal: Molecular biology of the cell
December/6/2018
Abstract

After endocytosis, transmembrane cargoes such as signaling receptors, channels, and transporters enter endosomes where they are sorted to different destinations. Retromer and ESCRT (endosomal sorting complex required for transport) are functionally distinct protein complexes on endosomes that direct cargo sorting into the recycling retrograde transport pathway and the degradative multivesicular endosome pathway (MVE), respectively. Cargoes destined for degradation in lysosomes are decorated with K63-linked ubiquitin chains, which serve as an efficient sorting signal for entry into the MVE pathway. Defects in K63-linked ubiquitination disrupt MVE sorting and degradation of membrane proteins. Here, we unexpectedly found that UBC-13, the E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme that generates K63-linked ubiquitin chains, is essential for retrograde transport of multiple retromer-dependent cargoes including MIG-14/Wntless. Loss of ubc-13 disrupts MIG-14/Wntless trafficking from endosomes to the Golgi, causing missorting of MIG-14 to lysosomes and impairment of Wnt-dependent processes. We observed that retromer-associated SNX-1 and the ESCRT-0 subunit HGRS-1/Hrs localized to distinct regions on a common endosome in wild type but overlapped on ubc-13(lf) endosomes, indicating that UBC-13 is important for the separation of retromer and ESCRT microdomains on endosomes. Our data suggest that cargo ubiquitination mediated by UBC-13 plays an important role in maintaining the functionally distinct subdomains to ensure efficient cargo segregation on endosomes.

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Journal: Melanoma management
December/6/2018
Abstract

Due to the unique side-effect profile of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), groups of patients deemed to be at high risk of complications were excluded from trials that proved the efficacy and safety of these agents in patients with various malignancies. Among these excluded patients were those with prior solid organ transplantation, chronic viral infections and pre-existing autoimmune diseases including paraneoplastic syndromes. We present follow-up on a patient from a previously published case report with an orthotopic heart transplantation who was treated with both cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 and PD-1 inhibition safely, without organ rejection. Additionally, we describe the case of a patient with a cardiac allograft who also did not experience organ rejection after treatment with pembrolizumab. Through smaller trials, retrospective analyses, case series and individual case reports, we are accumulating initial data on how these agents are tolerated by the aforementioned groups. Our survey of the literature has found more evidence of organ transplant rejection in patients treated with PD-1 inhibitors than those treated with inhibitors of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4. Patients with chronic viral infections, especially hepatitis C, seem to have little to no risk of treatment-related increase in serum RNA levels. The literature contains few documented cases of devastating exacerbations of pre-existing autoimmune disease during treatment with ICIs, and flares seem to be easily controlled by immunosuppression in the vast majority of cases. Last, several cases allude to a promising role for disease-specific antibodies and other serum biomarkers in identifying patients at high risk of developing certain immune-related adverse events, detecting subclinical immune-related adverse event onset, and monitoring treatment response to immunosuppressive therapy in patients treated with ICIs. Though these excluded populations have not been well studied in randomized placebo-controlled trials, we may be able to learn and derive hypotheses from the existing observational data in the literature.

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Journal: Phytochemistry
December/6/2018
Abstract

Our understanding of how, and the extent to which, phytopathogens reconfigure host metabolic pathways to enhance virulence is remarkably limited. Here we investigate the dynamics of the natural disaccharide nucleoside, 3'-O-β-D-ribofuranosyladenosine, in leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana infected with virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000. 3'-O-β-D-ribofuranosyladenosine is a plant derived molecule that rapidly accumulates following delivery of P. syringae type III effectors to represent a major component of the infected leaf metabolome. We report the first synthesis of 3'-O-β-D-ribofuranosyladenosine using a method involving the condensation of a small excess of 1-O-acetyl-2,3,5-three-O-benzoyl-β-ribofuranose activated with tin tetrachloride with 2',5'-di-O-tert-butyldimethylsilyladenosine in 1,2-dichloroethane with further removal of silyl and benzoyl protecting groups. Interestingly, application of synthetic 3'-O-β-D-ribofuranosyladenosine did not affect either bacterial multiplication or infection dynamics suggesting a major reconfiguration of metabolism during pathogenesis and a heavy metabolic burden on the infected plant.

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Journal: The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
December/6/2018
Abstract

Disseminated strongyloidiasis is often fatal, despite treatment with oral albendazole and parenteral ivermectin (IVM). Here, we report elevated plasma IVM and albendazole sulfoxide concentrations in the context of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and continuous renal replacement therapy in a patient with disseminated strongyloidiasis treated with subcutaneous IVM and nasogastric albenzadole. Despite elevated drug plasma concentrations, live filariform larvae were detected in endotracheal aspirates after 2 weeks of treatment.

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Journal: The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics
December/6/2018
Abstract

Translating chemogenetic techniques from non-human primates to potential clinical applications has been complicated in part due to in vivo conversion of the chemogenetic actuator, clozapine N-oxide (CNO), to its pharmacologically active parent compound, clozapine, a ligand with known side-effects, including five FDA boxed warnings. Additionally, the limited solubility of CNO requires high concentrations of potentially toxic detergents such as dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). To address these concerns, pharmacokinetic profiling of commercially available CNO in DMSO (CNO-DMSO, 10% v/v DMSO in saline) and a water-soluble salt preparation (CNO-HCl, saline) was conducted in rhesus macaques. A time course of blood plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of CNO and clozapine was conducted (30-240 min post-administration) following a range of doses (3-10 mg/kg, i.m. and/or i.v.) of CNO-DMSO or CNO-HCl. CNO-HCl resulted in 6-7 fold higher plasma concentrations of CNO as that of CNO-DMSO, and relatively less clozapine (3-5% clozapine/CNO in CNO-DMSO group and 0.5-1.5% clozapine/CNO in CNO-HCl group). Both groups had large between subjects variability, pointing to the necessity to perform individual CNO pharmacokinetic studies prior to further experimentation. The ratio of CNO measured in the CSF was between 2-6% of that measured in the plasma and did not differ across drug preparation, indicating that CSF concentrations may be approximated from plasma samples. In conclusion, CNO-HCl demonstrated improved bioavailability compared to CNO-DMSO with less conversion to clozapine. Further investigation is needed to determine if brain concentrations of clozapine following CNO-HCl administration are pharmacologically active at off-target monoaminergic receptor systems in the primate brain.

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Journal: Journal of biomaterials applications
December/6/2018
Abstract

Soy lecithin has been shown to play a critical role in cell signaling and cellular membrane structure. In addition, it has been shown to increase biocompatibility, hydrophilicity, and decrease cytotoxicity. Gold nanoparticles have also shown to improve cellularity. Lecithin, gold nanoparticles, and polycaprolactone (PCL) solutions were electrospun in order to develop unique mesh materials for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The electrospinning parameters were optimized to achieve different solution ratios for fiber optimization. The amount of lecithin mixed with PCL varied from 30 wt.% to 50 wt.% . Gold nanoparticles (1% to 10% concentrations) were also added to lecithin-PCL mixture. The mechanical and chemical properties of the fiber mesh were analyzed via contact angle test, tensile mechanical tests, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Cell viability was measured using a WST-1 Assay. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed the successful formation of fiber mesh. The compositions of 40% soy lecithin with PCL in 40% solvent (40:40) resulted in the most well-formed fiber mesh. DSC melt temperatures were statically insignificant; uniaxial stresses and the moduli resulted in no significant difference between the test composition and pristine PCL compositions. WST-1 assay revealed all compositions were non-cytotoxic. Overall, the addition of lecithin increased hydrophilicity while maintaining cell viability and the mechanical and chemical properties of PCL. This study demonstrated that it is possible to successfully electrospin a lecithin, gold nanoparticle, and polycaprolactone scaffold for tissue engineering applications.

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Pubmed
Journal: BMC medical genomics
December/6/2018
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Nucleotide Excision Repair (NER) is a major pathway of mammalian DNA repair that is associated with drug resistance and has not been well characterized in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The objective of this study was to explore the role of NER in relapsed ALL patients. We hypothesized that increased expression of NER genes was associated with drug resistance and relapse in ALL.

METHODS

We performed secondary data analysis on two sets of pediatric ALL patients that all ultimately relapsed, and who had matched diagnosis-relapse gene expression microarray data (GSE28460 and GSE18497). GSE28460 included 49 precursor-B-ALL patients, and GSE18497 included 27 precursor-B-ALL and 14 T-ALL patients. Microarray data were processed using the Plier 16 algorithm and the 20 canonical NER genes were extracted. Comparisons were made between time of diagnosis and relapse, and between early and late relapsing subgroups. The Chi-square test was used to evaluate whether NER gene expression was altered at the level of the entire pathway and individual gene expression was compared using t-tests.

RESULTS

We found that gene expression of the NER pathway was significantly increased upon relapse in patients that took 3 years or greater to relapse (late relapsers, P = .007), whereas no such change was evident in patients that relapsed in less than 3 years (early relapsers, P = .180). Moreover, at diagnosis, the NER gene expression of the early relapsing subpopulation was already significantly elevated over that of the late relapsing group (P < .001). This pattern was validated by an 'NER score' established by averaging the relative expression of the 20 canonical NER genes. The NER score at diagnosis was found to be significantly associated with disease-free survival in precursor-B-ALL (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients are over two times more likely to undergo early relapse if they have a high NER score at diagnosis, hazard ratio 2.008, 95% CI (1.256-3.211). The NER score may provide a underlying mechanism for "time to remission", a known prognostic factor in ALL, and a rationale for differential treatment.

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Journal: Bioinformatics (Oxford, England)
December/6/2018
Abstract

UNASSIGNED

A common class of behaviour encountered in the biological sciences involves branching and recombination. During branching, a statistical process bifurcates resulting in two or more potentially correlated processes that may undergo further branching; the contrary is true during recombination, where two or more statistical processes converge. A key objective is to identify the time of this bifurcation (branch or recombination time) from time series measurements, e.g. by comparing a control time series with perturbed time series. Gaussian processes (GPs) represent an ideal framework for such analysis, allowing for nonlinear regression that includes a rigorous treatment of uncertainty. Currently, however, GP models only exist for two-branch systems. Here, we highlight how arbitrarily complex branching processes can be built using the correct composition of covariance functions within a GP framework, thus outlining a general framework for the treatment of branching and recombination in the form of branch-recombinant Gaussian processes (B-RGPs).

UNASSIGNED

We first benchmark the performance of B-RGPs compared to a variety of existing regression approaches, and demonstrate robustness to model misspecification. B-RGPs are then used to investigate the branching patterns of Arabidopsis thaliana gene expression following inoculation with the hemibotrophic bacteria, Pseudomonas syringae DC3000, and a disarmed mutant strain, hrpA. By grouping genes according to the number of branches, we could naturally separate out genes involved in basal immune response from those subverted by the virulent strain, and show enrichment for targets of pathogen protein effectors. Finally, we identify two early branching genes WRKY11 and WRKY17, and show that genes that branched at similar times to WRKY11/17 were enriched for W-box binding motifs, and overrepresented for genes differentially expressed in WRKY11/17 knockouts, suggesting that branch time could be used for identifying direct and indirect binding targets of key transcription factors.

UNASSIGNED

https://github.com/cap76/BranchingGPs.

UNASSIGNED

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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Pubmed
Journal: Cardiovascular toxicology
December/6/2018
Abstract

Exposure to circulating cobalt (Co2+) in patients with metal-on-metal orthopaedic hip implants has been linked to cardiotoxicity but the underlying mechanism(s) remain undefined. The aim of the current study was to examine the effects of Co2+ on the heart in vivo and specifically on cardiac fibroblasts in vitro. Adult male rats were treated with CoCl2 (1 mg/kg) for either 7 days or 28 days. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to measure Co2+ uptake into various organs of the body. Co2+ accumulated in the heart over time with significant levels evident after only 7 days of treatment. There was no evidence of cardiac remodelling following Co2+ treatment as assessed by heart weight:body weight and left ventricular weight:body weight. However, a decrease in fractional shortening, as measured using echocardiography, was observed after 28 days of Co2+ treatment. This was accompanied by increased protein expression of the ion transient receptor potential (TRP) channels TRPC6 and TRPM7 as assessed by quantitative immunoblotting of whole cardiac homogenates. Uptake of Co2+ specifically into rat cardiac fibroblasts was measured over 72 h and was shown to dramatically increase with increasing concentrations of applied CoCl2. Expression levels of TRPC6 and TRPM7 proteins were both significantly elevated in these cells following Co2+ treatment. In conclusion, Co2+ rapidly accumulates to significant levels in the heart causing compromised contractility in the absence of any overt cardiac remodelling. TRPC6 and TRPM7 expression levels are significantly altered in the heart following Co2+ treatment and this may contribute to the Co2+-induced cardiotoxicity observed over time.

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