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Professor Paul Riley will lead the scientific vision of the first institute of its kind in the world to physically merge the disciplines of developmental biology and regenerative medicine in a common goal to treat some of the world’s most prolific diseases.
The QRS interval, from the beginning of the Q wave to the end of the S wave on an electrocardiogram, reflects ventricular depolarization and conduction time and is a risk factor for mortality, sudden death and heart failure. We performed a genome-wide association meta-analysis in 40,407 individuals of European descent from 14 studies, with further genotyping in 7,170 additional Europeans, and we identified 22 loci associated with QRS duration (P < 5 × 10(-8)). These loci map in or near genes in pathways with established roles in ventricular conduction such as sodium channels, transcription factors and calcium-handling proteins, but also point to previously unidentified biologic processes, such as kinase inhibitors and genes related to tumorigenesis. We demonstrate that SCN10A, a candidate gene at the most significantly associated locus in this study, is expressed in the mouse ventricular conduction system, and treatment with a selective SCN10A blocker prolongs QRS duration. These findings extend our current knowledge of ventricular depolarization and conduction.
Novel blood pressure locus and gene discovery using GWAS and expression datasets from blood and the kidney
ABSTRACT Elevated blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and has a substantial genetic contribution. Genetic variation influencing blood pressure has the potential to identify new pharmacological targets for the treatment of hypertension. To discover additional novel blood pressure loci, we used 1000 Genomes Project-based imputation in 150,134 European ancestry individuals and sought significant evidence for independent replication in a further 228,245 individuals. We report 6 new signals of association in or near HSPB7, TNXB, LRP12, LOC283335, SEPT9 and AKT2 , and provide new replication evidence for a further 2 signals in EBF2 and NFKBIA . Combining large whole-blood gene expression resources totaling 12,607 individuals, we investigated all novel and previously reported signals and identified 48 genes with evidence for involvement in BP regulation that are significant in multiple resources. Three novel kidney-specific signals were also detected. These robustly implicated genes may provide new leads for therapeutic innovation.
High blood pressure is the foremost heritable global risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We report the largest genetic association study of blood pressure traits to date (systolic, diastolic, pulse pressure) in over one million people of European ancestry. We identify 535 novel blood pressure loci that not only offer new biological insights into blood pressure regulation but also reveal shared loci influencing lifestyle exposures. Our findings offer the potential for a precision medicine strategy for future cardiovascular disease prevention.
Meta-analysis of Genome-Wide Association Studies Identifies Novel Loci Associated With Optic Disc Morphology.
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common optic neuropathy and an important cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. The optic nerve head or optic disc is divided in two parts: a central cup (without nerve fibers) surrounded by the neuroretinal rim (containing axons of the retinal ganglion cells). The International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies consisting of 17,248 individuals of European ancestry and 6,841 individuals of Asian ancestry. The outcomes of the genome-wide association studies were disc area and cup area. These specific measurements describe optic nerve morphology in another way than the vertical cup-disc ratio, which is a clinically used measurement, and may shed light on new glaucoma mechanisms. We identified 10 new loci associated with disc area (CDC42BPA, F5, DIRC3, RARB, ABI3BP, DCAF4L2, ELP4, TMTC2, NR2F2, and HORMAD2) and another 10 new loci associated with cup area (DHRS3, TRIB2, EFEMP1, FLNB, FAM101, DDHD1, ASB7, KPNB1, BCAS3, and TRIOBP). The new genes participate in a number of pathways and future work is likely to identify more functions related to the pathogenesis of glaucoma.
Correction: The Influence of Age and Sex on Genetic Associations with Adult Body Size and Shape: A Large-Scale Genome-Wide Interaction Study.
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005378.].
Association of heart rate and diabetes among 0.5 million adults in the China Kadoorie biobank: Results from observational and Mendelian randomization analyses.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Observational studies have associated resting heart rate with incident diabetes. Whether the associations are causal remains unclear. We aimed to examine the shape and strength of the associations and assessed the causal relevance of such associations in Chinese adults. METHODS AND RESULTS: The China Kadoorie Biobank enrolled 512,891 adults in China. Cox proportional hazard regression models was conducted to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for the associations of resting heart rate with type 2 diabetes and total diabetes. Among 92,724 participants, 36 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) related to resting heart rate were used to construct genetic risk score. We used Mendelian randomization analyses to make the causal inferences. During a median follow-up of 9 years, 7872 incident type 2 diabetes and 13,349 incident total diabetes were documented. After regression dilution bias adjustment, each 10 bpm higher heart rate was associated with about a 26% higher risk of type 2 diabetes (HR, 1.26 [95% CI, 1.23, 1.29]) and 23% higher risk of total diabetes (HR, 1.23 [95% CI, 1.20, 1.26]). Instrumental variable analyses showed participants at top quintile compared with those at bottom quintile had 30% higher risk for type 2 diabetes (HR, 1.30 [95% CI, 1.17, 1.43]), and 10% higher risk for total diabetes (HR, 1.10 [95% CI, 1.02, 1.20]). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that resting heart rate is an important risk factor for diabetes risk. The results suggest that novel treatment approaches targeting reduction of high heart rate for incidence of diabetes may be worth further investigation.
Subclinical Changes in Cardiac Functional Parameters as Determined by Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) Imaging in Sleep Apnea and Snoring: Findings from UK Biobank.
Background and Objectives: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disorder with an increased risk for left ventricular and right ventricular dysfunction. Most studies to date have examined populations with manifest cardiovascular disease using echocardiography to analyze ventricular dysfunction with little or no reference to ventricular volumes or myocardial mass. Our aim was to explore these parameters with cardiac MRI. We hypothesized that there would be stepwise increase in left ventricular mass and right ventricular volumes from the unaffected, to the snoring and the OSA group. Materials and Methods: We analyzed cardiac MRI data from 4978 UK Biobank participants free from cardiovascular disease. Participants were allocated into three cohorts: with OSA, with self-reported snoring and without OSA or snoring (n = 118, 1886 and 2477). We analyzed cardiac parameters from balanced cine-SSFP sequences and indexed them to body surface area. Results: Patients with OSA were mostly males (47.3% vs. 79.7%; p < 0.001) with higher body mass index (25.7 ± 4.0 vs. 31.3 ± 5.3 kg/m²; p < 0.001) and higher blood pressure (135 ± 18 vs. 140 ± 17 mmHg; p = 0.012) compared to individuals without OSA or snoring. Regression analysis showed a significant effect for OSA in left ventricular end-diastolic index (LVEDVI) (β = -4.9 ± 2.4 mL/m²; p = 0.040) and right ventricular end-diastolic index (RVEDVI) (β = -6.2 ± 2.6 mL/m²; p = 0.016) in females and for right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF) (β = 1.7 ± 0.8%; p = 0.031) in males. A significant effect was discovered in snoring females for left ventricular mass index (LVMI) (β = 3.5 ± 0.9 g/m²; p < 0.001) and in males for left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (β = 1.0 ± 0.3%; p = 0.001) and RVEF (β = 1.2 ± 0.3%; p < 0.001). Conclusion: Our study suggests that OSA is highly underdiagnosed and that it is an evolving process with gender specific progression. Females with OSA show significantly lower ventricular volumes while males with snoring show increased ejection fractions which may be an early sign of hypertrophy. Separate prospective studies are needed to further explore the direction of causality.
L-Carnitine Stimulates In Vivo Carbohydrate Metabolism in the Type 1 Diabetic Heart as Demonstrated by Hyperpolarized MRI.
The diabetic heart is energetically and metabolically abnormal, with increased fatty acid oxidation and decreased glucose oxidation. One factor contributing to the metabolic dysfunction in diabetes may be abnormal handling of acetyl and acyl groups by the mitochondria. L-carnitine is responsible for their transfer across the mitochondrial membrane, therefore, supplementation with L-carnitine may provide a route to improve the metabolic state of the diabetic heart. The primary aim of this study was to use hyperpolarized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the effects of L-carnitine supplementation on the in vivo metabolism of [1-13C]pyruvate in diabetes. Male Wistar rats were injected with either vehicle or streptozotocin (55 mg/kg) to induce type-1 diabetes. Three weeks of daily i.p. treatment with either saline or L-carnitine (3 g/kg/day) was subsequently undertaken. In vivo cardiac function and metabolism were assessed with CINE and hyperpolarized MRI, respectively. L-carnitine supplementation prevented the progression of hyperglycemia, which was observed in untreated streptozotocin injected animals and led to reductions in plasma triglyceride and ß-hydroxybutyrate concentrations. Hyperpolarized MRI revealed that L-carnitine treatment elevated pyruvate dehydrogenase flux by 3-fold in the diabetic animals, potentially through increased buffering of excess acetyl-CoA units in the mitochondria. Improved functional recovery following ischemia was also observed in the L-carnitine treated diabetic animals.
Rescue of myocardial energetic dysfunction in diabetes through the correction of mitochondrial hyperacetylation by honokiol.
Cardiac energetic dysfunction has been reported in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and is an independent predictor of mortality. Identification of the mechanisms driving mitochondrial dysfunction, and therapeutic strategies to rescue these modifications, will improve myocardial energetics in T2D. We demonstrate using 31P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P-MRS) that decreased cardiac ATP and phosphocreatine (PCr) concentrations occurred before contractile dysfunction or a reduction in PCr/ATP ratio in T2D. Real-time mitochondrial ATP synthesis rates and state 3 respiration rates were similarly depressed in T2D, implicating dysfunctional mitochondrial energy production. Driving this energetic dysfunction in T2D was an increase in mitochondrial protein acetylation, and increased ex vivo acetylation was shown to proportionally decrease mitochondrial respiration rates. Treating T2D rats in vivo with the mitochondrial deacetylase SIRT3 activator honokiol reversed the hyperacetylation of mitochondrial proteins and restored mitochondrial respiration rates to control levels. Using 13C-hyperpolarized MRS, respiration with different substrates, and enzyme assays, we localized this improvement to increased glutamate dehydrogenase activity. Finally, honokiol treatment increased ATP and PCr concentrations and increased total ATP synthesis flux in the T2D heart. In conclusion, hyperacetylation drives energetic dysfunction in T2D, and reversing acetylation with the SIRT3 activator honokiol rescued myocardial and mitochondrial energetics in T2D.
Changes in tumor metabolism may accompany disease progression and can occur following treatment, often before there are changes in tumor size. We focus here on imaging methods that can be used to image various aspects of tumor metabolism, with an emphasis on methods that can be used for tumor grading, assessing disease progression, and monitoring treatment response. Clin Cancer Res; 22(21); 5196-203. ©2016 AACR.
© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death world-wide. It is increasingly recognised that cardiac pathologies show, or may even be caused by, changes in metabolism, leading to impaired cardiac energetics. The heart turns over 15 times its own weight in ATP every day and thus relies heavily on the availability of substrates and on efficient oxidation to generate this ATP. A number of old and emerging drugs that target different aspects of metabolism are showing promising results with regard to improved cardiac outcomes in patients. A non-invasive imaging technique that could assess the role of different aspects of metabolism in heart disease, as well as measure changes in cardiac energetics due to treatment, would be valuable in the routine clinical care of cardiac patients. Hyperpolarised magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging have revolutionised metabolic imaging, allowing real-time metabolic flux assessment in vivo for the first time. In this review we summarise metabolism in the healthy and diseased heart, give an introduction to the hyperpolarisation technique, ‘dynamic nuclear polarisation’ (DNP), and review the preclinical studies that have thus far explored healthy cardiac metabolism and different models of human heart disease. We furthermore show what advances have been made to translate this technique into the clinic, what technical challenges still remain and what unmet clinical needs and unexplored metabolic substrates still need to be assessed by researchers in this exciting and fast-moving field.
Probing hepatic metabolism of [2-13C]dihydroxyacetone in vivo with 1H-decoupled hyperpolarized 13C-MR.
OBJECTIVES: To enhance detection of the products of hyperpolarized [2-13C]dihydroxyacetone metabolism for assessment of three metabolic pathways in the liver in vivo. Hyperpolarized [2-13C]DHAc emerged as a promising substrate to follow gluconeogenesis, glycolysis and the glycerol pathways. However, the use of [2-13C]DHAc in vivo has not taken off because (i) the chemical shift range of [2-13C]DHAc and its metabolic products span over 144 ppm, and (ii) 1H decoupling is required to increase spectral resolution and sensitivity. While these issues are trivial for high-field vertical-bore NMR spectrometers, horizontal-bore small-animal MR scanners are seldom equipped for such experiments. METHODS: Real-time hepatic metabolism of three fed mice was probed by 1H-decoupled 13C-MR following injection of hyperpolarized [2-13C]DHAc. The spectra of [2-13C]DHAc and its metabolic products were acquired in a 7 T small-animal MR scanner using three purpose-designed spectral-spatial radiofrequency pulses that excited a spatial bandwidth of 8 mm with varying spectral bandwidths and central frequencies (chemical shifts). RESULTS: The metabolic products detected in vivo include glycerol 3-phosphate, glycerol, phosphoenolpyruvate, lactate, alanine, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate and glucose 6-phosphate. The metabolite-to-substrate ratios were comparable to those reported previously in perfused liver. DISCUSSION: Three metabolic pathways can be probed simultaneously in the mouse liver in vivo, in real time, using hyperpolarized DHAc.
Assessing Oxidative Stress in Tumors by Measuring the Rate of Hyperpolarized [1-13C]Dehydroascorbic Acid Reduction Using 13C Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.
Rapid cancer cell proliferation promotes the production of reducing equivalents, which counteract the effects of relatively high levels of reactive oxygen species. Reactive oxygen species levels increase in response to chemotherapy and cell death, whereas an increase in antioxidant capacity can confer resistance to chemotherapy and is associated with an aggressive tumor phenotype. The pentose phosphate pathway is a major site of NADPH production in the cell, which is used to maintain the main intracellular antioxidant, glutathione, in its reduced state. Previous studies have shown that the rate of hyperpolarized [1-13C]dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) reduction, which can be measured in vivo using non-invasive 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging, is increased in tumors and that this is correlated with the levels of reduced glutathione. We show here that the rate of hyperpolarized [1-13C]DHA reduction is increased in tumors that have been oxidatively prestressed by depleting the glutathione pool by buthionine sulfoximine treatment. This increase was associated with a corresponding increase in pentose phosphate pathway flux, assessed using 13C-labeled glucose, and an increase in glutaredoxin activity, which catalyzes the glutathione-dependent reduction of DHA. These results show that the rate of DHA reduction depends not only on the level of reduced glutathione, but also on the rate of NADPH production, contradicting the conclusions of some previous studies. Hyperpolarized [1-13C]DHA can be used, therefore, to assess the capacity of tumor cells to resist oxidative stress in vivo However, DHA administration resulted in transient respiratory arrest and cardiac depression, which may prevent translation to the clinic.