31 results found
Medjeral-Thomas N, Troldborg A, Hansen A, et al., 2021, Plasma lectin pathway complement proteins in patients with COVID-19 and renal disease, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1664-3224
We do not understand why non-white ethnicity and chronic kidney disease increase susceptibility to COVID-19. The lectin pathway of complement activation is a key contributor to innate immunity and inflammation. Concentrations of plasma lectin pathway proteins influence pathway activity and vary with ethnicity. We measured circulating lectin proteins in a multi-ethnic cohort of chronic kidney disease patients with and without COVID19 infection to determine if lectin pathway activation was contributing to COVID19 severity.We measured 11 lectin proteins in serial samples from a cohort of 33 patients with chronic kidney impairment and COVID19. Controls were single plasma samples from 32 patients on dialysis and 32 healthy individuals. We demonstrated multiple associations between recognition molecules and associated proteases of the lectin pathway and COVID-19, including COVID-19 severity. Some of these associations were unique to patients of Asian and White ethnicity. Our novel findings demonstrate that COVID19 infection alters the concentration of plasma lectin proteins and some of these changes were linked to ethnicity. This suggests a role for the lectin pathway in the host response to COVID-19 and suggest that variability within this pathway may contribute to ethnicity-associated differences in susceptibility to severe COVID-19.
Klaric L, Gisby JS, Papadaki A, et al., 2021, Mendelian randomisation identifies alternative splicing of the FAS death receptor as a mediator of severe COVID-19., medRxiv
Severe COVID-19 is characterised by immunopathology and epithelial injury. Proteomic studies have identified circulating proteins that are biomarkers of severe COVID-19, but cannot distinguish correlation from causation. To address this, we performed Mendelian randomisation (MR) to identify proteins that mediate severe COVID-19. Using protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL) data from the SCALLOP consortium, involving meta-analysis of up to 26,494 individuals, and COVID-19 genome-wide association data from the Host Genetics Initiative, we performed MR for 157 COVID-19 severity protein biomarkers. We identified significant MR results for five proteins: FAS, TNFRSF10A, CCL2, EPHB4 and LGALS9. Further evaluation of these candidates using sensitivity analyses and colocalization testing provided strong evidence to implicate the apoptosis-associated cytokine receptor FAS as a causal mediator of severe COVID-19. This effect was specific to severe disease. Using RNA-seq data from 4,778 individuals, we demonstrate that the pQTL at the FAS locus results from genetically influenced alternate splicing causing skipping of exon 6. We show that the risk allele for very severe COVID-19 increases the proportion of transcripts lacking exon 6, and thereby increases soluble FAS. Soluble FAS acts as a decoy receptor for FAS-ligand, inhibiting apoptosis induced through membrane-bound FAS. In summary, we demonstrate a novel genetic mechanism that contributes to risk of severe of COVID-19, highlighting a pathway that may be a promising therapeutic target.
Gaziano L, Giambartolomei C, Pereira AC, et al., 2021, Actionable druggable genome-wide Mendelian randomization identifies repurposing opportunities for COVID-19., Nat Med, Vol: 27, Pages: 668-676
Drug repurposing provides a rapid approach to meet the urgent need for therapeutics to address COVID-19. To identify therapeutic targets relevant to COVID-19, we conducted Mendelian randomization analyses, deriving genetic instruments based on transcriptomic and proteomic data for 1,263 actionable proteins that are targeted by approved drugs or in clinical phase of drug development. Using summary statistics from the Host Genetics Initiative and the Million Veteran Program, we studied 7,554 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and >1 million controls. We found significant Mendelian randomization results for three proteins (ACE2, P = 1.6 × 10-6; IFNAR2, P = 9.8 × 10-11 and IL-10RB, P = 2.3 × 10-14) using cis-expression quantitative trait loci genetic instruments that also had strong evidence for colocalization with COVID-19 hospitalization. To disentangle the shared expression quantitative trait loci signal for IL10RB and IFNAR2, we conducted phenome-wide association scans and pathway enrichment analysis, which suggested that IFNAR2 is more likely to play a role in COVID-19 hospitalization. Our findings prioritize trials of drugs targeting IFNAR2 and ACE2 for early management of COVID-19.
Surendran P, Feofanova EV, Lahrouchi N, et al., 2021, Publisher Correction: Discovery of rare variants associated with blood pressure regulation through meta-analysis of 1.3 million individuals, Nature Genetics, Vol: 53, Pages: 1-2, ISSN: 1061-4036
Gisby J, Clarke CL, Medjeral-Thomas N, et al., 2021, Longitudinal proteomic profiling of dialysis patients with COVID-19 reveals markers of severity and predictors of death, ELIFE, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2050-084X
Bell S, Rigas AS, Magnusson MK, et al., 2021, A genome-wide meta-analysis yields 46 new loci associating with biomarkers of iron homeostasis, Communications Biology, Vol: 4, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 2399-3642
Iron is essential for many biological functions and iron deficiency and overload have major health implications. We performed a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies from Iceland, the UK and Denmark of blood levels of ferritin (N = 246,139), total iron binding capacity (N = 135,430), iron (N = 163,511) and transferrin saturation (N = 131,471). We found 62 independent sequence variants associating with iron homeostasis parameters at 56 loci, including 46 novel loci. Variants at DUOX2, F5, SLC11A2 and TMPRSS6 associate with iron deficiency anemia, while variants at TF, HFE, TFR2 and TMPRSS6 associate with iron overload. A HBS1L-MYB intergenic region variant associates both with increased risk of iron overload and reduced risk of iron deficiency anemia. The DUOX2 missense variant is present in 14% of the population, associates with all iron homeostasis biomarkers, and increases the risk of iron deficiency anemia by 29%. The associations implicate proteins contributing to the main physiological processes involved in iron homeostasis: iron sensing and storage, inflammation, absorption of iron from the gut, iron recycling, erythropoiesis and bleeding/menstruation.
Im YR, Dong J, Paterson AL, et al., 2021, Autoimmunity due to unicentric Castleman disease cured by resection of a hepatic mass, Journal of Clinical Rheumatology: practical reports on rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease, Vol: 27, Pages: e32-e33, ISSN: 1076-1608
Surendran P, Gao H, Zhang W, et al., 2020, Discovery of rare variants associated with blood pressure regulation trhough meta-analaysis of 1.3 million individuals, Nature Genetics, Vol: 52, Pages: 1314-1332, ISSN: 1061-4036
Genetic studies of blood pressure (BP) to date have mainly analyzed common variants (minor allele frequency, MAF > 0.05). In a meta-analysis of up to >1.3 million participants, we discovered 106 new BP-associated genomic regions and 87 rare (MAF≤ 0.01) variant BP associations (P < 5 × 10-8), of which 32 were in new BP-associated loci and 55 were independent BP-associated SNVs within known BP-associated regions. Average effects of rare variants (44% coding) were ~8 times larger than common variant effects and indicate potential candidate causal genes at new and known loci (e.g.GATA5, PLCB3). BP-associated variants (including rare and common) were enriched in regions of active chromatin in fetal tissues, potentially linking fetal development with BP regulation in later life. Multivariable Mendelian randomization suggested possible inverse effects of elevated systolic and diastolic BP on large artery stroke. Our study demonstrates the utility of rare variant analyses for identifying candidate genes and the results highlight potential therapeutic targets.
Gill D, Arvanitis M, Carter P, et al., 2020, ACE inhibition and cardiometabolic risk factors, lung ACE2 and TMPRSS2 gene expression, and plasma ACE2 levels: a Mendelian randomization study, Royal Society Open Science, Vol: 7, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2054-5703
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and serine protease TMPRSS2 have been implicated in cell entry for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in the lung epithelium might have implications for the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity of COVID-19. We use human genetic variants that proxy angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor drug effects and cardiovascular risk factors to investigate whether these exposures affect lung ACE2 and TMPRSS2 gene expression and circulating ACE2 levels. We observed no consistent evidence of an association of genetically predicted serum ACE levels with any of our outcomes. There was weak evidence for an association of genetically predicted serum ACE levels with ACE2 gene expression in the Lung eQTL Consortium (p = 0.014), but this finding did not replicate. There was evidence of a positive association of genetic liability to type 2 diabetes mellitus with lung ACE2 gene expression in the Gene-Tissue Expression (GTEx) study (p = 4 × 10−4) and with circulating plasma ACE2 levels in the INTERVAL study (p = 0.03), but not with lung ACE2 expression in the Lung eQTL Consortium study (p = 0.68). There were no associations of genetically proxied liability to the other cardiometabolic traits with any outcome. This study does not provide consistent evidence to support an effect of serum ACE levels (as a proxy for ACE inhibitors) or cardiometabolic risk factors on lung ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression or plasma ACE2 levels.
Gisby J, Clarke C, Medjeral-Thomas N, et al., 2020, Longitudinal proteomic profiling of dialysis patients with COVID-19 reveals markers of severity and predictors of death, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
End-stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients are at high risk of severe COVID-19. We performed dense serial blood sampling in hospitalised and non-hospitalised ESKD patients with COVID-19 (n=256 samples from 55 patients) and used Olink immunoassays to measure 436 circulating proteins. Comparison to 51 non-infected ESKD patients revealed 221 proteins differentially expressed in COVID-19, of which 69.7% replicated in an independent cohort of 46 COVID-19 patients. 203 proteins were associated with clinical severity scores, including IL6, markers of monocyte recruitment (e.g. CCL2, CCL7), neutrophil activation (e.g proteinase-3) and epithelial injury (e.g. KRT19). Random Forests machine learning identified predictors of current or future severity such as KRT19, PARP1, PADI2, CCL7, and IL1RL1 (ST2). Survival analysis with joint models revealed 69 predictors of death including IL22RA1, CCL28, and the neutrophil-derived chemotaxin AZU1 (Azurocidin). Finally, longitudinal modelling with linear mixed models uncovered 32 proteins that display different temporal profiles in severe versus non-severe disease, including integrins and adhesion molecules. Our findings point to aberrant innate immune activation and leucocyte-endothelial interactions as central to the pathology of severe COVID-19. The data from this unique cohort of high-risk individuals provide a valuable resource for identifying drug targets in COVID-19.
Prendecki M, Clarke C, Medjeral-Thomas N, et al., 2020, Temporal changes in complement activation in haemodialysis patients with COVID-19 as a predictor of disease progression, Clinical Kidney Journal, Vol: 13, Pages: 889-896, ISSN: 2048-8505
Background: Complement activation may play a pathogenic role in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by contributing to tissue inflammation and microvascular thrombosis. Methods: Serial samples were collected from patients receiving maintenance haemodialysis (HD). Thirty-nine patients had confirmed COVID-19 and 10 patients had no evidence of COVID-19. Plasma C5a and C3a levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: We identified elevated levels of plasma C3a and C5a in HD patients with severe COVID-19 compared with controls. Serial sampling identified that C5a levels were elevated prior to clinical deterioration in patients who developed severe disease. C3a more closely mirrored both clinical and biochemical disease severity. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that activation of complement plays a role in the pathogenesis of COVID-19, leading to endothelial injury and lung damage. C5a may be an earlier biomarker of disease severity than conventional parameters such as C-reactive protein and this warrants further investigation in dedicated biomarker studies. Our data support the testing of complement inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for patients with severe COVID-19.
Folkersen L, Gustafsson S, Wang Q, et al., 2020, Genomic and drug target evaluation of 90 cardiovascular proteins in 30,931 individuals, Nature Metabolism, Vol: 2, Pages: 1135-1148, ISSN: 2522-5812
Circulating proteins are vital in human health and disease and are frequently used as biomarkers for clinical decision-making or as targets for pharmacological intervention. Here, we map and replicate protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL) for 90 cardiovascular proteins in over 30,000 individuals, resulting in 451 pQTLs for 85 proteins. For each protein, we further perform pathway mapping to obtain trans-pQTL gene and regulatory designations. We substantiate these regulatory findings with orthogonal evidence for trans-pQTLs using mouse knockdown experiments (ABCA1 and TRIB1) and clinical trial results (chemokine receptors CCR2 and CCR5), with consistent regulation. Finally, we evaluate known drug targets, and suggest new target candidates or repositioning opportunities using Mendelian randomization. This identifies 11 proteins with causal evidence of involvement in human disease that have not previously been targeted, including EGF, IL-16, PAPPA, SPON1, F3, ADM, CASP-8, CHI3L1, CXCL16, GDF15 and MMP-12. Taken together, these findings demonstrate the utility of large-scale mapping of the genetics of the proteome and provide a resource for future precision studies of circulating proteins in human health.
Tarkin JM, Wall C, Gopalan D, et al., 2020, Novel approach to imaging active takayasu arteritis using somatostatin receptor positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging., Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, Vol: 13, Pages: 1-3, ISSN: 1941-9651
Although 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) is an important diagnostic test for Takayasu arteritis (TAK),118F-FDG lacks inflammatory cell selectivity and cannot accurately distinguish arteritis from metabolically active vascular remodeling.2 This observation has led to the search for more sensitive and specific PET tracers for TAK. Macrophage activation antigen SST2 (somatostatin receptor subtype-2) PET represents a potential alternative imaging biomarker for defining disease activity in TAK, as macrophages are a major feature of the inflammatory infiltrate. We aimed to determine the ability of SST2 PET/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect arteritis in 2 patients with clinically active TAK.
Allara E, Morani G, Carter P, et al., 2019, Genetic determinants of lipids and cardiovascular disease outcomes: a wide-angled mendelian randomization investigation., Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, Vol: 12, Pages: 543-551, ISSN: 2574-8300
Background - Evidence from randomized trials has shown that therapies that lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and triglycerides reduce coronary artery disease (CAD) risk. However, there is still uncertainty regarding their effects on other cardiovascular outcomes. We therefore performed a systematic investigation of causal relationships between circulating lipids and cardiovascular outcomes using a Mendelian randomization approach. Methods - In the primary analysis, we performed two-sample multivariable Mendelian randomization using data from participants of European ancestry. We also conducted univariable analyses using inverse-variance weighted and robust methods, and gene-specific analyses using variants that can be considered as proxies for specific lipid-lowering medications. We obtained associations with lipid fractions from the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium, a meta-analysis of 188,577 participants, and genetic associations with cardiovascular outcomes from 367,703 participants in UK Biobank. Results - For LDL-cholesterol, in addition to the expected positive associations with CAD risk (odds ratio per 1 standard deviation increase [OR], 1.45; 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.35-1.57) and other atheromatous outcomes (ischemic cerebrovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease), we found independent associations of genetically-predicted LDL-cholesterol with abdominal aortic aneurysm (OR 1.75; 95%CI 1.40-2.17) and aortic valve stenosis (OR 1.46; 95%CI 1.25-1.70). Genetically-predicted triglyceride levels were positively associated with CAD (OR 1.25; 95%CI 1.12-1.40), aortic valve stenosis (OR 1.29; 95%CI 1.04-1.61), and hypertension (OR 1.17; 95%CI 1.07-1.27), but inversely associated with venous thromboembolism (OR 0.79; 95%CI 0.67-0.93) and haemorrhagic stroke (OR 0.78; 95%CI 0.62-0.98). We also found positive associations of genetically-predicted LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides with heart failure that appeared to be mediated by CAD. Co
Lyons PA, Peters JE, Alberici F, et al., 2019, Genome-wide association study of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis reveals genomic loci stratified by ANCA status, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2041-1723
Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is a rare inflammatory disease of unknown cause. 30% of patients have anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) specific for myeloperoxidase (MPO). Here, we describe a genome-wide association study in 676 EGPA cases and 6,809 controls, that identifies 4 EGPA-associated loci through conventional case-control analysis, and 4 additional associations through a conditional false discovery rate approach. Many variants are also associated with asthma and six are associated with eosinophil count in the general population. Through Mendelian randomisation, we show that a primary tendency to eosinophilia contributes to EGPA susceptibility. Stratification by ANCA reveals that EGPA comprises two genetically and clinically distinct syndromes. MPO+ ANCA EGPA is an eosinophilic autoimmune disease sharing certain clinical features and an HLA-DQ association with MPO+ ANCA-associated vasculitis, while ANCA-negative EGPA may instead have a mucosal/barrier dysfunction origin. Four candidate genes are targets of therapies in development, supporting their exploration in EGPA.
Le Goueff A, Peters J, Willcocks L, et al., 2019, Visual loss in giant cell arteritis 3 weeks after steroid initiation, BMJ Case Reports, Vol: 12, Pages: e228251-e228251, ISSN: 1757-790X
Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is the most common vasculitis in adults and blindness is a common complication if left untreated. Oral glucocorticoids are the mainstay of treatment and if started promptly, loss of vision can usually be prevented. We present the case of a 77-year-old man who developed irreversible bilateral blindness after a confirmed diagnosis of GCA and oral steroid treatment. The roles of diagnostic delay, steroid dosing, significance of visual symptoms at diagnosis and after commencing oral glucocorticoids, and interpretation of ophthalmological signs are reviewed.
Paige E, Clement M, Lareyre F, et al., 2019, Interleukin-6 receptor signalling and abdominal aortic aneurysm growth rates, Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2574-8300
Background:The Asp358Ala variant (rs2228145; A>C) in the IL (interleukin)-6 receptor (IL6R) gene has been implicated in the development of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), but its effect on AAA growth over time is not known. We aimed to investigate the clinical association between the IL6R-Asp358Ala variant and AAA growth and to assess the effect of blocking the IL-6 signaling pathway in mouse models of aortic aneurysm rupture or dissection.Methods:Using data from 2863 participants with AAA from 9 prospective cohorts, age- and sex-adjusted mixed-effects linear regression models were used to estimate the association between the IL6R-Asp358Ala variant and annual change in AAA diameter (mm/y). In a series of complementary randomized trials in mice, the effect of blocking the IL-6 signaling pathways was assessed on plasma biomarkers, systolic blood pressure, aneurysm diameter, and time to aortic rupture and death.Results:After adjusting for age and sex, baseline aneurysm size was 0.55 mm (95% CI, 0.13–0.98 mm) smaller per copy of the minor allele [C] of the Asp358Ala variant. Change in AAA growth was −0.06 mm per year (−0.18 to 0.06) per copy of the minor allele; a result that was not statistically significant. Although all available worldwide data were used, the genetic analyses were not powered for an effect size as small as that observed. In 2 mouse models of AAA, selective blockage of the IL-6 trans-signaling pathway, but not combined blockage of both, the classical and trans-signaling pathways, was associated with improved survival (P<0.05).Conclusions:Our proof-of-principle data are compatible with the concept that IL-6 trans-signaling is relevant to AAA growth, encouraging larger-scale evaluation of this hypothesis.
Richard AC, Peters JE, Savinykh N, et al., 2018, Reduced monocyte and macrophage TNFSF15/TL1A expression is associated with susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease, PLoS Genetics, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1553-7390
Chronic inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) results from a breakdown of intestinal immune homeostasis and compromise of the intestinal barrier. Genome-wide association studies have identified over 200 genetic loci associated with risk for IBD, but the functional mechanisms of most of these genetic variants remain unknown. Polymorphisms at the TNFSF15 locus, which encodes the TNF superfamily cytokine commonly known as TL1A, are associated with susceptibility to IBD in multiple ethnic groups. In a wide variety of murine models of inflammation including models of IBD, TNFSF15 promotes immunopathology by signaling through its receptor DR3. Such evidence has led to the hypothesis that expression of this lymphocyte costimulatory cytokine increases risk for IBD. In contrast, here we show that the IBD-risk haplotype at TNFSF15 is associated with decreased expression of the gene by peripheral blood monocytes in both healthy volunteers and IBD patients. This association persists under various stimulation conditions at both the RNA and protein levels and is maintained after macrophage differentiation. Utilizing a "recall-by-genotype" bioresource for allele-specific expression measurements in a functional fine-mapping assay, we localize the polymorphism controlling TNFSF15 expression to the regulatory region upstream of the gene. Through a T cell costimulation assay, we demonstrate that genetically regulated TNFSF15 has functional relevance. These findings indicate that genetically enhanced expression of TNFSF15 in specific cell types may confer protection against the development of IBD.
Burgess S, Ference BA, Staley JR, et al., 2018, Association of LPA variants with risk of coronary disease and the implications for lipoprotein(a)-lowering therapies: A mendelian randomization analysis, JAMA Cardiology, Vol: 3, Pages: 619-627, ISSN: 2380-6583
© 2018 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. IMPORTANCE Human genetic studies have indicated that plasma lipoprotein(a) (Lp[a]) is causally associated with the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), but randomized trials of several therapies that reduce Lp(a) levels by 25%to 35%have not provided any evidence that lowering Lp(a) level reduces CHD risk. OBJECTIVE To estimate the magnitude of the change in plasma Lp(a) levels needed to have the same evidence of an association with CHD risk as a 38.67-mg/dL (ie, 1-mmol/L) change in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level, a change that has been shown to produce a clinically meaningful reduction in the risk of CHD. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A mendelian randomization analysiswas conducted using individual participant data from 5 studies and with external validation using summarized data from 48 studies. Population-based prospective cohort and case-control studies featured 20 793 individuals with CHD and 27 540 controls with individual participant data, whereas summarized data included 62 240 patients with CHD and 127 299 controls. Data were analyzed from November 2016 to March 2018. EXPOSURES Genetic LPA score and plasma Lp(a) mass concentration. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Coronary heart disease. RESULTS Of the included study participants, 53%were men, all were of white European ancestry, and the mean age was 57.5 years. The association of genetically predicted Lp(a) with CHD risk was linearly proportional to the absolute change in Lp(a) concentration. A 10-mg/dL lower genetically predicted Lp(a) concentration was associated with a 5.8% lower CHD risk (odds ratio [OR], 0.942; 95%CI, 0.933-0.951; P = 3 × 10-37), whereas a 10-mg/dL lower genetically predicted LDL-C level estimated using an LDL-C genetic score was associated with a 14.5%lower CHD risk (OR, 0.855; 95%CI, 0.818-0.893; P = 2 × 10-12). Thus, a 101.5-mg/dL change (95%CI, 71.0-137.0) in Lp(a) concentration had the sam
Although plasma proteins have important roles in biological processes and are the direct targets of many drugs, the genetic factors that control inter-individual variation in plasma protein levels are not well understood. Here we characterize the genetic architecture of the human plasma proteome in healthy blood donors from the INTERVAL study. We identify 1,927 genetic associations with 1,478 proteins, a fourfold increase on existing knowledge, including trans associations for 1,104 proteins. To understand the consequences of perturbations in plasma protein levels, we apply an integrated approach that links genetic variation with biological pathway, disease, and drug databases. We show that protein quantitative trait loci overlap with gene expression quantitative trait loci, as well as with disease-associated loci, and find evidence that protein biomarkers have causal roles in disease using Mendelian randomization analysis. By linking genetic factors to diseases via specific proteins, our analyses highlight potential therapeutic targets, opportunities for matching existing drugs with new disease indications, and potential safety concerns for drugs under development.
Peters JE, Gupta V, Saeed IT, et al., 2018, Severe localised granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's granulomatosis) manifesting with extensive cranial nerve palsies and cranial diabetes insipidus: a case report and literature review, BMC Neurology, Vol: 18, ISSN: 1471-2377
BACKGROUND: Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA, formerly Wegener's granulomatosis) is a multisystem vasculitis of small- to medium-sized blood vessels. Cranial involvement can result in cranial nerve palsies and, rarely, pituitary infiltration. CASE PRESENTATION: We describe the case of a 32 year-old woman with limited but severe GPA manifesting as progressive cranial nerve palsies and pituitary dysfunction. Our patient initially presented with localised ENT involvement, but despite treatment with methotrexate, she deteriorated. Granulomatous inflammatory tissue around the skull base resulted in cavernous sinus syndrome, facial nerve palsy, palsies of cranial nerves IX-XII (Collet-Sicard syndrome), and the rare complication of cranial diabetes insipidus due to pituitary infiltration. The glossopharyngeal, vagus and accessory nerve palsies resulted in severe dysphagia and she required nasogastric tube feeding. Her neurological deficits substantially improved with treatment including high dose corticosteroid, cyclophosphamide and rituximab. CONCLUSIONS: This case emphasises that serious morbidity can arise from localised cranial Wegener's granulomatosis in the absence of systemic disease. In such cases intensive induction immunosuppression is required. Analysis of previously reported cases of pituitary involvement in GPA reveals that this rare complication predominantly affects female patients.
Richard AC, Peters JE, Lee JC, et al., 2016, Targeted genomic analysis reveals widespread autoimmune disease association with regulatory variants in the TNF superfamily cytokine signalling network., Genome Medicine: medicine in the post-genomic era, Vol: 8, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 1756-994X
BACKGROUND: Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily cytokines and their receptors regulate diverse immune system functions through a common set of signalling pathways. Genetic variants in and expression of individual TNF superfamily cytokines, receptors and signalling proteins have been associated with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, but their interconnected biology has been largely unexplored. METHODS: We took a hypothesis-driven approach using available genome-wide datasets to identify genetic variants regulating gene expression in the TNF superfamily cytokine signalling network and the association of these variants with autoimmune and autoinflammatory disease. Using paired gene expression and genetic data, we identified genetic variants associated with gene expression, expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs), in four peripheral blood cell subsets. We then examined whether eQTLs were dependent on gene expression level or the presence of active enhancer chromatin marks. Using these eQTLs as genetic markers of the TNF superfamily signalling network, we performed targeted gene set association analysis in eight autoimmune and autoinflammatory disease genome-wide association studies. RESULTS: Comparison of TNF superfamily network gene expression and regulatory variants across four leucocyte subsets revealed patterns that differed between cell types. eQTLs for genes in this network were not dependent on absolute gene expression levels and were not enriched for chromatin marks of active enhancers. By examining autoimmune disease risk variants among our eQTLs, we found that risk alleles can be associated with either increased or decreased expression of co-stimulatory TNF superfamily cytokines, receptors or downstream signalling molecules. Gene set disease association analysis revealed that eQTLs for genes in the TNF superfamily pathway were associated with six of the eight autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases examined, demonstrating associations beyond singl
Peters JE, Lyons PA, Lee JC, et al., 2016, Insight into genotype-phenotype associations through eQTL mapping in multiple cell types in health and immune-mediated disease, PLoS Genetics, Vol: 12, Pages: 1-29, ISSN: 1553-7390
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have transformed our understanding of the genetics of complex traits such as autoimmune diseases, but how risk variants contribute to pathogenesis remains largely unknown. Identifying genetic variants that affect gene expression (expression quantitative trait loci, or eQTLs) is crucial to addressing this. eQTLs vary between tissues and following in vitro cellular activation, but have not been examined in the context of human inflammatory diseases. We performed eQTL mapping in five primary immune cell types from patients with active inflammatory bowel disease (n = 91), anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (n = 46) and healthy controls (n = 43), revealing eQTLs present only in the context of active inflammatory disease. Moreover, we show that following treatment a proportion of these eQTLs disappear. Through joint analysis of expression data from multiple cell types, we reveal that previous estimates of eQTL immune cell-type specificity are likely to have been exaggerated. Finally, by analysing gene expression data from multiple cell types, we find eQTLs not previously identified by database mining at 34 inflammatory bowel disease-associated loci. In summary, this parallel eQTL analysis in multiple leucocyte subsets from patients with active disease provides new insights into the genetic basis of immune-mediated diseases.
Lewin A, Saadi H, Peters JE, et al., 2015, MT-HESS: an efficient Bayesian approach for simultaneous association detection in OMICS datasets, with application to eQTL mapping in multiple tissues, Bioinformatics, Vol: 32, Pages: 523-532, ISSN: 1367-4803
Motivation: Analysing the joint association between a large set of responses and predictors is a fundamental statistical task in integrative genomics, exemplified by numerous expression Quantitative Trait Loci (eQTL) studies. Of particular interest are the so-called ‘hotspots’, important genetic variants that regulate the expression of many genes. Recently, attention has focussed on whether eQTLs are common to several tissues, cell-types or, more generally, conditions or whether they are specific to a particular condition.Results: We have implemented MT-HESS, a Bayesian hierarchical model that analyses the association between a large set of predictors, e.g. SNPs, and many responses, e.g. gene expression, in multiple tissues, cells or conditions. Our Bayesian sparse regression algorithm goes beyond ‘one-at-a-time’ association tests between SNPs and responses and uses a fully multivariate model search across all linear combinations of SNPs, coupled with a model of the correlation between condition/tissue-specific responses. In addition, we use a hierarchical structure to leverage shared information across different genes, thus improving the detection of hotspots. We show the increase of power resulting from our new approach in an extensive simulation study. Our analysis of two case studies highlights new hotspots that would remain undetected by standard approaches and shows how greater prediction power can be achieved when several tissues are jointly considered.
Richard AC, Lyons PA, Peters JE, et al., 2014, Comparison of gene expression microarray data with count-based RNA measurements informs microarray interpretation, BMC Genomics, Vol: 15, ISSN: 1471-2164
BACKGROUND: Although numerous investigations have compared gene expression microarray platforms, preprocessing methods and batch correction algorithms using constructed spike-in or dilution datasets, there remains a paucity of studies examining the properties of microarray data using diverse biological samples. Most microarray experiments seek to identify subtle differences between samples with variable background noise, a scenario poorly represented by constructed datasets. Thus, microarray users lack important information regarding the complexities introduced in real-world experimental settings. The recent development of a multiplexed, digital technology for nucleic acid measurement enables counting of individual RNA molecules without amplification and, for the first time, permits such a study. RESULTS: Using a set of human leukocyte subset RNA samples, we compared previously acquired microarray expression values with RNA molecule counts determined by the nCounter Analysis System (NanoString Technologies) in selected genes. We found that gene measurements across samples correlated well between the two platforms, particularly for high-variance genes, while genes deemed unexpressed by the nCounter generally had both low expression and low variance on the microarray. Confirming previous findings from spike-in and dilution datasets, this "gold-standard" comparison demonstrated signal compression that varied dramatically by expression level and, to a lesser extent, by dataset. Most importantly, examination of three different cell types revealed that noise levels differed across tissues. CONCLUSIONS: Microarray measurements generally correlate with relative RNA molecule counts within optimal ranges but suffer from expression-dependent accuracy bias and precision that varies across datasets. We urge microarray users to consider expression-level effects in signal interpretation and to evaluate noise properties in each dataset independently.
Youngstein T, Peters JE, Hamdulay SS, et al., 2014, Serial analysis of clinical and imaging indices reveals prolonged efficacy of TNF-alpha and IL-6 receptor targeted therapies in refractory Takayasu arteritis, CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RHEUMATOLOGY, Vol: 32, Pages: S11-S18, ISSN: 0392-856X
Youngstein T, Peters JE, Hamdulay SS, et al., 2014, Serial analysis of clinical and imaging indices reveals prolonged efficacy of TNF-α and IL-6 receptor targeted therapies in refractory Takayasu arteritis., Clin Exp Rheumatol, Vol: 32, Pages: S11-S18, ISSN: 0392-856X
OBJECTIVES: We analysed a large cohort of patients with Takayasu arteritis, seeking robust clinical evidence for prolonged responses to tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R) antagonists in severe refractory disease. METHODS: Case notes from ninety-eight patients with Takayasu arteritis were retrospectively reviewed. Drug treatment, laboratory and serial non-invasive imaging data were analysed, and the Indian Takayasu arteritis activity (ITAS) and damage scores (TADs) calculated. RESULTS: Nine patients were treated with biologic therapies. All had previously received high dose prednisolone and ≥1 conventional immunosuppressant. Five patients had failed cyclophosphamide. The patients prescribed biologics had more extensive arterial injury than the remainder of the cohort and persistent active disease (ITAS range 2-9, CRP 12-206 mg/L, TADs 3--1). Eight patients were prescribed anti-TNF-α therapy, three IL-6R blockade. The mean duration of anti-TNF-α treatment was 42 months (maximum 8 years). One patient developed new arterial stenoses while receiving anti-TNF-α and subsequently achieved disease remission with tocilizumab. Two patients have now demonstrated sustained responses to IL-6R inhibition at 19 and 20 months. Following introduction of biologic therapy, serial non-invasive imaging has revealed no significant progression in arterial injury. A significant fall in CRP (p<0.01), prednisolone dose (p<0.01) and ITAS (p<0.01) was observed, with no increase in TADs. CONCLUSIONS: We report for the first time sustained responses to both anti-TNF-α and IL6R antagonists in refractory Takayasu arteritis. As 5/9 patients were cyclophosphamide non-responders, we propose that biologics should now be considered ahead of cyclophosphamide in these young patients.
Youngstein T, Peters JE, Hamdulay SS, et al., 2014, Serial analysis of clinical and imaging indices reveals prolonged efficacy of TNF-α and IL-6 receptor targeted therapies in refractory Takayasu arteritis, Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, Vol: 32, ISSN: 0392-856X
Objectives. We analysed a large cohort of patients with Takayasu arteritis, seeking robust clinical evidence for prolonged responses to tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R) antagonists in severe refractory disease. Methods. Case notes from ninety-eight patients with Takayasu arteritis were retrospectively reviewed. Drug treatment, laboratory and serial non-invasive imaging data were analysed, and the Indian Takayasu arteritis activity (ITAS) and damage scores (TADs) calculated. Results. Nine patients were treated with biologic therapies. All had previously received high dose prednisolone and ≥1 conventional immunosuppressant. Five patients had failed cyclophosphamide. The patients prescribed biologics had more extensive arterial injury than the remainder of the cohort and persistent active disease (ITAS range 2-9, CRP 12-206 mg/L, TADs 3-1). Eight patients were prescribed anti-TNF-α therapy, three IL-6R blockade. The mean duration of anti-TNF-α treatment was 42 months (maximum 8 years). One patient developed new arterial stenoses while receiving anti-TNF-α and subsequently achieved disease remission with tocilizumab. Two patients have now demonstrated sustained responses to IL-6R inhibition at 19 and 20 months. Following introduction of biologic therapy, serial non-invasive imaging has revealed no significant progression in arterial injury. A significant fall in CRP (p<0.01), prednisolone dose (p<0.01) and ITAS (p<0.01) was observed, with no increase in TADs. Conclusion. We report for the first time sustained responses to both anti-TNF-α and IL6R antagonists in refractory Takayasu arteritis. As 5/9 patients were cyclophosphamide non-responders, we propose that biologics should now be considered ahead of cyclophosphamide in these young patients. © Copyright ClinicCal and experimental Rheumatology 2014.
Youngstein T, Quinn M, Peters J, et al., 2013, Early Combination Immunosuppression and Serial Non-Invasive Imaging Improves Outcome In Takayasu Arteritis, 77th Annual Meeting of the American-College-of-Rheumatology / 48th Annual Meeting of the Association-of-Rheumatology-Health-Professionals, Publisher: WILEY-BLACKWELL, Pages: S713-S713, ISSN: 0004-3591
Peters JE, Salama AD, Ind PW, 2009, Wegener's granulomatosis presenting as acute systemic vasculitis following 20 years of limited tracheobronchial disease, JOURNAL OF LARYNGOLOGY AND OTOLOGY, Vol: 123, Pages: 1375-1377, ISSN: 0022-2151
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