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  • Journal article
    Porter A, Youngstein T, Babar S, Mason JCet al., 2021,

    A rare life-threatening presentation of Takayasu arteritis

    , RHEUMATOLOGY, Vol: 60, Pages: 6-8, ISSN: 1462-0324
  • Journal article
    Satta G, Youngstein T, Lightstone L, Gilchrist M, COVID-19 treatment guidelines working group at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trustet al., 2021,

    The utility of a local multidisciplinary working group to oversee the establishment of rapidly evolving standards of care and to support trial recruitment during the COVID-19 pandemic

    , Clinical medicine (London, England), Vol: 21, Pages: e287-e289, ISSN: 1470-2118

    Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The first analyses of cases described high numbers of critically ill patients requiring intensive care admission with significant late inflammatory features. By the time the first cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were diagnosed in the UK, a wide range of drugs were under consideration and it became clear that the input of clinicians covering all organ systems (in particular, infectious diseases, haematology, rheumatology, renal medicine and intensive care) and of expert specialist pharmacists was necessary at the local level. Thus, an expert multidisciplinary (MDT) group within our organisation was convened to offer a standardised approach and robust clinical governance for the treatment of COVID-19 patients admitted to our hospitals and rapidly develop standards of care as evidence evolved. This commentary explores the methods and mechanisms for creating an MDT COVID-19 treatment working group which are applicable to any hospital likely to admit and care for high numbers of COVID-19 patients and demonstrates how the structure and governance of the group allowed for rapid adoption of both dexamethasone and tocilizumab into standard of care as data became available.

  • Journal article
    Walter E, Ge Y, Mason J, Boyle J, Long Net al., 2021,

    A coumarin-porphyrin FRET break-apart probe for heme oxygenase-1

    , Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol: 143, Pages: 6460-6469, ISSN: 0002-7863

    Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a vital enzyme in humans that primarily regulates free heme concentrations. The overexpression of HO-1 is commonly associated with cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases including atherosclerosis and ischemic stroke. Currently, there are no known chemical probes to detect HO-1 activity, limiting its potential as an early diagnostic/prognostic marker in these serious diseases. Reported here are the design, synthesis, and photophysical and biological characterization of a coumarin–porphyrin FRET break-apart probe to detect HO-1 activity, Fe–L1. We designed Fe–L1 to “break-apart” upon HO-1-catalyzed porphyrin degradation, perturbing the efficient FRET mechanism from a coumarin donor to a porphyrin acceptor fluorophore. Analysis of HO-1 activity using Escherichia coli lysates overexpressing hHO-1 found that a 6-fold increase in emission intensity at 383 nm was observed following incubation with NADPH. The identities of the degradation products following catabolism were confirmed by MALDI-MS and LC–MS, showing that porphyrin catabolism was regioselective at the α-position. Finally, through the analysis of Fe–L2, we have shown that close structural analogues of heme are required to maintain HO-1 activity. It is anticipated that this work will act as a foundation to design and develop new probes for HO-1 activity in the future, moving toward applications of live fluorescent imaging.

  • Journal article
    Boyle J, Seneviratne A, Cave L, Hyde G, Moestrup SK, Carling D, Mason JC, Haskard DOet al., 2021,

    Metformin directly suppresses atherosclerosis in normoglycemic mice via haematopoietic Adenosine Monophosphate-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK)

    , Cardiovascular Research, Vol: 117, Pages: 1295-1308, ISSN: 0008-6363

    AimsAtherosclerotic vascular disease has an inflammatory pathogenesis. Heme from intraplaque hemorrhage may drive a protective and pro-resolving macrophage M2-like phenotype, Mhem, via AMPK and ATF1. The anti-diabetic drug metformin may also activate AMPK-dependent signalling.HypothesisMetformin systematically induces atheroprotective genes in macrophages via AMPK and ATF1, and thereby suppresses atherogenesis.Methods and ResultsNormoglycemic Ldlr-/- hyperlipidemic mice were treated with oral metformin, which profoundly suppressed atherosclerotic lesion development (p < 5x10−11). Bone marrow transplantation from AMPK-deficient mice demonstrated that metformin-related atheroprotection required haematopoietic AMPK (ANOVA, p < 0.03). Metformin at a clinically relevant concentration (10μM) evoked AMPK-dependent and ATF1-dependent increases in Hmox1, Nr1h2 (Lxrb), Abca1, Apoe, Igf1 and Pdgf, increases in several M2-markers and decreases in Nos2, in murine bone marrow macrophages. Similar effects were seen in human blood-derived macrophages, in which metformin induced protective genes and M2-like genes, suppressible by si-ATF1-mediated knockdown. Microarray analysis comparing metformin with heme in human macrophages indicated that the transcriptomic effects of metformin were related to those of heme, but not identical. Metformin induced lesional macrophage expression of p-AMPK, p-ATF1 and downstream M2-like protective effects.ConclusionMetformin activates a conserved AMPK-ATF1-M2-like pathway in mouse and human macrophages, and results in highly suppressed atherogenesis in hyperlipidemic mice via haematopoietic AMPK.Translational perspectiveThe work shows that oral antidiabetic drug metformin may suppress atherosclerotic lesion development via hematopoietic AMPK at clinically relevant concentrations, rather than via a hypoglycemic effect. Activating Transcription Factor 1 (ATF1) may mediate induction of key atheroprotective genes

  • Conference paper
    Uzzo M, Scott J, Guerini A, O'brien J, Ricchiuto A, Galesic K, Affatato S, Stoyanov V, Lacetera R, Juto A, Kronbichler A, Trivioli G, Gunnarsson I, Allinovi M, La Manna G, Cozzolino MG, Bruchfeld A, Mescia F, Pieruzzi F, Mcadoo S, Sinico RA, Crnogorac M, Scolari F, Little M, Jayne D, Alberici Fet al., 2021,


    , 58th Congress of the European-Renal-Association (ERA)-European-Dialysis-and-Transplant-Association (EDTA), Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS, ISSN: 0931-0509
  • Conference paper
    Trivioli G, Canzian A, Maritati F, Fenoglio R, Pillebout E, Urban ML, Mohammad A, Nogueira E, Silvestri E, Eriksson P, Segelmark M, Novikov P, Harris H, Smitienko I, Moiseev S, Farisogullari B, O'Sullivan D, Ponte C, Lamprecht P, Hocevar A, Karadag O, Little M, Emmi G, Jayne D, Mcadoo S, Roccatello D, Vaglio Aet al., 2021,


    , 58th Congress of the European-Renal-Association (ERA)-European-Dialysis-and-Transplant-Association (EDTA), Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS, ISSN: 0931-0509
  • Journal article
    Rosas IO, Brau N, Waters M, Go RC, Hunter BD, Bhagani S, Skiest D, Aziz MS, Cooper N, Douglas IS, Savic S, Youngstein T, Del Sorbo L, Gracian AC, De la Zerda DJ, Ustianowski A, Bao M, Dimonaco S, Graham E, Matharu B, Spotswood H, Tsai L, Malhotra Aet al., 2021,

    Tocilizumab in Hospitalized Patients with Severe Covid-19 Pneumonia

    , NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, Vol: 384, Pages: 1503-1516, ISSN: 0028-4793
  • Journal article
    Gordon A, Mouncey P, Al-Beidh F, Rowan K, Nichol A, Arabi Y, Annane D, Beane A, van Bentum-Puijk W, Berry L, Bhimani Z, Bonten M, Bradbury C, Brunkhorst F, Buzgau A, Cheng A, Detry M, Duffy E, Estcourt L, Fitzgerald M, Goossens H, Haniffa R, Higgins A, Hills T, Horvat C, Lamontagne F, Lawler P, Leavis H, Linstrum K, Litton E, Lorenzi E, Marshall J, Mayr F, McAuley D, McGlothlin A, McGuinness S, McVerry B, Montgomery S, Morpeth S, Murthy S, Orr K, Parke R, Parker J, Patanwala A, Pettilä V, Rademaker E, Santos M, Saunders C, Seymour C, Shankar-Hari M, Sligl W, Turgeon A, Turner A, van de Veerdonk F, Zarychanski R, Green C, Lewis R, Angus D, McArthur C, Berry S, Webb S, Derde Let al., 2021,

    Interleukin-6 receptor antagonists in critically Ill patients with Covid-19

    , New England Journal of Medicine, Vol: 384, Pages: 1491-1502, ISSN: 0028-4793

    BACKGROUNDThe efficacy of interleukin-6 receptor antagonists in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is unclear.METHODSWe evaluated tocilizumab and sarilumab in an ongoing international, multifactorial, adaptive platform trial. Adult patients with Covid-19, within 24 hours after starting organ support in the intensive care unit (ICU), were randomly assigned to receive tocilizumab (8 mg per kilogram of body weight), sarilumab (400 mg), or standard care (control). The primary outcome was respiratory and cardiovascular organ support–free days, on an ordinal scale combining in-hospital death (assigned a value of −1) and days free of organ support to day 21. The trial uses a Bayesian statistical model with predefined criteria for superiority, efficacy, equivalence, or futility. An odds ratio greater than 1 represented improved survival, more organ support–free days, or both.RESULTSBoth tocilizumab and sarilumab met the predefined criteria for efficacy. At that time, 353 patients had been assigned to tocilizumab, 48 to sarilumab, and 402 to control. The median number of organ support–free days was 10 (interquartile range, −1 to 16) in the tocilizumab group, 11 (interquartile range, 0 to 16) in the sarilumab group, and 0 (interquartile range, −1 to 15) in the control group. The median adjusted cumulative odds ratios were 1.64 (95% credible interval, 1.25 to 2.14) for tocilizumab and 1.76 (95% credible interval, 1.17 to 2.91) for sarilumab as compared with control, yielding posterior probabilities of superiority to control of more than 99.9% and of 99.5%, respectively. An analysis of 90-day survival showed improved survival in the pooled interleukin-6 receptor antagonist groups, yielding a hazard ratio for the comparison with the control group of 1.61 (95% credible interval, 1.25 to 2.08) and a posterior probability of superiority of more than 99.9%. All secondary analyses supported efficacy of these interleuki

  • Journal article
    Boharoon H, Tomlinson J, Limback-Stanic C, Gontsarova A, Martin N, Hatfield E, Meeran M, Nair R, Mendoza N, Levy J, McAdoo S, Pusey C, Wernig Fet al., 2021,

    A case series of patients with isolated IgG4-related hypophysitis treated with rituximab

    , Journal of the Endocrine Society, Vol: 4, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2472-1972

    ContextThe acute presentation of Immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-related hypophysitis can be indistinguishable from other forms of acute hypophysitis and histology remains the diagnostic gold standard. The high recurrence rate necessitates long term immunosuppressive therapy. Rituximab (RTX) has been shown to be effective in systemic IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD), but experience with isolated pituitary involvement remains limited.Case descriptionWe report three female patients with MRI findings suggestive of hypophysitis. All patients underwent transsphenoidal biopsy and fulfilled diagnostic criteria for IgG4-related hypophysitis. Treatment with GCs (GC) resulted in good therapeutic response in patients 1 and 2, but the disease recurred on tapering doses of GCs. GC treatment led to emotional lability in Patient 3 necessitating dose reduction. All three patients received RTX and Patients 2 and 3 received further courses when symptoms returned and B-cells repopulated. Patient 3 did not receive RTX until 12 months from onset of symptoms. Patient 1 was not able to have further RTX treatments due to an allergic reaction when receiving the second dose. RTX treatment resulted in sustained remission and full recovery of anterior pituitary function in Patients 1 and 2 with complete resolution of pituitary enlargement. By contrast, Patient 3 only showed symptomatic response following RTX treatment, but pituitary enlargement and hypofunction persisted.ConclusionRTX treatment for IgG4-related hypophysitis resulted in sustained remission in two patients treated early in the disease process, but only achieved partial response in a patient with chronic disease suggesting that early therapeutic intervention may be crucial to avoid irreversible changes.

  • Journal article
    Vergis N, Phillips R, Cornelius V, Katsarou A, Youngstein T, Cook L, Willicombe M, Pilay C, Shturova T, Almonte M, Charania A, Turner R, Kon OM, Cooke G, Thursz M, Cherlin S, Wason J, Milojkovic D, Innes AJ, Cooper Net al., 2021,

    Multi-arm Trial of Inflammatory Signal Inhibitors (MATIS) for hospitalised patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 pneumonia: a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

    , Trials, Vol: 22, ISSN: 1745-6215

    OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of MATIS is to determine the efficacy of ruxolitinib (RUX) or fostamatinib (FOS) compared to standard of care (SOC) with respect to reducing the proportion of hospitalised patients progressing from mild or moderate to severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Secondary objectives, at 14 and 28 days, are to: Determine the efficacy of RUX or FOS to reduce mortality Determine the efficacy of RUX or FOS to reduce the need for invasive ventilation or ECMO Determine the efficacy of RUX or FOS to reduce the need for non-invasive ventilation Determine the efficacy of RUX or FOS to reduce the proportion of participants suffering significant oxygen desaturation Determine the efficacy of RUX or FOS to reduce the need for renal replacement therapy Determine the efficacy of RUX and FOS to reduce the incidence of venous thromboembolism Determine the efficacy of RUX and FOS to reduce the severity of COVID-19 pneumonia [graded by a 9-point modified WHO Ordinal Scale* Determine the efficacy of RUX or FOS to reduce systemic inflammation Determine the efficacy of RUX or FOS to the incidence of renal impairment Determine the efficacy of RUX or FOS to reduce duration of hospital stay Evaluate the safety of RUX and FOS for treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia. TRIAL DESIGN: A multi-arm, multi-stage (3-arm parallel-group, 2-stage) randomised controlled trial that allocates participants 1:1:1 and tests for superiority in experimental arms versus standard of care. PARTICIPANTS: Patients will be recruited while inpatients during hospitalisation for COVID-19 in multiple centres throughout the UK including Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. INCLUSION: Patients age ≥ 18 years at screening Patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 pneumonia, defined as Grade 3 or 4 severity by the WHO COVID-19 Ordinal Scale Patients meeting criteria: Hospitalization AND SARS-CoV2 infection (clinically suspected or laboratory confirmed) AND Radiological change consistent with COVID-19 disease C

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