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1.
Comput Methods Programs Biomed ; 199: 105838, 2021 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33421664

RESUMO

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The number of preterm babies is steadily growing world-wide and these neonates are at risk of neuro-motor-cognitive deficits. The observation of spontaneous movements in the first three months of age is known to predict such risk. However, the analysis by specifically trained physiotherapists is not suited for the clinical routine, motivating the development of simple computerized video analysis systems, integrated with a well-structured Biobank to make available for preterm babies a growing service with diagnostic, prognostic and epidemiological purposes. METHODS: MIMAS (Markerless Infant Movement Analysis System) is a simple, low-cost system of video analysis of spontaneous movements of newborns in their natural environment, based on a single standard RGB camera, without markers attached to the body. The original videos are transformed into binarized sequences highlighting the silhouette of the baby, in order to minimize the illumination effects and increase the robustness of the analysis; such sequences are then coded by a large set of parameters (39) related to the spatial and spectral changes of the silhouette. The parameter vectors of each baby were stored in the Biobank together with related clinical information. RESULTS: The preliminary test of the system was carried out at the Gaslini Pediatric Hospital in Genoa, where 46 preterm (PT) and 21 full-term (FT) babies (as controls) were recorded at birth (T0) and 8-12 weeks thereafter (T1). A simple statistical analysis of the data showed that the coded parameters are sensitive to the degree of maturation of the newborns (comparing T0 with T1, for both PT and FT babies), and to the conditions at birth (PT vs. FT at T0), whereas this difference tends to vanish at T1. Moreover, the coding method seems also able to detect the few 'abnormal' preterm babies in the PT populations that were analyzed as specific case studies. CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary results motivate the adoption of this tool in clinical practice allowing for a systematic accumulation of cases in the Biobank, thus for improving the accuracy of data analysis performed by MIMAS and ultimately allowing the adoption of data mining techniques.

2.
J Clin Invest ; 2020 Oct 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33001864

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) improves diagnostic rates in individuals with suspected Mendelian conditions to varying degrees, primarily by directing the prioritization of candidate DNA variants identified on exome or genome sequencing (ES/GS). Here we implemented an RNA-seq guided method to diagnose individuals across a wide range of ages and clinical phenotypes. METHODS: One hundred fifteen undiagnosed adult and pediatric patients with diverse phenotypes and 67 family members (182 total individuals) underwent RNA-seq from whole blood and fibroblasts at the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) clinical site from 2014-2020. We implemented a workflow to detect outliers in gene expression and splicing for cases that remained undiagnosed despite standard genomic and transcriptomic analysis. RESULTS: The transcriptome-directed approach resulted in a diagnostic rate of 12% across the entire cohort, or 17% after excluding cases solved on ES/GS alone. Newly diagnosed conditions included Koolen-de Vries syndrome (KANSL1), Renpenning syndrome (PQBP1), TBCK-associated encephalopathy, NSD2- and CLTC-related intellectual disability, and others, all with negative conventional genomic testing, including ES and chromosomal microarray (CMA). Fibroblasts exhibited higher and more consistent expression of clinically relevant genes than whole blood. In solved cases with RNA-seq from both tissues, the causative defect was missed in blood in half the cases but none from fibroblasts. CONCLUSION: For our cohort of undiagnosed individuals with suspected Mendelian conditions, transcriptome-directed genomic analysis facilitated diagnoses, primarily through the identification of variants missed on ES and CMA.

4.
J Chem Inf Model ; 60(10): 5265-5281, 2020 Oct 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32866007

RESUMO

The in solution synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering SAXS technique has been used to investigate an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) related to Parkinson's disease, the α-synuclein (α-syn), in prefibrillar diluted conditions. SAXS experiments have been performed as a function of temperature and concentration on the wild type (WT) and on the three pathogenic mutants G51D, E46K, and A53T. To identify the conformers that populate WT α-syn and the pathogenic mutants in prefibrillar conditions, scattering data have been analyzed by a new variational bayesian weighting method (VBWSAS) based on an ensemble of conformers, which includes unfolded monomers, trimers, and tetramers, both in helical-rich and strand-rich forms. The developed VBWSAS method uses a thermodynamic scheme to account for temperature and concentration effects and considers long-range protein-protein interactions in the framework of the random phase approximation. The global analysis of the whole set of data indicates that WT α-syn is mostly present as unfolded monomers and trimers (helical-rich trimers at low T and strand-rich trimers at high T), but not tetramers, as previously derived by several studies. On the contrary, different conformer combinations characterize mutants. In the α-syn G51D mutant, the most abundant aggregates at all the temperatures are strand-rich tetramers. Strand-rich tetramers are also the predominant forms in the A53T mutant, but their weight decreases with temperature. Only monomeric conformers, with a preference for the ones with the smallest sizes, are present in the E46K mutant. The derived conformational behavior then suggests a different availability of species prone to aggregate, depending on mutation, temperature, and concentration and accounting for the different neurotoxicity of α-syn variants. Indeed, this approach may be of pivotal importance to describe conformational and aggregational properties of other IDPs.

5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(31): 18332-18340, 2020 08 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32690716

RESUMO

In models of excitable dynamics on graphs, excitations can travel in both directions of an undirected link. However, as a striking interplay of dynamics and network topology, excitations often establish a directional preference. Some of these cases of "link-usage asymmetry" are local in nature and can be mechanistically understood, for instance, from the degree gradient of a link (i.e., the difference in node degrees at both ends of the link). Other contributions to the link-usage asymmetry are instead, as we show, self-organized in nature, and strictly nonlocal. This is the case for excitation waves, where the preferential propagation of excitations along a link depends on its orientation with respect to a hub acting as a source, even if the link in question is several steps away from the hub itself. Here, we identify and quantify the contribution of such self-organized patterns to link-usage asymmetry and show that they extend to ranges significantly longer than those ascribed to local patterns. We introduce a topological characterization, the hub-set-orientation prevalence of a link, which indicates its average orientation with respect to the hubs of a graph. Our numerical results show that the hub-set-orientation prevalence of a link strongly correlates with the preferential usage of the link in the direction of propagation away from the hub core of the graph. Our methodology is embedding-agnostic and allows for the measurement of wave signals and the sizes of the cores from which they originate.

7.
Front Immunol ; 11: 581, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32528461

RESUMO

Non-resolving lung inflammation and Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections are the underlying cause of morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF). The endogenous lipid mediator resolvin (Rv) D1 is a potent regulator of resolution, and its roles, actions, and therapeutic potential in CF are of interest. Here, we investigated actions and efficacy of RvD1 in preclinical models of cystic fibrosis. Cftr knockout mice with chronic P. aeruginosa lung infection were treated with RvD1 to assess differences in lung bacterial load, inflammation, and tissue damage. Cells from volunteers with CF were treated with RvD1 during ex vivo infection with P. aeruginosa, and effects on phagocytosis and inflammatory signaling were determined. In CF mice, RvD1 reduced bacterial burden, neutrophil infiltration, and histological signs of lung pathology, improving clinical scores of diseases. Mechanistically, RvD1 increased macrophage-mediated bacterial and leukocyte clearance in vivo. The clinical significance of these findings is supported by actions in primary leukocytes and epithelial cells from volunteers with CF where RvD1 enhanced P. aeruginosa phagocytosis and reduced genes and proteins associated to NF-κB activation and leukocyte infiltration. Concentration of RvD1 in sputum from patients with CF was also inversely correlated to those of cytokines and chemokines involved in CF lung pathology. These findings demonstrate efficacy of RvD1 in enhancing resolution of lung inflammation and infections and provide proof of concept for its potential as a prototypic novel pro-resolutive therapeutic approach for CF.

8.
Brain Imaging Behav ; 14(3): 772-786, 2020 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30565025

RESUMO

Microstructural neuropathology occurs in the corpus callosum (CC) after repetitive sports concussion in boxers and can be dose-dependent. However, the specificity and relation of CC changes to boxing exposure extent and post-career psychiatric and neuropsychological outcomes are largely unknown. Using deterministic diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) techniques, boxers and demographically-matched, noncontact sport athletes were compared to address literature gaps. Ten boxers and 9 comparison athletes between 26 and 59 years old (M = 44.63, SD = 9.24) completed neuropsychological testing and MRI. Quantitative DTI metrics were estimated for CC subregions. Group×Region interaction effects were observed on fractional anisotropy (FA; η2p ≥ .21). Follow-up indicated large effects of group (η2p ≥ .26) on splenium FA (boxerscomparisons), but not radial diffusivity (RD). The group of boxers had moderately elevated number of psychiatric symptoms and reduced neuropsychological scores relative to the comparison group. In boxers, years sparring, professional bouts, and knockout history correlated strongly (r > |.40|) with DTI metrics and fine motor dexterity. In the comparison group, splenium FA correlated positively with psychiatric symptoms. In the boxer group, neuropsychological scores correlated with DTI metrics in all CC subregions. Results suggested relative vulnerability of the splenium and, to a lesser extent, the genu to chronic, repetitive head injury from boxing. Dose-dependent associations of professional boxing history extent with DTI white matter structure indices as well as fine motor dexterity were supported. Results indicated that symptoms of depression and executive dysfunction may provide the strongest indicators of global CC disruption from boxing.

9.
Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis ; 31(1): 97-100, 2020 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31833869

RESUMO

: Anticoagulation in a neonate is a challenge and the availability of anticoagulant options is extremely limited. Here we describe the use of a direct thrombin inhibitor, bivalirudin, in a full-term neonate with symptomatic cerebral sinovenous thrombosis complicated by bilateral thalamic hemorrhagic stroke and intraventricular hemorrhage, who could not be effectively treated with sodium heparin due to heparin resistance (HR) and showed thrombosis regression after start of bivalirudin treatment, without worsening of the hemorrhage. While the use of bivalirudin in neonates has been previously described, the indication of cerebral sinovenous thrombosis and the setting of HR are unique.


Assuntos
Antitrombinas/uso terapêutico , Trombose Intracraniana/tratamento farmacológico , Fragmentos de Peptídeos/uso terapêutico , Antitrombinas/farmacologia , Hirudinas/farmacologia , Humanos , Recém-Nascido , Masculino , Fragmentos de Peptídeos/farmacologia , Proteínas Recombinantes/farmacologia , Proteínas Recombinantes/uso terapêutico
10.
Eur Heart J Case Rep ; 3(2)2019 Jun 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31449624

RESUMO

BACKGROUND : In patients with coronary artery disease, ventricular tachycardia (VT) is usually related to left ventricular (LV) post-infarction scars. CASE SUMMARY: A case of a 78-year-old man with post-infarction VT originating from the right ventricular (RV) free wall is described. Following recurrent episodes of VT with left bundle branch block morphology and left superior axis deviation, a patient with prior myocardial infarction was submitted to catheter ablation. Two areas of abnormal bipolar electrograms were observed at 3D electroanatomical mapping: one located at the basal aspect of the posterior and postero-septal LV, and the other one extending from the antero-lateral to the posterior mid-basal RV free wall. Ventricular late potentials (LPs) were recorded within both scars, but only pacing from those located in the RV resulted in long stimulus-to-QRS latency and optimal pace-mapping. Accordingly, this substrate was deemed the culprit of the clinical VT. Radiofrequency catheter ablation aimed at eliminating all LPs recorded from both scars was effective in preventing VT recurrences at follow-up. DISCUSSION: A post-infarction RV free-wall scar may exceptionally be responsible of VT occurrence. Right ventricular mapping should be considered in selected cases based on 12-lead electrocardiogram VT morphology and prior RV infarct.

11.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 116(34): 16666-16668, 2019 08 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31375627
12.
J Colloid Interface Sci ; 543: 335-342, 2019 May 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30831359

RESUMO

Polyamine Phosphate Nanoparticles (PANs) have great potential for the delivery of large therapeutics, such as plasmids and/or siRNAs. The formation of PANs by complexation of Poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) and phosphate ions from Phosphate Buffer (PB) was studied here, and how it is affected by the presence of phosphate ions from PB and ionic strength. From Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) the critical PB concentration for PANs formation was determined. Below this critical point, Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) studies revealed that small PAH-phosphate aggregates coexist with not complexed or weakly complexed polymer chains in solution and that the presence of the phosphate ions increases the Kuhn length of the polymer chains until that only spherical aggregates are present in solution. TEM, DLS and SAXS showed the increase of PANs size with ionic strength up to 250 mM NaCl. At higher NaCl concentrations, PANs disassemble into smaller aggregates. Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) showed that PAN formation is an exothermic process and the association of phosphates below the critical PB concentration is entropically controlled.

13.
J Neurotrauma ; 36(5): 686-701, 2019 03 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30070176

RESUMO

Blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) is common in veterans of the Iraq- and Afghanistan-era conflicts. However, the typical subtlety of neural alterations and absence of definitive biomarkers impede clinical detection on conventional imaging. This preliminary study examined the structure and functional correlates of executive control network (ECN) white matter in veterans to investigate the clinical utility of using high-definition fiber tracking (HDFT) to detect chronic bTBI. Demographically similar male veterans (N = 38) with and without bTBI (ages 24 to 50 years) completed standardized neuropsychological testing and magnetic resonance imaging. Quantitative HDFT metrics of subcortical-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) tracts were derived. Moderate-to-large group effects were observed on HDFT metrics. Relative to comparisons, bTBI demonstrated elevated quantitative anisotropy (QA) and reduced right hemisphere volume of all examined tracts, and reduced fiber count and increased generalized fractional anisotropy in the right DLPFC-putamen tract and DLPFC-thalamus, respectively. The Group × Age interaction effect on DLPFC-caudate tract volume was large; age negatively related to volume in the bTBI group, but not comparison group. Groups performed similarly on the response inhibition measure. Performance (reaction time and commission errors) robustly correlated with HDFT tract metrics (QA and tract volume) in the comparison group, but not bTBI group. Results support anomalous density and integrity of ECN connectivity, particularly of the right DLPFC-putamen pathway, in bTBI. Results also support exacerbated aging in veterans with bTBI. Similar ECN function despite anomalous microstructure could reflect functional compensation in bTBI, although alternate interpretations are explored.


Assuntos
Traumatismos por Explosões/diagnóstico por imagem , Lesões Encefálicas Traumáticas/diagnóstico por imagem , Rede Nervosa/diagnóstico por imagem , Neuroimagem/métodos , Córtex Pré-Frontal/diagnóstico por imagem , Adulto , Campanha Afegã de 2001- , Traumatismos por Explosões/fisiopatologia , Lesões Encefálicas Traumáticas/fisiopatologia , Função Executiva , Feminino , Humanos , Guerra do Iraque 2003-2011 , Imagem por Ressonância Magnética , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Rede Nervosa/fisiopatologia , Córtex Pré-Frontal/fisiopatologia , Veteranos
15.
Int J Pharm ; 552(1-2): 225-234, 2018 Dec 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30291957

RESUMO

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a polyphenolic catechin from green tea, well known for being bioactive in age-associated pathologies where oxidative stress plays a preeminent role. The activity of this molecule is however contrasted by its high chemical and metabolic instability that determines a poor concentration of the antioxidant within the biological system after administration. In order to protect the molecule and increase its delivery efficiency, we have encapsulated EGCG inside anionic liposomes made of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine and cholesteryl hemisuccinate. To maximize EGCG internalization, magnesium salt was added in the preparation. However stable nanodispersions suitable for drug delivery were obtained only after treatment with Poloxamer-407, a polyethylene-propylene glycol copolymer. The structural and morphological properties of the produced dispersion were studied by X-ray diffraction, which showed a multilamellar structure even after EGCG addition and an ordering effect of Poloxamer-407; Dynamic Light Scattering demonstrated serum stability of the liposomes. The characterization was completed by evaluating both encapsulation efficiency (100%, in the final formulation) and in vitro EGCG release. Since oxidative stress is involved in numerous retinal degenerative diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, the ability of these liposomes to contrast H2O2-induced cell death was assessed in human retinal cells. Morphological changes at the subcellular level were analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy, which showed that mitochondria were better preserved in cells treated with liposomes then those treated with free EGCG. In conclusion, the results demonstrated that the produced formulation enhances the efficacy of EGCG under stress conditions, thus representing a potential formulation for the intracellular delivery of EGCG in diseases caused by oxidative damage.


Assuntos
Antioxidantes/administração & dosagem , Catequina/análogos & derivados , Magnésio/administração & dosagem , Nanopartículas/administração & dosagem , Poloxâmero/administração & dosagem , Antioxidantes/química , Catequina/administração & dosagem , Catequina/química , Linhagem Celular , Liberação Controlada de Fármacos , Humanos , Peróxido de Hidrogênio , Lipossomos , Magnésio/química , Nanopartículas/química , Estresse Oxidativo/efeitos dos fármacos , Poloxâmero/química
16.
Ann Clin Transl Neurol ; 5(10): 1277-1285, 2018 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30349862

RESUMO

De novo variants in DDX3X account for 1-3% of unexplained intellectual disability (ID) cases and are amongst the most common causes of ID especially in females. Forty-seven patients (44 females, 3 males) have been described. We identified 31 additional individuals carrying 29 unique DDX3X variants, including 30 postnatal individuals with complex clinical presentations of developmental delay or ID, and one fetus with abnormal ultrasound findings. Rare or novel phenotypes observed include respiratory problems, congenital heart disease, skeletal muscle mitochondrial DNA depletion, and late-onset neurologic decline. Our findings expand the spectrum of DNA variants and phenotypes associated with DDX3X disorders.

18.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 12090, 2018 Aug 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30108308

RESUMO

We study precursors of failure in hierarchical random fuse network models which can be considered as idealizations of hierarchical (bio)materials where fibrous assemblies are held together by multi-level (hierarchical) cross-links. When such structures are loaded towards failure, the patterns of precursory avalanche activity exhibit generic scale invariance: irrespective of load, precursor activity is characterized by power-law avalanche size distributions without apparent cut-off, with power-law exponents that decrease continuously with increasing load. This failure behavior and the ensuing super-rough crack morphology differ significantly from the findings in non-hierarchical structures.

20.
Brain Sci ; 8(7)2018 Jul 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30029526

RESUMO

Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is one of the most genetically heterogeneous neurological disorders. HSP is classified as pure when only a spastic weakness of the lower extremities is present. Complex HSP comes with additional neurological or systemic abnormalities. Complex HSP with skeletal abnormalities is rare and mostly seen in autosomal recessive HSP. Autosomal dominant (AD) complex HSP with skeletal abnormalities are consistently seen only in SPG9 (spastic gait type 9). In this paper, we report a kindred condition with AD HSP among four living affected individuals who had progressive, adult onset spastic paraparesis that was associated with a distal arthrogryposis (DA) in every affected individual. They also had episodes of rhabdomyolysis without any clinical signs of myopathy. Exhaustive genetic analysis including targeted sequencing of known HSP and DA genes and whole exome sequencing did not identify the disease-causing gene. It excluded all known HSP and DA genes. We propose that this is a novel genetic type of complex AD HSP. Elucidation of a genetic cause of this type of HSP will further contribute to our understanding of axonal degeneration and skeletal abnormalities.

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