Publications by authors named "Martin P Playford"

77 Publications

Subclinical Liver Disease is Associated with Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Psoriasis: Results from Two Observational Studies.

J Invest Dermatol 2021 Jul 19. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Psoriasis is associated with a higher risk of liver diseases. We investigated the impact of hepatic steatosis (European cohort) and hepatic inflammation (United States cohort) on subclinical atherosclerosis. In the European cohort (n=76 psoriasis participants and 76 controls), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), assessed by the sonographic hepatorenal index (SHRI), was more prevalent in psoriasis than controls (61% vs 45%; p=.04). Psoriasis participants with NAFLD had a higher prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis (ultrasonographic presence of plaque in femoral or carotid arteries) than psoriasis without NAFLD (61% vs 23%; p=.006) and controls with NAFLD (61% vs 32%; p<.05). SHRI was a determinant of subclinical atherosclerosis in psoriasis (OR, 3.5; p=.01). In the United States cohort, (n=162 psoriasis participants who underwent positron emission tomography and coronary CT angiography), those with high hepatic F-FDG uptake had higher noncalcified (1.3 (0.49 mm) vs 1.0 (0.40 mm)), fibrofatty (0.23 (0.15 mm) vs 0.11 (0.087 mm)), and lipid rich necrotic core (4.3 (2.3 mm) vs 3.0 (1.7 mm)) coronary burden (all p<.001,). Hepatic F-FDG uptake associated with noncalcified (β=0.28; p<.001), fibrofatty (β=0.49; p<.001) and lipid rich necrotic core (β=0.28; p=.003) burden. These results demonstrate the downstream cardiovascular effects of subclinical liver disease in psoriasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2021.05.034DOI Listing
July 2021

Effect of metformin on the high-density lipoprotein proteome in youth with type 1 diabetes.

Endocrinol Diabetes Metab 2021 Jul 9;4(3):e00261. Epub 2021 May 9.

Saha Cardiovascular Research Center University of Kentucky Lexington KY USA.

Background: Youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D) have normal or elevated High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C), however, the function of HDL, partly mediated by the HDL proteome, may be impaired. Metformin can be used as an adjunct therapy in youth with T1D, but its effects on the HDL proteome are unknown.

Objective: To determine the effect of metformin on the HDL proteome.

Subjects: Youth (12-20 years old) with T1D who had a BMI > 90th percentile, HbA1c > 8.0% and Tanner stage 5.

Methods: Double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomized sub-study. We examined the effects of metformin ( = 25) or placebo ( = 10) after 6 months on HDL proteome. Changes in HDL proteins were measured by data-independent acquisition (DIA) mass spectrometry and compared between treatment groups. As a secondary outcome, associations between proteins of interest and the most studied function of HDL, the cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC), was examined.

Results: The relative abundance of 84 HDL-associated proteins were measured. Two proteins were significantly affected by metformin treatment, peptidoglycan recognition protein 2 (PGRP2; +23.4%,  = .0058) and alpha-2-macroglobulin (A2MG; +29.8%,  = .049). Metformin did not significantly affect CEC. Changes in affected HDL proteins did not correlate with CEC.

Conclusions: Despite having little effect on HDL-C, metformin increased PGRP2 and A2MG protein on HDL in youth with T1D, but had no significant effect on CEC. Further studies are needed to understand the impact of PGRP2 and A2MG on other HDL functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/edm2.261DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8279605PMC
July 2021

Phase 1 double-blind randomized safety trial of the Janus kinase inhibitor tofacitinib in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Nat Commun 2021 06 7;12(1):3391. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Translational Immunology Section, NIAMS, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Increased risk of premature cardiovascular disease (CVD) is well recognized in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Aberrant type I-Interferon (IFN)-neutrophil interactions contribute to this enhanced CVD risk. In lupus animal models, the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib improves clinical features, immune dysregulation and vascular dysfunction. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of tofacitinib in SLE subjects (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02535689). In this study, 30 subjects are randomized to tofacitinib (5 mg twice daily) or placebo in 2:1 block. The primary outcome of this study is safety and tolerability of tofacitinib. The secondary outcomes include clinical response and mechanistic studies. The tofacitinib is found to be safe in SLE meeting study's primary endpoint. We also show that tofacitinib improves cardiometabolic and immunologic parameters associated with the premature atherosclerosis in SLE. Tofacitinib improves high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (p = 0.0006, CI 95%: 4.12, 13.32) and particle number (p = 0.0008, CI 95%: 1.58, 5.33); lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase concentration (p = 0.024, CI 95%: 1.1, -26.5), cholesterol efflux capacity (p = 0.08, CI 95%: -0.01, 0.24), improvements in arterial stiffness and endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and decrease in type I IFN gene signature, low-density granulocytes and circulating NETs. Some of these improvements are more robust in subjects with STAT4 risk allele.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23361-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8185103PMC
June 2021

Chronic Stress-Related Neural Activity Associates With Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease in a Community-Based Cohort: Data From the Washington, D.C. Cardiovascular Health and Needs Assessment.

Front Cardiovasc Med 2021 10;8:599341. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Section of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States.

Psychosocial stress correlates with cardiovascular (CV) events; however, associations between physiologic measures of stressors and CVD remain incompletely understood, especially in racial/ethnic minority populations in resource-limited neighborhoods. We examined associations between chronic stress-related neural activity, measured by amygdalar Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake, and aortic vascular FDG uptake (arterial inflammation measure) in a community-based cohort. Forty participants from the Washington, DC CV Health and Needs Assessment (DC-CHNA), a study of a predominantly African-American population in resource-limited urban areas and 25 healthy volunteers underwent detailed phenotyping, including FDG PET/CT for assessing amygdalar activity (AmygA), vascular FDG uptake, and hematopoietic (leukopoietic) tissue activity. Mediation analysis was used to test whether the link between AmygA and vascular FDG uptake was mediated by hematopoietic activity. AmygA (1.11 ± 0.09 vs. 1.05 ± 0.09, = 0.004) and vascular FDG uptake (1.63 ± 0.22 vs. 1.55 ± 0.17, = 0.05) were greater in the DC-CHNA cohort compared to volunteers. Within the DC-CHNA cohort, AmygA associated with vascular FDG uptake after adjustment for Framingham score and body mass index (β = 0.41, = 0.015). The AmygA and aortic vascular FDG uptake relationship was in part mediated by splenic (20.2%) and bone marrow (11.8%) activity. AmygA, or chronic stress-related neural activity, associates with subclinical CVD risk in a community-based cohort. This may in part be mediated by the hematopoietic system. Our findings of this hypothesis-generating study are suggestive of a potential relationship between chronic stress-related neural activity and subclinical CVD in an African American community-based population. Taken together, these findings suggest a potential mechanism by which chronic psychosocial stress, such as stressors that can be experienced in adverse social conditions, promotes greater cardiovascular risk amongst resource-limited, community-based populations most impacted by cardiovascular health disparities. However, larger prospective studies examining these findings in other racially and ethnically diverse populations are necessary to confirm and extend these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2021.599341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7988194PMC
March 2021

Underperformance of clinical risk scores in identifying imaging-based high cardiovascular risk in psoriasis: results from two observational cohorts.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2020 Nov 9. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Section of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Clinical Research Center, Room 5-5140, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Aims: We aimed to evaluate whether traditional risk scores [short-term, 'psoriasis-modified' (multiplied by 1.5) and lifetime] were able to capture high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk as defined by the presence of atherosclerotic plaques in coronary, femoral, or carotid arteries in psoriasis.

Methods And Results: We used two prospectives obseravational cohorts. European cohort: femoral and carotid atherosclerotic plaques were evaluated by ultrasound in 73 psoriasis patients. Lifetime CVD risk (LTCVR) was evaluated with QRISK-LT; short-term CVD risk was evaluated with SCORE and psoriasis-modified SCORE. American cohort: 165 patients underwent coronary computed tomography angiography to assess presence of coronary plaques. LTCVR was evaluated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD-LT) lifetime; short-term CVD risk was evaluated with ASCVD and psoriasis-modified ASCVD. European cohort: subclinical atherosclerosis was present in 51% of patients. QRISK-LT identified 64% of patients with atherosclerosis missing a high proportion (35%) with atheroma plaque (P < 0.05). The percentage of patients with atherosclerosis identified by QRISK-LT was significantly higher than those detected by SCORE (0%) and modified SCORE (10%). American cohort: subclinical atherosclerosis was present in 54% of patients. ASCVD-LT captured 54% of patients with coronary plaques missing a high proportion (46%) with coronary plaque (P < 0.05). The percentage of patients with atheroma plaques detected with ASCVD and modified ASCVD were only 20% and 45%, respectively.

Conclusions: Application of lifetime, short-term and 'psoriasis-modified' risk scores did not accurately capture psoriasis patients at high CVD risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa033DOI Listing
November 2020

Divergence of Cardiovascular Biomarkers of Lipids and Subclinical Myocardial Injury Among Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients With Increased Inflammation.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2021 06 9;73(6):970-979. Epub 2021 May 9.

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts.

Objective: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are 1.5 times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) attributed to chronic inflammation. A decrease in inflammation in patients with RA is associated with increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This study was undertaken to prospectively evaluate the changes in lipid levels among RA patients experiencing changes in inflammation and determine the association with concomitant temporal patterns in markers of myocardial injury.

Methods: A total of 196 patients were evaluated in a longitudinal RA cohort, with blood samples and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels measured annually. Patients were stratified based on whether they experienced either a significant increase in inflammation (an increase in hsCRP of ≥10 mg/liter between any 2 time points 1 year apart; designated the increased inflammation cohort [n = 103]) or decrease in inflammation (a decrease in hsCRP of ≥10 mg/liter between any 2 time points 1 year apart; designated the decreased inflammation cohort [n = 93]). Routine and advanced lipids, markers of inflammation (interleukin-6, hsCRP, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor II), and markers of subclinical myocardial injury (high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T [hs-cTnT], N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide) were measured.

Results: Among the patients in the increased inflammation cohort, the mean age was 59 years, 81% were women, and the mean RA disease duration was 17.9 years. The average increase in hsCRP levels was 36 mg/liter, and this increase was associated with significant reductions in LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol, apolipoprotein (Apo B), and Apo A-I levels. In the increased inflammation cohort at baseline, 45.6% of patients (47 of 103) had detectable circulating hs-cTnT, which further increased during inflammation (P = 0.02). In the decreased inflammation cohort, hs-cTnT levels remained stable despite a reduction in inflammation over follow-up. In both cohorts, hs-cTnT levels were associated with the overall estimated risk of CVD.

Conclusion: Among RA patients who experienced an increase in inflammation, a significant decrease in routinely measured lipids, including LDL cholesterol, and an increase in markers of subclinical myocardial injury were observed. These findings highlight the divergence in biomarkers of CVD risk and suggest a role in future studies examining the benefit of including hs-cTnT for CVD risk stratification in RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41613DOI Listing
June 2021

Nanotomography of lesional skin using electron microscopy reveals cytosolic release of nuclear DNA in psoriasis.

JAAD Case Rep 2021 Mar 6;9:9-14. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Section of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdcr.2020.12.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7868746PMC
March 2021

Association of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio with non-calcified coronary artery burden in psoriasis: Findings from an observational cohort study.

J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr 2021 Jul-Aug;15(4):372-379. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Inflammation in the form of elevated high-sensitivity c-reactive protein (hs-CRP) has been shown to be critical in the development of atherothrombosis. Psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease, is associated with high systemic-inflammation, elevated neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and accelerated non-calcified coronary artery burden (NCB) by coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). We hypothesized that NLR would associate with early, rupture-prone atherosclerosis assessed as NCB independent of hs-CRP.

Methods: 316 consecutive psoriasis participants were recruited with 233 having one-year follow-up as part of a prospective, observational cohort study design. CCTA scans were performed to assess NCB in all three major epicardial coronary arteries.

Results: Patients with above average NLR (>mean: 2.29 ​± ​1.21) were older (mean ​± ​SD; 52.0 ​± ​12.8 vs. 47.9 ​± ​12.6, p ​= ​0.002), had higher hs-CRP (med. IQR: 2.3 (0.9-7.3) vs. 1.4 (0.7-3.2), p ​= ​0.001) and had higher NCB (mean ​± ​SD; 1.21 ​± ​0.58 vs. 1.13 ​± ​0.49, p ​= ​0.018) when compared to patients with below average NLR. NLR associated with psoriasis area severity index score (β ​= ​0.14, p ​= ​0.017), hs-CRP (β ​= ​0.16, p ​= ​0.005), as well as NCB independent of traditional risk factors, body mass index, statin use and hs-CRP (β ​= ​0.08, p ​= ​0.009). One year of biologic therapy for psoriasis was associated with a reduction in NLR (-14.5%, p ​< ​0.001), and this change in NLR associated with change in NCB in fully adjusted models and beyond hs-CRP (β ​= ​0.17, p ​= ​0.002).

Conclusion: NLR associated with psoriasis severity, hs-CRP and NCB at baseline. Biologic therapy reduced NLR over time and this change in NLR associated with the change in NCB at one-year. Taken together, these findings suggest that NLR may capture psoriasis patients at higher risk of NCB due to residual inflammation not fully captured by hs-CRP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcct.2020.12.006DOI Listing
December 2020

Metabolic syndrome and its factors are associated with noncalcified coronary burden in psoriasis: An observational cohort study.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2021 May 3;84(5):1329-1338. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Electronic address:

Background: Psoriasis is associated with a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease and higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome.

Objective: Investigate the effect of metabolic syndrome and its factors on early coronary artery disease assessed as noncalcified coronary burden by coronary computed tomography angiography in psoriasis.

Methods: This cross-sectional study consisted of 260 participants with psoriasis and coronary computed tomography angiography characterization. Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the harmonized International Diabetes Federation criteria.

Results: Of the 260 participants, 80 had metabolic syndrome (31%). The metabolic syndrome group had a higher burden of cardiometabolic disease, systemic inflammation, noncalcified coronary burden, and high-risk coronary plaque. After adjusting for Framingham risk score, lipid-lowering therapy, and biologic use, metabolic syndrome (β = .31; P < .001) and its individual factors of waist circumference (β = .33; P < .001), triglyceride levels (β = .17; P = .005), blood pressure (β = .18; P = .005), and fasting glucose (β = .17; P = .009) were significantly associated with noncalcified coronary burden. After adjusting for all other metabolic syndrome factors, blood pressure and waist circumference remained significantly associated with noncalcified coronary burden.

Limitations: Observational nature with limited ability to control for confounders.

Conclusions: In psoriasis, individuals with metabolic syndrome had more cardiovascular disease risk factors, systemic inflammation, and noncalcified coronary burden. Efforts to increase metabolic syndrome awareness in psoriasis should be undertaken to reduce the heightened cardiovascular disease risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2020.12.044DOI Listing
May 2021

Association Among Noncalcified Coronary Burden, Fractional Flow Reserve, and Myocardial Injury in Psoriasis.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 11 10;9(22):e017417. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute National Institutes of Health Bethesda MD.

Background Myocardial infarction and premature death have been observed in patients with psoriasis. Although inflammation-driven accelerated atherosclerosis has been proposed as a mechanism, the relationship between subclinical noncalcified coronary burden (NCB), functional coronary flow impairment, and myocardial injury is unclear. Methods and Results In an ongoing longitudinal cohort study, 202 consecutive patients with psoriasis (168 at 1 year) underwent coronary computed tomography angiography to identify coronary plaque, quantify NCB, and calculate coronary fractional flow reserve by computed tomography. Serum high-sensitivity troponin-T (hs-cTn-T) was measured using a fifth-generation assay. Overall, patients were middle-aged, predominantly male, and low cardiovascular risk. A higher than median NCB associated with a positive hs-cTn-T (fully adjusted model [odds ratio (OR), 1.72; 95% CI, 1.10-2.69, =0.018]) at baseline. Additionally, patients with a higher than median baseline NCB had higher odds of positive hs-cTn-T at 1 year in fully adjusted analyses (adjusted OR, 2.36; 95% CI, 1.47-3.79, <0.001). Higher NCB was associated with a higher frequency of fractional flow reserve by computed tomography ≤0.80 (36.11% versus 25.11%, Pearson χ=6.84, =0.009, unadjusted OR, 2.09; 95% CI, 1.36-3.22, <0.001) and higher frequency of a positive hs-cTn-T (54.36% versus 27.54%, Pearson χ=32.23, <0.001) in adjusted models (OR, 2.63; 95% CI, 1.56-4.42, <0.001). Conclusions NCB was associated with hs-cTn-T at baseline as well as at 1 year. Furthermore, patients with high NCB had higher prevalence of fractional flow reserve by computed tomography ≤0.80 and a >2- fold higher odds of positive hs-cTn-T. These findings underscore the importance of early vascular disease in driving myocardial injury, and support conduct of myocardial perfusion studies to better understand these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.017417DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763703PMC
November 2020

Chronic inflammation in psoriasis promotes visceral adiposity associated with noncalcified coronary burden over time.

JCI Insight 2020 11 19;5(22). Epub 2020 Nov 19.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

BACKGROUNDPsoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease associated with increased obesity, noncalcified coronary artery burden (NCB), and incident myocardial infarction. Here, we sought to assess the relationship among inflammation, visceral adipose tissue (VAT), and NCB. Furthermore, we evaluated whether improvement in VAT would be associated with reduction in NCB over time in psoriasis.METHODSConsecutive psoriasis patients underwent coronary CT angiography to quantify NCB and abdominal CT to calculate VAT at baseline (n = 237), 1 year (n = 176), and 4 years (n = 50).RESULTSPatients with high levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) had significantly greater visceral adiposity (17,952.9 ± 849.2 cc3 vs. 13370.7 ± 806.8 cc3, P < 0.001) and noncalcified coronary burden (1.26 ± 0.03 vs. 1.07 ± 0.02 mm2) than those with low levels of hs-CRP. Those with higher levels of VAT had more systemic inflammation (hs-CRP, median [IQR], 2.5 mg/L [1.0-5.3 mg/L] vs. 1.2 mg/L [0.6-2.9 mg/L]), with approximately 50% higher NCB (1.42 ± 0.6 mm2 vs. 0.91 ± 0.2 mm2, P < 0.001). VAT associated with NCB in fully adjusted models (β = 0.47, P < 0.001). At 1-year follow-up, patients who had worsening hs-CRP had an increase in VAT (14,748.7 ± 878.1 cc3 to 15,158.7 ± 881.5 cc3; P = 0.03), whereas those who had improved hs-CRP improved their VAT (16,876.1 ± 915.2 cc3 to 16310.4 ± 889.6 cc3; P = 0.04). At 1 year, there was 10.3% reduction in NCB in those who had decreased VAT (β = 0.26, P < 0.0001), which persisted in a subset of patients at 4 years (β = 0.39, P = 0.003).CONCLUSIONSInflammation drives development of VAT, increased cardiometabolic risk, and NCB in psoriasis. Reduction of inflammation associated with reduction in VAT and associated with longitudinal improvement in NCB. These findings demonstrate the important role of inflammation in the development of VAT in humans and its effect on early atherogenesis.TRIAL REGISTRATIONClinicalTrials.gov NCT01778569.FUNDINGThis study was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Intramural Research Program (HL006193-05), the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program, a public-private partnership supported jointly by the NIH and contributions to the Foundation for the NIH from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (no. 2014194), the American Association for Dental Research, the Colgate-Palmolive Company, Genentech, and Elsevier as well as private donors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.142534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7710282PMC
November 2020

Macrophage maturation from blood monocytes is altered in people with HIV, and is linked to serum lipid profiles and activation indices: A model for studying atherogenic mechanisms.

PLoS Pathog 2020 10 1;16(10):e1008869. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Division of Medical Laboratory Science, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America.

People with HIV (PWH) are at increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Proportions of vascular homing monocytes are enriched in PWH; however, little is known regarding monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) that may drive atherosclerosis in this population. We isolated PBMCs from people with and without HIV, and cultured these cells for 5 days in medium containing autologous serum to generate MDMs. Differential gene expression (DGE) analysis of MDMs from PWH identified broad alterations in innate immune signaling (IL-1β, TLR expression, PPAR βδ) and lipid processing (LXR/RXR, ACPP, SREBP1). Transcriptional changes aligned with the functional capabilities of these cells. Expression of activation markers and innate immune receptors (CD163, TLR4, and CD300e) was altered on MDMs from PWH, and these cells produced more TNFα, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) than did cells from people without HIV. MDMs from PWH also had greater lipid accumulation and uptake of oxidized LDL. PWH had increased serum levels of free fatty acids (FFAs) and ceramides, with enrichment of saturated FAs and a reduction in polyunsaturated FAs. Levels of lipid classes and species that are associated with CVD correlated with unique DGE signatures and altered metabolic pathway activation in MDMs from PWH. Here, we show that MDMs from PWH display a pro-atherogenic phenotype; they readily form foam cells, have altered transcriptional profiles, and produce mediators that likely contribute to accelerated ASCVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008869DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7553323PMC
October 2020

Proteomic, biomechanical and functional analyses define neutrophil heterogeneity in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Ann Rheum Dis 2021 02 28;80(2):209-218. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

NIAMS, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Objectives: Low-density granulocytes (LDGs) are a distinct subset of proinflammatory and vasculopathic neutrophils expanded in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Neutrophil trafficking and immune function are intimately linked to cellular biophysical properties. This study used proteomic, biomechanical and functional analyses to further define neutrophil heterogeneity in the context of SLE.

Methods: Proteomic/phosphoproteomic analyses were performed in healthy control (HC) normal density neutrophils (NDNs), SLE NDNs and autologous SLE LDGs. The biophysical properties of these neutrophil subsets were analysed by real-time deformability cytometry and lattice light-sheet microscopy. A two-dimensional endothelial flow system and a three-dimensional microfluidic microvasculature mimetic (MMM) were used to decouple the contributions of cell surface mediators and biophysical properties to neutrophil trafficking, respectively.

Results: Proteomic and phosphoproteomic differences were detected between HC and SLE neutrophils and between SLE NDNs and LDGs. Increased abundance of type 1 interferon-regulated proteins and differential phosphorylation of proteins associated with cytoskeletal organisation were identified in SLE LDGs relative to SLE NDNs. The cell surface of SLE LDGs was rougher than in SLE and HC NDNs, suggesting membrane perturbances. While SLE LDGs did not display increased binding to endothelial cells in the two-dimensional assay, they were increasingly retained/trapped in the narrow channels of the lung MMM.

Conclusions: Modulation of the neutrophil proteome and distinct changes in biophysical properties are observed alongside differences in neutrophil trafficking. SLE LDGs may be increasingly retained in microvasculature networks, which has important pathogenic implications in the context of lupus organ damage and small vessel vasculopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-218338DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7855438PMC
February 2021

Treatment of Psoriasis With Biologic Therapy Is Associated With Improvement of Coronary Artery Plaque Lipid-Rich Necrotic Core: Results From a Prospective, Observational Study.

Circ Cardiovasc Imaging 2020 09 15;13(9):e011199. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (H.C., D.E.U., A.K.D., K.M.A., M.A., J.A.R., Y.A.E., A.R., A.K., J.E.-A., H.T., M.P.P., W.Z., M.Y.C., N.N.M.).

Background: Lipid-rich necrotic core (LRNC), a high-risk coronary plaque feature assessed by coronary computed tomography angiography, is associated with increased risk of future cardiovascular events in patients with subclinical, nonobstructive coronary artery disease. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that is associated with increased prevalence of high-risk coronary plaque and risk of cardiovascular events. This study characterized LRNC in psoriasis and how LRNC modulates in response to biologic therapy.

Methods: Consecutive biologic naïve psoriasis patients (n=209) underwent coronary computed tomography angiography at baseline and 1-year to assess changes in LRNC using a novel histopathologically validated software (vascuCAP Elucid Bioimaging, Boston, MA) before and after biologic therapy over 1 year.

Results: Study participants were middle-aged, predominantly male with similar cardiometabolic and psoriasis status between treatment groups. In all participants at baseline, LRNC was associated with Framingham risk score (β [standardized β]=0.12 [95% CI, 0.00-0.15]; =0.045), and psoriasis severity (β=0.13 [95% CI, 0.01-0.26]; =0.029). At 1-year, participants receiving biologic therapy had a reduction in LRNC (mm; 3.12 [1.99-4.66] versus 2.97 [1.84-4.35]; =0.028), while those who did not receive biologic therapy over 1 year demonstrated no significant change with nominally higher LRNC (3.12 [1.82-4.60] versus 3.34 [2.04-4.74]; =0.06). The change in LRNC was significant compared with that of the nonbiologic treated group (ΔLRNC, -0.22 mm versus 0.14 mm, =0.004) and remained significant after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and psoriasis severity (β=-0.09 [95% CI, -0.01 to -0.18]; =0.033).

Conclusions: LRNC was associated with psoriasis severity and cardiovascular risk factors in psoriasis. Additionally, there was favorable modification of LRNC in those on biologic therapy. This study provides evidence of potential reduction in LRNC with treatment of systemic inflammation. Larger, longer follow-up prospective studies should be conducted to understand how changes in LRNC may translate into a reduction in future cardiovascular events in psoriasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.120.011199DOI Listing
September 2020

Modulation of Cardiometabolic Disease Markers by Type I Interferon Inhibition in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2021 03 15;73(3):459-471. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

AstraZeneca, Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Objective: Neutrophil dysregulation and the type I interferon (IFN) axis have been proposed to contribute to premature cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of mortality in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In the present study, we evaluated the ability of anifrolumab, a type I IFN receptor-blocking antibody, to reduce neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation and modulate cardiometabolic disease markers in comparison to placebo.

Methods: Study subjects comprised patients with moderate-to-severe SLE who were enrolled in phase IIb of the MUSE trial (A Phase II, Randomized Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of MEDI-546 in Subjects with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), with healthy individuals as controls. Blood samples were collected from SLE patients (n = 305) and healthy controls (n = 10-20) before the initiation of treatment (baseline) and from SLE patients after they had been treated with 300 mg of anifrolumab (n = 99) or placebo (n = 102). Baseline IFN gene signature test status was determined, and the IFN gene signature (21-gene panel) was monitored over time. Serum proteins were measured by multiplex immunoassay or ultrasensitive Simoa assay. NET complexes, cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC), and glycoprotein acetylation (GlycA) and other lipid parameters were assessed in plasma.

Results: Formation of NET complexes and levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) were correlated with extent of type I IFN pathway activity. NET complexes and IL-10 levels were up-regulated in SLE patients compared to healthy controls (P < 0.008). The cardiometabolic disease markers CEC and GlycA were also found to be dysregulated in patients with SLE (P < 0.001 versus healthy controls). Type I IFN receptor inhibition with anifrolumab significantly reduced NET complexes and GlycA and improved CEC compared to baseline (P < 0.05) whereas no improvements were seen with placebo. Levels of TNF and IL-10 were reduced with anifrolumab compared to placebo (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: These data support a key role for type I IFNs in modulating factors contributing to SLE vasculopathy and suggest that inhibition of this pathway could decrease cardiovascular risk in individuals with SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41518DOI Listing
March 2021

Relationship between chronic stress-related neural activity, physiological dysregulation and coronary artery disease in psoriasis: Findings from a longitudinal observational cohort study.

Atherosclerosis 2020 10 29;310:37-44. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Section of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: Amygdalar 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake represents chronic stress-related neural activity and associates with coronary artery disease by coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Allostatic load score is a multidimensional measure related to chronic physiological stress which incorporates cardiovascular, metabolic and inflammatory indices. To better understand the relationship between chronic stress-related neural activity, physiological dysregulation and coronary artery disease, we studied the association between amygdalar FDG uptake, allostatic load score and subclinical non-calcified coronary artery burden (NCB) in psoriasis.

Methods: Consecutive psoriasis patients (n = 275 at baseline and n = 205 at one-year follow-up) underwent CCTA for assessment of NCB (QAngio, Medis). Amygdalar FDG uptake and allostatic load score were determined using established methods.

Results: Psoriasis patients were middle-aged, predominantly male and white, with low cardiovascular risk by Framingham risk score and moderate-severe psoriasis severity. Allostatic load score associated with psoriasis severity (β = 0.17, p = 0.01), GlycA (a systemic marker of inflammation, β = 0.49, p < 0.001), amygdalar activity (β = 0.30, p < 0.001), and NCB (β = 0.39; p < 0.001). Moreover, NCB associated with amygdalar activity in participants with high allostatic load score (β = 0.27; p < 0.001) but not in those with low allostatic load score (β = 0.07; p = 0.34). Finally, in patients with an improvement in allostatic load score at one year, there was an 8% reduction in amygdalar FDG uptake (p < 0.001) and a 6% reduction in NCB (p = 0.02).

Conclusions: In psoriasis, allostatic load score represents physiological dysregulation and may capture pathways by which chronic stress-related neural activity associates with coronary artery disease, emphasizing the need to further study stress-induced physiological dysregulation in inflammatory disease states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2020.07.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7587126PMC
October 2020

Effect of niacin monotherapy on high density lipoprotein composition and function.

Lipids Health Dis 2020 Aug 21;19(1):190. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Translational Vascular Medicine Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: Niacin has modest but overall favorable effects on plasma lipids by increasing high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and lowering triglycerides. Clinical trials, however, evaluating niacin therapy for prevention of cardiovascular outcomes have returned mixed results. Recent evidence suggests that the HDL proteome may be a better indicator of HDL's cardioprotective function than HDL-C. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of niacin monotherapy on HDL protein composition and function.

Methods: A 20-week investigational study was performed with 11 participants receiving extended-release niacin (target dose = 2 g/day) for 16-weeks followed by a 4-week washout period. HDL was isolated from participants at weeks: 0, 16, and 20. The HDL proteome was analyzed at each time point by mass spectrometry and relative protein quantification was performed by label-free precursor ion intensity measurement.

Results: In this cohort, niacin therapy had typical effects on routine clinical lipids (HDL-C + 16%, q < 0.01; LDL-C - 20%, q < 0.01; and triglyceride - 15%, q = 0.1). HDL proteomics revealed significant effects of niacin on 5 proteins: serum amyloid A (SAA), angiotensinogen (AGT), apolipoprotein A-II (APOA2), clusterin (CLUS), and apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1). SAA was the most prominently affected protein, increasing 3-fold in response to niacin (q = 0.008). Cholesterol efflux capacity was not significantly affected by niacin compared to baseline, however, stopping niacin resulted in a 9% increase in efflux (q < 0.05). Niacin did not impact HDL's ability to influence endothelial function.

Conclusion: Extended-release niacin therapy, in the absence of other lipid-modifying medications, can increase HDL-associated SAA, an acute phase protein associated with HDL dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12944-020-01350-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7441610PMC
August 2020

Neighborhood environment perceptions associate with depression levels and cardiovascular risk among middle-aged and older adults: Data from the Washington, DC cardiovascular health and needs assessment.

Aging Ment Health 2020 Jul 21:1-12. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

Social Determinants of Obesity and Cardiovascular Risk Laboratory, Cardiovascular Branch, Division of Intramural Research, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Objectives: Little is understood about associations between neighborhood characteristics and depression, a cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor, in diverse populations. We examined relationships between perceived/objective neighborhood characteristics, depression, and CVD markers within the Washington, DC CV Health/Needs Assessment, an evaluation among predominantly African-American (AA) adults in resource-limited DC communities.

Method: Factor analysis of overall neighborhood environment perception (NEP) identified three NEP sub-scores:1) violence; 2) physical/social environment; 3) social cohesion (higher score = more favorable perception). Objective neighborhood characteristics were measured by geospatially-derived scores of walkability, transportation, and crime. Depression was defined by the revised Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD-R). We used linear-regression modeling to examine neighborhood measures and CESD-R associations. To investigate a subsequent connection with CVD risk, we examined relationships between CESD-R and CVD-associated cytokines in a population subset.

Results: Participants ( = 99; mean age = 59.06; 99% AA) had a mean CESD-R score = 5.8(SD = 8.88). In adjusted models, CESD-R scores decreased by 0.20 units ( = 0.01) for every overall NEP unit-increase. Perceived physical/social environment (β = -0.34,  = 0.04) and social cohesion (β = -0.82,  = 0.01) were related to CESD-R while perceived violence was not (β = -0.28,  = 0.1). Of objective neighborhood environment measures (i.e. walk, transit, bike, personal crime, and property crime scores), only property crime score was associated with depression (β = 4.99,  < 0.03). In population subset ( = 42), higher CESD-R associated with higher IL-1β (β = 21.25,  < 0.01) and IL-18 (β = 0.006,  = 0.01).

Conclusion: Favorable neighborhood perceptions are related to lower depressive symptoms in a predominantly AA cohort from Washington, DC resource-limited communities. Neighborhood perceptions appear to be strongly associated with depressive symptoms compared to objective characteristics. Increasing CESD-R scores were related to higher pro-inflammatory markers. Improving neighborhood perceptions may be beneficial to psychological well-being and CV health for urban minority residents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2020.1793898DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7855489PMC
July 2020

Hyperlipidaemia and IFNgamma/TNFalpha Synergism are associated with cholesterol crystal formation in Endothelial cells partly through modulation of Lysosomal pH and Cholesterol homeostasis.

EBioMedicine 2020 Sep 6;59:102876. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Section of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Inflammation plays an important role in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Patients with chronic inflammation diseases have high levels of inflammation and early fatal myocardial infarction due to early, unstable coronary plaques. Cholesterol crystals (CC) play a key role in atherogenesis. However, the underlying mechanisms of endothelial cell (EC)-derived CC formation are not well understood in chronic inflammation.

Methods: We utilized a combination of a mouse psoriasis model (K14-Rac1V12 mouse model) and human psoriasis patients to study the effect of inflammatory cytokines on CC formation in ECs. Lysosomal pH, alterations in lipid load and inflammatory proteins were evaluated as potential mechanisms linking inflammatory cytokines to CC formation. Coronary CT angiography was performed (n = 224) to characterize potential IFNγ and TNFα synergism on vascular diseases in vivo.

Findings: We detected CC presence in the aorta of K14-Rac1V12 mice on chow diet. IFNγ and TNFα were found to synergistically increase LDL-induced CC formation by almost 2-fold. There was an increase in lysosomal pH accompanied by a 28% loss in pH-dependent lysosomal signal and altered vATPaseV1E1 expression patterns. In parallel, we found that LDL+IFNγ/TNFα treatments increased free cholesterol content within EC and led to a decrease in SOAT-1 expression, an enzyme critically involved cholesterol homeostasis. Finally, the product of IFNγ and TNFα positively associated with early non-calcified coronary burden in patients with psoriasis (n = 224; β = 0.28, p < 0.001).

Interpretation: Our results provide evidence that IFNγ and TNFα accelerate CC formation in endothelial cells in part by altering lysosomal pH and free cholesterol load. These changes promote early atherogenesis and contribute to understanding the burden of CVD in psoriasis.

Funding: Funding was provided by the Intramural Research Program at NIH (NNM) and the National Psoriasis Foundation (NNM and YB).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.102876DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7502673PMC
September 2020

Characterization of PCSK9 in the Blood and Skin of Psoriasis.

J Invest Dermatol 2021 02 29;141(2):308-315. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Section of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

Mechanisms explaining the link between psoriasis, a proinflammatory condition, and cardiovascular disease are not fully known. PCSK9 is predominantly expressed in hepatocytes as a critical regulator of lipid metabolism, and clinical trials targeting PCSK9 reduce cardiovascular disease. Independent of its role in lipid metabolism, PCSK9 levels associate with endothelial dysfunction and predict cardiovascular events. We used two separate human psoriasis cohorts and the K14-Rac1V12 murine model of psoriasis to investigate PCSK9 and cardiovascular risk in psoriasis. In both psoriasis cohorts (n = 88 and n = 20), PCSK9 levels were 20% and 13% higher than in age-, sex-, and cholesterol-matched controls, respectively (P < 0.05 for each comparison) and correlated with PASI (r = 0.43, P < 0.05). Despite no difference in hepatocyte expression, K14-Rac1V12 mice demonstrated skin-specific PCSK9 staining, which was confirmed in human psoriatic lesional skin. In patients with psoriasis, PCSK9 levels correlated with impaired endothelial vascular health (e.g., early atherosclerosis, β = 4.5, P < 0.01) and log converted coronary artery calcium score (β = 0.30, P = 0.01), which remained significant after adjustment for Framingham risk, body mass index, and active biologic use. Taken together, these findings suggest, independent of cholesterol, an association between circulating PCSK9 and early as well as advanced stages of atherosclerosis in psoriasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2020.05.115DOI Listing
February 2021

Comparison of Omega-3 Eicosapentaenoic Acid Versus Docosahexaenoic Acid-Rich Fish Oil Supplementation on Plasma Lipids and Lipoproteins in Normolipidemic Adults.

Nutrients 2020 Mar 12;12(3). Epub 2020 Mar 12.

Lipoprotein Metabolism Section, Translational Vascular Medicine Branch, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD 20892-1666, USA.

Background: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have both shared and different cardiovascular effects, and commonly used fish oil supplements have considerably varied EPA/DHA ratios.

Aims: We compared the effects of fish oil supplements with different EPA/DHA ratios on lipoprotein metabolism.

Methods: In a double-blind, randomized cross-over study, normolipidemic adults (n = 30) consumed 12 g/day of EPA-rich (EPA/DHA: 2.3) or DHA-rich (EPA/DHA: 0.3) fish oil for 8-weeks, separated by an 8-week washout period.

Results: Both fish oil supplements similarly lowered plasma TG levels and TG-related NMR parameters versus baseline ( < 0.05). There were no changes in plasma cholesterol-related parameters due to either fish oil, although on-treatment levels for LDL particle number were slightly higher for DHA-rich oil compared with EPA-rich oil ( < 0.05). Both fish oil supplements similarly altered HDL subclass profile and proteome, and down regulated HDL proteins related to inflammation, with EPA-rich oil to a greater extent. Furthermore, EPA-rich oil increased apoM abundance versus DHA-rich oil ( < 0.05).

Conclusions: Overall, fish oil supplements with varied EPA/DHA ratios had similar effects on total lipids/lipoproteins, but differences were observed in lipoprotein subfraction composition and distribution, which could impact on the use of EPA versus DHA for improving cardiovascular health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12030749DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146314PMC
March 2020

A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Secukinumab on Aortic Vascular Inflammation in Moderate-to-Severe Plaque Psoriasis (VIP-S).

J Invest Dermatol 2020 09 21;140(9):1784-1793.e2. Epub 2020 Feb 21.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Psoriasis, a chronic immune-mediated disease, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality. Secukinumab selectively neutralizes IL-17A and has reported high efficacy with a favorable safety profile in various psoriatic disease manifestations. Subsequent to the 12-week randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind treatment period, patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis received secukinumab for 40 weeks. Vascular inflammation using F-2-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography imaging and blood-based cardiometabolic was assessed at week 0, 12, and 52. The difference in change in aortic inflammation from baseline to week 12 for secukinumab (n = 46) versus placebo (n = 45) was -0.053 (95% confidence interval = -0.169 to 0.064; P= 0.37). Small increases in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein particles, but no changes in markers of inflammation, adiposity, insulin resistance, or predictors of diabetes, were observed with secukinumab treatment compared with placebo. At week 52, reductions in TNF-α (P= 0.0063) and ferritin (P= 0.0354), and an increase in fetuin-A (P= 0.0024), were observed with secukinumab treatment compared with baseline. No significant changes in aortic inflammation or markers of advanced lipoprotein characterization, adiposity, or insulin resistance were observed with secukinumab treatment compared with baseline. Secukinumab exhibited a neutral impact on aortic vascular inflammation and biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease after 52 weeks of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2020.01.025DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7434644PMC
September 2020

Immune cell phenotyping in low blood volumes for assessment of cardiovascular disease risk, development, and progression: a pilot study.

J Transl Med 2020 01 17;18(1):29. Epub 2020 Jan 17.

Social Determinants of Obesity and Cardiovascular Risk Laboratory, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Building 10-CRC, Room 5-5332, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.

Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the world. Given the role of immune cells in atherosclerosis development and progression, effective methods for characterizing immune cell populations are needed, particularly among populations disproportionately at risk for CVD.

Results: By using a variety of antibodies combined in one staining protocol, we were able to identify granulocyte, lymphocyte, and monocyte sub-populations by CD-antigen expression from 500 µl of whole blood, enabling a more extensive comparison than what is possible with a complete blood count and differential (CBC). The flow cytometry panel was established and tested in a total of 29 healthy men and women. As a proof of principle, these 29 samples were split by their race/ethnicity: African-Americans (AA) (N = 14) and Caucasians (N = 15). We found in accordance with the literature that AA had fewer granulocytes and more lymphocytes when compared to Caucasians, though the proportion of total monocytes was similar in both groups. Several new differences between AA and Caucasians were noted that had not been previously described. For example, AA had a greater proportion of platelet adhesion on non-classical monocytes when compared to Caucasians, a cell-to-cell interaction described as crucially important in CVD. We also examined our flow panel in a clinical population of AA women with known CVD risk factors (N = 20). Several of the flow cytometry parameters that cannot be measured with the CBC displayed correlations with clinical CVD risk markers. For instance, Framingham Risk Score (FRS) calculated for each participant correlated with immune cell platelet aggregates (PA) (e.g. T cell PA β = 0.59, p = 0.03 or non-classical monocyte PA β = 0.54, p = 0.02) after adjustment for body mass index (BMI).

Conclusion: A flow cytometry panel identified differences in granulocytes, monocytes, and lymphocytes between AA and Caucasians which may contribute to increased CVD risk in AA. Moreover, this flow panel identifies immune cell sub-populations and platelet aggregates associated with CVD risk. This flow cytometry panel may serve as an effective method for phenotyping immune cell populations involved in the development and progression of CVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-020-02207-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6966880PMC
January 2020

Supplementation with saury oil, a fish oil high in omega-11 monounsaturated fatty acids, improves plasma lipids in healthy subjects.

J Clin Lipidol 2020 Jan - Feb;14(1):53-65.e2. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Lipoprotein Metabolism Section, Translational Vascular Medicine Branch, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: Fish oil enriched in omega-11 long-chain monounsaturated fatty acids (LCMUFAs; C20:1 and C22:1 isomers combined) have shown lipid-lowering and atheroprotective effects in animal models.

Objective: To perform a first-in-human trial of LCMUFA-rich saury fish oil supplementation to test its safety and possible effect on plasma lipids.

Methods: A double-blind, randomized, crossover clinical trial was carried out in 30 healthy normolipidemic adults (BMI <25 kg/m; mean TG, 84 mg/dL). Treatment periods of 8 weeks were separated by an 8-week washout period. Subjects were randomized to receive either 12 g of saury oil (3.5 g of LCMUFA and 3.4 g of omega-3 FAs) or identical capsules with control oil (a mixture of sardine and olive oil; 4.9 g of shorter-chain MUFA oleate and 3 g of omega-3 FAs).

Results: Saury oil supplementation was safe and resulted in LDL particle counts 12% lower than control oil (P < .001). Saury oil also had a minor effect on increasing HDL particle size (9.8 nm vs 9.7 nm; P < .05) based on a linear mixed effect model. In contrast, control oil, but not saury oil, increased LDL-C by 7.5% compared with baseline (P < .05). Saury oil had similar effects compared with control oil on lowering plasma TG levels, VLDL, and TG-rich lipoprotein particle counts (by ∼16%, 25%, and 35%, respectively; P < .05), and increasing HDL-C and cholesterol efflux capacity (by ∼6% and 8%, respectively; P < .05) compared with baseline.

Conclusion: Saury oil supplementation is well tolerated and has beneficial effects on several cardiovascular parameters, such as LDL particle counts, HDL particle size, and plasma TG levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacl.2019.10.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8336206PMC
June 2021

Association Between Soluble Lectinlike Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor-1 and Coronary Artery Disease in Psoriasis.

JAMA Dermatol 2020 02;156(2):151-157

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Importance: Psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease associated with accelerated noncalcified coronary burden (NCB) by coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), accelerates lipoprotein oxidation in the form of oxidized modified lipoproteins. A transmembrane scavenger receptor for these oxidized modified lipoproteins is lectinlike oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1), which has been reported to be associated with coronary artery disease. It is unknown whether this receptor is associated with coronary artery disease in psoriasis.

Objective: To assess the association between soluble LOX-1 (sLOX-1) and NCB in psoriasis over time.

Design, Setting, And Participants: In a cohort study at the National Institutes of Health, 175 consecutive patients with psoriasis were referred from outpatient dermatology practices between January 1, 2013, and October 1, 2017. A total of 138 consecutively recruited patients with psoriasis were followed up at 1 year.

Exposures: Circulating soluble lectinlike oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 levels were measured blindly by field scientists running undiluted serum using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Coronary computed tomography angiography scans were performed to quantify NCB in all 3 major epicardial coronary arteries by a reader blinded to patient demographics, visit, and treatment status.

Results: Among the 175 patients with psoriasis, the mean (SD) age was 49.7 (12.6) years and 91 were men (55%). The cohort had relatively low median cardiovascular risk by Framingham risk score (median, 2.0 [interquartile range (IQR), 1.0-6.0]) and had a mean (SD) body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) suggestive of overweight profiles (29.6 [6.0]). Elevated sLOX-1 levels were found in patients with psoriasis compared with age- and sex-matched controls (median, 210.3 [IQR, 110.9-336.2] vs 83.7 [IQR, 40.1-151.0]; P < .001), and were associated with Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) score (β = 0.23; 95% CI, 0.082-0.374; P = .003). Moreover, sLOX-1 was associated with NCB independent of hyperlipidemia status (β = 0.11; 95% CI, 0.016-0.200; P = .023), an association which persisted after adjusting for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, statin use, and biologic psoriasis treatment (β = 0.10; 95% CI, 0.014-0.193; P = .03). At 1 year, in those who had clinical improvement in PASI (eg, >50% improvement), a reduction in sLOX-1 (median, 311.1 [IQR, 160.0-648.8] vs median, 224.2 [IQR, 149.1 - 427.4]; P = .01) was associated with a reduction in NCB (β = 0.14; 95% CI, 0.028-0.246; P = .02).

Conclusions And Relevance: Soluble lectinlike oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 levels were elevated in patients with psoriasis and were associated with severity of skin disease. Moreover, sLOX-1 associated with NCB independent of hyperlipidemia status, suggesting that inflammatory sLOX-1 induction may modulate lipid-rich NCB in psoriasis. Improvement of skin disease was associated with a reduction of sLOX-1 at 1 year, demonstrating the potential role of sLOX-1 in inflammatory atherogenesis in psoriasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.3595DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6902165PMC
February 2020

Characterization of the interaction between β-catenin and sorting nexin 27: contribution of the type I PDZ-binding motif to Wnt signaling.

Biosci Rep 2019 11;39(11)

Cell Biology and Physiology Center, National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20982, U.S.A.

Background: Sorting Nexin 27 (SNX27) is a 62-kDa protein localized to early endosomes and known to regulate the intracellular trafficking of ion channels and receptors. In addition to a PX domain common among all of the sorting nexin family, SNX27 is the only sorting family member that contains a PDZ domain. To identify novel SNX27-PDZ binding partners, we performed a proteomic screen in mouse principal kidney cortical collecting duct cells (mpkCCD) using a GST-SNX27 fusion construct as bait. We found that the C-terminal type I PDZ binding motif (DTDL) of β-catenin, an adherens junction scaffolding protein and transcriptional co-activator, interacts directly with SNX27. Using biochemical and immunofluorescent techniques, β-catenin was identified in endosomal compartments where co-localization with SNX27 was observed. Furthermore, E-cadherin, but not Axin, GSK3 or Lef-1 was located in SNX27 protein complexes. While overexpression of wild-type β-catenin protein increased TCF-LEF dependent transcriptional activity, an enhanced transcriptional activity was not observed in cells expressing β-Catenin ΔFDTDL or diminished SNX27 expression. These results imply importance of the C-terminal PDZ binding motif for the transcriptional activity of β-catenin and propose that SNX27 might be involved in the assembly of β-catenin complexes in the endosome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BSR20191692DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6851508PMC
November 2019

Application of machine learning to determine top predictors of noncalcified coronary burden in psoriasis: An observational cohort study.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2020 Dec 31;83(6):1647-1653. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Electronic address:

Background: Psoriasis is associated with elevated risk of heart attack and increased accumulation of subclinical noncalcified coronary burden by coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Machine learning algorithms have been shown to effectively analyze well-characterized data sets.

Objective: In this study, we used machine learning algorithms to determine the top predictors of noncalcified coronary burden by CCTA in psoriasis.

Methods: The analysis included 263 consecutive patients with 63 available variables from the Psoriasis Atherosclerosis Cardiometabolic Initiative. The random forest algorithm was used to determine the top predictors of noncalcified coronary burden by CCTA. We evaluated our results using linear regression models.

Results: Using the random forest algorithm, we found that the top 10 predictors of noncalcified coronary burden were body mass index, visceral adiposity, total adiposity, apolipoprotein A1, high-density lipoprotein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, subcutaneous adiposity, small low-density lipoprotein particle, cholesterol efflux capacity and the absolute granulocyte count. Linear regression of noncalcified coronary burden yielded results consistent with our machine learning output.

Limitation: We were unable to provide external validation and did not study cardiovascular events.

Conclusion: Machine learning methods identified the top predictors of noncalcified coronary burden in psoriasis. These factors were related to obesity, dyslipidemia, and inflammation, showing that these are important targets when treating comorbidities in psoriasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2019.10.060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7428853PMC
December 2020
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