Publications by authors named "Michael Hauser"

215 Publications

Identification of Estrogen Signaling in a Prioritization Study of Intraocular Pressure-Associated Genes.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Sep 24;22(19). Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.

Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the only modifiable risk factor for primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Herein we sought to prioritize a set of previously identified IOP-associated genes using novel and previously published datasets. We identified several genes for future study, including several involved in cytoskeletal/extracellular matrix reorganization, cell adhesion, angiogenesis, and TGF-β signaling. Our differential correlation analysis of IOP-associated genes identified 295 pairs of 201 genes with differential correlation. Pathway analysis identified β-estradiol as the top upstream regulator of these genes with mediating 25 interactions. Several genes (i.e., , , and ) regulated by β-estradiol/ were highly expressed in non-glaucomatous human trabecular meshwork (TM) or Schlemm's canal (SC) cells and specifically expressed in TM/SC cell clusters defined by single-cell RNA-sequencing. We confirmed gene and protein expression in human TM cells and TM/SC tissue with quantitative real-time PCR and immunofluorescence, respectively. 17β-estradiol was identified in bovine, porcine, and human aqueous humor (AH) using ELISA. In conclusion, we have identified estrogen receptor signaling as a key modulator of several IOP-associated genes. The expression of ESR1 and these IOP-associated genes in TM/SC tissue and the presence of 17β-estradiol in AH supports a role for estrogen signaling in IOP regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8508848PMC
September 2021

Gene Expression Analysis in Three Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Cohorts Implicates Inflammation and Innate Immunity Pathways and Uncovers Shared Genetic Risk With Major Depressive Disorder.

Front Neurosci 2021 29;15:678548. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, United States.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex psychiatric disorder that can develop following exposure to traumatic events. The Psychiatric Genomics Consortium PTSD group (PGC-PTSD) has collected over 20,000 multi-ethnic PTSD cases and controls and has identified both genetic and epigenetic factors associated with PTSD risk. To further investigate biological correlates of PTSD risk, we examined three PGC-PTSD cohorts comprising 977 subjects to identify differentially expressed genes among PTSD cases and controls. Whole blood gene expression was quantified with the HumanHT-12 v4 Expression BeadChip for 726 OEF/OIF veterans from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), 155 samples from the Injury and Traumatic Stress (INTRuST) Clinical Consortium, and 96 Australian Vietnam War veterans. Differential gene expression analysis was performed in each cohort separately followed by meta-analysis. In the largest cohort, we performed co-expression analysis to identify modules of genes that are associated with PTSD and MDD. We then conducted expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis and assessed the presence of eQTL interactions involving PTSD and major depressive disorder (MDD). Finally, we utilized PTSD and MDD GWAS summary statistics to identify regions that colocalize with eQTLs. Although not surpassing correction for multiple testing, the most differentially expressed genes in meta-analysis were interleukin-1 beta (), a pro-inflammatory cytokine previously associated with PTSD, and integrin-linked kinase (), which is highly expressed in brain and can rescue dysregulated hippocampal neurogenesis and memory deficits. Pathway analysis revealed enrichment of toll-like receptor (TLR) and interleukin-1 receptor genes, which are integral to cellular innate immune response. Co-expression analysis identified four modules of genes associated with PTSD, two of which are also associated with MDD, demonstrating common biological pathways underlying the two conditions. Lastly, we identified four genes (, , , and ) with high probability of a shared causal eQTL variant with PTSD and/or MDD GWAS variants, thereby providing a potential mechanism by which the GWAS variant contributes to disease risk. In summary, we provide additional evidence for genes and pathways previously reported and identified plausible novel candidates for PTSD. These data provide further insight into genetic factors and pathways involved in PTSD, as well as potential regions of pleiotropy between PTSD and MDD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.678548DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8358297PMC
July 2021

Examining Individual and Synergistic Contributions of PTSD and Genetics to Blood Pressure: A Trans-Ethnic Meta-Analysis.

Front Neurosci 2021 23;15:678503. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, United States.

Growing research suggests that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be a risk factor for poor cardiovascular health, and yet our understanding of who might be at greatest risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes after trauma is limited. In this study, we conducted the first examination of the individual and synergistic contributions of PTSD symptoms and blood pressure genetics to continuous blood pressure levels. We harnessed the power of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium-PTSD Physical Health Working Group and investigated these associations across 11 studies of 72,224 trauma-exposed individuals of European ( = 70,870) and African ( = 1,354) ancestry. Genetic contributions to blood pressure were modeled via polygenic scores (PGS) for systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) that were derived from a prior trans-ethnic blood pressure genome-wide association study (GWAS). Results of trans-ethnic meta-analyses revealed significant main effects of the PGS on blood pressure levels [SBP: β = 2.83, standard error (SE) = 0.06, < 1E-20; DBP: β = 1.32, SE = 0.04, < 1E-20]. Significant main effects of PTSD symptoms were also detected for SBP and DBP in trans-ethnic meta-analyses, though there was significant heterogeneity in these results. When including data from the largest contributing study - United Kingdom Biobank - PTSD symptoms were negatively associated with SBP levels (β = -1.46, SE = 0.44, = 9.8E-4) and positively associated with DBP levels (β = 0.70, SE = 0.26, = 8.1E-3). However, when excluding the United Kingdom Biobank cohort in trans-ethnic meta-analyses, there was a nominally significant positive association between PTSD symptoms and SBP levels (β = 2.81, SE = 1.13, = 0.01); no significant association was observed for DBP (β = 0.43, SE = 0.78, = 0.58). Blood pressure PGS did not significantly moderate the associations between PTSD symptoms and blood pressure levels in meta-analyses. Additional research is needed to better understand the extent to which PTSD is associated with high blood pressure and how genetic as well as contextual factors may play a role in influencing cardiovascular risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.678503DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8262489PMC
June 2021

Eyes of Africa: The Genetics of Blindness: Study Design and Methodology.

BMC Ophthalmol 2021 Jul 9;21(1):272. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Background: This report describes the design and methodology of the "Eyes of Africa: The Genetics of Blindness," a collaborative study funded through the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) program of the National Institute of Health.

Methods: This is a case control study that is collecting a large well phenotyped data set among glaucoma patients and controls for a genome wide association study. (GWAS). Multiplex families segregating Mendelian forms of early-onset glaucoma will also be collected for exome sequencing.

Discussion: A total of 4500 cases/controls have been recruited into the study at the end of the 3rd funded year of the study. All these participants have been appropriately phenotyped and blood samples have been received from these participants. Recent GWAS of POAG in African individuals demonstrated genome-wide significant association with the APBB2 locus which is an association that is unique to individuals of African ancestry. This study will add to the existing knowledge and understanding of POAG in the African population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12886-021-02029-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8267233PMC
July 2021

Postpump Aortic Insufficiency Is Transient After Valve Replacement with a Novel Prosthesis.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2021 09 13;34(9):1017-1019. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio; Aortic Valve Center, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2021.04.020DOI Listing
September 2021

Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies 127 open-angle glaucoma loci with consistent effect across ancestries.

Nat Commun 2021 02 24;12(1):1258. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), is a heritable common cause of blindness world-wide. To identify risk loci, we conduct a large multi-ethnic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies on a total of 34,179 cases and 349,321 controls, identifying 44 previously unreported risk loci and confirming 83 loci that were previously known. The majority of loci have broadly consistent effects across European, Asian and African ancestries. Cross-ancestry data improve fine-mapping of causal variants for several loci. Integration of multiple lines of genetic evidence support the functional relevance of the identified POAG risk loci and highlight potential contributions of several genes to POAG pathogenesis, including SVEP1, RERE, VCAM1, ZNF638, CLIC5, SLC2A12, YAP1, MXRA5, and SMAD6. Several drug compounds targeting POAG risk genes may be potential glaucoma therapeutic candidates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20851-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7904932PMC
February 2021

Association of Rare CYP39A1 Variants With Exfoliation Syndrome Involving the Anterior Chamber of the Eye.

JAMA 2021 02;325(8):753-764

Department of Ophthalmology, Asahikawa Medical University, Asahikawa, Japan.

Importance: Exfoliation syndrome is a systemic disorder characterized by progressive accumulation of abnormal fibrillar protein aggregates manifesting clinically in the anterior chamber of the eye. This disorder is the most commonly known cause of glaucoma and a major cause of irreversible blindness.

Objective: To determine if exfoliation syndrome is associated with rare, protein-changing variants predicted to impair protein function.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A 2-stage, case-control, whole-exome sequencing association study with a discovery cohort and 2 independently ascertained validation cohorts. Study participants from 14 countries were enrolled between February 1999 and December 2019. The date of last clinical follow-up was December 2019. Affected individuals had exfoliation material on anterior segment structures of at least 1 eye as visualized by slit lamp examination. Unaffected individuals had no signs of exfoliation syndrome.

Exposures: Rare, coding-sequence genetic variants predicted to be damaging by bioinformatic algorithms trained to recognize alterations that impair protein function.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was the presence of exfoliation syndrome. Exome-wide significance for detected variants was defined as P < 2.5 × 10-6. The secondary outcomes included biochemical enzymatic assays and gene expression analyses.

Results: The discovery cohort included 4028 participants with exfoliation syndrome (median age, 78 years [interquartile range, 73-83 years]; 2377 [59.0%] women) and 5638 participants without exfoliation syndrome (median age, 72 years [interquartile range, 65-78 years]; 3159 [56.0%] women). In the discovery cohort, persons with exfoliation syndrome, compared with those without exfoliation syndrome, were significantly more likely to carry damaging CYP39A1 variants (1.3% vs 0.30%, respectively; odds ratio, 3.55 [95% CI, 2.07-6.10]; P = 6.1 × 10-7). This outcome was validated in 2 independent cohorts. The first validation cohort included 2337 individuals with exfoliation syndrome (median age, 74 years; 1132 women; n = 1934 with demographic data) and 2813 individuals without exfoliation syndrome (median age, 72 years; 1287 women; n = 2421 with demographic data). The second validation cohort included 1663 individuals with exfoliation syndrome (median age, 75 years; 587 women; n = 1064 with demographic data) and 3962 individuals without exfoliation syndrome (median age, 74 years; 951 women; n = 1555 with demographic data). Of the individuals from both validation cohorts, 5.2% with exfoliation syndrome carried CYP39A1 damaging alleles vs 3.1% without exfoliation syndrome (odds ratio, 1.82 [95% CI, 1.47-2.26]; P < .001). Biochemical assays classified 34 of 42 damaging CYP39A1 alleles as functionally deficient (median reduction in enzymatic activity compared with wild-type CYP39A1, 94.4% [interquartile range, 78.7%-98.2%] for the 34 deficient variants). CYP39A1 transcript expression was 47% lower (95% CI, 30%-64% lower; P < .001) in ciliary body tissues from individuals with exfoliation syndrome compared with individuals without exfoliation syndrome.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this whole-exome sequencing case-control study, presence of exfoliation syndrome was significantly associated with carriage of functionally deficient CYP39A1 sequence variants. Further research is needed to understand the clinical implications of these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.0507DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7903258PMC
February 2021

Hydrogen/deuterium exchange memory NMR reveals structural epitopes involved in IgE cross-reactivity of allergenic lipid transfer proteins.

J Biol Chem 2020 12;295(51):17398-17410

Department of Biosciences, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria; Christian Doppler Laboratory for Innovative Tools for Biosimilar Characterization, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria. Electronic address:

Identification of antibody-binding epitopes is crucial to understand immunological mechanisms. It is of particular interest for allergenic proteins with high cross-reactivity as observed in the lipid transfer protein (LTP) syndrome, which is characterized by severe allergic reactions. Art v 3, a pollen LTP from mugwort, is frequently involved in this cross-reactivity, but no antibody-binding epitopes have been determined so far. To reveal human IgE-binding regions of Art v 3, we produced three murine high-affinity mAbs, which showed 70-90% coverage of the allergenic epitopes from mugwort pollen-allergic patients. As reliable methods to determine structural epitopes with tightly interacting intact antibodies under native conditions are lacking, we developed a straightforward NMR approach termed hydrogen/deuterium exchange memory (HDXMEM). It relies on the slow exchange between the invisible antigen-mAb complex and the free N-labeled antigen whose H-N correlations are detected. Due to a memory effect, changes of NH protection during antibody binding are measured. Differences in H/D exchange rates and analyses of mAb reactivity to homologous LTPs revealed three structural epitopes: two partially cross-reactive regions around α-helices 2 and 4 as well as a novel Art v 3-specific epitope at the C terminus. Protein variants with exchanged epitope residues confirmed the antibody-binding sites and revealed strongly reduced IgE reactivity. Using the novel HDXMEM for NMR epitope mapping allowed identification of the first structural epitopes of an allergenic pollen LTP. This knowledge enables improved cross-reactivity prediction for patients suffering from LTP allergy and facilitates design of therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA120.014243DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7762950PMC
December 2020

Epigenome-wide meta-analysis of PTSD across 10 military and civilian cohorts identifies methylation changes in AHRR.

Nat Commun 2020 11 24;11(1):5965. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Brown University, Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Department of Pediatric Research, Providence, RI, USA.

Epigenetic differences may help to distinguish between PTSD cases and trauma-exposed controls. Here, we describe the results of the largest DNA methylation meta-analysis of PTSD to date. Ten cohorts, military and civilian, contribute blood-derived DNA methylation data from 1,896 PTSD cases and trauma-exposed controls. Four CpG sites within the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor repressor (AHRR) associate with PTSD after adjustment for multiple comparisons, with lower DNA methylation in PTSD cases relative to controls. Although AHRR methylation is known to associate with smoking, the AHRR association with PTSD is most pronounced in non-smokers, suggesting the result was independent of smoking status. Evaluation of metabolomics data reveals that AHRR methylation associated with kynurenine levels, which are lower among subjects with PTSD. This study supports epigenetic differences in those with PTSD and suggests a role for decreased kynurenine as a contributor to immune dysregulation in PTSD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19615-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7686485PMC
November 2020

Purification and biochemical characterization of Hel a 6, a cross-reactive pectate lyase allergen from Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) pollen.

Sci Rep 2020 11 19;10(1):20177. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Division of Plant Biology, Bose Institute, Kolkata, India.

Sunflower pollen was reported to contain respiratory allergens responsible for occupational allergy and pollinosis. The present study describes the comprehensive characterization of a major sunflower allergen Hel a 6. Natural Hel a 6 was purified from sunflower pollen by anion exchange and gel filtration chromatography. Hel a 6 reacted with IgE-antibodies from 57% of 39 sunflower-sensitized patient sera suggesting it to be a major allergen. The patients were of Indian origin and suffering from pollinosis and allergic rhinitis. Hel a 6 exhibited allergenic activity by stimulating mediator release from basophils. Monomeric Hel a 6 displayed pectate lyase activity. The effect of various physicochemical parameters such as temperature, pH, and calcium ion on the functional activity of Hel a 6 revealed a stable nature of the protein. Hel a 6 was folded, and its melting curve showed reversible denaturation in which it refolded back to its native conformation from a denatured state. Hel a 6 displayed a high degree of sequence conservation with the pectate lyase allergens from related taxonomic families such as Amb a 1 (67%) and Art v 6 (57%). The IgE-cross reactivity was observed between Hel a 6 and its ragweed and mugwort homologs. The cross-reactivity was further substantiated by the mediator release when Hel a 6-sensitized effector cells were cross-stimulated with Art v 6 and Amb a 1. Several putative B cell epitopes were predicted and mapped on these 3 allergens. Two antigenic regions were found to be commonly shared by these 3 allergens, which could be crucial for cross-reactivity. In conclusion, Hel a 6 serves as a candidate molecule for diagnosis and immunotherapy for weed allergy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77247-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7677321PMC
November 2020

Genetic predictors of hippocampal subfield volume in PTSD cases and trauma-exposed controls.

Eur J Psychotraumatol 2020 Jul 29;11(1):1785994. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center, Durham VAMC, Durham, NC, USA.

Behavioural, structural, and functional neuroimaging have implicated the hippocampus as a critical brain region in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) pathogenesis. Recent work in a normative, primarily European, sample identified 15 unique genetic loci contributing to structural variability in six hippocampal subfield volumes. We explored the relevance of these loci in two samples (Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Centre [MIRECC] and Grady; = 290) of trauma-exposed individuals enriched for PTSD and of diverse ancestry. Four of the previous loci demonstrated nominal evidence of replication in the MIRECC dataset, primarily within non-Hispanic whites (NHW). One locus replicated in the Grady cohort, which was composed exclusively of non-Hispanic blacks (NHB). Our data supported genetic interactions with diagnosis of lifetime PTSD and genetic interactions with childhood trauma in the MIRECC sample, but not the Grady sample. Given the racial, diagnostic, and trauma-exposure differences with the original genome-wide association study (GWAS) report, we conducted a full GWAS in the MIRECC and Grady datasets. Interactions between genetic variants and lifetime PTSD or childhood trauma were interrogated for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with evidence of main effects. Genetic associations surpassed false discovery rate (FDR)-correction within hippocampal subfields in fimbria, subiculum, cornu ammonis-1 (CA1), and hippocampal amygdala transition area (HATA). One association was replicated in the Grady cohort (rs12880795 in with left (L)-HATA volume). The most significant association in the MIRECC dataset was between rs6906714 in and right (R)-fimbria volume ( = 5.99×10, = 0.0056). Interestingly, the effect of rs6906714 on R-fimbria volume increased with exposure to childhood trauma (gene*environment [G*E] interaction = 0.022). These preliminary results argue for G*E interactions between genetic loci with PTSD and childhood trauma on hippocampal phenotypes. Our results underscore the need for larger neuroimaging-genetic studies in PTSD, trauma, and ancestrally diverse populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2020.1785994DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7473168PMC
July 2020

Integral role for lysyl oxidase-like-1 in conventional outflow tissue function and behavior.

FASEB J 2020 08 5;34(8):10762-10777. Epub 2020 Jul 5.

Department of Ophthalmology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.

Lysyl oxidase-like-1 (LOXL1), a vital crosslinking enzyme in elastin fiber maintenance, is essential for the stability and strength of elastic vessels and tissues. Variants in the LOXL1 locus associate with a dramatic increase in risk of exfoliation syndrome (XFS), a systemic fibrillopathy, which often presents with ocular hypertension and exfoliation glaucoma (XFG). We examined the role of LOXL1 in conventional outflow function, the prime regulator of intraocular pressure (IOP). Using Loxl1 , Loxl1 , and Loxl1 mice, we observed an inverse relationship between LOXL1 expression and IOP, which worsened with age. Elevated IOP in Loxl1 mice was associated with a larger globe, decreased ocular compliance, increased outflow facility, extracellular matrix (ECM) abnormalities, and dilated intrascleral veins, yet, no dilation of arteries or capillaries. Interestingly, in living Loxl1 mouse eyes, Schlemm's canal (SC) was less susceptible to collapse when challenged with acute elevations in IOP, suggesting elevated episcleral venous pressure (EVP). Thus, LOXL1 expression is required for normal IOP control, while ablation results in altered ECM repair/homeostasis and conventional outflow physiology. Dilation of SC and distal veins, but not arteries, is consistent with key structural and functional roles for elastin in low-pressure vessels subjected to cyclical mechanical stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.202000702RRDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7688556PMC
August 2020

Differential DNA methylation patterns in human Schlemm's canal endothelial cells with glaucoma.

Mol Vis 2020 26;26:483-493. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA.

Purpose: Schlemm's canal (SC) endothelial cells derived from donors with or without glaucoma showed different mechanical properties and gene expression. As an important contributor to the regulation of intraocular pressure (IOP) and pathogenesis of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), the heritable key epigenetic changes, methylation may play an important role in the physiologic function of SC cells. This study aims to identify differentially methylated CpG sites (DMSs) in primary cultures of human SC cells with or without glaucoma.

Methods: We examined the methylation pattern of seven strains of primary human cells (two glaucoma and five normal SC cell samples), which were isolated and characterized using established protocols. DNA methylation was profiled using Illumina Human Methylation 450 BeadChip. Raw data were extracted and exported using Illumina GenomeStudio software. After quantile normalization, DNA methylation data were analyzed using R package RnBeads in Bioconductor. DMSs were filtered with p ≤ 1E-5, methylation change ≥ 0.1, and false discovery rate ≤ 0.05. The closest genes and the location of each CpG site were annotated using R package FDb.InfiniumMethylation.hg19. Gene Ontology and pathway analysis was performed using WebGestalt. Selected DMSs were validated using the Zymo qMethyl kit.

Results: We used five non-glaucoma and two glaucomatous SC cell samples to profile genome-wide DNA methylation using Illumina Infinium Methylation BeadChips. Principle component analysis showed the separation between the glaucoma and control samples. After quality control and differential analysis, we identified 298 highly significant DMSs (p ≤ 1E-5). Among them, 221 DMSs were within 1 kb of a nearby gene. Gene Ontology analysis demonstrated significant enrichment in positive regulation of cell migration, negative regulation of endothelial cell proliferation, and stress fiber and actin filament bundles. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis showed enrichment in cell adhesion and gap junctions. Several glaucoma-related genes were identified, including , , , , , , , and . We also examined differentially methylated regions (DMRs) near these CpG sites and identified significant DMRs in , , and .

Conclusions: This study represents the first genome-wide DNA methylation profiling in cultured human primary SC cells. The DMSs were enriched in the pathways related to outflow resistance. Several DMRs were validated in glaucoma-associated genes, further suggesting the role of DNA methylation in glaucoma development. This study could provide comprehensive understanding of DNA methylation in glaucoma and its effect on aqueous humor outflow.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7316632PMC
July 2021

The genetic architecture of the human cerebral cortex.

Science 2020 03;367(6484)

The cerebral cortex underlies our complex cognitive capabilities, yet little is known about the specific genetic loci that influence human cortical structure. To identify genetic variants that affect cortical structure, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of brain magnetic resonance imaging data from 51,665 individuals. We analyzed the surface area and average thickness of the whole cortex and 34 regions with known functional specializations. We identified 199 significant loci and found significant enrichment for loci influencing total surface area within regulatory elements that are active during prenatal cortical development, supporting the radial unit hypothesis. Loci that affect regional surface area cluster near genes in Wnt signaling pathways, which influence progenitor expansion and areal identity. Variation in cortical structure is genetically correlated with cognitive function, Parkinson's disease, insomnia, depression, neuroticism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aay6690DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7295264PMC
March 2020

An epigenome-wide association study of posttraumatic stress disorder in US veterans implicates several new DNA methylation loci.

Clin Epigenetics 2020 03 14;12(1):46. Epub 2020 Mar 14.

Arq, Psychotrauma Reseach Expert Group, Diemen, NH, Netherlands.

Background: Previous studies using candidate gene and genome-wide approaches have identified epigenetic changes in DNA methylation (DNAm) associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Methods: In this study, we performed an EWAS of PTSD in a cohort of Veterans (n = 378 lifetime PTSD cases and 135 controls) from the Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (TRACTS) cohort assessed using the Illumina EPIC Methylation BeadChip which assesses DNAm at more than 850,000 sites throughout the genome. Our model included covariates for ancestry, cell heterogeneity, sex, age, and a smoking score based on DNAm at 39 smoking-associated CpGs. We also examined in EPIC-based DNAm data generated from pre-frontal cortex (PFC) tissue from the National PTSD Brain Bank (n = 72).

Results: The analysis of blood samples yielded one genome-wide significant association with PTSD at cg19534438 in the gene G0S2 (p = 1.19 × 10, p = 0.048). This association was replicated in an independent PGC-PTSD-EWAS consortium meta-analysis of military cohorts (p = 0.0024). We also observed association with the smoking-related locus cg05575921 in AHRR despite inclusion of a methylation-based smoking score covariate (p = 9.16 × 10), which replicates a previously observed PGC-PTSD-EWAS association (Smith et al. 2019), and yields evidence consistent with a smoking-independent effect. The top 100 EWAS loci were then examined in the PFC data. One of the blood-based PTSD loci, cg04130728 in CHST11, which was in the top 10 loci in blood, but which was not genome-wide significant, was significantly associated with PTSD in brain tissue (in blood p = 1.19 × 10, p = 0.60, in brain, p = 0.00032 with the same direction of effect). Gene set enrichment analysis of the top 500 EWAS loci yielded several significant overlapping GO terms involved in pathogen response, including "Response to lipopolysaccharide" (p = 6.97 × 10, p = 0.042).

Conclusions: The cross replication observed in independent cohorts is evidence that DNA methylation in peripheral tissue can yield consistent and replicable PTSD associations, and our results also suggest that that some PTSD associations observed in peripheral tissue may mirror associations in the brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-020-0820-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071645PMC
March 2020

Identification and activity of the functional complex between hnRNPL and the pseudoexfoliation syndrome-associated lncRNA, LOXL1-AS1.

Hum Mol Genet 2020 07;29(12):1986-1995

Department of Ophthalmology, Duke University, Duke Eye Center AERI Rm 4014, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Individuals with pseudoexfoliation (PEX) syndrome exhibit various connective tissue pathologies associated with dysregulated extracellular matrix homeostasis. PEX glaucoma is a common, aggressive form of open-angle glaucoma resulting from the deposition of fibrillary material in the conventional outflow pathway. However, the molecular mechanisms that drive pathogenesis and genetic risk remain poorly understood. PEX glaucoma-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms are located in and affect activity of the promoter of LOXL1-AS1, a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA). Nuclear and non-nuclear lncRNAs regulate a host of biological processes, and when dysregulated, contribute to disease. Here we report that LOXL1-AS1 localizes to the nucleus where it selectively binds to the mRNA processing protein, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein-L (hnRNPL). Both components of this complex are critical for the regulation of global gene expression in ocular cells, making LOXL1-AS1 a prime target for investigation in PEX syndrome and glaucoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddaa021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7390937PMC
July 2020

Laser-facilitated epicutaneous immunotherapy with depigmented house dust mite extract alleviates allergic responses in a mouse model of allergic lung inflammation.

Allergy 2020 05 29;75(5):1217-1228. Epub 2020 Jan 29.

Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Biosciences, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.

Background: Skin-based immunotherapy of type 1 allergies has recently been re-investigated as an alternative for subcutaneous injections. In the current study, we employed a mouse model of house dust mite (HDM)-induced lung inflammation to explore the potential of laser-facilitated epicutaneous allergen-specific treatment.

Methods: Mice were sensitized against native Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus extract and repeatedly treated by application of depigmented D pteronyssinus extract via laser-generated skin micropores or by subcutaneous injection with or without alum. Following aerosol challenges, lung function was determined by whole-body plethysmography and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was analyzed for cellular composition and cytokine levels. HDM-specific IgG subclass antibodies were determined by ELISA. Serum as well as cell-bound IgE was measured by ELISA, rat basophil leukemia cell assay, and ex vivo using a basophil activation test, respectively. Cultured lymphocytes were analyzed for cytokine secretion profiles and cellular polarization by flow cytometry.

Results: Immunization of mice by subcutaneous injection or epicutaneous laser microporation induced comparable IgG antibody levels, but the latter preferentially induced regulatory T cells and in general downregulated T cell cytokine production. This effect was found to be a result of the laser treatment itself, independent from extract application. Epicutaneous treatment of sensitized animals led to induction of blocking IgG, and improvement of lung function, superior compared to the effects of subcutaneous therapy. During the whole therapy schedule, no local or systemic side effects occurred.

Conclusion: Allergen-specific immunotherapy with depigmented HDM extract via laser-generated skin micropores offers a safe and effective treatment option for HDM-induced allergy and lung inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14164DOI Listing
May 2020

Hemostatic abnormalities in adult patients with Marfan syndrome.

Cardiovasc Diagn Ther 2019 Oct;9(Suppl 2):S209-S220

Department of Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, German Heart Center Munich, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany.

Background: Aortic root ectasia might induce hemostatic disorders in patients with Marfan syndrome (MFS) via altered blood flow and rheology. The aim of this study was to explore the hemostasis in patients with MFS compared with healthy controls.

Methods: In this cross-sectional case-control study we included patients with verified MFS (n=51) and sex- and age-matched healthy controls (n=50). Main criteria were the aortic root in echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and the coagulation status.

Results: When compared with healthy controls, patients with MFS showed significantly increased diameters of the aortic roots (43.0±7.72 28.8±3.74 mm, P<0.001) and aortic Z-scores (4.36±2.77 0.948±1.09, P<0.001), considerably higher values of Multiplate tests (e.g., MP-ADP: 878.4±201.7 660.4±243.6 AU*min, P<0.001) and PFA-100 tests (PFA Col/ADP: 102.5±45.5 91.1±46.2 s, P<0.05), PTT (30.0±3.91 28.7±2.50 s, P<0.05) and D-dimers (0.488±0.665 0.254±0.099 mg/L, P<0.001). In MFS von Willebrand factor (VWF) activity (81.9%±41.8% 106.3%±41.5%, P<0.05) and antigen (93.8%±43.9% 118.8%±47.8%, P<0.05) and factor VIII activity (108.9%±29.6% 126.7%±28.4%, P<0.05) were reduced. Significant positive correlations were found between aortic diameters and D-dimers (all P<0.05), as well as PFA Col/ADP (all P<0.01) in MFS patients. Factor VIII activity correlated significantly negatively with the diameter of the aortic root in MFS (r=-0.55, P<0.05).

Conclusions: In conclusion, our study reveals hemostatic deviations in patients with MFS. Further studies are necessary to understand the causal relationship and the exact pathomechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cdt.2019.08.09DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6837936PMC
October 2019

Association of Genetic Variants With Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Among Individuals With African Ancestry.

JAMA 2019 11;322(17):1682-1691

Clayton Eye Care Center Management Inc, Marrow, Georgia.

Importance: Primary open-angle glaucoma presents with increased prevalence and a higher degree of clinical severity in populations of African ancestry compared with European or Asian ancestry. Despite this, individuals of African ancestry remain understudied in genomic research for blinding disorders.

Objectives: To perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of African ancestry populations and evaluate potential mechanisms of pathogenesis for loci associated with primary open-angle glaucoma.

Design, Settings, And Participants: A 2-stage GWAS with a discovery data set of 2320 individuals with primary open-angle glaucoma and 2121 control individuals without primary open-angle glaucoma. The validation stage included an additional 6937 affected individuals and 14 917 unaffected individuals using multicenter clinic- and population-based participant recruitment approaches. Study participants were recruited from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, the United States, Tanzania, Britain, Cameroon, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Morocco, Peru, and Mali from 2003 to 2018. Individuals with primary open-angle glaucoma had open iridocorneal angles and displayed glaucomatous optic neuropathy with visual field defects. Elevated intraocular pressure was not included in the case definition. Control individuals had no elevated intraocular pressure and no signs of glaucoma.

Exposures: Genetic variants associated with primary open-angle glaucoma.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Presence of primary open-angle glaucoma. Genome-wide significance was defined as P < 5 × 10-8 in the discovery stage and in the meta-analysis of combined discovery and validation data.

Results: A total of 2320 individuals with primary open-angle glaucoma (mean [interquartile range] age, 64.6 [56-74] years; 1055 [45.5%] women) and 2121 individuals without primary open-angle glaucoma (mean [interquartile range] age, 63.4 [55-71] years; 1025 [48.3%] women) were included in the discovery GWAS. The GWAS discovery meta-analysis demonstrated association of variants at amyloid-β A4 precursor protein-binding family B member 2 (APBB2; chromosome 4, rs59892895T>C) with primary open-angle glaucoma (odds ratio [OR], 1.32 [95% CI, 1.20-1.46]; P = 2 × 10-8). The association was validated in an analysis of an additional 6937 affected individuals and 14 917 unaffected individuals (OR, 1.15 [95% CI, 1.09-1.21]; P < .001). Each copy of the rs59892895*C risk allele was associated with increased risk of primary open-angle glaucoma when all data were included in a meta-analysis (OR, 1.19 [95% CI, 1.14-1.25]; P = 4 × 10-13). The rs59892895*C risk allele was present at appreciable frequency only in African ancestry populations. In contrast, the rs59892895*C risk allele had a frequency of less than 0.1% in individuals of European or Asian ancestry.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this genome-wide association study, variants at the APBB2 locus demonstrated differential association with primary open-angle glaucoma by ancestry. If validated in additional populations this finding may have implications for risk assessment and therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2019.16161DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6865235PMC
November 2019

International meta-analysis of PTSD genome-wide association studies identifies sex- and ancestry-specific genetic risk loci.

Nat Commun 2019 10 8;10(1):4558. Epub 2019 Oct 8.

Durham VA Medical Center, Research, Durham, NC, USA.

The risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following trauma is heritable, but robust common variants have yet to be identified. In a multi-ethnic cohort including over 30,000 PTSD cases and 170,000 controls we conduct a genome-wide association study of PTSD. We demonstrate SNP-based heritability estimates of 5-20%, varying by sex. Three genome-wide significant loci are identified, 2 in European and 1 in African-ancestry analyses. Analyses stratified by sex implicate 3 additional loci in men. Along with other novel genes and non-coding RNAs, a Parkinson's disease gene involved in dopamine regulation, PARK2, is associated with PTSD. Finally, we demonstrate that polygenic risk for PTSD is significantly predictive of re-experiencing symptoms in the Million Veteran Program dataset, although specific loci did not replicate. These results demonstrate the role of genetic variation in the biology of risk for PTSD and highlight the necessity of conducting sex-stratified analyses and expanding GWAS beyond European ancestry populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12576-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6783435PMC
October 2019

Update on the genetics of primary open-angle glaucoma.

Exp Eye Res 2019 11 13;188:107795. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Augusta University, 1460 Laney Walker Blvd CB1101, Augusta, GA, 30912, United States; Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine, Augusta University, 1120 15th Street, Augusta, GA, 30912, United States; James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute, Augusta University, 1460 Laney Walker Blvd CB1101, Augusta, GA, 30912, United States. Electronic address:

Affecting nearly 80 million individuals, glaucoma is the number one cause of irreversible blindness in the world. This ocular disease describes a set of optic neuropathies of which primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most common. POAG is associated with progressive visual field deterioration resulting from damage to the optic nerve and loss of retinal ganglion cells. Risk factors for POAG include elevated intraocular pressure, aging, African and Hispanic ancestry, and a positive family history of POAG. Multiple genes have been found to contribute to POAG. Much of POAG genetics and pathology has yet to be explained. Recent genome-wide association studies have identified a large number of novel loci associated with POAG and its endophenotypes. Genomic and proteomic profiling of biofluids has contributed to our knowledge of differential gene expression in POAG. Functional studies both in cell culture and animal models have confirmed the effects of variants and differential gene expression on ocular physiology while in silico analyses have increased our understanding of disease risk and progression so that we might better diagnose and treat this complex genetic illness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2019.107795DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6901111PMC
November 2019

Association of a Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Genetic Risk Score With Earlier Age at Diagnosis.

JAMA Ophthalmol 2019 Oct;137(10):1190-1194

Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.

Importance: Genetic variants associated with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) are known to influence disease risk. However, the clinical effect of associated variants individually or in aggregate is not known. Genetic risk scores (GRS) examine the cumulative genetic load by combining individual genetic variants into a single measure, which is assumed to have a larger effect and increased power to detect relevant disease-related associations.

Objective: To investigate if a GRS that comprised 12 POAG genetic risk variants is associated with age at disease diagnosis.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A cross-sectional study included individuals with POAG and controls from the Glaucoma Genes and Environment (GLAUGEN) study and the National Eye Institute Glaucoma Human Genetics Collaboration (NEIGHBOR) study. A GRS was formulated using 12 variants known to be associated with POAG, and the alleles associated with increasing risk of POAG were aligned in the case-control sets. In case-only analyses, the association of the GRS with age at diagnosis was analyzed as an estimate of disease onset. Results from cohort-specific analyses were combined with meta-analysis. Data collection started in August 2012 for the NEIGHBOR cohort and in July 2008 for the GLAUGEN cohort and were analyzed starting in March 2018.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Association of a 12 single-nucleotide polymorphism POAG GRS with age at diagnosis in individuals with POAG using linear regression.

Results: The GLAUGEN study included 976 individuals with POAG and 1140 controls. The NEIGHBOR study included 2132 individuals with POAG and 2290 controls. For individuals with POAG, the mean (SD) age at diagnosis was 63.6 (9.8) years in the GLAUGEN cohort and 66.0 (13.7) years in the NEIGHBOR cohort. For controls, the mean (SD) age at enrollment was 65.5 (9.2) years in the GLAUGEN cohort and 68.9 (11.4) years in the NEIGHBOR cohort. All study participants were European white. The GRS was strongly associated with POAG risk in case-control analysis (odds ratio per 1-point increase in score = 1.24; 95% CI, 1.21-1.27; P = 3.4 × 10-66). In case-only analyses, each higher GRS unit was associated with a 0.36-year earlier age at diagnosis (β = -0.36; 95% CI, -0.56 to -0.16; P = 4.0 × 10-4). Individuals in the top 5% of the GRS had a mean (SD) age at diagnosis of 5.2 (12.8) years earlier than those in the bottom 5% GRS (61.4 [12.7] vs 66.6 [12.9] years; P = 5.0 × 10-4).

Conclusions And Relevance: A higher dose of POAG risk alleles was associated with an earlier age at glaucoma diagnosis. On average, individuals with POAG with the highest GRS had 5.2-year earlier age at diagnosis of disease. These results suggest that a GRS that comprised genetic variants associated with POAG could help identify patients with risk of earlier disease onset impacting screening and therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.3109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6707005PMC
October 2019

An indirect comparison meta-analysis of AS03 and MF59 adjuvants in pandemic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccines.

Vaccine 2019 07 26;37(31):4246-4255. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Centre for Biostatistics, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Electronic address:

Background: Although oil-in-water adjuvants improve pandemic influenza vaccine efficacy, AS03 versus MF59 adjuvant comparisons in A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic vaccines are lacking.

Methods: We conducted an indirect-comparison meta-analysis extracting published data from randomised controlled trials in literature databases (01/01/2009-09/09/2018), evaluating immunogenicity and safety of AS03- or MF59-adjuvanted vaccines. We conducted comparisons of log-transformed haemagglutination inhibition geometric mean titre ratio (GMTR; primary outcome) of different regimens of each adjuvant versus unadjuvanted counterparts. Then via test of subgroup differences, we indirectly compared different AS03 versus MF59 regimens.

Results: We identified 22 publications with 10,734 participants. In adults, AS03-adjuvanted vaccines (3.75 µg haemagglutinin) achieved superior GMTR versus unadjuvanted vaccines (all four comparisons); MD = 0.56 (95%CI 0.33 to 0.80, p < 0.001) to 1.18 (95%CI 0.72 to 1.65, p < 0.001). MF59 (full-dose)-adjuvanted vaccines (7.5 µg haemagglutinin) were superior to unadjuvanted vaccines (three of four comparisons); MD = 0.47 (95%CI 0.19 to 0.75, p = 0.001) to 0.80 (95%CI 0.44 to 1.16, p < 0.001). Adult indirect comparisons favoured AS03 over MF59 (six of eight comparisons; p < 0.001 to p = 0.088). Paediatric indirect comparisons favoured MF59-adjuvanted vaccines (two of seven comparisons; p = 0.011, 0.079). However, unadjuvanted control group seroconversion rate was lower in MF59 than AS03 studies (p < 0.001 to p = 0.097). There was substantial heterogeneity, and adult AS03 studies had lower risk of bias.

Conclusions: Despite limited studies, in adults, AS03-adjuvanted vaccines allow antigen sparing versus MF59-adjuvanted and unadjuvanted vaccines, with similar immunogenicity, but higher risk of pain and fatigue (secondary outcomes) than unadjuvanted vaccines. In children, adjuvanted vaccines are also superior, but the better adjuvant is uncertain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.06.039DOI Listing
July 2019

Genetic Correlations Between Diabetes and Glaucoma: An Analysis of Continuous and Dichotomous Phenotypes.

Am J Ophthalmol 2019 10 20;206:245-255. Epub 2019 May 20.

Channing Division of Network Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Ophthalmology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA. Electronic address:

Purpose: A genetic correlation is the proportion of phenotypic variance between traits that is shared on a genetic basis. Here we explore genetic correlations between diabetes- and glaucoma-related traits.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: We assembled genome-wide association study summary statistics from European-derived participants regarding diabetes-related traits like fasting blood sugar (FBS) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) and glaucoma-related traits (intraocular pressure [IOP], central corneal thickness [CCT], corneal hysteresis [CH], corneal resistance factor [CRF], cup-to-disc ratio [CDR], and primary open-angle glaucoma [POAG]). We included data from the National Eye Institute Glaucoma Human Genetics Collaboration Heritable Overall Operational Database, the UK Biobank, and the International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium. We calculated genetic correlation (r) between traits using linkage disequilibrium score regression. We also calculated genetic correlations between IOP, CCT, and select diabetes-related traits based on individual level phenotype data in 2 Northern European population-based samples using pedigree information and Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines.

Results: Overall, there was little r between diabetes- and glaucoma-related traits. Specifically, we found a nonsignificant negative correlation between T2D and POAG (r = -0.14; P = .16). Using Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines, the genetic correlations between measured IOP, CCT, FBS, fasting insulin, and hemoglobin A1c were null. In contrast, genetic correlations between IOP and POAG (r ≥ 0.45; P ≤ 3.0 × 10) and between CDR and POAG were high (r = 0.57; P = 2.8 × 10). However, genetic correlations between corneal properties (CCT, CRF, and CH) and POAG were low (r range -0.18 to 0.11) and nonsignificant (P ≥ .07).

Conclusion: These analyses suggest that there is limited genetic correlation between diabetes- and glaucoma-related traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2019.05.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6864262PMC
October 2019

State-Space Representations of Deep Neural Networks.

Neural Comput 2019 03 15;31(3):538-554. Epub 2019 Jan 15.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, U.S.A.

This letter deals with neural networks as dynamical systems governed by finite difference equations. It shows that the introduction of k -many skip connections into network architectures, such as residual networks and additive dense networks, defines k th order dynamical equations on the layer-wise transformations. Closed-form solutions for the state-space representations of general k th order additive dense networks, where the concatenation operation is replaced by addition, as well as k th order smooth networks, are found. The developed provision endows deep neural networks with an algebraic structure. Furthermore, it is shown that imposing k th order smoothness on network architectures with d -many nodes per layer increases the state-space dimension by a multiple of k , and so the effective embedding dimension of the data manifold by the neural network is k·d -many dimensions. It follows that network architectures of these types reduce the number of parameters needed to maintain the same embedding dimension by a factor of k2 when compared to an equivalent first-order, residual network. Numerical simulations and experiments on CIFAR10, SVHN, and MNIST have been conducted to help understand the developed theory and efficacy of the proposed concepts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/neco_a_01165DOI Listing
March 2019

Genome-wide association study of primary open-angle glaucoma in continental and admixed African populations.

Hum Genet 2018 Oct 13;137(10):847-862. Epub 2018 Oct 13.

Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is a complex disease with a major genetic contribution. Its prevalence varies greatly among ethnic groups, and is up to five times more frequent in black African populations compared to Europeans. So far, worldwide efforts to elucidate the genetic complexity of POAG in African populations has been limited. We conducted a genome-wide association study in 1113 POAG cases and 1826 controls from Tanzanian, South African and African American study samples. Apart from confirming evidence of association at TXNRD2 (rs16984299; OR 1.20; P = 0.003), we found that a genetic risk score combining the effects of the 15 previously reported POAG loci was significantly associated with POAG in our samples (OR 1.56; 95% CI 1.26-1.93; P = 4.79 × 10). By genome-wide association testing we identified a novel candidate locus, rs141186647, harboring EXOC4 (OR 0.48; P = 3.75 × 10), a gene transcribing a component of the exocyst complex involved in vesicle transport. The low frequency and high degree of genetic heterogeneity at this region hampered validation of this finding in predominantly West-African replication sets. Our results suggest that established genetic risk factors play a role in African POAG, however, they do not explain the higher disease load. The high heterogeneity within Africans remains a challenge to identify the genetic commonalities for POAG in this ethnicity, and demands studies of extremely large size.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-018-1943-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6754628PMC
October 2018

Non-cardiac comorbidities in adults with inherited and congenital heart disease: report from a single center experience of more than 800 consecutive patients.

Cardiovasc Diagn Ther 2018 Aug;8(4):423-431

Department of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Disease, German Heart Center Munich, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany.

Background: As a result of improved surgical and therapeutical management, more than 90% of patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) reach adulthood. However, the natural course of CHD is complicated by noncardiac medical problems. Aim of the study was to evaluate noncardiac comorbidities in a contemporary cohort of adults with CHD (ACHD).

Methods: In a tertiary care center for ACHD, 821 consecutive patients, admitted to the outpatient clinic, were evaluated for clinically relevant noncardiac comorbidities.

Results: The consecutively included patients (age: range, 15-80 years; 56% female) represent all types and severity grades of acyanotic and cyanotic CHD. A considerable proportion of ACHD had significant noncardiac comorbidities, which have the potential to profoundly influence the natural course of the underlying disease. In 95.5%, relevant non-cardiac comorbidities were apparent, that could be related to 16 special medical fields as endocrinologic/metabolic disease, gastroenterology/hepatology, gynecology/obstetrics, angiology, orthopedics, neurology/psychiatry and others. Most frequently seen comorbidities were endocrine and metabolic disorders (43.97%).

Conclusions: Non-cardiac comorbidities are increasingly common in ACHD. The data revealed non-cardiac comorbidities as they were presented in the cohort of ACHD seen in a tertiary center. The study proves that ACHD with significant non-cardiac comorbidities need multidisciplinary care by medical organ specialists, aside the congenital cardiologist, with a deep knowledge about congenital heart defects, the special effects of the organ disease on the particular heart defect and, how the heart defect may affect the course of the particular organ disease. The study may create the basis for the development of screening programs for comorbidities in ACHD as well as a multidisciplinary concept for diagnosis and treatment of concomitant disorders or for disease prevention. Particularly disease prevention may improve quality of life as well as the further fate of the affected patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cdt.2018.03.11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6129827PMC
August 2018

Non-cardiac comorbidities in adults with inherited and congenital heart disease: report from a single center experience of more than 800 consecutive patients.

Cardiovasc Diagn Ther 2018 Aug;8(4):423-431

Department of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Disease, German Heart Center Munich, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany.

Background: As a result of improved surgical and therapeutical management, more than 90% of patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) reach adulthood. However, the natural course of CHD is complicated by noncardiac medical problems. Aim of the study was to evaluate noncardiac comorbidities in a contemporary cohort of adults with CHD (ACHD).

Methods: In a tertiary care center for ACHD, 821 consecutive patients, admitted to the outpatient clinic, were evaluated for clinically relevant noncardiac comorbidities.

Results: The consecutively included patients (age: range, 15-80 years; 56% female) represent all types and severity grades of acyanotic and cyanotic CHD. A considerable proportion of ACHD had significant noncardiac comorbidities, which have the potential to profoundly influence the natural course of the underlying disease. In 95.5%, relevant non-cardiac comorbidities were apparent, that could be related to 16 special medical fields as endocrinologic/metabolic disease, gastroenterology/hepatology, gynecology/obstetrics, angiology, orthopedics, neurology/psychiatry and others. Most frequently seen comorbidities were endocrine and metabolic disorders (43.97%).

Conclusions: Non-cardiac comorbidities are increasingly common in ACHD. The data revealed non-cardiac comorbidities as they were presented in the cohort of ACHD seen in a tertiary center. The study proves that ACHD with significant non-cardiac comorbidities need multidisciplinary care by medical organ specialists, aside the congenital cardiologist, with a deep knowledge about congenital heart defects, the special effects of the organ disease on the particular heart defect and, how the heart defect may affect the course of the particular organ disease. The study may create the basis for the development of screening programs for comorbidities in ACHD as well as a multidisciplinary concept for diagnosis and treatment of concomitant disorders or for disease prevention. Particularly disease prevention may improve quality of life as well as the further fate of the affected patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cdt.2018.03.11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6129827PMC
August 2018
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