Publications by authors named "Nina Armstrong"

2 Publications

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Glucose metabolism and pyruvate carboxylase enhance glutathione synthesis and restrict oxidative stress in pancreatic islets.

Cell Rep 2021 Nov;37(8):110037

Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston 02115, MA, USA; Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 240 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:

Glucose metabolism modulates the islet β cell responses to diabetogenic stress, including inflammation. Here, we probed the metabolic mechanisms that underlie the protective effect of glucose in inflammation by interrogating the metabolite profiles of primary islets from human donors and identified de novo glutathione synthesis as a prominent glucose-driven pro-survival pathway. We find that pyruvate carboxylase is required for glutathione synthesis in islets and promotes their antioxidant capacity to counter inflammation and nitrosative stress. Loss- and gain-of-function studies indicate that pyruvate carboxylase is necessary and sufficient to mediate the metabolic input from glucose into glutathione synthesis and the oxidative stress response. Altered redox metabolism and cellular capacity to replenish glutathione pools are relevant in multiple pathologies beyond obesity and diabetes. Our findings reveal a direct interplay between glucose metabolism and glutathione biosynthesis via pyruvate carboxylase. This metabolic axis may also have implications in other settings where sustaining glutathione is essential.
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November 2021

Magpie Trial in the UK: methods and additional data for women and children at 2 years following pregnancy complicated by pre-eclampsia.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2009 Apr 14;9:15. Epub 2009 Apr 14.

Division of Public Health, University of Liverpool, UK.

Background: The Magpie Trial, a randomised trial comparing magnesium sulphate with placebo for women with pre-eclampsia. This paper describes methods used for follow up in the UK, and presents additional data collected.

Methods: In the UK 774 women and their 827 children were included; excluded were women discharged without a surviving child and families who opted out. General practitioners were sent a questionnaire when the child was around 18 months old. When the child was two years, or older, questionnaires asking about the health of the women and children were posted to families. A sample of families was offered a home visit, during which the child was assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.

Results: Of the women, 12 were lost to follow up and three died. Of the children, 12 were lost to follow up, 5 were excluded and 19 died. General practitioners returned 688/759 (91%) questionnaires, as did 619/759 (82%) women. Responses were largely comparable. 32 women had serious morbidity potentially related to pre-eclampsia. 30% of children were reported to have been admitted to hospital. There were no clear differences between the randomised groups in the child's behaviour, women's fertility or use of health service resources.

Conclusion: Data presented here provide further reassurance about the longer term safety of magnesium sulphate when used for women with pre-eclampsia. Postal questionnaires in the UK to assess the longer term health and wellbeing of women and children recruited to trials are feasible, and can achieve a high response rate. Responses from families and general practitioners were comparable
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April 2009