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Nine loci for ocular axial length identified through genome-wide association studies, including shared loci with refractive error. - American journal of human genetics
Refractive errors are common eye disorders of public health importance worldwide. Ocular axial length (AL) is the major determinant of refraction and thus of myopia and hyperopia. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for AL, combining 12,531 Europeans and 8,216 Asians. We identified eight genome-wide significant loci for AL (RSPO1, C3orf26, LAMA2, GJD2, ZNRF3, CD55, MIP, and ALPPL2) and confirmed one previously reported AL locus (ZC3H11B). Of the nine loci, five (LAMA2, GJD2, CD55, ALPPL2, and ZC3H11B) were associated with refraction in 18 independent cohorts (n = 23,591). Differential gene expression was observed for these loci in minus-lens-induced myopia mouse experiments and human ocular tissues. Two of the AL genes, RSPO1 and ZNRF3, are involved in Wnt signaling, a pathway playing a major role in the regulation of eyeball size. This study provides evidence of shared genes between AL and refraction, but importantly also suggests that these traits may have unique pathways.Copyright Â© 2013 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Peer review versus editorial review and their role in innovative science. - Theoretical medicine and bioethics
Peer review is a widely accepted instrument for raising the quality of science. Peer review limits the enormous unstructured influx of information and the sheer amount of dubious data, which in its absence would plunge science into chaos. In particular, peer review offers the benefit of eliminating papers that suffer from poor craftsmanship or methodological shortcomings, especially in the experimental sciences. However, we believe that peer review is not always appropriate for the evaluation of controversial hypothetical science. We argue that the process of peer review can be prone to bias towards ideas that affirm the prior convictions of reviewers and against innovation and radical new ideas. Innovative hypotheses are thus highly vulnerable to being "filtered out" or made to accord with conventional wisdom by the peer review process. Consequently, having introduced peer review, the Elsevier journal Medical Hypotheses may be unable to continue its tradition as a radical journal allowing discussion of improbable or unconventional ideas. Hence we conclude by asking the publisher to consider re-introducing the system of editorial review to Medical Hypotheses.
Production and characterization of monoclonal antibodies to human sclerostin. - Hybridoma (2005)
We developed and characterized monoclonal antibodies directed against the amino-terminal and carboxy-terminal regions of human and mouse sclerostin (scl). Amino-terminal and carboxy-terminal scl peptides with limited homology to scl domain-containing protein-1 were synthesized using f-moc chemistry. The peptides were conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin and the conjugates were used for immunization of mice. Monoclonal antibodies were obtained and characterized using bacterially expressed and insect cell-expressed recombinant scl. The amino-terminal (IgG 2aK) and carboxy-terminal (IgG 2bK) antibodies bound bioactive sclerostin that was expressed in an insect-cell expression system with dissociation constants in the nanomolar range. The antibodies are potentially useful agents that can be used for modulating sclerostin bioactivity.
Expression and regulation of the vitamin D receptor in the zebrafish, Danio rerio. - Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
Vitamin D and vitamin D metabolites such as 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3)] circulate in the serum of fish. The receptor for 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) (VDR) has previously been cloned from fish intestine, and ligand binding assays have shown the presence of the VDR in the gills, intestine, and liver of fish. Using immunohistochemical methods with specific antibodies against the VDR, we now report that the VDR is widely expressed in tissues of the adult male and female zebrafish, Danio rerio, specifically in epithelial cells of gills, tubular cells of the kidney, and absorptive cells in the intestine. Additionally, the VDR is expressed in the skin, the olfactory organ, the retina, brain, and spinal cord. Sertoli cells of the testis, oocytes, acinar cells of the pancreas, hepatocytes, and bile duct epithelial cells express substantial amounts of the receptor. Osteoblast-like cells and chondrocytes also express VDR. Preimmune serum and antiserum preadsorbed with Danio VDR protein fails to detect VDR in the same tissues. The VDR is also present in the developing eye, brain, and otic vesicle of 48- and 96-h postfertilization zebrafish embryos. Parenteral administration of 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) increases concentrations of VDR in intestinal epithelial cells but not in epithelial cells of the gills. Lithocholic acid, however, does not alter concentrations of VDR after parenteral administration. The data suggest that VDR is widely distributed in tissues of the zebrafish, D. rerio, and is likely to play important roles in epithelial transport, bone, and endocrine function. Furthermore, concentrations of the receptor seem to be regulated by its ligand, 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D but not by lithocholic acid. Zebrafish may serve as a useful model in which to assess the function of the VDR in diverse tissues.
Evidence for a signaling axis by which intestinal phosphate rapidly modulates renal phosphate reabsorption. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The mechanisms by which phosphorus homeostasis is preserved in mammals are not completely understood. We demonstrate the presence of a mechanism by which the intestine detects the presence of increased dietary phosphate and rapidly increases renal phosphate excretion. The mechanism is of physiological relevance because it maintains plasma phosphate concentrations in the normal range after ingestion of a phosphate-containing meal. When inorganic phosphate is infused into the duodenum, there is a rapid increase in the renal fractional excretion of phosphate (FE Pi). The phosphaturic effect of intestinal phosphate is specific for phosphate because administration of sodium chloride does not elicit a similar response. Phosphaturia after intestinal phosphate administration occurs in thyro-parathyroidectomized rats, demonstrating that parathyroid hormone is not essential for this effect. The increase in renal FE Pi in response to the intestinal administration of phosphate occurs without changes in plasma concentrations of phosphate (filtered load), parathyroid hormone, FGF-23, or secreted frizzled related protein-4. Denervation of the kidney does not attenuate phosphaturia elicited after intestinal phosphate administration. Phosphaturia is not elicited when phosphate is instilled in other parts of the gastrointestinal tract such as the stomach. Infusion of homogenates of the duodenal mucosa increases FE Pi, which demonstrates the presence of one or more substances within the intestinal mucosa that directly modulate renal phosphate reabsorption. Our experiments demonstrate the presence of a previously unrecognized phosphate gut-renal axis that rapidly modulates renal phosphate excretion after the intestinal administration of phosphate.
The phosphatonins and the regulation of phosphate transport and vitamin D metabolism. - The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology
Phosphate homeostasis is preserved during variations in phosphate intake by short-term intrinsic renal and intestinal adaptations in transport processes, and by more long-term hormonal mechanisms, which regulate the efficiency of phosphate transport in the kidney and intestine. Recently, several phosphaturic peptides such as fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23), secreted frizzled-related protein-4 (sFRP-4), extracellular phosphoglycoprotein (MEPE) and fibroblast growth factor 7 (FGF-7) have been shown to play a pathogenic role in several hypophosphatemic disorders such as tumor-induced osteomalacia (TIO), autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets (ADHR), X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets (XLH), the McCune-Albright syndrome (MAS) and fibrous dysplasia (FD). These proteins induce phosphaturia and hypophosphatemia in vivo, and inhibit sodium-dependent renal phosphate transport in cultured renal epithelial cells. Interestingly, despite the induction of hypophosphatemia by FGF-23 and sFRP-4 in vivo, serum 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1alpha,25(OH)(2)D) concentrations are decreased or remain inappropriately normal, suggesting an inhibitory effect of these proteins on 25-hydroxyvitamin D 1alpha-hydroxylase activity. In FGF-23 knockout mice, 25-hydroxyvitamin D 1alpha-hydroxylase expression is increased and elevated serum 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D levels cause significant hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia. MEPE, however, increases circulating 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D. Circulating or local concentrations of these peptides/proteins may regulate 25-hydroxyvitamin D 1alpha-hydroxylase activity in renal tissues under physiologic circumstances.
Parkinsonism, dementia and vertical gaze palsy in a Guamanian with atypical neuroglial degeneration. - Acta neuropathologica
A 58-year-old Chamorro female patient, who died in 1993, was examined clinicopathologically. At the age of 51, she suffered from hemiparkinsonism, then bradykinesia, rigidity without tremor, and dementia. Extrapyramidal symptoms developed, and at the age of 57, vertical gaze palsy was noted. The clinical diagnosis was parkinsonism-dementia complex (PDC) with vertical gaze palsy. The brain showed atrophy in the frontal and temporal lobes, and the atrophy was accentuated in the dentate gyrus, Ammon's horn and parahippocampal gyrus. The basal ganglia, thalamus and midbrain were moderately atrophic. The substantia nigra and locus ceruleus were completely depigmented. Numerous neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) were seen in the subiculum and amygdaloid nucleus. Many NFTs were evident in the parahippocampal gyrus, lateral occipitotemporal gyrus, insula, Sommer sector, basal nucleus of Meynert, lateral nucleus of the thalamus, subthalamic nucleus and brain stem, and several were observed in the globus pallidus and hypothalamus. The Sommer sector, substantia nigra, locus ceruleus and basal nucleus of Meynert showed severe loss of neurons, and a moderate loss of neurons was exhibited by the globus pallidus. These findings were apparently consistent with those associated with PDC. However, in this patient, severe neuronal loss was seen in the subthalamic nucleus and lateral nucleus of the thalamus, and grumose degeneration, which has not previously been reported in PDC, was seen in the dentate nucleus. In addition, many tufted astrocytes, which have been reported to occur in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and postencephalitic parkinsonism, but scarcely observed in PDC, were present. Furthermore, astrocytic plaques, which have been considered as a specific finding of corticobasal degeneration (CBD), were observed in the cerebral cortex. On the other hand, granular hazy astrocytic inclusions, previously reported to occur in PDC, were not seen. Chromatolytic neurons were not observed. The question thus arises as to whether it is appropriate to consider this patient as having suffered from a combination of PDC, PSP and CBD. From the view points of absence of granular hazy astrocytic inclusions and chromatolytic neurons, and of tufted astrocytes in the neostriatum, it is conceivable that this patient is a case of a new disease entity.
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