Year of publication
- Sex-stratified Genome-wide Association Studies Including 270,000 Individuals Show Sexual Dimorphism in Genetic Loci for Anthropometric Traits (2013)
- Men and women differ substantially regarding height, weight, and body fat. Interestingly, previous work detecting genetic effects for waist-to-hip ratio, to assess body fat distribution, has found that many of these showed sex-differences. However, systematic searches for sex-differences in genetic effects have not yet been conducted. Therefore, we undertook a genome-wide search for sexually dimorphic genetic effects for anthropometric traits including 133,723 individuals in a large meta-analysis and followed promising variants in further 137,052 individuals, including a total of 94 studies. We identified seven loci with significant sex-difference including four previously established (near GRB14/COBLL1, LYPLAL1/SLC30A10, VEGFA, ADAMTS9) and three novel anthropometric trait loci (near MAP3K1, HSD17B4, PPARG), all of which were significant in women, but not in men. Of interest is that sex-difference was only observed for waist phenotypes, but not for height or body-mass-index. We found no evidence for sex-differences with opposite effect direction for men and women. The PPARG locus is of specific interest due to its link to diabetes genetics and therapy. Our findings demonstrate the importance of investigating sex differences, which may lead to a better understanding of disease mechanisms with a potential relevance to treatment options.
- Determination of HIV-1 co-receptor usage in German patients : comparison of genotypic methods with the TROFILE® phenotypic assay (2008)
- Poster presentation: Background Maraviroc is a new drug used to treat HIV infection from the new class of drugs called CCR5 entry inhibitors. As the active principle of these drugs is to block the CCR5-receptor on the surface of the target cells, it has to be known if the virus in the patient is using only CCR5 as co-receptor or if there are populations that can also use CXCR4. Therefore, an assay to determine the tropism has to be performed before starting a therapy. Besides phenotypic assays like the TROFILE® assay by Monogram, used in the approval studies, there exist several genotyping systems like geno2pheno-coreceptor, Wetcat (providing five different genotypic tropism schemes) and WebPSSM. ...
- Reconciliation of essential process parameters for an enhanced predictability of Arctic stratospheric ozone loss and its climate interactions (RECONCILE): activities and results (2013)
- The international research project RECONCILE has addressed central questions regarding polar ozone depletion, with the objective to quantify some of the most relevant yet still uncertain physical and chemical processes and thereby improve prognostic modelling capabilities to realistically predict the response of the ozone layer to climate change. This overview paper outlines the scope and the general approach of RECONCILE, and it provides a summary of observations and modelling in 2010 and 2011 that have generated an in many respects unprecedented dataset to study processes in the Arctic winter stratosphere. Principally, it summarises important outcomes of RECONCILE including (i) better constraints and enhanced consistency on the set of parameters governing catalytic ozone destruction cycles, (ii) a better understanding of the role of cold binary aerosols in heterogeneous chlorine activation, (iii) an improved scheme of polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) processes that includes heterogeneous nucleation of nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) and ice on non-volatile background aerosol leading to better model parameterisations with respect to denitrification, and (iv) long transient simulations with a chemistry-climate model (CCM) updated based on the results of RECONCILE that better reproduce past ozone trends in Antarctica and are deemed to produce more reliable predictions of future ozone trends. The process studies and the global simulations conducted in RECONCILE show that in the Arctic, ozone depletion uncertainties in the chemical and microphysical processes are now clearly smaller than the sensitivity to dynamic variability.
- Envisat MIPAS measurements of CFC-11 : retrieval, validation, and climatology (2008)
- From July 2002 to March 2004 the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) aboard the European Space Agency´s Environmental Satellite (Envisat) measured nearly continuously mid infrared limb radiance spectra. These measurements are utilised to retrieve the global distribution of the chlorofluorocarbon CFC-11 by applying a new fast forward model for Envisat MIPAS and an accompanying optimal estimation retrieval processor. A detailed analysis shows that the total retrieval errors of the individual CFC-11 volume mixing ratios are typically below 10% in the altitude range 10 to 25 km and that the systematic components dominate. Contribution of a priori information to the retrieval results are less than 5 to 10% and the vertical resolution of the observations is about 3 to 4 km in the same vertical range. The data are successfully validated by comparison with several other space experiments, an air-borne in-situ instrument, measurements from ground-based networks, and independent Envisat MIPAS analyses. The retrieval results from 425 000 Envisat MIPAS limb scans are compiled to provide a new climatological data set of CFC-11. The climatology shows significantly lower CFC-11 abundances in the lower stratosphere compared with the Reference Atmospheres for MIPAS (RAMstan V3.1) climatology. Depending on the atmospheric conditions the differences between the climatologies are up to 30 to 110 ppt (45 to 150%) at 19 to 27 km altitude. Additionally, time series of CFC-11 mean abundance and variability for five latitudinal bands are presented. The observed CFC-11 distributions can be explained by the residual mean circulation and large-scale eddy-transports in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. The new CFC-11 data set is well suited for further scientific studies.
- Extracorporeal immune therapy with immobilized agonistic anti-Fas antibodies leads to transient reduction of circulating neutrophil numbers and limits tissue damage after hemorrhagic shock/resuscitation in a porcine model (2010)
- Background: Hemorrhagic shock/resuscitation is associated with aberrant neutrophil activation and organ failure. This experimental porcine study was done to evaluate the effects of Fas-directed extracorporeal immune therapy with a leukocyte inhibition module (LIM) on hemodynamics, neutrophil tissue infiltration, and tissue damage after hemorrhagic shock/resuscitation. Methods: In a prospective controlled double-armed animal trial 24 Munich Mini Pigs (30.3 +/- 3.3 kg) were rapidly haemorrhaged to reach a mean arterial pressure (MAP) of 35 +/- 5 mmHg, maintained hypotensive for 45 minutes, and then were resuscitated with Ringer's solution to baseline MAP. With beginning of resuscitation 12 pigs underwent extracorporeal immune therapy for 3 hours (LIM group) and 12 pigs were resuscitated according to standard medical care (SMC). Haemodynamics, haematologic, metabolic, and organ specific damage parameters were monitored. Neutrophil infiltration was analyzed histologically after 48 and 72 hours. Lipid peroxidation, and apoptosis were specifically determined in lung, bowel, and liver. Results: In the LIM group, neutrophil counts were reduced versus SMC during extracorporeal immune therapy. After 72 hours, the haemodynamic parameters MAP and cardiac output (CO) were significantly better in the LIM group. Histological analyses showed reduction of shock-related neutrophil tissue infiltration in the LIM group, especially in the lungs. Lower amounts of apoptotic cells and lipid peroxidation were found in organs after LIM treatment. Conclusions: Transient Fas-directed extracorporeal immune therapy may protect from posthemorrhagic neutrophil tissue infiltration and tissue damage.
- Reconciliation of essential process parameters for an enhanced predictability of Arctic stratospheric ozone loss and its climate interactions (2012)
- Significant reductions in stratospheric ozone occur inside the polar vortices each spring when chlorine radicals produced by heterogeneous reactions on cold particle surfaces in winter destroy ozone mainly in two catalytic cycles, the ClO dimer cycle and the ClO/BrO cycle. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are responsible for most of the chlorine currently present in the stratosphere, have been banned by the Montreal Protocol and its amendments, and the ozone layer is predicted to recover to 1980 levels within the next few decades. During the same period, however, climate change is expected to alter the temperature, circulation patterns and chemical composition in the stratosphere, and possible geo-engineering ventures to mitigate climate change may lead to additional changes. To realistically predict the response of the ozone layer to such influences requires the correct representation of all relevant processes. The European project RECONCILE has comprehensively addressed remaining questions in the context of polar ozone depletion, with the objective to quantify the rates of some of the most relevant, yet still uncertain physical and chemical processes. To this end RECONCILE used a broad approach of laboratory experiments, two field missions in the Arctic winter 2009/10 employing the high altitude research aircraft M55-Geophysica and an extensive match ozone sonde campaign, as well as microphysical and chemical transport modelling and data assimilation. Some of the main outcomes of RECONCILE are as follows: (1) vortex meteorology: the 2009/10 Arctic winter was unusually cold at stratospheric levels during the six-week period from mid-December 2009 until the end of January 2010, with reduced transport and mixing across the polar vortex edge; polar vortex stability and how it is influenced by dynamic processes in the troposphere has led to unprecedented, synoptic-scale stratospheric regions with temperatures below the frost point; in these regions stratospheric ice clouds have been observed, extending over >106km2 during more than 3 weeks. (2) Particle microphysics: heterogeneous nucleation of nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) particles in the absence of ice has been unambiguously demonstrated; conversely, the synoptic scale ice clouds also appear to nucleate heterogeneously; a variety of possible heterogeneous nuclei has been characterised by chemical analysis of the non-volatile fraction of the background aerosol; substantial formation of solid particles and denitrification via their sedimentation has been observed and model parameterizations have been improved. (3) Chemistry: strong evidence has been found for significant chlorine activation not only on polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) but also on cold binary aerosol; laboratory experiments and field data on the ClOOCl photolysis rate and other kinetic parameters have been shown to be consistent with an adequate degree of certainty; no evidence has been found that would support the existence of yet unknown chemical mechanisms making a significant contribution to polar ozone loss. (4) Global modelling: results from process studies have been implemented in a prognostic chemistry climate model (CCM); simulations with improved parameterisations of processes relevant for polar ozone depletion are evaluated against satellite data and other long term records using data assimilation and detrended fluctuation analysis. Finally, measurements and process studies within RECONCILE were also applied to the winter 2010/11, when special meteorological conditions led to the highest chemical ozone loss ever observed in the Arctic. In addition to quantifying the 2010/11 ozone loss and to understand its causes including possible connections to climate change, its impacts were addressed, such as changes in surface ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the densely populated northern mid-latitudes.
- Renal perfusion in scleroderma patients assessed by microbubble-based contrast-enhanced ultrasound (2012)
- OBJECTIVES: Renal damage is common in scleroderma. It can occur acutely or chronically. Renal reserve might already be impaired before it can be detected by laboratory findings. Microbubble-based contrast-enhanced ultrasound has been demonstrated to improve blood perfusion imaging in organs. Therefore, we conducted a study to assess renal perfusion in scleroderma patients utilizing this novel technique. MATERIALS AND METHODOLOGY: Microbubble-based contrast agent was infused and destroyed by using high mechanical index by Siemens Sequoia (curved array, 4.5 MHz). Replenishment was recorded for 8 seconds. Regions of interests (ROI) were analyzed in renal parenchyma, interlobular artery and renal pyramid with quantitative contrast software (CUSQ 1.4, Siemens Acuson, Mountain View, California). Time to maximal Enhancement (TmE), maximal enhancement (mE) and maximal enhancement relative to maximal enhancement of the interlobular artery (mE%A) were calculated for different ROIs. RESULTS: There was a linear correlation between the time to maximal enhancement in the parenchyma and the glomerular filtration rate. However, the other parameters did not reveal significant differences between scleroderma patients and healthy controls. CONCLUSION: Renal perfusion of scleroderma patients including the glomerular filtration rate can be assessed using microbubble-based contrast media.
- Safety and clinical outcomes of rituximab therapy in patients with different autoimmune diseases: experience from a national registry (GRAID) (2011)
- Introduction Evidence from a number of open-label, uncontrolled studies has suggested that rituximab may benefit patients with autoimmune diseases who are refractory to standard of care. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and clinical outcomes of rituximab in several standard of care-refractory autoimmune diseases (within rheumatology, nephrology, dermatology and neurology) other than rheumatoid arthritis or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in a real-life clinical setting. Methods Patients who received rituximab having shown an inadequate response to standard of care had their safety and clinical outcomes data retrospectively analysed as part of the German Registry of Autoimmune Diseases. The main outcome measures were safety and clinical response, as judged at the discretion of the investigators. Results A total of 370 patients (299 patient-years) with various autoimmune diseases (23.0% with systemic lupus erythematosus, 15.7% antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitides, 15.1% multiple sclerosis and 10.0% pemphigus) from 42 centres received a mean dose of 2440 mg of rituximab over a median (range) of 194 (180 to 1407) days. The overall rate of serious infections was 5.3 per 100 patient-years during rituximab therapy. Opportunistic infections were infrequent across the whole study population, and mostly occurred in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. There were 11 deaths (3.0% of patients) after rituximab treatment (mean 11.6 months after first infusion, range 0.8 to 31.3 months), with most of the deaths caused by infections. Overall (n = 293), 13.3% of patients showed no response, 45.1% showed a partial response and 41.6% showed a complete response. Responses were also reflected by reduced use of glucocorticoids and various immunosuppressives during rituximab therapy and follow-up compared with before rituximab. Rituximab generally had a positive effect on patient well-being (physician's visual analogue scale; mean improvement from baseline of 12.1 mm). Conclusions Data from this registry indicate that rituximab is a commonly employed, well-tolerated therapy with potential beneficial effects in standard of care-refractory autoimmune diseases, and support the results from other open-label, uncontrolled studies. Additional file 1: Supplemental tables. Table A1. Duration of follow-up from first rituximab infusion to last control visit by diagnosis. Table A2. Number of rituximab infusions by diagnosis.
- Induction of selective blood-tumor barrier permeability and macromolecular transport by a biostable kinin b1 receptor agonist in a glioma rat model (2012)
- Treatment of malignant glioma with chemotherapy is limited mostly because of delivery impediment related to the blood-brain tumor barrier (BTB). B1 receptors (B1R), inducible prototypical G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) can regulate permeability of vessels including possibly that of brain tumors. Here, we determine the extent of BTB permeability induced by the natural and synthetic peptide B1R agonists, LysdesArg9BK (LDBK) and SarLys[DPhe8]desArg9BK (NG29), in syngeneic F98 glioma-implanted Fischer rats. Ten days after tumor inoculation, we detected the presence of B1R on tumor cells and associated vasculature. NG29 infusion increased brain distribution volume and uptake profiles of paramagnetic probes (Magnevist and Gadomer) at tumoral sites (T1-weighted imaging). These effects were blocked by B1R antagonist and non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitors, but not by B2R antagonist and non-selective nitric oxide synthase inhibitors. Consistent with MRI data, systemic co-administration of NG29 improved brain tumor delivery of Carboplatin chemotherapy (ICP-Mass spectrometry). We also detected elevated B1R expression in clinical samples of high-grade glioma. Our results documented a novel GPCR-signaling mechanism for promoting transient BTB disruption, involving activation of B1R and ensuing production of COX metabolites. They also underlined the potential value of synthetic biostable B1R agonists as selective BTB modulators for local delivery of different sized-therapeutics at (peri)tumoral sites.
- Diversität von aphidophagen Insekten im Bayerischen Wald : welchen Beitrag leistet die Tanne im Vergleich zur Fichte? (2006)
- Die Weißtanne (Abies alba) – Symbol für naturnahe Waldwirtschaft – ist im Bayerischen Wald beheimatet. Die Tanne ist dort neben Fichte und Buche das prägende Element der Bergmischwälder auf Höhen von 600 bis 1250 m. Einstmals war sie mit etwa 20 % (ROTHE & BORCHERT 2003) am Waldaufbau beteiligt. Seit rund 150 Jahren ist jedoch ein drastischer Rückgang der Tanne - nicht nur im Bayerischen Wald – zu verzeichnen. Die Ursachen für den Rückgang der Tanne sind überwiegend anthropogen bedingt. In erster Linie ist hier die Forstwirtschaft zu erwähnen, die bestrebt ist durch waldbauliche Maßnahmen den Fichtenanteil anzuheben. An zweiter Stelle stehen die neuartigen Waldschäden, welche, bedingt durch Schadstoffimmissionen in den 70er und 80er Jahren des letzten Jahrhunderts, zu verstärktem Absterben der Tanne führten. Noch heute ist die Tanne die am stärksten geschädigte Baumart in Bayern (BAYSTMLF 2002). Ein weiterer nicht zu vergessender Faktor für den Rückgang der Tanne sind die z.T. hohen Wildbestände, durch deren Verbiss und Schälen junger Tannen das Heranwachsen einer neuen Generation verhindert wird. Mit dem Rückgang der Tanne verändert sich jedoch nicht nur die Baumartenzusammensetzung, sondern auch Tier- und Pflanzenarten sind direkt und indirekt betroffen. Die Arthropodenfauna der bisher kaum untersuchten Tanne wird als relativ artenarm beschrieben (BRÄNDLE & BRANDL 2001), jedoch gibt es wenige spezielle Untersuchungen an dieser Baumart (MÜLLER & GOßNER 2004).