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Pumpkin Center, NC, United States

Gallagher C.L.,William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital | Gallagher C.L.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Johnson S.C.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Johnson S.C.,Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center | And 16 more authors.
Brain Imaging and Behavior | Year: 2011

Although [ 18F]fluoro-l-dopa [FDOPA] positron emission tomography (PET) has been used as a surrogate outcome measure in Parkinson's disease therapeutic trials, this biomarker has not been proven to reflect clinical status longitudinally. We completed a retrospective analysis of relationships between computerized sampling of motor performance, FDOPA PET, and clinical outcome scales, repeated over 4 years, in 26 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and 11 healthy controls. Mixed effects analyses showed that movement time and tongue strength best differentiated PD from control subjects. In the treated PD cohort, motor performance measures changed gradually in contrast to a steady decline in striatal FDOPA uptake. Prolonged reaction and movement time were related to lower caudate nucleus FDOPA uptake, and abnormalities in hand fine force control were related to mean striatal FDOPA uptake. These findings provide evidence that regional loss of nigrostriatal inputs to frontostriatal networks affects specific aspects of motor function. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (Outside the USA). Source


Baciu C.,University of North Carolina at Charlotte | Thompson K.J.,University of North Carolina at Charlotte | Mougeot J.-L.,Carolinas Neuromuscular Center | Mougeot J.-L.,University of North Carolina at Charlotte | And 3 more authors.
BMC Bioinformatics | Year: 2012

Background: Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (sALS) is a devastating, complex disease of unknown etiology. We studied this disease with microarray technology to capture as much biological complexity as possible. The Affymetrix-focused BaFL pipeline takes into account problems with probes that arise from physical and biological properties, so we adapted it to handle the long-oligonucleotide probes on our arrays (hence LO-BaFL). The revised method was tested against a validated array experiment and then used in a meta-analysis of peripheral white blood cells from healthy control samples in two experiments. We predicted differentially expressed (DE) genes in our sALS data, combining the results obtained using the TM4 suite of tools with those from the LO-BaFL method. Those predictions were tested using qRT-PCR assays.Results: LO-BaFL filtering and DE testing accurately predicted previously validated DE genes in a published experiment on coronary artery disease (CAD). Filtering healthy control data from the sALS and CAD studies with LO-BaFL resulted in highly correlated expression levels across many genes. After bioinformatics analysis, twelve genes from the sALS DE gene list were selected for independent testing using qRT-PCR assays. High-quality RNA from six healthy Control and six sALS samples yielded the predicted differential expression for 7 genes: TARDBP, SKIV2L2, C12orf35, DYNLT1, ACTG1, B2M, and ILKAP. Four of the seven have been previously described in sALS studies, while ACTG1, B2M and ILKAP appear in the context of this disease for the first time. Supplementary material can be accessed at: http://webpages.uncc.edu/~cbaciu/LO-BaFL/supplementary_data.html.Conclusion: LO-BaFL predicts DE results that are broadly similar to those of other methods. The small healthy control cohort in the sALS study is a reasonable foundation for predicting DE genes. Modifying the BaFL pipeline allowed us to remove noise and systematic errors, improving the power of this study, which had a small sample size. Each bioinformatics approach revealed DE genes not predicted by the other; subsequent PCR assays confirmed seven of twelve candidates, a relatively high success rate. © 2012 Baciu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Mougeot J.-L.C.,James nnon Research Center | Mougeot J.-L.C.,Carolinas Neuromuscular Center | Mougeot J.-L.C.,University of North Carolina at Charlotte | Li Z.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | And 7 more authors.
BMC Medical Genomics | Year: 2011

Background: Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS) is a motor neuron disease with poorly understood etiology. Results of gene expression profiling studies of whole blood from ALS patients have not been validated and are difficult to relate to ALS pathogenesis because gene expression profiles depend on the relative abundance of the different cell types present in whole blood. We conducted microarray analyses using Agilent Human Whole Genome 4 × 44k Arrays on a more homogeneous cell population, namely purified peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs), from ALS patients and healthy controls to identify molecular signatures possibly relevant to ALS pathogenesis. Methods. Differentially expressed genes were determined by LIMMA (Linear Models for MicroArray) and SAM (Significance Analysis of Microarrays) analyses. The SAFE (Significance Analysis of Function and Expression) procedure was used to identify molecular pathway perturbations. Proteasome inhibition assays were conducted on cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from ALS patients to confirm alteration of the Ubiquitin/Proteasome System (UPS). Results: For the first time, using SAFE in a global gene ontology analysis (gene set size 5-100), we show significant perturbation of the KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) ALS pathway of motor neuron degeneration in PBLs from ALS patients. This was the only KEGG disease pathway significantly upregulated among 25, and contributing genes, including SOD1, represented 54% of the encoded proteins or protein complexes of the KEGG ALS pathway. Further SAFE analysis, including gene set sizes >100, showed that only neurodegenerative diseases (4 out of 34 disease pathways) including ALS were significantly upregulated. Changes in UBR2 expression correlated inversely with time since onset of disease and directly with ALSFRS-R, implying that UBR2 was increased early in the course of ALS. Cultured PBMCs from ALS patients accumulated more ubiquitinated proteins than PBMCs from healthy controls in a serum-dependent manner confirming changes in this pathway. Conclusions: Our study indicates that PBLs from sALS patients are strong responders to systemic signals or local signals acquired by cell trafficking, representing changes in gene expression similar to those present in brain and spinal cord of sALS patients. PBLs may provide a useful means to study ALS pathogenesis. © 2011Mougeot et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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