Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD

Groningen, Netherlands

Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD

Groningen, Netherlands

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Fuertes E.,University of British Columbia | Fuertes E.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Brauer M.,University of British Columbia | MacIntyre E.,University of British Columbia | And 26 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2013

Background: Associations between traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) and allergic rhinitis remain inconsistent, possibly because of unexplored gene-environment interactions. Objective: In a pooled analysis of 6 birth cohorts (Ntotal = 15,299), we examined whether TRAP and genetic polymorphisms related to inflammation and oxidative stress predict allergic rhinitis and sensitization. Methods: Allergic rhinitis was defined with a doctor diagnosis or reported symptoms at age 7 or 8 years. Associations between nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) mass, PM 2.5 absorbance, and ozone, estimated for each child at the year of birth, and single nucleotide polymorphisms within the GSTP1, TNF, TLR2, or TLR4 genes with allergic rhinitis and aeroallergen sensitization were examined with logistic regression. Models were stratified by genotype and interaction terms tested for gene-environment associations. Results: Point estimates for associations between nitrogen dioxide, PM2.5 mass, and PM 2.5 absorbance with allergic rhinitis were elevated, but only that for PM2.5 mass was statistically significant (1.37 [1.01, 1.86] per 5 μg/m3). This result was not robust to single-cohort exclusions. Carriers of at least 1 minor rs1800629 (TNF) or rs1927911 (TLR4) allele were consistently at an increased risk of developing allergic rhinitis (1.19 [1.00, 1.41] and 1.24 [1.01, 1.53], respectively), regardless of TRAP exposure. No evidence of gene-environment interactions was observed. Conclusion: The generally null effect of TRAP on allergic rhinitis and aeroallergen sensitization was not modified by the studied variants in the GSTP1, TNF, TLR2, or TLR4 genes. Children carrying a minor rs1800629 (TNF) or rs1927911 (TLR4) allele may be at a higher risk of allergic rhinitis. © 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.


Han B.,University of Groningen | Han B.,Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD | Poppinga W.J.,University of Groningen | Poppinga W.J.,Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD | And 2 more authors.
Pflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology | Year: 2015

Cell division relies on coordinated regulation of the cell cycle. A process including a well-defined series of strictly regulated molecular mechanisms involving cyclin-dependent kinases, retinoblastoma protein, and polo-like kinases. Dysfunctions in cell cycle regulation are associated with disease such as cancer, diabetes, and neurodegeneration. Compartmentalization of cellular signaling is a common strategy used to ensure the accuracy and efficiency of cellular responses. Compartmentalization of intracellular signaling is maintained by scaffolding proteins, such as A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). AKAPs are characterized by their ability to anchor the regulatory subunits of protein kinase A (PKA), and thereby achieve guidance to different cellular locations via various targeting domains. Next to PKA, AKAPs also associate with several other signaling elements including receptors, ion channels, protein kinases, phosphatases, small GTPases, and phosphodiesterases. Taking the amount of possible AKAP signaling complexes and their diverse localization into account, it is rational to believe that such AKAP-based complexes regulate several critical cellular events of the cell cycle. In fact, several AKAPs are assigned as tumor suppressors due to their vital roles in cell cycle regulation. Here, we first briefly discuss the most important players of cell cycle progression. After that, we will review our recent knowledge of AKAPs linked to the regulation and progression of the cell cycle, with special focus on AKAP12, AKAP8, and Ezrin. At last, we will discuss this specific AKAP subset in relation to diseases with focus on a diverse subset of cancer. © 2015, The Author(s).


Meijboom M.J.,University of Groningen | Rozenbaum M.H.,University of Groningen | Benedictus A.,University of Groningen | Luytjes W.,Netherlands Vaccine Institute | And 5 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2012

Introduction: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is one of the major causes of respiratory illness in infants, infecting virtually every child before the age of 2 years. Currently, several Phase 1 trials with RSV vaccines in infants are ongoing or have been completed. As yet, no efficacy estimates are available for these vaccine candidates. Nevertheless, cost-effectiveness estimates might be informative to enable preliminary positioning of an RSV vaccine. Methods: A decision analysis model was developed in which a Dutch birth cohort was followed for 12 months. A number of potential vaccination strategies were reviewed such as vaccination at specific ages, a two- or three-dosing scheme and seasonal vaccination versus year-round vaccination. The impact of the assumptions made was explored in various sensitivity analyses, including probabilistic analysis. Outcome measures included the number of GP visits, hospitalizations and deaths, costs, quality-adjusted life years and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). Results: Currently, without vaccination, an annual number of 28,738 of RSV-related GP visits, 1623 hospitalizations, and 4.5 deaths are estimated in children in the age of 0-1 year. The total annual cost to society of RSV in the non-vaccination scenario is €7.7 million (95%CI: 1.7-16.7) and the annual disease burden is estimated at 597 QALYs (95%CI: 133-1319). In case all infants would be offered a potentially safe and effective 3-dose RSV vaccination scheme at the age of 0, 1 and 3 months, the total annual net costs were estimated to increase to €21.2 million, but 544 hospitalizations and 1.5 deaths would be averted. The ICER was estimated at €34,142 (95%CI: € 21,652-€ 87,766) per QALY gained. A reduced dose schedule, seasonal vaccination, and consideration of out-of-pocket expenses all resulted in more favorable ICER values, whereas a reduced vaccine efficacy or a delay in the timing of vaccination resulted in less favorable ICERs. Discussion: Our model used recently updated estimates on the burden of RSV disease in children and it included plausible utilities. However, due to the absence of clinical trial data, a number of crucial assumptions had to be made related to the characteristics of potential RSV vaccine. The outcomes of our modeling exercise show that vaccination of infants against RSV might be cost-effective. However, clinical trial data are warranted. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Postma D.S.,University of Groningen | Postma D.S.,Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD | Kerkhof M.,University of Groningen | Kerkhof M.,Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2011

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) show similarities and substantial differences. The Dutch hypothesis stipulated that asthma and COPD have common genetic and environmental risk factors (allergens, infections, smoking), which ultimately lead to clinical disease depending on the timing and type of environmental exposures (Postma and Boezen, Chest 2004;126:96S-104S). Thus, a particular group of shared genetic factors may lead to asthma when combined with specific environmental factors that are met at a certain stage in life, whereas combination with other environmental factors, or similar environmental factors at a different stage in life, will lead toward COPD. Multiple genes have been found for asthma and COPD. In addition to genes unique to these diseases, some shared genetic risk factors exist. Moreover, there are both common host risk factors and environmental risk factors for asthma and COPD. Here we put forward, based on the data available, that genes that affect lung development in utero and lung growth in early childhood in interaction with environmental detrimental stimuli, such as smoking and air pollution, are contributing to asthma in childhood and the ultimate development of COPD. Additional genes and environmental factors then drive specific immunological mechanisms underlying asthma, and others may contribute to the ultimate development of specific subtypes of COPD(i.e., airway disease with mucous hypersecretion, small airway disease, and emphysema). The genetic predisposition to the derailment of certain pathways may further help to define subgroups of asthma and COPD. In the end this may lead to stratification of patients by their genetic make-up and open new therapeutic prospects.


Van Den Berge M.,University of Groningen | Van Den Berge M.,Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD | Vonk J.M.,University of Groningen | Vonk J.M.,Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD | And 14 more authors.
European Respiratory Journal | Year: 2012

Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is regarded as a hallmark of asthma, yet it is also present in a considerable number of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. Epidemiological studies have shown that BHR provides complementary information to forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) for development and progression of COPD. We hypothesised that the severity of BHR and its longitudinal changes associate with both clinical and airway inflammation measures in COPD. Our hypothesis was tested in 114 COPD patients (median age 62.9 years, smoking exposure 45.9 pack-yrs) participating in the GLUCOLD (Groningen Leiden Universities Corticosteroids in Obstructive Lung Disease) study, which previously showed an improvement in BHR with fluticasone and fluticasone/salmeterol. At baseline, and 6 and 30 months after treatment, we investigated lung function, including body plethysmography, provocative concentration of methacholine causing a 20% fall in FEV1, sputum induction, and bronchial biopsies. By performing both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, we show that BHR in COPD is predominantly associated with residual volume/total lung capacity (a measure of air trapping) and airway inflammation reflected by the number of neutrophils, macrophages and lymphocytes in sputum and bronchial biopsies. Our findings indicate that BHR is an independent trait in COPD and provides important information on phenotype heterogeneity and disease activity. Copyright © 2012 ERS.


Oldenburger A.,University of Groningen | Oldenburger A.,Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD | Roscioni S.S.,University of Groningen | Roscioni S.S.,Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD | And 13 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Cigarette smoke-induced release of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin-8 (IL-8) from inflammatory as well as structural cells in the airways, including airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells, may contribute to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Despite the wide use of pharmacological treatment aimed at increasing intracellular levels of the endogenous suppressor cyclic AMP (cAMP), little is known about its exact mechanism of action. We report here that next to the β 2-agonist fenoterol, direct and specific activation of either exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac) or protein kinase A (PKA) reduced cigarette smoke extract (CSE)-induced IL-8 mRNA expression and protein release by human ASM cells. CSE-induced IκBα-degradation and p65 nuclear translocation, processes that were primarily reversed by Epac activation. Further, CSE increased extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, which was selectively reduced by PKA activation. CSE decreased Epac1 expression, but did not affect Epac2 and PKA expression. Importantly, Epac1 expression was also reduced in lung tissue from COPD patients. In conclusion, Epac and PKA decrease CSE-induced IL-8 release by human ASM cells via inhibition of NF-κB and ERK, respectively, pointing at these cAMP effectors as potential targets for anti-inflammatory therapy in COPD. However, cigarette smoke exposure may reduce anti-inflammatory effects of cAMP elevating agents via down-regulation of Epac1. © 2012 Oldenburger et al.


PubMed | Karolinska Institutet, University of Bristol, University of Turku, University Institute of Health Sciences and 49 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Human molecular genetics | Year: 2015

Common genetic variants have been identified for adult height, but not much is known about the genetics of skeletal growth in early life. To identify common genetic variants that influence fetal skeletal growth, we meta-analyzed 22 genome-wide association studies (Stage 1; N = 28 459). We identified seven independent top single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (P < 1 10(-6)) for birth length, of which three were novel and four were in or near loci known to be associated with adult height (LCORL, PTCH1, GPR126 and HMGA2). The three novel SNPs were followed-up in nine replication studies (Stage 2; N = 11 995), with rs905938 in DC-STAMP domain containing 2 (DCST2) genome-wide significantly associated with birth length in a joint analysis (Stages 1 + 2; = 0.046, SE = 0.008, P = 2.46 10(-8), explained variance = 0.05%). Rs905938 was also associated with infant length (N = 28 228; P = 5.54 10(-4)) and adult height (N = 127 513; P = 1.45 10(-5)). DCST2 is a DC-STAMP-like protein family member and DC-STAMP is an osteoclast cell-fusion regulator. Polygenic scores based on 180 SNPs previously associated with human adult stature explained 0.13% of variance in birth length. The same SNPs explained 2.95% of the variance of infant length. Of the 180 known adult height loci, 11 were genome-wide significantly associated with infant length (SF3B4, LCORL, SPAG17, C6orf173, PTCH1, GDF5, ZNFX1, HHIP, ACAN, HLA locus and HMGA2). This study highlights that common variation in DCST2 influences variation in early growth and adult height.

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