Haartman Institute

Helsinki, Finland

Haartman Institute

Helsinki, Finland
Time filter
Source Type

Lundkvist A.,Swedish Institute for Communicable Diseases | Lundkvist A.,Karolinska Institutet | Lundkvist A.,Uppsala University | Verner-Carlsson J.,Swedish Institute for Communicable Diseases | And 5 more authors.
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2013

We report the first detection of Seoul hantavirus (SEOV) in a pet rat in Sweden. SEOV-specific antibodies were detected in the pet rat blood by focus reduction neutralising test (FRNT), and SEOV RNA in lung tissue was confirmed by reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) followed by sequencing. The discovery follows the recent reports of SEOV infected pet rats, as well as associated human cases of severe haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), in England and Wales.

Ahlqvist K.J.,Research Programs Unit | Hamalainen R.H.,Research Programs Unit | Yatsuga S.,Research Programs Unit | Uutela M.,Research Programs Unit | And 18 more authors.
Cell Metabolism | Year: 2012

Somatic stem cell (SSC) dysfunction is typical for different progeroid phenotypes in mice with genomic DNA repair defects. MtDNA mutagenesis in mice with defective Polg exonuclease activity also leads to progeroid symptoms, by an unknown mechanism. We found that Polg-Mutator mice had neural (NSC) and hematopoietic progenitor (HPC) dysfunction already from embryogenesis. NSC self-renewal was decreased in vitro, and quiescent NSC amounts were reduced in vivo. HPCs showed abnormal lineage differentiation leading to anemia and lymphopenia. N-acetyl-L-cysteine treatment rescued both NSC and HPC abnormalities, suggesting that subtle ROS/redox changes, induced by mtDNA mutagenesis, modulate SSC function. Our results show that mtDNA mutagenesis affected SSC function early but manifested as respiratory chain deficiency in nondividing tissues in old age. Deletor mice, having mtDNA deletions in postmitotic cells and no progeria, had normal SSCs. We propose that SSC compartment is sensitive to mtDNA mutagenesis, and that mitochondrial dysfunction in SSCs can underlie progeroid manifestations. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Elo J.M.,Research Programs Unit | Yadavalli S.S.,Ohio State University | Euro L.,Research Programs Unit | Isohanni P.,Research Programs Unit | And 16 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2012

Next-generation sequencing has turned out to be a powerful tool to uncover genetic basis of childhood mitochondrial disorders. We utilized whole-exome analysis and discovered novel compound heterozygous mutations in FARS2 (mitochondrial phenylalanyl transfer RNA synthetase), encoding the mitochondrial phenylalanyl transfer RNA (tRNA) synthetase (mtPheRS) in two patients with fatal epileptic mitochondrial encephalopathy. The mutations affected highly conserved amino acids, p.I329T and p.D391V. Recently, a homozygous FARS2 variant p.Y144C was reported in a Saudi girl with mitochondrial encephalopathy, but the pathogenic role of the variant remained open. Clinical features, including postnatal onset, catastrophic epilepsy, lactic acidemia, early lethality and neuroimaging findings of the patients with FARS2 variants, resembled each other closely, and neuropathology was consistent with Alpers syndrome. Our structural analysis of mtPheRS predicted that p.I329T weakened ATP binding in the aminoacylation domain, and in vitro studies with recombinant mutant protein showed decreased affinity of this variant to ATP. Furthermore, p.D391V and p.Y144C were predicted to disrupt synthetase function by interrupting the rotation of the tRNA anticodon stem-binding domain from a closed to an open form. In vitro characterization indicated reduced affinity of p.D391V mutant protein to phenylalanine, whereas p.Y144C disrupted tRNA binding. The stability of p.I329T and p.D391V mutants in a refolding assay was impaired. Our results imply that the three FARS2 mutations directly impair aminoacylation function and stability of mtPheRS, leading to a decrease in overall tRNA charging capacity. This study establishes a new genetic cause of infantile mitochondrial Alpers encephalopathy and reports a new mitochondrial aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase as a cause of mitochondrial disease. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Pietikainen J.,Haartman Institute | Meri T.,Haartman Institute | Blom A.M.,Skåne University Hospital | Meri S.,Haartman Institute
Molecular Immunology | Year: 2010

The Lyme disease spirochetes, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii, are tick-borne pathogens that can cause chronic disseminated infections. To survive in the human host borreliae need to evade the immune system. It is already well known that B. burgdorferi ss. and B. afzelii bind the complement (C) alternative pathway inhibitor factor H from serum using OspE and CRASP-1/Bba68 proteins to escape C attack. In the presence of natural antibodies and in chronic infections, when specific antibodies develop, borreliae have to protect themselves from antibody-induced classical pathway C attack. In this study we demonstrate binding of the classical pathway inhibitor, C4b-binding protein (C4bp), to three genospecies of B. burgdorferi sensu lato. Binding was strongest to B. garinii, which has been found to be the weakest factor H binder. The bacteria bound both purified 125I-labeled C4bp and C4bp from serum. Unlabeled C4bp competed for binding with 125I-C4bp, whereas BSA had no effect. Binding was salt-sensitive and inhibited by C4b and partially by heparin. C4bp maintained its cofactor activity for factor I in cleaving C4b when bound to the bacterial surface. Ligand blotting analysis of whole cell lysates and fractionated outer cell membranes of the bacteria suggested one major receptor of approximately 43 kDa (P43) for C4bp in B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. Binding of C4bp may thus allow Lyme disease borreliae to escape activation of the classical C pathway and allow chronic infections in humans even in the presence of specific antibodies. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Leimann A.,University of Tartu | Knuuttila A.,Haartman Institute | Maran T.,Species Conservation Laboratory | Maran T.,Estonian University of Life Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Virus Research | Year: 2015

Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV) causes a severe disease called Aleutian disease (AD). AMDV infects primarily mustelids, but also other mammal species. Recent evidence suggests that AMDV may also affect humans. To examine AMDV in different wild animals and in farmed mink in Estonia, we collected 203 blood samples from eight mammal species in 2007-2010, of which 152 were from species living in the wild (American mink, European mink, pine marten, polecat, raccoon dog, badger, otter, and stone marten) and 51 were from farmed mink. AMDV was tested by PCR amplification of NS1 and VP2 gene fragments, and was only detected in 4 free-ranging (14.8%) and 11 farmed (21.6%) American mink. No other species was positive for AMDV. In addition, the VP2 gene fragment was sequenced for 14 farmed mink isolates from Finland for which NS1 sequences were already publicly available. None of the four Estonian AMDV isolates found in free-ranging mink had identical sequences with farmed mink. In fact, isolates from free-ranging and farmed mink belonged to different clades, suggesting that the analyzed virus isolates circulating in nature are not from escapees of current farms.Two global phylogenies were built: one based on NS1 (336. bp, 151 taxa from nine countries); the other based on a combined NS1-VP2 dataset (871. bp, 40 taxa from six countries). AMDV genotypes did not cluster according to their geographic origin, suggesting that transport of farm mink from multiple source farms has been intense. Nevertheless, one subclade in both phylogenies was comprised solely of isolates from farmed mink, while several subclades comprised isolates only from free-ranging mink, indicating that some isolates may circulate more in the wild and others among farm animals. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Syrjala S.O.,Haartman Institute | Keranen M.A.,Haartman Institute | Tuuminen R.,Haartman Institute | Nykanen A.I.,Haartman Institute | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation | Year: 2010

BACKGROUND: Preservation injury decreases patient survival and promotes the development of cardiac allograft vasculopathy. We investigated the sequential effects of hypothermic preservation on ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), subsequent innate immune activation, and adaptive immune response in rat cardiac allografts. METHODS: Allografts were transplanted from fully major histocompatibility complex-mismatched Dark Agouti to Wistar Furth rats without pre-operative hypothermia or after 4 hours of hypothermic preservation. Recipients received cyclosporine A immunosuppression. The allografts were recovered at 6 hours (n = 6, 7), 24 hours (n = 6), 10 days (n = 5), and 8 weeks (n = 5). Immunohistochemical, histologic, and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis was performed. RESULTS: In IRI, significantly increased messenger RNA (mRNA) levels for Toll-like receptor 4, hyaluronan synthases (HAS)1-2 (p = 0.03), high-mobility group box 1 (p = 0.05), CD80/83 (p = 0.01, p = 0.048), and the cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (p = 0.004), interferon-γ (p = 0.012), and interleukin (IL)-6 (p = 0.019) were seen in allografts subjected to hypothermic preservation. During established alloimmune response, allografts subjected to hypothermic preservation expressed prominent infiltration of CD4+ T cells (p = 0.043) and dendritic cells (p = 0.029) and significantly up-regulated mRNA levels of CD80 (p = 0.036), chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 21 (p = 0.008), C-C chemokine receptor type 7 (p = 0.003), vascular endothelial growth factor-C (p = 0.016), and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (p = 0.02). These allografts also showed prominent mRNA upregulation of Foxp3 (p = 0.014), IL-17 (p = 0.038), and IL-23 (p = 0.043). Preservation significantly increased the incidence and intensity of allograft arteriosclerosis (p < 0.05) and cardiac fibrosis (p = 0.003) at 8 weeks. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that preservation injury induced a cascade leading to an innate immune response that modulated the adaptive immune response towards Th17 rather than Th1 T-cell response in rat cardiac allografts and ultimately enhanced cardiac fibrosis and arterial occlusion. Our results also suggest that this immune response was not regulated by the calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine A. © 2010 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. All rights reserved.

Wennerstrom A.,Haartman Institute | Vlachopoulou E.,Haartman Institute | Lahtela L.E.,Haartman Institute | Paakkanen R.,Haartman Institute | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC, 6p21) codes for traditional HLA and other host response related genes. The polymorphic HLA-DRB1 gene in MHC Class II has been associated with several complex diseases. In this study we focus on MHC haplotype structures in the Finnish population. We explore the variability of extended HLA-DRB1 haplotypes in relation to the other traditional HLA genes and a selected group of MHC class III genes. A total of 150 healthy Finnish individuals were included in the study. Subjects were genotyped for HLA alleles (HLA-A, -B, -DRB1, -DQB1, and -DPB1). The polymorphism of TNF, LTA, C4, BTNL2 and HLA-DRA genes was studied with 74 SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphism). The C4A and C4B gene copy numbers and a 2-bp silencing insertion at exon 29 in C4A gene were analysed with quantitative genomic realtime-PCR. The allele frequencies for each locus were calculated and haplotypes were constructed using both the traditional HLA alleles and SNP blocks. The most frequent Finnish A-B-DR -haplotype, uncommon in elsewhere in Europe, was A*03-B*35-DRB1*01:01. The second most common haplotype was a common European ancestral haplotype AH 8.1 (A*01-B*08-DRB1*03: 01). Extended haplotypes containing HLA-B, TNF block, C4 and HLA-DPB1 strongly increased the number of HLA-DRB1 haplotypes showing variability in the extended HLA-DRB1 haplotype structures. On the contrary, BTNL2 block and HLA-DQB1 were more conserved showing linkage with the HLA-DRB1 alleles. We show that the use of HLA-DRB1 haplotypes rather than single HLA-DRB1 alleles is advantageous when studying the polymorphisms and LD patters of the MHC region. For disease association studies the HLA-DRB1 haplotypes with various MHC markers allows us to cluster haplotypes with functionally important gene variants such as C4 deficiency and cytokines TNF and LTA, and provides hypotheses for further assessment. Our study corroborates the importance of studying population-specific MHC haplotypes. © 2013 Wennerström et al.

Huhtamo E.,Haartman Institute | Hasu E.,Haartman Institute | Uzcategui N.Y.,Haartman Institute | Erra E.,University of Helsinki | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Virology | Year: 2010

Background: The increased traveling to dengue endemic regions and the numerous epidemics have led to a rise in imported dengue. The laboratory diagnosis of acute dengue requires several types of tests and often paired samples are needed for obtaining reliable results. Although several diagnostic methods are available, proper comparative data on their performance are lacking. Objectives: To compare the performance of novel methods including a novel pan-DENV real-time RT-PCR and a commercially available NS1 capture-EIA in regard to IgM detection for optimizing the early diagnosis of DENV in travelers. Study design: A panel of 99 selected early phase serum samples of dengue patients was studied by real-time RT-PCR, NS1 antigen ELISA, IgM-EIA, IgG-IFA and cell culture virus isolation. Results: The novel real-time RT-PCR was shown specific and sensitive for detection of DENV-1-4 RNA and suitable for diagnostic use. The diagnostic rate using combination of RNA and IgM detection was 99% and using NS1 and IgM detection 95.9%. The results of RNA and NS1 antigen detection disagreed in 15.5% of samples that had only RNA or NS1 antigen detected. Conclusions: The diagnostic rates of early samples are higher when either RNA or NS1 antigen detection is combined with IgM detection. Besides the differences in the RNA and NS1 detection assays, the observed discrepancy of results could suggest individual variation or differences in timing of these markers in patient serum. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Hubert K.,University of Würzburg | Pawlik M.-C.,University of Würzburg | Claus H.,University of Würzburg | Jarva H.,Haartman Institute | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Neisseria meningitidis employs polysaccharides and outer membrane proteins to cope with human serum complement attack. To screen for factors influencing serum resistance, an assay was developed based on a colorimetric serum bactericidal assay. The screening used a genetically modified sequence type (ST)-41/44 clonal complex (cc) strain lacking LPS sialylation, polysaccharide capsule, the factor H binding protein (fHbp) and MutS, a protein of the DNA repair mechanism. After killing of >99.9% of the bacterial cells by serum treatment, the colorimetric assay was used to screen 1000 colonies, of which 35 showed enhanced serum resistance. Three mutant classes were identified. In the first class of mutants, enhanced expression of Opc was identified. Opc expression was associated with vitronectin binding and reduced membrane attack complex deposition confirming recent observations. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) immunotype switch from immunotype L3 to L8/L1 by lgtA and lgtC phase variation represented the second class. Isogenic mutant analysis demonstrated that in ST-41/44 cc strains the L8/L1 immunotype was more serum resistant than the L3 immunotype. Consecutive analysis revealed that the immunotypes L8 and L1 were frequently observed in ST-41/44 cc isolates from both carriage and disease. Immunotype switch to L8/L1 is therefore suggested to contribute to the adaptive capacity of this meningococcal lineage. The third mutant class displayed a pilE allelic exchange associated with enhanced autoaggregation. The mutation of the C terminal hypervariable region D of PilE included a residue previously associated with increased pilus bundle formation. We suggest that autoaggregation reduced the surface area accessible to serum complement and protected from killing. The study highlights the ability of meningococci to adapt to environmental stress by phase variation and intrachromosomal recombination affecting subcapsular antigens. © 2012 Hubert et al.

Nakao M.,Asahikawa University | Yanagida T.,Asahikawa University | Konyaev S.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Lavikainen A.,Haartman Institute | And 3 more authors.
Parasitology | Year: 2013

SUMMARY The mitochondrial genomes of the genus Echinococcus have already been sequenced for most species and genotypes to reconstruct their phylogeny. However, two important taxa, E. felidis and E. canadensis G10 genotype (Fennoscandian cervid strain), were lacking in the published phylogeny. In this study, the phylogeny based on mitochondrial genome sequences was completed with these taxa. The present phylogeny highly supports the previous one, with an additional topology showing sister relationships between E. felidis and E. granulosus sensu stricto and between E. canadensis G10 and E. canadensis G6/G7 (closely related genotypes referred to as camel and pig strains, respectively). The latter relationship has a crucial implication for the species status of E. canadensis. The cervid strain is composed of two genotypes (G8 and G10), but the present phylogeny clearly suggests that they are paraphyletic. The paraphyly was also demonstrated by analysing the complete nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) of E. canadensis genotypes from various localities. A haplotype network analysis using the short cox1 sequences from worldwide isolates clearly showed a close relatedness of G10 to G6/G7. Domestic and sylvatic life cycles based on the host specificity of E. canadensis strains have been important for epidemiological considerations. However, the taxonomic treatment of the strains as separate species or subspecies is invalid from a molecular cladistic viewpoint. © 2013 Cambridge University Press.

Loading Haartman Institute collaborators
Loading Haartman Institute collaborators