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Ahola K.,Finnish Institute of Occupational Health | Siren I.,University of Helsinki | Kivimaki M.,Finnish Institute of Occupational Health | Kivimaki M.,University College London | And 9 more authors.

Background: Psychological stress is suggested to accelerate the rate of biological aging. We investigated whether work-related exhaustion, an indicator of prolonged work stress, is associated with accelerated biological aging, as indicated by shorter leukocyte telomeres, that is, the DNA-protein complexes that cap chromosomal ends in cells. Methods: We used data from a representative sample of the Finnish working-age population, the Health 2000 Study. Our sample consisted of 2911 men and women aged 30-64. Work-related exhaustion was assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey. We determined relative leukocyte telomere length using a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) -based method. Results: After adjustment for age and sex, individuals with severe exhaustion had leukocyte telomeres on average 0.043 relative units shorter (standard error of the mean 0.016) than those with no exhaustion (p = 0.009). The association between exhaustion and relative telomere length remained significant after additional adjustment for marital and socioeconomic status, smoking, body mass index, and morbidities (adjusted difference 0.044 relative units, standard error of the mean 0.017, p = 0.008). Conclusions: These data suggest that work-related exhaustion is related to the acceleration of the rate of biological aging. This hypothesis awaits confirmation in a prospective study measuring changes in relative telomere length over time. © 2012 Ahola et al. Source

Arppe R.,University of Turku | Mattsson L.,University of Turku | Mattsson L.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | Korpi K.,University of Turku | And 5 more authors.
Analytical Chemistry

Red blood cell folate is measured for folate deficiency diagnosis, because it reflects the long-term folate level in tissues, whereas serum folate only represents the dietary intake. Direct homogeneous assay from whole blood would be ideal but conventional fluorescence techniques in blood suffer from high background and strong absorption of light at ultraviolet and visible wavelengths. In this study, a new photon upconversion-based homogeneous assay for whole blood folate is introduced based on resonance energy transfer from upconverting nanophosphor donor coated with folate binding protein to a near-infrared fluorescent acceptor dye conjugated to folate analogue. The sensitized acceptor emission is measured at 740 nm upon 980 nm excitation. Thus, optically transparent wavelengths are utilized for both donor excitation and sensitized acceptor emission to minimize the sample absorption, and anti-Stokes detection completely eliminates the Stokes-shifted autofluorescence. The IC50 value of the assay was 6.0 nM and the limit of detection (LOD) was 1 nM. The measurable concentration range was 2 orders of magnitude between 1.0-100 nM, corresponding to 40-4000 nM folate in the whole blood sample. Recoveries of added folic acid were 112%-114%. A good correlation was found when compared to a competitive heterogeneous assay based on the DELFIA-technology. The introduced assay provides a simple and fast method for whole blood folate measurement. © 2014 American Chemical Society. Source

Pillas D.,Imperial College London | Pillas D.,Economic and Social Research Council | Pillas D.,University College London | Hoggart C.J.,Imperial College London | And 39 more authors.
PLoS Genetics

Tooth development is a highly heritable process which relates to other growth and developmental processes, and which interacts with the development of the entire craniofacial complex. Abnormalities of tooth development are common, with tooth agenesis being the most common developmental anomaly in humans. We performed a genome-wide association study of time to first tooth eruption and number of teeth at one year in 4,564 individuals from the 1966 Northern Finland Birth Cohort (NFBC1966) and 1,518 individuals from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). We identified 5 loci at P<5×10 -8, and 5 with suggestive association (P<5×10-6). The loci included several genes with links to tooth and other organ development (KCNJ2, EDA, HOXB2, RAD51L1, IGF2BP1, HMGA2, MSRB3). Genes at four of the identified loci are implicated in the development of cancer. A variant within the HOXB gene cluster associated with occlusion defects requiring orthodontic treatment by age 31 years. © 2010 Pillas et al. Source

Sysi-Aho M.,VTT Technical Research Center of Finland | Ermolov A.,Aalto University | Gopalacharyulu P.V.,VTT Technical Research Center of Finland | Tripathi A.,Aalto University | And 21 more authors.
PLoS Computational Biology

Recent evidence from serum metabolomics indicates that specific metabolic disturbances precede β-cell autoimmunity in humans and can be used to identify those children who subsequently progress to type 1 diabetes. The mechanisms behind these disturbances are unknown. Here we show the specificity of the pre-autoimmune metabolic changes, as indicated by their conservation in a murine model of type 1 diabetes. We performed a study in non-obese prediabetic (NOD) mice which recapitulated the design of the human study and derived the metabolic states from longitudinal lipidomics data. We show that female NOD mice who later progress to autoimmune diabetes exhibit the same lipidomic pattern as prediabetic children. These metabolic changes are accompanied by enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, normoglycemia, upregulation of insulinotropic amino acids in islets, elevated plasma leptin and adiponectin, and diminished gut microbial diversity of the Clostridium leptum group. Together, the findings indicate that autoimmune diabetes is preceded by a state of increased metabolic demands on the islets resulting in elevated insulin secretion and suggest alternative metabolic related pathways as therapeutic targets to prevent diabetes. © 2011 Sysi-Aho et al. Source

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