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Sipos P.I.,University of Manchester | Rens W.,University of Cambridge | Schlecht H.L.,National Genetics Reference Laboratory Manchester | Fan X.,University of Alberta | And 8 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2013

The potency of adult-derived circulating progenitor endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs) is drastically surpassed by their fetal counterparts. Human pregnancy is associated with robust intensification of blood flow and vascular expansion in the uterus, crucial for placental perfusion and fetal supply. Here, we investigate whether fetal ECFCs transmigrate to maternal bloodstream and home to locations of maternal vasculogenesis, primarily the pregnant uterus. In the first instance, endothelial-like cells, originating from mouse fetuses expressing paternal eGFP, were identified within uterine endothelia. Subsequently, LacZ or enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP)-labeled human fetal ECFCs, transplanted into immunodeficient (NOD/SCID) fetuses on D15.5 pregnancy, showed similar integration into the mouse uterus by term. Mature endothelial controls (human umbilical vein endothelial cells), similarly introduced, were unequivocally absent. In humans, SRY was detected in 6 of 12 myometrial microvessels obtained from women delivering male babies. The copy number was calculated at 175 [IQR 149-471] fetal cells per millimeter square endothelium, constituting 12.5% of maternal vessel lumina. Cross-sections of similar human vessels, hybridized for Y-chromosome, positively identified endothelial-associated fetal cells. It appears that through ECFC donation, fetuses assist maternal uterine vascular expansion in pregnancy, potentiating placental perfusion and consequently their own fetal supply. In addition to fetal growth, this cellular mechanism holds implications for materno-fetal immune interactions and long-term maternal vascular health. © AlphaMed Press.

Mattocks C.J.,National Genetics Reference Laboratory Wessex | Morris M.A.,Geneva Lab | Matthijs G.,Center for Human Genetics EuroGentest | Swinnen E.,Center for Human Genetics EuroGentest | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2010

The validation and verification of laboratory methods and procedures before their use in clinical testing is essential for providing a safe and useful service to clinicians and patients. This paper outlines the principles of validation and verification in the context of clinical human molecular genetic testing. We describe implementation processes, types of tests and their key validation components, and suggest some relevant statistical approaches that can be used by individual laboratories to ensure that tests are conducted to defined standards. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Ramsden S.C.,National Genetics Reference Laboratory Manchester | Clayton-Smith J.,St Marys Hospital | Birch R.,Yorkhill NHS Trust | Buiting K.,Universitatsklinikum Essen
BMC Medical Genetics | Year: 2010

Background: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and Angelman syndrome (AS) are clinically distinct neurodevelopmental genetic disorders that map to 15q11-q13. The primary phenotypes are attributable to loss of expression of imprinted genes within this region which can arise by means of a number of mechanisms. The most sensitive single approach to diagnosing both PWS and AS is to study methylation patterns within 15q11-q13; however many techniques exist for this purpose. Given the diversity of techniques available, there is a need for consensus testing and reporting guidelines.Methods: Testing and reporting guidelines have been drawn up and agreed in accordance with the procedures of the UK Clinical Molecular Genetics Society and the European Molecular Genetics Quality Network.Results: A practical set of molecular genetic testing and reporting guidelines has been developed for these two disorders. In addition, advice is given on appropriate reporting policies, including advice on test sensitivity and recurrence risks. In considering test sensitivity, the possibility of differential diagnoses is discussed.Conclusion: An agreed set of practice guidelines has been developed for the diagnostic molecular genetic testing of PWS and AS. © 2010 Ramsden et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Barrow E.,Royal Infirmary | Jagger E.,Royal Infirmary | Brierley J.,Royal Infirmary | Wallace A.,National Genetics Reference Laboratory Manchester | And 4 more authors.
Histopathology | Year: 2010

Aims: To assess semiquantitative immunohistochemistry as used in the diagnosis of Lynch syndrome. Methods and Results: Tumour sections from 51 mutation carriers and 17 controls were stained with antibodies against MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2. Intensity of immunoreactivity and percentage positivity were recorded on scales of 0-3 and 0-4, respectively. These scores were multiplied for a score of 0-12 per slide. Receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) curves of staining performance for the identification of mutation carriers were evaluated, and optimum cut-offs calculated. The area under the MLH1 ROC curve was 0.981 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.952, 1.000]. The area under the MSH2 ROC curve was 0.899 (95% CI 0.796, 1.000). For MLH1 staining, a score ≤4 gives a sensitivity of 100.0% (95% CI 84.0, 100.0) and a specificity of 91.5% (95% CI 79.6, 97.6) for identifying MLH1 mutation carriers. For MSH2 staining, a score ≤4 gives a sensitivity of 87.5% (95% CI 61.7, 98.4) and specificity of 88.5% (95% CI 76.5, 95.6) for identifying MSH2 mutation carriers. Conclusions: This study supports a semiquantitative slide assessment method. Protein expression may occur in the context of known pathogenic mutations, a potential pitfall in the screening process. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Limited.

Briggs M.D.,Northumbria University | Brock J.,National Genetics Reference Laboratory Manchester | Ramsden S.C.,National Genetics Reference Laboratory Manchester | Bell P.A.,Northumbria University
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2014

Pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) and autosomal dominant multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED) are chondrodysplasias resulting in short-limbed dwarfism, joint pain and stiffness and early onset osteoarthritis. All PSACH, and the largest proportion of MED, result from mutations in cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). The first mutations in COMP were identified in 1995 in patients with both PSACH and MED and subsequently there has been over 30 publications describing COMP mutations in at least 250 PSACH-MED patients. However, despite these discoveries, a methodical analysis of the relationship between COMP mutations and phenotypes has not been undertaken. In particular, there has, to date, been little correlation between the type and location of a COMP mutation and the resulting phenotype of PSACH or MED. To determine if genotype to phenotype correlations could be derived for COMP, we collated 300 COMP mutations, including 25 recently identified novel mutations. The results of this analysis demonstrate that mutations in specific residues and/or regions of the type III repeats of COMP are significantly associated with either PSACH or MED. This newly derived genotype to phenotype correlation may aid in determining the prognosis of PSACH and MED, including the prediction of disease severity, and in the long term guide genetic counselling and contribute to the clinical management of patients with these diseases. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

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