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Himes B.E.,University of Pennsylvania | Koziol-White C.,University of Pennsylvania | Johnson M.,University of Pennsylvania | Nikolos C.,University of Pennsylvania | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Globally, asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory disease affecting over 300 million people. Some asthma patients remain poorly controlled by conventional therapies and experience more life-threatening exacerbations. Vitamin D, as an adjunct therapy, may improve disease control in severe asthma patients since vitamin D enhances glucocorticoid responsiveness and mitigates airway smooth muscle (ASM) hyperplasia. We sought to characterize differences in transcriptome responsiveness to vitamin D between fatal asthma- and non-asthma-derived ASM by using RNA-Seq to measure ASM transcript expression in five donors with fatal asthma and ten non-asthma-derived donors at baseline and with vitamin D treatment. Based on a Benjamini-Hochberg corrected p-value < 0.05, 838 genes were differentially expressed in fatal asthma vs. non-asthma-derived ASM at baseline, and vitamin D treatment compared to baseline conditions induced differential expression of 711 and 867 genes in fatal asthma- and non-asthma-derived ASM, respectively. Functional gene categories that were highly represented in all groups included extracellular matrix, and responses to steroid hormone stimuli and wounding. Genes differentially expressed by vitamin D also included cytokine and chemokine activity categories. Follow-up qPCR and individual analyte ELISA experiments were conducted for four cytokines (i.e. CCL2, CCL13, CXCL12, IL8) to measure TNFα-induced changes by asthma status and vitamin D treatment. Vitamin D inhibited TNFα-induced IL8 protein secretion levels to a comparable degree in fatal asthma- and non-asthma-derived ASM even though IL8 had significantly higher baseline levels in fatal asthma-derived ASM. Our findings identify vitamin D-specific gene targets and provide transcriptomic data to explore differences in the ASM of fatal asthma- and non-asthma-derived donors. © 2015 Himes et al.


PubMed | Partners Personalized Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of personalized medicine | Year: 2016

The integration of electronic medical records (EMRs) and genomic research has become a major component of efforts to advance personalized and precision medicine. The Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) network, initiated in 2007, is an NIH-funded consortium devoted to genomic discovery and implementation research by leveraging biorepositories linked to EMRs. In its most recent phase, eMERGE III, the network is focused on facilitating implementation of genomic medicine by detecting and disclosing rare pathogenic variants in clinically relevant genes. Partners Personalized Medicine (PPM) is a center dedicated to translating personalized medicine into clinical practice within Partners HealthCare. One component of the PPM is the Partners Healthcare Biobank, a biorepository comprising broadly consented DNA samples linked to the Partners longitudinal EMR. In 2015, PPM joined the eMERGE Phase III network. Here we describe the elements of the eMERGE clinical center at PPM, including plans for genomic discovery using EMR phenotypes, evaluation of rare variant penetrance and pleiotropy, and a novel randomized trial of the impact of returning genetic results to patients and clinicians.

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