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See detailInfluence of COMT Genotype on Antero-Posterior Cortical Functional Connectivity Underlying Interference Resolution
Jaspar, Mathieu ULg; Manard, Marine ULg; DIDEBERG, Vinciane ULg et al

in Cerebral Cortex (in press)

Genetic variability related to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene (Val158Met) has received increasing attention as a possible modulator of executive functioning and its neural correlates ... [more ▼]

Genetic variability related to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene (Val158Met) has received increasing attention as a possible modulator of executive functioning and its neural correlates. However, this attention has generally centred on the prefrontal cortices because of the well-known direct impact of COMT enzyme on these cerebral regions. In this study, we were interested in the modulating effect of COMT genotype on anterior and posterior brain areas underlying interference resolution during a Stroop task. More specifically, we were interested in the functional connectivity between the right inferior frontal operculum (IFop), an area frequently associated with inhibitory efficiency, and posterior brain regions involved in reading/naming processes (the two main non-executive determinants of the Stroop effect). The Stroop task was administered during fMRI scanning to three groups of 15 young adults divided according to their COMT Val158Met genotype [Val/Val (VV), Val/Met (VM) and Met/Met (MM)]. Results indicate greater activity in the right IFop and the left middle temporal gyrus (MTG) in homozygous VV individuals than in Met allele carriers. In addition, the VV group exhibited stronger positive functional connectivity between these two brain regions and stronger negative connectivity between the right IFop and left lingual gyrus. These results confirm the impact of COMT genotype on frontal function. They also strongly suggest that differences in frontal activity influence posterior brain regions related to a non-executive component of the task. Especially, changes in functional connectivity between anterior and posterior brain areas might correspond to compensatory processes for performing the task efficiently when the available dopamine level is low. [less ▲]

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See detailLe cancer thyroïdien papillaire familial (FNMTC): études cliniques et génétiques chez 8 familles
VALDES SOCIN, Hernan Gonzalo ULg; Daly, Adrian ULg; Burlacu, C et al

in Abstract book - Annales d'Endocrinologie : 31ème Congrès de la Société Française d'Endocrinologie, Lyon 5-8 novembre 2014 (2014, October)

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See detailNeoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer induces miR-34a and miR-122 expression
FRERES, Pierre ULg; JOSSE, Claire ULg; Bovy, Nicolas ULg et al

in Journal of Cellular Physiology (2014)

Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have been extensively studied in cancer as biomarkers but little is known regarding the influence of anti-cancer drugs on their expression levels. In this article, we ... [more ▼]

Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have been extensively studied in cancer as biomarkers but little is known regarding the influence of anti-cancer drugs on their expression levels. In this article, we describe the modifications of circulating miRNAs profile after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for breast cancer. The expression of 188 circulating miRNAs was assessed in the plasma of 25 patients before and after NAC by RT-qPCR. Two miRNAs, miR- 34a and miR-122, that were significantly increased after NAC, were measured in tumor tissue before and after chemotherapy in 7 patients with pathological partial response (pPR) to NAC. These 2 chemotherapy-induced miRNAs were further studied in the plasma of 22 patients with adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) as well as in 12 patients who did not receive any chemotherapy. Twenty-five plasma miRNAs were modified by NAC. Among these miRNAs, miR-34a and miR-122 were highly upregulated, notably in pPR patients with aggressive breast cancer. Furthermore, miR-34a level was elevated in the remaining tumor tissue after NAC treatment. Studying the kinetics of circulating miR-34a and miR-122 expression during NAC revealed that their levels were especially increased after anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Comparisons of the plasma miRNA profiles after NAC and AC suggested that chemotherapy-induced miRNAs originated from both tumoral and non-tumoral compartments. This study is the first to demonstrate that NAC specifically induces miRNA expression in plasma and tumor tissue, which might be involved in the anti-tumor effects of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. [less ▲]

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See detailReproduction, smell, and neurodevelopmental disorders: genetic defects in different hypogonadotropic hypogonadal syndromes.
VALDES SOCIN, Hernan Gonzalo ULg; Rubio Almanza, Matilde; Tome Fernandez-Ladreda, Mariana et al

in Frontiers in endocrinology (2014), 5

The neuroendocrine control of reproduction in mammals is governed by a neural hypothalamic network of nearly 1500 gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secreting neurons that modulate the activity of the ... [more ▼]

The neuroendocrine control of reproduction in mammals is governed by a neural hypothalamic network of nearly 1500 gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secreting neurons that modulate the activity of the reproductive axis across life. Congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH) is a clinical syndrome that is characterized by partial or complete pubertal failure. HH may result from inadequate hypothalamic GnRH axis activation, or a failure of pituitary gonadotropin secretion/effects. In man, several genes that participate in olfactory and GnRH neuronal migration are thought to interact during the embryonic life. A growing number of mutations in different genes are responsible for congenital HH. Based on the presence or absence of olfaction dysfunction, HH is divided in two syndromes: HH with olfactory alterations [Kallmann syndrome (KS)] and idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) with normal smell (normosmic IHH). KS is a heterogeneous disorder affecting 1 in 5000 males, with a three to fivefold of males over females. KS is associated with mutations in KAL1, FGFR1/FGF8, FGF17, IL17RD, PROK2/PROKR2, NELF, CHD7, HS6ST1, FLRT3, SPRY4, DUSP6, SEMA3A, NELF, and WDR11 genes that are related to defects in neuronal migration. These reproductive and olfactory deficits include a variable non-reproductive phenotype, including sensorineural deafness, coloboma, bimanual synkinesis, craniofacial abnormalities, and/or renal agenesis. Interestingly, defects in PROKR2, FGFR1, FGF8, CHD7, DUSP6, and WDR11 genes are also associated with normosmic IHH, whereas mutations in KISS1/KISSR, TAC3/TACR3, GNRH1/GNRHR, LEP/LEPR, HESX1, FSHB, and LHB are only present in patients with normosmic IHH. In this paper, we summarize the reproductive, neurodevelopmental, and genetic aspects of HH in human pathology. [less ▲]

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See detailReproduction, smell, and neurodevelopmental disorders: genetic defects in different hypogonadotropic hypogonadal syndromes.
VALDES SOCIN, Hernan Gonzalo ULg; Rubio Almanza, Matilde; Tome Fernandez-Ladreda, Mariana et al

in Frontiers in endocrinology (2014), 5

The neuroendocrine control of reproduction in mammals is governed by a neural hypothalamic network of nearly 1500 gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secreting neurons that modulate the activity of the ... [more ▼]

The neuroendocrine control of reproduction in mammals is governed by a neural hypothalamic network of nearly 1500 gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secreting neurons that modulate the activity of the reproductive axis across life. Congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH) is a clinical syndrome that is characterized by partial or complete pubertal failure. HH may result from inadequate hypothalamic GnRH axis activation, or a failure of pituitary gonadotropin secretion/effects. In man, several genes that participate in olfactory and GnRH neuronal migration are thought to interact during the embryonic life. A growing number of mutations in different genes are responsible for congenital HH. Based on the presence or absence of olfaction dysfunction, HH is divided in two syndromes: HH with olfactory alterations [Kallmann syndrome (KS)] and idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) with normal smell (normosmic IHH). KS is a heterogeneous disorder affecting 1 in 5000 males, with a three to fivefold of males over females. KS is associated with mutations in KAL1, FGFR1/FGF8, FGF17, IL17RD, PROK2/PROKR2, NELF, CHD7, HS6ST1, FLRT3, SPRY4, DUSP6, SEMA3A, NELF, and WDR11 genes that are related to defects in neuronal migration. These reproductive and olfactory deficits include a variable non-reproductive phenotype, including sensorineural deafness, coloboma, bimanual synkinesis, craniofacial abnormalities, and/or renal agenesis. Interestingly, defects in PROKR2, FGFR1, FGF8, CHD7, DUSP6, and WDR11 genes are also associated with normosmic IHH, whereas mutations in KISS1/KISSR, TAC3/TACR3, GNRH1/GNRHR, LEP/LEPR, HESX1, FSHB, and LHB are only present in patients with normosmic IHH. In this paper, we summarize the reproductive, neurodevelopmental, and genetic aspects of HH in human pathology. [less ▲]

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See detailArray-CGH analysis in Rwandan patients presenting development delay/intellectual disability with multiple congenital anomalies.
Uwineza, Annette; CABERG, Jean-Hubert ULg; Hitayezu, Janvier et al

in BMC medical genetics (2014), 15(1), 79

BACKGROUND: Array-CGH is considered as the first-tier investigation used to identify copy number variations. Right now, there is no available data about the genetic etiology of patients with development ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Array-CGH is considered as the first-tier investigation used to identify copy number variations. Right now, there is no available data about the genetic etiology of patients with development delay/intellectual disability and congenital malformation in East Africa. METHODS: Array comparative genomic hybridization was performed in 50 Rwandan patients with development delay/intellectual disability and multiple congenital abnormalities, using the Agilent's 180 K microarray platform. RESULTS: Fourteen patients (28%) had a global development delay whereas 36 (72%) patients presented intellectual disability. All patients presented multiple congenital abnormalities. Clinically significant copy number variations were found in 13 patients (26%). Size of CNVs ranged from 0,9 Mb to 34 Mb. Six patients had CNVs associated with known syndromes, whereas 7 patients presented rare genomic imbalances. CONCLUSION: This study showed that CNVs are present in African population and show the importance to implement genetic testing in East-African countries. [less ▲]

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See detailTwo novel mutations of the CLDN16 gene cause familial hypomagnesaemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis
Hanssen, Oriane ULg; CASTERMANS, Emilie ULg; BOVY, Christophe ULg et al

in Clinical Kidney Journal (2014), 7

Familial hypomagnesaemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis is an autosomal-recessive disease caused by mutations in the CLDN16 or CLDN19 genes, which encode tight junction-associated proteins ... [more ▼]

Familial hypomagnesaemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis is an autosomal-recessive disease caused by mutations in the CLDN16 or CLDN19 genes, which encode tight junction-associated proteins, claudin-16 and -19. The resultant tubulopathy leads to urinary loss of Mg2+ and Ca2+, with subsequent nephrocalcinosis and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). An 18-year-old boy presented with chronic kidney disease and proteinuria, as well as hypomagnesaemia, hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis. A kidney biopsy revealed tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis and segmental sclerosis of some glomeruli. Two novel mutations in the CLDN16 gene were identified: c.340C>T (nonsense) and c.427+5G>A (splice site). The patient reached ESRD at 23 and benefited from kidney transplantation. [less ▲]

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See detailModulating effect of COMT genotype on the brain regions underlying proactive control process during inhibition
Jaspar, Mathieu ULg; Genon, Sarah ULg; Muto, Vincenzo ULg et al

in Cortex : A Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System & Behavior (2014), 50

Introduction. Genetic variability related to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene (Val158Met polymorphism) has received increasing attention as a possible modulator of cognitive control functions ... [more ▼]

Introduction. Genetic variability related to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene (Val158Met polymorphism) has received increasing attention as a possible modulator of cognitive control functions. Methods. In an event-related fMRI study, a modified version of the Stroop task was administered to three groups of 15 young adults according to their COMT Val158Met genotype [Val/Val (VV), Val/Met (VM) and Met/Met (MM)]. Based on the theory of dual mechanisms of control (Braver, et al., 2007), the Stroop task has been built to induce proactive or reactive control processes according to the task context. Results. Behavioral results did not show any significant group differences for reaction times but Val allele carriers individuals are less accurate in the processing of incongruent items. fMRI results revealed that proactive control is specifically associated with increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in carriers of the Met allele, while increased activity is observed in the middle frontal gyrus (MFG) in carriers of the Val allele. Conclusion. These observations, in keeping with a higher cortical dopamine level in MM individuals, support the hypothesis of a COMT Val158Met genotype modulation of the brain regions underlying proactive control, especially in frontal areas as suggested by Braver et al. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of a microRNA landscape targeting the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in inflammation-induced colorectal carcinogenesis
JOSSE, Claire ULg; Bouznad, Nassim ULg; Geurts, Pierre ULg et al

in American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology (2014), 306

Inflammation can contribute to tumor formation; however, markers that predict progression are still lacking. In the present study, the well-established azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS ... [more ▼]

Inflammation can contribute to tumor formation; however, markers that predict progression are still lacking. In the present study, the well-established azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced mouse model of colitis-associated cancer was used to analyze microRNA (miRNA) modulation accompanying inflammation-induced tumor development and to determine whether inflammation-triggered miRNA alterations affect the expression of genes or pathways involved in cancer. A miRNA microarray experiment was performed to establish miRNA expression profiles in mouse colon at early and late time points during inflammation and/or tumor growth. Chronic inflammation and carcinogenesis were associated with distinct changes in miRNA expression. Nevertheless, prediction algorithms of miRNA-mRNA interactions and computational analyses based on ranked miRNA lists consistently identified putative target genes that play essential roles in tumor growth or that belong to key carcinogenesis-related signaling pathways. We identified PI3K/Akt and the insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) as major pathways being affected in the AOM/DSS model. DSS-induced chronic inflammation downregulates miR-133a and miR-143/145, which is reportedly associated with human colorectal cancer and PI3K/Akt activation. Accordingly, conditioned medium from inflammatory cells decreases the expression of these miRNA in colorectal adenocarcinoma Caco-2 cells. Overexpression of miR-223, one of the main miRNA showing strong upregulation during AOM/DSS tumor growth, inhibited Akt phosphorylation and IGF-1R expression in these cells. Cell sorting from mouse colons delineated distinct miRNA expression patterns in epithelial and myeloid cells during the periods preceding and spanning tumor growth. Hence, cell-type-specific miRNA dysregulation and subsequent PI3K/Akt activation may be involved in the transition from intestinal inflammation to cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailFIPA : étude clinique et génétique à l'Hôpital "King Edward Memorial", Bombay (Mumbai) Inde
Bothra, N; Daly, Adrian ULg; CASTERMANS, Emilie ULg et al

in Annales d'Endocrinologie (2013, October), 74

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See detailAltered white matter architecture in BDNF Met carriers
Ziegler, Erik ULg; Foret, Ariane; Mascetti, Laura ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2013)

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates the pruning of synaptically-silent axonal arbors. The Met allele of the BDNF gene is associated with a reduction in the neurotrophin's activity-dependent ... [more ▼]

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates the pruning of synaptically-silent axonal arbors. The Met allele of the BDNF gene is associated with a reduction in the neurotrophin's activity-dependent release. We used di ffusion-weighted imaging to construct structural brain networks for 36 healthy subjects with known BDNF genotypes. Through permutation testing we discovered clear di fferences in connection strength between subjects carrying the Met allele and those homozygotic for the Val allele. We trained a Gaussian process classi fier capable of identifying the subjects' allelic group with 86% accuracy and high predictive value. In Met carriers structural connectivity was greatly increased throughout the forebrain, particularly in connections corresponding to the anterior and superior corona radiata as well as corticothalamic and corticospinal projections from the sensorimotor, premotor and prefrontal portions of the internal capsule. Interhemispheric connectivity was also increased via the corpus callosum and anterior commissure, and extremely high connectivity values were found between inferior medial frontal polar regions via the anterior forceps. We propose that the decreased availability of BDNF leads to de cifits in axonal maintenance in carriers of the Met allele, and that this produces mesoscale changes in white matter architecture. [less ▲]

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See detailConnectome-based classification of BDNF Met allele carriers
Ziegler, Erik ULg; Foret, Ariane; Mascetti, Laura ULg et al

Poster (2013, June)

Secretion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is essential for synaptic plasticity in the central nervous system during neurodevelopment [Huang]. A common human non-synonymous SNIP in the BDNF ... [more ▼]

Secretion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is essential for synaptic plasticity in the central nervous system during neurodevelopment [Huang]. A common human non-synonymous SNIP in the BDNF gene (Val66Met, rs6265) decreases activity-dependent BDNF release in neurons transfected with the human A allele (Met-BDNF). We reasoned that the persistent differential activity-dependent BDNF release implied by this polymorphism should also be associated with differences in adult brain structure. The study population comprised 36 healthy subjects (aged 18-25): 15 (9 male) were identified as carrying the Met allele (“Met carrier” group) and 21 (9 male) were homozygotes for the Val allele (“Val/Val” group). The groups did not vary significantly in IQ, age nor scores for a battery of psychological tests. A high-resolution T1-weighted image (sMRI), 7 unweighted (b=0) and a set of diffusion-weighted (b=1000) images using 61 non-collinear directional gradients were acquired for each subject. The processing workflow relied on several pieces of software and was developed in Python and Nipype. The sMRIs were segmented using the automated labeling of Freesurfer [Desikan] and further parcellated using the Lausanne2008 atlas into 1015 regions of interest (ROIs) [Cammoun]. DWIs were corrected for image distortions (due to eddy currents) using linear coregistration functions from FSL [Smith]. Fractional anisotropy maps were generated, and a few single-fiber (high FA) voxels were used to estimate the spherical harmonic coefficients (order 8) of the response function from the DWIs [Tournier]. Then orientation distribution functions were obtained at each voxel. Probabilistic tractography was performed throughout the whole brain using seeds from subject-specific white-matter masks and a predefined number of tracts (300,000), see Fig. 1. The tracks were affine-transformed into the subject's structural space with Dipy [Garyfallidis]. Connectome mapping was performed by considering every contact point between each tract and the outlined ROIs (unlike in [Hagmann]): the connectivity matrix was incremented every time a single fiber traversed between any two ROIs. We trained a Gaussian Process Classifier [Rasmussen] (interfaced by PRoNTo [Schrouff]) on these connectivity matrices. The accuracy and generalization ability of the classification were assessed with a leave-one-subject-out cross-validation procedure. With this linear kernel method weights were also obtained indicating the contribution to the classification output (in favor of either genotypic group) of each edge in the network. The same method was employed to discriminate features related to the subjects' gender and genotype for the ADA gene. The classifier was able to discriminate between Val/Val and Met carriers with 86.1% balanced accuracy. The predictive value for the Val/Val and Met carrier groups were 94.4% (p=0.001) and 77.8% (p=0.003), respectively. In Fig. 2 the weights obtained by the classifier are visualized as edges in the brain network. For the classifier trained to identify gender or the subjects' ADA genotype, the global accuracy reached 63.9% (n.s.) and 58.3% (n.s.) respectively. Using high-resolution connectome mapping from normal young healthy human volunteers grouped based on the Met allele of the BNDF gene, we show that the BDNF genotype of an individual can be significantly identified from his structural brain wiring. These differences appear specific to this allele; no such difference could be found for the polymorphism in the ADA gene, or even for gender. We propose that the decreased availability of BDNF leads to deficits in axonal maintenance in Met carriers, and that this produces mesoscale changes in white matter architecture. Acknowledgements: the FNRS, the ULg, the Queen Elisabeth Medical Foundation, the Léon Fredericq Foundation, the Belgian Inter-University Attraction Program, the Welbio program, and the MCITN in Neurophysics (PITN-GA-2009-238593). Cammoun L. et al. (2011), ‘Mapping the human connectome at multiple scales with diffusion spectrum MRI’, J Neuroscience Methods, 203:386–397. Desikan R.S. et al. (2006), ‘An automated labeling system for subdividing the human cerebral cortex on MRI scans into gyral based regions of interest’, Neuroimage, 31:968-980. Hagmann P. et al. (2008), ‘Mapping the structural core of human cerebral cortex’, PLoS Biology, 6:e159 Huang E.J., Reichardt L.F. (2001), ‘Neurotrophins: roles in neuronal development and function’, Annual Review of Neuroscience, 24:677-736. Garyfallidis E. et al. (2011), ‘Dipy - a novel software library for diffusion MR and tractography’, 17th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping. http://nipy.sourceforge.net/dipy/ Rasmussen C.E. (2006), Gaussian processes for machine learning. Schrouff J. et al. (2012), ‘PRoNTo: Pattern Recognition for Neuroimaging Toolbox’, 18th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping. http://www.mlnl.cs.ucl.ac.uk/pronto Smith S.M. et al. (2004), ‘Advances in functional and structural MR image analysis and implementation as FSL’, Neuroimage, 23 Suppl 1:S208-S219. Tournier J.D., et al. (2007), ‘Robust determination of the fibre orientation distribution in diffusion MRI: non-negativity constrained super-resolved spherical deconvolution’, Neuroimage, 35:1459-1472. [less ▲]

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See detailClinical, cytogenetic and molecular characterization of two cases of mosaic ring chromosome 13.
Uwineza, Annette; PIERQUIN, Geneviève ULg; GAILLEZ, Stephanie ULg et al

in Genetic counseling (Geneva, Switzerland) (2013), 24(2), 193-200

The occurrence of mosaic ring chromosome 13 is rare. The mechanism of ring chromosome formation is usually associated with loss of genetic material. We report 2 cases of mosaic ring chromosome 13 ... [more ▼]

The occurrence of mosaic ring chromosome 13 is rare. The mechanism of ring chromosome formation is usually associated with loss of genetic material. We report 2 cases of mosaic ring chromosome 13, resulting in deletion of 13qter. The first patient, a 15 year-old boy, presented a delayed psychomotor development, mental retardation, dysmorphic features and bleeding disorders associated with a de novo terminal 13q34 deletion. The second case was a foetus of 31 weeks with prenatal diagnosis of severe malformation such as holoprosencephaly, congenital cardiac defects, gastro-intestinal abnormalities with intrauterine growth retardation, the molecular analysis showed a de novo deletion encompassing the region 13q31.3-q34. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic diagnosis of Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification in Rwandan patients.
Uwineza, Annette; Hitayezu, Janvier; Murorunkwere, Seraphine et al

in Journal of tropical pediatrics (2013)

Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies are the most common clinical forms of muscular dystrophies. They are genetically X-linked diseases caused by a mutation in the dystrophin (DMD) gene. A genetic ... [more ▼]

Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies are the most common clinical forms of muscular dystrophies. They are genetically X-linked diseases caused by a mutation in the dystrophin (DMD) gene. A genetic diagnosis was carried out in six Rwandan patients presenting a phenotype of Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies and six asymptomatic female carrier relatives using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). Our results revealed deletion of the exons 48-51 in one patient, an inherited deletion of the exons 8-21 in two brothers and a de novo deletion of the exons 46-50 in the fourth patient. No copy number variation was found in two patients. Only one female carrier presented exon deletion in the DMD gene. This is the first cohort of genetic analysis in Rwandan patients affected by Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies. This report confirmed that MLPA assay can be easily implemented in low-income countries. [less ▲]

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See detailExiste-t-il une predisposition genetique aux addictions ?
CASTERMANS, Emilie ULg; GAILLEZ, Stephanie ULg; BOURS, Vincent ULg

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2013), 68(5-6), 226-32

Is free will the rule in front of drugs, alcohol or gambling? Would interindividual genetic variations influence our behaviour to such a point that addiction susceptibility would be enhanced or decreased ... [more ▼]

Is free will the rule in front of drugs, alcohol or gambling? Would interindividual genetic variations influence our behaviour to such a point that addiction susceptibility would be enhanced or decreased? Addiction predisposition is a complex trait, involving numerous predisposition genes and also environment. Heritability of this trait is 50%, meaning a similar contribution of genes and environment in the setting of this trait. Some genes of the dopaminergic system and some others specific for various drugs metabolism have been associated to addictions. The growth of those findings into promising pilot treatments seems a good future coming in. [less ▲]

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See detailConcurrent Synaptic and Systems Memory Consolidation during Sleep
Mascetti, Laura; Foret, Ariane; Schrouff, Jessica ULg et al

in Journal of Neuroscience (2013), 33(24), 10182-10190

Memories are consolidated during sleep by two apparently antagonistic processes: (1) reinforcement of memory-specific cortical interactions and (2) homeostatic reduction in synaptic efficiency. Using fMRI ... [more ▼]

Memories are consolidated during sleep by two apparently antagonistic processes: (1) reinforcement of memory-specific cortical interactions and (2) homeostatic reduction in synaptic efficiency. Using fMRI, we assessed whether episodic memories are processed during sleep by either or both mechanisms, by comparing recollection before and after sleep. We probed whether LTP influences these processes by contrasting two groups of individuals prospectively recruited based on BDNF rs6265 (Val66Met) polymorphism. Between immediate retrieval and delayed testing scheduled after sleep, responses to recollection increased significantly more in Val/Val individuals than in Met carriers in parietal and occipital areas not previously engaged in retrieval, consistent with “systems-level consolidation.” Responses also increased differentially between allelic groups in regions already activated before sleep but only in proportion to slow oscillation power, in keeping with “synaptic downscaling.” Episodic memories seem processed at both synaptic and systemic levels during sleep by mechanisms involving LTP. [less ▲]

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See detailIn Vivo Tumorigenesis Was Observed after Injection of In Vitro Expanded Neural Crest Stem Cells Isolated from Adult Bone Marrow
Wislet, Sabine ULg; Poulet, Christophe ULg; Neirinckx, Virginie ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(10), 46425

Bone marrow stromal cells are adult multipotent cells that represent an attractive tool in cellular therapy strategies. Several studies have reported that in vitro passaging of mesenchymal stem cells ... [more ▼]

Bone marrow stromal cells are adult multipotent cells that represent an attractive tool in cellular therapy strategies. Several studies have reported that in vitro passaging of mesenchymal stem cells alters the functional and biological properties of those cells, leading to the accumulation of genetic aberrations. Recent studies described bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) as mixed populations of cells including mesenchymal (MSC) and neural crest stem cells (NCSC). Here, we report the transformation of NCSC into tumorigenic cells, after in vitro long-term passaging. Indeed, the characterization of 6 neural crest-derived clones revealed the presence of one tumorigenic clone. Transcriptomic analyses of this clone highlighted, among others, numerous cell cycle checkpoint modifications and chromosome 11q down-regulation (suggesting a deletion of chromosome 11q) compared with the other clones. Moreover, unsupervised analysis such as a dendrogram generated after agglomerative hierarchical clustering comparing several transcriptomic data showed important similarities between the tumorigenic neural crest-derived clone and mammary tumor cell lines. Altogether, it appeared that NCSC isolated from adult bone marrow represents a potential danger for cellular therapy, and consequently, we recommend that phenotypic, functional and genetic assays should be performed on bone marrow mesenchymal and neural crest stem cells before in vivo use, to demonstrate whether their biological properties, after ex vivo expansion, remain suitable for clinical application. [less ▲]

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See detailOverexpression of CD39 in mouse airways promotes bacteria induced inflammation
Theatre, Emilie ULg; Frederix, Kim; Guilmain, William et al

in Journal of Immunology (2012), 189(4), 1966-1974

In airways, the ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase CD39 plays a central role in the regulation of physiological mucosal nucleotide concentrations and likely contributes to the control of ... [more ▼]

In airways, the ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase CD39 plays a central role in the regulation of physiological mucosal nucleotide concentrations and likely contributes to the control of inflammation because accelerated ATP metabolism occurs in chronic inflammatory lung diseases.We sought to determine whether constant elevated CD39 activity in lung epithelia is sufficient to cause inflammation and whether this affects the response to acute LPS or Pseudomonas aeruginosa exposure. We generated transgenic mice overexpressing human CD39 under the control of the airway-specific Clara cell 10-kDa protein gene promoter. Transgenic mice did not develop any spontaneous lung inflammation. However, intratracheal instillation of LPS resulted in accelerated recruitment of neutrophils to the airways of transgenic mice. Macrophage clearance was delayed, and the amounts of CD8+ T and B cells were augmented. Increased levels of keratinocyte chemoattractant, IL-6, and RANTES were produced in transgenic lungs. Similarly, higher numbers of neutrophils and macrophages were found in the lungs of transgenic mice infected with P. aeruginosa, which correlated with improved bacteria clearance. The transgenic phenotype was partially and differentially restored by coinstillation of P2X1 or P2X7 receptor antagonists or of caffeine with LPS. Thus, a chronic increase of epithelial CD39 expression and activity promotes airway inflammation in response to bacterial challenge by enhancing P1 and P2 receptor activation. [less ▲]

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See detailA new 48, XXYY/47, XYY syndrome associated with multiple skeletal abnormalities, congenital heart disease and mental retardation.
Mutesa, Leon; JAMAR, Mauricette ULg; PIERQUIN, Geneviève ULg et al

in Indian journal of human genetics (2012), 18(3), 352-5

While the XYY and XXYY syndromes have been several time described in patients, the combination of both syndromes in an individual is a rare event and may result in a severe phenotype. In the present ... [more ▼]

While the XYY and XXYY syndromes have been several time described in patients, the combination of both syndromes in an individual is a rare event and may result in a severe phenotype. In the present observation, a boy with congenital scoliosis due to segmented thoracic hemivertebra associated with radioulnar synostosis and congenital heart disease is described. Chromosome G-banding and FISH analysis demonstrated a de novo mosaic karyotype 48, XXYY/47, XYY in this patient. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a combination of XYY and XXYY syndromes. [less ▲]

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See detailCasein kinase 2 inhibition modulates the DNA damage response but fails to radiosensitize malignant glioma cells.
KROONEN, Jérôme ULg; Artesi, Maria ULg; CAPRARO, Valérie ULg et al

in International Journal of Oncology (2012), 41(2), 776-82

Inhibitors of casein kinase 2 (CK2), a regulator of cell proliferation and mediator of the DNA damage response, are being evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of cancers. Apigenin was capable of ... [more ▼]

Inhibitors of casein kinase 2 (CK2), a regulator of cell proliferation and mediator of the DNA damage response, are being evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of cancers. Apigenin was capable of inhibiting the activation of CK2 following gamma irradiation in LN18 and U87 malignant glioma cells. Apigenin and siRNA-mediated CK2 protein depletion further inhibited NF-kappaB activation and altered the Tyr68 phosphorylation of Chk2 kinase, a DNA damage response checkpoint kinase, following irradiation. However, CK2 inhibition did not decrease the ability of these glioma cells to repair double-strand DNA breaks, as assessed by COMET assays and gamma-H2Ax staining. Likewise, apigenin and siRNA-induced depletion of CK2 failed to sensitize glioma cells to the cytotoxic effect of 2 to 10 G-rays of gamma irradiation, as assessed by clonogenic assays. These results contrast with those found in other cancer types, and urge to prudence regarding the inclusion of malignant glioma patients in clinical trials that assess the radiosensitizing role of CK2 inhibitors in solid cancers. [less ▲]

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