Rhonda Geoffrey

Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, United States

Are you Rhonda Geoffrey?

Claim your profile

Publications (9)90.01 Total impact

  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The dilute plasma cytokine milieu associated with type 1 diabetes (T1D), while difficult to measure directly, is sufficient to drive transcription in a bioassay that uses healthy leukocytes as reporters. Previously, we reported disease-associated, partially IL-1 dependent, transcriptional signatures in both T1D patients and the BioBreeding (BB) rat model. Here, we examine temporal signatures in congenic BBDR.lyp/lyp rats that develop spontaneous T1D, and BBDR rats where T1D progresses only after immunological perturbation in young animals. After weaning, the BBDR temporal signature showed early coincident induction of transcription related to innate inflammation as well as IL-10- and TGF-β-mediated regulation. BBDR plasma cytokine levels mirrored the signatures showing early inflammation, followed by induction of a regulated state that correlated with failure of virus to induce T1D in older rats. In contrast, the BBDR.lyp/lyp temporal signature exhibited asynchronous dynamics, with delayed induction of inflammatory transcription and later, weaker induction of regulatory transcription, consistent with their deficiency in regulatory T cells. Through longitudinal analyses of plasma-induced signatures in BB rats and a human T1D progressor, we have identified changes in immunoregulatory processes that attenuate a preexisting innate inflammatory state in BBDR rats, suggesting a mechanism underlying the decline in T1D susceptibility with age.Genes and Immunity advance online publication, 6 June 2013; doi:10.1038/gene.2013.31.
    Genes and immunity 06/2013; · 4.22 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Islet-level oxidative stress has been proposed as a trigger for Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and release of cytokines by infiltrating immune cells further elevates reactive oxygen species (ROS), exacerbating beta cell duress. To identify genes/mechanisms involved with diabetogenesis at the beta cell level, gene expression profiling and targeted follow-up studies were used to investigate islet activity in the BioBreeding (BB) rat. Forty day-old spontaneously diabetic lymphopenic BB DRlyp/lyp rats (prior to T cell insulitis), as well as nondiabetic BB DR+/+ rats, nondiabetic but lymphopenic F344lyp/lyp rats, and healthy Fischer (F344) rats were examined. Gene expression profiles of BB rat islets were highly distinct from F344 islets and under-expressed numerous genes involved in ROS metabolism, including glutathione S-transferase (GST) family members (Gstm2, Gstm4, Gstm7, Gstt1, Gstp1 and Gstk1), super-oxide dismutases (Sod2, Sod3), peroxidases, and perioxiredoxins. This pattern of under-expression was not observed in brain, liver or muscle. Compared to F344 rats, BB rat pancreata exhibited lower GST protein levels, while plasma GST activity was found significantly lower in BB rats. Systemic administration of the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine to DRlyp/lyp rats altered abundances of peripheral eosinophils, reduced severity of insulitis, and significantly delayed but did not prevent diabetes onset. We find evidence of beta cell dysfunction in BB rats independent of T1D progression which includes lower expression of genes related to anti-oxidative defense mechanisms during the pre-onset period that may contribute to overall T1D susceptibility.
    Journal of Endocrinology 10/2012; · 4.06 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inflammation is common to many disorders and responsible for tissue and organ damage. In many disorders, the associated peripheral cytokine milieu is dilute and difficult to measure, necessitating development of more sensitive and informative biomarkers for mechanistic studies, earlier diagnosis, and monitoring therapeutic interventions. Previously, we have shown that plasma of recent-onset (RO) Type 1 diabetes patients induces a disease-specific proinflammatory transcriptional profile in fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) compared with that of healthy controls (HC). To eliminate assay variance introduced through the use of multiple donors or multiple draws of the same person over time, we evaluated human leukemia cell lines as potential surrogates for fresh PBMC. We 1) tested seven different cell lines in their power to differentiate RO from HC plasma and 2) compared the similarity of the signatures generated across the seven cell lines to that obtained with fresh PBMC. While each cell line tested exhibited a distinct transcriptional response when cultured with RO or HC plasma, the expression profile induced in any single cell line shared little identity with that of the other cell lines or fresh PBMC. In terms of regulated biological pathways, the transcriptional response of each cell line shared varying degrees of functional identity with fresh PBMC. These results indicate that use of human leukemia cell lines as surrogates for fresh PBMC has potential in detecting perturbations to the peripheral cytokine milieu. However, the response of each is distinct, possessing varying degrees of functional relatedness to that observed with PBMC.
    Physiological Genomics 03/2011; 43(11):697-709. · 2.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory mediators associated with type 1 diabetes are dilute and difficult to measure in the periphery, necessitating development of more sensitive and informative biomarkers for studying diabetogenic mechanisms, assessing preonset risk, and monitoring therapeutic interventions. We previously utilized a novel bioassay in which human type 1 diabetes sera were used to induce a disease-specific transcriptional signature in unrelated, healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Here, we apply this strategy to investigate the inflammatory state associated with type 1 diabetes in biobreeding (BB) rats. Consistent with their common susceptibility, sera of both spontaneously diabetic BB DRlyp/lyp and diabetes inducible BB DR+/+ rats induced transcription of cytokines, immune receptors, and signaling molecules in PBMCs of healthy donor rats compared with control sera. Like the human type 1 diabetes signature, the DRlyp/lyp signature, which is associated with progression to diabetes, was differentiated from that of the DR+/+ by induction of many interleukin (IL)-1-regulated genes. Supplementing cultures with an IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) modulated the DRlyp/lyp signature (P < 10(-6)), while administration of IL-1Ra to DRlyp/lyp rats delayed onset (P = 0.007), and sera of treated animals did not induce the characteristic signature. Consistent with the presence of immunoregulatory cells in DR+/+ rats was induction of a signature possessing negative regulators of transcription and inflammation. Paralleling our human studies, serum signatures in BB rats reflect processes associated with progression to type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, these studies support the potential utility of this approach to detect changes in the inflammatory state during therapeutic intervention.
    Diabetes 10/2010; 59(10):2375-85. · 7.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We describe a patient with an autoinflammatory disease in which the main clinical features are pustular rash, marked osteopenia, lytic bone lesions, respiratory insufficiency, and thrombosis. Genetic studies revealed a 175-kb homozygous deletion at chromosome 2q13, which encompasses several interleukin-1 family members, including the gene encoding the interleukin-1-receptor antagonist (IL1RN). Mononuclear cells, obtained from the patient and cultured, produced large amounts of inflammatory cytokines, with increasing amounts secreted after stimulation with lipopolysaccharide. A similar increase was not observed in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells from a patient with neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disorder (NOMID). Treatment with anakinra completely resolved the symptoms and lesions.
    New England Journal of Medicine 07/2009; 360(23):2438-44. · 51.66 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Understanding active proinflammatory mechanisms at and before type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) onset is hindered in humans, given that the relevant tissues are inaccessible and pancreatic immune responses are difficult to measure in the periphery by traditional approaches. Therefore, we investigated the use of a sensitive and comprehensive genomics strategy to investigate the presence of proinflammatory factors in serum. The sera of recent onset diabetes patients (n = 15, 12 possessing and 3 lacking islet cell autoantibodies), long-standing diabetes patients (n = 12), "at risk" siblings of diabetes patients (n = 9), and healthy controls (n = 12) were used to induce gene expression in unrelated, healthy PBMC. After culture, gene expression was measured with microarrays and normalized expression data were subjected to hierarchical clustering and multidimensional scaling. All recent onset sera induced an expression signature (192 UniGenes; fold change: >1.5, p < 0.01; false discovery rate: <0.01) that included IL-1 cytokine family members and chemokines involved in monocyte/macrophage and neutrophil chemotaxis, as well as numerous receptors and signaling molecules. This molecular signature was not induced with the sera of healthy controls or long standing diabetes patients, where longitudinal analysis of "at risk" siblings (n = 3) before and after onset support the hypothesis that the signature emerges years before onset. This study supports prior investigations of serum that reflect disease processes associated with progression to T1DM. Identification of unique inflammatory mediators may improve disease prediction beyond current islet autoantibodies. Furthermore, proinflammatory serum markers may be used as inclusion criteria or endpoint measures in clinical trials aimed at preventing T1DM.
    The Journal of Immunology 03/2008; 180(3):1929-37. · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) arises through autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells and is modeled in many respects by the lymphopenic and spontaneously diabetic BioBreeding (BB) DRlyp/lyp rat. Previously, preonset expression profiling of whole DRlyp/lyp pancreatic lymph nodes (PLN) revealed innate immune activity, specifically that of mast cells and eosinophils. Furthermore, we observed that pancreatic islets of DRlyp/lyp rats as well as those of diabetes-inducible BB DR(+/+) rats potentially recruit innate cells through eotaxin expression. Here we determine that lifelong eotaxin expression begins before 40 days of life and is localized specifically to beta cells. In this report, we find that PLN mast cells are more abundant in DRlyp/lyp compared with related BB DR(+/+) rats (2.1 +/- 0.9% vs 0.9 +/- 0.4% of total cells, p < 0.0001). DRlyp/lyp PLN mast cell gene expression profiling revealed an activated population and included significant overrepresentation of transcripts for mast cell protease 1, cationic trypsinogen, carboxypeptidase A, IL-5, and phospholipase Cgamma. In the DR(+/+) rat, which develops T1DM upon depletion of T regulator cells, mast cells displayed gene expression consistent with the negative regulation of degranulation, including significant overrepresentation of transcripts encoding tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1, lipid phosphatase SHIP, and E3 ubiquitin ligase c-Cbl. To recapitulate the negative mast cell regulation observed in the DR(+/+) rats, we treated DRlyp/lyp rats with the mast cell "stabilizer" cromolyn, which significantly (p < 0.05) delayed T1DM onset. These findings are consistent with a growing body of evidence in human and animal models, where a role for mast cells in the initiation and progression of autoimmune disease is emerging.
    The Journal of Immunology 11/2006; 177(10):7275-86. · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite their lower cost and high content flexibility, a limitation of in-house-prepared arrays has been their susceptibility to quality control (QC) issues and lack of QC standards across laboratories. Therefore, we developed a novel three-color array system that allows prehybridization QC as well as the Matarray software to facilitate acquisition of accurate gene expression data. In this study, we compared performance of our rat cDNA array to the Affymetrix RG-U34A and Agilent G4130A arrays using 2,824 UniGenes represented on all three arrays. Before data filtering, poor interplatform agreement was observed; however, after data filtering, differentially expressed UniGenes exhibited correlation coefficients of 0.91, 0.88, and 0.92 between the Affymetrix vs. Agilent, Affymetrix vs. cDNA, and Agilent vs. cDNA arrays, respectively. The Affymetrix, Agilent, and cDNA arrays agreed well with quantitative RT-PCR conducted on 42 UniGenes, yielding correlation coefficients of 0.90, 0.90, and 0.96, respectively. Each platform underestimated ratios relative to quantitative RT-PCR, possessing respective slopes of 0.86 (R2 = 0.81), 0.65 (R2 = 0.81), and 0.70 (R2 = 0.92). Overall, these data show that the combination of our novel technical and analytic approaches yield an accurate platform for functional genomics that is concordant with commercial discovery arrays in terms of identifying regulated genes and pathways.
    Physiological Genomics 04/2006; 25(1):166-78. · 2.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Allergy and autoimmunity are both examples of deregulated immunity characterized by inflammation and injury of targeted tissues that have until recently been considered disparate disease processes. However, recent findings have implicated mast cells, in coordination with granulocytes and other immune effector cells, in the pathology of these two disorders. The BioBreeding (BB) DRlyp/lyp rat develops an autoimmune insulin-dependent diabetes similar to human type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), whereas the BBDR+/+ rat does not. To better understand immune processes during development of T1DM, gene expression profiling at day (d) 40 (before insulitis) and d65 (before disease onset) was conducted on pancreatic lymph nodes of DRlyp/lyp, DR+/+, and Wistar-Furth (WF) rats. The eosinophil-recruiting chemokine, eotaxin, and the high-affinity IgE receptor (FcepsilonRI) were up-regulated >5-fold in d65 DRlyp/lyp vs d65 DR+/+ pancreatic lymph nodes by microarray (p < 0.05) and quantitative RT-PCR studies (p < 0.05). DR+/+, WF, and d40 DRlyp/lyp animals possessed normal pancreatic histology; however, d65 DRlyp/lyp animals possessed eosinophilic insulitis. Therefore, immunohistochemistry for pancreatic eotaxin expression was conducted, revealing positive staining of d65 DRlyp/lyp islets. Islets of d65 DR+/+ rats also stained positively, consistent with underlying diabetic predisposition in the BB lineage, whereas WF islets did not. Other differentially expressed transcripts included those associated with eosinophils, mast cells, and lymphocytes. These data support an important role for these inflammatory mediators in BB rat T1DM and suggest that the lymphopenia due to the Ian5/(lyp) mutation may result in a deregulation of cells involved in insulitis and beta cell destruction.
    The Journal of Immunology 12/2004; 173(11):6993-7002. · 5.52 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

193 Citations
90.01 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2006–2011
    • Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
      Madison, Wisconsin, United States
  • 2008
    • Medical College of Wisconsin
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Milwaukee, WI, United States