[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is a hypoxia-induced, life-threatening, high permeability type of edema attributable to pulmonary capillary stress failure. Genome-wide association analysis is necessary to better understand how genetics influence the outcome of HAPE.
DNA samples were collected from 53 subjects susceptible to HAPE (HAPE-s) and 67 elite Alpinists resistant to HAPE (HAPE-r). The genome scan was carried out using 400 polymorphic microsatellite markers throughout the whole genome in all subjects. In addition, six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the gene encoding the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3) were genotyped by Taqman® SNP Genotyping Assays.
The results were analyzed using case-control comparisons. Whole genome scanning revealed that allele frequencies in nine markers were statistically different between HAPE-s and HAPE-r subjects. The SNP genotyping of the TIMP3 gene revealed that the derived allele C of rs130293 was associated with resistance to HAPE [odds ratio (OR) = 0.21, P = 0.0012) and recessive inheritance of the phenotype of HAPE-s (P = 0.0012). A haplotype CAC carrying allele C of rs130293 was associated with resistance to HAPE.
This genome-wide association study revealed several novel candidate genes associated with susceptibility or resistance to HAPE in a Japanese population. Among those, the minor allele C of rs130293 (C/T) in the TIMP3 gene was linked to resistance to HAPE; while, the ancestral allele T was associated with susceptibility to HAPE.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e71993. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema (CPFE) is characterized by both emphysema of the upper zone and diffuse parenchymal lung disease with fibrosis of the lower zone of the lung on chest computed tomography. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism of CPFE regarding gene expressions by comparing the results of microarray sequences between fibrotic and emphysematous lesions in the lungs of CPFE patients. RESULTS: The expression profiles of the fibrotic and emphysematous lesions were remarkably different in terms of function. Genes related to the immune system, structural constituents of the cytoskeleton, and cellular adhesion were overexpressed in fibrotic lesions, while genes associated with the cellular fraction, cell membrane structures, vascular growth and biology, second-messenger-mediated signaling, and lung development (all processes that contribute to the destruction and repair of cells, vessels, and the lung) were overexpressed in emphysematous lesions. CONCLUSIONS: The differences in gene expression were detected in fibrotic and emphysematous lesions in CPFE patients. We propose that the development of coexisting fibrotic and emphysematous lesions in CPFE is implemented by these different patterns of gene expressions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The principal role of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is the induction of immune responses to lipopolysaccharides. Previously, mice deficient in the TLR4 gene exhibited up-regulation of the NADPH oxidase system in the lungs. This resulted in increased oxidant generation and elastolytic activity, which led to pulmonary emphysema. It was suggested that TLR4 might maintain constitutive lung integrity by modulating oxidant generation. We investigated whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TLR4 gene were associated with the emphysema phenotype in Japanese subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Seven SNPs in the TLR4 gene (rs10759930, rs1927914, rs12377632, rs2149356, rs11536889, rs7037117, and rs7045953) were genotyped with allelic discrimination assays. The frequencies of SNPs were compared between 106 patients with the emphysema phenotype of COPD and 137 healthy smokers. We found that the positivity of the individuals with the major G allele of rs11536889 was significantly less in the emphysema group than the control group (p = 0.019). The frequencies of the minor C allele and the distribution of the CC genotype as well as the frequency of the major haplotype that carried the minor C allele of rs11536889 were all significantly higher in the emphysema group than the control group (p = 0.0083, 0.019, and 0.004, respectively). Furthermore, the strength of the association of the CC genotype with the emphysema phenotype was in an odds ratio of 2.60 with 95% confidence intervals from 1.17 to 5.78. However, these significances were not apparent after adjust for age and smoking history by logistic regression. No associations were observed between the rs11536889 and the low attenuation area score, the forced expiratory volume, and the carbon monoxide diffusion capacity in the emphysema group.
The minor C allele of the rs11536889 SNP in the TLR4 gene is likely associated with the risk of developing emphysema in the Japanese population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sherpas comprise a population of Tibetan ancestry in the Himalayan region that is renowned for its mountaineering prowess. The very small amount of available genetic information for Sherpas is insufficient to explain their physiological ability to adapt to high-altitude hypoxia. Recent genetic evidence has indicated that natural selection on the endothelial PAS domain protein 1 (EPAS1) gene was occurred in the Tibetan population during their occupation in the Tibetan Plateau for millennia. Tibetan-specific variations in EPAS1 may regulate the physiological responses to high-altitude hypoxia via a hypoxia-inducible transcription factor pathway. We examined three significant tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, rs13419896, rs4953354, and rs4953388) in the EPAS1 gene in Sherpas, and compared these variants with Tibetan highlanders on the Tibetan Plateau as well as with non-Sherpa lowlanders. We found that Sherpas and Tibetans on the Tibetan Plateau exhibit similar patterns in three EPAS1 significant tag SNPs, but these patterns are the reverse of those in non-Sherpa lowlanders. The three SNPs were in strong linkage in Sherpas, but in weak linkage in non-Sherpas. Importantly, the haplotype structured by the Sherpa-dominant alleles was present in Sherpas but rarely present in non-Sherpas. Surprisingly, the average level of serum erythropoietin in Sherpas at 3440 m was equal to that in non-Sherpas at 1300 m, indicating a resistant response of erythropoietin to high-altitude hypoxia in Sherpas. These observations strongly suggest that EPAS1 is under selection for adaptation to the high-altitude life of Tibetan populations, including Sherpas. Understanding of the mechanism of hypoxia tolerance in Tibetans is expected to provide lights to the therapeutic solutions of some hypoxia-related human diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e50566. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation, imbalance of proteolytic and antiproteolytic activities, oxidative stress, and apoptosis of lung structural cells contribute to the pathogenesis of COPD. There is increasing evidence that carboxymethylcysteine (also known as carbocisteine) (CMC), which is commonly used for its mucoactive property, has diverse pharmacologic actions, including significant antioxidant activity. We hypothesize that CMC protects against cigarette smoke extract (CSE)-induced emphysema in rats via its antioxidant action.
Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups (n = 6 in each group): control group, CSE group, CSE + 125 mg/kg/d of CMC group, and CSE + 250 mg/kg/d of CMC group. The CSE was injected intraperitoneally once a week for 3 weeks, and CMC was administered daily via a gastric gavage for the same duration. Antioxidant activity in the pulmonary and serum levels, apoptotic index, caspase-3 activity, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 activities in lung tissues were measured.
CMC significantly protected against alveolar enlargement and parenchymal destruction in rats injected with CSE, resulting in prevention of the development of CSE-induced emphysema in the rats. CMC significantly protected the antioxidant activity in both the pulmonary and systemic levels, reduced pathologic apoptosis, and inhibited MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities in the lungs of rats with CSE-induced emphysema.
CMC protected against the development of CSE-induced emphysema in rats. The molecular mechanisms that were involved with stabilizing the biologic antioxidant activity resulted from the administration of CMC, which was connected to the inhibition of apoptosis and the reversal of the imbalance of proteolytic and antiproteolytic enzyme activities, eventually achieving the protection of the alveolar architecture of rats with emphysema.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recent study concerning high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), a non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, suggested that it is initially a hydrostatic-type pulmonary edema. We suspect that some extent of cardiac insufficiency may likely relate to the mechanism of the development of this disease.
By Doppler echocardiography, the Tei index (a new quantitative index proposed for the evaluation of global myocardial performance) and the systolic pulmonary artery pressure (sPAP) were measured before and after 30 minutes of hypoxic breathing.
Eleven HAPE-susceptible subjects (HAPE-s) and nine HAPE-resistant subjects (HAPE-r).
The results of Tei index indicated an enhanced left myocardial performance but an impaired right performance in HAPE-s during hypoxic breathing. The sPAP of HAPE-s was significantly increased after hypoxic breathing, which was not correlated with the heart functions such as right ventricular (RV) Tei index, cardiac index (CI), percent ejection fraction (EF%) and percent fractional shortening (FS%) under hypoxic condition. Comparatively, the HAPE-r subjects did not show such significant changes of Tei index after hypoxic breathing. The results suggested that a paradoxical myocardial performance, in a format of an augmented left ventricular (LV) in contrast to an attenuated RV, was observed in the HAPE-s exposed to acute hypoxia.
The responses of the left and right myocardial performances to hypoxia may be involved in the pathogenesis of HAPE.
Internal Medicine 01/2011; 50(24):2967-73. · 0.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We hypothesised that endothelin (ET)-1 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of emphysema. We attempted to apply ET-1 receptor antagonists to demonstrate and further elucidate the molecular pathogenesis pathways through which ET-1 may cause emphysematous changes. Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups: control, cigarette smoke extract (CSE), CSE+BQ-123 (a selective endothelin receptor type A (ET(A)) antagonist) and CSE+bosentan (a mixed ET(A)/ET(B) receptor antagonist). The CSE was injected intraperitoneally once a week for 3 weeks, and BQ-123 or bosentan was administered daily for the same duration. The expression of ET(A) receptor, apoptosis index, caspase-3 activity, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 activity, and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interleukin (IL)-1beta concentrations were measured in the lung tissue. The ET-1 levels and antioxidant activity were measured in the serum. Both BQ-123 and bosentan prevented the development of CSE-induced emphysema, blocked the expression of ET(A) receptor, inhibited pulmonary apoptosis, inactivated MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities in the lung tissues, reduced the concentrations of inflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-1beta, and improved the biological antioxidant activity in the serum. Emphysema development is suppressed by ET-1 receptor antagonists. ET-1 may cause emphysematous changes through molecular pathogenesis pathways involving apoptosis, proteinase and antiproteinase imbalance, inflammation and oxidative stress.
European Respiratory Journal 11/2009; 35(4):904-12. · 6.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation, imbalance of proteolytic and anti-proteolytic activities, oxidative stress, and apoptosis of lung structural cells contribute to the pathogenesis of COPD. Prostacyclin protects cells against apoptosis, has anti-inflammatory properties, partially prevents cigarette smoke extract (CSE)-induced apoptosis of the pulmonary endothelium, and thus may be relevant in the pathogenesis of emphysema. We determined whether a synthetic stable prostacyclin analog, beraprost sodium (BPS), attenuates the development of CSE-induced emphysema and elucidated the molecular mechanisms involved in its effect. Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with BPS and injected with CSE once a week for 3 wk. We measured the DNA damage of cells, the expression of caspase-3, and the activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9. We also analyzed TNFalpha and IL-1beta concentrations and the serum antioxidant activity. BPS prevented the development of CSE-induced emphysema, resulting in significant attenuation in alveolar enlargement and pulmonary parenchymal destruction. BPS inhibited pulmonary apoptosis and induction of MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity. Moreover, the protective effect of BPS was associated with a reduction of the expression of proinflammatory cytokines including TNFalpha and IL-1beta and a normalized biological oxidant activity. BPS introduces all these events, probably by activating cAMP signaling through acting specific prostacyclin receptors. In conclusion, BPS protects against the development of CSE-induced emphysema by attenuating apoptosis, inhibiting proteolytic enzyme activity, reducing inflammatory cytokine levels, and augmenting antioxidant activity. BPS may potentially represent a new therapeutic option in the prevention of emphysema in humans in prospect.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on the reported biological properties and function of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in hypoxic conditions, many investigations have studied the hypothesis that VEGF has an important role in the pathogenesis of high altitude sicknesses, including high-altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE). Unfortunately, the results are inconsistent. Therefore, the association of VEGF gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) with being susceptible to HAPE was investigated.
The study included 53 HAPE-susceptible subjects (HAPE-s) and 69 HAPE-resistant mountaineer controls (HAPE-r). Subjects were Japanese and the two groups were comparable in terms of age and gender. The SNP of the VEGF gene, namely C-2578A, G-1154A and T-460C in the promoter, G + 405C in the 5'-untranslated region and C936T in the 3'-untranslated region, were examined by allele discrimination experiments. In addition, arterial oxygen tension (PaO(2)) and pulmonary haemodynamic data were available for 21 of the HAPE-s subjects.
There were no statistically significant differences in the allele frequencies, genotype distributions or haplotype frequencies of VEGF SNP between the HAPE-s and HAPE-r groups. Furthermore, neither PaO(2) nor pulmonary haemodynamic parameters were associated with the VEGF SNP in the 21 HAPE-s subjects.
This genetic study did not provide evidence that functional SNP of the VEGF gene are associated with susceptibility to HAPE in a Japanese population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) and von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (VHL) are hypoxia sensors that control cellular responses to hypoxia. Although many Sherpas live at high altitudes for their entire lives, some of them manifest symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS) during mountaineering at extremely high altitudes. We hypothesize that the two hypoxia sensor genes might associate with the occurrence of AMS symptoms in Sherpas at extremely high altitude.
In a village at an altitude of 3440 m, 104 Sherpas who had mountaineered at extremely high altitudes (over 5000 m) were divided into two groups: Sherpas with (N = 45) and without (N = 59) histories of AMS symptoms. The rs11549465 SNP in the HIF-1alpha gene (HIF1A) and the rs28940298, rs779805, rs779808, rs1678607, and 1149A > G SNPs in the VHL gene (VHL) were identified in the two Sherpa groups using PCR following RFLP.
There were no significant differences in ei-ther the genotype distributions or the allele frequencies of the HIF1A and VHL genetic variants between the two Sherpa groups.
These genetic variants of HIF1A and VHL are not associated with AMS symptoms that occur in Sherpas at extremely high altitudes. It seems unlikely that HIF1A and VHL are associated with hypoxic sensing sensitivity in Sherpas.
Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 11/2008; 79(11):1056-60. · 0.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and its product prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) have been demonstrated to play critical roles in inflammation in respiratory diseases. However, the role of COX-2 in airway remodelling in COPD remains to be elucidated. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) is associated with both inflammation and airway remodelling in COPD. The objective of this study was to measure the expression of COX-2 and the concentrations of PGE2 and MMP-2, and to investigate the role of COX-2 and PGE2 in airflow limitation mediated by MMP-2, in the pathogenesis of COPD.
Forty-three patients with stable COPD, twelve smoking control subjects and ten nonsmoking control subjects were enrolled. Induced sputum was obtained for measurement of the concentrations of PGE2 and MMP-2 by ELISA. COX-2 protein expression was assessed by western blotting.
PGE2 and MMP-2 concentrations were significantly higher in both smoking control subjects and patients with COPD than in non-smoking control subjects (P < 0.01).Moreover, the levels of PGE2 andMMP-2 were inversely correlated with FEV1%predicted in COPD patients (PGE2: r = -0.748, P < 0.01; MMP-2: r = -0.801, P < 0.01). Levels of PGE2 were also positively correlated with those of MMP-2 in patients with COPD (r = 0.775, P < 0.01). Expression of COX-2 protein was significantly higher in COPD patients than in non-smoking control subjects.
COX-2 and its product PGE2 are not only involved in airway inflammation, but may also contribute to the severity of airflow limitation mediated by MMP-2 during progression of COPD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transforming growth factor beta-1 gene (TGFB1) is one of the most promising candidate genes for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Several case-control studies have been performed and generated inconsistent results. The possible reasons for these discrepancies include the diversity of ethnic populations and the heterogeneity of COPD, including emphysema and airway disease. We designed this study to investigate the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of TGFB1 with the emphysema phenotype in the Japanese population.
Eight SNPs in TGFB1 (rs2241712, rs1982072, and rs1800469 in the promoter region; rs1982073 in exon 1; rs2241716 and rs4803455 in intron 2; rs6957 and rs2241718 in the 3' region) were genotyped by allelic discrimination assays in 70 COPD patients with emphysema phenotype and 99 healthy smokers. The emphysema phenotype was identified by high-resolution computed tomography imaging using Goddard's method.
The frequency of one significant haplotype structured by the eight SNPs was significantly higher in the emphysema group (10%) than in the healthy smokers (4%, p=0.02). In the emphysema group, the predicted value of forced expiratory volume in 1 second after bronchodilator administration was significantly associated with the minor alleles of the two SNPs (rs1800469 and rs1982073, p=0.007 and 0.032, respectively), however, the low attenuation area and carbon monoxide diffusing capacity were not associated with the SNPs. In addition, the rs1800469T and rs1982073C alleles were significantly more prevalent in patients with severe and very severe airflow limitation than in those with mild and moderate airflow limitation (p=0.007 and 0.041, respectively).
One significant haplotype of TGFB1 is associated with the emphysema phenotype in the Japanese population. Two TGFB1 SNPs (rs1800469 and rs1982073) are associated with the severity of COPD in patients with emphysema phenotype.
Internal Medicine 02/2008; 47(15):1387-94. · 0.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sherpas are well-known for their physical strength at high altitudes. They adapt to high altitude so well that little acute or chronic mountain sickness has been documented in them. The possible genetic basis for this adaptation is, however, unclear. The objective of this study was to elucidate the genetic background underlying this characteristic among Sherpas with respect to the angiotension-converting enzyme (ACE) gene.
We enrolled 105 Sherpa volunteers in Namche Bazaar (3440 meters) and 111 non-Sherpa Nepalese volunteers in Kathmandu Valley (1330 meters) in Nepal. Information about high-altitude exposure and physiological phenotypes was obtained via fieldwork investigation. The genotype of the insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism in the ACE gene was identified by polymerase chain reaction. Serum ACE activity was also measured.
The distribution of the I dominant genotype (II & ID) and the I allelic frequency were significantly more prevalent in Sherpas (II & ID: 94.3%, I allele: 73.3%) than in non-Sherpas (II & ID: 85.6%, P = .035; I allele: 64.0%, P = .036). Moreover, despite residing at high altitude, the circulating ACE levels of Sherpas were statistically similar to those of non-Sherpas at low altitudes (Sherpas: 14.5 +/- 0.4 IU/L/37 degrees C; non-Sherpas: 14.7 +/- 0.4 IU/L/37 degrees C; P = .755).
These findings suggest that the overrepresented I allele of the ACE gene in Sherpas might be one of the fundamental genetic factors responsible for maintaining physiological low-altitude ACE activity at high altitude, which may have an advantageous physiological role in adapting to a high-altitude environment.
Wilderness and Environmental Medicine 01/2008; 19(1):22-9. · 1.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of mechanical ventilation (MV), including noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) and endotracheal intubation (ETI) in patients with very severe hypoxemia due to refractory heart failure (RHF).
In addition to conventional treatment, eighteen patients with hypoxemia due to RHF were assigned to receive NPPV (n=10) or ETI (n=8) based on the severity of their clinical status. Arterial blood gas, PaO(2)/FiO(2), vital signs including respiratory rate (RR), heart rate (HR) and systolic blood pressure (SBP), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV) were recorded before and after MV in each group.
The patients in the ETI group showed more severe hypoxemia and respiratory acidosis in comparison with the patients in the NPPV group. Both the NPPV and ETI significantly increased PaO(2), PaO(2)/FiO(2) and arterial oxygen saturation (SaO(2)) (p <0.01) and reduced RR and HR (p <0.01) after MV in comparison to that before MV. Both the NPPV and ETI significantly increased LVEF (p <0.05) and decreased LVEDV (p <0.01) at the time of weaning from MV in comparison to that before MV. Moreover, PaO(2) correlated with LVEF (r=0.882, p=0.01 and r=0.736, p=0.037) while it also inversely correlated with LVEDV (r=-0.645, p=0.044 and r=-0.756, p=0.030) at the time of weaning from MV in the NPPV and ETI groups, respectively. There were two failed cases in the NPPV group. They were transferred immediately to be treated with ETI and were equivalent to the others in the ETI group.
Both NPPV and ETI are safe and effective modalities for improving hypoxemia and left heart function in patients with RHF. These results suggest that invasive MV should be applied to very severe patients with RHF as quickly as possible when an expected clinical improvement cannot be obtained by NPPV.
Internal Medicine 01/2008; 47(5):367-73. · 0.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) demonstrated that large variations existed in the prevalence of symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema throughout the world and that environmental factors and lifestyle customs are major determinants of the prevalence and severity of these diseases. However, the relevant data about children living at high-altitude locations were considered to be underreported.
The ISAAC Phase III programme was carried out in Lhasa, the Tibetan Autonomous Region in China, at an elevation of 3658 m above sea level to examine the occurrence of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in schoolchildren aged 13-14 years.
All 3196 schoolchildren in eight public junior high schools in urban Lhasa who were confirmed to be 13-14 years old were invited and participated in both written and video questionnaire investigations, among which 3190 pieces of data (49.8% of boys and 50.2% of girls) were validated and analysed.
Among the overall observations, the prevalence of 'having ever experienced wheezing', 'current wheezing' and 'diagnosed to have asthma' was 1.4%, 0.8% and 1.1%, respectively. The prevalence of current exercise-induced asthma and current nocturnal cough was 7.1% and 4.6%, respectively. The current prevalence of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema was 5.2% and 0.4%, respectively. In addition, the prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms during the past 12 months showed no discernable differences throughout the year.
The prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema over the past 12 months was the lowest among the centres, that performed ISAAC worldwide.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic determinants of resistance to hypobaric hypoxia in the Sherpa are still unknown. Since adaptive gene variants must still be subjected to positive selection, linkage disequilibrium between such variants and specific alleles of flanking DNA markers is expected. Following this line of reasoning, we performed a human genome scan using 998 polymorphic DNA markers in 7 unrelated Sherpa porters living in the Solu-Khumbu area. This minimalist approach succeeded in detecting 8 DNA markers showing homozygosity for the same shared allele. Analysis of additional DNA samples from 2 more Sherpa porters focused our attention on three polymorphic DNA markers (D6S1697, D14S274, D17S1795) showing homozygosity for the same shared allele in 8 out 9 tested individuals. Analysis of DNA samples from Sherpa and non-Sherpa populations of Nepal proved HW equilibrium in both populations for markers D14S274 and D17S1795, while an excess of heterozygotes was observed in the Sherpa population for marker D6S1697. A significant difference in allele frequencies for D14S274 and D17S1795 between the two populations was observed. These findings exclude the possibility that homozygosity for 3 specific loci in 8 unrelated individuals might be ascribed to inbreeding or recent genetic drift. We therefore conclude that the chromosomal segments detected by such DNA markers may include genes involved in adaptation to hypobaric hypoxia.
Annals of Human Genetics 10/2007; 71(Pt 5):630-8. · 2.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Samples from 105 unrelated healthy Sherpa in Namche Bazaar and 111 unrelated non-Sherpa in Kathmandu valley from Nepal were used to obtain allele frequency data for 15 short tandem repeat (STR) loci (CSF1PO, D2S1338, D3S1358, D5S818, D7S820, D8S1179, D13S317, D16S539, D18S51, D19S433, D21S11, FGA, TH01, TPOX and vWA) included in the AmpFLSTR Identifiler kit. No deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were observed, but only after applying a Bonferroni correction in the case of D5S818 in the Sherpa population and D7S820 in the Kathmandu population. Genetic parameters of forensic interest were calculated and genetic differentiation between the two populations tested.
Forensic science international 08/2007; 169(2-3):234-8. · 2.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The occurrence of asthma symptoms and food consumption frequencies in 13- to 14-year-old schoolchildren was investigated in Lhasa, Tibet (3,658 meters above sea level). A total of 99.2% of the schoolchildren reported that they had not experienced any wheezing during the prior 12 months. Among these students, more than 50% had consumed rice, meat, fruits, and vegetables at least three times per week in the preceding year. More than 70% of the non-asthmatic students rarely consumed margarine; 50% of these students rarely ate fast food; and 40% only occasionally ate fish during the prior 12 months. The dietary habits of the schoolchildren in Lhasa may have some potential beneficial roles in contributing to the low prevalence of asthma in this high altitude region.
Journal of Asthma 06/2007; 44(4):317-24. · 1.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the possible mechanisms of high-altitude native animals in adapting to high altitude, we cloned hemoglobin alpha-chain (alpha-chain Hb) gene from Pantholops hodgsonii, an animal species that indigenously lives at elevations of 3700-5500 m on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. Using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique, the alpha-chain Hb gene was amplified from total RNA in the liver of the Pantholops hodgsonii. TA cloning technique was used and the PCR product was cloned into pGEM-T vector. The DNA sequence of the gene was highly homologous with sheep (99.1%), goat (98.6%), cattle (95.6%) and human (86.5%). The alpha-chain Hb gene encoded a 142-amino acid protein that could be identified with the homology of alpha-chain Hb protein in sheep (98%), goat (96%), cattle (91%) and human (87%). However, 18 alternations were detected when compared with the alpha-chain Hb gene in human, and 2 in sheep. Moreover, the alterations of á117 GluAsp and alpha 132 AsnSer in important regions were noted in human and sheep, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the structure of alpha-chain Hb was highly similar to that in sheep. This study provided essential information for elucidating the possible roles of hemoglobin in adapting to extremely high altitude in Pantholops hodgsonii.
Journal of biochemistry and molecular biology 06/2007; 40(3):426-31. · 2.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Sherpas' adaptation to high altitude has been hypothesized as being due to a genetic basis since the beginning of the last century, but this has yet to be demonstrated. We randomly enrolled 105 Sherpas in Namche Bazaar (3440 m) and 111 non-Sherpa Nepalis in Kathmandu (1330 m) in Nepal. The genotypes of Glu298Asp and eNOS4b/a polymorphisms of the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene were identified. The metabolites of nitric oxide (NO( x ): nitrite and nitrate) in serum were measured. The frequencies of the Glu and eNOS4b alleles were significantly higher in Sherpas (Glu: 87.5%; eNOS4b: 96.7%) than in non-Sherpas (Glu: 77.9%, p = 0.036; eNOS4b: 90.5%, p = 0.009). In addition, the combination of the wild types of Glu298Glu and eNOS4b/b was significantly greater in Sherpas (66.7%) than non-Sherpas (47.7%, p = 0.008). However, the serum NO( x ) was significantly lower in Sherpas (53.2 +/- 4.6 micromol/L) than in non-Sherpas (107.3 +/- 9.0 micromol/L, p < 0.0001). The wild alleles of the Glu298Asp and eNOS4b/a polymorphisms of the eNOS gene may be a benefit for the Sherpas' adaptation to high altitude. The nitric oxide metabolites (NO( x )) in serum vary individually, thus it is not a reliable indicator for endogenous nitric oxide production.
High Altitude Medicine & Biology 02/2006; 7(3):209-20. · 2.12 Impact Factor