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See detailThe Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate and Its Relation to Cell Shape and Rigidity of Red Blood Cells from Chorea-Acanthocytosis Patients in an Off-Label Treatment with Dasatinib.
Rabe, Antonia; Kihm, Alexander; Darras, Alexis et al

in Biomolecules (2021), 11(5),

BACKGROUND: Chorea-acanthocytosis (ChAc) is a rare hereditary neurodegenerative disease with deformed red blood cells (RBCs), so-called acanthocytes, as a typical marker of the disease. Erythrocyte ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Chorea-acanthocytosis (ChAc) is a rare hereditary neurodegenerative disease with deformed red blood cells (RBCs), so-called acanthocytes, as a typical marker of the disease. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) was recently proposed as a diagnostic biomarker. To date, there is no treatment option for affected patients, but promising therapy candidates, such as dasatinib, a Lyn-kinase inhibitor, have been identified. METHODS: RBCs of two ChAc patients during and after dasatinib treatment were characterized by the ESR, clinical hematology parameters and the 3D shape classification in stasis based on an artificial neural network. Furthermore, mathematical modeling was performed to understand the contribution of cell morphology and cell rigidity to the ESR. Microfluidic measurements were used to compare the RBC rigidity between ChAc patients and healthy controls. RESULTS: The mechano-morphological characterization of RBCs from two ChAc patients in an off-label treatment with dasatinib revealed differences in the ESR and the acanthocyte count during and after the treatment period, which could not directly be related to each other. Clinical hematology parameters were in the normal range. Mathematical modeling indicated that RBC rigidity is more important for delayed ESR than cell shape. Microfluidic experiments confirmed a higher rigidity in the normocytes of ChAc patients compared to healthy controls. CONCLUSIONS: The results increase our understanding of the role of acanthocytes and their associated properties in the ESR, but the data are too sparse to answer the question of whether the ESR is a suitable biomarker for treatment success, whereas a correlation between hematological and neuronal phenotype is still subject to verification. [less ▲]

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See detailAcanthocyte Sedimentation Rate as a Diagnostic Biomarker for Neuroacanthocytosis Syndromes: Experimental Evidence and Physical Justification.
Darras, Alexis; Peikert, Kevin; Rabe, Antonia et al

in Cells (2021), 10(4),

(1) Background: Chorea-acanthocytosis and McLeod syndrome are the core diseases among the group of rare neurodegenerative disorders called neuroacanthocytosis syndromes (NASs). NAS patients have a ... [more ▼]

(1) Background: Chorea-acanthocytosis and McLeod syndrome are the core diseases among the group of rare neurodegenerative disorders called neuroacanthocytosis syndromes (NASs). NAS patients have a variable number of irregularly spiky erythrocytes, so-called acanthocytes. Their detection is a crucial but error-prone parameter in the diagnosis of NASs, often leading to misdiagnoses. (2) Methods: We measured the standard Westergren erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) of various blood samples from NAS patients and healthy controls. Furthermore, we manipulated the ESR by swapping the erythrocytes and plasma of different individuals, as well as replacing plasma with dextran. These measurements were complemented by clinical laboratory data and single-cell adhesion force measurements. Additionally, we followed theoretical modeling approaches. (3) Results: We show that the acanthocyte sedimentation rate (ASR) with a two-hour read-out is significantly prolonged in chorea-acanthocytosis and McLeod syndrome without overlap compared to the ESR of the controls. Mechanistically, through modern colloidal physics, we show that acanthocyte aggregation and plasma fibrinogen levels slow down the sedimentation. Moreover, the inverse of ASR correlates with the number of acanthocytes (R2=0.61, p=0.004). (4) Conclusions: The ASR/ESR is a clear, robust and easily obtainable diagnostic marker. Independently of NASs, we also regard this study as a hallmark of the physical view of erythrocyte sedimentation by describing anticoagulated blood in stasis as a percolating gel, allowing the application of colloidal physics theory. [less ▲]

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See detailFrontotemporal dementia and its subtypes: a genome-wide association study.
Ferrari, Raffaele; Hernandez, Dena G.; Nalls, Michael A. et al

in Lancet neurology (2014), 13(7), 686-99

BACKGROUND: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a complex disorder characterised by a broad range of clinical manifestations, differential pathological signatures, and genetic variability. Mutations in three ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a complex disorder characterised by a broad range of clinical manifestations, differential pathological signatures, and genetic variability. Mutations in three genes-MAPT, GRN, and C9orf72-have been associated with FTD. We sought to identify novel genetic risk loci associated with the disorder. METHODS: We did a two-stage genome-wide association study on clinical FTD, analysing samples from 3526 patients with FTD and 9402 healthy controls. To reduce genetic heterogeneity, all participants were of European ancestry. In the discovery phase (samples from 2154 patients with FTD and 4308 controls), we did separate association analyses for each FTD subtype (behavioural variant FTD, semantic dementia, progressive non-fluent aphasia, and FTD overlapping with motor neuron disease [FTD-MND]), followed by a meta-analysis of the entire dataset. We carried forward replication of the novel suggestive loci in an independent sample series (samples from 1372 patients and 5094 controls) and then did joint phase and brain expression and methylation quantitative trait loci analyses for the associated (p<5 x 10(-8)) single-nucleotide polymorphisms. FINDINGS: We identified novel associations exceeding the genome-wide significance threshold (p<5 x 10(-8)). Combined (joint) analyses of discovery and replication phases showed genome-wide significant association at 6p21.3, HLA locus (immune system), for rs9268877 (p=1.05 x 10(-8); odds ratio=1.204 [95% CI 1.11-1.30]), rs9268856 (p=5.51 x 10(-9); 0.809 [0.76-0.86]) and rs1980493 (p value=1.57 x 10(-8), 0.775 [0.69-0.86]) in the entire cohort. We also identified a potential novel locus at 11q14, encompassing RAB38/CTSC (the transcripts of which are related to lysosomal biology), for the behavioural FTD subtype for which joint analyses showed suggestive association for rs302668 (p=2.44 x 10(-7); 0.814 [0.71-0.92]). Analysis of expression and methylation quantitative trait loci data suggested that these loci might affect expression and methylation in cis. INTERPRETATION: Our findings suggest that immune system processes (link to 6p21.3) and possibly lysosomal and autophagy pathways (link to 11q14) are potentially involved in FTD. Our findings need to be replicated to better define the association of the newly identified loci with disease and to shed light on the pathomechanisms contributing to FTD. FUNDING: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Institute on Aging, the Wellcome/MRC Centre on Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's Research UK, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. [less ▲]

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