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      Plasma Proteome Biomarkers of Inflammation in School Aged Children in Nepal

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          Inflammation is a condition stemming from complex host defense and tissue repair mechanisms, often simply characterized by plasma levels of a single acute reactant. We attempted to identify candidate biomarkers of systemic inflammation within the plasma proteome. We applied quantitative proteomics using isobaric mass tags (iTRAQ) tandem mass spectrometry to quantify proteins in plasma of 500 Nepalese children 6–8 years of age. We evaluated those that co-vary with inflammation, indexed by α-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), a conventional biomarker of inflammation in population studies. Among 982 proteins quantified in >10% of samples, 99 were strongly associated with AGP at a family-wise error rate of 0.1%. Magnitude and significance of association varied more among proteins positively (n = 41) than negatively associated (n = 58) with AGP. The former included known positive acute phase proteins including C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, complement components, protease inhibitors, transport proteins with anti-oxidative activity, and numerous unexpected intracellular signaling molecules. Negatively associated proteins exhibited distinct differences in abundance between secretory hepatic proteins involved in transporting or binding lipids, micronutrients (vitamin A and calcium), growth factors and sex hormones, and proteins of largely extra-hepatic origin involved in the formation and metabolic regulation of extracellular matrix. With the same analytical approach and the significance threshold, seventy-two out of the 99 proteins were commonly associated with CRP, an established biomarker of inflammation, suggesting the validity of the identified proteins. Our findings have revealed a vast plasma proteome within a free-living population of children that comprise functional biomarkers of homeostatic and induced host defense, nutrient metabolism and tissue repair, representing a set of plasma proteins that may be used to assess dynamics and extent of inflammation for future clinical and public health application.

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          Activities at the Universal Protein Resource (UniProt)

          The mission of the Universal Protein Resource (UniProt) (http://www.uniprot.org) is to provide the scientific community with a comprehensive, high-quality and freely accessible resource of protein sequences and functional annotation. It integrates, interprets and standardizes data from literature and numerous resources to achieve the most comprehensive catalog possible of protein information. The central activities are the biocuration of the UniProt Knowledgebase and the dissemination of these data through our Web site and web services. UniProt is produced by the UniProt Consortium, which consists of groups from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) and the Protein Information Resource (PIR). UniProt is updated and distributed every 4 weeks and can be accessed online for searches or downloads.
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            Metabolic dysregulation and adipose tissue fibrosis: role of collagen VI.

            Adipocytes are embedded in a unique extracellular matrix whose main function is to provide mechanical support, in addition to participating in a variety of signaling events. During adipose tissue expansion, the extracellular matrix requires remodeling to accommodate adipocyte growth. Here, we demonstrate a general upregulation of several extracellular matrix components in adipose tissue in the diabetic state, therefore implicating "adipose tissue fibrosis" as a hallmark of metabolically challenged adipocytes. Collagen VI is a highly enriched extracellular matrix component of adipose tissue. The absence of collagen VI results in the uninhibited expansion of individual adipocytes and is paradoxically associated with substantial improvements in whole-body energy homeostasis, both with high-fat diet exposure and in the ob/ob background. Collectively, our data suggest that weakening the extracellular scaffold of adipocytes enables their stress-free expansion during states of positive energy balance, which is consequently associated with an improved inflammatory profile. Therefore, the disproportionate accumulation of extracellular matrix components in adipose tissue may not be merely an epiphenomenon of metabolically challenging conditions but may also directly contribute to a failure to expand adipose tissue mass during states of excess caloric intake.
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              The MAL-ED study: a multinational and multidisciplinary approach to understand the relationship between enteric pathogens, malnutrition, gut physiology, physical growth, cognitive development, and immune responses in infants and children up to 2 years of age in resource-poor environments.

              Highly prevalent conditions with multiple and complex underlying etiologies are a challenge to public health. Undernutrition, for example, affects 20% of children in the developing world. The cause and consequence of poor nutrition are multifaceted. Undernutrition has been associated with half of all deaths worldwide in children aged <5 years; in addition, its pernicious long-term effects in early childhood have been associated with cognitive and physical growth deficits across multiple generations and have been thought to suppress immunity to further infections and to reduce the efficacy of childhood vaccines. The Etiology, Risk Factors, and Interactions of Enteric Infections and Malnutrition and the Consequences for Child Health (MAL-ED) Study, led by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, has been established at sites in 8 countries with historically high incidence of diarrheal disease and undernutrition. Central to the study is the hypothesis that enteropathogen infection contributes to undernutrition by causing intestinal inflammation and/or by altering intestinal barrier and absorptive function. It is further postulated that this leads to growth faltering and deficits in cognitive development. The effects of repeated enteric infection and undernutrition on the immune response to childhood vaccines is also being examined in the study. MAL-ED uses a prospective longitudinal design that offers a unique opportunity to directly address a complex system of exposures and health outcomes in the community-rather than the relatively rarer circumstances that lead to hospitalization-during the critical period of development of the first 2 years of life. Among the factors being evaluated are enteric infections (with or without diarrhea) and other illness indicators, micronutrient levels, diet, socioeconomic status, gut function, and the environment. MAL-ED aims to describe these factors, their interrelationships, and their overall impact on health outcomes in unprecedented detail, and to make individual, site-specific, and generalized recommendations regarding the nature and timing of possible interventions aimed at improving child health and development in these resource-poor settings.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                4 December 2015
                : 10
                : 12
                [1 ]Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                [2 ]Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility, Department of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                [3 ]Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                [4 ]Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                University of California, San Diego, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: KPW RNC KJS JDY JG PC. Performed the experiments: RNC KJS. Analyzed the data: SEL LS-FW. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: IR SEL RNC KJS. Wrote the paper: SEL KPW IR.

                © 2015 Lee et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 4, Pages: 21
                This work was supported by: 1. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA, USA. Grants OPP5241 (Yiwu He, Senior Program Officer) and OPP614 (Ellen Piwoz, Senior Program Officer), http://www.gatesfoundation.org/. 2. The Office of Health, Infectious Diseases and Nutrition, US Agency for International Development, Washington, DC. Grant number (HRN-A-00-97-00015-00), http://www.usaid.gov/who-we-are/organization/bureaus/bureau-global-health. 3. The Sight and Life Global Nutrition Research Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA, http://www.sightandlife.org/ and http://www.jhsph.edu/departments/international-health/news/dsm-sight-and-life.html. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                The dataset of inflammatory protein biomarkers reported in this manuscript can be made available to researchers who qualify as co-investigators by making a request to the Johns Hopkins Nutritproteomics Investigative Team (c/o KP West Jr, kwest1@ 123456jhu.edu ). This restriction exists because biospecimens for this analysis were collected from a cohort of children actively being followed in Nepal whose parents consented with an understanding that all personal information about their son/daughter would remain secure with study investigators and not be shared with anyone not working for the research project.



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