July 2023 Member Publications

  1. Helmy E, Elnakib A, ElNakieb Y, Khudri M, Abdelrahim M, Yousaf J, Ghazal M, Contractor S, Barnes GN, El-Baz A. Role of Artificial Intelligence for Autism Diagnosis Using DTI and fMRI: A Survey. Biomedicines. 2023 Jun 29;11(7):1858. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines11071858. PMID: 37509498; PMCID: PMC10376963.
    Impact Statement: This survey underscores how artificial intelligence (AI), particularly deep learning, is transforming the landscape of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis and early detection through analysis of brain MRI data, offering a rapid and objective alternative to current subjective methods. By highlighting the current capabilities and potential future applications of AI in healthcare settings, the study signals a promising direction for enhancing ASD diagnostic practices. 
  2. Boakye E, Erhabor J, Obisesan O, Tasdighi E, Mirbolouk M, Osuji N, Osei AD, Lee J, DeFilippis AP, Stokes AC, Hirsch GA, Benjamin EJ, Robertson RM, Bhatnagar A, El Shahawy O, Blaha MJ. Comprehensive review of the national surveys that assess E-cigarette use domains among youth and adults in the United States. Lancet Reg Health Am. 2023 Jun 7;23:100528. doi: 10.1016/j.lana.2023.100528. PMID: 37497394; PMCID: PMC10366460.
    Impact Statement: This review emphasizes the importance of tracking e-cigarette usage in various populations for effective tobacco regulation. Examining 13 prominent surveys, the study identifies essential tools and gaps in monitoring, offering recommendations to enhance surveillance precision and inform policy decisions. 
  3. Xie Z, Chen JY, Gao H, Keith RJ, Bhatnagar A, Lorkiewicz P, Srivastava S. Global Profiling of Urinary Mercapturic Acids Using Integrated Library-Guided Analysis. Environ Sci Technol. 2023 Jul 25;57(29):10563-10573. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.2c09554. Epub 2023 Jul 11. PMID: 37432892.
    Impact Statement: Our workflow allowed profiling of known and unreported Urinary mercapturic acids (MAs) from endogenous and environmental sources, and the levels of several MAs were increased in smokers. Our method can also be expanded and applied to other exposure-wide association studies. 
  4. Tasdighi E, Jha KK, Dardari ZA, Osuji N, Rajan T, Boakye E, Hall ME, Rodriguez CJ, Stokes AC, El Shahawy O, Benjamin EJ, Bhatnagar A, DeFilippis AP, Blaha MJ. Investigating the association of traditional and non-traditional tobacco product use with subclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease: The Cross-Cohort Collaboration-Tobacco working group rationale, design, and methodology. Tob Induc Dis. 2023 Jul 7;21:89. doi: 10.18332/tid/166517. PMID: 37427074; PMCID: PMC10326890.
    Impact Statement: This study presents the Cross-Cohort Collaboration (CCC)-Tobacco dataset, bringing together 23 prospective cohorts comprising over 322,000 participants, to address gaps in understanding cardiovascular disease risks associated with non-traditional tobacco products. Through analysis of diverse demographics and tobacco usage profiles, this dataset offers a distinct opportunity to comprehensively investigate subclinical and clinical CVD risks, including within underrepresented groups.
  5. Li Y, Cai T, Liu H, Liu J, Chen SY, Fan H. Exosome-shuttled miR-126 mediates ethanol-induced disruption of neural crest cell-placode cell interaction by targeting SDF1. Toxicol Sci. 2023 Jul 25:kfad068. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfad068. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37490477.
    Impact Statement:  We established a well-designed cell co-culture system to investigate the reciprocal interaction between human NCCs (hNCCs) and human PCs (hPCs), and also monitored the migration behavior of NCCs and PCs in zebrafish embryos. We found that ethanol exposure resulted in a disruption of coordinated hNCCs-hPCs interaction, as well as in zebrafish embryos. Treating hNCCs-hPCs with exosomes derived from ethanol-exposed hNCCs (ExoEtOH) mimicked ethanol-induced impairment of hNCCs-hPCs interaction. We also observed that SDF1, a chemoattractant, was downregulated in ethanol-treated hPCs and zebrafish embryos. Meanwhile, miR-126 level in ExoEtOH was significantly higher than that in control exosomes (ExoCon). We further validated that ExoEtOH-encapsulated miR-126 from hNCCs can be transferred to hPCs to suppress SDF1 expression in hPCs. Knockdown of SDF1 replicated ethanol-induced abnormalities either in vitro or in zebrafish embryos. On the contrary, overexpression of SDF1 or inhibiting miR-126 strongly rescued ethanol-induced impairment of hNCCs-hPCs interaction and developmental defects.
  6. Chen SY, Kannan M. Neural crest cells and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Mechanisms and potential targets for prevention. Pharmacol Res. 2023 Jul 17;194:106855. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2023.106855. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37460002.
    Impact Statement: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are the most prevalent nongenetic birth defect in Western countries and a leading known cause of intellectual disability. This review article provides an overview of the current knowledge on the detrimental effects of ethanol on neural crest cell (NCC) induction, migration, differentiation, and survival. It also explores the intricate molecular mechanisms underpinning these effects. The article also spotlights potential therapeutic strategies for preventing or mitigating the detrimental effects of ethanol on NCCs and reducing the risk of FASD. Overall, this article offers a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the impact of ethanol on NCCs and its role in FASD, and highlights the remarkable contributions of Dr. Shao-yu Chen’s laboratory to FASD research over the past three decades. 
  7. Tang XL, Nasr M, Zheng S, Zoubul T, Stephan JK, Uchida S, Singhal R, Khan A, Gumpert A, Bolli R, Wysoczynski M. Bone Marrow and Wharton's Jelly Mesenchymal Stromal Cells are Ineffective for Myocardial Repair in an Immunodeficient Rat Model of Chronic Ischemic Cardiomyopathy. Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2023 Jul 28. doi: 10.1007/s12015-023-10590-6. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37500831.
    Impact Statement: This study found human Wharton's jelly (WJ) and bone marrow (BM) mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have a small but not significant effect on cardiac structure and function when injected intramyocardially in immunodeficient rats chronically after MI. 
  8. Price SL, Thibault D, Garrison TM, Brady A, Guo H, Kehl-Fie TE, Garneau-Tsodikova S, Perry RD, van Opijnen T, Lawrenz MB. Droplet Tn-Seq identifies the primary secretion mechanism for yersiniabactin in Yersinia pestis. EMBO Rep. 2023 Jul 28:e57369. doi: 10.15252/embr.202357369. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37501563.
    Impact Statement: Dr. Guo participated in a research lead by Dr. Lawrenz, which had revealed the yersiniabactin secretion mechanism that has eluded researchers for over 30 years and identified a potential therapeutic target for bacteria that use yersiniabactin for metal acquisition.
  9. Walls KM, Hong KU, Hein DW. Induction of glucose production by heterocyclic amines is dependent on N-acetyltransferase 2 genetic polymorphism in cryopreserved human hepatocytes. Toxicol Lett. 2023 Jul 1;383:192-195. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2023.07.002. Epub 2023 Jul 7. PMID: 37423373.
    Impact Statement: Recent epidemiological studies reported significant associations between dietary heterocyclic amine (HCA) exposure and insulin resistance and type II diabetes, and our laboratory recently reported that HCAs induce insulin resistance and glucose production in human hepatocytes. The current study for the first time showed that insulin resistance and glucose production following HCA exposures in human hepatocytes is modified by the N-acetyltransferase 2 genetic polymorphism, reflective of precision environmental health.
  10. Head KZ, Bolatimi OE, Gripshover TC, Tan M, Li Y, Audam TN, Jones SP, Klinge CM, Cave MC, Wahlang B. Investigating the effects of long-term Aroclor 1260 exposure on fatty liver disease in a diet-induced obesity mouse model. Front Gastroenterol (Lausanne). 2023;2:1180712. doi: 10.3389/fgstr.2023.1180712. Epub 2023 May 12. PMID: 37426695; PMCID: PMC10327714.
    Impact Statement: The publication focused on understanding the longer-term impact (31 weeks) of PCB exposures on the liver and demonstrated that with longer duration of exposure, PCBs were able to induce more severe liver injury outcomes including liver cancer development. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that PCBs, at doses relevant to current environmental exposure patterns, resulted in progressive liver disease outcomes, and underscores the importance of considering ‘duration of exposure’ when assessing hepatotoxicity indices for these chemicals. 
  11. Klinge CM. Opportunities and challenges in microRNA research and clinical application. Endocrinology. 2023 Jul 25:bqad115. doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqad115. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37490849.
    Impact Statement: This is an invited commentary on a recent review paper discussing the current state of miRNA research and clinical applications that was published in Endocrinology
  12. Xu R, Vatsalya V, He L, Ma X, Feng W, McClain CJ, Zhang X. Altered urinary tryptophan metabolites in alcohol-associated liver disease. Alcohol (Hanover). 2023 Jul 11. doi: 10.1111/acer.15148. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37431708.
    Impact Statement: This study found that Tryptophan (Trp) metabolism differs between Alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) patients and healthy controls even though the concentration of Trp was not affected. Two Trp metabolites, quinolinic acid and indoxyl sulfate, correlate highly with the severity of ALD. 
  13. McClain CJ, Kirpich I, Song M, Vatsalya V. Keratin 18-M65: A biomarker for early-stage alcohol-associated liver disease. Alcohol (Hanover). 2023 Jul;47(7):1257-1260. doi: 10.1111/acer.15117. Epub 2023 Jun 14. PMID: 37526591.
    Impact Statement: This article provides critical insights into the application of the K18 biomarker as a potential tool for identifying early and aggressive alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD), particularly relevant for patients entering alcohol treatment programs.
  14. Liu L, Li F, Shao T, Zhang L, Lee J, Dryden G, McClain CJ, Zhao C, Feng W. FGF21 Depletion Attenuates Colitis through Intestinal Epithelial IL-22-STAT3 Activation in Mice. Nutrients. 2023 Apr 26;15(9):2086. doi: 10.3390/nu15092086. PMID: 37432218; PMCID: PMC10181108.
    Impact Statement: This study uncovers a novel role for Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 (FGF21) in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and its potential impact on disease severity. By utilizing an experimental IBD model and comparing FGF21 knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice, the research reveals that FGF21 deficiency mitigates the severity of colitis induced by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). This effect is associated with enhanced activation of the IL-22-STAT3 signaling pathway in intestinal epithelial cells, shedding light on a potential avenue for therapeutic interventions targeting IBD.
  15. Anderson LB, Kanneganti D, Houk MB, Holm RH, Smith T. Generative AI as a Tool for Environmental Health Research Translation. Geohealth. 2023 Jul 26;7(7):e2023GH000875. doi: 10.1029/2023GH000875. PMID: 37502196; PMCID: PMC10369501.
    Impact Statement: We demonstrate how generative AI, like ChatGPT, can be used to create Plain Language Summaries (PLS) of published studies and excels at insight synthesis, such as targeting an eighth-grade reading level or emphasizing key findings and real-world applications. In the field of environmental health science, this no-cost technology offers the potential to enhance research translation to a wide range of community and public policy stakeholders. 
  16. Blair LK, Howard J, Peiper NC, Little BB, Taylor KC, Baumgartner R, Creel L, DuPre NC. Residence in urban or rural counties in relation to opioid overdose mortality among Kentucky hospitalizations before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Int J Drug Policy. 2023 Jul 18;119:104122. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2023.104122. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37473677.
    Impact Statement: his study investigated the impact of residence in urban or rural counties on opioid overdose mortality in Kentucky during the opioid epidemic, and how this relationship was influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, patients in urban counties had significantly higher odds of opioid overdose death compared to rural counties, but during the pandemic, the distinction between urban and rural areas diminished, with opioid overdose mortality rates converging. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced challenges that exacerbated opioid mortality trends, affecting both urban and rural populations, reflecting the complex interplay between social, economic, and healthcare factors. 
  17. Minooei F, Gilbert NM, Zhang L, Sarah NeCamp M, Mahmoud MY, Kyser AJ, Tyo KM, Watson WH, Patwardhan R, Lewis WG, Frieboes HB, Lewis AL, Steinbach-Rankins JM. Rapid-dissolving electrospun nanofibers for intra-vaginal antibiotic or probiotic delivery. Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2023 Jul 19:S0939-6411(23)00181-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2023.07.009. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37479065.
    Impact Statement: This study introduces a novel and promising approach to address microbiological imbalances in the female genitourinary system by utilizing rapid-dissolving electrospun polyethylene oxide (PEO) fibers for the delivery of antibiotics and probiotics. The research demonstrates the successful prevention and treatment of Gardnerella infections through this platform, offering an innovative strategy to enhance therapeutic options for genitourinary health while showcasing the feasibility of this approach in both in vitro and in vivo settings.
  18. Sarkar OS, Donninger H, Al Rayyan N, Chew LC, Stamp B, Zhang X, Whitt A, Li C, Hall M, Mitchell RA, Zippelius A, Eaton J, Chesney JA, Yaddanapudi K. Monocytic MDSCs exhibit superior immune suppression via adenosine and depletion of adenosine improves efficacy of immunotherapy. Sci Adv. 2023 Jun 30;9(26):eadg3736. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.adg3736. Epub 2023 Jun 30. PMID: 37390211; PMCID: PMC10313166.
    Impact Statement: This study found adenosine metabolism shapes the behavior of monocytes in tumors and depletion of adenosine improves efficacy of cancer therapy.