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Professor Caroline (Lindy) Rae

PUBLICATIONS

Covertly active and progressing neurochemical abnormalities in suppressed HIV infection.

Cysique LA, Jugé L, Gates T, Tobia M, Moffat K, Brew BJ, Rae C

To assess whether HIV-related brain injury is progressive in persons with suppressed HIV infection. Our study reveals covertly active or progressing HIV-related brain injury in the majority of this virally suppressed cohort, reflecting ongoing neuropathogenic processes that are only partially worsened by historical HAND and HIV duration. Longer-term studies will be important for determining the prognosis of these slowly evolving neurochemical abnormalities.

White matter measures are near normal in controlled HIV infection except in those with cognitive impairment and longer HIV duration.

Cysique LA, Soares JR, Geng G, Scarpetta M, Moffat K, Green M, Brew BJ, Henry RG, Rae C

The objective of the current study was to quantify the degree of white matter (WM) abnormalities in chronic and virally suppressed HIV-infected (HIV+) persons while carefully taking into account demographic and disease factors. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was conducted in 40 HIV- and 82 HIV+ men with comparable demographics and life style factors. The HIV+ sample was clinically stable with successful viral control. Diffusion was measured across 32 non-colinear directions with a b-value of 1000 s/mm; fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) maps were quantified with Itrack IDL. Using the ENIGMA DTI protocol, FA and MD values were extracted for each participant and in 11 skeleton regions of interest (SROI) from standard labels in the JHU ICBM-81 atlas covering major striato-frontal and parietal tracks. We found no major differences in FA and MD values across the 11 SROI between study groups. Within the HIV+ sample, we found that a higher CNS penetrating antiretroviral treatment, higher current CD4+ T cell count, and immune recovery from the nadir CD4+ T cell count were associated with increased FA and decreased MD (p < 0.05-0.006), while HIV duration, symptomatic, and asymptomatic cognitive impairment were associated with decreased FA and increased MD (p < 0.01-0.004). Stability of HIV treatment and antiretroviral CNS penetration efficiency in addition to current and historical immune recovery were related to higher FA and lower MD (p = 0.04-p < 0.01). In conclusion, WM DTI measures are near normal except for patients with neurocognitive impairment and longer HIV disease duration.

Covertly active and progressing neurochemical abnormalities in suppressed HIV infection.

Cysique LA, Jugé L, Gates T, Tobia M, Moffat K, Brew BJ, Rae C

To assess whether HIV-related brain injury is progressive in persons with suppressed HIV infection. Our study reveals covertly active or progressing HIV-related brain injury in the majority of this virally suppressed cohort, reflecting ongoing neuropathogenic processes that are only partially worsened by historical HAND and HIV duration. Longer-term studies will be important for determining the prognosis of these slowly evolving neurochemical abnormalities.

Hand function is impaired in healthy older adults at risk of Parkinson's disease.

Todd G, Haberfield M, Faulkner PL, Rae C, Hayes M, Wilcox RA, Taylor JL, Gandevia SC, Godau J, Berg D, Piguet O, Double KL

Abnormal substantia nigra morphology in healthy individuals, viewed with transcranial ultrasound, is a significant risk factor for Parkinson's disease. However, little is known about the functional consequences of this abnormality (termed 'hyperechogenicity') on movement. The aim of the current study was to investigate hand function in healthy older adults with (SN+) and without (SN-) substantia nigra hyperechogenicity during object manipulation. We hypothesised that SN+ subjects would exhibit increased grip force and a slower rate of force application compared to SN- subjects. Twenty-six healthy older adults (8 SN+ aged 58 ± 8 years, 18 SN- aged 57 ± 6 years) were asked to grip and lift a light-weight object with the dominant hand. Horizontal grip force, vertical lift force, acceleration, and first dorsal interosseus EMG were recorded during three trials. During the first trial, SN+ subjects exhibited a longer period between grip onset and lift onset (i.e. preload duration; 0.27 ± 0.25 s) than SN- subjects (0.13 ± 0.08 s; P = 0.046). They also exerted a greater downward force prior to lift off (-0.54 ± 0.42 N vs. -0.21 ± 0.12 N; P = 0.005) and used a greater grip force to lift the object (19.5 ± 7.0 N vs. 14.0 ± 4.3 N; P = 0.022) than SN- subjects. No between group differences were observed in subsequent trials. SN+ subjects exhibit impaired planning for manipulation of new objects. SN+ individuals over-estimate the grip force required, despite a longer contact period prior to lifting the object. The pattern of impairment observed in SN+ subjects shares similarities with de novo Parkinson's disease patients.

Brain activity: connectivity, sparsity, and mutual information.

Cassidy B, Rae C, Solo V

We develop a new approach to functional brain connectivity analysis, which deals with four fundamental aspects of connectivity not previously jointly treated. These are: temporal correlation, spurious spatial correlation, sparsity, and network construction using trajectory (as opposed to marginal) Mutual Information. We call the new method Sparse Conditional Trajectory Mutual Information (SCoTMI). We demonstrate SCoTMI on simulated and real fMRI data, showing that SCoTMI gives more accurate and more repeatable detection of network links than competing network estimation methods.

Metabolomic Approaches to Defining the Role(s) of GABAρ Receptors in the Brain.

Rae C, Nasrallah FA, Balcar VJ, Rowlands BD, Johnston GA, Hanrahan JR

The inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) acts through various types of receptors in the central nervous system. GABAρ receptors, defined by their characteristic pharmacology and presence of ρ subunits in the channel structure, are poorly understood and their role in the cortex is ill-defined. Here, we used a targeted pharmacological, NMR-based functional metabolomic approach in Guinea pig brain cortical tissue slices to identify a distinct role for these receptors. We compared metabolic fingerprints generated by a range of ligands active at GABAρ and included these in a principal components analysis with a library of other metabolic fingerprints obtained using ligands active at GABAA and GABAB, with inhibitors of GABA uptake and with compounds acting to inhibit enzymes active in the GABAergic system. This enabled us to generate a metabolic "footprint" of the GABAergic system which revealed classes of metabolic activity associated with GABAρ which are distinct from other GABA receptors. Antagonised GABAρ produce large metabolic effects at extrasynaptic sites suggesting they may be involved in tonic inhibition.

Metabolomics of Neurotransmitters and Related Metabolites in Post-Mortem Tissue from the Dorsal and Ventral Striatum of Alcoholic Human Brain.

Kashem MA, Ahmed S, Sultana N, Ahmed EU, Pickford R, Rae C, Šerý O, McGregor IS, Balcar VJ

We report on changes in neurotransmitter metabolome and protein expression in the striatum of humans exposed to heavy long-term consumption of alcohol. Extracts from post mortem striatal tissue (dorsal striatum; DS comprising caudate nucleus; CN and putamen; P and ventral striatum; VS constituted by nucleus accumbens; NAc) were analysed by high performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. Proteomics was studied in CN by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by mass-spectrometry. Proteomics identified 25 unique molecules expressed differently by the alcohol-affected tissue. Two were dopamine-related proteins and one a GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD65. Two proteins that are related to apoptosis and/or neuronal loss (BiD and amyloid-β A4 precursor protein-binding family B member 3) were increased. There were no differences in the levels of dopamine (DA), 3,4-dihydrophenylacetic acid (DOPAC), serotonin (5HT), homovanillic acid (HVA), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (HIAA), histamine, L-glutamate (Glu), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), tyrosine (Tyr) and tryptophan (Tryp) between the DS (CN and P) and VS (NAc) in control brains. Choline (Ch) and acetylcholine (Ach) were higher and norepinephrine (NE) lower, in the VS. Alcoholic striata had lower levels of neurotransmitters except for Glu (30 % higher in the alcoholic ventral striatum). Ratios of DOPAC/DA and HIAA/5HT were higher in alcoholic striatum indicating an increase in the DA and 5HT turnover. Glutathione was significantly reduced in all three regions of alcohol-affected striatum. We conclude that neurotransmitter systems in both the DS (CN and P) and the VS (NAc) were significantly influenced by long-term heavy alcohol intake associated with alcoholism .