Helsingin yliopiston tutkijoiden julkaisemia artikkeleja.

Helsingin yliopiston tutkijat voivat rinnakkaistallentaa tutkimusjulkaisujansa HELDAan liittämällä kokotekstin julkaisuun TUHAT-tutkimustietojärjestelmässä. (Toimintaohje tutkijalle)


Uusimmat julkaisut

  • Kausar, Mehran; Siddiqi, Saima; Yaqoob, Muhammad; Mansoor, Sajid; Makitie, Outi; Mir, Asif; Khor, Chiea C; Foo, Jia N; Anees, Mariam (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Introduction Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disease with skeletal fragility and variable extra-skeletal manifestations. To date several point mutations in 18 different genes causing different types of OI have been identified. Mutations in WNT1 compromise activity of the osteoblasts leading to disturbed bone mass accrual, fragility fractures and progressive skeletal abnormalities. The present study was conducted to determine the underlying genetic cause of an autosomal recessive skeletal dysplasia in a large consanguineous family from Chinute, Pakistan. Materials and methods Blood was collected from 24 individuals of affected family along with clinical data. Homozygosity mapping was performed to confirm consanguinity. SNPs were identified, followed by whole exome and Sanger sequencing. In silico characterization of WNT1 mutation was performed using multiple platforms. Results Nine affected family members exhibited severe bone deformities, recurrent fractures, short stature and low bone mineral density. SNP array data revealed homozygous segments > 1 Mb in length accounting for 2.1–12.7% of the genome in affected individuals and their siblings and a single 6,344,821 bp homozygous region in all affected individuals on chromosome 12q12-q13. This region includes two potential OI candidate genes WNT1 and VDR. We did whole-exome sequencing for both genes in two patients and identified a novel damaging missense mutation in exon 4 of WNT1: c.1168G > T (NM_005430) resulting in p.G324C. Sanger sequencing confirmed segregation of mutation with the disease in family. Conclusion We report a novel mutation responsible for OI and our investigation expands the spectrum of disease-causing WNT1 mutations and the resulting OI phenotypes.
  • Haider, Najmul; Laaksonen, Sauli; Kjær, Lene J; Oksanen, Antti; Bødker, Rene (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background In northern Finland (Lapland), reindeer are reared as semi-domesticated animals. The region has a short summer season of 2–3 months, yet reindeer are infected with the mosquito-borne filarioid parasite Setaria tundra. The infection causes peritonitis and perihepatitis, which cause significant economic losses due to reduced body weight of infected animals. The objective of this study was to: (i) describe the spatial and temporal pattern of outbreaks in three different areas across Finnish Lapland; and (ii) construct a temperature-driven mechanistic transmission model to quantify the potential role of temperature on intensity of S. tundra transmission in reindeer. Methods We developed a temperature-driven transmission model able to predict the number of S. tundra potentially transmitted from an infectious reindeer. We applied the model to the years 2004–2015, and compared the predictions to the proportion of reindeer whose livers were condemned due to S. tundra infection at the time of slaughter. Results The mean proportion of liver condemnation increased in reindeer slaughtered in late autumn/winter compared to earlier dates. The outbreaks were geographically clustered each year but there were no fixed foci where outbreaks occurred. Larger outbreaks were recorded in the southern regions of reindeer-herding areas compared to the central or northern parts of Lapland. Our model showed that temperatures never allowed for transmission of more than a single generation of S. tundra each season. In southern (Kuusamo) and central (Sodankylä) Lapland, our model predicted an increasing trend from 1979 to 2015 for both the duration of the effective transmission period of S. tundra (P < 0.001) and for the potential number of L3 S. tundra larvae being transmitted from an infectious reindeer (P < 0.001). Conclusions The effective transmission period for S. tundra in reindeer is very short in Lapland, but it increased over the period studied. Only one generation of S. tundra can be transmitted in one season among reindeer in Lapland. Increasing temperatures may facilitate a range expansion and increasing duration of effective transmission period for S. tundra.
  • Holopainen, Elina; Vakkilainen, Svetlana; Mäkitie, Outi (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background Patients with cartilage-hair hypoplasia (CHH), a rare metaphyseal chondrodysplasia, manifest severe growth failure, variable immunodeficiency and increased risk of malignancies. The impact of CHH on gynecologic and reproductive health is unknown. Vulnerability to genital infections may predispose CHH patients to prolonged human papillomavirus (HPV) infections potentially leading to cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer. Methods We carried out gynecologic evaluation, pelvic ultrasound and laboratory assessment in 19 women with genetically confirmed CHH. All patients were clinically examined and retrospective data were collected from hospital records. Results The women ranged in age from 19.2 to 70.8 years (median 40.8 years) and in height from 103 to 150 cm (median 123 cm). All women had undergone normal pubertal development as assessed by breast development according to Tanner scale and by age of menarche (mean 12.5 yrs., range 11–14 yrs). Despite significant short stature and potentially small pelvic diameters, a well-developed uterus with fairly normal size and shape was found by pelvic ultrasound in most of the patients. Ovarian follicle reserve, assessed by ultrasound was normal in relation to age in all premenopausal women it could be assessed (12 cases). Anti-Müllerian hormone was normal in relation to age in 17 women (89%). HPV was detected in 44% (8/18) and three women carried more than one HPV serotype; findings did not associate with immunological parameters. Three patients had a concurrent cell atypia in Pap smear. Conclusions Pubertal development, reproductive hormones and ovarian structure and function were usually normal in women with CHH suggesting fairly normal reproductive health. However, the immunodeficiency characteristic to CHH may predispose the patients to HPV infections. High prevalence of HPV infections detected in this series highlights the importance of careful gynecologic follow up of these patients.
  • Metsälä, Olli; Kreutzer, Joose; Högel, Heidi; Miikkulainen, Petra; Kallio, Pasi; Jaakkola, Panu M (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background Cells in solid tumours are variably hypoxic and hence resistant to radiotherapy - the essential role of oxygen in the efficiency of irradiation has been acknowledged for decades. However, the currently available methods for performing hypoxic experiments in vitro have several limitations, such as a limited amount of parallel experiments, incapability of keeping stable growth conditions and dependence on CO2 incubator or a hypoxia workstation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usability of a novel portable system (Minihypoxy) in performing in vitro irradiation studies under hypoxia, and present supporting biological data. Materials and methods This study was conducted on cancer cell cultures in vitro. The cells were cultured in normoxic (~ 21% O2) or in hypoxic (1% O2) conditions either in conventional hypoxia workstation or in the Minihypoxy system and irradiated at dose rate 1.28 Gy/min ± 2.9%. The control samples were sham irradiated. To study the effects of hypoxia and irradiation on cell viability and DNA damage, western blotting, immunostainings and clonogenic assay were used. The oxygen level, pH, evaporation rate and osmolarity of the culturing media on cell cultures in different conditions were followed. Results The oxygen concentration in interest (5, 1 or 0% O2) was maintained inside the individual culturing chambers of the Minihypoxy system also during the irradiation. The radiosensitivity of the cells cultured in Minihypoxy chambers was declined measured as lower phosphorylation rate of H2A.X and increased clonogenic capacity compared to controls (OER~ 3). Conclusions The Minihypoxy system allows continuous control of hypoxic environment in multiple wells and is transportable. Furthermore, the system maintains the low oxygen environment inside the individual culturing chambers during the transportation and irradiation in experiments which are typically conducted in separate facilities.
  • Van Steenberge, Maarten; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; Hablützel, Pascal I; Vanhove, Maarten P M; Koblmüller, Stephan; Snoeks, Jos (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background Species delineation is particularly challenging in taxa with substantial intra-specific variation. In systematic studies of fishes, meristics and linear measurements that describe shape are often used to delineate species. Yet, little is known about the taxonomic value of these two types of morphological characteristics. Here, we used Tropheus (Teleostei, Cichlidae) from the southern subbasin of Lake Tanganyika to test which of these types of characters best matched genetic lineages that could represent species in this group of stenotypic rock-dwelling cichlids. We further investigated intra-population variation in morphology. By linking this to a proxy of a population’s age, we could assess the evolutionary stability of different kinds of morphological markers. Results Morphological data was collected from 570 specimens originating from 86 localities. An AFLP approach revealed the presence of five lineages in the southern subbasin: T. moorii, T. brichardi, T. sp. ‘maculatus’, T. sp. ‘Mpimbwe’ and T. sp. ‘red’, which we consider to represent distinct species. Although both types of morphological data supported this classification, a comparison of PST-values that describe inter-population morphological differentiation, revealed a better correspondence between the taxon delineation based on AFLP data and the patterns revealed by an analysis of meristics than between the AFLP-based taxon delineation and the patterns revealed by an analysis of shape. However, classifying southern populations of Tropheus was inherently difficult as they contained a large amount of clinal variation, both in genetic and in morphological data, and both within and among species. A scenario is put forward to explain the current-day distribution of the species and colour varieties and the observed clinal variation across the subbasin’s shoreline. Additionally, we observed that variation in shape was larger in populations from shallow shores whereas populations from steep shores were more variable in meristics. This difference is explained in terms of the different timescales at which small and large scale lake level fluctuations affected populations of littoral cichlids at steep and shallow shores. Conclusions Our results showed meristics to be more evolutionary stable, and of higher taxonomic value for species delimitation in Tropheus, than linear measurements that describe shape. These results should be taken into account when interpreting morphological differences between populations of highly stenotypic species, such as littoral cichlids from the Great East African Lakes.
  • Karhu, Juho; Lehmann, Kevin; Vainio, Markku; Metsälä, Markus; Halonen, Lauri (2018)
    A method of measuring double resonant two-photon signal and background from a single cavity ring-down decay is introduced. This is achieved by modulating the double resonance loss via one of the light sources exciting the transition. The noise performance of the method is characterized theoretically and experimentally. The addition of a new parameter to the fitting function introduces a minor noise increase due to parameter correlation. However, the concurrent recording of the background can extend the stable measurement time. Alternatively, the method allows a faster measurement speed, while still recording the background, which is often advantageous in double resonance measurements. Finally, the method is insensitive to changes in the cavity decay rate at short timescales and can lead to improved performance if they have significant contribution to the final noise level compared to the detector noise. (C) 2018 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement
  • Trevisan, Chiara; Sotiraki, Smaragda; Laranjo-Gonzalez, Minerva; Dermauw, Veronique; Wang, Ziqi; Kaerssin, Age; Cvetkovikj, Aleksandar; Winkler, Andrea S.; Abraham, Annette; Bobic, Branko; Lassen, Brian; Cretu, Carmen Michaela; Vasile, Cozma; Arvanitis, Dimitris; Deksne, Gunita; Boro, Ilievski; Kucsera, Istvan; Karamon, Jacek; Stefanovska, Jovana; Koudela, Bretislav; Pavlova, Maja Jurhar; Varady, Marian; Pavlak, Marina; Sarkunas, Mindaugas; Kaminski, Miriam; Djurkovic-Djakovic, Olgica; Jokelainen, Pikka; Jan, Dagny Stojcevic; Schmidt, Veronika; Dakic, Zorica; Gabriel, Sarah; Dorny, Pierre; Devleesschauwer, Brecht (2018)
    Background: Taenia solium and Taenia saginata are food-borne parasites of global importance. In eastern Europe only fragmented information is available on the epidemiology of these zoonotic parasites in humans and animal populations. In particular for T. solium, on-going transmission is suspected. The aim of this systematic review was to collect the available data and describe the current knowledge on the epidemiology of T. solium and T. saginata in eastern Europe. Methods: Literature published in international databases from 1990 to 2017 was systematically reviewed. Furthermore, local sources and unpublished data from national databases were retrieved from local eastern European experts. The study area included 22 countries. Results: Researchers from 18 out of the 22 countries provided data from local and unpublished sources, while no contacts could be established with researchers from Belarus, Kosovo, Malta and Ukraine. Taeniosis and human cysticercosis cases were reported in 14 and 15 out of the 22 countries, respectively. Estonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia reported cases of porcine cysticercosis. Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine reported bovine cysticercosis. Conclusions: There is indication that taeniosis and cysticercosis are present across eastern Europe but information on the occurrence of T. solium and T. saginata across the region remains incomplete. Available data are scarce and species identification is in most cases absent. Given the public health impact of T. solium and the potential economic and trade implications due to T. saginata, notification of taeniosis and human cysticercosis should be implemented and surveillance and notification systems in animals should be improved.
  • Kisdi, Eva (2015)
    Evolutionary singularities are central to the adaptive dynamics of evolving traits. The evolutionary singularities are strongly affected by the shape of any trade-off functions a model assumes, yet the trade-off functions are often chosen in an ad hoc manner, which may unjustifiably constrain the evolutionary dynamics exhibited by the model. To avoid this problem, critical function analysis has been used to find a trade-off function that yields a certain evolutionary singularity such as an evolutionary branching point. Here I extend this method to multiple trade-offs parameterized with a scalar strategy. I show that the trade-off functions can be chosen such that an arbitrary point in the viability domain of the trait space is a singularity of an arbitrary type, provided (next to certain non-degeneracy conditions) that the model has at least two environmental feedback variables and at least as many trade-offs as feedback variables. The proof is constructive, i.e., it provides an algorithm to find trade-off functions that yield the desired singularity. I illustrate the construction of trade-offs with an example where the virulence of a pathogen evolves in a small ecosystem of a host, its pathogen, a predator that attacks the host and an alternative prey of the predator.
  • Weigang, Helene C.; Kisdi, Eva (2015)
    Resources invested in dispersal structures as well as time and energy spent during transfer may often decrease fecundity. Here we analyse an extended version of the Hamilton-May model of dispersal evolution, where we include a fecundity-dispersal trade-off and also mortality between competition and reproduction. With adaptive dynamics and critical function analysis we investigate the evolution of dispersal strategies and ask whether adaptive diversification is possible. We exclude evolutionary branching for concave trade-offs and show that for convex trade-offs diversification is promoted in a narrow parameter range. We provide theoretical evidence that dispersal strategies can monotonically decrease with increasing survival during dispersal. Moreover, we illustrate the existence of two alternative attracting dispersal strategies. The model exhibits fold bifurcation points where slight changes in survival can lead to evolutionary catastrophes. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Laban, Tracey Leah; van Zyl, Pieter Gideon; Beukes, Johan Paul; Vakkari, Ville; Jaars, Kerneels; Borduas-Dedekind, Nadine; Josipovic, Miroslav; Thompson, Anne Mee; Kulmala, Markku; Laakso, Lauri (2018)
    Although elevated surface ozone (O-3) concentrations are observed in many areas within southern Africa, few studies have investigated the regional atmospheric chemistry and dominant atmospheric processes driving surface O-3 formation in this region. Therefore, an assessment of comprehensive continuous surfaceO(3) measurements performed at four sites in continental South Africa was conducted. The regional O-3 problem was evident, with O-3 concentrations regularly exceeding the South African air quality standard limit, while O-3 levels were higher compared to other background sites in the Southern Hemisphere. The temporal O-3 patterns observed at the four sites resembled typical trends for O-3 in continental South Africa, with O-3 concentrations peaking in late winter and early spring. Increased O-3 concentrations in winter were indicative of increased emissions of O-3 precursors from household combustion and other low-level sources, while a spring maximum observed at all the sites was attributed to increased regional biomass burning. Source area maps of O-3 and CO indicated significantly higher O-3 and CO concentrations associated with air masses passing over a region with increased seasonal open biomass burning, which indicated CO associated with open biomass burning as a major source of O-3 in continental South Africa. A strong correlation between O-3 on CO was observed, while O-3 levels remained relatively constant or decreased with increasing NOx, which supports a VOC-limited regime. The instantaneous production rate of O-3 calculated at Welgegund indicated that similar to 40 % of O-3 production occurred in the VOC- limited regime. The relationship between O-3 and precursor species suggests that continental South Africa can be considered VOC limited, which can be attributed to high anthropogenic emissions of NOx in the interior of South Africa. The study indicated that the most effective emission control strategy to reduce 03 levels in continental South Africa should be CO and VOC reduction, mainly associated with household combustion and regional open biomass burning.
  • Peltola, Elina; Hannula, Paivi; Huhtala, Heini; Metso, Saara; Kiviniemi, Ulla; Vornanen, Martine; Sand, Juhani; Laukkarinen, Johanna; Tiikkainen, Mirja; Schalin-Jantti, Camilla; Arola, Johanna; Siren, Jukka; Piiroinen, Antti; Soinio, Minna; Nuutila, Pirjo; Soderstrom, Mirva; Hamalainen, Hanna; Moilanen, Leena; Laaksonen, David; Pirinen, Elina; Sundelin, Fia; Ebeling, Tapani; Salmela, Pasi; Makinen, Markus J.; Jaatinen, Pia (2018)
    Objective. Insulinomas are rare pancreatic tumours. Population-based data on their incidence, clinical picture, diagnosis, and treatment are almost nonexistent. The aim of this study was to clarify these aspects in a nationwide cohort of insulinoma patients diagnosed during three decades. Design and Methods. Retrospective analysis on all adult patients diagnosed with insulinoma in Finland during 1980-2010. Results. Seventy-nine patients were diagnosed with insulinoma over the research period. The median follow-up from diagnosis to last control visit was one (min 0, max 31) year. The incidence increased from 0.5/million/year in the 1980s to 0.9/million/year in the 2000s (p = 0 002). The median diagnostic delay was 13 months and did not change over the study period. The mean age at diagnosis was 52 (SD 16) years. The overall imaging sensitivity improved from 39% in the 1980s to 98% in the 2000s (p <0 001). Seventy- one (90%) of the patients underwent surgery with a curative aim, two (3%) had palliative surgery, and 6 (8%) were inoperable. There were no significant differences in the types of surgical procedures between the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s; tumour enucleations comprised 43% of the operations, distal pancreatic resections 45%, and pancreaticoduodenectomies 12%, over the whole study period. Of the patients who underwent surgery with a curative aim, 89% had a full recovery. Postoperative complications occurred in half of the patients, but postoperative mortality was rare. Conclusions. The incidence of insulinomas has increased during the past three decades. Despite the improved diagnostic options, diagnostic delay has remained unchanged. To shorten the delay, clinicians should be informed and alert to consider the possibility of hypoglycemia and insulinoma, when symptomatic attacks are investigated in different sectors of the healthcare system. Developing the surgical treatment is another major target, in order to lower the overall complication rate, without compromising the high cure rate of insulinomas.
  • Ekman, Elina; Laaksonen, Inari; Eskelinen, Antti; Pulkkinen, Pekka; Pukkala, Eero; Makela, Keijo (2018)
    Background and purpose - Metal-on-metal (MoM) total hip arthroplasty (THA) and hip resurfacing arthroplasty (HRA) have been widely used during the early 21st century. We assessed the midterm risk of cancer of patients treated with modern MoM hip implants compared with patients with non-MoM hip implants and the general Finnish population with special interest in soft tissue sarcomas and basalioma due to the findings of our previous report. Patients and methods - All large-diameter head MoM THAs and hip resurfacings performed in Finland between 2001 and 2010 were extracted from the Finnish Arthroplasty Register (10,728 patients). Patients who underwent conventional THA formed the non-MoM reference cohort (18,235 patients). Data on cancer cases up to 2014 were extracted from the Finnish Cancer Registry. The relative risk of cancer in the general population was expressed as the ratio of observed to expected number of cases, i.e., standardized incidence ratio (SIR). Poisson regression analysis was used to compare the cancer risk between the cohorts. The mean follow-up was 7.4 years (1-14) in the MoM cohort and 8.4 years (1-14) in the non-MoM cohort. Results - The overall risk of cancer in the MoM cohort was comparable to the general Finnish population (SIR 0.9, 95% CI 0.9-1.0). Risk of basalioma in the MoM cohort was higher than in the general Finnish population (SIR 1.2, CI 1.1-1.4) and higher than in the non-MoM cohort in the stratified regression analysis (RR 1.2, CI 1.0-1.4, p = 0.02). The SIR of soft-tissue sarcoma in the MoM cohort was 1.4 (CI 0.6-2.8); the incidence was same as in the non-MoM cohort. Interpretation - Metal-on-metal hip implants are not associated with an increased overall risk of cancer during midterm follow-up.
  • Yanku, Yifat; Bitman-Lotan, Eliya; Zohar, Yaniv; Kurant, Estee; Zielke, Norman; Eilers, Martin; Orian, Amir (2018)
    The HECT-type ubiquitin ligase HECT, UBA and WWE Domain Containing 1, (HUWE1) regulates key cancer-related pathways, including the Myc oncogene. It affects cell proliferation, stress and immune signaling, mitochondria homeostasis, and cell death. HUWE1 is evolutionarily conserved from Caenorhabditis elegance to Drosophila melanogaster and Humans. Here, we report that the Drosophila ortholog, dHUWE1 (CG8184), is an essential gene whose loss results in embryonic lethality and whose tissue-specific disruption establishes its regulatory role in larval salivary gland development. dHUWE1 is essential for endoreplication of salivary gland cells and its knockdown results in the inability of these cells to replicate DNA. Remarkably, dHUWE1 is a survival factor that prevents premature activation of JNK signaling, thus preventing the disintegration of the salivary gland, which occurs physiologically during pupal stages. This function of dHUWE1 is general, as its inhibitory effect is observed also during eye development and at the organismal level. Epistatic studies revealed that the loss of dHUWE1 is compensated by dMyc proeitn expression or the loss of dmP53. dHUWE1 is therefore a conserved survival factor that regulates organ formation during Drosophila development.
  • Beltagy, Marwa S.; Pentti, Jaana; Vahtera, Jussi; Kivimaki, Mika (2018)
    Objectives The aim of this study was to examine the status of night work as a risk factor for common mental disorders (CMD). Methods A cohort study with three data waves was conducted on populations of social and healthcare employees for a duration of eight years (total N=46 010). Data were analyzed as a non-randomized pseudo trial to examine (i) whether moving from non-night work to night work is associated with the development of CMD, (ii) the extent to which moving back to non-night work biases this association and (iii) whether moving from night to non-night work is associated with the recovery from CMD. Results According to logistic regression with generalized estimating equation and without bias-correction, changing to night work was not associated with the odds of acquiring CMD [odds ratio (OR) 1.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.82-1.30]. However, night workers with CMD had higher odds of recovery from CMD when changing to non-night work compared to continuing night work (1.99, 95% CI 1.20-3.28). When night workers developed CMD, the odds of moving back to non-night work increased by 68%. In analyses corrected for this bias, changing from non-night to night work was associated with a 1.25-fold (95% CI 1.03-1.52) increased odds of acquiring CMD. Conclusions A change from non-night to night work may increase the risk of CMD, while moving back from night to non-night work increased recovery from CMD.
  • Prasad, Marianne; Takkinen, Hanna-Mari; Uusitalo, Liisa; Tapanainen, Heli; Ovaskainen, Marja-Leena; Alfthan, Georg; Erlund, Iris; Ahonen, Suvi; Åkerlund, Mari; Toppari, Jorma; Ilonen, Jorma; Knip, Mikael; Veijola, Riitta; Virtanen, Suvi M. (2018)
    Fruit and vegetable intake has been associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases. These foods are the main dietary source of carotenoids. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the associations between dietary intake and serum concentrations of alpha- and beta-carotene in a sample of young Finnish children from the population-based birth cohort of the Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) Study. The current analysis comprised 3-day food records and serum samples from 207 children aged 1, 2 and 3 years. Spearman and partial correlations, as well as a cross-classification analyses, were used to assess the relationship between dietary intake and the corresponding biomarkers. Serum concentrations of alpha- and beta-carotene were significantly higher among the 1-year-old compared to the 3-year-old children. Dietary intakes of alpha- and beta-carotene correlated significantly with their respective serum concentrations in all age groups, the association being highest at the age of 1 year (alpha-carotene r = 0.48; p <0.001 and beta-carotene r = 0.47; p <0.001), and lowest at the age of 3 years (alpha-carotene r = 0.44; p <0.001 and beta-carotene r = 0.30; p <0.001). A cross-classification showed that 72-81% of the participants were correctly classified to the same or adjacent quartile, when comparing the reported dietary intakes and the concentrations of the corresponding carotenoid in serum. The 3-day food record seems to be reasonably valid in the assessment of root vegetable consumption among young Finnish children. Root vegetables were the main dietary source of both carotenoids in all age groups. The high consumption of commercial baby foods among the 1-year-old children was reflected in the relatively high dietary intake and serum concentration of both carotenoids.
  • Nyqvist, Sanna Katariina (2018)
  • Basnyat, Pabitra; Virtanen, Elina; Elovaara, Irina; Hagman, Sanna; Auvinen, Eeva (2017)
    Sensitive biomarkers are needed to better manage multiple sclerosis (MS) patients for natalizumab (NTZ)-associated risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). A currently used risk stratification algorithm, mainly based on JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) serology, has not led to a reduction of PML incidence. Therefore, this study was designed to evaluate the presence and prevalence of JCPyV miRNAs in plasma of NTZ-treated MS patients, and to explore their biomarker potential for NTZ-associated PML risk assessment. Altogether, 102 plasma samples from 49 NTZ-treated and 28 interferon-beta (IFN-beta)-treated relapsing-remitting MS patients, and 25 healthy controls (HCs) were analyzed for jcv-miR-J1-5p (5p miRNA) and jcv-miR-J1-3p (3p miRNA) expression. The overall detection rate of 5p miRNA was 84% (41/49) among NTZ-treated patients, 75% (21/28) among IFN-beta-treated patients, and 92% (23/25) in HCs. Relative 5p miRNA expression levels were lower in NTZ-treated patients as compared to patients treated with IFN-beta (p = 0.027) but not to HCs. Moreover, 5p miRNA expression inversely correlated with anti-JCPyV antibody index among JCPyV seropositive long-term NTZ-treated patients (r = -0.756; p = 0.002). The overall detection rate of 3p miRNA was low. Our results suggest that JCPyV miRNA in plasma may be linked to the reactivation of persistent JCPyV, to enhanced virus replication, and eventually to the risk of developing PML among NTZ-treated MS patients. However, further study is warranted in a larger data set including samples from PML patients to confirm the clinical relevance of JCPyV miRNA as a sign of/in viral reactivation, and to identify its potential to predict developing PML risk.
  • Ren, Yang; Kuuluvainen, Jari; Yang, Liu; Yao, Shunbo; Xue, Caixia; Toppinen, Anne (2018)
    To investigate the effect of improved property rights and, in particular, village democracy under China’s Collective Forest Tenure Reform (Tenure Reform) on household forestry investments, we estimate both tobit models and the more general Cragg models for farmers’ labor and monetary inputs into forestry, using survey data of 652 households from the southern collective forest region of China. The results reveal that the improved forestland use and disposition rights had a significant effect on household investments in forestry, while the beneficiary right did not. In addition, the results suggest that village democracy had a positive effect on households’ forestry investments. More importantly, we find that village democracy was able to significantly strengthen the investment incentive effect of the improved property rights under the Tenure Reform. These effects may be explained by the fact that village democracy improved households’ perception, cognition, and, subsequently, confidence toward, in particular, the use and disposition rights of the forests entitled to them. Therefore, the findings suggest that to increase the investment incentives of the Tenure Reform further, governments could strengthen the bundle of households’ use and disposition rights, as well as their related policies. Also, our findings indicate that governments could significantly improve the performance of public policies by effectively employing democratic procedures in the process of policy implementation.
  • Reckling, Moritz; Döring, Thomas F.; Bergkvist, Göran; Stoddard, Frederick L.; Watson, Christine A.; Seddig, Sylvia; Chmielewski, Frank-M.; Bachinger, Johann (2018)
    Grain legumes produce high-quality protein for food and feed, and potentially contribute to sustainable cropping systems, but they are grown on only 1.5% of European arable land. Low temporal yield stability is one of the reasons held responsible for the low proportion of grain legumes, without sufficient quantitative evidence. The objective of this study was to compare the yield stability of grain legumes with other crop species in a northern European context and accounting for the effects of scale in the analysis and the data. To avoid aggregation biases in the yield data, we used data from long-term field experiments. The experiments included grain legumes (lupin, field pea, and faba bean), other broad-leaved crops, spring, and winter cereals. Experiments were conducted in the UK, Sweden, and Germany. To compare yield stability between grain legumes and other crops, we used a scale-adjusted yield stability indicator that accounts for the yield differences between crops following Taylor's Power Law. Here, we show that temporal yield instability of grain legumes (30%) was higher than that of autumn-sown cereals (19%), but lower than that of other spring-sown broad-leaved crops (35%), and only slightly greater than spring-sown cereals (27%). With the scale-adjusted yield stability indicator, we estimated 21% higher yield stability for grain legumes compared to a standard stability measure. These novel findings demonstrate that grain legume yields are as reliable as those of other spring-sown crops in major production systems of northern Europe, which could influence the current negative perception on grain legume cultivation. Initiatives are still needed to improve the crops agronomy to provide higher and more stable yields in future.

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