• Can mean platelet component be used as an index of platelet activity in stable coronary artery disease?

      Cooke, John; Murphy, Tracy; McFadden, Eugene; O'Reilly, Mairead; Cahill, Mary R; Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Dooradoyle, Limerick, Ireland. (2009-04)
      Acute coronary syndrome is associated with intracoronary thrombosis secondary to platelet activation. Previous groups have investigated platelet activation in both stable and unstable vascular disease. Most measures of platelet activation are not routinely available or easily adaptable to large scale clinical use. Recently, measurement of the mean platelet component (MPC) has become part of the routine data provided by an automated full blood count analyser, the Advia 120. MPC measures platelet density which changes on platelet activation. Our objectives were to determine if platelet activation, as measured by MPC, is increased in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) and to determine if MPC could be useful in differentiating people with stable CAD from controls on an everyday clinical basis. Three hundred and forty-five consecutive patients attending for elective coronary angiography had full blood count analysis and MPC measurement performed using an ADVIA-120 analyser. Three hundred and twenty-four were analysed in our final dataset. Two hundred and fifty-three (78%) had CAD. Patients with CAD were significantly (p<0.001) older than those without (63.8 versus 56.0 years). Results failed to demonstrate a difference (p=0.467) in MPC between patients with CAD and those with normal coronary arteries (25.8 versus 26.0). Likewise, there was no correlation between MPC and the severity of CAD (Kendall's tau b=-0.086, p=0.04). MPC is not a useful index of platelet activity in stable CAD when used in everyday clinical practice.
    • Duration of increased bleeding tendency after cessation of aspirin therapy.

      Cahill, Ronan A; McGreal, Gerard T; Crowe, Basil H; Ryan, Damien A; Manning, Brian J; Cahill, Mary R; Redmond, H Paul; Department of Surgery, NUI (Cork), Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-02-03)
      BACKGROUND: Aspirin has a significant effect on hemostasis, so it is often recommended that patients taking aspirin discontinue treatment before elective surgery. While off aspirin, these patients may be at risk of thrombosis. The optimum period of time that aspirin should be withheld is controversial. The aim of this study was to establish the duration of the antihemostatic effect of prolonged aspirin therapy. STUDY DESIGN: In a prospective study, 51 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned into 3 groups, each receiving an identical tablet for 14 days. One group received a placebo tablet; individuals in the other two groups received either 75 mg or 300 mg of aspirin once a day. Template bleeding times and specific platelet function testing (using the PFA-100; Dade Behring) were carried out on subjects before therapy and again after its completion until they returned to baseline. RESULTS: Thirty-eight volunteers complied sufficiently with the protocol to provide useful results. All bleeding times normalized within 96 hours and all platelet function tests within 144 hours after stopping aspirin. There was no demonstrable hemostatic defect in any volunteer persisting by or beyond the sixth day after treatment cessation. There was no apparent difference in duration of effect between those taking either 75 mg or 300 mg of aspirin. CONCLUSIONS: This study uses sensitive measures of platelet function to demonstrate the duration of increased bleeding tendency after withdrawal of aspirin therapy. It supports discontinuation of aspirin therapy 5 days before elective surgery (with the operation being performed on the sixth day).
    • Induction of autophagy by Imatinib sequesters Bcr-Abl in autophagosomes and down-regulates Bcr-Abl protein.

      Elzinga, Baukje M; Nyhan, Michelle J; Crowley, Lisa C; O'Donovan, Tracey R; Cahill, Mary R; McKenna, Sharon L; Leslie C. Quick Laboratory, Cork Cancer Research Centre, BioSciences Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. (2013-06)
      Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is a disease of hematopoietic stem cells which harbor the chimeric gene Bcr-Abl. Expression levels of this constitutively active tyrosine kinase are critical for response to tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment and also disease progression, yet the regulation of protein stability is poorly understood. We have previously demonstrated that imatinib can induce autophagy in Bcr-Abl expressing cells. Autophagy has been associated with the clearance of large macromolecular signaling complexes and abnormal proteins, however, the contribution of autophagy to the turnover of Bcr-Abl protein in imatinib treated cells is unknown. In this study, we show that following imatinib treatment, Bcr-Abl is sequestered into vesicular structures that co-localize with the autophagy marker LC3 or GABARAP. This association is inhibited by siRNA mediated knockdown of autophagy regulators (Beclin 1/ATG7). Pharmacological inhibition of autophagy also reduced Bcr-Abl/LC3 co-localization in both K562 and CML patient cells. Bcr-Abl protein expression was reduced with imatinib treatment. Inhibition of both autophagy and proteasome activity in imatinib treated cells was required to restore Bcr-Abl protein levels to those of untreated cells. This ability to down-regulate Bcr-Abl protein levels through the induction of autophagy may be an additional and important feature of the activity of imatinib.
    • A multi-centre retrospective study of rituximab use in the treatment of relapsed or resistant warm autoimmune haemolytic anaemia.

      Maung, Su W; Leahy, Maeve; O'Leary, Hilary M; Khan, Irfan; Cahill, Mary R; Gilligan, Oonagh; Murphy, Philip; McPherson, Suzanne; Jackson, Fred; Ryan, Mary; et al. (2013-10)
      This retrospective analysis assessed the response, safety and duration of response to standard dose rituximab 375 mg/m(2) weekly for four weeks as therapy for patients with primary or secondary warm autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (WAIHA), who had failed initial treatment. Thirty-four patients received rituximab for WAIHA in seven centres in the Republic of Ireland. The overall response rate was 70·6% (24/34) with 26·5% (9/34) achieving a complete response (CR). The time to response was 1 month post-initiation of rituximab in 87·5% (21/24) and 3 months in 12·5% (3/24) of patients. The median duration of follow-up was 36 months (range 6-90 months). Of the patients who responded, 50% (12/24) relapsed during follow up with a median time to next treatment of 16·5 months (range 6-60 months). Three patients were re-treated with rituximab 375 mg/m2 weekly for four weeks at relapse and responded. There was a single episode of neutropenic sepsis. Rituximab is an effective and safe treatment for WAIHA but a significant number of patients will relapse in the first two years post treatment. Re-treatment was effective in a small number of patients, suggesting that intermittent pulse treatment or maintenance treatment may improve long-term response.
    • Regulation of Trib2 by an E2F1-C/EBPα feedback loop in AML cell proliferation.

      Rishi, Loveena; Hannon, Maura; Salomè, Mara; Hasemann, Marie; Frank, Anne-Katrine; Campos, Joana; Timoney, Jennifer; O'Connor, Caitriona; Cahill, Mary R; Porse, Bo; et al. (2014-04-10)
      The loss of regulation of cell proliferation is a key event in leukemic transformation, and the oncogene tribbles (Trib)2 is emerging as a pivotal target of transcription factors in acute leukemias. Deregulation of the transcription factor E2F1, normally repressed by CCAAT enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα)-p42, occurs in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), resulting in the perturbation of cell cycle and apoptosis, emphasizing its importance in the molecular pathogenesis of AML. Here we show that E2F family members directly regulate Trib2 in leukemic cells and identify a feedback regulatory loop for E2F1, C/EBPα, and Trib2 in AML cell proliferation and survival. Further analyses revealed that E2F1-mediated Trib2 expression was repressed by C/EBPα-p42, and in normal granulocyte/macrophage progenitor cells, we detect C/EBPα bound to the Trib2 promoter. Pharmacological inhibition of the cell cycle or Trib2 knockdown resulted in a block in AML cell proliferation. Our work proposes a novel paradigm whereby E2F1 plays a key role in the regulation of Trib2 expression important for AML cell proliferation control. Importantly, we identify the contribution of dysregulated C/EBPα and E2F1 to elevated Trib2 expression and leukemic cell survival, which likely contributes to the initiation and maintenance of AML and may have significant implications for normal and malignant hematopoiesis.
    • Retinoid receptor signaling and autophagy in acute promyelocytic leukemia.

      Orfali, Nina; McKenna, Sharon L; Cahill, Mary R; Gudas, Lorraine J; Mongan, Nigel P; Cork Cancer Research Center, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; Department of Pharmacology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA. (2014-05-15)
      Retinoids are a family of signaling molecules derived from vitamin A with well established roles in cellular differentiation. Physiologically active retinoids mediate transcriptional effects on cells through interactions with retinoic acid (RARs) and retinoid-X (RXR) receptors. Chromosomal translocations involving the RARα gene, which lead to impaired retinoid signaling, are implicated in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). All-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), alone and in combination with arsenic trioxide (ATO), restores differentiation in APL cells and promotes degradation of the abnormal oncogenic fusion protein through several proteolytic mechanisms. RARα fusion-protein elimination is emerging as critical to obtaining sustained remission and long-term cure in APL. Autophagy is a degradative cellular pathway involved in protein turnover. Both ATRA and ATO also induce autophagy in APL cells. Enhancing autophagy may therefore be of therapeutic benefit in resistant APL and could broaden the application of differentiation therapy to other cancers. Here we discuss retinoid signaling in hematopoiesis, leukemogenesis, and APL treatment. We highlight autophagy as a potential important regulator in anti-leukemic strategies.
    • Sustained clinical remission despite suboptimal molecular response to imatinib in e1a2 BCR-ABL chronic myeloid leukemia.

      Langabeer, Stephen E; Crampe, Mireille; Haslam, Karl; Kelly, Johanna; Cahill, Mary R (2010-07)