Clonal Hematopoiesis and Risk of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP), which is defined as the presence of an expanded somatic blood-cell clone in persons without other hematologic abnormalities, is common among older persons and is associated with an increased risk of hematologic cancer. We previously found preliminary evidence for an association between CHIP and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, but the nature of this association was unclear. METHODS:We used whole-exome sequencing to detect the presence of CHIP in peripheral-blood cells and associated such presence with coronary heart disease using samples from four case-control studies that together enrolled 4726 participants with coronary heart disease and 3529 controls. To assess causality, we perturbed the function of Tet2, the second most commonly mutated gene linked to clonal hematopoiesis, in the hematopoietic cells of atherosclerosis-prone mice. RESULTS:In nested case-control analyses from two prospective cohorts, carriers of CHIP had a risk of coronary heart disease that was 1.9 times as great as in noncarriers (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4 to 2.7). In two retrospective case-control cohorts for the evaluation of early-onset myocardial infarction, participants with CHIP had a risk of myocardial infarction that was 4.0 times as great as in noncarriers (95% CI, 2.4 to 6.7). Mutations in DNMT3A, TET2, ASXL1, and JAK2 were each individually associated with coronary heart disease. CHIP carriers with these mutations also had increased coronary-artery calcification, a marker of coronary atherosclerosis burden. Hypercholesterolemia-prone mice that were engrafted with bone marrow obtained from homozygous or heterozygous Tet2 knockout mice had larger atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic root and aorta than did mice that had received control bone marrow. Analyses of macrophages from Tet2 knockout mice showed elevated expression of several chemokine and cytokine genes that contribute to atherosclerosis. CONCLUSIONS:The presence of CHIP in peripheral-blood cells was associated with nearly a doubling in the risk of coronary heart disease in humans and with accelerated atherosclerosis in mice. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) refers to clonal expansion of hematopoietic stem cells attributable to acquired leukemic mutations in genes such as <i>DNMT3A</i> or <i>TET2</i>. In humans, CHIP associates with prevalent myocardial infarction. In mice, CHIP accelerates atherosclerosis and increases IL-6/IL-1? expression, raising the hypothesis that IL-6 pathway antagonism in CHIP carriers would decrease cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.<h4>Methods</h4>We analyzed exome sequences from 35 416 individuals in the UK Biobank without prevalent CVD, to identify participants with <i>DNMT3A</i> or <i>TET2</i> CHIP. We used the <i>IL6R</i> p.Asp358Ala coding mutation as a genetic proxy for IL-6 inhibition. We tested the association of CHIP status with incident CVD events (myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, stroke, or death), and whether it was modified by <i>IL6R</i> p.Asp358Ala.<h4>Results</h4>We identified 1079 (3.0%) individuals with CHIP, including 432 (1.2%) with large clones (allele fraction >10%). During 6.9-year median follow-up, CHIP associated with increased incident CVD event risk (hazard ratio, 1.27 [95% CI, 1.04-1.56], <i>P</i>=0.019), with greater risk from large CHIP clones (hazard ratio, 1.59 [95% CI, 1.21-2.09], <i>P</i><0.001). <i>IL6R</i> p.Asp358Ala attenuated CVD event risk among participants with large CHIP clones (hazard ratio, 0.46 [95% CI, 0.29-0.73], <i>P</i><0.001) but not in individuals without CHIP (hazard ratio, 0.95 [95% CI, 0.89-1.01], <i>P</i>=0.08; <i>P</i><sub>interaction</sub>=0.003). In 9951 independent participants, the association of CHIP status with myocardial infarction similarly varied by <i>IL6R</i> p.Asp358Ala (<i>P</i><sub>interaction</sub>=0.036).<h4>Conclusions</h4>CHIP is associated with increased risk of incident CVD. Among carriers of large CHIP clones, genetically reduced IL-6 signaling abrogated this risk.
Project description:Clonal hematopoiesis driven by somatic heterozygous TET2 loss is linked to malignant degeneration via consequent aberrant DNA methylation, and possibly to cardiovascular disease via increased cytokine and chemokine expression as reported in mice. Here, we discover a germline TET2 mutation in a lymphoma family. We observe neither unusual predisposition to atherosclerosis nor abnormal pro-inflammatory cytokine or chemokine expression. The latter finding is confirmed in cells from three additional unrelated TET2 germline mutation carriers. The TET2 defect elevates blood DNA methylation levels, especially at active enhancers and cell-type specific regulatory regions with binding sequences of master transcription factors involved in hematopoiesis. The regions display reduced methylation relative to all open chromatin regions in four DNMT3A germline mutation carriers, potentially due to TET2-mediated oxidation. Our findings provide insight into the interplay between epigenetic modulators and transcription factor activity in hematological neoplasia, but do not confirm the putative role of TET2 in atherosclerosis.
Project description:Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) is predictive of hematological cancers and cardiovascular diseases, but the etiology of CHIP initiation and clonal expansion is unknown. Several lines of evidence suggest that proinflammatory cytokines may favor mutated hematopoietic stem cell expansion. To investigate the potential link between inflammation and CHIP, we performed targeted deep sequencing of 11 genes previously implicated in CHIP in 1887 subjects aged >70 years from the Montreal Heart Institute Biobank, of which 1359 had prior coronary artery disease (CAD), and 528 controls did not. We assessed association of CHIP with log transformed high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a validated biomarker of inflammation. CHIP was identified in 427 of the 1887 subjects (22.6%). CHIP mutations were more frequently identified in DNMT3A (11.6%) and TET2 (6.1%), with a higher proportion of TET2 mutations occurring in controls than in patients with CAD (9.0% vs 4.9%, P < .001). CHIP carriers had 21% higher hs-CRP levels compared with their noncarrier counterparts (e? = 1.21, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.08 to 1.36; P = .001). A similar effect was observed in the subgroup of patients with known CAD (e? = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.06 to 1.41; P = .005). These findings confirm the association between inflammation and CHIP. This association may open investigational avenues aimed at documenting mechanisms linking inflammation to clonal progression and ultimately supports prevention interventions to attenuate CHIP's impact on cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recent studies have shown that hematopoietic stem cells can undergo clonal expansion secondary to somatic mutations in leukemia-related genes, thus leading to an age-dependent accumulation of mutant leukocytes in the blood. This somatic mutation-related clonal hematopoiesis is common in healthy older individuals, but it has been associated with an increased incidence of future cardiovascular disease. The epigenetic regulator TET2 is frequently mutated in blood cells of individuals exhibiting clonal hematopoiesis. OBJECTIVES:This study investigated whether Tet2 mutations within hematopoietic cells can contribute to heart failure in 2 models of cardiac injury. METHODS:Heart failure was induced in mice by pressure overload, achieved by transverse aortic constriction or chronic ischemia induced by the permanent ligation of the left anterior descending artery. Competitive bone marrow transplantation strategies with Tet2-deficient cells were used to mimic TET2 mutation-driven clonal hematopoiesis. Alternatively, Tet2 was specifically ablated in myeloid cells using Cre recombinase expressed from the LysM promoter. RESULTS:In both experimental heart failure models, hematopoietic or myeloid Tet2 deficiency worsened cardiac remodeling and function, in parallel with increased interleukin-1beta (IL-1?) expression. Treatment with a selective NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor protected against the development of heart failure and eliminated the differences in cardiac parameters between Tet2-deficient and wild-type mice. CONCLUSIONS:Tet2 deficiency in hematopoietic cells is associated with greater cardiac dysfunction in murine models of heart failure as a result of elevated IL-1? signaling. These data suggest that individuals with TET2-mediated clonal hematopoiesis may be at greater risk of developing heart failure and respond better to IL-1?-NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition.
Project description:Human aging is associated with an increased frequency of somatic mutations in hematopoietic cells. Several of these recurrent mutations, including those in the gene encoding the epigenetic modifier enzyme TET2, promote expansion of the mutant blood cells. This clonal hematopoiesis correlates with an increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. We studied the effects of the expansion of Tet2-mutant cells in atherosclerosis-prone, low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (Ldlr-/-) mice. We found that partial bone marrow reconstitution with TET2-deficient cells was sufficient for their clonal expansion and led to a marked increase in atherosclerotic plaque size. TET2-deficient macrophages exhibited an increase in NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated interleukin-1? secretion. An NLRP3 inhibitor showed greater atheroprotective activity in chimeric mice reconstituted with TET2-deficient cells than in nonchimeric mice. These results support the hypothesis that somatic TET2 mutations in blood cells play a causal role in atherosclerosis.
Project description:Importance:Somatic mutations causing clonal expansion of hematopoietic cells (clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential [CHIP]) are increased with age and associated with atherosclerosis and inflammation. Age and inflammation are the major risk factors for heart failure, yet the association of CHIP with heart failure in humans is unknown. Objective:To assess the potential prognostic significance of CHIP in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) owing to ischemic origin. Design, Setting, and Participants:We analyzed bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells from 200 patients with CHF by deep targeted amplicon sequencing to detect the presence of CHIP and associated such with long-term prognosis in patients with CHF at University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany. Data were analyzed between October 2017 and April 2018. Results:Median age of the patients was 65 years. Forty-seven mutations with a variant allele fraction (VAF) of at least 0.02 were found in 38 of 200 patients with CHF (18.5%). The somatic mutations most commonly occurred in the genes DNMT3A (14 patients), TET2 (9 patients), KDM6A (4 patients), and BCOR (3 patients). Patients with CHIP were older and more frequently had a history of hypertension. During a median follow-up of 4.4 years, a total of 53 patients died, and 23 patients required hospitalization for heart failure. There was a significantly worse long-term clinical outcome for patients with either DNMT3A or TET2 mutations compared with non-CHIP carriers. By multivariable Cox proportional regression analysis, the presence of somatic mutations within TET2 or DNMT3A (HR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.1-4.0; P = .02, for death combined with heart failure hospitalization) and age (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.07 per year; P = .005) but not a history of hypertension remained independently associated with adverse outcome. Importantly, there was a significant dose-response association between VAF and clinical outcome. Conclusions and Relevance:Our data suggest that somatic mutations in hematopoietic cells, specifically in the most commonly mutated CHIP driver genes TET2 and DNMT3A, may be significantly associated with the progression and poor prognosis of CHF. Future studies will have to validate our findings in larger cohorts and address whether targeting specific inflammatory pathways may be valuable for precision medicine in patients with CHF carrying specific mutations encoding for CHIP.
Project description:The incidence of hematologic cancers increases with age. These cancers are associated with recurrent somatic mutations in specific genes. We hypothesized that such mutations would be detectable in the blood of some persons who are not known to have hematologic disorders.We analyzed whole-exome sequencing data from DNA in the peripheral-blood cells of 17,182 persons who were unselected for hematologic phenotypes. We looked for somatic mutations by identifying previously characterized single-nucleotide variants and small insertions or deletions in 160 genes that are recurrently mutated in hematologic cancers. The presence of mutations was analyzed for an association with hematologic phenotypes, survival, and cardiovascular events.Detectable somatic mutations were rare in persons younger than 40 years of age but rose appreciably in frequency with age. Among persons 70 to 79 years of age, 80 to 89 years of age, and 90 to 108 years of age, these clonal mutations were observed in 9.5% (219 of 2300 persons), 11.7% (37 of 317), and 18.4% (19 of 103), respectively. The majority of the variants occurred in three genes: DNMT3A, TET2, and ASXL1. The presence of a somatic mutation was associated with an increase in the risk of hematologic cancer (hazard ratio, 11.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.9 to 32.6), an increase in all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.8), and increases in the risks of incident coronary heart disease (hazard ratio, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.4) and ischemic stroke (hazard ratio, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.4 to 4.8).Age-related clonal hematopoiesis is a common condition that is associated with increases in the risk of hematologic cancer and in all-cause mortality, with the latter possibly due to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).
Project description:BACKGROUND:The burden of subclinical atherosclerosis in asymptomatic individuals is heritable and associated with elevated risk of developing clinical coronary heart disease. We sought to identify genetic variants in protein-coding regions associated with subclinical atherosclerosis and the risk of subsequent coronary heart disease. METHODS AND RESULTS:We studied a total of 25?109 European ancestry and African ancestry participants with coronary artery calcification (CAC) measured by cardiac computed tomography and 52?869 participants with common carotid intima-media thickness measured by ultrasonography within the CHARGE Consortium (Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology). Participants were genotyped for 247?870 DNA sequence variants (231?539 in exons) across the genome. A meta-analysis of exome-wide association studies was performed across cohorts for CAC and carotid intima-media thickness. APOB p.Arg3527Gln was associated with 4-fold excess CAC (P=3×10-10). The APOE ?2 allele (p.Arg176Cys) was associated with both 22.3% reduced CAC (P=1×10-12) and 1.4% reduced carotid intima-media thickness (P=4×10-14) in carriers compared with noncarriers. In secondary analyses conditioning on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration, the ?2 protective association with CAC, although attenuated, remained strongly significant. Additionally, the presence of ?2 was associated with reduced risk for coronary heart disease (odds ratio 0.77; P=1×10-11). CONCLUSIONS:Exome-wide association meta-analysis demonstrates that protein-coding variants in APOB and APOE associate with subclinical atherosclerosis. APOE ?2 represents the first significant association for multiple subclinical atherosclerosis traits across multiple ethnicities, as well as clinical coronary heart disease.
Project description:Acquired, inactivating mutations in Tet methylcytosine dioxygenase 2 (TET2) are detected in peripheral blood cells of a remarkable 5%-10% of adults greater than 65 years of age. They impart a hematopoietic stem cell advantage and resultant clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) with skewed myelomonocytic differentiation. CHIP is associated with an overall increased risk of transformation to a hematological malignancy, especially myeloproliferative and myelodysplastic neoplasms (MPN, MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), of approximately 0.5% to 1% per year. However, it is becoming increasingly possible to identify individuals at greatest risk, based on CHIP mutational characteristics. CHIP, and particularly TET2-mutant CHIP, is also a novel, significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, related in part to hyper-inflammatory, progeny macrophages carrying TET2 mutations. Therefore, somatic TET2 mutations contribute to myeloid expansion and innate immune dysregulation with age and contribute to prevalent diseases in the developed world-cancer and cardiovascular disease. Herein, we describe the impact of detecting TET2 mutations in the clinical setting. We also present the rationale and promise for targeting TET2-mutant and other CHIP clones, and their inflammatory environment, as potential means of lessening risk of myeloid cancer development and dampening CHIP-comorbid inflammatory diseases.
Project description:We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify novel predisposition alleles associated with Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and JAK2 V617F clonal hematopoiesis in the general population. We recruited a web-based cohort of 726 individuals with polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and myelofibrosis and 252?637 population controls unselected for hematologic phenotypes. Using a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array platform with custom probes for the JAK2 V617F mutation (V617F), we identified 497 individuals (0.2%) among the population controls who were V617F carriers. We performed a combined GWAS of the MPN cases plus V617F carriers in the control population (n = 1223) vs the remaining controls who were noncarriers for V617F (n = 252?140). For these MPN cases plus V617F carriers, we replicated the germ line JAK2 46/1 haplotype (rs59384377: odds ratio [OR] = 2.4, P = 6.6 × 10(-89)), previously associated with V617F-positive MPN. We also identified genome-wide significant associations in the TERT gene (rs7705526: OR = 1.8, P = 1.1 × 10(-32)), in SH2B3 (rs7310615: OR = 1.4, P = 3.1 × 10(-14)), and upstream of TET2 (rs1548483: OR = 2.0, P = 2.0 × 10(-9)). These associations were confirmed in a separate replication cohort of 446 V617F carriers vs 169?021 noncarriers. In a joint analysis of the combined GWAS and replication results, we identified additional genome-wide significant predisposition alleles associated with CHEK2, ATM, PINT, and GFI1B All SNP ORs were similar for MPN patients and controls who were V617F carriers. These data indicate that the same germ line variants endow individuals with a predisposition not only to MPN, but also to JAK2 V617F clonal hematopoiesis, a more common phenomenon that may foreshadow the development of an overt neoplasm.