Karin Grunebaum Cancer Research Foundation Fellow Profile

Christine Lian Boston, MA

M.D., Assistant Professor in Pathology, Harvard Medical School

Fellow Profile

Current Site Of Practice:
Hospital Affiliation: Brigham and Women's Hospital
Focus of Research:
Fellowship Year: 2014 – 2015
Attended: Harvard Medical School


Long-term dietary sodium restriction increases adiponectin expression and ameliorates the proinflammatory adipokine profile in obesity.

Co-Authors Baudrand R, Lian CG, Lian BQ, Ricchiuti V, Yao TM, Li J, Williams GH, Adler GK

Abstract: BACKGROUND/AIM: Obesity is associated with changes in adiponectin and pro-inflammatory adipokines. Sodium intake can affect adipokine secretion suggesting a role in cardiovascular dysfunction. We tested if long-term dietary sodium restriction modifies the expression of adiponectin and ameliorates the pro-inflammatory profile of obese, diabetic mice. METHODS/RESULTS: Db/db mice were randomized to high sodium (HS 1.6% Na+, n = 6) or low sodium (LS 0.03% Na+, n = 8) diet for 16 weeks and compared with lean, db/+ mice on HS diet (n = 8). Insulin levels were 50% lower in the db/db mice on LS diet when compared with HS db/db (p < 0.05). LS diet increased cardiac adiponectin mRNA levels in db/db mice by 5-fold when compared with db/db mice on HS diet and by 2-fold when compared with HS lean mice (both p < 0.01). LS diet increased adiponectin in adipose tissue compared with db/db mice on HS diet, achieving levels similar to those of lean mice. MCP-1, IL-6 and TNF-α expression were reduced more than 50% in adipose tissue of db/db mice on LS diet when compared with HS db/db mice (all p < 0.05), to levels observed in the HS lean mice. Further, LS db/db mice had significantly reduced circulating MCP-1 and IL-6 levels when compared with HS db/db mice (both p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: In obese-diabetic mice, long-term LS diet increases adiponectin in heart and adipose tissue and reduces pro-inflammatory factors in adipose tissue and plasma. These additive mechanisms may contribute to the potential cardioprotective benefits of LS diet in obesity-related metabolic disorders. View in: PubMed

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2014 Jan;24(1):34-41

Loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine correlates with increasing morphologic dysplasia in melanocytic tumors.

Co-Authors Larson AR, Dresser KA, Zhan Q, Lezcano C, Woda BA, Yosufi B, Thompson JF, Scolyer RA, Mihm MC, Shi YG, Murphy GF, Lian CG

Abstract: DNA methylation is the most well-studied epigenetic modification in cancer biology. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is an epigenetic mark that can be converted from 5-methylcytosine by the ten-eleven translocation gene family. We recently reported the loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in melanoma compared with benign nevi and suggested that loss of this epigenetic marker is correlated with tumor virulence based on its association with a worse prognosis. In this study, we further characterize the immunoreactivity patterns of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in the full spectrum of melanocytic lesions to further validate the potential practical application of this epigenetic marker. One hundred and seventy-five cases were evaluated: 18 benign nevi, 20 dysplastic nevi (10 low-grade and 10 high-grade lesions), 10 atypical Spitz nevi, 20 borderline tumors, 5 melanomas arising within nevi, and 102 primary melanomas. Progressive loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine from benign dermal nevi to high-grade dysplastic nevi to borderline melanocytic neoplasms to melanoma was observed. In addition, an analysis of the relationship of nuclear diameter with 5-hydroxymethylcytosine staining intensity within lesional cells revealed a significant correlation between larger nuclear diameter and decreased levels of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. Furthermore, borderline lesions uniquely exhibited a diverse spectrum of staining of each individual case. This study further substantiates the association of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine loss with dysplastic cytomorphologic features and tumor progression and supports the classification of borderline lesions as a biologically distinct category of melanocytic lesions. View in: PubMed

Mod Pathol. 2014 Jul;27(7):936-44

Biomarker evaluation of face transplant rejection: association of donor T cells with target cell injury.

Co-Authors Lian CG, Bueno EM, Granter SR, Laga AC, Saavedra AP, Lin WM, Susa JS, Zhan Q, Chandraker AK, Tullius SG, Pomahac B, Murphy GF

Abstract: This series of 113 sequential biopsies of full facial transplants provides findings of potential translational significance as well as biological insights that could prompt reexamination of conventional paradigms of effector pathways in skin allograft rejection. Serial biopsies before, during, and after rejection episodes were evaluated for clinicopathological assessment that in selected cases included specific biomarkers for donor-versus-recipient T cells. Histologic evidence of rejection included lymphocyte-associated injury to epidermal rete ridges, follicular infundibula, and dermal microvessels. Surprisingly, during active rejection, immune cells spatially associated with target cell injury consisted abundantly or predominantly of lymphocytes of donor origin with an immunophenotype typical of the resident memory T-cell subset. Current dogma assumes that skin allograft rejection is mediated by recipient T cells that attack epidermal targets, and the association of donor T cells with sites of target cell injury raises questions regarding the potential complexity of immune cell interactions in the rejection process. A more histopathologically refined and immune-based biomarker approach to assessment of rejection of facial transplants is now indicated. View in: PubMed

Mod Pathol. 2014 Jun; 27(6):788-99

The management of antibody-mediated rejection in the first presensitized recipient of a full-face allotransplant.

Co-Authors Chandraker A, Arscott R, Murphy GF, Lian CG, Bueno EM, Marty FM, Rennke HG, Milford E, Tullius SG, Pomahac B

Abstract: We report on the management of the first full-face transplantation in a sensitized recipient with a positive preoperative crossmatch and subsequent antibody-mediated rejection (AMR). The recipient is a 45-year-old female who sustained extensive chemical burns, with residual poor function and high levels of circulating anti-HLA antibodies. With a clear immunosuppression plan and salvage options in place, a full-face allotransplant was performed using a crossmatch positive donor. Despite plasmapheresis alongside a standard induction regimen, clinical signs of rejection were noted on postoperative day 5 (POD5). Donor-specific antibody (DSA) titers rose with evidence of C4d deposits on biopsy. By POD19, biopsies showed Banff Grade III rejection. Combination therapy consisting of plasmapheresis, eculizumab, bortezomib and alemtuzumab decreased DSA levels, improved clinical exam, and by 6 months postop she had no histological signs of rejection. This case is the first to demonstrate evidence and management of AMR in face allotransplantation. Our findings lend support to the call for an update to the Banff classification of rejection in vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation (VCA) to include AMR, and for further studies to better classify the histology and mechanism of action of AMR in VCA. View in: PubMed

Am J Transplant. 2014 Jun;14(6):1446-52