ResearchPad - fibroblasts https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Application of co-culture technology of epithelial type cells and mesenchymal type cells using nanopatterned structures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7654 Various nanopatterning techniques have been developed to improve cell proliferation and differentiation efficiency. As we previously reported, nanopillars and pores are able to sustain human pluripotent stem cells and differentiate pancreatic cells. From this, the nanoscale patterns would be effective environment for the co-culturing of epithelial and mesenchymal cell types. Interestingly, the nanopatterning selectively reduced the proliferative rate of mesenchymal cells while increasing the expression of adhesion protein in epithelial type cells. Additionally, co-cultured cells on the nanopatterning were not negatively affected in terms of cell function metabolic ability or cell survival. This is in contrast to conventional co-culturing methods such as ultraviolet or chemical treatments. The nanopatterning appears to be an effective environment for mesenchymal co-cultures with typically low proliferative rates cells such as astrocytes, neurons, melanocytes, and fibroblasts without using potentially damaging treatments.

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<![CDATA[TRIM2, a novel member of the antiviral family, limits New World arenavirus entry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d3dd5eed0c484c82342

Tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins belong to a large family with many roles in host biology, including restricting virus infection. Here, we found that TRIM2, which has been implicated in cases of Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease (CMTD) in humans, acts by blocking hemorrhagic fever New World arenavirus (NWA) entry into cells. We show that Trim2-knockout mice, as well as primary fibroblasts from a CMTD patient with mutations in TRIM2, are more highly infected by the NWAs Junín and Tacaribe virus than wild-type mice or cells are. Using mice with different Trim2 gene deletions and TRIM2 mutant constructs, we demonstrate that its antiviral activity is uniquely independent of the RING domain encoding ubiquitin ligase activity. Finally, we show that one member of the TRIM2 interactome, signal regulatory protein α (SIRPA), a known inhibitor of phagocytosis, also restricts NWA infection and conversely that TRIM2 limits phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. In addition to demonstrating a novel antiviral mechanism for TRIM proteins, these studies suggest that the NWA entry and phagocytosis pathways overlap.

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<![CDATA[Mammalian Hbs1L deficiency causes congenital anomalies and developmental delay associated with Pelota depletion and 80S monosome accumulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df303d5eed0c484580b31

Hbs1 has been established as a central component of the cell’s translational quality control pathways in both yeast and prokaryotic models; however, the functional characteristics of its human ortholog (Hbs1L) have not been well-defined. We recently reported a novel human phenotype resulting from a mutation in the critical coding region of the HBS1L gene characterized by facial dysmorphism, severe growth restriction, axial hypotonia, global developmental delay and retinal pigmentary deposits. Here we further characterize downstream effects of the human HBS1L mutation. HBS1L has three transcripts in humans, and RT-PCR demonstrated reduced mRNA levels corresponding with transcripts V1 and V2 whereas V3 expression was unchanged. Western blot analyses revealed Hbs1L protein was absent in the patient cells. Additionally, polysome profiling revealed an abnormal aggregation of 80S monosomes in patient cells under baseline conditions. RNA and ribosomal sequencing demonstrated an increased translation efficiency of ribosomal RNA in Hbs1L-deficient fibroblasts, suggesting that there may be a compensatory increase in ribosome translation to accommodate the increased 80S monosome levels. This enhanced translation was accompanied by upregulation of mTOR and 4-EBP protein expression, suggesting an mTOR-dependent phenomenon. Furthermore, lack of Hbs1L caused depletion of Pelota protein in both patient cells and mouse tissues, while PELO mRNA levels were unaffected. Inhibition of proteasomal function partially restored Pelota expression in human Hbs1L-deficient cells. We also describe a mouse model harboring a knockdown mutation in the murine Hbs1l gene that shared several of the phenotypic elements observed in the Hbs1L-deficient human including facial dysmorphism, growth restriction and retinal deposits. The Hbs1lKO mice similarly demonstrate diminished Pelota levels that were rescued by proteasome inhibition.

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<![CDATA[Nuclear position relative to the Golgi body and nuclear orientation are differentially responsive indicators of cell polarized motility]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca31d5eed0c48452a8a8

Cell motility is critical to biological processes from wound healing to cancer metastasis to embryonic development. The involvement of organelles in cell motility is well established, but the role of organelle positional reorganization in cell motility remains poorly understood. Here we present an automated image analysis technique for tracking the shape and motion of Golgi bodies and cell nuclei. We quantify the relationship between nuclear orientation and the orientation of the Golgi body relative to the nucleus before, during, and after exposure of mouse fibroblasts to a controlled change in cell substrate topography, from flat to wrinkles, designed to trigger polarized motility. We find that the cells alter their mean nuclei orientation, in terms of the nuclear major axis, to increasingly align with the wrinkle direction once the wrinkles form on the substrate surface. This change in alignment occurs within 8 hours of completion of the topographical transition. In contrast, the position of the Golgi body relative to the nucleus remains aligned with the pre-programmed wrinkle direction, regardless of whether it has been fully established. These findings indicate that intracellular positioning of the Golgi body precedes nuclear reorientation during mouse fibroblast directed migration on patterned substrates. We further show that both processes are Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) mediated as they are abolished by pharmacologic ROCK inhibition whereas mouse fibroblast motility is unaffected. The automated image analysis technique introduced could be broadly employed in the study of polarization and other cellular processes in diverse cell types and micro-environments. In addition, having found that the nuclei Golgi vector may be a more sensitive indicator of substrate features than the nuclei orientation, we anticipate the nuclei Golgi vector to be a useful metric for researchers studying the dynamics of cell polarity in response to different micro-environments.

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<![CDATA[Molecular insights in the pathogenesis of classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome from transcriptome-wide expression profiling of patients’ skin fibroblasts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8b3d5eed0c48496efc5

Classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (cEDS) is a dominant inherited connective tissue disorder mainly caused by mutations in the COL5A1 and COL5A2 genes encoding type V collagen (COLLV), which is a fibrillar COLL widely distributed in a variety of connective tissues. cEDS patients suffer from skin hyperextensibility, abnormal wound healing/atrophic scars, and joint hypermobility. Most of the causative variants result in a non-functional COL5A1 allele and COLLV haploinsufficiency, whilst COL5A2 mutations affect its structural integrity. To shed light into disease mechanisms involved in cEDS, we performed gene expression profiling in skin fibroblasts from four patients harboring haploinsufficient and structural mutations in both disease genes. Transcriptome profiling revealed significant changes in the expression levels of different extracellular matrix (ECM)-related genes, such as SPP1, POSTN, EDIL3, IGFBP2, and C3, which encode both matricellular and soluble proteins that are mainly involved in cell proliferation and migration, and cutaneous wound healing. These gene expression changes are consistent with our previous protein findings on in vitro fibroblasts from other cEDS patients, which exhibited reduced migration and poor wound repair owing to COLLV disorganization, altered deposition of fibronectin into ECM, and an abnormal integrin pattern. Microarray analysis also indicated the decreased expression of DNAJB7, VIPAS39, CCPG1, ATG10, SVIP, which encode molecular chaperones facilitating protein folding, enzymes regulating post-Golgi COLLs processing, and proteins acting as cargo receptors required for endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteostasis and implicated in the autophagy process. Patients’ cells also showed altered mRNA levels of many cell cycle regulating genes including CCNE2, KIF4A, MKI67, DTL, and DDIAS. Protein studies showed that aberrant COLLV expression causes the disassembly of itself and many structural ECM constituents including COLLI, COLLIII, fibronectin, and fibrillins. Our findings provide the first molecular evidence of significant gene expression changes in cEDS skin fibroblasts highlighting that defective ECM remodeling, ER homeostasis and autophagy might play a role in the pathogenesis of this connective tissue disorder.

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<![CDATA[Connective tissue growth factor mediates transforming growth factor β-induced collagen expression in human endometrial stromal cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59feb0d5eed0c4841352f2

Background

Adenomyosis is a medical condition defined by the abnormal presence of endometrial tissue within the myometrium, in which fibrosis occurs with new collagen deposition and myofibroblast differentiation. In this study, the effect of several mediators and growth factors on collagen expression was investigated on human endometrial stromal cells (fibroblasts) derived from adenomyotic endometrium.

Experimental approach

RT-PCR, Western blot analysis, pharmacological interventions and siRNA interference were applied to primary cultured human endometrial stromal cells (fibroblasts). Immunohistochemistry was used to analyze protein expression in adenomyotic endometrium tissue specimens.

Results

Of the tested mediators, transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) and its isoforms were effective to induce collagen and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression. Collagen and CTGF induction by TGFβ1 could be reduced by the inhibitors targeting DNA transcription, protein translation, and Smad2/3 signaling. Interestingly, TGFβ1 induced Smad2/3 phosphorylation and CTGF mRNA expression, but not collagen mRNA expression, suggesting that TGFβ1 mediates collagen expression through CTGF induction and Smad2/3 activation. In parallel, TGFβ1 and CTGF also induced expression of heat shock protein (HSP) 47, a protein required for the synthesis of several types of collagens. However, only CTGF siRNA knockdown, could compromise TGFβ1-induced collagen expression. Finally, the immunohistochemistry revealed vimentin- and α-SMA-positive staining for (myo)fibroblasts, TGFβ1, collagen, and CTGF in the subepithelial stroma region of human adenomyotic endometria.

Conclusion and implications

We reveal here that TGFβ1, collagen, and CTGF are expressed in the stroma of adenomyotic endometria and demonstrate that TGFβ1 can induce collagen production in endometrium-derived fibroblasts through cellular Smad2/3-dependent signaling pathway and CTGF expression, suggesting that endometrial TGFβ may take part in the pathogenesis of adenomyosis and ectopic endometrium may participate in uterine adenomyosis.

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<![CDATA[Effect of photobiomodulation and exercise on early remodeling of the Achilles tendon in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8d6d5eed0c48496f20d

The aim of this study was to compare the treatment effects of laser photobiomodulation (LPBM) therapy and aerobic exercise on the biomechanical properties, tissue morphology and the expression of tendon matrix molecules during early remodeling of Achilles tendon (AT) injury in diabetic rats. Animals were randomly assigned to five groups: injured non diabetic (I, n = 15), injured diabetic (ID, n = 15), injured diabetic plus LPBM (IDL, n = 16), injured diabetic plus aerobic exercise (IDE, n = 16) and injured diabetic plus aerobic exercise and LPBM (IDEAL, n = 17). Type 1 diabetes was induced via a single intravenous injection of Streptozotocin at a dose of 40 mg/kg. A partial tenotomy was performed in the right AT. LPBM was performed with an indium-gallium-aluminum-phosphide 660 nm 10 mW laser device (spot size 0.04 cm2, power density 250 mW/cm2, irradiation duration 16 s, energy 0.16 J, energy density 4 J/cm2) on alternate days for a total of 9 sessions over 3 weeks (total energy 1.44 J), using a stationary contact technique to a single point over the dorsal aspect of the AT. Moderate aerobic exercise was performed on a motorized treadmill (velocity 9 m/min for 60 minutes). At 3 weeks post-injury, biomechanical analyzes as well as assessment of fibroblast number and orientation were performed. Collagen 1 (Col1) and 3 (Col3) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) -3 and 13 protein distributions were studied by immunohistochemistry; while Col1 and Col3 and MMP-2 and 9 gene expression were assessed by quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR). IDEAL exhibited significant increases in several biomechanical parameters in comparison to the other groups. Moreover, IDEAL presented stronger Col1 immunoreactivity when compared to ID, and weaker Col3 immunoreactivity than IDE. Both IDL and IDEAL demonstrated weaker expression of MMP-3 in comparison to I, while IDL presented no expression of MMP-13 when compared to ID. ID, IDL and IDE showed an increased number of fibroblasts in comparison to I, while IDEAL decreased the number of these cells in comparison to ID and IDE. IDL and IDEAL groups exhibited decreased angular dispersion among the fibroblasts when compared to I. The gene expression results showed that IDE demonstrated a downregulation in Col1 mRNA expression in comparison to I and ID. IDEAL demonstrated upregulation of Col1 mRNA expression when compared to IDL or IDE alone and increased MMP-2 expression when compared to IDL and IDE. MMP-9 expression was upregulated in IDEAL when compared to I, IDL and IDE. Our results suggest a beneficial interaction of combining both treatment strategies i.e., aerobic exercise and LPBM, on the biomechanical properties, tissue morphology and the expression of matrix molecules in diabetic tendons.

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<![CDATA[Blue light irradiation and its beneficial effect on Dupuytren’s fibroblasts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c42438ed5eed0c4845e05ab

Dupuytren’s contracture is a fibroproliferative disorder affecting the palmar fascia of the hand. Most affected are the ring fingers, and little fingers of middle-aged men. Symptomatic for this disease is the increased proliferation and differentiation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts, which is accompanied by an elevated α-SMA expression. The present study evaluated the therapeutic benefit of blue light (λ = 453 nm, 38 mW/cm2, continuous radiance, spot size 10–12 cm2) as well as the molecular mechanism mediating this effect. It could be determined that blue light significantly diminished the induced α-SMA protein expression in both normal palmar fibroblasts and Duypuytren’s fibroblasts. The beneficial effect mediated by this irradiance, radiant exposure and wavelength was associated with an elevated reactive oxygen species generation. Furthermore, the data underlines the potential usefulness of blue light irradiation as a promising therapy option for Dupuytren’s disease, especially for relapse prevention, and may represent a useful strategy to treat further fibrotic diseases, such as keloids, hypertrophic scarring, and scleroderma.

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<![CDATA[Increased water intake reduces long-term renal and cardiovascular disease progression in experimental polycystic kidney disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667b9d5eed0c4841a61de

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is the most common inherited cause of kidney failure and currently has limited treatment options. Increasing water intake reduces renal cyst growth in the pck rat (a genetic ortholog of autosomal recessive PKD) but it is not clear if this beneficial effect is present in other models of PKD. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that high water intake (HWI) reduces the progression of cystic renal disease in Lewis polycystic kidney (LPK) rats (a genetic ortholog of human nephronophthisis-9). Groups of female and male LPK (n = 8–10 per group) and Lewis (n = 4 per group) rats received water ad libitum supplemented with or without 5% glucose [to simulate HWI or normal water intake (NWI) respectively] from postnatal weeks 3 to 16. Water intake increased ~1.3-fold in the LPK+HWI group compared to LPK+NWI rats between weeks 3 to 10 but the differences were not significant at later timepoints. In LPK rats, HWI reduced the increases in the kidney to body weight ratio by 54% at week 10 and by 42% at week 16 compared to NWI (both p<0.01). The reduction in kidney enlargement was accompanied by decreases in the percentage renal cyst area, percentage renal interstitial collagen and proteinuria (all p<0.05). At week 16, HWI reduced systolic blood pressure and the heart to body to weight ratio by 16% and 21% respectively in males LPK rats (both p<0.01). In conclusion, a modest increase in water intake during the early phase of disease was sufficient to attenuate renal cystic disease in LPK rats, with secondary benefits on hypertension and cardiovascular disease. These data provide further preclinical evidence that increased water intake is a potential intervention in cystic renal diseases.

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<![CDATA[Tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis induces inflammation in Graves’ orbital fibroblasts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c269778d5eed0c48470f9e8

Tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK), along with its receptor fibroblast growth factor-inducible (Fn)14, is associated with various biological activities including inflammation. However, its role in the pathogenesis of Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) is unknown. In this study, we investigated the mechanism by which TWEAK regulates inflammatory signaling in orbital fibroblasts from GO patients. We found that TWEAK and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFA) mRNA levels were upregulated in GO as compared to non-GO tissue samples. TWEAK, TNF receptor (TNFR)1, TNFR2, and TNFR superfamily member 12A mRNA, and TWEAK and Fn14 protein levels were increased by interleukin (IL)-1β and TNF-α treatment. Treatment with exogenous recombinant TWEAK increased the transcript and protein expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-8, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 to a greater extent in GO than in non-GO cells, while treatment with the anti-Fn14 antibody ITEM4 suppressed TWEAK-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine release and hyaluronan production. Additionally, the serum level of TWEAK was higher in Graves’ disease patients with (341.86 ± 86.3 pg/ml) as compared to those without (294.09 ± 41.44 pg/ml) GO and healthy subjects (255.33 ± 39.38 pg/ml), and was positively correlated with clinical activity score (r = 0.629, P < 0.001) and thyroid binding immunoglobulin level (r = 0.659, P < 0.001). These results demonstrate that TWEAK/Fn14 signaling contributes to GO pathogenesis. Moreover, serum TWEAK level is a potential diagnostic biomarker for inflammatory GO, and modulating TWEAK activity may be an effective therapeutic strategy for suppressing inflammation and tissue remodeling in GO.

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<![CDATA[Suppression of angiotensin II-induced pathological changes in heart and kidney by the caveolin-1 scaffolding domain peptide]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c269747d5eed0c48470f1b0

Dysregulation of the renin-angiotensin system leads to systemic hypertension and maladaptive fibrosis in various organs. We showed recently that myocardial fibrosis and the loss of cardiac function in mice with transverse aortic constriction (TAC) could be averted by treatment with the caveolin-1 scaffolding domain (CSD) peptide. Here, we used angiotensin II (AngII) infusion (2.1 mg/kg/day for 2 wk) in mice as a second model to confirm and extend our observations on the beneficial effects of CSD on heart and kidney disease. AngII caused cardiac hypertrophy (increased heart weight to body weight ratio (HW/BW) and cardiomyocyte cross-sectional area); fibrosis in heart and kidney (increased levels of collagen I and heat shock protein-47 (HSP47)); and vascular leakage (increased levels of IgG in heart and kidney). Echocardiograms of AngII-infused mice showed increased left ventricular posterior wall thickness (pWTh) and isovolumic relaxation time (IVRT), and decreased ejection fraction (EF), stroke volume (SV), and cardiac output (CO). CSD treatment (i.p. injections, 50 μg/mouse/day) of AngII-infused mice significantly suppressed all of these pathological changes in fibrosis, hypertrophy, vascular leakage, and ventricular function. AngII infusion increased β1 and β3 integrin levels and activated Pyk2 in both heart and kidney. These changes were also suppressed by CSD. Finally, bone marrow cell (BMC) isolated from AngII-infused mice showed hyper-migration toward SDF1. When AngII-infused mice were treated with CSD, BMC migration was reduced to the basal level observed in cells from control mice. Importantly, CSD did not affect the AngII-induced increase in blood pressure (BP), indicating that the beneficial effects of CSD were not mediated via normalization of BP. These results strongly indicate that CSD suppresses AngII-induced pathological changes in mice, suggesting that CSD can be developed as a treatment for patients with hypertension and pressure overload-induced heart failure.

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<![CDATA[P38 MAPK inhibition prevents polybrene-induced senescence of human mesenchymal stem cells during viral transduction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2d2ec1d5eed0c484d9b70f

The unique capacity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to migrate to the sites of damage, following intravenous transplantation, along with their proliferation and differentiation abilities make them promising candidates for MSC-based gene therapy. This therapeutic approach requires high efficacy delivery of stable transgenes to ensure their adequate expression in MSCs. One of the methods to deliver transgenes is via the viral transduction of MSCs. However, due to low transduction efficiency of MSCs, various polications are used to promote the association of viral particles with membranes of target cells. Among these polications polybrene is the most widely used one. Unfortunately, viral infection in presence of polybrene was shown to negatively affect proliferation rate of stem cells. The molecular mechanism underlying this effect is not yet uncovered. Therefore, the present study aimed to elucidate the mechanism of this phenomenon as well as to develop an effective approach to overcome the negative impact of polybrene on the properties of human endometrium-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMESCs) during lentiviral infection. We found that the negative effect on proliferation observed during the viral infection in presence of polybrene is mediated by the polycation itself. Furthermore, we revealed that the treatment with polybrene alone led to the p38 MAPK-dependent premature senescence of hMESCs. These findings allowed us to develop an effective strategy to attenuate the negative polybrene impact on the hMESCs properties during lentiviral infection by inhibiting the activity of p38 MAPK. Importantly, the proposed approach did not attenuate the transduction efficiency of hMESCs, yet prevented polybrene-induced senescence and thereby restored the proliferation of the infected cells. These results provide the plausible means to reduce side effects of polybrene during the viral infection of primary cells, particularly MSCs.

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<![CDATA[Preliminary development of an assay for detection of TERT expression, telomere length, and telomere elongation in single cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117bdbd5eed0c48469aaf7

The telomerase enzyme enables unlimited proliferation of most human cancer cells by elongating telomeres and preventing replicative senescence. Despite the critical importance of telomerase in cancer biology, challenges detecting telomerase activity and expression in individual cells have hindered the ability to study patterns of telomerase expression and function across heterogeneous cell populations. While sensitive assays to ascertain telomerase expression and function exist, these approaches have proven difficult to implement at the single cell level. Here, we validate in situ RNAscope detection of the telomerase TERT mRNA and couple this assay with our recently described TSQ1 method for in situ detection of telomere elongation. This approach enables detection of TERT expression, telomere length, and telomere elongation within individual cells of the population. Using this assay, we show that the heterogeneous telomere elongation observed across a HeLa cell population is in part driven by variable expression of the TERT gene. Furthermore, we show that the absence of detectable telomere elongation in some TERT-positive cells is the result of inhibition by the telomeric shelterin complex. This combined assay provides a new approach for understanding the integrated expression, function, and regulation of telomerase at the single cell level.

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<![CDATA[Raman and infrared spectroscopy reveal that proliferating and quiescent human fibroblast cells age by biochemically similar but not identical processes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed769d5eed0c484f140b5

Dermal fibroblast cells can adopt different cell states such as proliferation, quiescence, apoptosis or senescence, in order to ensure tissue homeostasis. Proliferating (dividing) cells pass through the phases of the cell cycle, while quiescent and senescent cells exist in a non-proliferating cell cycle-arrested state. However, the reversible quiescence state is in contrast to the irreversible senescence state. Long-term quiescent cells transit into senescence indicating that cells age also when not passing through the cell cycle. Here, by label-free in vitro vibrational spectroscopy, we studied the biomolecular composition of quiescent dermal fibroblast cells and compared them with those of proliferating and senescent cells. Spectra were examined by multivariate statistical analysis using a PLS-LDA classification model, revealing differences in the biomolecular composition between the cell states mainly associated with protein alterations (variations in the side chain residues of amino acids and protein secondary structure), but also within nucleic acids and lipids. We observed spectral changes in quiescent compared to proliferating cells, which increased with quiescence cultivation time. Raman and infrared spectroscopy, which yield complementary biochemical information, clearly distinguished contact-inhibited from serum-starved quiescent cells. Furthermore, the spectra displayed spectral differences between quiescent cells and proliferating cells, which had recovered from quiescence. This became more distinct with increasing quiescence cultivation time. When comparing proliferating, (in particular long-term) quiescent and senescent cells, we found that Raman as well as infrared spectroscopy can separate these three cellular states from each other due to differences in their biomolecular composition. Our spectroscopic analysis shows that proliferating and quiescent fibroblast cells age by similar but biochemically not identical processes. Despite their aging induced changes, over long time periods quiescent cells can return into the cell cycle. Finally however, the cell cycle arrest becomes irreversible indicating senescence.

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<![CDATA[MicroRNA characterization in equine induced pluripotent stem cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed76cd5eed0c484f140ee

Cell reprogramming has been well described in mouse and human cells. The expression of specific microRNAs has demonstrated to be essential for pluripotent maintenance and cell differentiation, but not much information is available in domestic species. We aim to generate horse iPSCs, characterize them and evaluate the expression of different microRNAs (miR-302a,b,c,d, miR-205, miR-145, miR-9, miR-96, miR-125b and miR-296). Two equine iPSC lines (L2 and L3) were characterized after the reprogramming of equine fibroblasts with the four human Yamanaka‘s factors (OCT-4/SOX-2/c-MYC/KLF4). The pluripotency of both lines was assessed by phosphatase alkaline activity, expression of OCT-4, NANOG and REX1 by RT-PCR, and by immunofluorescence of OCT-4, SOX-2 and c-MYC. In vitro differentiation to embryo bodies (EBs) showed the capacity of the iPSCs to differentiate into ectodermal, endodermal and mesodermal phenotypes. MicroRNA analyses resulted in higher expression of the miR-302 family, miR-9 and miR-96 in L2 and L3 vs. fibroblasts (p<0.05), as previously shown in human pluripotent cells. Moreover, downregulation of miR-145 and miR-205 was observed. After differentiation to EBs, higher expression of miR-96 was observed in the EBs respect to the iPSCs, and also the expression of miR-205 was induced but only in the EB-L2. In addition, in silico alignments of the equine microRNAs with mRNA targets suggested the ability of miR-302 family to regulate cell cycle and epithelial mesenchymal transition genes, miR-9 and miR-96 to regulate neural determinant genes and miR-145 to regulate pluripotent genes, similarly as in humans. In conclusion, we could obtain equine iPSCs, characterize them and determine for the first time the expression level of microRNAs in equine pluripotent cells.

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<![CDATA[Novel high–throughput myofibroblast assays identify agonists with therapeutic potential in pulmonary fibrosis that act via EP2 and EP4 receptors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c08419ad5eed0c484fca2cf

Pathological features of pulmonary fibrosis include accumulation of myofibroblasts and increased extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition in lung tissue. Contractile α–smooth muscle actin (α–SMA)–expressing myofibroblasts that produce and secrete ECM are key effector cells of the disease and therefore represent a viable target for potential novel anti–fibrotic treatments. We used primary normal human lung fibroblasts (NHLF) in two novel high–throughput screening assays to discover molecules that inhibit or revert fibroblast–to–myofibroblast differentiation. A phenotypic high–content assay (HCA) quantified the degree of myofibroblast differentiation, whereas an impedance–based assay, multiplexed with MS / MS quantification of α–SMA and collagen 1 alpha 1 (COL1) protein, provided a measure of contractility and ECM formation. The synthetic prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) alprostadil, which very effectively and potently attenuated and even reversed TGF–β1–induced myofibroblast differentiation, was identified by screening a library of approved drugs. In TGF–β1–induced myofibroblasts the effect of alprostadil was attributed to activation of prostanoid receptor 2 and 4 (EP2 and EP4, respectively). However, selective activation of the EP2 or the EP4 receptor was already sufficient to prevent or reverse TGF–β1–induced NHLF myofibroblast transition. Our high–throughput assays identified chemical structures with potent anti–fibrotic properties acting through potentially novel mechanisms.

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<![CDATA[FSP1-positive fibroblasts are adipogenic niche and regulate adipose homeostasis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b8685d940307c7363ff63b0

Adipocyte progenitors reside in the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of adipose tissues that are composed of fibroblasts, immune cells, and endothelial cells. It remains to be elucidated how the SVF regulates adipocyte progenitor fate determination and adipose homeostasis. Here, we report that fibroblast-specific protein-1 (FSP1)+ fibroblasts in the SVF are essential to adipose homeostasis. FSP1+ fibroblasts, devoid of adipogenic potential, are adjacent to the preadipocytes in the SVF. Ablation of FSP1+ fibroblasts in mice severely diminishes fat content of adipose depots. Activation of canonical Wnt signaling in the FSP1+ fibroblasts results in gradual loss of adipose tissues and resistance to diet-induced obesity. Alterations in the FSP1+ fibroblasts reduce platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB signaling and result in the loss of preadipocytes. Reduced PDGF-BB signaling, meanwhile, impairs the adipogenic differentiation capability of preadipocytes by regulating matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression, extracellular matrix remodeling, and the activation of Yes-associated protein (YAP) signaling. Thus, FSP1+ fibroblasts are an important niche essential to the maintenance of the preadipocyte pool and its adipogenic potential in adipose homeostasis.

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<![CDATA[CDKN1B/p27 is localized in mitochondria and improves respiration-dependent processes in the cardiovascular system—New mode of action for caffeine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b49cacb463d7e33e4eac05d

We show that the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (CDKN1B)/p27, previously known as a cell cycle inhibitor, is also localized within mitochondria. The migratory capacity of endothelial cells, which need intact mitochondria, is completely dependent on mitochondrial p27. Mitochondrial p27 improves mitochondrial membrane potential, increases adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content, and is required for the promigratory effect of caffeine. Domain mapping of p27 revealed that the N-terminus and C-terminus are required for those improvements. Further analysis of those regions revealed that the translocation of p27 into the mitochondria and its promigratory activity depend on serine 10 and threonine 187. In addition, mitochondrial p27 protects cardiomyocytes against apoptosis. Moreover, mitochondrial p27 is necessary and sufficient for cardiac myofibroblast differentiation. In addition, p27 deficiency and aging decrease respiration in heart mitochondria. Caffeine does not increase respiration in p27-deficient animals, whereas aged mice display improvement after 10 days of caffeine in drinking water. Moreover, caffeine induces transcriptome changes in a p27-dependent manner, affecting mostly genes relevant for mitochondrial processes. Caffeine also reduces infarct size after myocardial infarction in prediabetic mice and increases mitochondrial p27. Our data characterize mitochondrial p27 as a common denominator that improves mitochondria-dependent processes and define an increase in mitochondrial p27 as a new mode of action of caffeine.

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<![CDATA[A homozygous KAT2B variant modulates the clinical phenotype of ADD3 deficiency in humans and flies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b079d4e463d7e75962e790f

Recent evidence suggests that the presence of more than one pathogenic mutation in a single patient is more common than previously anticipated. One of the challenges hereby is to dissect the contribution of each gene mutation, for which animal models such as Drosophila can provide a valuable aid. Here, we identified three families with mutations in ADD3, encoding for adducin-γ, with intellectual disability, microcephaly, cataracts and skeletal defects. In one of the families with additional cardiomyopathy and steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS), we found a homozygous variant in KAT2B, encoding the lysine acetyltransferase 2B, with impact on KAT2B protein levels in patient fibroblasts, suggesting that this second mutation might contribute to the increased disease spectrum. In order to define the contribution of ADD3 and KAT2B mutations for the patient phenotype, we performed functional experiments in the Drosophila model. We found that both mutations were unable to fully rescue the viability of the respective null mutants of the Drosophila homologs, hts and Gcn5, suggesting that they are indeed pathogenic in flies. While the KAT2B/Gcn5 mutation additionally showed a significantly reduced ability to rescue morphological and functional defects of cardiomyocytes and nephrocytes (podocyte-like cells), this was not the case for the ADD3 mutant rescue. Yet, the simultaneous knockdown of KAT2B and ADD3 synergistically impaired kidney and heart function in flies as well as the adhesion and migration capacity of cultured human podocytes, indicating that mutations in both genes may be required for the full clinical manifestation. Altogether, our studies describe the expansion of the phenotypic spectrum in ADD3 deficiency associated with a homozygous likely pathogenic KAT2B variant and thereby identify KAT2B as a susceptibility gene for kidney and heart disease in ADD3-associated disorders.

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<![CDATA[Identification of miRNAs Potentially Involved in Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome: A Computational Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7cab0ee8fa60b98b37

The pathogenesis of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome (BOS), the main clinical phenotype of chronic lung allograft dysfunction, is poorly understood. Recent studies suggest that epigenetic regulation of microRNAs might play a role in its development. In this paper we present the application of a complex computational pipeline to perform enrichment analysis of miRNAs in pathways applied to the study of BOS. The analysis considered the full set of miRNAs annotated in miRBase (version 21), and applied a sequence of filtering approaches and statistical analyses to reduce this set and to score the candidate miRNAs according to their potential involvement in BOS development. Dysregulation of two of the selected candidate miRNAs–miR-34a and miR-21 –was clearly shown in in-situ hybridization (ISH) on five explanted human BOS lungs and on a rat model of acute and chronic lung rejection, thus definitely identifying miR-34a and miR-21 as pathogenic factors in BOS and confirming the effectiveness of the computational pipeline.

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