ResearchPad - monocytes https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Differential expression of interferon-lambda receptor 1 splice variants determines the magnitude of the antiviral response induced by interferon-lambda 3 in human immune cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13835 Type III IFNs (IFN-λs) are antiviral cytokines that are thought to act on specific subsets of cells, especially to protect mucosal barriers. Here, we demonstrate that IFN-λ3 differentially binds multiple human immune cell subsets, indicating the specific receptor subunit, IFN-λR1, is more broadly expressed in the human immune system, compared to published mouse models. IFN-λR1 expression increased after cellular activation, and antiviral responses were inhibited by a soluble version of the receptor. The direct interaction of IFN-λs with human immune cells, and specific regulation of IFN-λR1 expression, has broad mechanistic implications in the modulation of inflammatory or anti-cancer immune responses, and future antiviral therapies.

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<![CDATA[Post-stroke infections associated with spleen volume reduction: A pilot study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7682 Spleen volume reduction followed by re-expansion has been described in acute ischemic stroke in both animal and human studies. Splenic contraction might be partially due to sympathetic hyperactivity and might be accompanied by release of splenocytes in the peripheral circulation, leading to immunodepression.AimsTo investigate whether spleen volume changes in the first week after stroke are associated with post-stroke infections, changes in lymphocytes count and autonomic dysfunction.MethodsIn patients with acute ischemic stroke, spleen sizes were calculated from abdominal CT images on day one and day seven. Spleen size reduction was defined as > 10% spleen size reduction between day one and day seven. Post stroke infections were diagnosed during the first seven days after stroke onset using the modified criteria of the US Center of Disease Control and Prevention. We assessed the time course of leukocyte subsets and analysed pulse rate variability (PRV) indices.ResultsPost-stroke infections occurred in six out of 11 patients (55%) with spleen size reduction versus in five out of 27 patients (19%) without spleen size reduction (p = 0,047). Spleen size reduction was associated with a drop in lymphocytes and several lymphocyte subsets from admission to day one, and a higher NIHSS at admission and at day three (p = 0,028 and p = 0,006 respectively). No correlations could be found between spleen volume change and PRV parameters.ConclusionPost-stroke infections and a drop in lymphocytes and several lymphocyte subsets are associated with spleen volume reduction in acute ischemic stroke. ]]> <![CDATA[Equilin in conjugated equine estrogen increases monocyte-endothelial adhesion via NF-κB signaling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5254d5eed0c4842bc66d

The adhesion of monocytes to endothelial cells, which is mediated by adhesion molecules, plays a crucial role in the onset of atherosclerosis. Conjugated equine estrogen, which is widely used for estrogen-replacement therapy, contains both estrone sulfate and various nonhuman estrogens, including equilin. To investigate the association between various estrogen types and atherosclerosis risk, we examined their effect on adhesion-molecule expression in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). In estrogen-treated HUVECs, the mRNA and protein expression levels of adhesion molecules were quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme immunoassay. Additionally, a flow-chamber system was used to assess the effects of estrogens on the adherence of U937 monocytoid cells to HUVECs. Equilin, but not 17β-estradiol (E2) or other types of estrogen, significantly increased the mRNA (P < 0.01) and protein (P < 0.05) expression of the adhesion molecules E-selectin and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 as compared with levels in controls. Equilin treatment increased the adherence of U937 monocytoid cells to HUVECs relative to the that in the control (P < 0.05), decreased estrogen receptor (ER)β expression, and increased the expression of proteins involved in nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) activation relative to levels in controls. Furthermore, the accumulation of NF-κB subunit p65 in HUVEC nuclei was promoted by equilin treatment. By contrast, E2 treatment neither increased the number of adhered monocytoid cells to HUVECs nor altered the expression of ERβ or NF-κB-activating proteins. Our findings suggest that in terms of the adhesion of monocytes at the onset of atherosclerosis, E2 may be preferable for estrogen-replacement therapy. Further studies comparing equilin treatment with that of E2 are needed to investigate their differential impacts on atherosclerosis.

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<![CDATA[A longitudinal systems immunologic investigation of acute Zika virus infection in an individual infected while traveling to Caracas, Venezuela]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c33c3a3d5eed0c48459e586

Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus linked to devastating neurologic diseases. Immune responses to flaviviruses may be pathogenic or protective. Our understanding of human immune responses to ZIKV in vivo remains limited. Therefore, we performed a longitudinal molecular and phenotypic characterization of innate and adaptive immune responses during an acute ZIKV infection. We found that innate immune transcriptional and genomic responses were both cell type- and time-dependent. While interferon stimulated gene induction was common to all innate immune cells, the upregulation of important inflammatory cytokine genes was primarily limited to monocyte subsets. Additionally, genomic analysis revealed substantial chromatin remodeling at sites containing cell-type specific transcription factor binding motifs that may explain the observed changes in gene expression. In this dengue virus-experienced individual, adaptive immune responses were rapidly mobilized with T cell transcriptional activity and ZIKV neutralizing antibody responses peaking 6 days after the onset of symptoms. Collectively this study characterizes the development and resolution of an in vivo human immune response to acute ZIKV infection in an individual with pre-existing flavivirus immunity.

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<![CDATA[Critical evaluation of linear regression models for cell-subtype specific methylation signal from mixed blood cell DNA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254557d5eed0c48442c570

Epigenome-wide association studies seek to identify DNA methylation sites associated with clinical outcomes. Difference in observed methylation between specific cell-subtypes is often of interest; however, available samples often comprise a mixture of cells. To date, cell-subtype estimates have been obtained from mixed-cell DNA data using linear regression models, but the accuracy of such estimates has not been critically assessed. We evaluated linear regression performance for cell-subtype specific methylation estimation using a 450K methylation array dataset of both mixed-cell and cell-subtype sorted samples from six healthy males. CpGs associated with each cell-subtype were first identified using t-tests between groups of cell-subtype sorted samples. Subsequent reduced panels of reliably accurate CpGs were identified from mixed-cell samples using an accuracy heuristic (D). Performance was assessed by comparing cell-subtype specific estimates from mixed-cells with corresponding cell-sorted mean using the mean absolute error (MAE) and the Coefficient of Determination (R2). At the cell-subtype level, methylation levels at 3272 CpGs could be estimated to within a MAE of 5% of the expected value. The cell-subtypes with the highest accuracy were CD56+ NK (R2 = 0.56) and CD8+T (R2 = 0.48), where 23% of sites were accurately estimated. Hierarchical clustering and pathways enrichment analysis confirmed the biological relevance of the panels. Our results suggest that linear regression for cell-subtype specific methylation estimation is accurate only for some cell-subtypes at a small fraction of cell-associated sites but may be applicable to EWASs of disease traits with a blood-based pathology. Although sample size was a limitation in this study, we suggest that alternative statistical methods will provide the greatest performance improvements.

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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[Associations between CT-determined visceral fat burden, hepatic steatosis, circulating white blood cell counts and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfdb383d5eed0c4845ca124

Visceral adiposity is associated with cardiovascular disease, an association that may be mediated in part by inflammation. We hypothesized that regional measures of visceral adiposity would associate with commonly obtained clinical measures of immune status. We consecutively studied 3,291 subjects (mean age, 49.8±9.8 years) who underwent an annual cardiovascular risk survey. Peri-cardial (PCF) and thoracic peri-aortic adipose tissue (TAT) volumes were determined by dedicated computed tomography (CT) software (Aquarius 3D Workstation, TeraRecon, San Mateo, CA, USA). Hepatic steatosis was assessed by abdominal ultrasonography. We explored cross-sectional associations between visceral fat measures and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), leukocyte counts, and the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ration (NLR). Among 3,291 study participants, we observed positive linear associations between PCF and TAT, higher degree of hepatic steatosis and hs-CRP, various leukocyte counts, either total and its differential counts, and NLR (all trend p<0.001). Multi-variate linear and logistic regression models showed independent associations between PCF/TAT (ß-Coef: 0.14/0.16, both p<0.05) and total WBC counts, with only TAT further demonstrated significant relations with neutrophil counts and NLR (both p<0.05) and independently identified abnormally high WBC and NLR (Odds ratio: 1.18 & 1.21, both p<0.05). C-statistics showed significant incremental model prediction for abnormally high WBC and NLR (both ΔAUROC<0.05) when TAT was superimposed on traditional cardiovascular risks and biochemical information. Greater visceral adiposity burden and hepatic steatosis may be associated with higher circulating leukocyte counts and markers for atherosclerosis, with more pronounced influences for peri-aortic adiposity. Our data suggested the differential biological impacts for region-specific visceral adiposity.

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<![CDATA[Prognostic value of platelet count and lymphocyte to monocyte ratio combination in stage IV non-small cell lung cancer with malignant pleural effusion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b60039f463d7e38dd0d05b2

Introduction

A combination of platelet and lymphocyte to monocyte ratio (LMR) (abbreviated as COP-LMR) has been recently evaluated as systemic inflammatory marker for prognostication in lung cancer. While previous study on COP-LMR has evaluated its prognostic value in NSCLC patients who underwent curative resections, the combination of these two markers has not been evaluated in advanced NSCLC yet.

Objectives

In this study, we evaluated the prognostic value of COP-LMR in stage IV NSCLC with malignant pleural effusion under active anticancer treatment.

Methods

Between January 2012 and July 2016, 217 patients with stage IV NSCLC and MPE undergoing active anticancer treatment were selected for evaluation. If patients had both low LMR (< 2.47) and increased platelet (> 30.0 ×104 mm-3), they were assigned to COP-LMR group 2. Patients with one parameter were assigned to COP-LMR group 1. If none, patients were assigned to COP-LMR group 0.

Results

Median overall survival (OS) (P < 0.001), progression free survival (PFS) (P < 0.001) and histological feature (P = 0.003) showed significant differences among COP-LMR groups. For COP-LMR groups 0, 1 and 2, median survival times were 35.9, 14.7 and 7.4 months, respectively, while median progression free times were 19.2, 13.3 and 7.4 months, respectively. Older age, male, low albumin, high CRP and high COP-LMR (0 vs 1, P = 0.021, hazard ratio (HR): 1.822, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.096–3.027 and 0 vs 2, P = 0.003, HR: 2.464, 95% CI: 1.373–4.421) were independent predictive factors for shorter OS. Age, sex, histology, albumin, or CRP had no significant influence on PFS. High COP-LMR was the significant factor in predicting shorter PFS (0 vs 1, P = 0.116 and 0 vs 2, P = 0.007, HR: 1.902, 95% CI: 1.194–3.028).

Conclusions

A combination of pretreatment LMR and platelet levels can be used to predict short survival in stage IV NSCLC patients who underwent active anticancer treatment.

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<![CDATA[Leishmania mexicana Induces Limited Recruitment and Activation of Monocytes and Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells Early during Infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da52ab0ee8fa60b8e10d

While C57BL/6 mice infected in the ear with L. major mount a vigorous Th1 response and resolve their lesions, the Th1 response in C57BL/6 mice infected with L. mexicana is more limited, resulting in chronic, non-healing lesions. The aim of this study was to determine if the limited immune response following infection with L. mexicana is related to a deficiency in the ability of monocyte-derived dendritic cells (mo-DCs) to prime a sufficient Th1 response. To address this issue we compared the early immune response following L. mexicana infection with that seen in L. major infected mice. Our data show that fewer monocytes are recruited to the lesions of L. mexicana infected mice as compared to mice infected with L. major. Moreover, monocytes that differentiate into mo-DCs in L. mexicana lesions produced less iNOS and migrated less efficiently to the draining lymph node as compared to those from L. major infected mice. Treatment of L. mexicana infected mice with α-IL-10R antibody resulted in increased recruitment of monocytes to the lesion along with greater production of IFN-γ and iNOS. Additionally, injection of DCs into the ear at the time of infection with L. mexicana also led to a more robust Th1 response. Taken together, these data suggest that during L. mexicana infection reduced recruitment, activation and subsequent migration of monocytes and mo-DCs to the draining lymph nodes may result in the insufficient priming of a Th1 response.

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<![CDATA[Filarial Excretory-Secretory Products Induce Human Monocytes to Produce Lymphangiogenic Mediators]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daaaab0ee8fa60ba8f9e

The nematodes Wuchereria bancrofti and Brugia spp. infect over 120 million people worldwide, causing lymphedema, elephantiasis and hydrocele, collectively known as lymphatic filariasis. Most infected individuals appear to be asymptomatic, but many exhibit sub-clinical manifestations including the lymphangiectasia that likely contributes to the development of lymphedema and elephantiasis. As adult worm excretory-secretory products (ES) do not directly activate lymphatic endothelial cells (LEC), we investigated the role of monocyte/macrophage-derived soluble factors in the development of filarial lymphatic pathology. We analyzed the production of IL-8, IL-6 and VEGF-A by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from naïve donors following stimulation with filarial ES products. ES-stimulated PBMCs produced significantly more IL-8, IL-6 and VEGF-A compared to cells cultured in medium alone; CD14+ monocytes appear to be the primary producers of IL-8 and VEGF-A, but not IL-6. Furthermore, IL-8, IL-6 and VEGF-A induced in vitro tubule formation in LEC Matrigel cultures. Matrigel plugs supplemented with IL-8, IL-6, VEGF-A, or with supernatants from ES-stimulated PBMCs and implanted in vivo stimulated lymphangiogenesis. Collectively, these data support the hypothesis that monocytes/macrophages exposed to filarial ES products may modulate lymphatic function through the secretion of soluble factors that stimulate the vessel growth associated with the pathogenesis of filarial disease.

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<![CDATA[Real-Time Imaging Reveals the Dynamics of Leukocyte Behaviour during Experimental Cerebral Malaria Pathogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db45ab0ee8fa60bd8357

During experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) mice develop a lethal neuropathological syndrome associated with microcirculatory dysfunction and intravascular leukocyte sequestration. The precise spatio-temporal context in which the intravascular immune response unfolds is incompletely understood. We developed a 2-photon intravital microscopy (2P-IVM)-based brain-imaging model to monitor the real-time behaviour of leukocytes directly within the brain vasculature during ECM. Ly6Chi monocytes, but not neutrophils, started to accumulate in the blood vessels of Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA)-infected MacGreen mice, in which myeloid cells express GFP, one to two days prior to the onset of the neurological signs (NS). A decrease in the rolling speed of monocytes, a measure of endothelial cell activation, was associated with progressive worsening of clinical symptoms. Adoptive transfer experiments with defined immune cell subsets in recombinase activating gene (RAG)-1-deficient mice showed that these changes were mediated by Plasmodium-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes. A critical number of CD8+ T effectors was required to induce disease and monocyte adherence to the vasculature. Depletion of monocytes at the onset of disease symptoms resulted in decreased lymphocyte accumulation, suggesting reciprocal effects of monocytes and T cells on their recruitment within the brain. Together, our studies define the real-time kinetics of leukocyte behaviour in the central nervous system during ECM, and reveal a significant role for Plasmodium-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes in regulating vascular pathology in this disease.

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<![CDATA[Diesel Exhaust Particle Exposure In Vitro Alters Monocyte Differentiation and Function]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5aab0ee8fa60b8fa79

Air pollution by diesel exhaust particles is associated with elevated mortality and increased hospital admissions in individuals with respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. During active inflammation monocytes are recruited to the airways and can replace resident alveolar macrophages. We therefore investigated whether chronic fourteen day exposure to low concentrations of diesel exhaust particles can alter the phenotype and function of monocytes from healthy individuals and those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Monocytes were purified from the blood of healthy individuals and people with a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Monocyte-derived macrophages were generated in the presence or absence of diesel exhaust particles and their phenotypes studied through investigation of their lifespan, cytokine generation in response to Toll like receptor agonists and heat killed bacteria, and expression of surface markers. Chronic fourteen day exposure of monocyte-derived macrophages to concentrations of diesel exhaust particles >10 µg/ml caused mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction, and a gradual loss of cells over time both in healthy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease individuals. Chronic exposure to lower concentrations of diesel exhaust particles impaired CXCL8 cytokine responses to lipopolysaccharide and heat killed E. coli, and this phenotype was associated with a reduction in CD14 and CD11b expression. Chronic diesel exhaust particle exposure may therefore alter both numbers and function of lung macrophages differentiating from locally recruited monocytes in the lungs of healthy people and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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<![CDATA[Hyperspectral Imaging Using Intracellular Spies: Quantitative Real-Time Measurement of Intracellular Parameters In Vivo during Interaction of the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus with Human Monocytes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e1ab0ee8fa60b69b1f

Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a technique based on the combination of classical spectroscopy and conventional digital image processing. It is also well suited for the biological assays and quantitative real-time analysis since it provides spectral and spatial data of samples. The method grants detailed information about a sample by recording the entire spectrum in each pixel of the whole image. We applied HSI to quantify the constituent pH variation in a single infected apoptotic monocyte as a model system. Previously, we showed that the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus conidia interfere with the acidification of phagolysosomes. Here, we extended this finding to monocytes and gained a more detailed analysis of this process. Our data indicate that melanised A. fumigatus conidia have the ability to interfere with apoptosis in human monocytes as they enable the apoptotic cell to recover from mitochondrial acidification and to continue with the cell cycle. We also showed that this ability of A. fumigatus is dependent on the presence of melanin, since a non-pigmented mutant did not stop the progression of apoptosis and consequently, the cell did not recover from the acidic pH. By conducting the current research based on the HSI, we could measure the intracellular pH in an apoptotic infected human monocyte and show the pattern of pH variation during 35 h of measurements. As a conclusion, we showed the importance of melanin for determining the fate of intracellular pH in a single apoptotic cell.

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<![CDATA[Plasmin Plays an Essential Role in Amplification of Psoriasiform Skin Inflammation in Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da93ab0ee8fa60ba0c35

Background

Although increased levels of plasminogen activators have been found in psoriatic lesions, the role of plasmin converted from plasminogen by plasminogen activators in pathogenesis of psoriasis has not been investigated.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here we examined the contribution of plasmin to amplification of inflammation in patients with psoriasis. We found that plasminogen was diminished, but that the amount and activity of its converted product plasmin were markedly increased in psoriasis. Moreover, annexin II, a receptor for plasmin was dramatically increased in both dermis and epidermis in psoriasis. Plasmin at sites of inflammation was pro-inflammatory, eliciting production of inflammatory factors, including CC chemokine ligand 20 (CCL20) and interleukin-23 (IL-23), that was mediated by the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) signaling pathway and that had an essential role in the recruitment and activation of pathogenic C-C chemokine receptor type 6 (CCR6)+ T cells. Moreover, intradermal injection of plasmin or plasmin together with recombinant monocyte/macrophage chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) resulted in induction of psoriasiform skin inflammation around the injection sites with several aspects of human psoriasis in mice.

Conclusions/Significance

Plasmin converted from plasminogen by plasminogen activators plays an essential role in amplification of psoriasiform skin inflammation in mice, and targeting plasmin receptor - annexin II - may harbor therapeutic potential for the treatment of human psoriasis.

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<![CDATA[The Glial Scar-Monocyte Interplay: A Pivotal Resolution Phase in Spinal Cord Repair]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da12ab0ee8fa60b79e4d

The inflammatory response in the injured spinal cord, an immune privileged site, has been mainly associated with the poor prognosis. However, recent data demonstrated that, in fact, some leukocytes, namely monocytes, are pivotal for repair due to their alternative anti-inflammatory phenotype. Given the pro-inflammatory milieu within the traumatized spinal cord, known to skew monocytes towards a classical phenotype, a pertinent question is how parenchymal-invading monocytes acquire resolving properties essential for healing, under such unfavorable conditions. In light of the spatial association between resolving (interleukin (IL)-10 producing) monocytes and the glial scar matrix chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG), in this study we examined the mutual relationship between these two components. By inhibiting the de novo production of CSPG following spinal cord injury, we demonstrated that this extracellular matrix, mainly known for its ability to inhibit axonal growth, serves as a critical template skewing the entering monocytes towards the resolving phenotype. In vitro cell culture studies demonstrated that this matrix alone is sufficient to induce such monocyte polarization. Reciprocal conditional ablation of the monocyte-derived macrophages concentrated at the lesion margins, using diphtheria toxin, revealed that these cells have scar matrix-resolving properties. Replenishment of monocytic cell populations to the ablated mice demonstrated that this extracellular remodeling ability of the infiltrating monocytes requires their expression of the matrix-degrading enzyme, matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP-13), a property that was found here to be crucial for functional recovery. Altogether, this study demonstrates that the glial scar-matrix, a known obstacle to regeneration, is a critical component skewing the encountering monocytes towards a resolving phenotype. In an apparent feedback loop, monocytes were found to regulate scar resolution. This cross-regulation between the glial scar and monocytes primes the resolution of this interim phase of spinal cord repair, thereby providing a fundamental platform for the dynamic healing response.

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<![CDATA[Hypoxia Enhances the Proliferative Response of Macrophages to CSF-1 and Their Pro-Survival Response to TNF]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0bab0ee8fa60b77acf

In chronic inflammatory lesions there are increased numbers of macrophages with a possible contribution of enhanced survival/proliferation due, for example, to cytokine action; such lesions are often hypoxic. Prior studies have found that culture in low oxygen can promote monocyte/macrophage survival. We show here, using pharmacologic inhibitors, that the hypoxia-induced pro-survival response of macrophages exhibits a dependence on PI3-kinase and mTOR activities but surprisingly is suppressed by Akt and p38 MAPK activities. It was also found that in hypoxia at CSF-1 concentrations, which under normoxic conditions are suboptimal for macrophage proliferation, macrophages can proliferate more strongly with no evidence for alteration in CSF-1 receptor degradation kinetics. TNF promoted macrophage survival in normoxic conditions with an additive effect in hypoxia. The enhanced hypoxia-dependent survival and/or proliferation of macrophages in the presence of CSF-1 or TNF may contribute to their elevated numbers at a site of chronic inflammation.

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<![CDATA[A Unique Combination of Nutritionally Active Ingredients Can Prevent Several Key Processes Associated with Atherosclerosis In Vitro]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0aab0ee8fa60b77203

Introduction

Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease that leads to more global mortalities each year than any other ailment. Consumption of active food ingredients such as phytosterols, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and flavanols are known to impart beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease although the combined actions of such agents in atherosclerosis is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to screen a nutritional supplement containing each of these active components for its anti-atherosclerotic effect on macrophages in vitro.

Results

The supplement attenuated the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 in human and murine macrophages at physiologically relevant doses. The migratory capacity of human monocytes was also hindered, possibly mediated by eicosapentaenoic acid and catechin, while the ability of foam cells to efflux cholesterol was improved. The polarisation of murine macrophages towards a pro-inflammatory phenotype was also attenuated by the supplement.

Conclusion

The formulation was able to hinder multiple key steps of atherosclerosis development in vitro by inhibiting monocyte recruitment, foam cell formation and macrophage polarisation towards an inflammatory phenotype. This is the first time a combination these ingredients has been shown to elicit such effects and supports its further study in preclinical in vivo models.

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<![CDATA[MiR-133a in Human Circulating Monocytes: A Potential Biomarker Associated with Postmenopausal Osteoporosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da85ab0ee8fa60b9bf2d

Background

Osteoporosis mainly occurs in postmenopausal women, which is characterized by low bone mineral density (BMD) due to unbalanced bone resorption by osteoclasts and formation by osteoblasts. Circulating monocytes play important roles in osteoclastogenesis by acting as osteoclast precursors and secreting osteoclastogenic factors, such as IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-α. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated as important biomarkers in various diseases. The present study aimed to find significant miRNA biomarkers in human circulating monocytes underlying postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We used ABI TaqMan® miRNA array followed by qRT-PCR validation in circulating monocytes to identify miRNA biomarkers in 10 high and 10 low BMD postmenopausal Caucasian women. MiR-133a was upregulated (P=0.007) in the low compared with the high BMD groups in the array analyses, which was also validated by qRT-PCR (P=0.044). We performed bioinformatic target gene analysis and found three potential osteoclast-related target genes, CXCL11, CXCR3 and SLC39A1. In addition, we performed Pearson correlation analyses between the expression levels of miR-133a and the three potential target genes in the 20 postmenopausal women. We did find negative correlations between miR-133a and all the three genes though not significant.

Conclusions/Significance

This is the first in vivo miRNA expression analysis in human circulating monocytes to identify novel miRNA biomarkers underlying postmenopausal osteoporosis. Our results suggest that miR-133a in circulating monocytes is a potential biomarker for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

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<![CDATA[An on-chip instrument for white blood cells classification based on a lens-less shadow imaging technique]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc130

Routine blood tests provide important basic information for disease diagnoses. The proportions of three subtypes of white blood cells (WBCs), which are neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, is key information for disease diagnosis. However, current instruments for routine blood tests, such as blood cell analyzers, flow cytometers, and optical microscopes, are cumbersome, time consuming and expensive. To make a smaller, automatic low-cost blood cell analyzer, much research has focused on a technique called lens-less shadow imaging, which can obtain microscopic images of cells in a lens-less system. Nevertheless, the efficiency of this imaging system is not satisfactory because of two problems: low resolution and imaging diffraction phenomena. In this paper, a novel method of classifying cells with the shadow imaging technique was proposed. It could be used for the classification of the three subtypes of WBCs, and the correlation of the results of classification between the proposed system and the reference system (BC-5180, Mindray) was 0.93. However, the instrument was only 10 × 10 × 10 cm, and the cost was less than $100. Depending on the lens-free shadow imaging technology, the main hardware could be integrated on a chip scale and could be called an on-chip instrument.

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<![CDATA[The Timing of IFNβ Production Affects Early Innate Responses to Listeria monocytogenes and Determines the Overall Outcome of Lethal Infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabdab0ee8fa60baf409

Dendritic cells (DCs) and natural killer (NK) cells are essential components of the innate immunity and play a crucial role in the first phase of host defense against infections and tumors. Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is an intracellular pathogen that colonizes the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. Recent findings have shown Lm specifically in splenic CD8a+ DCs shortly after intravenous infection. We examined gene expression profiles of mouse DCs exposed to Lm to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying DCs interaction with Lm. Using a functional genomics approach, we found that Lm infection induced a cluster of late response genes including type I IFNs and interferon responsive genes (IRGs) in DCs. Type I INFs were produced at the maximal level only at 24 h post infection indicating that the regulation of IFNs in the context of Lm infection is delayed compared to the rapid response observed with viral pathogens. We showed that during Lm infection, IFNγ production and cytotoxic activity were severely impaired in NK cells compared to E. coli infection. These defects were restored by providing an exogenous source of IFNβ during the initial phase of bacterial challenge. Moreover, when treated with IFNβ during early infection, NK cells were able to reduce bacterial titer in the spleen and significantly improve survival of infected mice. These findings show that the timing of IFNβ production is fundamental to the efficient control of the bacterium during the early innate phase of Lm infection.

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