ResearchPad - organ-cultures https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Patient-derived oral mucosa organoids as an <i>in vitro</i> model for methotrexate induced toxicity in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15720 We have recently established a protocol to grow wildtype human oral mucosa organoids. These three-dimensional structures can be maintained in culture long-term, do not require immortalization, and recapitulate the multilayered composition of the epithelial lining of the oral mucosa. Here, we validate the use of this model to study the effect of Leucovorin (LV) on Methotrexate (MTX)-induced toxicity. MTX is a chemotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Although effective, the use of MTX often results in severe side-effects, including oral mucositis, which is characterized by epithelial cell death. Here, we show that organoids are sensitive to MTX, and that the addition of LV reduces MTX toxicity, in both a concentration- and timing-dependent manner. Additionally, we show that a 24 hour ‘pretreatment’ with LV reduces MTX-induced cell death, suggesting that such a pretreatment could decrease mucositis in patients. Taken together, we provide the first in vitro model to study the effect of MTX on wildtype oral mucosa cells. Our findings underscore the relevance of the clinically applied LV regimen and highlight the potential of this model to further optimize modifications in dosing and timing of Leucovorin on oral mucosa cells.

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<![CDATA[Recapitulation of the accessible interface of biopsy-derived canine intestinal organoids to study epithelial-luminal interactions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N24a1d01a-2f11-47b7-a628-8330af6f7455

Recent advances in canine intestinal organoids have expanded the option for building a better in vitro model to investigate translational science of intestinal physiology and pathology between humans and animals. However, the three-dimensional geometry and the enclosed lumen of canine intestinal organoids considerably hinder the access to the apical side of epithelium for investigating the nutrient and drug absorption, host-microbiome crosstalk, and pharmaceutical toxicity testing. Thus, the creation of a polarized epithelial interface accessible from apical or basolateral side is critical. Here, we demonstrated the generation of an intestinal epithelial monolayer using canine biopsy-derived colonic organoids (colonoids). We optimized the culture condition to form an intact monolayer of the canine colonic epithelium on a nanoporous membrane insert using the canine colonoids over 14 days. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy revealed a physiological brush border interface covered by the microvilli with glycocalyx, as well as the presence of mucin granules, tight junctions, and desmosomes. The population of stem cells as well as differentiated lineage-dependent epithelial cells were verified by immunofluorescence staining and RNA in situ hybridization. The polarized expression of P-glycoprotein efflux pump was confirmed at the apical membrane. Also, the epithelial monolayer formed tight- and adherence-junctional barrier within 4 days, where the transepithelial electrical resistance and apparent permeability were inversely correlated. Hence, we verified the stable creation, maintenance, differentiation, and physiological function of a canine intestinal epithelial barrier, which can be useful for pharmaceutical and biomedical researches.

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<![CDATA[Increased Programmed Death-Ligand 1 is an Early Epithelial Cell Response to Helicobacter pylori Infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2f8d5eed0c48441eea8

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the major risk factor for the development of gastric cancer. Our laboratory has reported that the Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway is an early response to infection that is fundamental to the initiation of H. pylori-induced gastritis. H. pylori also induces programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression on gastric epithelial cells, yet the mechanism is unknown. We hypothesize that H. pylori-induced PD-L1 expression within the gastric epithelium is mediated by the Shh signaling pathway during infection. To identify the role of Shh signaling as a mediator of H. pylori-induced PD-L1 expression, human gastric organoids generated from either induced pluripotent stem cells (HGOs) or tissue (huFGOs) were microinjected with bacteria and treated with Hedgehog/Gli inhibitor GANT61. Gastric epithelial monolayers generated from the huFGOs were also infected with H. pylori and treated with GANT61 to study the role of Hedgehog signaling as a mediator of induced PD-1 expression. A patient-derived organoid/autologous immune cell co-culture system infected with H. pylori and treated with PD-1 inhibitor (PD-1Inh) was developed to study the protective mechanism of PD-L1 in response to bacterial infection. H. pylori significantly increased PD-L1 expression in organoid cultures 48 hours post-infection when compared to uninfected controls. The mechanism was cytotoxic associated gene A (CagA) dependent. This response was blocked by pretreatment with GANT61. Anti-PD-L1 treatment of H. pylori infected huFGOs, co-cultured with autologous patient cytotoxic T lymphocytes and dendritic cells, induced organoid death. H. pylori-induced PD-L1 expression is mediated by the Shh signaling pathway within the gastric epithelium. Cells infected with H. pylori that express PD-L1 may be protected from the immune response, creating premalignant lesions progressing to gastric cancer.

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<![CDATA[Small-molecule induction of Aβ-42 peptide production in human cerebral organoids to model Alzheimer's disease associated phenotypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c21517bd5eed0c4843fa61e

Human mini-brains (MB) are cerebral organoids that recapitulate in part the complexity of the human brain in a unique three-dimensional in vitro model, yielding discrete brain regions reminiscent of the cerebral cortex. Specific proteins linked to neurodegenerative disorders are physiologically expressed in MBs, such as APP-derived amyloids (Aβ), whose physiological and pathological roles and interactions with other proteins are not well established in humans. Here, we demonstrate that neuroectodermal organoids can be used to study the Aβ accumulation implicated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To enhance the process of protein secretion and accumulation, we adopted a chemical strategy of induction to modulate post-translational pathways of APP using an Amyloid-β Forty-Two Inducer named Aftin-5. Secreted, soluble Aβ fragment concentrations were analyzed in MB-conditioned media. An increase in the Aβ42 fragment secretion was observed as was an increased Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio after drug treatment, which is consistent with the pathological-like phenotypes described in vivo in transgenic animal models and in vitro in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural cultures obtained from AD patients. Notably in this context we observe time-dependent Aβ accumulation, which differs from protein accumulation occurring after treatment. We show that mini-brains obtained from a non-AD control cell line are responsive to chemical compound induction, producing a shift of physiological Aβ concentrations, suggesting that this model can be used to identify environmental agents that may initiate the cascade of events ultimately leading to sporadic AD. Increases in both Aβ oligomers and their target, the cellular prion protein (PrPC), support the possibility of using MBs to further understand the pathophysiological role that underlies their interaction in a human model. Finally, the potential application of MBs for modeling age-associated phenotypes and the study of neurological disorders is confirmed.

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<![CDATA[The small molecule rhodomyrtone suppresses TNF-α and IL-17A-induced keratinocyte inflammatory responses: A potential new therapeutic for psoriasis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bce3d3840307c69b197f508

Psoriasis is a common skin disease pathogenically driven by TNF and IL-17A-induced epidermal hyperproliferation and inflammatory responses. The ongoing need for new therapeutic agents for psoriasis has highlighted medicinal plants as sources of phytochemicals useful for treating psoriatic disease. Rhodomyrtone, a bioactive phytochemical from Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, has well-established anti-proliferative activities. This study assessed the potential of rhodomyrtone for curtailing TNF/IL-17A-driven inflammation. Stimulating human skin organ cultures with TNF+IL-17A to model the skin inflammation in psoriasis, we found that rhodomyrtone significantly decreased inflammatory gene expression and the expression and secretion of inflammatory proteins, assessed by qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and ELISA assays respectively. RNA-seq analysis of monolayer primary keratinocytes treated with IL-17A/TNF showed that rhodomyrtone inhibited 724/1587 transcripts >2-fold altered by IL-17A/TNF (p<0.01), a number of which were confirmed at the mRNA and protein level. Suggesting that rhodomyrtone acts by modulating MAP kinase and NF-κB signaling pathways, rhodomyrtone inhibited TNF-induced ERK, JNK, p38, and NF-κBp65 phosphorylation. Finally, assessing the in vivo anti-inflammatory potential of rhodomyrtone, we examined its effects on imiquimod-induced skin inflammation in mice, finding rhodomyrtone reversed imiquimod-induced skin hyperplasia and epidermal thickening (p< 0.001). Taken together, these results suggest that rhodomyrtone may be useful in preventing or slowing the progression of inflammatory skin disease.

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<![CDATA[Papaverine Prevents Vasospasm by Regulation of Myosin Light Chain Phosphorylation and Actin Polymerization in Human Saphenous Vein]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad6ab0ee8fa60bb7eee

Objective

Papaverine is used to prevent vasospasm in human saphenous veins (HSV) during vein graft preparation prior to implantation as a bypass conduit. Papaverine is a nonspecific inhibitor of phosphodiesterases, leading to increases in both intracellular cGMP and cAMP. We hypothesized that papaverine reduces force by decreasing intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca2+]i) and myosin light chain phosphorylation, and increasing actin depolymerization via regulation of actin regulatory protein phosphorylation.

Approach and Results

HSV was equilibrated in a muscle bath, pre-treated with 1 mM papaverine followed by 5 μM norepinephrine, and force along with [Ca2+]i levels were concurrently measured. Filamentous actin (F-actin) level was measured by an in vitro actin assay. Tissue was snap frozen to measure myosin light chain and actin regulatory protein phosphorylation. Pre-treatment with papaverine completely inhibited norepinephrine-induced force generation, blocked increases in [Ca2+]i and led to a decrease in the phosphorylation of myosin light chain. Papaverine pre-treatment also led to increased phosphorylation of the heat shock-related protein 20 (HSPB6) and the vasodilator stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP), as well as decreased filamentous actin (F-actin) levels suggesting depolymerization of actin.

Conclusions

These results suggest that papaverine-induced force inhibition of HSV involves [Ca2+]i-mediated inhibition of myosin light chain phosphorylation and actin regulatory protein phosphorylation-mediated actin depolymerization. Thus, papaverine induces sustained inhibition of contraction of HSV by the modulation of both myosin cross-bridge formation and actin cytoskeletal dynamics and is a pharmacological alternative to high pressure distention to prevent vasospasm.

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<![CDATA[A Novel Organ Culture Model to Quantify Collagen Remodeling in Tree Shrew Sclera]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9eeab0ee8fa60b6d646

Increasing evidence suggests that unknown collagen remodeling mechanisms in the sclera underlie myopia development. We are proposing a novel organ culture system in combination with two-photon fluorescence imaging to quantify collagen remodeling at the tissue- and lamella-level. Tree shrew scleral shells were cultured up to 7 days in serum-free media and cellular viability was investigated under: (i) minimal tissue manipulations; (ii) removal of intraocular tissues; gluing the eye to a washer using (iii) 50 μL and (iv) 200 μL of cyanoacrylate adhesive; (v) supplementing media with Ham's F-12 Nutrient Mixture; and (vi) culturing eyes subjected to 15 mmHg intraocular pressure in our new bioreactor. Two scleral shells of normal juvenile tree shrews were fluorescently labeled using a collagen specific protein and cultured in our bioreactor. Using two-photon microscopy, grid patterns were photobleached into and across multiple scleral lamellae. These patterns were imaged daily for 3 days, and tissue-/lamella-level strains were calculated from the deformed patterns. No significant reduction in cell viability was observed under conditions (i) and (v). Compared to condition (i), cell viability was significantly reduced starting at day 0 (condition (ii)) and day 3 (conditions (iii, iv, vi)). Tissue-level strain and intralamellar shear angel increased significantly during the culture period. Some scleral lamellae elongated while others shortened. Findings suggest that tree shrew sclera can be cultured in serum-free media for 7 days with no significant reduction in cell viability. Scleral fibroblasts are sensitive to tissue manipulations and tissue gluing. However, Ham's F-12 Nutrient Mixture has a protective effect on cell viability and can offset the cytotoxic effect of cyanoacrylate adhesive. This is the first study to quantify collagen micro-deformations over a prolonged period in organ culture providing a new methodology to study scleral remodeling in myopia.

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<![CDATA[Validation of Novel Biomarkers for Prostate Cancer Progression by the Combination of Bioinformatics, Clinical and Functional Studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da22ab0ee8fa60b7f399

The identification and validation of biomarkers for clinical applications remains an important issue for improving diagnostics and therapy in many diseases, including prostate cancer. Gene expression profiles are routinely applied to identify diagnostic and predictive biomarkers or novel targets for cancer. However, only few predictive markers identified in silico have also been validated for clinical, functional or mechanistic relevance in disease progression. In this study, we have used a broad, bioinformatics-based approach to identify such biomarkers across a spectrum of progression stages, including normal and tumor-adjacent, premalignant, primary and late stage lesions. Bioinformatics data mining combined with clinical validation of biomarkers by sensitive, quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR), followed by functional evaluation of candidate genes in disease-relevant processes, such as cancer cell proliferation, motility and invasion. From 300 initial candidates, eight genes were selected for validation by several layers of data mining and filtering. For clinical validation, differential mRNA expression of selected genes was measured by qRT-PCR in 197 clinical prostate tissue samples including normal prostate, compared against histologically benign and cancerous tissues. Based on the qRT-PCR results, significantly different mRNA expression was confirmed in normal prostate versus malignant PCa samples (for all eight genes), but also in cancer-adjacent tissues, even in the absence of detectable cancer cells, thus pointing to the possibility of pronounced field effects in prostate lesions. For the validation of the functional properties of these genes, and to demonstrate their putative relevance for disease-relevant processes, siRNA knock-down studies were performed in both 2D and 3D organotypic cell culture models. Silencing of three genes (DLX1, PLA2G7 and RHOU) in the prostate cancer cell lines PC3 and VCaP by siRNA resulted in marked growth arrest and cytotoxicity, particularly in 3D organotypic cell culture conditions. In addition, silencing of PLA2G7, RHOU, ACSM1, LAMB1 and CACNA1D also resulted in reduced tumor cell invasion in PC3 organoid cultures. For PLA2G7 and RHOU, the effects of siRNA silencing on proliferation and cell-motility could also be confirmed in 2D monolayer cultures. In conclusion, DLX1 and RHOU showed the strongest potential as useful clinical biomarkers for PCa diagnosis, further validated by their functional roles in PCa progression. These candidates may be useful for more reliable identification of relapses or therapy failures prior to the recurrence local or distant metastases.

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<![CDATA[Metabolic Imaging of Head and Neck Cancer Organoids]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2dab0ee8fa60b83120

Head and neck cancer patients suffer from toxicities, morbidities, and mortalities, and these ailments could be minimized through improved therapies. Drug discovery is a long, expensive, and complex process, so optimized assays can improve the success rate of drug candidates. This study applies optical imaging of cell metabolism to three-dimensional in vitro cultures of head and neck cancer grown from primary tumor tissue (organoids). This technique is advantageous because it measures cell metabolism using intrinsic fluorescence from NAD(P)H and FAD on a single cell level for a three-dimensional in vitro model. Head and neck cancer organoids are characterized alone and after treatment with standard therapies, including an antibody therapy, a chemotherapy, and combination therapy. Additionally, organoid cellular heterogeneity is analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Gold standard measures of treatment response, including cell proliferation, cell death, and in vivo tumor volume, validate therapeutic efficacy for each treatment group in a parallel study. Results indicate that optical metabolic imaging is sensitive to therapeutic response in organoids after 1 day of treatment (p<0.05) and resolves cell subpopulations with distinct metabolic phenotypes. Ultimately, this platform could provide a sensitive high-throughput assay to streamline the drug discovery process for head and neck cancer.

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<![CDATA[Loading-Induced Heat-Shock Response in Bovine Intervertebral Disc Organ Culture]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da91ab0ee8fa60b9ff6f

Mechanical loading has been shown to affect cell viability and matrix maintenance in the intervertebral disc (IVD) but there is no investigation on how cells survive mechanical stress and whether the IVD cells perceive mechanical loading as stress and respond by expression of heat shock proteins. This study investigates the stress response in the IVD in response to compressive loading. Bovine caudal disc organ culture was used to study the effect of physiological range static loading and dynamic loading. Cell activity, gene expression and immunofluorescence staining were used to analyze the cell response. Cell activity and cytoskeleton of the cells did not change significantly after loading. In gene expression analysis, significant up-regulation of heat shock protein-70 (HSP70) was observed in nucleus pulposus after two hours of loading. However, the expression of the matrix remodeling genes did not change significantly after loading. Similarly, expressions of stress response and matrix remodeling genes changed with application and removal of the dynamic loading. The results suggest that stress response was induced by physiological range loading without significantly changing cell activity and upregulating matrix remodeling. This study provides direct evidence on loading induced stress response in IVD cells and contributes to our understanding in the mechanoregulation of intervertebral disc cells.

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<![CDATA[Trichostatin A Inhibits Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition Induced by TGF-β1 in Airway Epithelium]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad2ab0ee8fa60bb6c3a

Background and Objectives

Tissue remodeling is believed to cause recalcitrant chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a novel clinical therapeutic target in many chronic airway diseases related with tissue remodeling. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of trichostatin A (TSA) on transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1-induced EMT in airway epithelium and nasal tissue.

Materials and Methods

A549 cells, primary nasal epithelial cells (PNECs), or inferior nasal turbinate organ culture were exposed to TSA prior to stimulation with TGF-β1. Expression levels of E-cadherin, vimentin, fibronectin, α-smooth muscle actin (SMA), histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), and HDAC4 were determined by western blotting and/or immunofluorescent staining. Hyperacetylation of histone H2 and H4 by TSA was measured by western blotting. After siHDAC transfection, the effects of HDAC2 and HDAC4 silencing on expression of E-cadherin, vimentin, fibronectin, α-SMA, HDAC2, and HDAC4 in TGF-β1-induced A549 were determined by RT-PCR and/or western blotting. We assessed the change in migration capacity of A549 cells by using cell migration assay and transwell invasion assay.

Results

TGF-β1 altered mRNA and protein expression levels of EMT markers including E-cadherin, vimentin, fibronectin, α-SMA, slug, and snail in A549 cells. Inhibition and silencing of HDAC2 and HDAC4 by TSA and siRNA enhanced TGF-β1-induced EMT in A549 cells. TSA blocked the effect of TGF-β1 on the migratory ability of A549 cells. In experiments using PNECs and inferior turbinate organ cultures, TSA suppressed expression of EMT markers induced by TGF-β1.

Conclusions

We showed that EMT is induced by TGF-β1 in airway epithelial cells and nasal tissue via activation of HDAC2 and HDAC4, and that inhibition of HDAC2 and HDAC4 by TSA reduces TGF-β1-induced EMT. This observation indicates that histone deacetylase inhibitors such as TSA could be potential candidates for treatment of recalcitrant CRS related with tissue remodeling.

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<![CDATA[Zinc Transporter SLC39A7/ZIP7 Promotes Intestinal Epithelial Self-Renewal by Resolving ER Stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad5ab0ee8fa60bb7cc0

Zinc transporters play a critical role in spatiotemporal regulation of zinc homeostasis. Although disruption of zinc homeostasis has been implicated in disorders such as intestinal inflammation and aberrant epithelial morphology, it is largely unknown which zinc transporters are responsible for the intestinal epithelial homeostasis. Here, we show that Zrt-Irt-like protein (ZIP) transporter ZIP7, which is highly expressed in the intestinal crypt, is essential for intestinal epithelial proliferation. Mice lacking Zip7 in intestinal epithelium triggered endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in proliferative progenitor cells, leading to significant cell death of progenitor cells. Zip7 deficiency led to the loss of Olfm4+ intestinal stem cells and the degeneration of post-mitotic Paneth cells, indicating a fundamental requirement for Zip7 in homeostatic intestinal regeneration. Taken together, these findings provide evidence for the importance of ZIP7 in maintenance of intestinal epithelial homeostasis through the regulation of ER function in proliferative progenitor cells and maintenance of intestinal stem cells. Therapeutic targeting of ZIP7 could lead to effective treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.

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<![CDATA[Glucose Availability and AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Link Energy Metabolism and Innate Immunity in the Bovine Endometrium]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf6ab0ee8fa60bc2e8c

Defences against the bacteria that usually infect the endometrium of postpartum cattle are impaired when there is metabolic energy stress, leading to endometritis and infertility. The endometrial response to bacteria depends on innate immunity, with recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns stimulating inflammation, characterised by secretion of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and IL-8. How metabolic stress impacts tissue responses to pathogens is unclear, but integration of energy metabolism and innate immunity means that stressing one system might affect the other. Here we tested the hypothesis that homeostatic pathways integrate energy metabolism and innate immunity in bovine endometrial tissue. Glucose deprivation reduced the secretion of IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8 from ex vivo organ cultures of bovine endometrium challenged with the pathogen-associated molecular patterns lipopolysaccharide and bacterial lipopeptide. Endometrial inflammatory responses to lipopolysaccharide were also reduced by small molecules that activate or inhibit the intracellular sensor of energy, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). However, inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin, which is a more global metabolic sensor than AMPK, had little effect on inflammation. Similarly, endometrial inflammatory responses to lipopolysaccharide were not affected by insulin-like growth factor-1, which is an endocrine regulator of metabolism. Interestingly, the inflammatory responses to lipopolysaccharide increased endometrial glucose consumption and induced the Warburg effect, which could exacerbate deficits in glucose availability in the tissue. In conclusion, metabolic energy stress perturbed inflammatory responses to pathogen-associated molecular patterns in bovine endometrial tissue, and the most fundamental regulators of cellular energy, glucose availability and AMPK, had the greatest impact on innate immunity.

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<![CDATA[Self-Organizing 3D Human Neural Tissue Derived from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Recapitulate Alzheimer’s Disease Phenotypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f7ab0ee8fa60b70c4c

The dismal success rate of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) motivates us to develop model systems of AD pathology that have higher predictive validity. The advent of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) allows us to model pathology and study disease mechanisms directly in human neural cells from healthy individual as well as AD patients. However, two-dimensional culture systems do not recapitulate the complexity of neural tissue, and phenotypes such as extracellular protein aggregation are difficult to observe. We report brain organoids that use pluripotent stem cells derived from AD patients and recapitulate AD-like pathologies such as amyloid aggregation, hyperphosphorylated tau protein, and endosome abnormalities. These pathologies are observed in an age-dependent manner in organoids derived from multiple familial AD (fAD) patients harboring amyloid precursor protein (APP) duplication or presenilin1 (PSEN1) mutation, compared to controls. The incidence of AD pathology was consistent amongst several fAD lines, which carried different mutations. Although these are complex assemblies of neural tissue, they are also highly amenable to experimental manipulation. We find that treatment of patient-derived organoids with β- and γ-secretase inhibitors significantly reduces amyloid and tau pathology. Moreover, these results show the potential of this model system to greatly increase the translatability of pre-clinical drug discovery in AD.

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<![CDATA[The symbiotic bacterial surface factor polysaccharide A on Bacteroides fragilis inhibits IL-1β-induced inflammation in human fetal enterocytes via toll receptors 2 and 4]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc3d0

Colonizing bacteria interacting with the immature, unlike the mature, human intestine favors inflammation over immune homeostasis. As a result, ten percent of premature infants under 1500 grams weight develop an inflammatory necrosis of the intestine after birth, e.g., necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is a major health problem in this population causing extensive morbidity and mortality and an enormous expenditure of health care dollars. NEC can be prevented by giving preterm infants their mother’s expressed breast milk or ingesting selective probiotic organisms. Vaginally delivered, breast fed newborns develop health promoting bacteria (“pioneer” bacteria) which preferentially stimulate intestinal host defense and anti-inflammation. One such “pioneer” organism is Bacteroides fragilis with a polysaccharide (PSA) on its capsule. B. fragilis has been shown developmentally in intestinal lymphocytes and dendritic cells to produce a balanced T-helper cell (TH1/TH2) response and to reduce intestinal inflammation by activity through the TLR2 receptor stimulating IL-10 which inhibits IL-17 causing inflammation. No studies have been done on the role of B. fragilis PSA on fetal enterocytes and its increased inflammation. Accordingly, using human and mouse fetal intestinal models, we have shown that B. fragilis with PSA and PSA alone inhibits IL-1β-induced IL-8 inflammation in fetal and NEC intestine. We have also begun to define the mechanism for this unique inflammation noted in fetal intestine. We have shown that B. fragilis PSA anti-inflammation requires both the TLR2 and TLR4 receptor and is in part mediated by the AP1 transcription factor (TLR2) which is developmentally regulated. These observations may help to devise future preventative treatments of premature infants against NEC.

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<![CDATA[Use of Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM) as a Timer of Cell Cycle S Phase]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db19ab0ee8fa60bcdb1f

Incorporation of thymidine analogues in replicating DNA, coupled with antibody and fluorophore staining, allows analysis of cell proliferation, but is currently limited to monolayer cultures, fixed cells and end-point assays. We describe a simple microscopy imaging method for live real-time analysis of cell proliferation, S phase progression over several division cycles, effects of anti-proliferative drugs and other applications. It is based on the prominent (~ 1.7-fold) quenching of fluorescence lifetime of a common cell-permeable nuclear stain, Hoechst 33342 upon the incorporation of 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine (BrdU) in genomic DNA and detection by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM). We show that quantitative and accurate FLIM technique allows high-content, multi-parametric dynamic analyses, far superior to the intensity-based imaging. We demonstrate its uses with monolayer cell cultures, complex 3D tissue models of tumor cell spheroids and intestinal organoids, and in physiological study with metformin treatment.

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<![CDATA[Promotion of Intestinal Epithelial Cell Turnover by Commensal Bacteria: Role of Short-Chain Fatty Acids]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da26ab0ee8fa60b80bd9

The life span of intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) is short (3–5 days), and its regulation is thought to be important for homeostasis of the intestinal epithelium. We have now investigated the role of commensal bacteria in regulation of IEC turnover in the small intestine. The proliferative activity of IECs in intestinal crypts as well as the migration of these cells along the crypt-villus axis were markedly attenuated both in germ-free mice and in specific pathogen–free (SPF) mice treated with a mixture of antibiotics, with antibiotics selective for Gram-positive bacteria being most effective in this regard. Oral administration of chloroform-treated feces of SPF mice to germ-free mice resulted in a marked increase in IEC turnover, suggesting that spore-forming Gram-positive bacteria contribute to this effect. Oral administration of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as bacterial fermentation products also restored the turnover of IECs in antibiotic-treated SPF mice as well as promoted the development of intestinal organoids in vitro. Antibiotic treatment reduced the phosphorylation levels of ERK, ribosomal protein S6, and STAT3 in IECs of SPF mice. Our results thus suggest that Gram-positive commensal bacteria are a major determinant of IEC turnover, and that their stimulatory effect is mediated by SCFAs.

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<![CDATA[Retinol Promotes In Vitro Growth of Proximal Colon Organoids through a Retinoic Acid-Independent Mechanism]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da87ab0ee8fa60b9c928

Retinol (ROL), the alcohol form of vitamin A, is known to control cell fate decision of various types of stem cells in the form of its active metabolite, retinoic acid (RA). However, little is known about whether ROL has regulatory effects on colonic stem cells. We examined in this study the effect of ROL on the growth of murine normal colonic cells cultured as organoids. As genes involved in RA synthesis from ROL were differentially expressed along the length of the colon, we tested the effect of ROL on proximal and distal colon organoids separately. We found that organoid forming efficiency and the expression level of Lgr5, a marker gene for colonic stem cells were significantly enhanced by ROL in the proximal colon organoids, but not in the distal ones. Interestingly, neither retinaldehyde (RAL), an intermediate product of the ROL-RA pathway, nor RA exhibited growth promoting effects on the proximal colon organoids, suggesting that ROL-dependent growth enhancement in organoids involves an RA-independent mechanism. This was confirmed by the observation that an inhibitor for RA-mediated gene transcription did not abrogate the effect of ROL on organoids. This novel role of ROL in stem cell maintenance in the proximal colon provides insights into the mechanism of region-specific regulation for colonic stem cell maintenance.

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<![CDATA[Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A Increases the Aqueous Humor Outflow Facility]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daceab0ee8fa60bb5560

Purpose

Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antibody therapy is an effective treatment for ocular angiogenesis. Although the intraocular pressure of some patients increases after anti-VEGF therapy, the effects of VEGF-A on the aqueous humor outflow pathway remain unknown. This study investigated the effects of VEGF-A on the aqueous humor outflow pathway.

Methods

We used human recombinant VEGF121 and VEGF165. Trabecular meshwork (TM) and Schlemm’s canal endothelial (SCE) cells were isolated from the eyes of cynomolgus monkeys. Expression of mRNA coding four VEGF receptors, VEGFR1 (FLT1), VEGFR2 (KDR), neuropilin-1, and neuropilin-2, was examined by RT-PCR. To evaluate the permeability of cell monolayers, we measured transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER). The outflow facility was measured in perfused porcine anterior segment organ cultures treated with 30 ng/mL VEGF121 for 48 h.

Results

Four VEGF-A-related receptor mRNAs were expressed in TM and SCE cells. The TEER of TM cells was not significantly affected by VEGF121 or VEGF165 treatment. In contrast, the TEER of SCE cells was significantly lower 48 h after treatment with 30 ng/mL VEGF121 to 69.4 ± 12.2% of baseline (n = 10), which was a significant difference compared with the control (P = 0.0001). VEGF165 (30 ng/mL) decreased the TEER of SCE cells at 48 h after treatment to 72.3 ± 14.1% compared with the baseline (n = 10), which was not a significant difference compared with the control (P = 0.0935). Ki8751, a selective VEGFR2 inhibitor, completely suppressed the effect of VEGF121 on SCE cell permeability, although ZM306416, a selective VEGFR1 inhibitor, did not affect the VEGF121-induced decrease in TEER. Perfusion with 30 ng/mL of VEGF121 for 48 h significantly increased the outflow facility compared with the control (47.8 ± 28.5%, n = 5, P = 0.013).

Conclusions

These results suggest that VEGF-A may regulate the conventional aqueous outflow of SCE cells through VEGFR2.

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<![CDATA[Paneth Cell-Rich Regions Separated by a Cluster of Lgr5+ Cells Initiate Crypt Fission in the Intestinal Stem Cell Niche]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dbab0ee8fa60b67b9a

The crypts of the intestinal epithelium house the stem cells that ensure the continual renewal of the epithelial cells that line the intestinal tract. Crypt number increases by a process called crypt fission, the division of a single crypt into two daughter crypts. Fission drives normal tissue growth and maintenance. Correspondingly, it becomes less frequent in adulthood. Importantly, fission is reactivated to drive adenoma growth. The mechanisms governing fission are poorly understood. However, only by knowing how normal fission operates can cancer-associated changes be elucidated. We studied normal fission in tissue in three dimensions using high-resolution imaging and used intestinal organoids to identify underlying mechanisms. We discovered that both the number and relative position of Paneth cells and Lgr5+ cells are important for fission. Furthermore, the higher stiffness and increased adhesion of Paneth cells are involved in determining the site of fission. Formation of a cluster of Lgr5+ cells between at least two Paneth-cell-rich domains establishes the site for the upward invagination that initiates fission.

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