ResearchPad - transmission-electron-microscopy https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Imaging dataset of fresh hydrous plants obtained by field-emission scanning electron microscopy conducted using a protective NanoSuit]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7644 Although scanning electron microscopy (SEM) can generate high-resolution images of nanosized objects, it requires a high vacuum to do so, which precludes direct observations of living organisms and often produces unwanted structural changes. It has previously been reported that a simple surface modification gives rise to a nanoscale layer, termed the “NanoSuit”, which can keep small animals alive under the high vacuum required for field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). We have previously applied this technique to plants, and successfully observed healthy petals in a fully hydrated state using SEM. The flower petals protected with the NanoSuit appeared intact, although we still lack a fundamental understanding of the images of other plants observed using FE-SEM. This report presents and evaluates a rich set of images, acquired using the NanoSuit, for a taxonomically diverse set of plant species. This dataset of images allows the surface features of various plants to be analyzed and thus provides a further complementary morphological profile. Image data can be accessed and viewed through Figshare (https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4446026.v1).

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<![CDATA[Observation and quantification of the morphological effect of trypan blue rupturing dead or dying cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nce15bf32-82da-4cd0-8031-f3eea4581b61

Trypan blue has long been the gold standard for staining dead cell to determine cell viability. The dye is excluded from membrane-intact live cells, but can enter and concentrate in membrane-compromised dead cells, rendering the cells dark blue. Over the years, there has been an understanding that trypan blue is inaccurate for cell viability under 80% without scientific support. We previously showed that trypan blue can alter the morphology of dead cells to a diffuse shape, which can lead to over-estimation of viability. Here, we investigate the origin of the dim and diffuse objects after trypan blue staining. Utilizing image and video acquisition, we show real-time transformation of cells into diffuse objects when stained with trypan blue. The same phenomenon was not observed when staining cells with propidium iodide. We also demonstrate the co-localization of trypan blue and propidium iodide, confirming these diffuse objects as cells that contain nuclei. The videos clearly show immediate cell rupturing after trypan blue contact. The formation of these diffuse objects was monitored and counted over time as cells die outside of the incubator. We hypothesize and demonstrate that rapid water influx may have caused the cells to rupture and disappear. Since some dead cells disappear after trypan blue staining, the total can be under-counted, leading to over-estimation of cell viability. This inaccuracy could affect the outcomes of cellular therapies, which require accurate measurements of immune cells that will be infused back into patients.

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<![CDATA[Sporosarcina pasteurii can form nanoscale calcium carbonate crystals on cell surface]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52f2d5eed0c4842bd2e3

The bacterium Sporosarcina pasteurii (SP) is known for its ability to cause the phenomenon of microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP). We explored bacterial participation in the initial stages of the MICP process at the cellular length scale under two different growth environments (a) liquid culture (b) MICP in a soft agar (0.5%) column. In the liquid culture, ex-situ imaging of the cellular environment indicated that S. pasteurii was facilitating nucleation of nanoscale crystals of calcium carbonate on bacterial cell surface and its growth via ureolysis. During the same period, the meso-scale environment (bulk medium) was found to have overgrown calcium carbonate crystals. The effect of media components (urea, CaCl2), presence of live and dead in the growth medium were explored. The agar column method allows for in-situ visualization of the phenomena, and using this platform, we found conclusive evidence of the bacterial cell surface facilitating formation of nanoscale crystals in the microenvironment. Here also the bulk environment or the meso-scale environment was found to possess overgrown calcium carbonate crystals. Extensive elemental analysis using Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), confirmed that the crystals to be calcium carbonate, and two different polymorphs (calcite and vaterite) were identified. Active participation of S. pasteurii cell surface as the site of calcium carbonate precipitation has been shown using EDS elemental mapping with Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

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<![CDATA[The brown algal mode of tip growth: Keeping stress under control]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466523d5eed0c4845179cd

Tip growth has been studied in pollen tubes, root hairs, and fungal and oomycete hyphae and is the most widely distributed unidirectional growth process on the planet. It ensures spatial colonization, nutrient predation, fertilization, and symbiosis with growth speeds of up to 800 μm h−1. Although turgor-driven growth is intuitively conceivable, a closer examination of the physical processes at work in tip growth raises a paradox: growth occurs where biophysical forces are low, because of the increase in curvature in the tip. All tip-growing cells studied so far rely on the modulation of cell wall extensibility via the polarized excretion of cell wall–loosening compounds at the tip. Here, we used a series of quantitative measurements at the cellular level and a biophysical simulation approach to show that the brown alga Ectocarpus has an original tip-growth mechanism. In this alga, the establishment of a steep gradient in cell wall thickness can compensate for the variation in tip curvature, thereby modulating wall stress within the tip cell. Bootstrap analyses support the robustness of the process, and experiments with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) confirmed the active vesicle trafficking in the shanks of the apical cell, as inferred from the model. In response to auxin, biophysical measurements change in agreement with the model. Although we cannot strictly exclude the involvement of a gradient in mechanical properties in Ectocarpus morphogenesis, the viscoplastic model of cell wall mechanics strongly suggests that brown algae have evolved an alternative strategy of tip growth. This strategy is largely based on the control of cell wall thickness rather than fluctuations in cell wall mechanical properties.

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<![CDATA[Comparisons of early vascular reactions in biodegradable and durable polymer-based drug-eluting stents in the porcine coronary artery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f823d5eed0c48438714e

Current drug-eluting stents have abluminal polymer coating; however, thrombus formation in these compared with that in uniformly coated stents remains controversial. We evaluated thrombus formation and early endothelialization after using abluminal biodegradable polymer-coated sirolimus- (BP-SES), and everolimus-eluting stents (BP-EES) versus a durable polymer-coated everolimus-eluting stent (DP-EES) in an in vivo setting. BP-SES, BP-EES, and DP-EES (n = 6 each) were implanted in coronary arteries of 12 mini-pigs that were then sacrificed after 7 and 10 days. Stents were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and a combined Verhoeff and Masson trichrome stain. Areas of fibrin deposition were digitally detected and measured with off-line morphometric software. Stents were investigated for re-endothelialization by transmission electron microscopy. At 7 days, histological analysis revealed the lowest area of fibrin deposition in BP-SES (BP-SES vs. BP-EES vs. DP-EES; 0.10 ± 0.06 mm2 vs. 0.15 ± 0.07 mm2 vs. 0.19 ± 0.06 mm2, p = 0.0004). At 10 days, the area of fibrin deposition was significantly greater in DP-EES (0.13 ± 0.04 mm2 vs. 0.14 ± 0.05 mm2 vs. 0.19 ± 0.08 mm2, p = 0.007). Endothelial cells in BP-SES demonstrated a significantly greater number of tight junctions than those in DP-EES according to by transmission electron microscopy for both days (p<0.05). Various parameters, including an inflammatory reaction and neointimal formation, were comparable among the groups at 7 and 10 days. An abluminal biodegradable polymer-coated SES showed the least fibrin deposition and greatest endothelial cell recovery at an early stage following implantation in the coronary arteries of mini-pigs.

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<![CDATA[Molecular typing of Streptococcus suis strains isolated from diseased and healthy pigs between 1996-2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6059f1d5eed0c4847cc4d8

Streptococcus suis is an economically important pathogen of pigs as well as a zoonotic cause of human disease. Serotyping is used for further characterization of isolates; some serotypes seem to be more virulent and more widely spread than others. This study characterizes a collection of German field isolates of Streptococcus suis from pigs dating from 1996 to 2016 with respect to capsular genes (cps) specific for individual serotypes and pathotype by multiplex PCR and relates results to the clinical background of these isolates. The most prominent finding was the reduction in prevalence of serotype-2/serotype-1/2 among invasive isolates during this sampling period, which might be attributed to widely implemented autogenous vaccination programs in swine against serotype 2 in Germany. In diseased pigs (systemically ill; respiratory disease) isolates of serotype-1/serotype-14, serotype-2/serotype-1/2, serotype 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 were most frequent while in carrier isolates a greater variety of cps types was found. Serotype-1/serotype-14 seemed to be preferentially located in joints, serotype 4 and serotype 3 in the central nervous system, respectively. The virulence associated extracellular protein factor was almost exclusively associated with invasive serotype-1/serotype-14 and serotype-2/serotype-1/2 isolates. In contrast, lung isolates of serotype-2/serotype-1/2 mainly harbored the gene for muramidase-released protein. Serotype 4 and serotype 9 isolates from clinically diseased pigs most frequently carried the muramidase-released protein gene and the suilysin gene. When examined by transmission electron microscopy all but one of the isolates which were non-typable by molecular and serological methods showed various amounts of capsular material indicating potentially new serotypes among these isolates. Given the variety of cps types/serotypes detected in pigs, not only veterinarians but also medical doctors should consider other serotypes than just serotype 2 when investigating potential human cases of Streptococcus suis infection.

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<![CDATA[The bumblebee Bombus terrestris carries a primary inoculum of Tomato brown rugose fruit virus contributing to disease spread in tomatoes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c605a0ed5eed0c4847cc8a8

The bumblebee Bombus terrestris is a beneficial pollinator extensively used in tomato production. Our hypothesis was that bumblebee hives collected from a Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) infected tomato greenhouse, preserve an infectious primary inoculum. Placing a bumblebee hive collected from a ToBRFV contaminated greenhouse, in a glass-/net-house containing only uninfected healthy tomato plants, spread ToBRFV disease. Control uninfected tomato plants grown in a glass-/net-house devoid of any beehive remained uninfected. ToBRFV-contaminated hives carried infectious viral particles as demonstrated in a biological assay on laboratory test plants of virus extracted from hive components. Viral particles isolated from a contaminated hive had a typical tobamovirus morphology observed in transmission electron microscopy. Assembly of ToBRFV genome was achieved by next generation sequencing analysis of RNA adhering to the bumblebee body. Bumblebee dissection showed that ToBRFV was mostly present in the abdomen suggesting viral disease spread via buzz pollination. These results demonstrate that bumblebee hives collected from ToBRFV-contaminated greenhouses carry a primary inoculum that reflects the status of viruses in the growing area. This new mode of ToBRFV spread by pollinators opens an avenue for detection of viruses in a growing area through analysis of the pollinators, as well as emphasizes the need to reevaluate the appropriate disease management protocols.

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<![CDATA[Trynity controls epidermal barrier function and respiratory tube maturation in Drosophila by modulating apical extracellular matrix nano-patterning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c269730d5eed0c48470edff

The outer surface of insects is covered by the cuticle, which is derived from the apical extracellular matrix (aECM). The aECM is secreted by epidermal cells during embryogenesis. The aECM exhibits large variations in structure, function, and constituent molecules, reflecting the enormous diversity in insect appearances. To investigate the molecular principles of aECM organization and function, here we studied the role of a conserved aECM protein, the ZP domain protein Trynity, in Drosophila melanogaster. We first identified trynity as an essential gene for epidermal barrier function. trynity mutation caused disintegration of the outermost envelope layer of the cuticle, resulting in small-molecule leakage and in growth and molting defects. In addition, the tracheal tubules of trynity mutants showed defects in pore-like structures of the cuticle, and the mutant tracheal cells failed to absorb luminal proteins and liquid. Our findings indicated that trynity plays essential roles in organizing nano-level structures in the envelope layer of the cuticle that both restrict molecular trafficking through the epidermis and promote the massive absorption pulse in the trachea.

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<![CDATA[A new simple method for quantification and locating P and N reserves in microalgal cells based on energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) elemental maps]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1966f7d5eed0c484b5376d

We established a new simple approach to study phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) reserves at subcellular level potentially applicable to various types of cells capable of accumulating P- and/or N-rich inclusions. Here, we report on using this approach for locating and assessing the abundance of the P and N reserves in microalgal and cyanobacterial cells. The approach includes separation of the signal from P- or N-rich structures from noise on the energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) P- or N-maps. The separation includes (i) relative entropy estimation for each pixel of the map, (ii) binary thresholding of the map, and (iii) segmenting the image to assess the inclusion relative area and localization in the cell section. The separation is based on comparing the a posteriori probability that a pixel of the map contains information about the sample vs. Gaussian a priori probability that the pixel contains noise. The difference is expressed as relative entropy value for the pixel; positive values are characteristic of the pixels containing the payload information about the sample. This is the first known method for quantification and locating at a subcellular level P-rich and N-rich inclusions including tiny (< 180 nm) structures. We demonstrated the applicability of the proposed method both to the cells of eukaryotic green microalgae and cyanobacteria. Using the new method, we elucidated the heterogeneity of the studied cells in accumulation of P and N reserves across different species. The proposed approach will be handy for any cytological and microbiological study requiring a comparative assessment of subcellular distribution of cyanophycin, polyphosphates or other type of P- or N-rich inclusions. An added value is the potential of this approach for automation of the data processing and evaluation enabling an unprecedented increase of the EFTEM analysis throughput.

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<![CDATA[Nanoscale modifications in the early heating stages of bone are heterogeneous at the microstructural scale]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdc9f1

Nanoscale studies of bone provide key indicators to evidence subtle structural changes that may occur in the biomedical, forensic and archaeological contexts. One specific problem encountered in all those disciplines, for which the identification of nanostructural cues could prove useful, is to properly monitor the effect of heating on bone tissue. In particular, the mechanisms at work at the onset of heating are still relatively unclear. Using a multiscale approach combining Raman microspectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), synchrotron quantitative scanning small-angle X-ray scattering imaging (qsSAXSI) and polarized light (PL) microscopy, we investigate the ultrastructure of cortical bovine bone heated at temperatures < 300°C, from the molecular to the macroscopic scale. We show that, despite limited changes in crystal structure, the mineral nanoparticles increase in thickness and become strongly disorganized upon heating. Furthermore, while the nanostructure in distinct anatomical quadrants appears to be statistically different, our results demonstrate this stems from the tissue histology, i.e. from the high degree of heterogeneity of the microstructure induced by the complex cellular processes involved in bone tissue formation. From this study, we conclude that the analysis of bone samples based on the structure and organization of the mineral nanocrystals requires performing measurements at the histological level, which is an advantageous feature of qsSAXSI. This is a critical aspect that extends to a much broader range of questions relating to nanoscale investigations of bone, which could also be extended to other classes of nanostructured heterogeneous materials.

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<![CDATA[PLoS Computational Biology Issue Image | Vol. 14(6) June 2018]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a0358463d7e3e7a97117a

Classification of red blood cell shapes in flow using outlier tolerant machine learning

We investigate the shape transitions of red blood cells flowing in micro-capillaries. A convolutional neural network (CNN) transforms bright-field images of cells into a set of abstract representations. The illustration shows different shape features of the same cell highlighted by the color scheme and dependent on the applied convolution kernel. Our approach allows for a quantitative classification of each recorded cell. According to the prevailing flow conditions, the CNN reveals the formation of two stable shapes, "slippers" and "croissants". Finally, a phase diagram assessed within a range of physiolocial relevant shear rates expresses the shape transition in between these states. Kihm et al.

Image Credit: Stephan Quint

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<![CDATA[Does Spore Ultrastructure Mirror Different Dispersal Strategies in Mosses? A Study of Seven Iberian Orthotrichum Species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadbab0ee8fa60bb9f8f

Most mosses have xerochastic dispersal (i.e., they open their capsules when conditions are dry), which is thought to favor long-distance dispersal. However, there are several species that use a hygrochastic strategy: spores are dispersed when conditions are wet. The significance of this strategy in the Mediterranean region is unknown. In this study, we explored whether ultrastructural features related to differences in spore resistance may explain these different strategies of spore dispersal. To this end, we examined the ultrastructural features of the spores of seven closely related species in the moss genus Orthotrichum. These species all grow as epiphytes in sub-Mediterranean forests, and the group includes both xerochastic and hygrochastic members. First, we found that the spore wall layers exhibit several features previously undescribed in mosses. Second, we discovered that there are only subtle differences in spore ultrastructure with regards to spore wall thickness, the degree of plastid development, or the storage substances used. We suggest that the hygrochastic dispersal in mosses from Mediterranean environments might be related to a safe-site strategy, rather than to drought avoidance, and we underscore the necessity of conducting spore ultrastructural studies on a greater number of bryophyte species.

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<![CDATA[Efficient up-conversion in Yb:Er:NaT(XO4)2 thermal nanoprobes. Imaging of their distribution in a perfused mouse]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdfe73

Yb and Er codoped NaT(XO4)2 (T = Y, La, Gd, Lu and X = Mo, W) disordered oxides show a green (Er3+ related) up-conversion (UC) efficiency comparable to that of Yb:Er:β-NaYF4 compound and unless 3 times larger UC ratiometric thermal sensitivity. The similar UC efficiency of Yb:Er doped NaT(XO4)2 and β-NaYF4 compounds allowed testing equal subcutaneous depths of ex-vivo chicken tissue in both cases. This extraordinary behavior for NaT(XO4)2 oxides with large cutoff phonon energy (ħω≈ 920 cm-1) is ascribed to 4F9/2 electron population recycling to higher energy 4G11/2 level by a phonon assisted transition. Crystalline nanoparticles of Yb:Er:NaLu(MoO4)2 have been synthesized by sol-gel with sizes most commonly in the 50–80 nm range, showing a relatively small reduction of the UC efficiency with regards to bulk materials. Fluorescence lifetime and multiphoton imaging microscopies show that these nanoparticles can be efficiently distributed to all body organs of a perfused mouse.

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<![CDATA[Evidences of Changes in Surface Electrostatic Charge Distribution during Stabilization of HPV16 Virus-Like Particles]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ddab0ee8fa60b685e9

The stabilization of human papillomavirus type 16 virus-like particles has been examined by means of different techniques including dynamic and static light scattering, transmission electron microscopy and electrophoretic mobility. All these techniques provide different and often complementary perspectives about the aggregation process and generation of stabilized virus-like particles after a period of time of 48 hours at a temperature of 298 K. Interestingly, static light scattering results point towards a clear colloidal instability in the initial systems, as suggested by a negative value of the second virial coefficient. This is likely related to small repulsive electrostatic interactions among the particles, and in agreement with relatively small absolute values of the electrophoretic mobility and, hence, of the net surface charges. At this initial stage the small repulsive interactions are not able to compensate binding interactions, which tend to aggregate the particles. As time proceeds, an increase of the size of the particles is accompanied by strong increases, in absolute values, of the electrophoretic mobility and net surface charge, suggesting enhanced repulsive electrostatic interactions and, consequently, a stabilized colloidal system. These results show that electrophoretic mobility is a useful methodology that can be applied to screen the stabilization factors for virus-like particles during vaccine development.

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<![CDATA[Specific Internalisation of Gold Nanoparticles into Engineered Porous Protein Cages via Affinity Binding]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d9ab0ee8fa60b671b2

Porous protein cages are supramolecular protein self-assemblies presenting pores that allow the access of surrounding molecules and ions into their core in order to store and transport them in biological environments. Protein cages’ pores are attractive channels for the internalisation of inorganic nanoparticles and an alternative for the preparation of hybrid bioinspired nanoparticles. However, strategies based on nanoparticle transport through the pores are largely unexplored, due to the difficulty of tailoring nanoparticles that have diameters commensurate with the pores size and simultaneously displaying specific affinity to the cages’ core and low non-specific binding to the cages’ outer surface. We evaluated the specific internalisation of single small gold nanoparticles, 3.9 nm in diameter, into porous protein cages via affinity binding. The E2 protein cage derived from the Geobacillus stearothermophilus presents 12 pores, 6 nm in diameter, and an empty core of 13 nm in diameter. We engineered the E2 protein by site-directed mutagenesis with oligohistidine sequences exposing them into the cage’s core. Dynamic light scattering and electron microscopy analysis show that the structures of E2 protein cages mutated with bis- or penta-histidine sequences are well conserved. The surface of the gold nanoparticles was passivated with a self-assembled monolayer made of a mixture of short peptidols and thiolated alkane ethylene glycol ligands. Such monolayers are found to provide thin coatings preventing non-specific binding to proteins. Further functionalisation of the peptide coated gold nanoparticles with Ni2+ nitrilotriacetic moieties enabled the specific binding to oligohistidine tagged cages. The internalisation via affinity binding was evaluated by electron microscopy analysis. From the various mutations tested, only the penta-histidine mutated E2 protein cage showed repeatable and stable internalisation. The present work overcomes the limitations of currently available approaches and provides a new route to design tailored and well-controlled hybrid nanoparticles.

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<![CDATA[Non-Temperature Induced Effects of Magnetized Iron Oxide Nanoparticles in Alternating Magnetic Field in Cancer Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac9ab0ee8fa60bb382c

This paper reports the damaging effects of magnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles (MNP) on magnetically labeled cancer cells when subjected to oscillating gradients in a strong external magnetic field. Human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells were labeled with MNP, placed in the high magnetic field, and subjected to oscillating gradients generated by an imaging gradient system of a 9.4T preclinical MRI system. Changes in cell morphology and a decrease in cell viability were detected in cells treated with oscillating gradients. The cytotoxicity was determined qualitatively and quantitatively by microscopic imaging and cell viability assays. An approximately 26.6% reduction in cell viability was detected in magnetically labeled cells subjected to the combined effect of a static magnetic field and oscillating gradients. No reduction in cell viability was observed in unlabeled cells subjected to gradients, or in MNP-labeled cells in the static magnetic field. As no increase in local temperature was observed, the cell damage was not a result of hyperthermia. Currently, we consider the coherent motion of internalized and aggregated nanoparticles that produce mechanical moments as a potential mechanism of cell destruction. The formation and dynamics of the intracellular aggregates of nanoparticles were visualized by optical and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The images revealed a rapid formation of elongated MNP aggregates in the cells, which were aligned with the external magnetic field. This strategy provides a new way to eradicate a specific population of MNP-labeled cells, potentially with magnetic resonance imaging guidance using standard MRI equipment, with minimal side effects for the host.

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<![CDATA[Pleomorphic Structures in Human Blood Are Red Blood Cell-Derived Microparticles, Not Bacteria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa8ab0ee8fa60ba83d9

Background

Red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are a common, life-saving therapy for many patients, but they have also been associated with poor clinical outcomes. We identified unusual, pleomorphic structures in human RBC transfusion units by negative-stain electron microscopy that appeared identical to those previously reported to be bacteria in healthy human blood samples. The presence of viable, replicating bacteria in stored blood could explain poor outcomes in transfusion recipients and have major implications for transfusion medicine. Here, we investigated the possibility that these structures were bacteria.

Results

Flow cytometry, miRNA analysis, protein analysis, and additional electron microscopy studies strongly indicated that the pleomorphic structures in the supernatant of stored RBCs were RBC-derived microparticles (RMPs). Bacterial 16S rDNA PCR amplified from these samples were sequenced and was found to be highly similar to species that are known to commonly contaminate laboratory reagents.

Conclusions

These studies suggest that pleomorphic structures identified in human blood are RMPs and not bacteria, and they provide an example in which laboratory contaminants may can mislead investigators.

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<![CDATA[Structural and Ultrastructural Characteristics of Bone-Tendon Junction of the Calcaneal Tendon of Adult and Elderly Wistar Rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da86ab0ee8fa60b9c2aa

Tendons are transition tissues that transfer the contractile forces generated by the muscles to the bones, allowing movement. The region where the tendon attaches to the bone is called bone-tendon junction or enthesis and may be classified as fibrous or fibrocartilaginous. This study aims to analyze the collagen fibers and the cells present in the bone-tendon junction using light microscopy and ultrastructural techniques as scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Forty male Wistar rats were used in the experiment, being 20 adult rats at 4 months-old and 20 elderly rats at 20 months-old. The hind limbs of the rats were removed, dissected and prepared to light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The aging process showed changes in the collagen fibrils, with a predominance of type III fibers in the elderly group, in addition to a decrease in the amount of the fibrocartilage cells, fewer and shorter cytoplasmic processes and a decreased synthetic capacity due to degradation of the organelles involved in synthesis.

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<![CDATA[The Gene Expression Program for the Formation of Wing Cuticle in Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf8ab0ee8fa60bc3baa

The cuticular exoskeleton of insects and other arthropods is a remarkably versatile material with a complex multilayer structure. We made use of the ability to isolate cuticle synthesizing cells in relatively pure form by dissecting pupal wings and we used RNAseq to identify genes expressed during the formation of the adult wing cuticle. We observed dramatic changes in gene expression during cuticle deposition, and combined with transmission electron microscopy, we were able to identify candidate genes for the deposition of the different cuticular layers. Among genes of interest that dramatically change their expression during the cuticle deposition program are ones that encode cuticle proteins, ZP domain proteins, cuticle modifying proteins and transcription factors, as well as genes of unknown function. A striking finding is that mutations in a number of genes that are expressed almost exclusively during the deposition of the envelope (the thin outermost layer that is deposited first) result in gross defects in the procuticle (the thick chitinous layer that is deposited last). An attractive hypothesis to explain this is that the deposition of the different cuticle layers is not independent with the envelope instructing the formation of later layers. Alternatively, some of the genes expressed during the deposition of the envelope could form a platform that is essential for the deposition of all cuticle layers.

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<![CDATA[Analyses of the Distribution Patterns of Burkholderia pseudomallei and Associated Phages in Soil Samples in Thailand Suggest That Phage Presence Reduces the Frequency of Bacterial Isolation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae7ab0ee8fa60bbdb97

Background

Burkholderia pseudomallei is a soil saprophytic bacterium that causes melioidosis. The infection occurs through cutaneous inoculation, inhalation or ingestion. Bacteriophages (phages) in the same ecosystem may significantly impact the biology of this bacterium in the environment, and in their culturability in the laboratory.

Methods/Principal Findings

The soil samples were analysed for the presence of bacteria using culture methods, and for phages using plaque assays on B. pseudomallei strain 1106a lawns. Of the 86 soil samples collected from northeastern Thailand, B. pseudomallei was cultured from 23 (26.7%) samples; no phage capable of infecting B. pseudomallei was detected in these samples. In contrast, phages capable of infecting B. pseudomallei, but no bacteria, were present in 10 (11.6%) samples. B. pseudomallei and their phages were co-isolated from only 3 (3.5%) of soil samples. Since phage capable of infecting B. pseudomallei could not have appeared in the samples without the prior presence of bacteria, or exposure to bacteria nearby, our data suggest that all phage-positive/bacteria-negative samples have had B. pseudomallei in or in a close proximity to them. Taken together, these findings indicate that the presence of phages may influence the success of B. pseudomallei isolation. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the isolated phages are podoviruses. The temperate phages residing in soil-isolated strains of B. pseudomallei that were resistant to the dominant soil borne phages could be induced by mitomycin C. These induced-temperate phages were closely related, but not identical, to the more dominant soil-isolated phage type.

Conclusion/Significance

The presence of podoviruses capable of infecting B. pseudomallei may affect the success of the pathogen isolation from the soil. The currently used culture-based methods of B. pseudomallei isolation appear to under-estimate the bacterial abundance. The detection of phage capable of infecting B. pseudomallei from environmental samples could be a useful preliminary test to indicate the likely presence of B. pseudomallei in environmental samples.

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