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Cells, Volume 13, Issue 10 (May-2 2024) – 95 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The oral mucosa functions as a physico-chemical and immune barrier to external stimuli, and an adequate width of the keratinized mucosa around the teeth or implants is crucial to maintaining them in a healthy and stable condition. For the first time, bulk RNA-seq analysis was performed to explore the gene expression of laser microdissected epithelium and lamina propria from mice, aiming to investigate the differences between keratinized and non-keratinized oral mucosa. These results revealed the involvement of a well-known growth factor responsible for bone development, BMP-2, in the mechanism of oral mucosal keratinization and proliferation, and pointed out the possible downstream genes involved in this mechanism. View this paper
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14 pages, 2955 KiB  
Article
The Proteoglycans Biglycan and Decorin Protect Cardiac Cells against Irradiation-Induced Cell Death by Inhibiting Apoptosis
by Renáta Gáspár, Petra Diószegi, Dóra Nógrádi-Halmi, Barbara Erdélyi-Furka, Zoltán Varga, Zsuzsanna Kahán and Tamás Csont
Cells 2024, 13(10), 883; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100883 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 619
Abstract
Radiation-induced heart disease (RIHD), a common side effect of chest irradiation, is a primary cause of mortality among patients surviving thoracic cancer. Thus, the development of novel, clinically applicable cardioprotective agents which can alleviate the harmful effects of irradiation on the heart is [...] Read more.
Radiation-induced heart disease (RIHD), a common side effect of chest irradiation, is a primary cause of mortality among patients surviving thoracic cancer. Thus, the development of novel, clinically applicable cardioprotective agents which can alleviate the harmful effects of irradiation on the heart is of great importance in the field of experimental oncocardiology. Biglycan and decorin are structurally related small leucine-rich proteoglycans which have been reported to exert cardioprotective properties in certain cardiovascular pathologies. Therefore, in the present study we aimed to examine if biglycan or decorin can reduce radiation-induced damage of cardiomyocytes. A single dose of 10 Gray irradiation was applied to induce radiation-induced cell damage in H9c2 cardiomyoblasts, followed by treatment with either biglycan or decorin at various concentrations. Measurement of cell viability revealed that both proteoglycans improved the survival of cardiac cells post-irradiation. The cardiocytoprotective effect of both biglycan and decorin involved the alleviation of radiation-induced proapoptotic mechanisms by retaining the progression of apoptotic membrane blebbing and lowering the number of apoptotic cell nuclei and DNA double-strand breaks. Our findings provide evidence that these natural proteoglycans may exert protection against radiation-induced damage of cardiac cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Focus on Machinery of Cell Death)
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21 pages, 2475 KiB  
Article
Effects of Antiretroviral Treatment on Central and Peripheral Immune Response in Mice with EcoHIV Infection
by Qiaowei Xie, Mark D. Namba, Lauren A. Buck, Kyewon Park, Joshua G. Jackson and Jacqueline M. Barker
Cells 2024, 13(10), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100882 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 525
Abstract
HIV infection is an ongoing global health issue, despite increased access to antiretroviral therapy (ART). People living with HIV (PLWH) who are virally suppressed through ART still experience negative health outcomes, including neurocognitive impairment. It is increasingly evident that ART may act independently [...] Read more.
HIV infection is an ongoing global health issue, despite increased access to antiretroviral therapy (ART). People living with HIV (PLWH) who are virally suppressed through ART still experience negative health outcomes, including neurocognitive impairment. It is increasingly evident that ART may act independently or in combination with HIV infection to alter the immune state, though this is difficult to disentangle in the clinical population. Thus, these experiments used multiplexed chemokine/cytokine arrays to assess peripheral (plasma) and brain (nucleus accumbens; NAc) expression of immune targets in the presence and absence of ART treatment in the EcoHIV mouse model. The findings identify the effects of EcoHIV infection and of treatment with bictegravir (B), emtricitabine (F), and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) on the expression of numerous immune targets. In the NAc, this included EcoHIV-induced increases in IL-1α and IL-13 expression and B/F/TAF-induced reductions in KC/CXCL1. In the periphery, EcoHIV suppressed IL-6 and LIF expression, while B/F/TAF reduced IL-12p40 expression. In the absence of ART, IBA-1 expression was negatively correlated with CX3CL1 expression in the NAc of EcoHIV-infected mice. These findings identify distinct effects of ART and EcoHIV infection on peripheral and central immune factors and emphasize the need to consider ART effects on neural and immune outcomes. Full article
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18 pages, 6551 KiB  
Article
NADH Intraperitoneal Injection Prevents Lung Inflammation in a BALB/C Mice Model of Cigarette Smoke-Induced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
by Nada Slama, Amina Abdellatif, Karima Bahria, Sara Gasmi, Maamar Khames, Abderrahmene Hadji, George Birkmayer, Mustapha Oumouna, Yassine Amrani and Karine Benachour
Cells 2024, 13(10), 881; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100881 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 629
Abstract
Cigarette smoke is one of the main factors in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a respiratory syndrome marked by persistent respiratory symptoms and increasing airway obstruction. Perturbed NAD+/NADH levels may play a role in various diseases, including lung disorders like COPD. In our [...] Read more.
Cigarette smoke is one of the main factors in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a respiratory syndrome marked by persistent respiratory symptoms and increasing airway obstruction. Perturbed NAD+/NADH levels may play a role in various diseases, including lung disorders like COPD. In our study, we investigated the preventive effect of NADH supplementation in an experimental model of COPD induced by cigarette smoke extract (CSE). N = 64 mice randomly distributed in eight groups were injected with NADH (two doses of 100 mg/kg or 200 mg/kg) or dexamethasone (2 mg/kg) before being exposed to CSE for up to 9 weeks. Additionally, NADH supplementation preserved lung antioxidant defenses by preventing the functional loss of key enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), catalase, and the expression levels of glutathione (GSH) (n = 4, p < 0.001). It also reduced oxidative damage markers, such as malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitrites (n = 4, p < 0.001). A marked increase in tissue myeloperoxidase activity was assessed (MPO), confirming neutrophils implication in the inflammatory process. The latter was significantly ameliorated in the NADH-treated groups (p < 0.001). Finally, NADH prevented the CSE-induced secretion of cytokines such as Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-α), IL-17, and IFN-y (n = 4, p < 0.001). Our study shows, for the first time, the clinical potential of NADH supplementation in preventing key features of COPD via its unique anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Inflammation: The Cause of all Diseases 2.0)
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26 pages, 1216 KiB  
Review
BDNF Modulation by microRNAs: An Update on the Experimental Evidence
by Gilmara Gomes De Assis and Eugenia Murawska-Ciałowicz
Cells 2024, 13(10), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100880 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 554
Abstract
MicroRNAs can interfere with protein function by suppressing their messenger RNA translation or the synthesis of its related factors. The function of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is essential to the proper formation and function of the nervous system and is seen to be [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs can interfere with protein function by suppressing their messenger RNA translation or the synthesis of its related factors. The function of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is essential to the proper formation and function of the nervous system and is seen to be regulated by many microRNAs. However, understanding how microRNAs influence BDNF actions within cells requires a wider comprehension of their integrative regulatory mechanisms. Aim: In this literature review, we have synthesized the evidence of microRNA regulation on BDNF in cells and tissues, and provided an analytical discussion about direct and indirect mechanisms that appeared to be involved in BDNF regulation by microRNAs. Methods: Searches were conducted on PubMed.gov using the terms “BDNF” AND “MicroRNA” and “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” AND “MicroRNA”, updated on 1 September 2023. Papers without open access were requested from the authors. One hundred and seventy-one papers were included for review and discussion. Results and Discussion: The local regulation of BDNF by microRNAs involves a complex interaction between a series of microRNAs with target proteins that can either inhibit or enhance BDNF expression, at the core of cell metabolism. Therefore, understanding this homeostatic balance provides resources for the future development of vector-delivery-based therapies for the neuroprotective effects of BDNF. Full article
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17 pages, 2405 KiB  
Article
Pre-Clinical Assessment of SAR442257, a CD38/CD3xCD28 Trispecific T Cell Engager in Treatment of Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma
by Anna Luise Grab, Peter S. Kim, Lukas John, Kamlesh Bisht, Hongfang Wang, Anja Baumann, Helgi Van de Velde, Irene Sarkar, Debarati Shome, Philipp Reichert, Calin Manta, Stefanie Gryzik, Rogier M. Reijmers, Niels Weinhold and Marc S. Raab
Cells 2024, 13(10), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100879 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 999
Abstract
Current treatment strategies for multiple myeloma (MM) are highly effective, but most patients develop relapsed/refractory disease (RRMM). The anti-CD38/CD3xCD28 trispecific antibody SAR442257 targets CD38 and CD28 on MM cells and co-stimulates CD3 and CD28 on T cells (TCs). We evaluated different key aspects [...] Read more.
Current treatment strategies for multiple myeloma (MM) are highly effective, but most patients develop relapsed/refractory disease (RRMM). The anti-CD38/CD3xCD28 trispecific antibody SAR442257 targets CD38 and CD28 on MM cells and co-stimulates CD3 and CD28 on T cells (TCs). We evaluated different key aspects such as MM cells and T cells avidity interaction, tumor killing, and biomarkers for drug potency in three distinct cohorts of RRMM patients. We found that a significantly higher proportion of RRMM patients (86%) exhibited aberrant co-expression of CD28 compared to newly diagnosed MM (NDMM) patients (19%). Furthermore, SAR442257 mediated significantly higher TC activation, resulting in enhanced MM killing compared to bispecific functional knockout controls for all relapse cohorts (Pearson’s r = 0.7). Finally, patients refractory to anti-CD38 therapy had higher levels of TGF-β (up to 20-fold) compared to other cohorts. This can limit the activity of SAR442257. Vactoserib, a TGF-β inhibitor, was able to mitigate this effect and restore sensitivity to SAR442257 in these experiments. In conclusion, SAR442257 has high potential for enhancing TC cytotoxicity by co-targeting CD38 and CD28 on MM and CD3/CD28 on T cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Cancer Stem Cells and Drug Resistance)
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15 pages, 2828 KiB  
Article
Reduced Tolerogenic Program Death-Ligand 1-Expressing Conventional Type 1 Dendritic Cells Are Associated with Rapid Decline in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
by Kuan-Yuan Chen, Wei-Lun Sun, Sheng-Ming Wu, Po-Hao Feng, Chiou-Feng Lin, Tzu-Tao Chen, Yueh-Hsun Lu, Shu-Chuan Ho, Yueh-Hsi Chen and Kang-Yun Lee
Cells 2024, 13(10), 878; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100878 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 564
Abstract
Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized, at least in part, by autoimmunity through amplified T helper 1 and 17 (Th1 and Th17) immune responses. The loss of immune tolerance controlled by programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) may contribute to this. Objectives: We [...] Read more.
Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized, at least in part, by autoimmunity through amplified T helper 1 and 17 (Th1 and Th17) immune responses. The loss of immune tolerance controlled by programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) may contribute to this. Objectives: We studied the tolerogenic role of PD-L1+ dendritic cells (DCs) and their subtypes in relation to specific T cell immunity and the clinical phenotypes of COPD. Methods: We used flow cytometry to analyze PD-L1 expression by the DCs and their subtypes in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from normal participants and those with COPD. T cell proliferation and the signature cytokines of T cell subtypes stimulated with elastin as autoantigens were measured using flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), respectively. Measurement and main results: A total of 83 participants were enrolled (normal, n = 29; COPD, n = 54). A reduced PD-L1+ conventional dendritic cell 1 (cDC1) ratio in the PBMCs of the patients with COPD was shown (13.7 ± 13.7%, p = 0.03). The decrease in the PD-L1+ cDC1 ratio was associated with a rapid decline in COPD (p = 0.02) and correlated with the CD4+ T cells (r = −0.33, p = 0.02). This is supported by the NCBI GEO database accession number GSE56766, the researchers of which found that the gene expressions of PD-L1 and CD4, but not CD8 were negatively correlated from PBMC in COPD patients (r = −0.43, p = 0.002). Functionally, the PD-L1 blockade enhanced CD4+ T cell proliferation stimulated by CD3/elastin (31.2 ± 22.3%, p = 0.04) and interleukin (IL)-17A production stimulated by both CD3 (156.3 ± 54.7, p = 0.03) and CD3/elastin (148 ± 64.9, p = 0.03) from the normal PBMCs. The PD-L1 blockade failed to increase IL-17A production in the cDC1-depleted PBMCs. By contrast, there was no significant change in interferon (IFN)-γ, IL-4, or IL-10 after the PD-L1 blockade. Again, these findings were supported by the NCBI GEO database accession number GSE56766, the researchers of which found that only the expression of RORC, a master transcription factor driving the Th17 cells, was significantly negatively correlated to PD-L1 (r = −0.33, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Circulating PD-L1+ cDC1 was reduced in the patients with COPD, and the tolerogenic role was suppressed with susceptibility to self-antigens and linked to rapid decline caused by Th17-skewed chronic inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendritic Cells in Health and Disease)
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21 pages, 4624 KiB  
Article
Heterologous HSPC Transplantation Rescues Neuroinflammation and Ameliorates Peripheral Manifestations in the Mouse Model of Lysosomal Transmembrane Enzyme Deficiency, MPS IIIC
by Xuefang Pan, Antoine Caillon, Shuxian Fan, Shaukat Khan, Shunji Tomatsu and Alexey V. Pshezhetsky
Cells 2024, 13(10), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100877 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 578
Abstract
Mucopolysaccharidosis III type C (MPS IIIC) is an untreatable neuropathic lysosomal storage disease caused by a genetic deficiency of the lysosomal N-acetyltransferase, HGSNAT, catalyzing a transmembrane acetylation of heparan sulfate. HGSNAT is a transmembrane enzyme incapable of free diffusion between the cells or [...] Read more.
Mucopolysaccharidosis III type C (MPS IIIC) is an untreatable neuropathic lysosomal storage disease caused by a genetic deficiency of the lysosomal N-acetyltransferase, HGSNAT, catalyzing a transmembrane acetylation of heparan sulfate. HGSNAT is a transmembrane enzyme incapable of free diffusion between the cells or their cross-correction, which limits development of therapies based on enzyme replacement and gene correction. Since our previous work identified neuroinflammation as a hallmark of the CNS pathology in MPS IIIC, we tested whether it can be corrected by replacement of activated brain microglia with neuroprotective macrophages/microglia derived from a heterologous HSPC transplant. Eight-week-old MPS IIIC (HgsnatP304L) mice were transplanted with HSPC from congenic wild type mice after myeloablation with Busulfan and studied using behavior test battery, starting from the age of 6 months. At the age of ~8 months, mice were sacrificed to study pathological changes in the brain, heparan sulfate storage, and other biomarkers of the disease. We found that the treatment corrected several behavior deficits including hyperactivity and reduction in socialization, but not memory decline. It also improved several features of CNS pathology such as microastroglyosis, expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β, and accumulation of misfolded amyloid aggregates in cortical neurons. At the periphery, the treatment delayed development of terminal urinary retention, potentially increasing longevity, and reduced blood levels of heparan sulfate. However, we did not observe correction of lysosomal storage phenotype in neurons and heparan sulfate brain levels. Together, our results demonstrate that neuroinflammation in a neurological lysosomal storage disease, caused by defects in a transmembrane enzyme, can be effectively ameliorated by replacement of microglia bearing the genetic defect with cells from a normal healthy donor. They also suggest that heterologous HSPC transplant, if used together with other methods, such as chaperone therapy or substrate reduction therapy, may constitute an effective combination therapy for MPS IIIC and other disorders with a similar etiology. Full article
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16 pages, 3169 KiB  
Article
PI 3-Kinase and the Histone Methyl-Transferase KMT2D Collaborate to Induce Arp2/3-Dependent Migration of Mammary Epithelial Cells
by Karina D. Rysenkova, Julia Gaboriaud, Artem I. Fokin, Raphaëlle Toubiana, Alexandre Bense, Camil Mirdass, Mélissa Jin, Minh Chau N. Ho, Elizabeth Glading, Sophie Vacher, Laura Courtois, Ivan Bièche and Alexis M. Gautreau
Cells 2024, 13(10), 876; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100876 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Breast cancer develops upon sequential acquisition of driver mutations in mammary epithelial cells; however, how these mutations collaborate to transform normal cells remains unclear in most cases. We aimed to reconstitute this process in a particular case. To this end, we combined the [...] Read more.
Breast cancer develops upon sequential acquisition of driver mutations in mammary epithelial cells; however, how these mutations collaborate to transform normal cells remains unclear in most cases. We aimed to reconstitute this process in a particular case. To this end, we combined the activated form of the PI 3-kinase harboring the H1047R mutation with the inactivation of the histone lysine methyl-transferase KMT2D in the non-tumorigenic human mammary epithelial cell line MCF10A. We found that PI 3-kinase activation promoted cell-cycle progression, especially when growth signals were limiting, as well as cell migration, both in a collective monolayer and as single cells. Furthermore, we showed that KMT2D inactivation had relatively little influence on these processes, except for single-cell migration, which KMT2D inactivation promoted in synergy with PI 3-kinase activation. The combination of these two genetic alterations induced expression of the ARPC5L gene that encodes a subunit of the Arp2/3 complex. ARPC5L depletion fully abolished the enhanced migration persistence exhibited by double-mutant cells. Our reconstitution approach in MCF10A has thus revealed both the cell function and the single-cell migration, and the underlying Arp2/3-dependent mechanism, which are synergistically regulated when KMT2D inactivation is combined with the activation of the PI 3-kinase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytoskeletal Remodeling in Health and Disease)
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22 pages, 3740 KiB  
Article
A Proteomic Approach Identified TFEB as a Key Player in the Protective Action of Novel CB2R Bitopic Ligand FD22a against the Deleterious Effects Induced by β-Amyloid in Glial Cells
by Beatrice Polini, Lorenzo Zallocco, Francesca Gado, Rebecca Ferrisi, Caterina Ricardi, Mariachiara Zuccarini, Vittoria Carnicelli, Clementina Manera, Maurizio Ronci, Antonio Lucacchini, Riccardo Zucchi, Laura Giusti and Grazia Chiellini
Cells 2024, 13(10), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100875 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are progressive multifactorial disorders of the nervous system sharing common pathogenic features, including intracellular misfolded protein aggregation, mitochondrial deficit, and inflammation. Taking into consideration the multifaceted nature of NDDs, development of multitarget-directed ligands (MTDLs) has evolved as an attractive therapeutic [...] Read more.
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are progressive multifactorial disorders of the nervous system sharing common pathogenic features, including intracellular misfolded protein aggregation, mitochondrial deficit, and inflammation. Taking into consideration the multifaceted nature of NDDs, development of multitarget-directed ligands (MTDLs) has evolved as an attractive therapeutic strategy. Compounds that target the cannabinoid receptor type II (CB2R) are rapidly emerging as novel effective MTDLs against common NDDs, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We recently developed the first CB2R bitopic/dualsteric ligand, namely FD22a, which revealed the ability to induce neuroprotection with fewer side effects. To explore the potential of FD22a as a multitarget drug for the treatment of NDDs, we investigated here its ability to prevent the toxic effect of β-amyloid (Aβ25–35 peptide) on human cellular models of neurodegeneration, such as microglia (HMC3) and glioblastoma (U87-MG) cell lines. Our results displayed that FD22a efficiently prevented Aβ25–35 cytotoxic and proinflammatory effects in both cell lines and counteracted β-amyloid-induced depression of autophagy in U87-MG cells. Notably, a quantitative proteomic analysis of U87-MG cells revealed that FD22a was able to potently stimulate the autophagy–lysosomal pathway (ALP) by activating its master transcriptional regulator TFEB, ultimately increasing the potential of this novel CB2R bitopic/dualsteric ligand as a multitarget drug for the treatment of NDDs. Full article
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22 pages, 3520 KiB  
Article
Adhesion G Protein-Coupled Receptor Gpr126 (Adgrg6) Expression Profiling in Diseased Mouse, Rat, and Human Kidneys
by Peter Kösters, Salvador Cazorla-Vázquez, René Krüger, Christoph Daniel, Eva Vonbrunn, Kerstin Amann and Felix B. Engel
Cells 2024, 13(10), 874; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100874 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 738
Abstract
Uncovering the function of understudied G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) provides a wealth of untapped therapeutic potential. The poorly understood adhesion GPCR Gpr126 (Adgrg6) is widely expressed in developing kidneys. In adulthood, Gpr126 expression is enriched in parietal epithelial cells (PECs) and [...] Read more.
Uncovering the function of understudied G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) provides a wealth of untapped therapeutic potential. The poorly understood adhesion GPCR Gpr126 (Adgrg6) is widely expressed in developing kidneys. In adulthood, Gpr126 expression is enriched in parietal epithelial cells (PECs) and epithelial cells of the collecting duct and urothelium. Whether Gpr126 plays a role in kidney disease remains unclear. Here, we characterized Gpr126 expression in diseased kidneys in mice, rats, and humans. RT-PCR data show that Gpr126 expression is altered in kidney disease. A quantitative RNAscope® analysis utilizing cell type-specific markers revealed that Gpr126 expression upon tubular damage is mainly increased in cell types expressing Gpr126 under healthy conditions as well as in cells of the distal and proximal tubules. Upon glomerular damage, an increase was mainly detected in PECs. Notably, Gpr126 expression was upregulated in an ischemia/reperfusion model within hours, while upregulation in a glomerular damage model was only detected after weeks. An analysis of kidney microarray data from patients with lupus nephritis, IgA nephropathy, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), hypertension, and diabetes as well as single-cell RNA-seq data from kidneys of patients with acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease indicates that GPR126 expression is also altered in human kidney disease. In patients with FSGS, an RNAscope® analysis showed that GPR126 mRNA is upregulated in PECs belonging to FSGS lesions and proximal tubules. Collectively, we provide detailed insights into Gpr126 expression in kidney disease, indicating that GPR126 is a potential therapeutic target. Full article
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20 pages, 2911 KiB  
Article
Modification of Gas6 Protein in the Brain by a Functional Endogenous Tissue Vitamin K Cycle
by Nadide Aydin, Bouchra Ouliass, Guylaine Ferland and Sassan Hafizi
Cells 2024, 13(10), 873; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100873 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 725
Abstract
The TAM receptor ligand Gas6 is known for regulating inflammatory and immune pathways in various organs including the brain. Gas6 becomes fully functional through the post-translational modification of multiple glutamic acid residues into γ-carboxyglutamic in a vitamin K-dependent manner. However, the significance of [...] Read more.
The TAM receptor ligand Gas6 is known for regulating inflammatory and immune pathways in various organs including the brain. Gas6 becomes fully functional through the post-translational modification of multiple glutamic acid residues into γ-carboxyglutamic in a vitamin K-dependent manner. However, the significance of this mechanism in the brain is not known. We report here the endogenous expression of multiple components of the vitamin K cycle within the mouse brain at various ages as well as in distinct brain glial cells. The brain expression of all genes was increased in the postnatal ages, mirroring their profiles in the liver. In microglia, the proinflammatory agent lipopolysaccharide caused the downregulation of all key vitamin K cycle genes. A secreted Gas6 protein was detected in the medium of both mouse cerebellar slices and brain glial cell cultures. Furthermore, the endogenous Gas6 γ-carboxylation level was abolished through incubation with the vitamin K antagonist warfarin and could be restored through co-incubation with vitamin K1. Finally, the γ-carboxylation level of the Gas6 protein within the brains of warfarin-treated rats was found to be significantly reduced ex vivo compared to the control brains. In conclusion, we demonstrated for the first time the existence of a functional vitamin K cycle within rodent brains, which regulates the functional modification of endogenous brain Gas6. These results indicate that vitamin K is an important nutrient for the brain. Furthermore, the measurement of vitamin K-dependent Gas6 functionality could be an indicator of homeostatic or disease mechanisms in the brain, such as in neurological disorders where Gas6/TAM signalling is impaired. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cells of the Nervous System)
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16 pages, 4333 KiB  
Article
Melatonin Ameliorates Post-Stroke Cognitive Impairment in Mice by Inhibiting Excessive Mitophagy
by Yan Shi, Qian Fang, Yue Hu, Zhaoyu Mi, Shuting Luo, Yaoxue Gan and Shishan Yuan
Cells 2024, 13(10), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100872 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 599
Abstract
Post-stroke cognitive impairment (PSCI) remains the most common consequence of ischemic stroke. In this study, we aimed to investigate the role and mechanisms of melatonin (MT) in improving cognitive dysfunction in stroke mice. We used CoCl2-induced hypoxia-injured SH-SY5Y cells as a [...] Read more.
Post-stroke cognitive impairment (PSCI) remains the most common consequence of ischemic stroke. In this study, we aimed to investigate the role and mechanisms of melatonin (MT) in improving cognitive dysfunction in stroke mice. We used CoCl2-induced hypoxia-injured SH-SY5Y cells as a cellular model of stroke and photothrombotic-induced ischemic stroke mice as an animal model. We found that the stroke-induced upregulation of mitophagy, apoptosis, and neuronal synaptic plasticity was impaired both in vivo and in vitro. The results of the novel object recognition test and Y-maze showed significant cognitive deficits in the stroke mice, and Nissl staining showed a loss of neurons in the stroke mice. In contrast, MT inhibited excessive mitophagy both in vivo and in vitro and decreased the levels of mitophagy proteins PINK1 and Parkin, and immunofluorescence staining showed reduced co-localization of Tom20 and LC3. A significant inhibition of mitophagy levels could be directly observed under transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, behavioral experiments and Nissl staining showed that MT ameliorated cognitive deficits and reduced neuronal loss in mice following a stroke. Our results demonstrated that MT inhibits excessive mitophagy and improves PSCI. These findings highlight the potential of MT as a preventive drug for PSCI, offering promising therapeutic implications. Full article
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34 pages, 2951 KiB  
Perspective
Retinoid Synthesis Regulation by Retinal Cells in Health and Disease
by Massimiliano Andreazzoli, Biancamaria Longoni, Debora Angeloni and Gian Carlo Demontis
Cells 2024, 13(10), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100871 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Vision starts in retinal photoreceptors when specialized proteins (opsins) sense photons via their covalently bonded vitamin A derivative 11cis retinaldehyde (11cis-RAL). The reaction of non-enzymatic aldehydes with amino groups lacks specificity, and the reaction products may trigger cell damage. However, the reduced synthesis [...] Read more.
Vision starts in retinal photoreceptors when specialized proteins (opsins) sense photons via their covalently bonded vitamin A derivative 11cis retinaldehyde (11cis-RAL). The reaction of non-enzymatic aldehydes with amino groups lacks specificity, and the reaction products may trigger cell damage. However, the reduced synthesis of 11cis-RAL results in photoreceptor demise and suggests the need for careful control over 11cis-RAL handling by retinal cells. This perspective focuses on retinoid(s) synthesis, their control in the adult retina, and their role during retina development. It also explores the potential importance of 9cis vitamin A derivatives in regulating retinoid synthesis and their impact on photoreceptor development and survival. Additionally, recent advancements suggesting the pivotal nature of retinoid synthesis regulation for cone cell viability are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Signaling)
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34 pages, 1518 KiB  
Review
Early Life Programming of Adipose Tissue Remodeling and Browning Capacity by Micronutrients and Bioactive Compounds as a Potential Anti-Obesity Strategy
by M. Luisa Bonet, Joan Ribot, Juana Sánchez, Andreu Palou and Catalina Picó
Cells 2024, 13(10), 870; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100870 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 748
Abstract
The early stages of life, especially the period from conception to two years, are crucial for shaping metabolic health and the risk of obesity in adulthood. Adipose tissue (AT) plays a crucial role in regulating energy homeostasis and metabolism, and brown AT (BAT) [...] Read more.
The early stages of life, especially the period from conception to two years, are crucial for shaping metabolic health and the risk of obesity in adulthood. Adipose tissue (AT) plays a crucial role in regulating energy homeostasis and metabolism, and brown AT (BAT) and the browning of white AT (WAT) are promising targets for combating weight gain. Nutritional factors during prenatal and early postnatal stages can influence the development of AT, affecting the likelihood of obesity later on. This narrative review focuses on the nutritional programming of AT features. Research conducted across various animal models with diverse interventions has provided insights into the effects of specific compounds on AT development and function, influencing the development of crucial structures and neuroendocrine circuits responsible for energy balance. The hormone leptin has been identified as an essential nutrient during lactation for healthy metabolic programming against obesity development in adults. Studies have also highlighted that maternal supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), vitamin A, nicotinamide riboside, and polyphenols during pregnancy and lactation, as well as offspring supplementation with myo-inositol, vitamin A, nicotinamide riboside, and resveratrol during the suckling period, can impact AT features and long-term health outcomes and help understand predisposition to obesity later in life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Adipose Organ Remodelling)
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19 pages, 20483 KiB  
Article
Subcellular Feature-Based Classification of α and β Cells Using Soft X-ray Tomography
by Aneesh Deshmukh, Kevin Chang, Janielle Cuala, Bieke Vanslembrouck, Senta Georgia, Valentina Loconte and Kate L. White
Cells 2024, 13(10), 869; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100869 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 733
Abstract
The dysfunction of α and β cells in pancreatic islets can lead to diabetes. Many questions remain on the subcellular organization of islet cells during the progression of disease. Existing three-dimensional cellular mapping approaches face challenges such as time-intensive sample sectioning and subjective [...] Read more.
The dysfunction of α and β cells in pancreatic islets can lead to diabetes. Many questions remain on the subcellular organization of islet cells during the progression of disease. Existing three-dimensional cellular mapping approaches face challenges such as time-intensive sample sectioning and subjective cellular identification. To address these challenges, we have developed a subcellular feature-based classification approach, which allows us to identify α and β cells and quantify their subcellular structural characteristics using soft X-ray tomography (SXT). We observed significant differences in whole-cell morphological and organelle statistics between the two cell types. Additionally, we characterize subtle biophysical differences between individual insulin and glucagon vesicles by analyzing vesicle size and molecular density distributions, which were not previously possible using other methods. These sub-vesicular parameters enable us to predict cell types systematically using supervised machine learning. We also visualize distinct vesicle and cell subtypes using Uniform Manifold Approximation and Projection (UMAP) embeddings, which provides us with an innovative approach to explore structural heterogeneity in islet cells. This methodology presents an innovative approach for tracking biologically meaningful heterogeneity in cells that can be applied to any cellular system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Technology for Cellular Imaging)
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15 pages, 2400 KiB  
Article
Individually Cultured Bovine Zygotes Successfully Develop to the Blastocyst Stage in an Extremely Confined Environment
by Angela Travaglione, Andrea Candela, Vincenza De Gregorio, Vincenzo Genovese, Mario Cimmino, Vincenza Barbato, Riccardo Talevi and Roberto Gualtieri
Cells 2024, 13(10), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100868 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 477
Abstract
The possibility of detecting the developmental competence of individually cultured embryos through analysis of spent media is a major current trend in an ART setting. However, individual embryo culture is detrimental compared with high-density group culture due to the reduced concentration of putative [...] Read more.
The possibility of detecting the developmental competence of individually cultured embryos through analysis of spent media is a major current trend in an ART setting. However, individual embryo culture is detrimental compared with high-density group culture due to the reduced concentration of putative embryotropins. The main aim of this study was to identify an individual culture system that is not detrimental over high-density group culture in the bovine model. Blastocyst rates and competence were investigated in a conventional (GC) group, semi-confined group (MG), and individual culture (MS) in a commercial microwell device. Main findings showed that: (1) individual embryos can be continuously cultured for 7 days in ~70 nL microwells (MS) without detrimental effects compared with the GC and MG; (2) MS and MG blastocysts had a reduced number of TUNEL-positive cells compared to GC blastocysts; (3) though blastocyst mean cell numbers, mitochondrial activity, and lipid content were not different among the three culture conditions, MS blastocysts had a higher frequency of small-sized lipid droplets and a reduced mean droplet diameter compared with GC and MG blastocysts. Overall, findings open the way to optimize the development and competence of single embryos in an ART setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Reproductive Cells and Development)
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32 pages, 10616 KiB  
Article
Uncovering miRNA–mRNA Regulatory Networks Related to Olaparib Resistance and Resensitization of BRCA2MUT Ovarian Cancer PEO1-OR Cells with the ATR/CHK1 Pathway Inhibitors
by Łukasz Biegała, Damian Kołat, Arkadiusz Gajek, Elżbieta Płuciennik, Agnieszka Marczak, Agnieszka Śliwińska, Michał Mikula and Aneta Rogalska
Cells 2024, 13(10), 867; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100867 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 676
Abstract
Resistance to olaparib is the major obstacle in targeted therapy for ovarian cancer (OC) with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors (PARPis), prompting studies on novel combination therapies to enhance olaparib efficacy. Despite identifying various mechanisms, understanding how OC cells acquire PARPi resistance remains incomplete. This [...] Read more.
Resistance to olaparib is the major obstacle in targeted therapy for ovarian cancer (OC) with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors (PARPis), prompting studies on novel combination therapies to enhance olaparib efficacy. Despite identifying various mechanisms, understanding how OC cells acquire PARPi resistance remains incomplete. This study investigated microRNA (miRNA) expression in olaparib-sensitive (PEO1, PEO4) and previously established olaparib-resistant OC cell lines (PEO1-OR) using high-throughput RT-qPCR and bioinformatic analyses. The role of miRNAs was explored regarding acquired resistance and resensitization with the ATR/CHK1 pathway inhibitors. Differentially expressed miRNAs were used to construct miRNA–mRNA regulatory networks and perform functional enrichment analyses for target genes with miRNet 2.0. TCGA-OV dataset was analyzed to explore the prognostic value of selected miRNAs and target genes in clinical samples. We identified potential processes associated with olaparib resistance, including cell proliferation, migration, cell cycle, and growth factor signaling. Resensitized PEO1-OR cells were enriched in growth factor signaling via PDGF, EGFR, FGFR1, VEGFR2, and TGFβR, regulation of the cell cycle via the G2/M checkpoint, and caspase-mediated apoptosis. Antibody microarray analysis confirmed dysregulated growth factor expression. The addition of the ATR/CHK1 pathway inhibitors to olaparib downregulated FGF4, FGF6, NT-4, PLGF, and TGFβ1 exclusively in PEO1-OR cells. Survival and differential expression analyses for serous OC patients revealed prognostic miRNAs likely associated with olaparib resistance (miR-99b-5p, miR-424-3p, and miR-505-5p) and resensitization to olaparib (miR-324-5p and miR-424-3p). Essential miRNA–mRNA interactions were reconstructed based on prognostic miRNAs and target genes. In conclusion, our data highlight distinct miRNA profiles in olaparib-sensitive and olaparib-resistant cells, offering molecular insights into overcoming resistance with the ATR/CHK1 inhibitors in OC. Moreover, some miRNAs might serve as potential predictive signature molecules of resistance and therapeutic response. Full article
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17 pages, 975 KiB  
Article
Proteomic Blood Profiles Obtained by Totally Blind Biological Clustering in Stable and Exacerbated COPD Patients
by Cesar Jessé Enríquez-Rodríguez, Sergi Pascual-Guardia, Carme Casadevall, Oswaldo Antonio Caguana-Vélez, Diego Rodríguez-Chiaradia, Esther Barreiro and Joaquim Gea
Cells 2024, 13(10), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100866 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 571
Abstract
Although Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is highly prevalent, it is often underdiagnosed. One of the main characteristics of this heterogeneous disease is the presence of periods of acute clinical impairment (exacerbations). Obtaining blood biomarkers for either COPD as a chronic entity or [...] Read more.
Although Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is highly prevalent, it is often underdiagnosed. One of the main characteristics of this heterogeneous disease is the presence of periods of acute clinical impairment (exacerbations). Obtaining blood biomarkers for either COPD as a chronic entity or its exacerbations (AECOPD) will be particularly useful for the clinical management of patients. However, most of the earlier studies have been characterized by potential biases derived from pre-existing hypotheses in one or more of their analysis steps: some studies have only targeted molecules already suggested by pre-existing knowledge, and others had initially carried out a blind search but later compared the detected biomarkers among well-predefined clinical groups. We hypothesized that a clinically blind cluster analysis on the results of a non-hypothesis-driven wide proteomic search would determine an unbiased grouping of patients, potentially reflecting their endotypes and/or clinical characteristics. To check this hypothesis, we included the plasma samples from 24 clinically stable COPD patients, 10 additional patients with AECOPD, and 10 healthy controls. The samples were analyzed through label-free liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Subsequently, the Scikit-learn machine learning module and K-means were used for clustering the individuals based solely on their proteomic profiles. The obtained clusters were confronted with clinical groups only at the end of the entire procedure. Although our clusters were unable to differentiate stable COPD patients from healthy individuals, they segregated those patients with AECOPD from the patients in stable conditions (sensitivity 80%, specificity 79%, and global accuracy, 79.4%). Moreover, the proteins involved in the blind grouping process to identify AECOPD were associated with five biological processes: inflammation, humoral immune response, blood coagulation, modulation of lipid metabolism, and complement system pathways. Even though the present results merit an external validation, our results suggest that the present blinded approach may be useful to segregate AECOPD from stability in both the clinical setting and trials, favoring more personalized medicine and clinical research. Full article
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25 pages, 2945 KiB  
Review
Cytosolic and Acrosomal pH Regulation in Mammalian Sperm
by Julio C. Chávez, Gabriela Carrasquel-Martínez, Sandra Hernández-Garduño, Arturo Matamoros Volante, Claudia L. Treviño, Takuya Nishigaki and Alberto Darszon
Cells 2024, 13(10), 865; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100865 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 534
Abstract
As in most cells, intracellular pH regulation is fundamental for sperm physiology. Key sperm functions like swimming, maturation, and a unique exocytotic process, the acrosome reaction, necessary for gamete fusion, are deeply influenced by pH. Sperm pH regulation, both intracellularly and within organelles [...] Read more.
As in most cells, intracellular pH regulation is fundamental for sperm physiology. Key sperm functions like swimming, maturation, and a unique exocytotic process, the acrosome reaction, necessary for gamete fusion, are deeply influenced by pH. Sperm pH regulation, both intracellularly and within organelles such as the acrosome, requires a coordinated interplay of various transporters and channels, ensuring that this cell is primed for fertilization. Consistent with the pivotal importance of pH regulation in mammalian sperm physiology, several of its unique transporters are dependent on cytosolic pH. Examples include the Ca2+ channel CatSper and the K+ channel Slo3. The absence of these channels leads to male infertility. This review outlines the main transport elements involved in pH regulation, including cytosolic and acrosomal pH, that participate in these complex functions. We present a glimpse of how these transporters are regulated and how distinct sets of them are orchestrated to allow sperm to fertilize the egg. Much research is needed to begin to envision the complete set of players and the choreography of how cytosolic and organellar pH are regulated in each sperm function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Cell Biology of Fertilization)
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25 pages, 3744 KiB  
Review
Cross-Talks between Raf Kinase Inhibitor Protein and Programmed Cell Death Ligand 1 Expressions in Cancer: Role in Immune Evasion and Therapeutic Implications
by Mai Ho and Benjamin Bonavida
Cells 2024, 13(10), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100864 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 826
Abstract
Innovations in cancer immunotherapy have resulted in the development of several novel immunotherapeutic strategies that can disrupt immunosuppression. One key advancement lies in immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), which have shown significant clinical efficacy and increased survival rates in patients with various therapy-resistant cancers. [...] Read more.
Innovations in cancer immunotherapy have resulted in the development of several novel immunotherapeutic strategies that can disrupt immunosuppression. One key advancement lies in immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), which have shown significant clinical efficacy and increased survival rates in patients with various therapy-resistant cancers. This immune intervention consists of monoclonal antibodies directed against inhibitory receptors (e.g., PD-1) on cytotoxic CD8 T cells or against corresponding ligands (e.g., PD-L1/PD-L2) overexpressed on cancer cells and other cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME). However, not all cancer cells respond—there are still poor clinical responses, immune-related adverse effects, adaptive resistance, and vulnerability to ICIs in a subset of patients with cancer. This challenge showcases the heterogeneity of cancer, emphasizing the existence of additional immunoregulatory mechanisms in many patients. Therefore, it is essential to investigate PD-L1’s interaction with other oncogenic genes and pathways to further advance targeted therapies and address resistance mechanisms. Accordingly, our aim was to investigate the mechanisms governing PD-L1 expression in tumor cells, given its correlation with immune evasion, to uncover novel mechanisms for decreasing PD-L1 expression and restoring anti-tumor immune responses. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the upregulation of Raf Kinase Inhibitor Protein (RKIP) in many cancers contributes to the suppression of key hyperactive pathways observed in malignant cells, alongside its broadening involvement in immune responses and the modulation of the TME. We, therefore, hypothesized that the role of PD-L1 in cancer immune surveillance may be inversely correlated with the low expression level of the tumor suppressor Raf Kinase Inhibitor Protein (RKIP) expression in cancer cells. This hypothesis was investigated and we found several signaling cross-talk pathways between the regulations of both RKIP and PD-L1 expressions. These pathways and regulatory factors include the MAPK and JAK/STAT pathways, GSK3β, cytokines IFN-γ and IL-1β, Sox2, and transcription factors YY1 and NFκB. The pathways that upregulated PD-L1 were inhibitory for RKIP expression and vice versa. Bioinformatic analyses in various human cancers demonstrated the inverse relationship between PD-L1 and RKIP expressions and their prognostic roles. Therefore, we suspect that the direct upregulation of RKIP and/or the use of targeted RKIP inducers in combination with ICIs could result in a more targeted anti-tumor immune response—addressing the therapeutic challenges related to PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cellular Immunology)
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18 pages, 2402 KiB  
Review
Deciphering the Molecular Nexus: An In-Depth Review of Mitochondrial Pathways and Their Role in Cell Death Crosstalk
by Yumeng Li, Madiha Rasheed, Jingkai Liu, Zixuan Chen and Yulin Deng
Cells 2024, 13(10), 863; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100863 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 593
Abstract
Cellular demise is a pivotal event in both developmental processes and disease states, with mitochondrial regulation playing an essential role. Traditionally, cell death was categorized into distinct types, considered to be linear and mutually exclusive pathways. However, the current understanding has evolved to [...] Read more.
Cellular demise is a pivotal event in both developmental processes and disease states, with mitochondrial regulation playing an essential role. Traditionally, cell death was categorized into distinct types, considered to be linear and mutually exclusive pathways. However, the current understanding has evolved to recognize the complex and interconnected mechanisms of cell death, especially within apoptosis, pyroptosis, and necroptosis. Apoptosis, pyroptosis, and necroptosis are governed by intricate molecular pathways, with mitochondria acting as central decision-makers in steering cells towards either apoptosis or pyroptosis through various mediators. The choice between apoptosis and necroptosis is often determined by mitochondrial signaling and is orchestrated by specific proteins. The molecular dialogue and the regulatory influence of mitochondria within these cell death pathways are critical research areas. Comprehending the shared elements and the interplay between these death modalities is crucial for unraveling the complexities of cellular demise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mitochondria)
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19 pages, 10549 KiB  
Article
Antibody–Drug Conjugate Made of Zoledronic Acid and the Anti-CD30 Brentuximab–Vedotin Exert Anti-Lymphoma and Immunostimulating Effects
by Feliciana Morelli, Serena Matis, Roberto Benelli, Laura Salvini, Maria Raffaella Zocchi and Alessandro Poggi
Cells 2024, 13(10), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100862 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 626
Abstract
Relevant advances have been made in the management of relapsed/refractory (r/r) Hodgkin Lymphomas (HL) with the use of the anti-CD30 antibody–drug conjugate (ADC) brentuximab–vedotin (Bre–Ved). Unfortunately, most patients eventually progress despite the excellent response rates and tolerability. In this report, we describe an [...] Read more.
Relevant advances have been made in the management of relapsed/refractory (r/r) Hodgkin Lymphomas (HL) with the use of the anti-CD30 antibody–drug conjugate (ADC) brentuximab–vedotin (Bre–Ved). Unfortunately, most patients eventually progress despite the excellent response rates and tolerability. In this report, we describe an ADC composed of the aminobisphosphonate zoledronic acid (ZA) conjugated to Bre–Ved by binding the free amino groups of this antibody with the phosphoric group of ZA. Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry, and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–mass spectrometry analyses confirmed the covalent linkage between the antibody and ZA. The novel ADC has been tested for its reactivity with the HL/CD30+ lymphoblastoid cell lines (KMH2, L428, L540, HS445, and RPMI6666), showing a better titration than native Bre–Ved. Once the HL-cells are entered, the ADC co-localizes with the lysosomal LAMP1 in the intracellular vesicles. Also, this ADC exerted a stronger anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic (about one log fold) effect on HL-cell proliferation compared to the native antibody Bre–Ved. Eventually, Bre–Ved–ZA ADC, in contrast with the native antibody, can trigger the proliferation and activation of cytolytic activity of effector-memory Vδ2 T-lymphocytes against HL-cell lines. These findings may support the potential use of this ADC in the management of r/r HL. Full article
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26 pages, 5593 KiB  
Article
hTERT-Immortalized Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles: Large-Scale Manufacturing, Cargo Profiling, and Functional Effects in Retinal Epithelial Cells
by Jessica Hindle, Anastasia Williams, Yuriy Kim, Dongsung Kim, Kajal Patil, Pooja Khatkar, Quinn Osgood, Collin Nelson, David A. Routenberg, Marissa Howard, Lance A. Liotta, Fatah Kashanchi and Heather Branscome
Cells 2024, 13(10), 861; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100861 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 772
Abstract
As the economic burden associated with vision loss and ocular damage continues to rise, there is a need to explore novel treatment strategies. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are enriched with various biological cargo, and there is abundant literature supporting the reparative and immunomodulatory properties [...] Read more.
As the economic burden associated with vision loss and ocular damage continues to rise, there is a need to explore novel treatment strategies. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are enriched with various biological cargo, and there is abundant literature supporting the reparative and immunomodulatory properties of stem cell EVs across a broad range of pathologies. However, one area that requires further attention is the reparative effects of stem cell EVs in the context of ocular damage. Additionally, most of the literature focuses on EVs isolated from primary stem cells; the use of EVs isolated from human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT)-immortalized stem cells has not been thoroughly examined. Using our large-scale EV-manufacturing platform, we reproducibly manufactured EVs from hTERT-immortalized mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and employed various methods to characterize and profile their associated cargo. We also utilized well-established cell-based assays to compare the effects of these EVs on both healthy and damaged retinal pigment epithelial cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to establish proof of concept for reproducible, large-scale manufacturing of hTERT-immortalized MSC EVs and to investigate their potential reparative properties against damaged retinal cells. The results from our studies confirm that hTERT-immortalized MSC EVs exert reparative effects in vitro that are similar to those observed in primary MSC EVs. Therefore, hTERT-immortalized MSCs may represent a more consistent and reproducible platform than primary MSCs for generating EVs with therapeutic potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cellular Pathology)
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12 pages, 3877 KiB  
Article
A Scalable Histological Method to Embed and Section Multiple Brains Simultaneously
by Divine C. Nwafor, Stanley A. Benkovic, Briana L. Clary, Allison L. Brichacek, H. Wayne Lambert, Matthew J. Zdilla and Candice M. Brown
Cells 2024, 13(10), 860; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100860 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 443
Abstract
The preparation and processing of rodent brains for evaluation by immunohistochemistry is time-consuming. A large number of mouse brains are routinely used in experiments in neuroscience laboratories to evaluate several models of human diseases. Thus, methods are needed to reduce the time associated [...] Read more.
The preparation and processing of rodent brains for evaluation by immunohistochemistry is time-consuming. A large number of mouse brains are routinely used in experiments in neuroscience laboratories to evaluate several models of human diseases. Thus, methods are needed to reduce the time associated with processing brains for histology. A scalable method was developed to embed, section, and stain multiple mouse brains using supplies found in any common histology laboratory. Section collection schemes can be scaled to provide identical bregma locations between adjacent sections for immunohistochemistry, facilitating comprehensive, high-quality immunohistochemistry. As a result, sectioning and staining times are considerably reduced as sections from multiple blocks are stained simultaneously. This method improves on previous procedures and allows multiple embedding and subsequent immunostaining of brains easily with a dramatically reduced time requirement. Furthermore, we expand this method for use in numerous mouse tissues, rat brain tissue, and post-mortem human brain and arterial tissues. In summary, this procedure allows the processing of many rodent or human tissues from perfusion through microscopy in 10 days or less. Full article
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16 pages, 6529 KiB  
Article
Lung Transplant Immunomodulation with Genetically Engineered Mesenchymal Stromal Cells—Therapeutic Window for Interleukin-10
by Antti I. Nykänen, Andrea Mariscal, Allen Duong, Aadil Ali, Akihiro Takahagi, Xiaohui Bai, Guan Zehong, Betty Joe, Mamoru Takahashi, Manyin Chen, Hemant Gokhale, Hongchao Shan, David M. Hwang, Catalina Estrada, Jonathan Yeung, Tom Waddell, Tereza Martinu, Stephen Juvet, Marcelo Cypel, Mingyao Liu, John E. Davies and Shaf Keshavjeeadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Cells 2024, 13(10), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100859 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Lung transplantation results are compromised by ischemia–reperfusion injury and alloimmune responses. Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) is used to assess marginal donor lungs before transplantation but is also an excellent platform to apply novel therapeutics. We investigated donor lung immunomodulation using genetically engineered [...] Read more.
Lung transplantation results are compromised by ischemia–reperfusion injury and alloimmune responses. Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) is used to assess marginal donor lungs before transplantation but is also an excellent platform to apply novel therapeutics. We investigated donor lung immunomodulation using genetically engineered mesenchymal stromal cells with augmented production of human anti-inflammatory hIL-10 (MSCsIL-10). Pig lungs were placed on EVLP for 6 h and randomized to control (n = 7), intravascular delivery of 20 × 106 (n = 5, low dose) or 40 × 106 human MSCs IL-10 (n = 6, high dose). Subsequently, single-lung transplantation was performed, and recipient pigs were monitored for 3 days. hIL-10 secretion was measured during EVLP and after transplantation, and immunological effects were assessed by cytokine profile, T and myeloid cell characterization and mixed lymphocyte reaction. MSCIL-10 therapy rapidly increased hIL-10 during EVLP and resulted in transient hIL-10 elevation after lung transplantation. MSCIL-10 delivery did not affect lung function but was associated with dose-related immunomodulatory effects, with the low dose resulting in a beneficial decrease in apoptosis and lower macrophage activation, but the high MSCIL-10 dose resulting in inflammation and cytotoxic CD8+ T cell activation. MSCIL-10 therapy during EVLP results in a rapid and transient perioperative hIL-10 increase and has a therapeutic window for its immunomodulatory effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell and Gene Therapy)
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14 pages, 1770 KiB  
Review
Prime Editing and DNA Repair System: Balancing Efficiency with Safety
by Karim Daliri, Jürgen Hescheler and Kurt Paul Pfannkuche
Cells 2024, 13(10), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100858 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 697
Abstract
Prime editing (PE), a recent progression in CRISPR-based technologies, holds promise for precise genome editing without the risks associated with double-strand breaks. It can introduce a wide range of changes, including single-nucleotide variants, insertions, and small deletions. Despite these advancements, there is a [...] Read more.
Prime editing (PE), a recent progression in CRISPR-based technologies, holds promise for precise genome editing without the risks associated with double-strand breaks. It can introduce a wide range of changes, including single-nucleotide variants, insertions, and small deletions. Despite these advancements, there is a need for further optimization to overcome certain limitations to increase efficiency. One such approach to enhance PE efficiency involves the inhibition of the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system, specifically MLH1. The rationale behind this approach lies in the MMR system’s role in correcting mismatched nucleotides during DNA replication. Inhibiting this repair pathway creates a window of opportunity for the PE machinery to incorporate the desired edits before permanent DNA repair actions. However, as the MMR system plays a crucial role in various cellular processes, it is important to consider the potential risks associated with manipulating this system. The new versions of PE with enhanced efficiency while blocking MLH1 are called PE4 and PE5. Here, we explore the potential risks associated with manipulating the MMR system. We pay special attention to the possible implications for human health, particularly the development of cancer. Full article
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28 pages, 13846 KiB  
Article
Insights into PCSK9-LDLR Regulation and Trafficking via the Differential Functions of MHC-I Proteins HFE and HLA-C
by Sepideh Mikaeeli, Ali Ben Djoudi Ouadda, Alexandra Evagelidis, Rachid Essalmani, Oscar Henrique Pereira Ramos, Carole Fruchart-Gaillard and Nabil G. Seidah
Cells 2024, 13(10), 857; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100857 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 581
Abstract
PCSK9 is implicated in familial hypercholesterolemia via targeting the cell surface PCSK9-LDLR complex toward lysosomal degradation. The M2 repeat in the PCSK9’s C-terminal domain is essential for its extracellular function, potentially through its interaction with an unidentified “protein X”. The M2 repeat was [...] Read more.
PCSK9 is implicated in familial hypercholesterolemia via targeting the cell surface PCSK9-LDLR complex toward lysosomal degradation. The M2 repeat in the PCSK9’s C-terminal domain is essential for its extracellular function, potentially through its interaction with an unidentified “protein X”. The M2 repeat was recently shown to bind an R-x-E motif in MHC-class-I proteins (implicated in the immune system), like HLA-C, and causing their lysosomal degradation. These findings suggested a new role of PCSK9 in the immune system and that HLA-like proteins could be “protein X” candidates. However, the participation of each member of the MHC-I protein family in this process and their regulation of PCSK9’s function have yet to be determined. Herein, we compared the implication of MHC-I-like proteins such as HFE (involved in iron homeostasis) and HLA-C on the extracellular function of PCSK9. Our data revealed that the M2 domain regulates the intracellular sorting of the PCSK9-LDLR complex to lysosomes, and that HFE is a new target of PCSK9 that inhibits its activity on the LDLR, whereas HLA-C enhances its function. This work suggests the potential modulation of PCSK9’s functions through interactions of HFE and HLA-C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Research Advances in Cellular Metabolism)
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27 pages, 2596 KiB  
Review
Role of Vasoactive Hormone-Induced Signal Transduction in Cardiac Hypertrophy and Heart Failure
by Naranjan S. Dhalla, Karina O. Mota, Vijayan Elimban, Anureet K. Shah, Carla M. L. de Vasconcelos and Sukhwinder K. Bhullar
Cells 2024, 13(10), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100856 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 637
Abstract
Heart failure is the common concluding pathway for a majority of cardiovascular diseases and is associated with cardiac dysfunction. Since heart failure is invariably preceded by adaptive or maladaptive cardiac hypertrophy, several biochemical mechanisms have been proposed to explain the development of cardiac [...] Read more.
Heart failure is the common concluding pathway for a majority of cardiovascular diseases and is associated with cardiac dysfunction. Since heart failure is invariably preceded by adaptive or maladaptive cardiac hypertrophy, several biochemical mechanisms have been proposed to explain the development of cardiac hypertrophy and progression to heart failure. One of these includes the activation of different neuroendocrine systems for elevating the circulating levels of different vasoactive hormones such as catecholamines, angiotensin II, vasopressin, serotonin and endothelins. All these hormones are released in the circulation and stimulate different signal transduction systems by acting on their respective receptors on the cell membrane to promote protein synthesis in cardiomyocytes and induce cardiac hypertrophy. The elevated levels of these vasoactive hormones induce hemodynamic overload, increase ventricular wall tension, increase protein synthesis and the occurrence of cardiac remodeling. In addition, there occurs an increase in proinflammatory cytokines and collagen synthesis for the induction of myocardial fibrosis and the transition of adaptive to maladaptive hypertrophy. The prolonged exposure of the hypertrophied heart to these vasoactive hormones has been reported to result in the oxidation of catecholamines and serotonin via monoamine oxidase as well as the activation of NADPH oxidase via angiotensin II and endothelins to promote oxidative stress. The development of oxidative stress produces subcellular defects, Ca2+-handling abnormalities, mitochondrial Ca2+-overload and cardiac dysfunction by activating different proteases and depressing cardiac gene expression, in addition to destabilizing the extracellular matrix upon activating some metalloproteinases. These observations support the view that elevated levels of various vasoactive hormones, by producing hemodynamic overload and activating their respective receptor-mediated signal transduction mechanisms, induce cardiac hypertrophy. Furthermore, the occurrence of oxidative stress due to the prolonged exposure of the hypertrophied heart to these hormones plays a critical role in the progression of heart failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Cardiomyocytes, Myocardial Hypertrophy, and Heart Failure)
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24 pages, 951 KiB  
Review
Emerging Strategies in Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Cardiovascular Therapeutics
by Rishabh Kumar, Nitin Mishra, Talan Tran, Munish Kumar, Sivakumar Vijayaraghavalu and Narasimman Gurusamy
Cells 2024, 13(10), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100855 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 689
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases continue to challenge global health, demanding innovative therapeutic solutions. This review delves into the transformative role of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in advancing cardiovascular therapeutics. Beginning with a historical perspective, we trace the development of stem cell research related to cardiovascular [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases continue to challenge global health, demanding innovative therapeutic solutions. This review delves into the transformative role of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in advancing cardiovascular therapeutics. Beginning with a historical perspective, we trace the development of stem cell research related to cardiovascular diseases, highlighting foundational therapeutic approaches and the evolution of cell-based treatments. Recognizing the inherent challenges of MSC-based cardiovascular therapeutics, which range from understanding the pro-reparative activity of MSCs to tailoring patient-specific treatments, we emphasize the need to refine the pro-regenerative capacity of these cells. Crucially, our focus then shifts to the strategies of the fourth generation of cell-based therapies: leveraging the secretomic prowess of MSCs, particularly the role of extracellular vesicles; integrating biocompatible scaffolds and artificial sheets to amplify MSCs’ potential; adopting three-dimensional ex vivo propagation tailored to specific tissue niches; harnessing the promise of genetic modifications for targeted tissue repair; and institutionalizing good manufacturing practice protocols to ensure therapeutic safety and efficacy. We conclude with reflections on these advancements, envisaging a future landscape redefined by MSCs in cardiovascular regeneration. This review offers both a consolidation of our current understanding and a view toward imminent therapeutic horizons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Stem Cells in Tissue Engineering and Regeneration)
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15 pages, 3789 KiB  
Article
The Role of TLR-2 in Lethal COVID-19 Disease Involving Medullary and Resident Lung Megakaryocyte Up-Regulation in the Microthrombosis Mechanism
by Giuseppe Pannone, Maria Carmela Pedicillo, Ilenia Sara De Stefano, Francesco Angelillis, Raffaele Barile, Chiara Pannone, Giuliana Villani, Francesco Miele, Maurizio Municinò, Andrea Ronchi, Gaetano Serviddio, Federica Zito Marino, Renato Franco, Tommaso Colangelo and Rosanna Zamparese
Cells 2024, 13(10), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13100854 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 606
Abstract
Patients with COVID-19 have coagulation and platelet disorders, with platelet alterations and thrombocytopenia representing negative prognostic parameters associated with severe forms of the disease and increased lethality. Methods: The aim of this study was to study the expression of platelet glycoprotein IIIa (CD61), [...] Read more.
Patients with COVID-19 have coagulation and platelet disorders, with platelet alterations and thrombocytopenia representing negative prognostic parameters associated with severe forms of the disease and increased lethality. Methods: The aim of this study was to study the expression of platelet glycoprotein IIIa (CD61), playing a critical role in platelet aggregation, together with TRL-2 as a marker of innate immune activation. Results: A total of 25 patients were investigated, with the majority (24/25, 96%) having co-morbidities and dying from a fatal form of SARS-CoV-2(+) infection (COVID-19+), with 13 men and 12 females ranging in age from 45 to 80 years. When compared to a control group of SARS-CoV-2 (−) negative lungs (COVID-19−), TLR-2 expression was up-regulated in a subset of patients with deadly COVID-19 fatal lung illness. The proportion of Spike-1 (+) patients found by PCR and ISH correlates to the proportion of Spike-S1-positive cases as detected by digital pathology examination. Furthermore, CD61 expression was considerably higher in the lungs of deceased patients. In conclusion, we demonstrate that innate immune prolonged hyperactivation is related to platelet/megakaryocyte over-expression in the lung. Conclusions: Microthrombosis in deadly COVID-19+ lung disease is associated with an increase in the number of CD61+ platelets and megakaryocytes in the pulmonary interstitium, as well as their functional activation; this phenomenon is associated with increased expression of innate immunity TLR2+ cells, which binds the SARS-CoV-2 E protein, and significantly with the persistence of the Spike-S1 viral sequence. Full article
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